You: Interesting title. What’s new?
Me: Not much. I’ve been working on been working on that computer program I mentioned before.
You: Learning anything? That seems to be what’s most important to you.
Me: Plenty actually. I can see why there aren’t any positive integer classes built on top of bitsets floating around the internet. It’s rather annoying, but after seven weeks or so, I have a working “first draft” done. The program was able to prove the primality of a 2000 digit number yesterday.
You: A first draft?
Me: Of course, one doesn’t sit down and write the perfect program the first time any more than they sit down and write the perfect novel on the first go round. You get something down that works, and then you go back and see how you can make it better. For me, writing and programming are similar bottom-up processes.
You: No one knows what that means. You really should make an effort to not sound so pedantic. It just drives traffic away from your blog.
Me: Oh no! You’re the only one who reads it and you seem to keep coming back.
You: I know. Why is that? It’s like some days I feel compelled to come here against my will. Anyway, congrats on proving a number to be prime when you already knew it was prime. So what’s with the title?
Me: I was going through my notes and I realized today is the 200th day of my diet.
You: I didn’t know you were on a diet. So you really dropped 50 pounds in 200 days?
Me: Yup, 50 pounds since January. Honestly, I haven’t really been telling people about it. I’ve just been working at it steadily.
You: It’s because you turned 40 last fall isn’t it?
Me: Nah, not really. I turned 40 last September. I didn’t start the diet until January.
You: New Year’s resolution?
Me: Nope, I’ll keep this brief: My (now former) personal physician pissed me off by not listening to me and thinking he knew what was best for my body. He wasn’t wrong per se. This is his profession after all, but the fact that he dismissed my input out of hand annoyed me. It’s not as if I don’t keep up with the latest in science and that includes the health care profession. I wasn’t happy with his services, so I took it upon myself to improve my overall state of health. I had never really bothered with it before, but he got my dander up. Please note, my issues with him were not with his specific medical advice. He meant well. My issues were with the cost of the options available, and he dismissed my preference for the cheapest option.
You: Interesting. So you’re not doing this for your own personal health. Someone just pissed you off. That’s a strange motivation.
Me: Not really. I’ve said this before. People are idiots and their motivations are sadly irrational. I’ve never excluded myself from this. You’ve just always assumed that because I recognize it and I am vocal about it, I was somehow putting myself above it.
You: Fair enough. What kind of diet is it? Low-carb? High protein? Vegetarian? Never eat late at night?
Me: After poking around and reading a number of scientific articles, I devised one myself.
You: **Rolls eyes** Of course you did. Why would you stick with an already known method that works, when you can research and create one yourself. Why take the easy way out?
Me: That’s the thing. Most fad diets don’t work. I’m here to launch the news of my own exciting program.
You: Huh? You’ve said many times that you’re no salesman. Why are looking to change that now?
Me: I’m not. I don’t plan on making any money off this. I’m just taking this opportunity to tell the world how easy it is to shed all those unwanted pounds. You won’t drop 15 pounds in a week, but 1-2 pounds a week on average if you work at it.
You: So what’re you going to call it? If you’re going to market anything it has to have a catchy name.
Me: I call it the, “Don’t eat like a f#@king pig all the time” diet.
You: I think you might want to come up with something a little more pithy.
Me: The name’s a work in progress. I told you I work in a bottom-up process.
You: Yeah, I’m almost afraid to ask, but how does it work. I think I might have a general idea from the name, but perhaps you have something more specific in mind.
Me: You’re astute. That’s why you keep coming back to the blog. Every once in a while there’s a useful nugget on here.
You: Yeah, right. Nuggets. You were saying.
Me: So anyway, the science is in. It turns out you’re not just what you eat, but you are how much you eat. The number one deciding factor in determining weight loss through diet alone is total calories.
You: No kidding.
Me: It’s true. Mark Haub ate about 2/3 junk food, twinkies and the like, for two months and lost 27 pounds to show that weight is determined by total calories in versus total calories burned. It may sound crazy, but it’s true. If you want to lose weight. Don’t eat like a f#@king pig all the time.
You: There’s got to be a little more to it than that.
Me: Well duh. Unfortunately, we tend to equate overall health with our weight. You may eat nothing but snacky cakes and lose weight, but that doesn’t mean you’re healthy. Having a handful of Doritos is not going to be the death of you. A 16 ounce bag, on the other hand, well, it is all about moderation. You should get to know your body and what fuels it best as opposed to just eating whatever, as I did for many many years.
You: I don’t think I’d have the discipline to drop 50 pounds.
Me: Neither did I, but even though my doctor pissed me off, I knew it was time to start shedding some pounds. My snoring used to be atrocious, but even though I’m still in the “obese” zone, I sleep much much better and I have more energy. The trick to self-discipline is to hold yourself accountable. The easiest way to do that is by keeping a record of what you eat. It’s easy to “forget” a snack feeling as if you deserve it because **Insert rationalization here**.
The truth is, you can go ahead and have that snack, you just have to pay for it elsewhere. Either by cutting out other calories later in the day, or watching the extra calories layer your stomach, arms, ass, thighs, or wherever your body finds the room to put it. I still eat my share of snacks, but I no longer allow myself to over indulge and I hold myself accountable by insisting I keep myself in my target calorie range.
I started out writing everything I ate in a small notebook, but eventually I moved it online to loseit.com. I’m an internet junkie, so this should surprise no one. This particular site has a free calorie calculator that tells you how many calories you get to eat in a day based on the goals you set. My original goal in January was to drop 80 pounds by the end of the year (about 1.5-2 pounds per week). I am still well on my way to making that goal. Come the new year, I’ll reassess and see where I need to go from there.
You: Congratulations, I hope things continue to improve for you.
Me: Thanks. Though blogging about it seems a little more self-aggrandizing than I am used to. I hadn’t ever planned on blogging about this, but with any luck, I’ve insulted some fat f#@k like me strongly enough to motivate them to do something about taking control of their own health.