Wednesday, August 15, 2007

By Request - The Slim Thug Diet

So, over the past year, I’ve lost some weight. Actually, I’ve lost a lot of weight. Over 50 lbs to be exact. I’m not trying to toot my own horn, but I weigh the same now that I weighed the end of football season my sophomore year in high school (16 years old, 16 years ago, or half a lifetime ago). Among other things, I also moved out of Kansas City, away from my friends and to a horrible city, a situation that I am in the process of remedying. That sentence may not fit with the first half of this paragraph, but what it means is that when I see my friends now, once every few months, I’ve been getting positive reviews about my weight.

Some of the comments have been as followed:

“LLLLUUUUKKKEEE!!!!!! AHHHH!!!”
“Hey, it’s Luke’s shadow”
“Luke, you’re not as disgusting as you used to be!”
“Wow man, you actually weigh less than me now!”
““Luke, you’re not good for me, I’ve met another man and am moving to LA.” (This isn’t an exact quote, but it was responsible for losing my last 12 lbs so I feel obligated to include it in some form, probably falls under the category of ‘unintentional inspiration’.)
“How did you do it?”
“How’d you do it?”
“How’d ya do this?”
“HDYDI?” (text message)
"Luke! Your breasts have gotten so tiny!"
“I don’t know you; put your pants back on.” (Another story entirely.)

So, in lieu of the frequent queries about how I’ve lost some weight, and because this time I think I’m really onto something (oh yes, there have been other times), I’ve decided to write up a couple things about what I’m doing, diet wise, to keep healthy.

I’ll probably divide it up into a few manageable ‘chapters’ talking about various aspects of my twisted interpretation of health and nutrition, this will let me write more and will bore the general reader for slightly shorter time increments, but over a longer period of time.

That said, I’ve started writing the first chapter and hope to have it done in the next day or two. I plan on talking about what I’ve tried and how I’ve modified it, why it worked or didn’t work and my interpretation of what’s really going on after I swallow food. It is not a guide and I am not a dietitian, so if anything I do accidentally causes cancer or possibly begins to grow a third ear out of your ankle, don’t sue me.

It will be filled with jokes, angry comments about things, half truths, swearing and embarrassing revelations. It will probably have made-up words, incomplete sentences, blatant plagiarisms and stupid grammatical snafus. But, hey, it’s something to write about, it’s a change from my norm and, to be honest, it makes me kind of proud to think I can actually provide some help or guidance to my friends outside of comic relief and hip-hop quotes. Remember; only take me as seriously as I deserve to be taken.

That said, let’s begin. I would still classify this as a continuation of the introduction-slash-mumbo-jumbo, but it may be useful anyway.

The last time I lost a bunch of weight, I went the Atkin’s Diet route. This worked pretty well for me, I lost about 50 lbs over six months, but it was difficult to maintain. The fact is I love certain foods that just weren’t on the list. Bread, sweets, pasta all that stuff. I love ketchup, BBQ sauce and chocolate syrup. On top of that, I just didn’t really feel ‘healthy’, which is surprising as I was eating several pounds of bacon every week. Consequently, after the initial six months, my weight began to gradually go back up, never to its original high, but still higher than I wanted.

Then I moved to China. In China, you basically eat whatever is in front of you. Fortunately for low-carb lovers, the food appears to be pretty ‘healthy’. Lots of meat and veggies and there isn’t much bread or dessert in the country. True, there is quite a bit of rice, but I’ve never had any problem avoiding rice. I was there for about a year, and while I wasn’t weighing myself every day (or every four months for that matter); I felt that I was being reasonably healthy. Looking back on it, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

After moving back from China, I moved from Kansas City to Houston. While living in Texas, I found myself with much more time on my hands than I was expecting, even more than when I was in China. This was due to the fact that I just didn’t know anyone and was just kind of in a low-social time of my life. The truth is, I missed my friends and my family more and more every day. But rather than going down the slippery slope of bad health, I spent some time educating myself and trying to become dedicated into eating healthier.

While it would have been possible for me to do this alone, it would have made it more difficult. Lucky for me, I had two colleagues who were in the exact same position as me – away from their friends and family with way too much time on their hands. These two guys were already more health conscious than I was, but between the three of us, we kind of fed off each other and learned quite a lot and formed a sort of Voltron-like Health Machine, each providing different parts. Chris was the tenacious dedication to stuff that doesn’t taste very good, John provided the ridiculous dedication to working out, and I provided the ‘before’ pictures for all of us.

In the end, I found that it was easier and much more interesting to concentrate on nutrition more than diet. I think that statement may need a bit more explanation. Nutrition is how stuff goes into the body and the effects of it. There is nutrition information regarding everything, quadruple cheeseburger (bad nutrition) or celery (good nutrition), and learning why the bad stuff was bad became just as important, if not more important, than why the good stuff is good. Diet is just eating foods that are listed and set up according to how much and when. Hopefully I will be able to iterate the differences between the two more in the coming pages.

Another thing I learned is that it’s really not that difficult to learn or understand, it is a bit more difficult to actually implement and stick to, but all things worth living for are.

Stay tuned for more. Next I will probably begin with the intention of how I eat every day from sunup to lunchtime. No doubt, I will meander off the path into other topics, but anyone who has ever had a conversation with me should expect nothing less.

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