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13 Weeks: Week Eight — Plateaus and Diets and Goals, Oh My!

I've always had a subconscious awareness that I was fat, and that being fat was disgusting. I suspect this may have had some impact.

Charlie Martin


December 29, 2012 - 10:00 am
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Of course, I always resented that, and always resented the efforts to shame me into losing weight, which is one reason why I hate calling this change in my eating habits a “diet”. I realized this week that this is also the basis of my intuitive decision to stop talking about “weight loss goals” even at the start. The truth is, that to the extent I have any goals in this experiment, it’s that I want to eventually be really really old, and we’re not going to see if I succeeded for a long time. (Anyone who wants to argue that 57 is already really really old may leave the room.) I started it because I was watching my health declining: chronic and severe gastrointestinal troubles — I was hospitalized a couple years ago for what at first appeared to be a heart attack but was in fact just a really outraged esophagus; blood sugar rising well beyond really safe levels and continuing to rise; poor sleep and apparent apnea; all the simple mechanical issues caused by weighing 300 pounds; and the subconscious certainty that I was disgusting in appearance.

The conclusion I’ve come to is this: I don’t and won’t make any stated goals for weight loss at all. To the extent I have a goal, it’s that I want my health to be visibly better at the end of this thirteen weeks, and the next thirteen weeks, and the thirteen weeks after that.

I’m learning from the experiment, however, that it’s clear lots of wheat is hard on my body. I’ll continue to avoid wheat after the thirteen weeks are up, but I’ll avoid it because wheat clearly makes me sick. I’ll stay with a low-carb diet because lots of easily-digested carbs make me fat and sick. And I’ll continue working on better ways to get more exercise, because even the limited success with Tabata-protocol training has shown me that it’s possible to not devote hours and hours a week to boring exercise, but that efficient targeted high-intensity exercise makes me feel better.

And I’m keeping my ears open for that “fat and therefore disgusting” subconscious voice.  It’s got to go.


Image courtesy shutterstock / Michaelstockfoto

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Charlie Martin writes on science, health, culture and technology for PJ Media. Follow his 13 week diet and exercise experiment on Facebook and at PJ Lifestyle
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