My Weight Loss Story, Episode 2

The last post was about my weight loss experience and I got many emails from people who went through the same issues. And apparently my “magic soup” experience made some people laugh 🙂 well, years later, this is the first positive thing about it! I’ve been asked for what I did after that, so here it is: My Weight Loss Story, Episode 2 🙂

Dieting again

I’m a stubborn guy. When the “magic soup” experience appeared to be useless, I thought that it was my fault because I had been naive and I just didn’t find the right information online. Next time I’ll find the magic one! Stubborn and a bit stupid too 🙂

So I went to Google again and this time I placed my hopes in another method, a famous diet, widely promoted as very efficient: the high-protein, low-carb diet, you know, the Atkins kind of diet. The idea was to drastically cut carbs which are used first by your body for energy, so that fat is used instead, in a metabolic state that doctors call “ketosis”. Honestly I liked it immediately! I found the idea brilliant, the name “ketosis” sounded like the end of my problems, I was truly sure that this scientific approach with such a name was a winner 🙂 I was already picturing my new body quickly running short of fat 🙂

So I started this approach with great enthusiasm and I even decided to push it to the next step: high protein foods and veggies only, nothing else! I wanted the best possible ketosis, not the average one 🙂

Then, back to reality. I remember that it was quite embarrassing in the office because we used to have lunch all together and of course I got many question from my co-workers who immediately noticed that I was dieting…
One day, we have been invited in a very expensive restaurant to celebrate the end of a big project and I had to say no to a very old red wine. Apparently our business partners wanted to show their gratitude and really, nobody could understand my reaction. They told me that this wine was so famous, so rare, so expensive that it was a dream for many wine lovers around the globe! And I was drinking water because of a stupid diet! In my head, I was silently repeating my mantra: Ketosis, Ketosis, Ketosis! 🙂

Embarrassing Side Effect

At least the good point about this high-protein diet is that I was not hungry. The bad point is that ketosis has an embarrassing side effect: bad breath 🙁 I will never forget this glimpse of surprise followed by disgust from people I was talking to. First they take a step back, and they avoid you completely 🙂 Or they increase the “social distance” when they *really* have to be in front of you. I’m not sure but I think I got more emails than usual during my ketosis period 🙂

The result of this diet in terms of weight loss has been modest, real but modest. But these few pounds off came with a very high price: my cholesterol levels did skyrocket. They were already high but after this diet they went wild. It took me years to bring them back to normal levels.

My Weight Loss Story, Episode 2

Run Till You Fall

Now a few words about the second part of my plan: running.
I was feeling very confident because I used to exercise a lot when I was young. So I started running with high hopes, even thinking of future competitions 🙂 My typical session was the following: after a quick warm-up, I was running around half an hour at my maximum speed, sweating like in hell. My main problem was about time management: I had long days in the office and I didn’t want to sacrifice dinner with my wife and kids. So I ended up running at night, after dinner. Stupid again. My running route never varied. In the beginning people were surprised to see me running at night. They probably thought I was crazy, running in the dark, in the cold, in the rain… Same route, same houses, same people, same dogs barking at me… Finally after a few weeks people and dogs got used to my late runs and nobody paid attention anymore. I was the “poor fat guy running at night”…

So, what about the weight loss results?
The sad truth is that I lost.. almost nothing. The main result was injuries: it was too much stress for my heavy body. The most painful points were the knees and hips. Painkillers didn’t help much. I knew that I needed some rest, but guess what? I can do it 🙂
I went to friends doctors who helped me with anti-inflammatory injections. A few days later I was on the road again. But not for long. The real end of the story came from the mental side. I realized that all these efforts were for nothing, that it was a failure, that I was a failure.
It was like a breakthrough. During the last night run, I was exhausted, beyond acceptable fatigue and yet trying to keep on running. At one moment I thought: what’s wrong with me? Does it have to be so hard? It’s not working. I have to accept this weight, this age. I have been unhealthy for years and I will never be healthy and fit again. It’s too late. So I stopped running and I walked my way back home 🙁

Believe me, this second failure has been much more devastating than the first one.

OK, that’s it for the embarrassing memories.

The good point is… the happy end 🙂

It was not “too late”. I was my learning curve. It took me time to do the right things, in the right order: get support, eat less, move more — but not the way I did it!

Keep in touch,
-Mike Budd

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