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Friday, April 20, 2007

New Year's Resolution Update (month 4)



fat off:


Executive Summary
What did not work: Only moving more
What I never tried: Eating less
What did work: The sharp stick diet (aka Paleolithic diet)
From - > To: 80kg -> 74kg,; BMI of 15% - > BMI of 9%; Manboobbuds -> Nunsuch; 2007 -> 1994; Slow, lethargic, moody, anti-social -> Fast, energetic, assertive, involved.

The fat off was a battle joined by some co-workers of mine who were going to the wedding of a certain established mature-aged gentleman. Yes, this is a man who suffers from the excesses of his success. Paying an unreasonable amount of money for the photographer for this wedding, he figured he'd like to capture the moment in his best form. The fat off was born.

I heard about it at coffee, and just quietly lobbed on. I tried pushing the pedals a bit harder, spending more time on the bike, any "move more" stuff I could carve the time for. No change.

I didn't try the "eat less" part of the "move more, eat less" diet because that's not my style. In fact, I went hell-for-leather on the carbs thinking that I needed to fuel all this "move more" activity. I was actually gaining weight. And I was getting worn out, and unable to recover.

There were several final straws that pushed me towards the sharp stick diet. No need to go into that here, but looking back I can say it's about time.

What's this sharp stick diet? you're asking. First: imagine you're wearing only a loin cloth, and you only have access to a sharp stick as a tool. Take yourself back from 90k-10k years in human history. Go back on an evolutionary scale and have a look at what we came up eating. No modern fruits, no milled grains or processed foods of any type. Any sugar or high-GI food of any kind would be a rare find. What you're left with is some tubers, vegetables, greens, eggs and meat.

If you look at it this way "vegetables, greens, eggs and meat", plus a moderate allowance for the occasional sugars, it's in no way an unbalanced diet. In fact, I'm basically only following the standard food pyramid that most people deform into a dome.

I've also changed very little of the "move more" part of the equation. But you should understand that I get out for a ride almost every weekday at lunch that would give most people pains on a par with childbirth (exageration for effect). I'm active, I'll admit that.

The amazing parts to me are:

a. that I've maintained a steady rate of activity, I still eat when I'm hungry, and as much as I want, but prior to eating off the sharp stick I was gaining weight. It's now been roughly 2 months and I've lost 6 kilos ( that's 13 lbs !). And it's mostly fat. I know this because I have a Tanita body fat content scale that I got ages ago in the lead up to the City to Surf race (maybe 2001?)

I've been watching the numbers go down the last two months. They're going down at a similar rate to when I was training for that City to Surf. I know this because I still have my run-log spreadsheet. The difference is that I was running 30-60 minutes daily training for that race. That's seriously moving a lot more than I am now.

b. the shift in mood, energy, awareness, assertiveness, involvement and productivity. I would say that while all of those things above sound positive, it's been a challenge to adjust. Combine the energy, awareness and assertiveness with my tendency to be cynical, skeptical, critical and sarcastic and you get an increased incidence of foot-in-mouth acidity. I'm having to learn how to attenuate my energy to the amount of arsehole I'm comfortable being. That's been a little bit alarming, but it's also served me well on a couple of occasions (not suffering the fools).

And there it is. I'm having to ask, and wonder, at this point how to start gaining weight in the right way. People have started to notice that I've lost something, but never say "and you look great". Having just gone the #3 clippers haircut probably isn't helping matters any. But I know I don't have much room to move now on the fat front, and have no intention of going into muscle atrophy. I'll have to look into what skinny cavemen would do to bulk up for the spring ruck, or whatever.

Buy no "e" or "i" things

I bought a cable that allows the computer to display on a TV and a chair designed by a guy who's name started with "e". But the resolution specifically applies to things where the second letter is capitalized (iCrap, eThing, eTc.), so I think I'm doing OK so far.

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