My butt almost looks good enough to completely draw attention away from my sick farmer tan lines.
Last week I was coerced into starting the Atkin’s diet. I didn’t know much about the diet other than what I, like most people, picked up from popular media. I knew it was “high protein” and “low carb,” and that it received a lot of criticism as being a sure fire way to end up with cardiovascular disease. Every other person I tell that I am following this diet responds with “didn’t he die of heart disease?” as if that means anything. Hitler allegedly died of syphilis but fascism has other more important shortcomings. I struggle with terms like “low carb” or “high protein” because people don’t often have a standard by which they are comparing any one diet to another. For one diet to be high or low in one macronutrient then another diet would have to contain the perfect amount of said macronutrient. As we can see in lots of arenas outside of fitness and nutrition, one man’s poison is another man’s medicine. There is no perfect prescription so high and low are vague terms that have limited use in our vernacular. The Atkin’s prescription is laid out in four phases. The first phase is the portion you hear about in the news. It unfettered consumption of animal proteins including eggs and meats that are considering unhealthy like bacon. Grains, dairy (except butter), legumes, fruit and starchy vegetables are completely verboten. You can consume 12-15 net carbs per day. To arrive at net carbs you take total grams of carbs and subtract grams of fiber. To give you an idea how easy it is to get up to 15 grams of net carbs here are three allowed carbs: 1 cup broccoli=3 net carbs, .5 cups bell pepper=2.3 net carbs, and 1 tomato=4.3 net carbs. Depending on the carbs that you consume it can be super easy to hit your quota so if volume matters more than pleasure it makes sense to choose veggies that give you a lot of mileage. In energy terms it is all the same but in terms of satiety in can make a tremendous difference. Phase 1 is the part of the whole process where most people who try the program see the highest, and most rapid weight loss. I don’t have a whole lot of weight to lose but I set a reasonable goal for myself. The bulk of it would just be a return to normalcy after the week my family was here in Seattle. I haven’t been less than 200 pounds in several years so I figured if I could get to 197. I competed at the CrossFit Games in 2008 at 192 pounds so I knew I could be still be a strong CrossFitter at my goal weight. I have also started running quite a bit more and the physics tell me that carrying 197 pounds for 5 miles vs. 206 pounds is a no brainer. The past seven days have been full of surprises. I would never have guessed the parts of this diet that would pose a challenge. I have also come up against many struggles that many of my athletes face on regular basis but that I had lost touch with over the past few years. What the hell is up with me gaining a pound right off the bat?! I will share my thoughts as well as more details on the first week in my next post.
During a trip to Nike Town I discovered the smallest size shirt I could get on. I captured it on film for posterity. The best part was not captured though which was my discovery of my inability to get the shirt off. I had to get one of the dudes in the store to pull it up and over my head. It was a special moment. I thought it was hilarious. He was disgusted. Great customer service though. Two points for Nike Town. Long story short, I wear an XL in Nike products.