Like most people, I’ve had a cycle of weight gain and loss. Pretty standard stuff. However, in August I finally got my crap together and resolved to lose this weight once and for all.
In all my years of dieting, I’ve always started diets and then got off of them pretty quickly. The weight would come off quickly but also go right back on. Far from unique.
This time however, I wanted to make the change. Being fat and in your 40’s is not a good place. So, I decided that what I needed wasn’t a diet but a way of living. So, I had to start in one place and I resolved to start with the way I was eating.
I realized that my diet was pretty crappy. The old fashioned SAD (Standard American Diet) of lots of high fat super processed food and a ton of dairy. Oddly enough, I never really liked meat. I can’t stand steak and I abstained from nearly every other type of meat. Just don’t like the taste and also, I was always creeped out by meat knowing how it comes to exist. Mind you, I did LOVE eggs and could literally live off of them.
Coming To Peace With Food – Dr. McDougall & The Starch Solution
So, I knew that a vegetarian diet would probably be what I’d settle on, especially since I lived across the street from Natural Grocers and could get a ton of vegetarian food like pizzas etc. I did a ton of looking on YouTube and on the internet to find something that made sense to me. I came across a video of a talk that Penn Jillette of all people talking about his weight loss. So, it did sound crazy but it did make a certain amount of sense. So, after a great deal of digging, I discovered Dr. John McDougall and The Starch Solution.
His approach was a bit radical but I needed radical results. He’s been able to document some amazing results in dealing with high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. Yes, I don’t agree with him 100% on some stuff but overall he’s on the right path. Plain and simple, I adopted a whole food plant based no oil way of eating. You’ll see that called WFPBNO WOE on online forums. Due to no oil, a lot of vegans that live on vegan junk food and fake meats/cheeses will look down on the WOE. However, since I started this WOE I’ve not been hungry. Previously, all of my diets involved giving up potatoes, one food that I truly and absolutely love. Heck, on Atkins and KETO diets you eat one potato and you’re screwed for a full week. The Starch Solution doesn’t have that problem. If you go off the diet (non-compliant in online speak) your health and weight loss isn’t punished. You just need to get back on the WOE asap. Also, unlike other diets, there aren’t “stages” or “zones”. You either do it or you don’t. The goal is to be 100% but 90% is still better than 50%.
Of note is Dr. McDougall isn’t trying to sell you something you don’t need. He offers his full and comprehensive program for the WFPBNO WOE for FREE on his website. He even offers free webinars. Of course, you can buy stuff from him as well as Amazon but I appreciate that he’ll do it for free if you want.
Resetting Your Tastebuds
Overall, learning to cook without oil, any oil, has actually been very easy. A lot of people that adopt this WOE will talk about resetting your tastebuds. In fact, that is something that Penn Jillette talks about. It’s actually very very true. It first occurred about a month after the change. I realized my tastebuds were really improved since I quit eating any processed foods. Amazing change. I’m at the point I find the taste of oil, even my once loved olive oil pretty nasty. It all tastes rancid and “oily” to me now.
Calories In Calories Out – Cycling, Disc Golf, and Weight Lifting
So, I’ve cut out the fat from my diet. A large part of my weight loss is due to diet. I burn fat since I don’t have much at all in my diet and my body burns it for energy. Being on a high carb diet, I have a ton of energy and actually want to be active for the first time in my life. So, I’ve got a few outlets that I enjoy for burning more calories and fat.
I love cycling. Fifteen years ago when I was much younger and in not horrible shape, I cycled. I’d ride 60 miles a day on a hybrid and mountain bike daily. I truly enjoy the wind in my hair and the freedom of riding a bike. I knew early on that I wanted a bike. However, I wanted a bike that I could ride around on and could also use for more practical things like running errands etc. So, I settled on Republic Bikes Plato Dutch City Bike. Hella practical, built like a tank, and convenient as hell. I won’t be racing anyone any time soon but that’s not the point of this bike.
My favorite thing in the world to do, the thing that relaxes me, the things that is my moment of Zen is disc golf. So, what is disc golf. Basically, it’s golf with Frisbees. But, it’s also very much not that. Disc golf uses purpose built discs that you never want to try to catch since you’d break a finger catching them. Each disc has a different flight pattern the same way different ball golf clubs make a ball fly differently. By far, my favorite discs are from Latitude 64. I can’t recommend their starter sets enough for new players. The best part of disc golf is you can buy a starter set that will last you a very long time for around $20 and it costs (usually) nothing to play since most courses are muni courses. I’ve been playing for years and have never payed to play. #BudgetSport
Formerly, I did powerlifting. I enjoyed the sport and really hammered on the Mentzer style HIT training pretty hard. Normally, those don’t go together but I made them work. Instead, I broke down and bought an Impex home gym. As I talked about in depth here, I will eventually work my way to a gym again but for now my Impex home gym with 150lb weight stack works really well for me.
Other Fitness Tools I Use
One thing that I struggle with like most people is keeping with a diet and keeping myself honest. To that end, I started religiously started using MyFitnessPal app and website. I use it to track calories in and out as well as macro nutrients. It really helped me realize just where and how much fat I was eating. It really helped me become aware of sources of fat that I’d honestly never though of before. I also use it to track my weight though I don’t weigh myself often. I don’t want to worry about daily ups and downs and usually weigh myself once a month or so. I love looking at my weight chart. It really helps reinforce the fact I’ve lost a ton of weight.
For similar reasons of wanting to track and hold myself accountable with my workouts, I have recently started using Intensity. I tried using MyFitnessPal for tracking exercise but honestly it doesn’t do weight lifting well at all. Intensity isn’t exactly what I want/need but it’s close.
One thing I use to help keep me on the right track is YouTube. I use Youtube to watch disc golf, get tips and tricks, as well as great vegan food channels like Happy Healthy Vegan.
In A Nutshell
So, that’s my journey up to this point. As I come up with new tools and things that help or hurt me, I’ll blog it. If you have any opinions on what I’m doing or would like any more info, feel free to leave a comment below. I love hearing from you.