Like Garfield On Lasagna

Here’s something you probably didn’t know: I’ve been on the MediFast diet for…oh probably about six weeks now. This is the first time I’ve blogged about it, and there’s a couple reasons for that. Firstly, I’m not terribly sensitive about my weight, but I am JUST sensitive enough that I don’t like to attract attention to it. Or more accurately, to attract attention to the fact that I am unhappy with my body and am trying to “fix” it. The other reason was that I wanted to do a little experiment. I wanted to see how much weight I would have to lose before somebody would notice (or at least say something about noticing). So far I think I have had two people who hadn’t seen me in a while make a comment. Two at the most. So that experiment’s complete.

The last time I weighed myself was probably three to four weeks ago and I was down almost 20 lbs, so I’m guessing now my total mass lost is in the neighborhood of 25-30. I don’t have a scale so I have to rely on the kindness of stranglers.

The diet is incredibly strict, and comes with its own food – which is powdered and dehydrated packets. I won’t get into the specifics because it’s dull as hell, suffice to say I’m allowed one real meal a day and five of the MediFarce meals, which are tiny but palatable to a non-picky guy like me. I don’t really have any problem following the regimen except when in social situations where there is lots of snacks around. That’s a kind of torture but it’s easy to resist when you’re single and you don’t want to be.

This is the same diet that Joe has been on for months. You can go over to his blog and see his photo diary but you’ll be scarred for life. Essentially he’s lost 70 lbs or something and he’s one of the cult’s biggest proponents. I am not going to be on it for that long. Despite what he says, I do not need to lose 50 lbs. I wasn’t even sure I was going to be on it for more than 5 weeks, but I did end up ordering another 5 weeks worth of their astronaut food. I hoped to lose some of my bulk, for sure, but the other half of the deal was that I hoped to break out of the bad eating habits that I had/have. I have learned a lot being on this thing, apart from the fact that I really miss chocolate and pizza and bubble tea, and the fact that there aren’t enough yummy, convenient healthy foods in my shopping radius. I learned that there are a lot of sugary, carby, fatty things I ate that I can do without (and several that I would rather not).

I do not want to be skinny. I just want to be average. Joe goes on and on constantly about how much weight he’s lost, and he has a right to be happy about that because that’s the goal he set and he achieved it. He said to me “doesn’t it feel great when someone comments on how much thinner you are?” Well, yes and no. Yes, I feel more confident. I can ask girls out on dates and rest assured that I’m rejected on the grounds that I’m a gargoyle and not because I’m a morbidly obese gargoyle. On the other hand, it makes me decidedly NOT feel great that I am buying into the side of society that I absolutely despise: the vain, superficial, magazine-cover cosmetic BS that makes me want to withdraw from society, crawl into a cave and be sick. Going on this diet makes me feel like I have surrendered to that side of society and I feel cheap and disgusted with myself. Nevermind that it’s probably not the safest thing to do to put my body in a state of ketosis.

But, on a more positive note, I see this (ironically) as a starting point for a more healthy and active lifestyle. I’ve done it before, the trick is maintaining. I have no illusions that I am going to maintain the edge-of-starvation-slimitude I’ll have by the end of the 10 weeks. Soon I will be treating myself to the occasional taro milkshake bubble tea and be happy with the healthy amount of flab that makes Toren the sparkling personality you’ve come to know and love (plus all my best t-shirts are XL).

14 Replies to “Like Garfield On Lasagna”

  1. well i work out and i don’t think i’m buying into the vain & superficial lifestyle. i guess it depends on your motivations. i work out because i like having a healthy lifestyle. i have always had an active life. i like how i feel when i’m in shape. i have lots of energy and i mentally feel more able to deal with life’s stresses. the weight loss and looking better part of it is an added benefit that i don’t really think about all that much. lord knows i certainly could work out more and eat better. i could be skinnier but then i wouldn’t get to enjoy some of the foods i like to eat.

    perhaps if you focus on the health aspects of eating better and exercising, you won’t be so worried about your body image and what others think of it. you don’t have to be skinny to be happy but healthy wise, those 25-30 pounds you’ve lost is probably weight that is shortening your lifespan and making it harder for you in ways you might not realise.

    no one says you have to stop eating chocolate and pizza but you should probably moderate it somewhat. i still eat that stuff but i sure eat a lot less of it.

  2. Problem #1 is that the exercise I do enjoy I can’t do whenever I want. I enjoy playing tennis and riding my bike – these are both weather dependent and usually buddy dependent (or venue dependent). I’d be much more inclined to do exercise if I had an exercise buddy. I don’t enjoy working out and I don’t enjoy running. I don’t enjoy competitive sports with strangers. I used to go swimming but I don’t like public swimming pools—too many people and not enough scheduling flexibility. I would go to a gym if it was a social outing, but I don’t think I know anyone who feels the same way (who doesn’t have massive availability problems). These are all excuses, sure, but the point is I don’t get anything out of most physical activity (I have never had any kind of endorphin high from exercise – I’d rather be working than working out) and the ones I do enjoy are usually not convenient. It takes an effort for me to do them. I bought a badminton set but I’ve only used it once for less than an hour. I bike to and from work whenever I can, and that’s fun. So I’m exercising, but not as much as it will take to keep me “in shape” and woe betide me when summer is over.

    That said, I’m looking for exercise buddies. I’ll try anything once.

    Problem #2 is that I love food. Especially sugar. I could eat pizza and candy all day. Seriously. Junk food is truly one of my greatest joys in life. Moderation has always been a problem when there is a whole pizza in front of me.

  3. What about just buying into the healthier aspects of not being overweight and being able to eat well? Not being overweight has nothing to do with being vain. Not unless you start working out to develop pecs and abs and you start prancing about with your shirt off whenever you can.

    Good on you for losing some weight. You’re better off for it with regards to health and well-being.

  4. Just some other thoughts too. No answers are needed. Just stuff that maybe you should think about.

    1. Why are you engaging in the weight loss, if you’re not enjoying it? Is this a Marlo thing? Only you know why that ended (and as an aside, I feel for you in that regard and know how you feel), but are you in some way doing this for her or yourself?

    2. You seem bitter that women might not accept you for who you were, but instead for what you’re trying to become. You’re a fairly picky person when it comes to the women you’ll date, no? Would you date an overweight woman? One that had the “shape” that you had just a few weeks back? I’m guessing no. So, in a sense you’ve already bought into these societal mores, since you’re picking and choosing on what society has told are pleasing body shapes. I’m not judging you on that, because many of us do it. But on the flipside, if you don’t want to date someone with your old bodyshape, why would you think many thinner women would want to date a man of larger proportions? As much as we all like cake, can you really expect to have it and eat it too?

    No answers needed. Just a few things to ponder. It’s good that you’re losing some weight. It’s a hard road to follow. Eventually it’ll be easier and hopefully in time you’ll be happier for it.

  5. I’ll give you answers anyway. Not necessarily a Marlo thing but definitely a single at 35 thing.

    I have been more or less in shape before, as recently as a couple years ago.

  6. biking isn’t weather dependent. you probably don’t want to go out in the rain but you can if you are willing.

    however, from what you’ve replied, you choose not to go out in poor weather. i say you should remedy that situation. not all weather is bad to ride in, especially once you get going. you’ll certainly be warm enough (thanks to exercise) and can come home to a nice hot shower.

    start off small. ride somewhere then back. 15 min there. 15 min back. walk if you’d rather walk. all you really need to do is get your heart rate up for 30 mins a day and eat a bit better. walking or riding a bike is ideal and isn’t punishing like running.

    if you just don’t want to exercise, then you need to control what you eat. otherwise simply accept that you are going to be a big fellah and keep eating what you like and not exercising.

    however if you are getting thinner to attract a mate, don’t be surprise if said mate isn’t too happy when you put a lot of weight back on. you may not be vain but you may be attracting someone who is.

  7. I’m counting on my charm and charisma to keep my mate reeled in. I mean there’s always a first time, right?

  8. I noticed! I even said you were looking great, and I have never even seen you in real life. No one wants a guy with a perfect body, unless they are perfectly sculpted as well, and why don’t those nuts just go hang out somewhere where us “normies” don’t have to look at them? LOL

    Seriously, though, the more you lose, the faster you’ll lose more, and the easier it is to keep off. Also, the dainty portions of “food” you are getting now will help your stomach to shrink from its former proportions, and you will no longer be able to eat a whole pizza on your own (don’t cry).

    Your metabolism will speed up with increased exercise, and I wouldn’t shrug off the swimming – it’s the best non-impact workout you can get. Try swimming late in the day – the pool shouldn’t be as crowded.

    And yes, your sparkling personality is the big pull… talent, intellect, creativity all in one package – who could resist? Hang in there, buddy!

  9. Thanks! Yeah, I used to go swimming in the last 1-2 hours before the pool closed (during the adult swim of course – no kids in my pool, thanks). Even so, there were usually between 2-3 other people in my lane until the last 15 minutes before the pool closed. Grrr. I do enjoy swimming, a lot! Just get those people the hell out!

  10. Hey Toren.

    Congrats on your weight loss. I know how hard it is to lose weight, particularly when (like me) you love food so much.

    As for your experiment on people commenting on your weight loss, I lost 45 lbs (and Paul lost 20) while we were gaming together, and if you noticed, you never commented on it. I’ve learned that weight is a tricky thing, and people are often loath to mention it at all for fear that they’ll offend you. 🙂


  11. While going on diets can help you get over a slump of bad eating/workout habits, I firmly believe that lifestyle changes are the only thing that will keep you healthy (& as a bonus, slimmer) for long periods of time.

    From my own experience, if I make workouts dependent on a buddy, I won’t work out. My ipod is all I need for a workout buddy. I too hate being outside in bad weather, so I go to the gym & do yoga in my own house… So you like biking eh? Why not have an exercise bike & you can watch movies & bike & bike & bike? I bike for an hour or so & watch a movie at the same time, & it’s over before I know it.

    I definitely think that Banks/Tigger has a point about being careful about attaining a certain body type for someone else. You need to be honest about the lifestyle/body that you want to have longterm when attracting a mate, or it’ll definitely be cause for strife later on in your relationship.

  12. See that’s the thing, the lifestyle choice that I’m having the most trouble with is the “not giving in to my constant cravings” lifestyle choice. Strangely, my cravings never seem to be for low fat, low sugar foods. I can’t figure out why that is.

    The idea of the exerbike is something I’ve thought about. It would work especially well if it was hooked up to a generator that ran the TV!

  13. Sometimes cravings for food are actually an indication of dehydration…. just a thought.

    I think it’s about having a bit at a time… I love gelatto, chips, all that good stuff… but instead of having a whole bowl of gelatto, I have a small bowl of gelatto & eat it with one of those little tiny spoons so that it lasts forever. It’s a treat, I get what I want to have, but I don’t have to feel an ounce of guilt afterwards…. pair little decisions like that with regular cardio & resistance workouts, and you’ll maintain whatever weight you’re after….

    If you’re addicted to seconds… only take half of the portion that you think you should have (say, you want to eat three pieces of pizza) take two with you, and then go back and get the third piece later… trick your brain!

    It’s all about the math – the more you eat, the more you have to burn to maintain the same weight. About 1 half of a can of coke, say, drank everyday, will result in 5 pounds of weight gain in one year. It’s about 50 calories… So, if you do cardio and burn 50 calories extra than you are right now, you can have your coke, but not gain any weight.. if you do cardio & burn 100 extra calories, you’ll lose weight…. plus, your heart gets all pumped up & healthy, if you’re moving all four limbs you’re massaging your lymph nodes, you get endorphin highs, your seratonin levels go up, your stress levels go down, oxygen feeds cells that often get shortchanged, you clear toxins out of your skin… yeah baybee!

    If you still want to eat the “good stuff”, it’s about upping your cardio/resistance so that you can have your cake & burn it off too bebe! Why don’t you get an exercise bike? Some of them are pretty cheap!

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