A Day of Eating

I’ve always been the type of person that can handle repetition. When I was in middle school, my mom packed me the same lunch every single day: a turkey sandwich, an apple, and some kind of fruit snack. She offered different things, but except on the rare occasions that I bought a lunch (and I mean rare), that was my meal five days a week. I wasn’t a super picky eater, I just enjoyed that combination of foods for lunch.

So for me, sticking to the same few ingredients to create meals on the Slow Carb Diet has been pretty easy. Each meal consists of:

  • black beans, pinto beans, or lentils.
  • frozen broccoli and/or frozen peas, roasted broccoli, or onions and bell peppers
  • tofu or salmon

I’ll top it off with some combination of nutritional yeast, avocados, sriracha, or some other type of hot sauce.

Cheap and tasty.


High Risk

That’s not a fun thing to hear. What happened?

Five pounds one year, ten the next, and before I knew it, 37% body fat. I’m well above the obesity cut off. I know I gained a few pounds, but really? Well above obesity?

It’s really easy to say, “I just didn’t think about it,” but that’s not the whole truth. I thought about it every time I said, “ugh, this shirt doesn’t fit,” or “man, my back hurts.” The signs were all there. Years and years of complaining to myself. Avoiding pool parties. Opting out of beach days. Not wanting to be in pictures. I can’t say I didn’t think about it, because my diet would always start tomorrow. I thought about it an awful lot.

More honestly, I didn’t take action because I lied to myself. I would say, “I didn’t eat that badly today,” and justify dessert. I would weigh myself and say, “I must have eaten a lot of salt yesterday. That’s mostly water weight.” Lord help me if there’s junk food in the house, because it won’t last long.

The longer you avoid the problem, the worse it gets. Here’s the result of my body composition test (measured using a BodPod):

Body Fat Percentage: 37.7%
Fat Free Mass Percentage: 62.3%
Fat Mass: 79.626 lb
Fat Free Mass: 131.385 lb
Total Body Mass: 211.011

It’s hard to look at, but it won’t get better by avoiding it. So… now what?

As it turns out, thinking about doing something is really, really hard…but once you start doing it, it’s actually pretty easy. Especially if you can break a long-term goal into smaller segments. I can do anything for an hour; I can do anything for a day; I can do anything for a month.

Here’s what’s been working for me thus far. I am following Tim Ferriss’ Four Hour Body slow carb diet. It’s very similar to how I eat anyway, and at least to start, I don’t need to count calories. The lowest barrier of entry will always win. The diet is pretty much this: Every meal should consist of vegetables, legumes, and protein. Also, when you wake up, drink a glass (or two) of ice-cold water. Eat your first meal within an hour of waking up, then eat whenever you’re hungry. Don’t eat bread, don’t eat potatoes, don’t eat sugar, don’t drink soda. Green vegetables, beans, and protein all day every day. Then, one day a week (and don’t skip this part), go nuts. Have a cheat day. Cheat as much as you want, you earned it. There’s a lot more advice that you can read in the Four Hour Body, so go check out the book from the library (or do it on your phone with Libby!).

I can definitely eat well for six days in a row. Better yet, I can definitely eat health for one day. Six times.

So my first goal is to accomplish this for an entire month. See what worked, see what didn’t, and see how I feel. The most important bit of information in the entire Four Hour Body book is that the best diet is the one you can stick to. I’d also add that if you try do a little bit better than yesterday, you’ll end up all right.