Monday saw me getting ready for work as usual. I was nearly ready to leave, only needing to put shoes on my feet and grab my keys. I slid my feet into them and squatted to tie the laces. Were the laces shorter? No. Were my arms shorter? I didn’t think so. My shirt sleeves seemed to fit normally. I bent, grimaced, exhaled forcefully, bent again and managed to grab the laces. Frantically I tied them on my left shoe. I stood, exhaled, and bent to tie the right shoe laces. I felt slightly off balance, maybe a little dizzy. I realized I could bend myself no further, and I was running out of air. I stubbornly gritted my teeth, sloppily finished tying, and rolled back onto my butt to suck some wind. That’s when I made the decision to buy loafers. No! I decided to get back on my diet.
A couple of years ago, I heard about a diet program detailed in a book called “The 4-Hour Body”, by Timothy Ferriss, when the Nerdist podcast guys interviewed him. I was intrigued but skeptical, as I am of most diet programs. I’m not sure what convinced me to buy the book. It could have been Ferriss’ pitch and his testimony of trying out the process on himself. It could have been the testimonies of others. I know the premise of quick fat loss with minimal cooking and exercise peaked my interest.
In short, I wanted to lose 15 pounds, and I lost eight in the first week. I was alarmed, but pleased. I knew that the theory of drastically reducing simple carbohydrates from the current diet I followed could have dramatic results, but I had imagined losing two or three pounds per week at a maximum. I never lost that much in one week again, but I did enjoy a net weight loss each week. Sometimes I lost as little as half of a pound, sometimes as much as three pounds. I reached my goal in about 3 months, and I maintained that weight as long as I followed the simple rules. My favorite rule was that I got to break the rules one day per week: CHEAT DAY!
I lived for Cheat Day, which I celebrated from the time I woke on Saturday morning until late Saturday night. I ate whatever I wanted in large quantities. I was keeping my body from adapting to a diet consisting of mostly meat, beans and vegetables. There were some minimal exercises I needed to perform on Cheat Day, but most of the day was devoted to gluttony. Sometimes I would gain 7 or 8 pounds. Alarming? Yes, at first. The weight disappeared usually by Wednesday. In a life like mine, where I didn’t have an hour per day to exercise and needed simple meals I could fix quickly, this diet seemed ideal.
Now I’m back on the diet, and we’ll see how it goes. There are times when it’s hard to stick to the eating regimen, especially when surrounded by things I would rather eat. I try not to stress over it if I have a weak moment here or there. I did fall off the diet for a time, experimenting with complex carbohydrates here and there like oatmeal at breakfast. I gained weight nearly immediately. I nosedived off the diet more recently, thus the near hypoxia while tying my shoes.
I’m not a dietitian, doctor, nurse, or personal trainer. This is just something that worked for me and seems to have worked for many others. My goal is simply to fit into some of the clothes I used to wear and take some strain off my knees and back. I still look forward to Cheat Day (just two days away as I write this), but I don’t think it will be the orgy of cupcakes, ice cream and Cheetos that I mentioned earlier. I just enjoy the freedom to have a sandwich or some chips and salsa. Well, maybe a couple of cupcakes couldn’t hurt.