Okay. Confession time. I am going on a diet. I’ve never yet gone on a diet. I don’t particularly like diets. I know what evolutionary safe-guards the body has against famine and I know that diets are the best modern simulation of famine that we’ve got, at least in America. I know that every Joe with a method and a dream preys on a fragile, hopeful and overweight populous who are overweight for any bunch of a heap of reasons from Hormones Gone Wild to Eating Because Life is Horribly Unsafe For Me.
Given this, what diet have I chosen? The Dukan Diet, named for Dr. Pierre Dukan, a French Nutritionist and medical doctor. He’s been refining it for 35 years, it’s similar to but slightly different from some other diets out there, yes, yes. Here’s why I like this diet above the others that I’ve read about, bought the books and thought, ‘thanks, but no thanks – nice recipes, tho’.
1 – at no point will my body go into the very strong evolutionary famine-jolt that happens at the beginning of a lot of diets. I will be eating the proverbial wildebeest every damn day. Protein. Yum.
2 – there is no food that is the enemy. Different foods do different things to the body, all are categorized, noted and used at different moments. I like this as I see no food* as the enemy**. (*By ‘food’, I mean actual food, not fake food such as twinkies and margarine which is actually sort of plastic.)(**Fat may come close to being the enemy, but I’m quite friendly with bacon fat and the skin of chicken, for instance. (Perhaps this is my practicing Christianity coming to the fore – making friends of enemies?) And yet I’m still not going to eat it just at this moment. I look at it this way: I’m trying to burn up my own fat. Why would I eat the fat stores of another animal? I have plenty of my own just at the moment.) (Wow, point number two really was the land of the parentheticals, wasn’t it? Okay, moving on to point number three…)
3 – losing weight is only half of what is going on. The other half (or slightly more than half, really) is creating a new lifestyle, going through a rather long phase of telling the body ‘it’s okay, this is for real, I’m going to treat you right and this wasn’t a famine’. Five days for every pound I lose, I’ll be in this liminal phase – having lost the desired weight, but still not done yet.
4 – none of the requirements are heinous. I’m not into heinous. I am in no way, shape or form remotely masochistic. I’m into cooking really amazing food that is nearly orgasmic to eat, that my fiancé can smell from the sidewalk of our apartment and that makes me feel like a rockstar for making it.
So, a colleague of mine recommended it and I read the book. I’m starting today, and she’ll be joining me at the end of the month. Two days ago I got the book and a scale – and discovered that in the middle of that day, I weighed a whopping 280.5 pounds. Eeek! No wonder my clergy shirts are tight. And yes, that was the middle of the day, and yes I’ve been retaining water like a camel. Yesterday morning I weighed 275.0 pounds. This morning I weighed 273.5 pounds. So yeah, in the past two days I lost 7 pounds of water weight, but I’m claiming it nonetheless. According to Dukan’s system, my goal weight is 173 pounds, which is the weight that I’ll be able to manage in a healthy way for the rest of my life, and that’s with the most moderate exercise in the world – if I actually do some of the active things I want to, that number might be smaller. All the same, that’s 100.5 pounds from here, and 107.5 pounds from Monday.
[And for the sake of honesty, what don't I like? I really can't stand his writing style. But I console myself with the twin facts that a) he wrote it in French and it's been translated and b) he's writing it to be convincing whereas I just want a plain recitation of the facts, implications and plans. But you know, a lot of those other plans I chose not to adopt are written really well. I suppose picking a diet plan because of the writing is a little like picking the beer because of the label, which while fun, in no way guarantees the product within...]
So, here we go. I’ll be posting periodic updates and perhaps pictures. Perhaps. We’ll see.