I’ve never had a weight problem, and I’ve never had trouble losing weight. As far as these things go I would consider myself blessed. Standing at a not-so-blessed 5’7″ tall, however, there isn’t much wiggle room between “I look fine” and “goddamn it I should probably do something about this.” When I graduated high school I was around 145 pounds; when I got home from my year of college I was at 160. In the decade or so since then I have fluctuated around the 155-165 range; that’s what I would consider my “normal.”
Right now, though, I’m at 180. The last time I weighed this much was about three years ago. I remember that because I graduated to being full-time at work and had to switch shifts, from a normal day schedule to getting out of work at 2 in the morning. Though I never really changed my diet in any meaningful way, I began going on the treadmill for 30 minutes a day and in the span of three or four months I ended up losing 30 pounds.
That has more or less been my natural order over the last decade or so. I get complacent, gain some weight, and one day I look at myself in the mirror and think, ‘all right, enough is enough.’ Then I work out (which is mainly just cardio — running and what not) over a certain period of time, lose the weight, and one day I look at myself in the mirror and think, ‘not bad my guy.’ Later, rinse, repeat.
Funny story: a few months back I started building up my stamina by walking and jogging. I figured, what the hell, might as well do what I’ve always done and lose some weight. But this time around it didn’t work. Not only did I not lose any weight, I’m pretty sure by working out I started eating more and actually gained pounds.
I don’t know if you could guess, but I happen to not like that shit. I think it’s stupid, I think it’s unfair, and I think more than anything it bothers me that perhaps I’ve reached my tipping point. Maybe as a 31 year-old my body isn’t reacting like it did 10 years ago, or even three years ago (the last time this strategy of mine worked). And in my opinion that’s just dumb.
The way this thing was supposed to work is the same way it’s worked my whole life. When it comes to my body, I should only be required to exert the most minimal amount of effort and energy to get the results I want. I don’t appreciate any of this level playing field bullshit. I think if I go running a couple times a week, I deserve to look how I want to look, how I’ve always looked when I do such things.
Since that is apparently no longer the case, yesterday I started the keto diet. I didn’t know much about it before I started researching, but I do work with a couple middle-aged people who swear by it. Since I happen to like those people, and since my exercising hasn’t been working too well, I just assumed Fuck It was the right mentality. It isn’t like I’ve really challenged myself in a while, so that’s what I’m treating this as.
Without getting deep in the weeds, the keto diet is basically just stripping sugar and carbs out of my diet. I can still eat all the steak and chicken and pork that I want, but I won’t be able to enjoy a cheeseburger with an actual bun. I won’t be able to eat chili or nachos. I won’t be able to eat my favorite food — pasta. I won’t be able to drink soda. I’ve substituted drinking Heineken with drinking red wine. In other words: no fun stuff that tastes good.
Yesterday for lunch I ate three fried eggs and an avocado. For dinner I had bacon and broccoli. It was the first time in at least 10 years — but probably closer to 20 — that I didn’t imbibe in a Coke or Dr. Pepper. I drank water all day, had a couple glasses of wine, and at night I had some some hot tea. Going on a diet isn’t the craziest thing I’ve ever done, but for someone who drinks soda and eats shit all day this has to be right up there.
Naturally my body started barking at me around 6:00, kind of in the way you start going nuts for a cigarette when you are trying to quit. But then I cracked open a container of dried peanuts — which keto apparently approves of — and the nasty feeling went away. Today has been better, but I won’t deny the urge I’ve had to get some goddamn nuggets and a large Coke from McDonalds.
We will see how long this lasts, but according to the keto website I’m supposed to lose like 20 pounds (which is all I’m really shooting for) in a little over a month. I think there’s an outside chance everything works out and I make a real lifestyle change, though at the moment if I just cut soda out of my diet I could probably achieve the same results. I’m not looking for any outs here, or trying to create a self-fulfilling prophecy. I just know the way I am and the way I operate when things are going well.
As it stands, the idea is pretty simple. No bread, no candy, no more Coke’s and Dr. Pepper’s to get me through the day. As arrogant as it may sound I have gone my whole life putting as close to no effort into my body and I’ve come out of it looking all right. I’ve basically used that same excuse in every aspect of my life, forever now, even though I’ve always known I can’t continue with my lifestyle if I plan on living a long time (which I hope to). I have spent my whole life borrowing against my future, and I’ve never really paid a price for it. I have gotten away with being lazy and sure of myself, knowing at any time all I have to do is flip the switch.
That time has come, and for no real reason other than I’m tired of feeling average. I spend more time on my blog talking about sports and gambling than my personal life — since sports and gambling are much more interesting — but like anyone else I still have my hopes and dreams and I do want to be better. Sacrificing the foods I’ve always enjoyed, that are always going to be there for me, shouldn’t be that hard. The hardest part is starting, and putting in the simple effort I’ve spent a lifetime avoiding.