Thursday, January 24, 2013

part four: the sandwich armistice

This is part four of Indy's terrifying HCG diet series. Here's part 1, part 2, and part 3.  

Well it’s the morning of my eighth day on this diet, and I have some updates for y’all. First things first-I now weigh 206.2 lbs. That’s a whopping 11.4 lbs of weight loss in one full week. Booyah. I haven’t weighed this little in over a year, and I can actually see a difference when I look in the mirror. My face looks thinner, my clothes are fitting better, and my abs are hesitantly coming out of hiding ala the French “resistance” after the Americans have already chased the Germans out. That’s the good news. The bad news is that, while I technically haven’t felt physically hungry while eating like a shipwreck survivor (if you thought I was going to take the bait and continue my last analogy, you are nuts), psychologically I have not been without difficulties.

While I will say that the hunger pangs dissipated after the first couple of days, my love for food did not. Guys, the whole reason I am on this diet is that I love food. If I didn’t, I could just do what a lot of dieters do and eat bland food in moderation indefinitely. I would rather have a heart attack at 65 than eat cardboard until I’m 90. My grandkids might not know me very well, but I’m sure they’ll take it in stride. Anyway, after a couple of days not being able to eat what I want, I started fantasizing about things I would rather be eating. I would sit around and say things like “Mandy, you know what would be awesome right now?..(insert something absurdly unhealthy here)” I would construct elaborate meals in my mind and describe them with a far away look in my eyes.

At first, I would only think about foods that I would have chosen before my diet started. This didn’t bother me too much. What I didn’t expect was to start craving food that I would have snubbed my nose at any other time. Confession: I hate sandwiches. Hate at a conceptual level. Why in the name of Anthony Bordain would anyone take flavorful things like meat, cheese, etc and hide them between a double carbohydrate wall of blandness? I know that the rest of the world vehemently disagrees with this assertion, and I don’t have the physical energy to argue my position as I would have a week ago. Just know that I am against the very idea of a sandwich down to my very core. Two days ago, I caught myself craving a sandwich-any sandwich. Seriously? Have my standards fallen so low? I don’t even know who I am anymore.  

I’m usually pretty graceful around other people who are eating the way the good Lord intended. I keep my mouth shut (lest a rogue Dorito find its way in), I sit on my hands (to avoid bludgeoning my friends and family-Lord of the Flies style), and I try not to make any comments at all (if you can’t say anything non-manipulative in an attempt to make someone abandon their food…). I’ve actually asked my wife to eat things I’m craving so I can live vicariously through her in some sick voyeuristic spectacle. I got her a burrito from Chipotle yesterday, and it was only about 80% for her.

So after one week, how is this diet going? Well I’ve lost a lot of weight very quickly. That’s good. I miss real food every second of every day. That’s bad. Conclusion: it’s all about what you want and how strong your will power is (did you really expect a doctor to give a straight answer about anything?) Weight loss is simple math. Your body burns a certain number of calories per day (you can find calculators online). If you take in fewer calories than you burn, you lose weight. Every 3500 calories you burn more than you take in equals a pound of body fat lost. You could do it without the HCG. The HCG is just a helping hand. It makes you less physically hungry and causes your body to preferentially burn fat over muscle. Bottom line, this diet only fails when you do. If you subtract a larger number from a smaller one, you get a negative value. Your genetics don’t hold sway over physical reality. As long a you can deal with the short-term misery, you can do this diet.

Two more installments to follow: One after the diet is over and another 3 months after that. 

*Editor's note: Watch this. It's awesome. Also, I talked to Indy a few days ago, and it seemed like he was going to do any second. So there's your juxtaposition. But even if there wasn't, I would have still linked this video. Because I can't quit watching it.


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