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Dan Nied’s Fortress of Weight Loss: Day 3

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I sit here now at 1:14 a.m., Pacific Time, wondering if I am wasting everyone’s time by doing this.

Two days, four pounds. Then, on the night of the third day, it all just goes to shit.

I sit here and wonder if I truly can be an inspiration to anyone, no matter what I’ve done or how I’ve done it. I am what I am right now, and there is nothing inspirational about that.

As you might guess, there was a fairly major fuck up on the diet Friday night. It’s something to be concerned about, but as of the time of this writing, I am still trying to figure out what it all means.

Maybe by the end of this writing, I’ll have it figured out. Maybe I’ll just give up altogether a wait for my body to expand itself back to 370 pounds. Maybe I’ll have it all solved if I just write my way to the end of this entry.

Am I being overly dramatic? In one sense, yes. But in another, I need to take an early screw up this hard, because in order for this diet to work it has to be the most important thing in my life. There can’t be anything above it. Everything must be done with calories and fat and portion size taunting me in the back of my mind. It’s the only way I know how to do it.

So no, I am not being overly dramatic in that sense. In fact, I am trying simply to prioritize. Actually, I am trying to figure out where this diet truly exists in my priorities. I can shuffle it to the top, past the trying to get a girlfriend and getting a better job, and try to make the thing I want most. But I have to know that it really is the most important thing to me. That’s how it works. And a severe fuck up on the third day raises some serious concerns.

So you want to know what happened? It’s nothing too crazy, really. But I was doing fine on Friday, enjoying a day off from work, from working out, and just relaxing and watching a few bowl games. I decided to go grocery shopping, and spent a health $100 with no notable happenings.

I got home and had a Subway Club for dinner, but decided I wanted more. I opened a bag of pretzels and ate about three servings. I still wanted more. I had a heaping bowl of cereal with too much skim milk. I realized the beginnings of a binge, and tried to turn into the skid by sticking with my guideline of binging on healthy things.

I was full after the cereal. There is no doubt about that. My stomach didn’t need more food; my mind didn’t want more food. But my mouth wanted to taste something more, was sick of lean meats and fat free cereals, wanted no part of vegetables and fruit and whole wheat bread. It wanted something sweet, something greasy, something that will stick around a little longer and make the night a little warmer.

So I paced the house, wondering what I should do, mind games speaking in the voice of hunger. I thought about my Day 2 post and how I stood tall in front of readers and haughtily talked down to everyone about how it’s all about choices, about the option to do or not do. But my urges were growing and I was a total and complete fraud. I couldn’t control it. That’s the worst part. I felt like I had no power over these urges. There was nothing I could do to reverse them. My mind lost the total control it enjoyed for two days. On the third, it just spiraled out of control.

It was 11 p.m. and I was struggling with the choice between Burger King, Taco Bell, leftover spaghetti from the roommate or nothing. Nothing was the dark horse. It never had a chance. The other three were pumped up and neck and neck at the finish line.

As the race continued it became obvious that I was going to have compromise with myself. I checked the fridge and saw a grocery bag full of hostess products my other roommate brought home tonight. I had refused them earlier. Now they were calling for me. I grabbed a fruit pie and a package of yellow cupcakes, looked at them hard and put them back in the bag. The compromise would be Burger King, which sports a decent garden burger that’s not bad for you if you don’t get mayo.

In my car at 11:15, down at the Burger King a few minutes later, I forget to order no mayo. It never actually crossed my mind to order no mayo. In fact, I forgot there was even mayo on that sandwich. Came home, turned out the lights, started up a movie, unwrapped the burger and tasted that mayo before anything else. The compromise had gone to shit, but the mayo tasted great.

So I finished the burgers, and still wanted more. It was an insatiable feeling I haven’t had since my peak weight of 370. There was no rationalization, but there was no talking myself out of it either. I just felt like I didn’t have control.

A bowl of spaghetti, and then the fruit pie and cupcakes from the Hostess bag. All of that in my stomach, I wondered if I should throw up. Revert back to that bulimic state I dealt with not that long ago and became a bit of a problem at the tail end of the 100 Days blog.

But I knew that wouldn’t happen. I’m past that. No need for it anymore. Instead I am left to wonder what this all means.

I could call it a momentary lapse in judgment, just something I have to work on curbing in the future. But that might be too easy a solution. What if this was something inside me that will never really be conquered. I’ll never stop wanting to binge. And honestly, I don’t know if I will ever stop binging.

Honestly, there is only thing about this that truly scares me: The fact that I couldn’t make it past Day 3. I had bad days during the 100 Days. In fact, I averaged about one every week. But after every single one of them, I knew I would be right back on the diet the next day. I was 100 percent sure each time. There was no doubt about it.

But three days in? There is no backbone there. I haven’t even settled into this yet. At this point, I need to know that I have the willpower. If this had happened on Day 15 after 14 near perfect days, then I’d be fine with it. But as it is, I had Sunday scheduled as an off day, because of the press box rule (I came up with that in college. I am a sports writer, so the rule says that I can eat anything served in a press box free of charge. Sunday I am covering the Raiders vs. Chargers, which means free brunch. I accept it because I am poor and the food is excellent.). So I already had a scheduled off day in 48 hours. And I couldn’t wait that long. I lost four pounds in the first 48 hours of this diet, so why didn’t I care enough to see what 72 hours would have done for me?

But you know, maybe I have this figured out now.

I don’t think this is some sort of doomsday sign. I don’t think this one fuck up means I should stop this whole thing. But what it means is that this really is a bigger struggle than I expected. It’s not a switch I can just turn on and off, like I thought I could.

I guess there will be some effort required to make this happen, and I have to figure out whether I am really willing to give all of that effort.

But you know I am. Well, maybe you don’t. But I know that I am, at least I am pretty sure I am. So maybe I am not 100 percent sure at all. But if I weren’t, would I be sitting here at 1:45 a.m. on a Saturday pouring my heart out in a series of run-on sentences, choppy sentences and disjointed metaphors trying to convince people I don’t even know how dedicated I am?

I don’t think I would be.

To rectify Friday’s binge, I have decided to go to the gym before work on Saturday. I’ll spend at least 30 minutes on the elliptical machine, and maybe lift for the first time in a while. It won’t totally reverse the problem, but it should help get my mind back on track.

As for Sunday, the original planned day off, I haven’t quite decided what to do. I’ve covered every Raiders home game this season, and this is the final one. So the press box rule will be dormant for the near future. And while it might be easier to just give myself another bad day, I might prove a lot to myself by staying sensible in that situation. I guess it is something to think about.

There is a lot to think about, really. I am somewhat ashamed of the way this night went. I also feel a tiny bit of relief because the challenges are presenting themselves early. I now have a better understanding of what I have to do in order to be successful.

And that’s the best I can take from this.

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About Dan Nied

  • I haven’t really been paying too much attention and no one really wants to listen to me talk about dieting, however, looking at your calorie intake I’d say it was sort of low, even for me and I’m under 5 foot.

    I also think that outside of you Subway sandwich, you were skimping on some important things like dairy (cheese or yogurt) and fruits or vegetables.

    You might consider looking into the value versus caloric content of foods. For instance, instead of grapes which are high in sugar and also water content, why not eat something with more fiber or nutrients? Something like tomato, carrots or a glass of grapefruit juice would boost the vitamin A and C content of your diet. Also you could easily add spinach to your breakfast. I’m guessing that the Campbell’s can probably is higher in sodium than you probably need as well.

    From what I’ve observed with free food available at or through work is that people with a weight problem always say yes and always take more than one helping. Take one helping. I always see people taking two when one would do or if you must, save it for the next day. Then perhaps not even backing off on the food intake the next day.

    I also wondered if you had consulted a doctor about this. Pretty important, IMHO.

    I have low blood pressure, good bone density for my age and weigh myself every day to make sure I’m neither gaining nor losing weight.

  • MAOZ

    Dan, for what it’s worth: a fellow named David Zulberg [IIRC] wrote a book titled “The Life-Transforming Diet”, which is based largely on nutritional principles set forth by the Rambam. I’ve found it very helpful. You might want to give it a gander.

    B’hatzlacha! I wish you success!