When I retired the old blog and started this here new one, I admit I was happy to leave behind the burden of diet-related blogging. The new domain came with a fresh start and an “I can talk about anything I want” attitude. And for sure: how’s the diet going? wasn’t anywhere on the anything I want list.
In spite of that, this is somehow my eighth post on the topic here. That’s right, on the blog where I swore to not talk about weight loss, weight loss now comprises nearly ten percent of my posts. Yay, me!
But that’s okay! Because today is a super duper special day. Fate demands that I drag up The Topic more time for today is Day 10,000. That’s a real number. I’m not exaggerating for effect. I even used the internet to double check my work.
Long time readers will know that I’ve been on a fair number of diets during this period. For those of you keeping score at home, I’m currently on #129 (Day 33). But more on that later.
Looking back over a ten thousand day stretch, it’s clear there have only been three diets that have counted. And I mean, really counted. So hop in the car and buckle your seat belt. We’re taking a drive down memory lane.
The First Great Diet
The very first Day One began several lifetimes ago. (Twenty-seven years, four months, and fifteen days ago, to be precise.) On May 1, 1990 I looked down at my midsection and thought, “Huh, I’d better do something about this.” I weighed in at 194 pounds that morning: the heaviest I’d ever been in my (short) adult life.
For whatever reason, I waited five months before doing anything. It wasn’t until October when I suddenly found myself up another eleven pounds and thought, “Huh, I’d better do something about this.”
Long story short, The First Great Diet was a huge success. I cut down on calories, swam laps almost every day (yes: actual exercise), and drank gallons and gallons of Slim Fast. And in only 335 days, on Day 495, I magically hit 168. Down thirty-seven pounds total.
The Second Great Diet
Right after the end of The First Great Diet, I learned a new dieting thing. I didn’t even know it was a thing. Looking back, I’m sorry I ever found out about what can only be called The Thing: gaining it all back. It’s a terrible Thing. Why this is even a Thing at all boggles my mind.
Gaining it all back took 684 days. It was difficult at times, but I somehow pulled it off. On Day 1,179 my scale told me I’d reached the start weight of The First Great diet. Rats. Of course, my brain kept lying to my body, “If you did it once, you can do it again!” So I made many subsequent attempts to get the magic back. But it wasn’t until Day 3,854 that The Switch came on again but good.
Long story short, The Second Great Diet was a huge success. I went low carb, switched to walking as my exercise, and drank gallons and gallons of Vernor’s Diet Ginger Ale. And just 306 days later, on Day 4,219, I was basically back to where The First Great Diet left off.
The Third Great Diet
The success of my first two diets brought me untold fame on fortune. I was People Magazine’s World’s Most Awesome Dieter for three years running, appeared on Oprah twice, and was even Time Magazine’s Man of the Year. Heck, I even wrote a book about it all. (At least that part is true.)
But the constantly ringing phone and the hounding paparazzi finally got to me. There was only one solution: I had to get out. So I did what any of you would’ve done in my shoes. I gained it all back. Unfortunately, this did not bring me the happiness I expected and I realized that it was time for The Third Great Diet.
Long story short, The Third Great Diet was a huge success. I got cancer, went for walks around my living room for exercise, and drank gallons and gallons of Ensure. And just 1,106 days later, on Day 8,968, I was only a few pounds above the end-weight of the First Two Great Diets.
Introspection or Whatever
Here’s the thing about The Third Great Diet. Out of the dozens and dozens of diets I’d been on, this one was truly different because it was born out of half a year of that pesky cancer thing. I swore — I swore — that I would absolutely and positively not “gain it all back” again.
And I think that’s why, instead of 300 or so days for the typical diet run, this one ran over eleven hundred days. That’s not a “slim fast” approach. That’s someone in it for the long haul.
Now at this point, the astute reader will note a small delta between Day 8,968 and today. Yes, yes, I knew it would come to that. The good news is, I have not gained it all back. The bad news is, I sure seem to be making a solid run at it. Here’s the full graph, end to end, in all its glory:
The graph is, of course, all over the place. This graph has seen more ups and downs than thirty kangaroos on an olympic trampoline. But let’s peel back a layer of data and just look at the 1,000-day increments:
Strange how flat it looks. Except for maybe three anomalous readings, I seem to clock in around the same weight every 1,000 days. In fact, sometimes I look at this and think, “Why do I even bother?” All the pain and suffering and deprivation for what: Day 10,000 looking about the same as Day 1? Is that what all this has come to?
But it’s exactly that kind of thinking why I take comfort in the final graph. All the pain and suffering and deprivation isn’t for nothing. It’s because without all of that, this is the graph we’d be discussing today:
And I’m okay with that.
Tune in next week, when diet-related posts will suddenly comprise eleven percent of this new blog! I need to fill you in on the last 1,032 days.