I love to eat. Growing up, this was never a problem. I was a scrawny little kid, I ran in high school and stayed active through most of my adult life. Sure, I gained a little weight as I got older and my metabolism changed, but I felt like I could always eat pretty much whatever I wanted, as long as I stayed active. In my mid-forties, my running performance actually peaked, as I got faster and stronger (and amazingly got back to my high school weight). Life was good.
Then something changed.
The last two jobs have been stressful. Work priorities overshadowed personal priorities when it came to staying active. Stress eating is a thing. Ready access to all-you-can-eat buffets and fast food doesn’t help. Race results backed way off from the string of PRs and I had my first DNF (although it was a 50 mile trail run with 25,000 feet of elevation change). Then my doctor told me a number I didn’t want to believe…
Between 2012 and now I had gained 36 pounds. My arms and legs are pretty much the same, but the dreaded “donut around the middle” that so many men gain as they age had crash-landed in my little universe. Most of my lab results and other vital signs are perfectly normal – it’s that BMI that’s slowly creeping toward the obese level. I can still run and bike and golf and ski, but now I need to look at additional options if I want to get back to a normal weight (and head off other health issues).
As I wrote in my first mini post, I decided to go in and talk to my doctor about all these things. He looked at my knee and determined it was fine to start back slowly, with some stretching, added warm-up and cool-down periods during runs and an initial goal of keeping the pace slow. He also said I can bike and golf as much as I want. For now, I’m hoping to run 30 minutes three times a week, bike home from work 3-4 days a week and golf once or twice a week (closing those three pesky Apple Watch activity bands daily).
Two nerd colleagues of mine that I mainly know through social media started talking about something I hadn’t heard before: the ketogenic diet. Both lost impressive amounts of weight in a relatively short period of time and also talked about eliminating fatigue, increased focus and several other benefits. I asked my doctor about the health risks and he was not concerned, recommending that I research it further (along with diets like Whole30) and decide if I want to try one.
To be honest, once I figured out what a carb was, it became clear that they were pretty much my whole life. Almost everything in my snack drawer at work was loaded with carbs, my work fridge is full of “regular-strength” Coke and Mt. Dew cans and most of my favorite meals when I go out to eat include some form of grain and/or potato (not to mention pizza and pastas). My first question to Bynkii was how the hell can you stop eating those things? His response: I just did.
So now I’m in the process of researching this very interesting nutritional science and deciding what the priorities are for the rest of my life. My initial reaction was no way – this would be too hard. But as I read more, I think I can at least start to consider these types of changes (and things like cyclical or targeted ketogenic plans might be optimal compromises). Plus all the bacon, steak and cheese you want?
Mmm…bacon, steak and cheese…Originally published by DK on July 11, 2018 at 11:31 pm