Monday, January 09, 2012

Fatty McFatterson

Every new year is like a reset button, a chance to start on a clean slate whether you had a phenomenal year or a disastrous one. People typically make resolutions to improve themselves with each coming new year because hey, who doesn't like to become a better person? One of the most common resolutions each year is to lose weight, since it's way too easy to pack on the pounds over the holidays and getting older doesn't help.

At all.

Your metabolism slows down, you feast more during the holidays, and if you work long hours and live a sedentary lifestyle it's easy to eat out of boredom. Whether you stick to this resolution is a big indicator of your resolve as a person. If you're a regular gym goer and you've been the first week of the new year you know it can be hell. It's funny seeing who sticks to their resolution because 4 weeks later there's usually a dropout rate of over 60%.

Circa 1991

This year I'm going to be a cliche and make a resolution to lose weight, but I will be making a concerted effort this time (promise!) Weight is something I've struggled with since I've been in elementary's ridiculous, I know. From the time that I was born up to around 10 years old I was rail thin and my parents feared I was going to grow up with health problems. This was not the case, because as soon as 5th grade rolled around I was plump as a little pig.

Pizza Hut in Taiwan

I gained enough weight that my mom started to become concerned with the fat accumulating on my body and even asked my paediatrician about it. I remember him saying it was just "baby fat" and thinking to myself, but I was skinny as hell when I was a baby! This continued on throughout middle school, and it affected me enough that I was too self conscious to take my shirt off at swimming pools. Funny, right? Considering that I don't remember much about teased for my weight at the time, I can only assume it was all in my head.

Thanks, baseball!

I used to play baseball for Rec Ed in middle school, but in high school I started playing for my school. Due to a combination of this, taking a weightlifting class and switching over to diet soda, I lost about 15 pounds. Seriously, I used to drink 2-3 Cherry Coke/Dr. Peppers a day back in middle/high school and ate fast food once a week or so. That stuff adds up, so it caused me to acquire a taste for diet soda early (water, schwater.) Shortly after, the lifetime yo-yoing weight began. I gained about 5 pounds the following year and stayed the same weight up until college.

Thanks, Hydroxycut!

Everyone's heard of the freshman 15 right? I gained the freshman 20 in one semester (I've destroyed all pictures of this period of my life.)  By then I was teetering on 170 pounds, and it was then that I tried some drastic measures. I started to calorie count (I still do, and I've gotten so good at it I can estimate caloric values of food in my head before I consume them) and started taking a product called Hydroxycut when it still contained ephedra. Ephedra has since been banned by the FDA, except when you need it for asthma or bronchitis. Hydroxycut was AMAZING. The first time I took half a pill, and I was awake and alert all night. I gradually upped the dosage and a month later I lost 15 pounds.

Thanks, pledging!

I stopped taking Hydroxycut over the summer and stayed about the same weight up until the fall of 2002, when I started pledging for Lambda Phi Epsilon. By the end of pledging, I lost another 20 pounds. My cheeks were sunken in and I was almost the skinniest I've ever been in my life. After I started eating like a normal person and working out and taking supplements, (protein, creatine, Hydroxycut, multivitamins, and flaxseed oil) I gained 7 pounds back and was in the best shape of my life. This lasted about a year, but soon enough I gained 15 pounds again.

15 FTW (2004)

I stayed this weight until I became single, and went back to exercising like a fiend and taking ephedra pills (Hydroxycut was banned at this time.) This time I lost about 10 pounds, so there's a trend here of gaining more weight and not being able to lose just as much weight without nearly killing myself, as well as being more fit while single. Interesting...

Oh God...why (2005)

What happened next? I kept it off for close to two years, but then you guessed it, I gained another 15 pounds throughout 2007 and 2008. In this time I developed a philosophy to exercise in order to eat more, instead of staying healthy. Smart move, I know (explains why I'm a fatass.) With that, I went back to my tried and true exercising like a fiend and taking ephedra. I lost 12 pounds.

BHC 2008 

TAF 2009

So it's getting to that time again where I've gained 10 pounds since 2009. This time I'm moving forward with a different approach. A couple friends have been raving to me about the Paleo Diet, and it's time to give it a go. The difficult part with this is that it isn't a diet, but a lifestyle change. However, considering the fact that my weight has been fluctuating my whole life this is a probably a good thing.

The main philosophy behind this diet is that you will eat like how our hunter-gatherer ancestors of the Palaeolithic era ate...meaning nothing from the agricultural revolution. No grains, no legumes, no dairy, no alcohol, no refined sugars, and nothing artificial. Essentially you would be eating meats, fruits, vegetables, nuts and berries, and relegated to drinking water, coffee, and tea.

That's pretty hardcore...and it sucks because I'm like Joey from favourite food is sandwiches!!! The results should be worth it. I'm going to be doing this diet in conjunction with intermittent fasting and a regular workout regimen over the course of 60 days starting tomorrow to see how my body responds. If all goes well, this may no longer be a resolution I will ever need to make again.

Wish me luck.

(Side note: I'm well aware that I'm really not all that fat, but I have high standards for myself.)


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