Weight Weight… Don’t Tell Me!

By Lloyd Graff

Today is the beginning of a new year for me. The Chicago Cubs begin spring training in Mesa, Arizona. Since the Cubs lost to the Dodgers in the National League Championship Series last October I’ve been longing for this day – the beginning of the beginning of the season.

I need these days to look forward to. I need an excuse to restart, reboot, begin to begin. I need the psychological energy that a relaunch provides.

The winter slog of Chicago weather is reaching its nadir. We had 20” of snow over the weekend, and I woke up to stalactites hanging 18” long from my roof like iced carrots.

I find my interest in the Cubs has intensified in recent years as they’ve finally gotten good after all these decades of mediocrity punctuated by awfulness. I read the blogs about the Cubbies almost every day, and Swarf has started to comment with pithy insight on the Cubs Den blogs.

I need this baseball jumpstart quite badly this year because I’m facing six weeks of radiation treatments for the remnants of a benign tumor that has started to grow again dangerously close to the optic nerve in my brain. This means schlepping down to University of Chicago Hospital 30 weekdays for five-minute zaps of radiation.

Lloyd’s new waistline

The small but frequent dosing is safer than doing five big wallops, which was what I had expected would be the ticket if the thing grew back.

The treatment also comes with brain MRIs, which are one hour of weird noises in a claustrophobic tube. I’ve had a lot of them, but each one is a delightful new treat. I’ll be mentally taking myself to Cubs games during the sessions in “The Tube.”

As this has turned into a health blog, I would like to share some happier news. I have lost 30 pounds in the last three months—voluntarily!

My internist at the U of C Hospital observed my chubbiness during my last checkup in November and suggested I peruse the book, Always Hungry?: Conquer Cravings, Retrain Your Fat Cells, Lose Weight Permanently, by Dr. David Ludwig. He said he had read it recently and learned stuff he had not known. I figured it was just another diet book that I would read for 10 minutes and then forget about, but I bought the book, read the first few chapters in which Ludwig validates his theories with research, and followed his advice for two weeks.

Ludwig’s approach shocked me. It was simple but radical. Forget about counting calories, just eliminate refined sugar, processed foods, and simple carbohydrates like white potatoes and bread. Then, shockingly to me, add fat like cheese, full fat yogurt and meat. Snacks should be mostly nuts and dark chocolate, at least 70% cacao.

I followed this regimen quite religiously for a few weeks and started dropping weight steadily.

The elimination of simple carbs and sugars with the replacement of fat and nuts, and of course, lots of fruits and vegetables, was easy for me because I like eating stuff like that. The sweets and bread weren’t hard to eliminate because I was virtually never hungry. My results were amazing.

My workouts are a lot easier now. My knees don’t hurt as much, and clothes I thought I would never wear again are now loose on me.

Did I know that sweets and carbs were poison for me before reading Ludwig? Sure. But the addition of fat and nuts made the regimen a happy challenge. When I started shedding the weight so easily it reinforced my new eating behavior. I am shocked but thrilled.

It’s mid-February in Chicago. Baseball season is within sight. Radiation—it’s an annoyance.

And I’ve lost my fat gut.

Bring on the Cubbies!

Question: What methods have you used to lose weight?

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8 thoughts on “Weight Weight… Don’t Tell Me!

  1. Misterchipster

    Simplified weight loss: REAL FOODS (nothing commercially prepared which adds all the stuff you don’t need and shouldn’t have. Stay with scratch prepared even when you go out avoid locations that portion or pre-pack) IN MODERATION, MOSTLY PLANT BASED.

  2. Todd

    My wife & started our weight loss journey about a year ago. Long story short – we changed the way we ate. We started out using a program called 20/30 Fast Track. It was a rough 1st 30 days, but it worked for us. The program also cost each of us around $300.00. I don’t know if the program itself was the magic bullet, but the combination of shelling out money & having a plan to follow gave us a great start.

    After that my wife used recipes & food combinations from Trim Healthy Mama. During this same time we diligently used MyFitnessPal to track what we ate and used MapMyWalk to track calories consumed on our daily walks. I continue to use them both daily. We have each lost around 45 or 50 lbs in the past year and have kept it off.

    We have the advantage of our kids being adults and moved out of the house. The other thing I cannot overstate the importance of is that we did it together. We have not looked at it as a temporary diet either, it is the new normal for us. We have “cheat” meals & every now and then a “cheat” day. Once it’s over you simply return to what you should eat.

    We both took the time to research the effects foods have on us & took ownership of what we are doing. This is not something you can expect someone else to do for you, you have to make it happen. Just like running a business.

    Over Thanksgiving through New Years I did not pay attention too well. I put on a few pounds and am reminded that it goes on a whole lot easier than it comes off. That was a good lesson for me. A cheat meal or day isn’t a problem…a cheat month isn’t too smart!

    A lot more to say, but I guess the main thing is that it CAN be done. It’s not easy, it requires change and it doesn’t happen over night.

    BTW – another thing I learned: if it says “healthy” on it in big letters – it’s probably not.

  3. Leo

    30 lbs in 30 months is impressive!

    For me to lose weight, I have to avoid restaurants. Every time I eat away from home, I set my weight loss program back 2-3 days.

  4. Victor

    Lloyd, thanks for sharing. Prayers to you for rapid and complete healing.

    Never had a weight problem. Been vegetarian for 40 years. Regular exercise including bike to work 3-4 days/wk. and hiking a few times per month – tennis and skiing, too. I have no interest in talking/reading/hearing about food/diet. I eat when I’m hungry, don’t when I’m not. Avoid processed foods. Pay attention to what foods make me tired and what foods don’t. Regular fasting.

    1. Victor

      Exclusively orange juice one day per week. If one feels one needs it and has the ability, can throw in 3 consecutive days per month from time to time. Add ground almonds to the OJ if you feel you need some extra calories. I’ve been doing it for 2 1/2 years. Haven’t gotten a cold since I started it. Feel a huge boost in immune system, strength, stamina. I got this from a yoga teacher some time ago. It has also reduced cravings for junk/processed food. It was a life changer for me.


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