Obese 3

This section is about my journey in weight loss. 
In July, 2017, at my heaviest, I wore jeans with a 40" waist that I could not fasten over my belly.
They barely fit under my belly.
I suspect I weighed 265-275 pounds.
I now wear a 34" jeans and weigh just under 200 pounds.
I am 5'11".

Here are a few habits I am developing that seem to help,
and they are true, whether I stick with them or not.
If I fail, it is by my choice.
A diet program cannot take the weight off without our cooperation
and submission to the agenda of the diet.
Yes, I said 'submission'.
Submission to the dietary mathematics of our individual metabolisms.
photo by eric enstrom

Pray daily for help in controlling my food intake.

Not a great effort involved here, but it's a prayer that God can agree with.
Perhaps this prayer scares people, because it implies that we will do our part, eh?

And i drink a glass of water before each meal, and when I want to graze.

I fast twice a week.

Now I know that we're not supposed to brag about fasting, and I hope I'm not.
I'm explaining a plan for self-control and showing it can be done.

I began regular fasting Monday and Thursday breakfast and lunch
months ago, to obey God, and to make my prayer life more productive.
And now I also look forward to what fasting can help me do in calorie control.
For a while, I would eat to make up for the fast, before or after fast-times, 
but now I am better under control about that.

Could I fast supper?
Yes, but supper is a special time for my wife and I
and she feels guilty if she eats when I am fasting.

I grocery shop according to my diet goals.

If I have it at home, I'll likely eat it.
The grocery store is the front line of the battle.

And I don't buy spontaneous snack foods away from home,
except travel or special events, and still weigh every decision.
(get it - weigh every decision?)

Yes, this changes family life.
My overeating, is this my spouse's or kids' problem?
Partly, yes. 

I avoid most cooking shows now.

Unless you have a waistline that matches Julia in this episode,
you should probably avoid cooking shows.
Food-porn is a real thing. 
It is an unhealthy obsession to spend so much time saturated in a food-mentality.

I almost never buy fattening coffee.

I get regular black, and doctor it a little, but not 500 calories worth.
photo: cbs News

I eat 'fast food' only 3-4 times per year.

I have something called 'Celiac-Sprue disease',
so I must submit to a gluten-free diet.

Regular bread, pastas and pastries, found in various products, are off-limits to me,
as are breaded foods and foods cooked in the same oil as breaded items.

No runs for burgers or donuts.

(Though I intentionally cheat once a year, on my birthday, and have a real burger and fries,
that is about it, except I may sneak an occasional French fry from my wife.)

That is the extent of my fast food. 
It can be done. My other restaurant visits are done with gluten-free items,
none of which really classify as fast-food.

95% of my food is home-cooked.
(Being celiac, I can buy my wife treats without eating them myself,
so this does not deprive my wife in this manner).
art: Botero

I fight jealousy

In various parts of the world, at various times, obesity was seen as a mark of wealth.
And when most poor locals are thin, the waistline is a good indicator of wealth or poverty.

But in modern America, this is not the case.
Obesity is seen as a sign of poverty or other dysfunctions.

I understand daily that I must fight jealousy against those who eat as they please,
whether they have high metabolism or are simply intentional over-eaters.


I'm currently fasting meats Monday through Friday.
A few years ago, I did a 90-day, 7-day-a-week meat-fast, and dropped 30 pounds.
Mushrooms are an excellent meat substitute.

Also, I drink water now for supper, Monday through Friday,
to sidestep the calories from the chocolate milk I love.

But there again, I buy chocolate almond milk,
which has 80 calories per servings, versus 180 calories for 2% chocolate milk.
slow-down dog bowl. dogproductpicker.com


Just saw these bowls today, while looking for graphics for this segment.
This is intelligent.

I'm thinking of making one for myself.
But most overeaters would be greatly insulted,
and feel deprived if expected to use one
because part of the pleasure of overeating is full access to large amounts of food.
and huge mouthfuls of food.
It's true.

Lean people generally eat slower than obese people,
with smaller bites.
Iowa Depression years, Christmas Dinner (i'm told)

One bite at a time

Those who eat slower, eat less.
Those who put less on their fork, eat less.

My latest tactic is to put one type of food on my fork at a time,
put it in my mouth,
put down my fork,
chew and swallow.

I don't pick up my fork to reload until I have swallowed the previous bite.
...or swallowed the drink.
I eat less.

I should I say that this automatically excludes eating in the car?
This is a terrible habit for someone wanting to lose weight.

And Where's the Pleasure in that?!?
Again, we should not use food to bring us pleasure above enjoying the food we need.

If we can't grasp this, we can't succeed in a life-long journey of self-control.
And at some point, eating less shouldn't be a matter of self control.
Wanting less should be a natural habit.

Casseroles are counterproductive.

'Comfort food' makes the waistline uncomfortable.

Starch and meat casseroles slide down without our sensors registering the intake.
Crunchy or chewing foods bring more satisfaction that soft foods.
I have to carefully monitor my intake on casseroles.
Casseroles and any other food are the dishes I am most likely to want 2nds of.

Popcorn and apple juice

On my non fast days, I also try to skip lunch and have popcorn and apple juice about 3pm.
I am semi-retired, self-employed and able to pick my break times.

Smaller Portions

Smaller plates make smaller portions seem less deprive-y.
I use a 8.5" plate for supper,
and try to limit myself to one serving.

Even when I go to a buffet, which I do every 3 months or so,
I limit myself to 2 plates. I used to do 4 plates.
And if I go during a weekday, I go meatless, and drink water with the meal.

I try to walk 5 days a week.

During the week, any day I don't mow or climb a lot of stairs that day, 
I try to walk a mile a day at the local mall.

And lately, I have begun walking with a pair of 10lb. barbells,
doing upper body exercises as I walk, three days a week,
keeping a routine I can maintain the rest of my ambulatory life.

Closing Time

Diets are more successful when the kitchen has a set closing time.
This is something I haven't conquered yet,
though I graze far less in the evening than I used to.

And...we shouldn't eat except at mealtime.
Desk snacks need to go away.


A lot of my overeating comes from boredom.
Perhaps I think I deserve a more exciting life than I actually lead.
So I look for ways to stay busy in the evening 
(which is when I'm most likely to overeat).

I am developing hobbies and habits that should be done without food.
At left is a nap quilt I made, last winter's project. (about 54" x 90")
Sunflowers, Monarch butterflies, and a burlap-looking fabric, along with yellowish fill-ins..

There should be places where obese people should never eat, 
like at our desk, workbench, etc.
And we should not leave our desk to get something to eat
apart from a designated mealtime.

I contemplate 're-entry'

Like space voyages, those who diet successfully, 
must successfully manage their re-entry into life, to stay at their target weight.

Which basically means we have to choose between two targets;
1) Maintaining an ideal weight, or
2) using food, beyond our metabolic needs, as a source of pleasure.

Diets are a wonderful opportunity to learn to eat properly,
but most people fail this boot camp.
If we want to get and stay lean, we need to abandon food as a god.