Uff Da, I Gained Some Weight

I take decent care of myself.  I am not on any prescriptions and have a relatively active lifestyle.  But, since last summer I let myself go a bit.  I gained 20 pounds.  I swore after the holidays I’d start on a diet and so my wife and I did.  I am cognizant of getting older, a slowing metabolism, and I don’t want to be a doughboy.

For those that don’t know, Uff Da is a Scandinavian expression of frustration.  It’s like the Yiddish Oy Vey.

We started intermittent fasting this week.  We also quit drinking alcohol during the week-my wife quit drinking entirely for the month of January.  I am drinking a couple of glasses of wine with dinner on the weekend if I feel like it.  We aren’t eating foods with simple carbohydrates like bread, rice, and noodles. We also looking for substitutes for them since we didn’t eat a lot of that stuff anyway.  We eat at home a lot and I love to cook so food won’t be a problem.  Made a sous-vide stuffed pork loin last night.

I have a friend, Keith Morton, who swears by intermittent fasting.   He’s in tremendous shape and in his late 60s.  I have tried it in the past, but sort of failed because life got in the way.  Another old trader friend, Jeff Silverman (JLS), did it and lost a ton of weight.  My friend Jeremy Baksht talks about his routing on Twitter all the time.  This time I am resolved to do it. I have some travel in the month of January so that will make it tougher.  I am in San Francisco the 12-14 and I like the dim sum there.  Maybe too much!  I promise I won’t make a big deal about what I am doing but I woke up and felt like blogging about it today.

There are a lot of recent scientific studies that debunk almost everything we have been told about eating and diet.  Intermittent fasting is supposed to change your body chemistry so that you burn fat and not sugar for energy.  It’s also supposed to regulate your insulin output so there are no spikes.  We watched a documentary called Fat.  It was campy but interesting.  To be sure, all documentaries are biased.  But, there is enough out there to fact check that you can sift through the bias to get good information.

I am not an advocate for the plant-based eating trend.  When you think about it critically, it doesn’t make sense.  First, if everyone in the world went to eating only plants, the amount of land we’d have to cultivate to feed the entire world would be astonishing.  Animals are an integral part of the ecosystem and play a role in a healthy climate and in building soil.

Second, while I may try and eat as much holistically farmed meat as I can afford, I am not going to tell people that they shouldn’t buy factory farmed products.  I’d rather people be able to afford to eat rather than force them to pay very high prices for products that an unappointed elite bureaucrat says we should eat.  That being said, I am for getting rid of all farm subsidies, price floors, price ceilings and the other policies that totally screw up the market for food.

To me, farmers are some of the most innovative and productive people on the planet.  All the policies mess with their ability to innovate.  On top of that, the FDA and USDA have some regulations that strictly prohibit innovation.  The Farm Lobby is the strongest lobby in Washington.  It’s the one place that Democrats and Republicans lock arms and come together and create a lot of pork-barrel programs.  Watch Dick Durbin and Charles Grassley lock arms over some things and you will get the picture.  The entire ethanol complex is one example of a totally misguided and messed up program.  We ought to scrap it but I digress.

I am 6’5″ and 57 years old. When I graduated from college I was about 210lbs.  When I was playing basketball, I played at 180-190lbs. My all-time high weight is 250lbs but I am less than that now.  I’d like to get to 225lbs if I can.  Prior to my ballooning, I was at 230-232lbs so I know it is doable.  Weight is tough on the joints.

One of the hard things about living in Chicago is that for at least six months out of the year it’s hard to do stuff outside.  Too cold or icy or snowy.  My wife and I always joke about Florida being “God’s Waiting Room” but the weather is one reason a lot of people move there.  Much easier to be too hot than cold.

We lift weights, and we do Iyengar Yoga.  I am going to add some more aerobic activity into my life.  Currently, I walk a lot.

I downloaded an app to my phone, LoseIt and am using it to keep track of stuff.  So far it is working.  I have a lot of coffee, tea, and water all day until about 1:30-2:30.  I eat a nice lunch.  We have dinner around 6.  That’s it.

My advice to anyone that wants to try this is the first week, be very close to a bathroom.  Holy cow the water I lost in the first 48 hours…..but I digress and that might be too much information.

I have found that the first few days are tough.  You think about food a lot so you have to stay busy.  It’s easier to be busy when the weather outside doesn’t suck.  Water is your frenemy.  But, I find now I feel really full when I eat.  Like, really full.  So, hopefully, my body is changing.

We will see how this goes.  I am hoping by May I am down to my fighting weight.  Let me know what you do if anything in the comments.

I hope you can support this effort I am leading.  I am raising money to dedicate a hotel suite to the Unknown Soldier at the new National World War Two Museum hotel.  Any proceeds over and above dedicating that space will go to Museum STEM projects dedicated to helping grade school children across the United States learn STEM.