My Mom struggled with her weight through most of her years. My Dad seemed to eat whatever he wanted and stay thin. In many ways I regard myself as a nice mix of the best genes of both my parents but when it comes to weight, I’m my Mom’s son. There were about eight years during which I was running marathons and doing triathlons and I needed to eat extra to keep my weight up. The rest of the time I’ve been dieting or watching my waistline grow. My first crash diet was after we’d moved to California in 1971. Looking at a photo of me in a purple T-shirt taken in the middle of the desert on the drive, I observed that I looked like a big fat grape. The diet I chose was the Atkins Diet, a very low carb regimen that is intended to get you into a state called ketosis in which your body burns fats instead of sugars. Sound familiar? Yep, that is the basis for the trendy Keto diet which includes even higher fat content and goodies like Bulletproof Coffee. Coffee with butter in it. Oh, yum. The things we do to lose weight. We count points. We count carbs. We eat like cavemen. We fast. We eat according to our ancestry or blood type. We spend $3 billion a year on supplements like raspberry ketones and garcinia cambogia (thank you Dr. Oz) that are supposed to boost our weight loss. And IF we lose weight … we gain it back so we can continue to feed the weight loss industry. Are we happy yet?

Back in my triathlon days, I did an experiment that convinced me that when all is said and done, it comes down to calories in (consumed) and calories out (exercise). The net change in weight is approximately one pound for each


3600 calories. Over several years I carefully tracked my caloric intake and figured my calories burned at the rate of 100 per mile for running, 50 per mile for cycling and 400 per mile for swimming plus an approximate 2200 calories burned during regular activities. Think about that, by the way. A Crispy Creme donut has 200 calories … you’d have to run both ways to the donut store a mile away to break even. At any rate, during my experiment weight change predicted based on calories was very close to my actual weight change. Still, I hate to count calories, so when I diet, I use a lower carb version of the South Beach Diet (I call it the Atkins Goes to the Beach Diet) which I can stick to without counting anything. it seems to reduce my cravings for carbs, which is a good thing for a carboholic.

I bring this up because I have recently lost between 15 and 20 pounds. If I added up all my 15 to 20 pound weight losses over my last 40 years I could probably build an offensive line for our local high school team. Last night at my Men’s Group Meeting, someone said, You look like you’ve lost weight. It’s nice to have it noticed, but I know from experience that the person noticing my thinner waist may be: (1) be checking to be sure I am not sick; or (2) anxious to talk about their own weight loss and the diet they used in their quest for the ideal weight. There very few things I find more boring than talking about weight loss. I may be a curmudgeon but I’m (usually) a polite one. I listened patiently while he described his Keto Diet … including the Bulletproof Coffeecake and an intense 30 minute workout on the weight machines every day. My modified South Beach Diet and long leisurely walks in the park didn’t impress him and the conversation faded. Telling, however, was that both of us skipped the delicious chocolate birthday cake at the break. It’s calories in, calories out, people. The rest is just talk. And money.

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