Fat No More or How I Reduced My Gravitational Footprint
It was around early November 2011 that I began to notice a few things about myself that didn’t exactly impress me. Here I was half way through my forty-first year of life and I was fatter than I had ever been 207 lbs (94 kilos or 15 stone – for my friends everywhere outside of the U.S.) I was getting winded walking upstairs to go to bed, and I was about 15 years away from the age at which my father and paternal grandfather had died. I had to do something. So one evening about an hour into a Stumbleupon session I happened upon, or should I say Stumbled Upon the blog of a guy named Tim Ferris (www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog). Over the next several weeks I spent some time on his site poking around his site looking at all of the things this guy is into. What really intrigued me was his penchant for self experimentation related to health and fitness and his ability to explain it in very simple terms.
After setting personal records for holiday eating I decided to join in the American tradition of resolving to lose weight at the start of the new year and I did it the old-fashioned way, I just stopped eating so much. At the end of January I had lost 7 pounds but I was hating life because I was hungry all the time and my willpower was coming to an end. Then I remembered Mr. Ferris had a book called The 4 Hour Body which had an alleged excellent weight loss protocol in it. Please understand, I have never followed a “diet” in my life so this was a huge leap for me. So I grabbed my Kindle, downloaded the book and feverishly jotted down notes. There were five basic rules which explained what I could eat and the best part was that I got one day per week to go absolutely crazy and eat whatever I wanted and however much I wanted of it and believe me I took full advantage. It became a game. I was strict on my diet for 6 days and I would post Facebook updates of my progress and then on Sunday, which was my cheat day, I would post pictures of all of the garbage I was eating. One Sunday I ate 6 donuts before church, had a huge lunch at a local Mexican place, ate a half a pie in the afternoon, went to Wendy’s and got a double cheeseburger combo medium-sized with a Coke, went to Dairy Queen later that evening for an Oreo Cookie Blizzard and lost two pounds that day. This was the best “diet” ever. Subsequent Sundays included more bingeing involving entire packs of Oreos or Nutter Butters, banana splits, and trips to Wendy’s. I lost 10 pounds the first week, more than I did the entire previous month and continued to drop weight until at the end of three months I had reached my goal of 180 pounds.
The diet is called The Slow Carb Diet and it involves eating as much protein, vegetables, and beans as you can handle and almost no carbohydrates and, of course, cheat day. When I have shared this with people I’m surprised that many of them balk at the idea claiming that it’s too restrictive. It’s really not. A typical meal while I was being strict on the diet would look something like this: a salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar in the biggest bowl I could find, a steak or several chicken breasts or pork chops, and a whole can of black beans. It was delicious and very filling but not bloating. I will say the restriction on salad dressing got a little tedious but I never felt that the diet was restrictive. After just a week or two I had energy like a twenty year old and an appetite to match. It felt good to be alive. Twenty five pounds came off in about eight to ten weeks but I had five pounds to go to reach my goal and I was stuck. This is when I started working out, running, and took the diet to another level when I discovered something called The Paleo Diet. More on this later…