The endless battle of the bulge (not the one in my pants!)

Last year around this time, I was in a friendly competition with Greenguy from link-o-rama to see who could lose 12 pounds first. I lost by 2 pounds, but I did pretty good over all and couldn’t complain. However, over the next eight or nine months, as is typical for most weight loss, it creeped back on until I managed to actually get about 2 pounds over where I started. Not good.

Well, I went back to look at the why, and some of it was pretty obvious: snacking, bad eating habits, bad eating hours… yadda, yadda.

So around February this year, I started to try to take better care. From Feb 1 until about 2 weeks ago, I managed to shave off about 6 pounds… not bad, not great, but certainly headed in the right direction. But I didn’t really feel that it was all that I wanted it to be, so I started looking for help. I spent a bunch of time online, a bunch of time talking to some people I trust, and finally some time in the book stores looking for the right deal.

In my case, that deal turned out to be Atkins.

I know, I know… it is voodoo dieting. Some of the requirements and idea in this program are, well, somewhat less than normal. Counting carbs not calories doesn’t seem like it would make a ton of sense. Basically, the idea is to move your body in to a state of ketosis and work from there, having your body burn up existing stores of fat rather than consuming sugar, and expelling excess fat through urine (you have to drink a river of water every day, which is fine by me, I like drinking water so no biggie). The idea would be to literally turn your body into a fat burning machine, and when you near your goal weight, pull out of the dive and slowly adjust your intake of “bad” stuff (carbs, processed sugars, certain oils, etc).

So, one week later, I have dropped 6 pounds and I feel wonderful – not about losing the weight, but in fact I feel good, not starving, not under eating, and certainly not avoiding food (I eat probably 4 times a day now). It is pretty weird to eat more and lose weight, but there you go.

One of the most shocking things now is going into a supermarket and realizing how little of what is in there that I can eat at this point. Way too much processed sugars, carb intensive snack foods, and unnatural food sources in the mix. It is a little overwhelming.

Now, unlike many Atkins types, I don’t intend the “Atkins for Life” approach at this point. However, I will certainly be taking much of what I am learning in this process to heart. Avoiding empty sugars and pointlessly high carbs is something I think that will be with me for life now, as I can see the changes already and what it is doing for me. I would like to bring some comparitively bad things back into life (like rice, as I eat chinese foods very often) and some of the starches and thickening agents that come with this type of food. I don’t think I will ever be able to handle the levels of sugar that I have in the past, as I realize that this one thing, more than anything, has contributed to my weight woes in the past.

I don’t want to be an Atkins martyr. I don’t want to make my friends hate me because I can’t go to eat out with them, or that I need to order special, that I can’t just enjoy the buffet or whatever is being served. I don’t want to be a lifelong annoyance (more than I already am) so Atkins is a process and a revision of lifestyle, and not a hard religeon.

However, for the next few weeks and possibly months, it will be much closer to religeon than would be normal for me. I still have about 10 – 15 pounds to go before I reach what is my correct weight, but that isn’t going to happen only with diet. Exercise is being added starting early next week, and the end results should be good once I get there. Here is to hoping that everything goes well 🙂