It was exactly one year ago tomorrow (November 1, 2010) that I decided I’d had enough of being tired all the time and not able to enjoy sports, being outdoors, etc. I weighed 258lb. I had just gotten back from an annual work event – a conference that the company I work for puts on for our customers once a year. Last year it was in Orlando. This past week it was in Las Vegas, which is why I haven’t posted.
I normally work out of a Starbucks or local cafe, going into the office maybe a couple of times a week for face to face meetings, since it’s only 10 minutes away. Because of that, I normally don’t do ‘business casual’ dress. My workplace is very casual – shorts in the summer, etc. But over the years, with a constant stream of new hires, the place has morphed into a dressier climate. You know – those dorks that think Dockers and plaid shirts are a fashion staple.
I promise to post something of value soon! I have an idea to research further what the original Weight Watchers diet was. It was, believe it or not, pretty low carb. They had it right, but I guess they had to chase the money. A successfully skinny client is no longer a client when you’re in that business…
Needless to say, I haven’t had clothes that fit me, outside of workout gear, in months. Didn’t really need it until this past week when I had to be dressed for various presentations, cocktail parties, etc. while in Las Vegas. Many of my colleagues and industry contacts only see me once a year, during this event. A handful came up to me, wide-eyed with a look of concern, and whispered, “Are you okay? You look like you’ve lost a lot of weight. You sick?” It was funny. It was fun. It was even more fun putting on a size large shirt and a 36″ waist pants, all of which I had to buy for the trip. Last year I was a size 44″ waist and 2XL shirts, and the shirts were too tight.
So it’s been one year. I’ve done it. 60 pounds dropped. Moving on to year two of this total transformation. With the majority of fat gone, I no longer need to worry about the workouts stunting my weight loss, which is what happens. Beginning today the focus for this year is on getting ripped – the goal is to put The Situation’s six-pack abs to shame. In my 40’s now I think it’s possible. Not sure yet about the best way to go about it, but I’ll get there. Miracles CAN happen. With just a lot of research and a little sacrifice. Just a little.
So this guy has purposely eaten a boat-load of food (really carbohydrates (see below)) in order to gain weight. He’s eating like crazy and putting on as much weight as he can for 6 months, and then will attempt to “work” his way back to his previous weight. On the surface it sure sounds like an interesting little experiment, and it is perfectly designed: if you are a personal trainer looking to drum up business.
The problem I have with what he is doing is that it won’t prove anything other than the fact that a naturally fit guy (who also works out like crazy, hence the muscles), who gains some weight can ‘normalize’ back to being naturally fit, once he stops eating more than he would have naturally (i.e., what his body is naturally causing him to eat). Wow! What a surprise! What determination and self-restraint he must have! What willpower!
Of course, he’ll tell everyone that, after he loses all of the weight that he gained during the 6 months, and I have no doubt he’ll lose it quickly (faster than he gained it), he will start spouting off something to the effect of, “If I can do it, even you naturally fat lazy slobs can do it!” He’ll of course leave out the words “naturally” and maybe “lazy slobs” from the proclamation, though he may use some other coded insults.
People who have been naturally fit their entire lives are the ones who are predisposed to being fit, even if they eat some carbohydrate. Their bodies process them efficiently. Fat people’s don’t. And as fat tissue grows, IT is the culprit that naturally causes the fat person to eat more. Unfortunately, the misconception is that it is the other way around: fat people are fat because they are lazy and/or eat too much. Of course, research has shown conclusively that the cause is in fact the opposite:
Fat people are lazy and/or eat too much BECAUSE they are fat.
This is a big paradigm shift that, until people accept, and the Dr. Oz’s of the world quit ignoring, will always cause the flawed prescriptions of ‘eat less, workout more’ as the cure for obesity, when we know that doesn’t work long-term.
Alas, all is not lost on this personal trainer’s ‘experiment’ – there is one cool thing about the interview that I liked seeing. When he was asked about ‘unhealthy foods’, he told the truth:
FFTV: Are you enjoying eating all those unhealthy foods?
DM: Yes and no. To some extent, all of these foods that I’m eating (sugary cereals, granola bars, juices, white breads, white pastas, sodas, crackers, chips, frozen dinners, mac n cheese, etc.) taste delicious. But then I feel like crap later on and I get hungry again and crave those same foods.
Notice what all of those foods have in common? If you said they are carbohydrates, then give yourself a round of applause! All he needed to round out the list was to add “low-fat yogurt.” Or “rice cakes.” And if he really wants to put on more weight, then add on some “healthy whole grains” to his plate while he’s at it.
What this guy is doing is akin to Fabio shaving his head and then proclaiming that if he can grow his hair back then anyone can do it.
Problem is, his body naturally does it. Not everyone else’s does. Those of us (ahem…) who are naturally predisposed to baldness have a medical problem. We’re bald not by choice. We’re not bald because we’re lazy. We’re not bald because we “overbrushed”. Being fat is the same damn thing – we’re naturally predisposed to being fat, and the primary culprit that triggers the storage of the fat tissue is carbohydrate. We’re not fat by choice. We’re not fat because we’re lazy, or “overeat” (in terms of pure calories-in). We’re fat because our bodies are not able to process the now common diet that consists of carbohydrate as the dominant macronutrient.
Mark Sisson, who has some excellent books and an equally awesome website packed full of great information, has a new book out beginning today, October 18th.
I’m sure that you are seeing this similar type post on many low-carb/paleo blogs today, as Mark wisely asked for support from the blogger community in advance. While I normally would be very reluctant to pimp a book that I have not personally read, based on the info on his website that has helped me greatly (particularly his workout-related advice), and his Primal Blueprint series of books that I have read (they’re all awesome), I have no doubt this one will be great too. If you do happen to grab a copy and read it, please let me know your thoughts on it.
Okay, now to the blerb that was supposed to sound like I actually wrote it:
I’ve got a special announcement today. Mark Sisson, author ofThe Primal Blueprint, has a brand new book out called The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation. It’s a practical, action-oriented guide for how to eat, exercise and live Primally – a step-by-step, “cut to the chase” resource to make a smooth and quick transition into a Primal lifestyle. In it he tells you exactly what to do every day for 21 days to take control of your health for the rest of your life. Mark explains what this new book is all about, what’s in it and who it’s for here.
Mark is looking to score this book on the New York Times best-seller list to gain exposure for the Primal Blueprint message, so he’s put together a loaded special offer. Basically, you order 1 or more copies between October 18 and 24, email your receipt to a special email address and Mark kicks you back a bunch of freebies. It’s a win-win. You get a great book for less than 15 bucks, and a bunch of free gifts, and you and Mark both get to help take the Primal movement mainstream. Check out the details of Mark’s special offer below and pick up a copy of the book today. Buy it here.
What Do I Win for Helping Put This Book on the NYT Best-Seller List?
Order 1 Copy and You Get:
1. Access to the exclusive, password-protected ebook – “Primal Living in the REAL World”: Hundreds of Primal enthusiasts share their challenges, solutions and practical tips for how they get – and stay – Primal. It’s like having the advice of 300 coaches. In it you’ll read hundreds of answers to these and numerous other questions: What is the first thing a person should do to kick start their Primal life? What do you think is the most important thing one should understand as they attempt to go Primal? What was the biggest hurdle you experienced when going Primal and how did you overcome it? And of course, the most important one, What do you usually eat for breakfast?
2. Access to the exclusive, password-protected audio interview – “21-Day Total Body Transformation”: Download a 60 minute, free-wheeling Q&A podcast in which Mark discusses the 8 Key Concepts that everyone needs to know to go Primal. Among many other topics covered, Mark discusses why your body prefers burning fat over carbohydrates and how you can use this knowledge to become a fat-burning beast instead of a sugar burner. Also, listen to Mark riff on why grains are totally unnecessary and why 80 percent of your body composition is determined by how you eat.
3. $10 Gift Certificate to PrimalBlueprint.com: Spend it like cash and order whatever you want, perhaps a cookbook to go with the 21-Day Transformation book? This means for a net 5 bucks you can grab a copy of Mark’s new book today.
Order 3 (Or More) Copies and You Get:
1. All the aforementioned benefits – the $10 Gift Certificate, the exclusive eBook and podcast, plus…
2. Audio recording of the original Primal Blueprint(released in 2009) – Listen to The Primal Blueprint on your phone or MP3 player with this abridged, digital (MP3) audio book voiced by Mark. This is the book that started it all and retails for $26.99. Grab 3 or more copies of the the 21-Day Total Body Transformation and you’ll get it for free.
Order 8 (Or More) Copies and Help Change The World!
Oh, and do your holiday shopping early. One common frustration from Primal enthusiasts is how to get friends and loved ones on board. This book is the perfect calling card to introduce someone to the Primal Blueprint. Why not reduce the hassle of holiday shopping and give each of your deserving friends and loved ones the gift of life transformation?
Buy 8 or more books through mainstream channels and Mark will send you 50 percent of your order quantity in bonus books! Buy eight and Mark will send you four more. Buy 80 and he’ll send you 40 more – seriously…and he’ll autograph each one of the free books! And, of course, you’ll get all the aforementioned freebies.
100 copies – Personal Touch: Private 30-minute consultation over the telephone with Mark. Yes, you also get the 50 free signed books!
1,000 copies – Executive Decision: Mark will fly out to your location and spend the day helping get your employees Primal!
How Do I Win?
1. Order your book(s) online or at your local bookstore before midnight Monday, Oct 24. Here are some online ordering options:
2. Email your receipt to the appropriate email address:
If you purchase 1-2 copies email your receipt to email@example.com
If you purchase 3-7 copies email your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you purchase 8 or more copies email the confirmation that your order has shipped to email@example.com
To reiterate, for 8 or more books, please email Mark the confirmation that your order has shipped (not your initial email receipt) to the appropriate email address above. Also, please include your shipping address so Mark knows where to ship your free books. Please allow 30 days for processing and shipping of your free books. Mark’s going to have a lot of books to sign!
Low-techies can fax receipt copy to 310-317-4424.
3. You will receive your e-gift certificate, eBook download instructions, podcast download instructions, and all other freebies by reply email. (Please be patient. The Worker Bees will be reviewing receipts and sending you instructions on how to access all of your freebies within 24 hours.)
If you have any questions about ordering, or this promotion, please call 888-774-6259 (or 310-317-4414).
Unfortunately, Kindle and other digital books don’t count toward the NY Times best-seller list, nor this promotion.
Books purchased in physical locations (e.g. a brick-and-mortar Barnes & Noble) count, too. Just scan and email your receipt to the appropriate email address above, or fax it to 310-317-4424.
This offer only applies to book orders placed in the United States.
I did it. I weighed myself today and I’m down to 199.6 pounds. Under 200! Of course, tonight was a scheduled ‘carb-loading’ evening (once in a while, I’ll eat a relatively high(er) number of carbs than usual, as I’ve found it resets my weight set-point), so I’ll likely temporarily be back to over 200 tomorrow, but regardless, I did it.
Biggest tip I can give people is to ease up on the exercise. As I’ve previously discussed, exercising caused a rapid decline in the rate at which I lost weight. Basically, once I joined a gym this past May, I went from dropping pounds per week to a pound a week at best. Part of that, theoretically, could be muscle gain but it just doesn’t add up to explain it. It’s not like I’m rockin a wife-beater like Ronnie these days…
Before I continue – please forgive the Jersey Shore references. I gotta admit – I love the show, and for those of you who find it as hilarious as I do, there’s more to come in this post…
So back to the weight loss slowdown from exercising thing, and why it’s worked out that way – I just don’t buy the ‘but you’re gaining muscle from the exercise, and muscle weighs more than fat!’ theory in my case. I don’t look any more muscular. It’s kinda like that old pointless saying about how muscle burns calories even when you’re not working out! True, but the obvious question to ask is: just how many calories? No one ever asks it. If they did, they’d find it’s not enough to break a sweat over…
Anyways, about a month ago I stopped doing the chronic cardio and started playing squash twice a week. Instead of tiring myself out on the cardio machine at the gym, I’ve been making sure I’m just moving slowly at night – walking the dog, playing with the kids, doing chores, etc. I saw a slight increase in the rate of loss the first week of this experiment, but I missed working out. I missed the cardio. Until a few weeks ago, when I started playing squash twice a week with an older fellow who is so accurate with the racquet that he just runs me around the court like his name is Geppetto. If you’ve never tried it – squash (not the vegetable, the sport) is a heck of a workout. In fact, according to Forbes magazine, it’s the ‘healthiest sport’ there is. So I was enjoying playing twice a week with him, until he had to quit for a while due to his body being so sore that he couldn’t play twice a week anymore (give the dude a break – I think he’s in his late fifties or early-sixties, and is obese).
As an experiment, I purposely haven’t worked out for the past 2 weeks. And guess what? I’ve quickly dropped about 5 pounds during that time. I hadn’t dropped that much weight that quickly in months (not since I joined a gym and started working out). So working out, while it has great health and emotional benefits, it certainly does not help me lose weight. Quite opposite. Like Taubes says – working out just makes you “work up an appetite.”
Back to the self-aggrandizement. I’ve reached my long-term goal. So, now what? What’s my next goal? The reality is, I still have a flabby gut. It’s what I call a “shirt gut” – a “shirt guy” is when you have a shirt on no one can tell you have a gut. But it concerns me because my “shirt gut” is in the style of the ‘heart attack’ belly you hear about from the medical folks. While I’ve learned to not trust a thing coming from the medical establishment, I can’t help but be a little concerned about it. Enough at least to continue to try to slim down. But I’m at a crossroads, in terms of my next goal:
Option A. Screw the Scale – Hit the Gym Hard
Get back to the gym, hit it hard (crossfit? weights?), and focus on getting a stomach like this guy:
Option B. Screw the Gym – Continue to Slim Down
Continue with what I’ve been doing recently, continue to slim down, not working out (traditionally), but remain active day to day, with the occasional sprinting/HIIT activity (like orienteering this Sunday!) for fun. By the way – I’m not contradicting myself when it comes to exercise – I am a firm believer it is good for me, and I enjoy it. It just works against weight loss.
Option C. Eat Carbs!
Of course, there’s always option C. I could just not give a shit anymore, wave a flag, and go back to eating carbs and “healthy whole grains” and, come next Summer, I can hit the Jersey Shore and rock it like this guy:
No, I’m not really considering option C.
For now, I’m just going to be proud of my accomplishment. I haven’t weighed under 200 pounds since I was around 18 or 19 years old. Time to splurge on a gift for myself. Anyone know where I can get one of these t-shirts?
Next post, I promise to be less humorous and more thought-provoking. : ) And I apologize if this post is a bit insensitive to those still struggling with their weight loss, particularly the images used – it wasn’t meant as such.
I know you don’t want to hear this but, after getting off the scale this morning and shocked at the low number, I was at first a bit sad. I truly enjoyed the journey to this point. Once I learned how fat is stored and released in the body back in January, and with a month or so into proving it in practice, I had no doubt I’d continue to lose weight and eventually reach my goal. So much so that I truly enjoyed the journey to this point. The pursuit of the goal.
I have a confession to make. If you were to come to my house and look through the fridge and cupboards, you’ll find tons of horrible junk food. From cereal boxes for breakfast to ice cream for dessert, my cupboards are filled with junk food. And, with my wife now eating healthy along with me, you know who eats all the junk food now? My kids. And I am just not sure what to do.
Like most, I grew up on junk. I was a child of the 1970’s, which happened to coincide with the ‘Health Club’ boom and the USDA’s Food Pyramid and switch to recommending a diet consisting of mostly carbohydrates. Incidentally, that was also the start of “the obesity epidemic”! What a surprise! I ate breakfast cereals growing. I was Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs just like every other kid. Loved the Trix, too. And man did I love those instant oatmeal packets – I used to have two of the Maple and Brown Sugar packets each morning. Nutrition at its finest! At school, I ate the junk lunches they pimped to us kids. Pizza, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, processed ‘chicken’ fingers, etc.
In lieu of any more cool low carb pizza recipes, I wanted to write today more in tribute. In tribute to a person who, like me, was fat and learned the secret* to weight loss for fat people, and had the balls to go on his extremely popular tech podcast and go off-topic by telling everyone about it. Thank you, Paul Thurrott. * readers of this blog already know this isn’t really a secret, but the general public is still oblivious I still remember the evening in January, laying in bed, listening to that week’s installment of Windows Weekly podcast.
Just yesterday I was listening to the local Philadelphia sports talk radio station and heard one of the countless adds for a local powerhouse roll bakery, which is often followed by an ad for one of their customers, a hoagie chain. It got me to thinking – Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, where I grew up and frequent from time to time for its wonderful downtown bar and restaurant scene (if you want to be hip, you gotta go where the hip are!), must be full of fat people considering the foods it is known for: all high carbohydrate foods. Consider the ‘traditions’:
Soft Pretzels (<sarcasm>but they’re low-fat so they must be okay! </sarcasm>)
Cheesesteaks, on a big ass roll
Pasta, courtesy of the wonderful Italian-American community in the city
Hoagies, again on a big ass roll
What do all of the above ‘foods’ contain? A lot of carbohydrate, of course!
I started to look for pics of the above foods to include, but I held back knowing that many of this site’s visitors are on induction and don’t want the temptation. But I just couldn’t hold back, knowing that many readers have no idea what a ‘Hoagie’ is. Sorry.
And so, like fate, today appearing on Philly.com is an article about what the various take-out orders are, by city. While I think the accuracy of this list overall is a bit dubious (Bostonians order more Thai than any other take-out food? No way.), I am not surprised that Philadelphians order more pizza than anyone else. I grew up in Philadelphia and ate pizza at least twice a week it seemed. No wonder.
While there is no real link between working out and weight loss, that’s not to say there aren’t some real good reasons to exercise. Here is an inspirational video, care of Mark’s Daily Apple. When I go to the playground with my kids and dog, I try to do stuff like this. But nowhere near as hardcore as this couple. They are, simply put, badass.
Read this and weep with desire – we have found a suitable replacement for pizza! I am not kidding. Read on!
My wife made this for dinner tonight and it was incredible. Based on the recipe here, she loaded ours up with sausage, pepperoni, fresh mozzarella, and a low-sugar jarred tomato sauce. Next time we’ll make our own tomato sauce fresh, from stewed tomatoes and tomato paste, but let’s not be picky here.
I have to admit, I was quite skeptical when, as I was eating some salad, my wife takes the first bite of her pizza and just starts raving about how it “totally tastes like real pizza!” I then took a bite of mine and was quite surprised at how good it was. It was downright awesome.
Even Apple’s undoubtedly smart engineers appear to have been duped into believing the ‘dietary fat is bad for you’ lie. Check the video below out. When CBS’s John Blackstone asks “Siri”, the name for the voice recognition feature in the new iPhone 4S, “Have you figured out the meaning of life yet?”, the phone responded with, “Try and be nice to people. Avoid eating fat. Read a good book now and then.”
Unfortunately you’ll have to wait until the end of the clip to hear it.