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Incompetent Fitness Blog Item
January 22, 2004 — 12:31 am

Inspired by “imitation fitness blog” posts (like the original old-school Jim Henley fitness posts and this guy’s, and this guy’s, and even Jesse Walker’s taunt), I now bring you my own incompetent, sporadic variant.

Why incompetent? I’m on a diet, but I haven’t been measuring my progress in any concrete way. And I don’t really plan to start doing so anytime soon. It’s not that I’m apprehensive about what I might find out, or anything, quite the opposite — I just don’t care that much about the stats. I fear this kind of lackadaisical approach doesn’t exactly translate to the compelling story of a personal journey. But, really, I don’t much care about that, either.

I started Atkins in early December and stuck to it for 2.5 weeks before spending time in Portland for the holidays, and then started Atkins again about 2.5 weeks ago. I have no idea how much I weighed before I started and I’m not sure about now, although I’m pretty sure it’s less. I maxed out the digital scale at my parents’ house. I’d heard there was a decent mechanical scale in the gym at our office (a room that, until today, I had set foot in exactly once — and even then, for less than 20 seconds or so). So I finally headed down there today to check out my current weight, only to find out that this scale maxes out at 350 pounds. And it looks like I weigh more than that.

So, what did I weigh before I started the diet? I must’ve been pushing 400, if my subjective sense of the amount of weight I’ve lost so far is in the same ballpark as reality. It’s a lot like the feeling I used to get after a long backpacking trip in Boy Scouts, taking off my pack and walking around as though floating on air. You get used to the extra weight when you have it on for a long time, and when it finally comes off you just feel lighter. That’s how I feel now — and if I feel this good at 350+ pounds, I can’t wait to see how I feel at 200. But for the time being, by my subjective measure, I’ve gone from super-unbelievably-gigantic fatass to just a regular, run-of-the-mill super-gigantic fatass in just over a month of cumulative, though interrupted, low-carb dieting.

I’ve lost weight quickly before. Back when I returned from two years of missionary service in late 1993, I weighed 250 pounds. I went back to college, started walking everywhere, and decided to cut out all sweets. Then I started vaguely watching the rest of my diet (lots of granola, Grape-Nuts and oranges — not much else). Then I started running a few miles a few times a week. Five months later I was down to 180. Then I started eating lots of spaghetti. Then one day I ate a cookie; the lapse in personal discipline bummed me out at first, but I quickly accustomed myself to it. Then I started to skip running. And then I’d stop by Cinnabon occasionally at the mall. And the weight gradually but steadily piled back on, eventually reaching far above any previous upper bound.

Many people swear by Atkins. I used to be a skeptic, agreeing with guys like Michael Fumento that Atkins “is merely a low-calorie diet in disguise” — but comments by Jim Henley and a piece by Radley Balko, in addition to first-hand testimonials of low-carb efficacy, finally convinced me to give it a shot. When it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter whether Atkins works because it makes you increasingly sated, thereby consuming fewer total calories, or because the strictures of the diet actually speed up your metabolism and even out your blood sugar. It doesn’t even matter whether it’s unhealthy in the long run (as though staying a super-unbelievably-gigantic fatass wasn’t already unhealthy), because I’ve never planned to stick to it in the long run (and here I turn to another post by super-blogger Jim Henley on how to ease off Atkins).

Really, all I want is a good way to drop my weight to the point that I can manage some sustained moderate exercise without feeling like I’m going to collapse and pass out. Then I’ll plant a treadmill in front of the TV, stick to a more-moderate-but-still-careful diet, and exercise my ass off. Literally. Most people gain their weight back after abandoning diets, but I don’t think I will. Now that I know what it’s like to be this fat, I can’t imagine letting myself slide this far again . . .

— Eric D. DixonComments (1)

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1 Comment
  1. […] second time, an experimental stab at Atkins, is partly chronicled in three blog entries from 2004, a series continued in both concept and number by this very post. I […]

    Pingback by The Shrubbloggers » Incompetent Fitness Blog Item #4 — November 28, 2009 @ 10:43 pm

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Eric D. Dixon

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