Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Health Update: Day 33

Weight: 291.5.

Well, hot damn! I've lost another 2.3 pounds since last week's weigh-in. I started off, on January 31, at 301 pounds, so I'm dangerously close to breaking—finally—the psychologically significant 290 barrier. It seems a diet of curry chicken, spaghetti, budae-jjigae, leafy greens, and spaghetti squash really can steer one toward better health. I'm close to admitting that Gary Taubes may, in fact, be on to something. I've treated this entire project as one big scientific experiment testing Taubes's theory that carbs lie at the root of the problem: carb intake spikes insulin, and insulin spikes fat production. That's the chain of causation in a nutshell; it's not about calories-in/calories-out* or about exercise.

So perhaps next week I'll be able to face the world and say, as John McCrarey just did, that I've lost ten pounds. I'm hopeful that I'll reach the ten-pound mark next week; weight loss has been remarkably, reassuringly steady at roughly 2 pounds per week, which is the ideal healthy rate of weight loss.

And it's not as though I don't indulge my sweet tooth. I buy sugar-free juice mixes. I also buy heavy cream and bitter chocolate powder, mix those puppies together with Splenda in my food processor, and come out with something remarkably like chocolate pudding. (As a chocoholic, I've got to have my chocolate.) I'm not like Charlie Martin, who eats actual M&Ms (in moderation) as part of his health regime. I've been very good about not ingesting processed sugars. Not an iota of table sugar or brown sugar or corn syrup in my diet.

Hitting the ten-pound mark, while awesome, is a little premature to justify going off-diet and having a carb-filled celebration. I'll do that when I've lost twenty pounds, and even then, I won't fall too far off the wagon.

Regarding exercise and other body stats: I may start exercising once I've officially lost the ten pounds. I have a feeling that the next ten pounds won't be as easy to lose, so I'll have to kick-start my metabolism through greater physical effort. And a recent trip to Target showed me that plenty of measuring devices are available for purchase: blood-pressure monitors with extra-large cuffs run for around $70 or $80 (yikes), and blood-sugar monitors for diabetics are also in stock for a few tens of dollars. So I've got some purchases to make.

Meantime, I'm looking forward to continued good news next week.

*I found Taubes's arguments against calories-in/calories-out to be the weakest part of his Why We Get Fat. If Taubes is correct that no correlation exists between caloric intake and fatness, he needs to explain how it's possible to starve oneself into gauntness.



  1. You can get free blood sugar monitors. It's the little things you use IN the monitor that are pricey. Amazingly pricey.

  2. Taubes' argument against the thermodynamic notion of WEIGHT gain/loss does seem counter-intuitive to say the least. But I think it needs to be understood in context. Although it may have started out as an attempt to explain weight gain/loss, Taubes' project, as I recall it, morphed into an account of the metabolic etiology of all the diseases with which the deposition of FAT as a result of excessive weight gain is associated. It's perfectly possible to be "obese", i.e., suffer from excessive stores of body fat, and be skinny. I know people in Korea who could sleep on chalk ledges but have upwards of 50% body fat. I even know people who do massive amounts of cardio and still are skinny fat, because their diet consists of too much grain and other crabs readily converted to sugars. They stay skinny by burning so much energy with exercise, but still have unhealthy amounts of fat (and related metabolic problems) because of how they eat.

  3. BTW, OMRON makes very good wrist-mounted BP meters - mine is model BP652. Here's the amazon write-up:


    I don't think you need a blood glucose meter, unless you're actually diabetic.

  4. Sperwer speaks the truth; I am skinny as a bone, but my fat-to-muscle ratio is crap because I've let myself go to seed. That's why I have started exercising every morning, and I plan to start running again once the weather warms up (which it seems to be doing right now!).

    Anyway, congrats on the weight loss!

  5. Charles & Sperwer,

    I'll try interpreting Taubes more charitably. It's likely that, in making his argument, he wasn't talking about radical extremes like starvation.



All comments are subject to approval before they are published, so they will not appear immediately. Comments should be civil, relevant, and substantive. Anonymous comments are not allowed and will be unceremoniously deleted. For more on my comments policy, please see this entry on my other blog.

AND A NEW RULE (per this post): comments critical of Trump's lying must include criticism of Biden's lying on a one-for-one basis! Failure to be balanced means your comment will not be published.