Good Friday… riiight!

Well, I guess we are 45 days after Mardi Gras (only reason I know when Easter / Good Friday and whatnot are).  Plus I guess passover is in here somewhere too… I am an equal opportunity type when it comes to being ignorant about religeous holidays, thanks…

Anyway, the scale said just about 176 today (mostly 176 with a little 177) so that isn’t all that bad.  Today is exactly two weeks of induction phase operation, almost 10 pounds in that time is pretty darn good for a guy who wasn’t all that overweight to start with, and almost 15 pounds since I decided my jeans were way too tight.  I still have some way to go, but overall things are working out better than I could have hoped for.

A side note about Atkins style eating:  One of the comments often made is “it is too expensive”.  Well, I am not feeling that at all, maybe it is my position and stage of life.  Let me explain.  I am a single guy, and I was cooking on average less than 1 meal per day at home.  Even at local (canadian) price for two McMeal type things per day, I could easily go through $15 per day.  Now I go to my local Loblaws or Maxi and I spend about the same or less per day, and much of it has been “setup” stuff and expensive things I prefer (like sliced smoked turkey… I can plow through a pound of that with the best of them!).  I have been eating steak, eggs, back bacon (canadian bacon to you south of the border) salad, vegs, cheese… and enjoying pretty much all of it.

So for me, Atkins has not only broken the fat cycle I was in, but also broken the “eat out” cycle I was in as well.  I went shopping yesterday and I had to work to find 3 things to buy (I had enough beef, chicken, and veg in the fridge, so just salad, cheese, and a bottle of flavored water (no carbs, no sugars, 0 calories… but carbonated so it is like a soft drink of sorts).   Breaking the cycles the in the end are not good for us (we are creatures of habit) is the sort of thing that has life changing implications.  As I get nearer the end of the Atkins process (maybe a couple of months from now) and move on to the maintenance stage, I will be in a position to enjoy much of the foods I enjoyed before, but I have a feeling that they will not hold the same interest.

Actually, one of the most bizarre things I am finding keeps me from eating out is the idea of potatoes and other high carb high starch foods that seem to make up a big percentage of the total plate size at many establishments.  Montreal is the Patate Frits (french fries) capital of the universe, and it is not unusual to get a couple of huge scoops of fries with everything ordered.  BBQ breast comes ina box topped up with fries – literally to the top in most cases.   Of course, most of the places are cooking them in bad oils, so the trans-fat count of them is insanely high, so they are taking something that is an empty carb filler and tossing horrible oils on top of it.  A really not cool situation when you think about it.

The other issue I guess is that most “faster” foods come in a bun.  Even the companies trying to push health bring their product to you on bread.  Subway (or Carbway as I tend to think of them) put almost all of their product on breads with on average near 40g of net carbs – two times induction DAILY levels, and a huge percentage of daily for someone on lifetime maintenance   They have one carb wrap thing (net 5 carbs) but that is a rare exception in a sea of carbs, carbs, carbs… (want to know more?  I found this list of subway information ).  I won’t even mention McFood or any of the 101 hotdog stands around here.  Safe to say that pretty much all of this stuff is a carb bomb waiting to happen.

Which I guess is why they are popular – carbs push sugars, give you quick energy and make you feel good, at least temporarily.  Much like drug addiction, you can get addicted to that good feeling of a sugar rush.  Trust me, I can down redbull all day without a blink and sleep at night… I have certainly had my additictions and pleasures from sugars and whatnot.  I can see how it all works, and I can see to an extent why it is bad.

However, that being said, as I have mention before, I will not be an “Atkins for life” member.  I am not entirely comfortable with all that comes with this, I don’t want to count carbs all my life, I don’t want to have to make excuses every time I am asked to go eat out, and I don’t want to spend my life totally avoiding things I enjoy.  Very simply, Atkins in an education to me, an experience, and something that I will carry forward for a long time to come, choosing better foods and being careful what I eat in general.  That won’t exclude the occassional Pizza or whatever, but it will be better balanced against a whole backdrop of better eating.

My theory is I didn’t get fat overnight, I wasn’t eating so badly that I was putting on 20 or 30 pounds a year or anything, but that over a long period of time, pounds had collected and there seemed little I could do.  Atkins is a reset, a new start, and a warning signal all in one.  I will reach my desired weight, and I will work to maintain it.  I will be carb and sugar careful in the future, and I will work to keep it this way.

Thanks to the late Dr Atkins 🙂