I lose nine pounds in three weeks

I dropped to 149 yesterday, a nine-pound loss in three weeks. My leather belts hang so loose that I’ve gone to webbing. Hunger is no fun, although I’ve gotten accustomed to it, and can even enjoy certain things about it. For example, I find it awfully hard to feel depressed when I’m hungry, depression being a vice that requires affluence. I also shy away from television news and talk radio—two of my other vices. I don’t much care about the latest Iraqi suicide bomber or what Hillary said about Barack anyway, but such news amounts to a toxic overload when I’m hungry. Hunger focus my mind on what’s really important in life—like food. This inspires me to look for new recipes.

I was trying to remember yesterday how many years I was on a liquid diet. Just throw uncooked foods in the blender, hit juice, and, voila, dinner is served. Little planning, no cooking, minimum clean up, lots of variety, and never a boring meal. I had thought I might stay on juice for life, but there were a few obstacles. First, it wasn’t filling, and this worked against keeping my weight down (a 42 ounce blender can hold a lot of food once it has been ripped to smithereens). Second, Peggy had less than zero interest in a juice diet, so I had to cook for her anyway. Third, I began hearing that some nutrients are only released from foods that have been cooked.

There followed a few years when the quality of my diet dropped. It was still good by American standards, but I began eating so much mayonnaise and peanut butter that I practically had to buy them by the case, and the fact that it was canola mayonnaise and un-hydrogenated peanut butter didn’t keep my cholesterol from hitting 230. After that, I kept going with the mayo and peanut butter, but began eating just as many oats. At my next physical, my cholesterol was under 200, but I knew that neither my diet nor my weight was what they should be, and this inspired the recent changes.

On the one hand, I feel great. On the other, it isn’t easy. I utterly and completely believe it is to my benefit, but it still isn’t easy. And the fact that Peggy is less than excited about having a skinny husband doesn’t help. She says she is supportive—and I know she tries—but when I gave her the stupendous and breath-taking news that I had finally dropped below 150, she just grunted.

If I can stick to only two meals a day (or at least cut out snacks between three meals), keep no questionable foods at home, and eat sparingly away from home; I should do fine. And none of these things are truly odious—they just require getting used to. As a society, we have carried the idea that we should “treat ourselves” a bit far, and it shows. We’ve gone from walking to waddling, which brings to mind one reason that I don’t tell many people I am trying to lose weight. I am already the thinnest person I know. It is true that my bad knee feels much better now that it is carrying nine less pounds. It is also true that my sleep apnea troubles me much less, and that my energy level is much greater; but people whose body-mass index is off the chart don’t even want to hear it, and I don’t even want to tell them.

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