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.
Yeah, aside from being obsessed with weight, I’m also obsessed with technology. The podcast starts with the host, Leo Laporte, and Paul discussing the usual tech stuff, and at one point they get to talking about New Year’s resolutions. Paul then proclaims, very boldly, that he will lose weight in 2012. Not, “I hope to lose weight” or, “I’m going to try to lose weight.” He very clearly said, “I will lose weight.” And he then outlined the reasons why, he of all people, could proclaim such a thing. Anyone who has listened to any of his podcasts or read any of his books would know that this is an obviously very intelligent guy. He wouldn’t come out and make a bold statement about weight loss like that. How could he? But he did. And he then stated why he was so sure he would lose weight. I listened intently, having recently failed at trying to lose weight using the common “foolproof” weight loss method/formula:
WEIGHT LOSS = CALORIES IN < CALORIES EXPENDED = BULLSHIT
(I should have known that formula was bullshit. But, like many things, I just felt like everyone couldn’t be wrong. And everyone believed the above. Except for a handful of wackos. Like that Atkins guy that was popular 10 years ago…) Back that prior November, just a couple of months prior to his proclamation, I started a traditional low-fat ‘diet’ (always a mistake) of eating less than 1800 calories per day. Some days I was under 1400 calories. I weighed 258 pounds, at 5’10”. I’d been fat since the age of 10. Obese. I felt like shit. All the time. Although I’m a devout atheist, if I did believe in a God I would have been even more pissed than I was – not only did he make me fat, he made me bald. Not cool. I figured I could do something about the fat part though. So I gave it the ole lemming try. Initially, I was successful on my new low-calorie (and low-fat) diet! I lost a whopping 4 pounds in just 2 weeks. I was stoked. And committed.
A couple more weeks go by and I didn’t lose another ounce, even though I further restricted caloric intake and I became more active, even did some workouts on the ole elliptical machine. It hurt. And I didn’t lose any more weight. I’m sure Dr. Oz would say that I just needed to stick with it, but not only was I not losing weight I was also starving. All. The. Time. Those of you who have been on Weight Watchers or some other fraud diet know what I’m talking about. The chick from Biggest Loser just says that it’s a willpower issue. But, knowing what I what know now I simply respond with: why do it the hard way?
Anyways…back to the story: Then, one morning on the way out the door to go to work my wife stops me and says, “I’m starting The South Beach Diet today. You in?” She caught my complete surprise. I half-heartedly agreed. Within 2 weeks I dropped another 8 or 9 pounds. I couldn’t believe it. I ate like crazy and wasn’t hungry. Eating high-fat foods that actually tasted good. Butter. Bacon. Eggs (with the yolks even!). Steak, including the fatty parts! I then proceeded to wait to keel over from a heart attack – cus that’s what I was always told would happen due to the saturated fat, right? Christmas holidays rolled around and I took a break from ‘dieting’ because I wanted to eat all the typical holiday foods. You know – “healthy whole grains” and the like. I gained a few pounds back quickly. But I was okay with it, somewhat, because I kept saying to myself, “But at least you’re not consuming all of this saturated fat. You won’t keel over of a heart attack like Dad did.”
I was resigned to being fat. I figured it might be the lesser of two evils: low-carb diet equals high-fat diet (this is fact – you can’t have it both ways unless you want to have no energy). I chose low-fat in fear of a heart attack. Then, in the beginning of January (might have been late December), I listened to the podcast where Paul Thurrott proclaims so matter-of-factly that he will lose weight, and the information in Gary Taubes’ Why We Get Fatbook is the reason why. I was skeptical, but had just purchased a Nook Color with the intent of reading books, so I took a chance and bought the book the next day. While reading the book I was overcome with amazement. And anger. Anger that this information, the science and facts behind how adipose tissue (i.e., fat) is accumulated and “burned” in the body, was not common knowledge. Instead, we have the bullshit we’ve been fed for so long, like:
- Eat less and you’ll lose weight. It’s simple! Uh, no, it’s not. For most of us.
- Being overweight is a psychological problem…people eat when they’re depressed…or happy….or sad…or <insert any emotion in here>
- Dude, it’s your thyroid!
- You and your like are a lazy lot! Computers/electronics did your generation in! You’re just not active enough!!! Get off the darn couch! Back in the day I used to walk XX miles to school every day! And back!!!