The other day I posted a nice message sent to me about epic diet failure. Well guess what? I got another message from a lifelong dieter early this morning. The story is the same. A little weight crept in during the early years, which was met with swift Weight Watchers catastrophe. All diets suck, but calorie restriction in which foods of all degrees of quality or lack thereof are on the same playing field is sheer metabolic suicide. Here’s the e-mail, and what I believe is a pretty decent response from cap’n 180 himself…
I recently found out about your blog via Free The Animal.com (I clicked on your name after reading one of your comments). I have been perusing the archives of your terrific blog for the last couple of days. I have a couple of questions, though. Before I ask them, I would like to briefly describe my situation. I am a 33-year old caucasian male. I am 6’4″, I weigh 415 lbs and I have very little lean muscle mass. I was a normal weight until puberty (13), when I started gaining a lot of weight. My Mom took me to Weight Watchers, where I lasted two weeks – the tiny portions left me ravenously hungry all the time. By the time I was 17, I weighed 330 lbs. I went on a low fat diet and started excercising a lot – mostly cardio (walking, the stairmaster, swimming, etc.). Sometimes I would spend 3-4 hours a day excercising. After eight months I lost 120 lbs., but I would often feel really hungry, I lost my zeal for excercise and my weight slowly crept back up to 330 lbs. (and over the years has surpassed it). In short, I am a giant blob of fat with little energy and – not to get too personal – the libido of a eunuch.
Recently, I have decided to lose weight but I am unsure of what to do. There’s so much information out there: Vegetarian, raw food, low-carb, low-fat, etc. I will not go vegetarian because I like meat too much (and most vegetarians look weak and sickly to me, i.e. they’re thin versions of me). Low-fat is out of the question because of my previous experience and because I don’t want to spend my life starving, chained to a treadmill and eating food that tastes like crap. Also, I discovered Mark’s Daily Apple, PaNu and Free The Animal at about the same time and became convinced that saturated fat is not evil as I had been taught for many years. However, I am leery of going low-carb (i.e. giving up grains) because I have read many stories of people suffering constipation and other symptons associated with such a diet. The only steps I have taken to lose weight and improve my health so far are to kick my Diet Pepsi addiction and to stop eating white bread. I am very frustrated because I desperately want to lose weight but I do not want to compromise my health in the process. There is so much contradictory information out there and I just don’t know where to begin. My question to you is: What are some small steps that I can take right now to start losing weight in a healthy manner?
At least you haven’t lost your sense of humor. That “libido of a eunuch” thing almost made me fall out of my chair.
If you retrace what you just wrote, you can see that each attempt at weight loss in your life thus far was really various successful attempts at metabolic suicide. Dieting, quite frankly, does not work. Even if you were to lose weight on a low-carb diet, you would be imprisoned in low-carb once you lost that weight, and would be likely to gain it back – even if you remained, with steel will, on a low-carb diet. Even Jimmy Moore, who is the same-sized guy that you are (he started low-carbing at 410 pounds), has gained 30 pounds back in the last year. Outlook doesn’t look good. Almost all diets have long-term weight loss curves that look like a Nike Swoosh on a graph.
Before you even think about losing weight, you’re going to have to cultivate some patience. Quite frankly, to lose any weight whatsoever without negative consequence and burying yourself in some dietary prison at the end of the line – you’ve got to get healthy first. You have to heal your metabolism. It should be no surprise to you that in order to heal your metabolism you must do the opposite of what ruined it. Hence, “180.”
Watch the Schwarzbein video I posted in my most recent blog post very carefully. What 180 is all about is performing what Schwarzbein is trying to accomplish, but I believe, with greater expediency and to a more thorough degree. Schwarzbein on steroids basically.
So before you do anything, eat. Eating does not cause, at the core, the problems that you have. Eating is not inherently harmful or sinister as the weight loss industry (all arms) has led you to believe. Your body got hungry and sick and tired of exercise because the actions you took invoked that response. What I am almost 100% sure that you will see following the “high-everything diet,” is the creation of a ceiling in your weight. Then it will slowly and effortlessly creep downward. It may take many months to really get there, but it’s the only destination.
Other websites, health nerds, authors, and gurus are willing to do anything and eat anything in order to be healthy. They seek to find what that is that will achieve that. Here, the focus is simply, “what can we do to improve our health eating and living normally?” It’s a huge fundamental difference once you think about it. A human being is not healthy if they depend on a low-carb, or low-fat, or vegetarian, or low-calorie diet to keep weight off. Allow some time for the 180 thing to sink in. Tiptoe into it. Read what others are saying.
What I’m trying to offer is getting yourself out of dietary hell once and for all – forever. Battling yourself is not the answer. You’ve spent 20 years dieting so far and where has it gotten you? Join me in saying, “fuck diets!”
Really glad to have you along. I hope you replace your mindset of “what diet next” with “never diet again!”
Hit me with questions as they come up. I’m busy, but not swamped, and this is not work for me. This is fun!