Ditch the Processed S*H*I*T redux

This is a first here at My Little Blue Kayak – My very first Guest Post! This post was written by my brother who along with his wife ditched the processed S*H*I*T about 1 year ago and improved their health and happiness in the process.
This is kind of a follow-up to Lake Girl’s post from May 15th, Ditch the Processed S*H*I*T.  She may or may not have had me in mind when she wrote it… I like to think I gave her some inspiration.  Oh, by the way I’m child number 9, brother number 3.  Yes, the youngest.

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.

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My doctor’s advice was always the same.  “Eat less… exercise more.”  “Go for a walk.”  The problem was I was always hungry, and I never had any energy to exercise.  Just getting through my day would wipe me out, I would want to sit on the couch, watch TV and eat a hamburger & fries, or several slices of pizza.  And a bowl of ice cream.  Boy did I love ice cream. I could not get through the frozen section in the grocery store without getting a container of ice cream.  Ooh, buy one get one?  Don’t mind if I do!  (As an aside, at some point you should get Lake Girl to tell the story of the night she brought ice cream to dinner and only bought ONE container when they were buy one get one.  Mother Fran & child number 1 were flabbergasted.  Lake Girl’s response?  “But I only wanted one.”  Ah, memories.)

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!

Within a few weeks a radical transformation was underway.  After a discussion with my wife (and at her urging, she’s the best) we got rid of every bit of processed food in the house.  Our dining room table was full of canned and boxed food that we either gave away or threw away.  We stopped picking up fast food.  No more soft drinks.  No more ice cream. We started out very low carb, although we were not following any specific diet.  I guess more paleo than anything else.  So no bread, pasta, rice, we even cut out potatoes for a long time.  Absolutely nothing with added sugar.  After a couple of weeks it wasn’t even a struggle.  We began cooking really delicious meals from scratch every day.  Or making a big batch and eating leftovers for several days.  I was reading paleo cookbooks and trying recipes.  I discovered that vegetables were delicious, and I eat cauliflower, broccoli, salads, even squash (Yes, Mother Fran, I eat squash now) almost every day.  I discovered that not only am I a pretty good cook, I really enjoy it.  I discovered that if you’re eating the right things you can trust yourself to “eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re not.”  I have never attempted to count calories.  If I’m not hungry I’ll skip a meal.

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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 9shoes-587648_960_720hike 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.

Number 9

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4 thoughts on “Ditch the Processed S*H*I*T redux”

    1. Just did 4 miles in the woods today. Would have been more fun with at least one of my sisters and a certain dog!

  1. I love this! Bravo to you both for ditching the processed crap. Your words are inspiring!
    Love Laura

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