August 14, 2010

From Gerald R. Lucas

The Struggle

Since moving to Georgia, I have been struggling with my weight. My struggles are not because of Georgia, necessarily, but are caused by a number of factors. I’ll list these in no particular order.

I’m getting older. In fact, I turn 41 next week. No big deal, since this is not really a factor in weight loss. It is, however, a factor in weight gain. Apparently, one’s metabolism “slows down” with age. This explanation really makes no sense to me. Wouldn’t a slower metabolism mean that your body doesn’t absorb – or metabolize – as much food. Therefore, you should get thinner, not fatter. I’ve often heard that overweight people claim that part of the reason of their fat is a slow metabolism. I think it’s the other way around: skinny people have inefficient metabolisms while mine seems to work just fine. Anyway, I can see age as a factor in weight gain for people who slow down. I, however, have sped up.

I exercise more now than I ever have in my life. When I run these days, I never go less than five miles. When I cycle, I never travel less than 10 miles. I have been doing both with more frequency. Yet, I gain weight. Apparently, exercise alone is not enough.

I live a pretty content life. This can easily translate to lazy. I don’t mean lazy in that I sit around all the time with chips and a Coke. I mean lazy in that I too easily eat what I’m not supposed to. This is the key: I must change what I eat.

“The fat you eat is the fat you wear,” writes John McDougall. He is correct. I’m pretty fed up with this nation’s ignorance about health. Every single fad out there seems to miss the point: it’s not carbs that make you fat. It's fat! Why is this not obvious? Right, we’re Americans; we tend to ignore that which we don’t want to hear. We are a nation that loves our fat. I’m no exception. Yet, excess fat is bad for you in every way, the most obvious of which is excess adipose tissue. You know: fat.

Therefore, I’m back to McDougall. Yes, I’ve said that before, but I’m very serious now. I’m even starting with his maximum weight loss plan until I get to my desired weight. Then it will be the regular McDougall plan for the rest of my life. I enjoy being thin and feeling good to eating chicken wings. The only way to maintain is by eating right and exercising. I can do that. I actually enjoy it.

McDougall suggests writing down your specific goals and posting them somewhere you can see them. I’ll post them here and on my ’fridge.

  • I want a 32” waist line.
  • I want to be able to wear—and feel good doing it—every piece of clothing in my “skinny clothes” box.
  • I want my regular run to be at least ten miles.
  • I want my regular cycling route to be at least twenty miles.
  • I plan on reaching these goals by the new year: 2011. I know this is ambitious and radical, but I need that. I will get back to my pre-Georgia weight and keep it off the rest of my life.