For most of my life I was blessed with a very high metabolism.
Combine that with an active lifestyle and I was a pretty skinny dude with a less than sensitive attitude about weight and diets and exercise. I wasn’t mean about it, but I never truly understood why people might not want to eat an entire funnel cake in one sitting or how they could worry about getting fat by finishing off a dozen Krispy Kremes all by themselves (a feat I do not recommend to anyone). In my mind all you had to do was chase your dog for 30 minutes or go dancing and all those “calories,” or whatever it is you count, just burn off!
But now I’m 36 and I sit in front of a computer screen for almost 10 hours per day and my metabolism is not what it used to be.
My lovely wife, Rene, is an actress and has been exercising and weight watching as part of her job for as long as I have known her. She’s very good at it and has written quite a bit about the subject on her BLOG. She does calorie math in her head, knows the calories for her favorite foods in varying amounts and has a general catalog for good eating stowed in her brain ready to quick reference. I used to tease her relentlessly. But she’s not alone in this. Every adult actress I have ever know my whole life has been very conscious of what she eats and/or how often she exercises. It seems a bit crazy, and I do not envy women in this industry, but it is functionally part of their job to maintain a “look” and typically that involves being thin and fit. Emphasis on the thin. I don’t endorse this practice, but it is an important thing to note relative to how women in the entertainment industry program their heads when it comes to eating.
When I started No Sweets/ No Wheats I approached it in a mechanical manner: I can eat this, I cannot eat that. I set rules and was ready to follow them. It was poor planning. Rene heard about my challenge and her experience with finding ways to enjoy what you are restricted to came into play. Instead of just focusing on what I couldn’t eat (a surprisingly pessimistic view for me to take, even if it is pragmatic) she showed me how to focus on what I could eat. I started to notice how many calories were in things and just how many I was actually ingesting. I started actually reading the ingredient lists on things (and being surprised at what is in most food) and actually understanding them. I started to get serious about how much activity I got during the day. I found out that brown rice and vegetables (especially Amy’s Brown Rice and Vegetables) is actually pretty good. I got past the angry carnivore inside me that that grunts and says “Western Bacon Cheeseburger!” whenever I’m pressed for time and need to eat something quickly. I discovered quick food over fast food. I found out that food I actually like can be made in new ways and so making the change wasn’t so bad.
I started eating “like a girl.”
Now, due to regular gym exercise and eating better, I’m getting back the body I naturally had in my 20’s – although more grown up and manly – and I’m feeling much better.
Now I want to hear all kinds of diet stories. What do you eat and why? tell me in the comments.
See you next time!