I’m a middle-aged (holy crap I guess I am) man, and I’m about 5 foot 10 inches tall. I’ve never been what could be considered lean & fit, but until about 15 years ago it was sort of under control. And then a year ago I weighed 350 lbs, I was considered prediabetic by my doctor, I was on cholesterol medication, and although I was no longer on blood pressure medication I was probably headed back there soon. My wife and I ate fast food a couple of times a week, pizza another night and even when we were “cooking” it was as likely to be frozen chicken pot pies as anything else. Not to disparage my wife’s cooking, she’s an excellent cook. We just went through a long period where we didn’t bother.
Anyway, last June I had taken sort of a leave of absence from work. I was burned out. I spent most of a month or so sitting on the couch on our nice sunny porch feeling sorry for myself. Or just doing nothing. Listening to music. Snacking. Reading a book. Well, in the course of reading a book called “Why We Get Fat… and What To Do About It” by Gary Taubes I came to some conclusions about myself. Some of them not so flattering. But most importantly I came away with one thing which has changed the way I look at life and food. I think society’s normal reaction to an obese person (which I certainly was) is “He’s a fat slob because he’s a lazy glutton. If he would just not eat so much and exercise he’d lose weight.” Well, what if the exact opposite is true? What if I had a boundless appetite and no energy because I was fat? More to the point, because of what I was eating? Why, that would mean I wasn’t a lazy slob, and there was something I could do!
The results? This morning when I weighed myself I was 275 lbs. Still overweight, but still losing at a slow & steady pace. That’s 75 lbs lost. My wife has lost over 50 lbs, and looks amazing. I am no longer prediabetic, and my A1C (3 month blood glucose average) is right smack in the middle of the normal range. I am no longer on cholesterol medication, and I have never felt so good. My wife is off her blood pressure and her cholesterol medication. Because I’ve had so much energy I have gone for a walk nearly every day since we started, and this spring I started hiking. Several times a week I will go to one of the many New York State Forests in our area and hike on the access roads, or on marked trails. This past week I probably hiked 15 miles. There is no way I could have hiked 2 miles a year ago.
My wife and I don’t consider ourselves to be on a diet, this is just what we eat now. To me, being “on a diet” implies in some way that this is temporary, that sooner or later we will go back to the way we used to eat. That is never going to happen, and neither one of us wants it to. We’ve increased our carb intake, added things like white potatoes, occasionally rice. If we have the opportunity to eat some really amazing bread we will. It’s not something we normally buy or eat. We don’t consider anything “cheating,” if we really want that cookie we’ll eat it. The difference is most of the time I don’t really want it, and if I do I can have just one, where before I would have eaten the whole plate. If someone makes a really delicious carrot cake I’ll have a slice. Yum! But I have no interest in a bag of Oreos, or some other processed garbage.
So… take Lake Girl’s advice. Ditch the processed shit. My only regret is I didn’t do it 10 years sooner.