In November of last year, I made mention of my goal to “get healthy and lose the weight.” After getting some initial data on Dec. 29, I was ready to get started on a program I had hoped would help me.
The data was telling. I weighed in at 255.4 lbs., and was carrying a striking 41.3 percent bodyfat. I was disgusted. I was appalled. And then I went to my parents house the following weekend, celebrated a late Christmas, and had the most decadent food indulgences I can remember having in a long time.
I was off to a good start.
Fast-forward to one month later: My latest weigh-in on Jan. 28 had me down to 246.4 lbs. at 38.9 percent bodyfat. Ah, progress. In one month, I had lost nine pounds and dropped 2.4 percent of my bodyfat.
Here’s my story.
On Jan. 3, I started the slow carb diet after reading the Tim Ferris book, The 4-Hour Body. There’s a lot of different types of plans in the book. Some for those who want to lose fat, some for those who want to gain muscle and a few other miscellaneous topics I won’t get into here.
The premise of the slow carb diet can be summed up in these five rules:
- Avoid “white” carbohydrates (or any that can be white).
- Eat the same few meals over and over again.
- Don’t drink calories.
- Don’t eat fruit.
- Take one day off per week.
And so I did. I counted calories for the first week just to see how things were going, then stopped doing that completely. I did very little exercise. There were some walks here and there (I’m mentioned – although not by name – further in the article) with a friend and I took the stairs a bit more instead of the elevator at work. The book has some pretty bold claims about the possibility of losing 20 lbs. of fat in 30 days without exercising, so I wanted to keep my expenditures to a minimum. “Let’s see how this thing holds up,” I thought.
Oh sure, the diet has its share of critics. Most diets do. I think that’s a good thing. You should be highly critical of any type of major plans to change your body. Investigate, research, then decide if it’s right for you. (Even Dr. Oz, did, and believe it or not, he gives the plan a thumbs-up.) Most of all, get going once you’ve made that choice. There’s no greater weapon than inaction.
Things I could have done differently
- Drank more water. I could have drank a LOT more water than I did. You’re only suppose to have one diet drink a day with this plan, but I have an addiction to Diet. Mt. Dew, and that sometimes got in the way. The last two weeks were pretty bad.
- Went on more – or longer – walks. As I said, I was trying to see how lazy I could be, so that’s my own fault. But now that I’m seeing progress, I’m extremely motivated to up the ante.
- Drank water and ate protein first thing in the morning. One of the tips to rev up metabolism is to have some ice cold water and some type of protein within 30 minutes (and certainly no later than one hour) of waking up. I’m not a morning person, so it’s a real struggle for me to get my head on straight in the morning. Better food preparation would have helped me.
- Been better prepared. Since our family is scattered to the far ends of Kansas, we had a really, really late Christmas with my wife’s family in Garden City two weeks into my plan. Because they live six hours away, I didn’t plan well for the trip and ended up eating more unapproved foods than I would have liked. I essentially lost two days because of that trip, but since it was a belated Christmas, I didn’t care much.
Things I’m glad I didn’t do
- Listen to my doctor. You absolutely should get your body checked out to make sure there isn’t something that might prohibit you from trying any type of weight-loss program (cancer, diabetes, etc.). Doctors are pretty great for getting us unsick, but I don’t listen to them for advice on losing weight. When I went for my physical on Dec. 29, my doctor gave me a lecture on the need for me to lose weight, while he (admittedly) was overweight himself. He recommended two different programs for me to try, the South Beach Diet (which I’ve tried before and do recommend) and Weight Watchers (which I absolutely don’t recommend). My doctor really didn’t have “tried and true” advice for me to lose weight and frankly, I wish he hadn’t tried.
- Listen to others. The New York Times review won’t exactly make you want to run out and get the book (there was no mention if the reviewer actuallytried anything from the book). “No fruit? No dairy? Oh, I don’t think that’s safe.” Yeah, I heard it all. Of course, had I told someone I was going to be vegetarian, I’d likely get pats on the back or something. I get all the fruit, dairy and loads of other crap one day a week – I choose Sunday – for my binge day. I even have a simple rule: “Remember the Binge Day and keep it holy.” I won’t even go into what I’ve eaten today alone. My Sunday Binge Days are glorious tales of debauchery, followed by lean meats, greens and legumes the rest of the week.
- Give up. I had a few setbacks along the way. Besides my aforementioned trip to western Kansas, I also slipped up one Wednesday morning and wolfed down a pack of mini donuts on the way to work. Many times before, a slip up like that anytime during the day would cause me to completely fall off the wagon. For some reason, I kept going. I don’t know why this time is different, other than I’m really tried of being as heavy and unhealthy as I am.
I still have far to go. My first short-term goal is to hit 240 lbs., with a long-term goal of getting to 200 lbs. But what I’ve seen so far, I know I’m on the right track. I feel awesome. I don’t get tired in the afternoons. My clothes fit better, and in some cases, I think I’m going to need some new threads fairly soon.
Most important, I have a hope that hasn’t been there in a long time. I had some success last summer doing Red Dog’s Dog Days, but even then I worked my butt off and still only got to 246 lbs. I’m looking forward to Dog Days this summer. It should be a lot easier and way more fun.
That’s the story so far. Thanks for reading.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to prepare for supper. I’m going to go stuff my face at SmashBurger.