32 Pounds Ago

By Lloyd Graff

I have lost 32 pounds over the last four months, and I am stunned. It has not been that hard to do once I decided it was something I truly wanted to do.

Tony Robins says the “WHY” question is the most important, and I agree. If you ask yourself, “why do I want to lose weight?” and you answer, “I want to feel better and live longer,” the how will make itself apparent. In my case the why and how questions became salient during a doctor’s visit in which my blood pressure reading was on the wrong side of 160 and my weight was crowding 270. My doctor Scott Stern at the University of Chicago asked me if I was serious about losing weight. I nodded yes, and this time I actually meant it.

He said, “Lloyd, I’m going to recommend a book to you, Always Hungry? by Daniel Ludwig.” He said he had read it himself and learned a lot of new things.

I listened to some of the book on audio then bought the hardcover, really figuring deep in my oversized gut it would be another one that would soon be forgotten on the shelf.

But it wasn’t forgotten, because Ludwig’s basic premise was so counterintuitive that I was attracted to it, particularly with Dr. Stern’s endorsement.

The gist of Dr. Daniel Ludwig’s thesis, based on a scholar’s storehouse of research is that you need to stop eating refined processed foods, sugary sweets, simple carbs like white potatoes, wheat and corn and replace them with fruits and vegetables, protein and FAT. Yes, FAT. In fact, fat is really the secret to making this eating regimen work, because replacing the sugars, processed foods and simple carbs with fat and protein like yogurt, cheese, eggs and meat reduces your cravings for the bad stuff. It also ends the insulin spikes that are one of the main reasons we have an epidemic of diabetes and obesity in America.

I am not a diabetic, but my father and his siblings were, as were both of his parents. I have always feared becoming diabetic, having seen so much of it growing up.

For me, Ludwig’s regimen was rather simple. Breakfast became eggs, berries, whole fat yogurt and grapefruit. No juice, no cereal, no bananas (too sugary) no sugar in the coffee, no BREAD. The no bread rule was the only one that bothered me a little at the beginning, but when I saw the pounds melting off quickly, I easily made my peace with it.

Lunch was a salad with a dressing, sometimes with meat or eggs added, never a sandwich. Another option was soup or meat leftovers from dinner.

Dinner was normally meat, chicken or fish with some kind of fat with it, plus a vegetable like broccoli, cauliflower or beans. Never potatoes.

Snacks during the afternoon now have become mainly almonds, which I like to toast, or sometimes pecans or walnuts. Occasionally I’ll eat a big scoop of peanut butter with no sugar added. I like Sweet Ella’s by Koeze of Grand Rapids.

For sweetness breaks, I favor berries and dark chocolate, at least 70% cacao. There is not much sugar in one quarter of a big Lindt chocolate bar.

In the first month I lost 10 pounds. I was down almost 20 in two. Four months later I was down 32 pounds and needed to buy new pants and belts.

I have not significantly changed my exercise routine, but everything is easier now. My blood numbers are all good, mild arthritis has improved in my hands and knees and interestingly, shoes and socks fit better because my legs and feet don’t swell.

During these past four months I have totally ignored calorie counting. It is just not an issue if I don’t eat sugars and simple carbs in significant quantities.

The new eating habits have not been difficult to develop once I understood that cookies and toast and fries were killing me. My goal had been to get down to my weight when I left the hospital after my heart attack nine and a half years ago.

Frankly, I never expected to get anywhere close to the 30-pound loss level. Yet, to my amazement, I reached it in 11 weeks.

How did I celebrate it?

Strawberries dipped in dark chocolate was just perfect.

Question: Do you trust your doctor?

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10 thoughts on “32 Pounds Ago

  1. Bill

    Congratulations on your weight loss, and the benefits you are seeing! It really is a mental thing. I just started a similar diet, starting at 210 and wanting to get down to 190 (maybe 180). I’m doing a lot of cardio and some weights, mostly so I can get an edge in my cycling club on uphills.

    I’m also self-pay which is an added incentive for taking better care of myself. Never before fond of doctors, I just found one that “gets me” and in fact suggested the diet as you mentioned.

    Looking forward to seeing the new you!

     
  2. Misterchipster

    Welcome to healthy eating, you have now joined the “most likely” to survive group. The modern American diet is killing us and as other countries adopt our “American” eating loaded with processed foods and sugars their health deteriorates too. It’s a shame we don’t wake up because this is costing us all.

     
  3. fred

    Tough but got (nearly) free of evil poison sugar several months ago.
    When you finally “get” it, it’s actually scary to see other people killing themselves
    with soda and sugar. I still have a banana after my eggs at breakfast, and I need to
    eat less bread for lunch, but I feel a ton (pun intended) better now, with hardly any
    gout or joint issues anymore. The pain and suffering from gout alone was very
    depressing. The depression made me crave feel-good food like baked goods.
    But I was raised on sugar, with desert mandatory after every meal. My Mom thought
    she was being nice. WHO KNEW??

     
  4. Victor

    Congratulations, Lloyd! Glad to hear it, and that such a simple thing like weight loss can have significant positive consequences.

     
  5. Bruskie

    Congratulations Lloyd, weight loss is always a great thing. I did the same eating discipline you write about a few years back, got down to 200 lbs, a 25 pound loss, my knees no longer hurt, it was much easier to work out at the gym, I felt better and best of all my plantar Fasciitis totally went away, that’s really just a few of the benefits I got from proper eating.
    I also learned an ironic lesson about my cravings. We have a local restaurant we order ribs form because “I love the ribs” but what found out was I didn’t like the ribs so much, I actually loved the bread (it was great bread), the ribs didn’t do much for me. I don’t get the ribs any more.

     
  6. Grimstod

    Weight loss is hugely rewarding. Sadly many blame their weight gain on inanimate objects, sorta like they do with school shootings. Anyways the way to change is to change the person and not the an inanimate object. Congratulations on the weight loss and keep it up. I like to think of the human body as having four dimensions. Mind, Flexibility, Aerobic and Anaerobic. Work on all four and you will see the best results.

     
  7. Ray Chalmers

    anaerobic=weight training, which is ironic as dumbbells and barbells certainly get my heart rate up. Best wishes for continued success in the whole functional medicine dynamic. Recommend searching a documentary called “Forks Over Knives” that might further all our mission that our forks (what we eat) can offset the need for knives (scalpels and surgery). It’s nice to get in a position where you can ponder and maybe flip off all the pharmaceutical commercials on tv for diabetes, high-blood pressure medications, etc, and the list of all the possible side effects. It may be a culture shift, but fresh produce is a heck of a better option.

     
  8. KR

    Congrats on your new healthy lifestyle and the weight loss. We switched to this way of eating a few years ago – not to lose weight but to improve health. There are a couple of good books for people who may have inflammation/pain issues or suffering from mental health issues or who want to save there brains: “No pain, no grain” and “Grain Brain”. Both very enlightening. Also, for anybody having trouble getting off of sugar, try doing a Whole 30 diet. It will help break reset your taste buds and break the addiction. I have found my tastes have changed and now I don’t even like some of the foods I used to.

     

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