Friday, March 9, 2012


Ok so my zealous (notice I said zealous and not over-zealous, because he's not) brother is a phenomenal researcher and probably the absolute smartest person that I know on the entire planet!  He's also been the most supportive person since I've started trying to lose weight and ... hell he's been the most supportive in pretty much everything I've ever done.  I owe a LOT to him - more than any of you, even him, could realize.  He sends me articles every so often about various information that he finds regarding weight loss in his research because he believes, as do I, that education and knowledge are the solutions to ALL PROBLEMS!  So far we have discussed the Caveman diet, intermittent fasting, daily fasting, wheat, carbs, fruits, raw food, whole food, five small meals vs. 3 squares, calorie counting, sugar vs. sugar alcohol, tricking the metabolism, caloric cycling, etc (over the course of many years).  I should also include that, like you may have already noticed I am, he's a "discusser".  We love to discuss just about any subject - engage us and it's hard to stop us once we get interested or fascinated by something and it is EASY to interest and fascinate us!  You should see us at Thanksgiving ... my mom even accused me of "bogarting" him.

One of our recent discussions actually led me to look into something that I saw on a Discovery or NatGeo special about genetic obesity regarding a specific Native American tribe.  It seems easy to believe that we're fat because it's in our genes and that's just how life is but, at the same time, that kind of thinking can completely DESTROY any chance for motivation or self-esteem.  I used to think that before I started this blog, in fact.  That "fat" just ran in my family, it's who I am, who I will always be, and there's nothing that I can do about it.  And then one day I had a massive brain fart and realized that's just stupid.  "If 266 can do it, I can too" became my new motto.

Well then I hit my wall and old worm-pudge started to whisper in my ear again telling me my mom has always struggled with her weight, my sister has always struggled with her weight, my oldest brother is a "big guy", so maybe that's just "life".  My brother mentioned above, however, is not nor has he ever been overweight so his interest has mostly been for the benefit of my mom, sister, and myself ... and because he's just an info sponge that sucks up everything he can on any subject that presents itself to him ... which is also why he's the smartest person I've ever known.

Ok so back to my point.  I tried to Google this tribe that I'd heard about and I remember the show saying that they were like 80% over weight and have been the basis for multiple scientific studies and genetic testing trying to figure out what it is about these people that makes them chronically obese.  In my Googlings, however, I found something even MORE interesting than what I was looking for and I actually got goosebumps when I read it.  The full article can be accessed here (and I do, highly recommend reading the whole thing, it's short but powerful, in my opinion) but I want to share the part that really jumped out and grabbed my ass the most below:

"...the message is clear: the starchy foods consumed by the thin Pima of Mexico won’t be the staple in even the most irresponsible diet in the wacky but profitable diet book world. What you eat does not equal fat loss. While how much you eat is relevant, what you eat and drink is about your arteries, your heart and your long-term health. ... But the dietary adjustments don’t work (pun intended).

I want to be simple and direct here: The only way to reduce body fat and to keep it off is physical work. How much? More than you’re doing. Just get started. Stop looking for other ways to improve your overweight condition. The only way is work. Exercise—activity, movement, daily walking or running, progressive resistance training—is essential for body fat reduction."
                                                        ~Brian Cole, (n.d), Personal Training Associates

I love it.  Looking back over my blog between Nov. 2010 through Apr. 2011 and comparing my intake/activity to Jul. 2011 through now I see 2 major differences.  1) My caloric intake has DROPPED and 2) So has my activity (on average).

Problem?  Not what I eat or how many calories (though my lower intake might be partially responsible for my lower energy levels and motivation to exercise).  The problem is that I'm pussing out.  Whether you like the verbiage or not there it is.  On some level I told myself that if 1,500 and 3-5 miles a day = weight loss than maybe 800 and no activity would too.  Bullshit.

Several recent readers of this blog tried to smack me up side the head with this very message but I'm a damned Scorpio and sometimes we have to hear things in just the right way while we are in just the right frame of mind before we open up our thick skulls and actually listen so to those readers - I'm sorry.  You were right and I'm just a stubborn idiot. 

And do you know the really pathetic part about this is?  LIVING PROOF SLEEPS IN MY OWN DAMN BED!!!  Snackers eats like a HOG most of the time.  I'm not kidding.  Coffee in the morning a couple of non-diet soda's throughout the day a couple of dollar menu cheeseburgers when he gets off work, whatever I'm having for supper but drowning in ranch or thousand island dressing so that he can stomach it, four or five Snack cakes and a few bags of chips and some glasses of sweet tea before bed, maybe even a fried egg sandwich is NORMAL for him.  Yet he has mostly been the same weight since I've known him.  He can drop 3-4 lbs in two days (he's already back down to 232 since Monday when he and I were both 236.5!!!).  How?  He goes to work every day and busts his ASS with physical labor for 4-6 hours a day. 

I'm so blind.  No wonder mom and dad called me hard headed and stubborn my whole life.


  1. Not the change I was talking about, but it's a change! :)

    Change is good.

    I don't know if I totally agree with your conclusions, but who am I to argue? You found a reason to change something and keep fighting. That's the most anyone can really ask.

    So you know, I am most definitely "overweight"... I may not be obese, but I am certainly overweight... at least 20-30lbs, maybe as much as 40-50. Believe it or not.

    But here's the good news: you want to know why I keep researching new diet/nutritional/exercise things (and try just about all of them)??? It's those family-genes you discussed... my dad, my mom, all of my siblings... I'm trying the best way I know how to keep myself from going too far too early in life.

    Keep changing.
    Keep trying.
    Keep fighting the good fight.
    Even if you never arrive at your goal, the journey is still reward in itself.

  2. I know it wasn't the change you were going for but your discussion inspired me to conduct some of my own research and the results of that research inspired me to get back to what was working for me ... so you still succeeded, just in a different way than you had intended. :)

    Fasting is one thing I don't think I'll ever be able to do. I see myself fasting for 19 hours (I think that was the ratio?) and then going on a five hour, 4,000 calorie binge and that scares me. There is also a health reason for being worried about fasting, one that I'm sure that you can understand. Like dad, my blood sugar can and does drop and if I exercise (as I did today) without eating I start feeling super shitty super fast. Mom's been saying for years that she thinks I'm a borderline diabetic because a tendency toward low blood sugar is a precursor to diabetes.

    Snackers fasts, for the most part. He doesn't eat much of anything all day and then pigs out at night pretty much every day despite working his butt off at work all day so I don't doubt that the fasting thing works for some but, like dad, if I don't eat something it's not good. Remember early in this blog when Snackers came home from work and found me literally passed out because my blood sugar got too low (I posted about it)? It's scary and it's not an experience that I want to risk repeating.

    Up-side ... you're right about change. And today's post bears VERY GOOD NEWS!!

    And, for the record, if you are overweight, you carry it well. Very well. And you always have. But I know that you think women with just a little extra padding in the right places are sexy and I guess I'm the same way with men. I don't think I'd like it if Snackers got down to what is considered his "ideal weight" or ripped out his muscles. Bleh. I guess we all see each other differently depending on our own personal tastes.

    Snackers is like you in that respect. He wants me to stop at 170-ish. He saw pics of me when I was 16-17 at 170 and thinks I looked perfect there. We'll see though. I don't want to go overboard and I want him to be happy with how I look but, in the long run, it's all about ME! lol

  3. No workout can out-work a bad diet. Food choices actually matter more than physical activity. Ask any personal trainer or fitness model...the general rule of thumb is 75% diet, 25% exercise. Your body can only work with what you give it, and if you are feeding it crap it is never going to perform optimally. Exercise is absolutely important for fitness and health in its own right but should never be viewed as an antidote for poor eating or overeating, as in "how many minutes on the treadmill will it take to burn off this cheesecake?" Our bodies just don't bargain with us that way. Every bite makes a difference for better or worse and just because someone you know can "get away with" eating junk food doesn't mean he's doing his body any favors.

    1. I completely agree with this. If you really love Snackers, and even more to the point, if you value yourself, you'll tell him that his diet is unacceptable. If you guys do get married and have children, what sort of message is this sending them? That you can eat shit and that's ok. Fast food is NOT ok. Soda is NOT ok. Being "skinny fat" is the opposite of being healthy. I mean whatever, it's your life.

    2. What Snackers eats is his business. It was hard, in the beginning, to be around his diet and maintain my own but I've gotten used to ignoring his snack foods and bad choices. I am not going to tell him that what he's eating is unacceptable because it's none of my damn business. He can eat whatever he wants - I'm not his mommy. As for having kids, neither of us ever wants to have kids, ever. Hence the 10-year IUD I got in January. We both really dislike kids except for our own nieces and nephews and even then, only in small doses. If we were planning on ever having kids then I could see your point but we're not - and we're both adults. So his choices are his to make, not mine.

  4. Im glad you have seen the light. I was one of those comments that uhum, you didnt like much cuz I told you too eat more. Good luck in your journey, you can do this!

  5. Well, I do carry my weight well for how much I'm carrying... but sadly, it's not all just muscle or even fatty-muscle... I have too much right in the worst area: around the middle. If I keep working out to keep my shoulders/chest big and wear looser-fitting shorts, the middle doesn't show as much. But it's there. And it's too much. I understand what you mean about "ideal weight" being wrong-headed. My "ideal weight" tops out at 176. Pretty sure I would be rail-thin. Not going for that. But I know what too much around the middle looks like (and feels like!) and trust me, I have too much. I'm not necessarily striving for a 6-pack or even absolutely flat-abs but the roll that falls over the belt-line... that shouldn't be there, even after a big meal. I don't know for sure, but I think *MY* ideal weight is probably somewhere around 190. The good news is a few weeks ago I was at about 216 or so. Today I'm at 110. The bad news, I've been here before many times. I have broken, momentarily, below 205 but never stayed below it for more than about 1 day (well, in the last like 6 years or something). So we'll see.

    As for the diabetes issue. You may be right. I understand your concern. But I have to tell you, if you are serious about your concern, you really really really owe it to yourself to read that wheat book I suggested. It doesn't advocate fasting, just eliminating wheat from your diet. Did you know 2 slices of *whole wheat* bread is worse for your blood sugar than 2 tablespoons of table sugar???!? Yeah. And processed wheats are even worse... just about the worst thing you can do for your blood sugar levels is eat a bagel. Seriously, you don't have to cut out wheat just to read the book. Read it, then decide. :)

    I have found, thus far, that cutting out wheat has almost eliminated my cravings for those types of foods. I'm not kidding, ask Heather. She was commenting last night about how surprised she is that I'm still sticking with this. I am too.

    But anyways, none of that to detract from your new-found motivation. YOU GO GIRL! :P

  6. Michele: No argument here. Despite what I pulled from the original article I am not advocating a twinkie-binge and then bust your butt to work it off mentality. And, of course, the original author did state that "how much" we eat IS still important to weight loss because, as you said, you just can't work off a bad diet. It takes too much time to burn calories and not much at all to eat them. But what I did like from the post is that it addresses the throngs of people who think that they can eat a certain way and just sit on their butts 24/7 expecting to lose weight (I've been one of them many times). Magic pills, eliminating carbs or sugar or whatever-whatever ... weight loss is not JUST one thing or the other. It's a combination of both - as you said. The light that I cleaned from the article is this: I need to stop thinking an 800 calorie diet means I can sit on my ass and expect to lose weight. I need to get up and get back to an exercise routine - no bones about it. Make sense?

    Anonymous: You understand though right? It's frustrating to be trying to lose weight and have someone say "eat more" ... it just seems so counterproductive. It's a really difficult concept to grasp. I'm sorry for my reaction to your post.

    Brandon: I have already put the book on my Amazon wish list but it's not something that I'm going to run out to buy/read right away. I have to finish re-proofing The Citizens so I can fix the print edits and finalize the pub so that it can be available in stores, finish my last three weeks of class, and start on Blood Promises (the sequel to Dhampiri). But it is on my list. Postponed but not completely discounted.

  7. Yes, totally makes sense. Diet & exercise certainly work better together but food choices, timing, etc. make for better workouts as well. There are throngs of people who think eating 900 calories a day means they don't have to exercise and there are the comparable throngs who think that 20 minutes on the treadmill cancels out their junk food and cocktails. The truth is most people tend to underestimate their calories and overestimate their activity ("calories burned" monitors -- both those worn on the body and the displays on exercise machines -- are far from accurate, and using an online resource to determine how many calories one burns from a particular activity is nearly useless). What it comes down to is eating the best foods you possibly can, in the proper ratios and amounts, and committing to meaningful exercise...those elements together result in improved health and fitness. Good luck!