From Fat Nerd to Chic Geek – Week 2

So a handful of interesting revelations. First and foremost – I ate way too little in my first week. I was coming in around 1200 calories a day, and I needed to be chomping 1700. This came as a significant surprise to me. An unpleasant one at that. A couple conversations with my trainer revealed the amount of data I didn’t know. To me, coming in lower was fine – hell that was good. That meant I was burning even more calories and thus consuming more fat. This is not accurate.

Coming in low like that when you’re doing physical activity actually triggers what you might call your metabolism’s defense mechanisms. As I understand it, biochemically, your brain thinks you’re in some sort of distress as regards nutrition. So the protein you were saving up for rebuilding the muscles you destroy while lifting is exhausted first, as the best and most readily available source of energy. Muscles that aren’t rebuilt don’t get stronger. The opposite can actually even happen. The fats and carbohydrates that you were feeding your body to sustain it so that it could use the proteins for muscles? Nah, that stuff just gets dumped and converted to fat. Your brain’s assumption is that you’re low on food supplies, so anything it can easily store for the future gets stored. That’s a lot, apparently. I dunno.

I lost a tremendous amount of weight when I stopped drinking anything but water. It was actually an alarming amount, which is what prompted my trainer to get a little feistier with the dietary monitoring. He wanted me to now fill in the meals as I go – something I apparently should have been doing all along – so that I could see where I wasn’t eating enough and where I was coming up short and what not. I admit this helped – but even eating six times a day I’m still not cracking the 1,700 mark. I’m also not getting anywhere near the 2,000 calorie mark on the days when I lift, where I’m supposed to eat the tons more protein.

And honestly, who can be bothered with this? I still can’t believe people live this way while trying to maintain other portions of their lives. When I make food that would have lasted me three days before I started this, it lasts me the remainder of the day. The remainder of the day. I hate cooking – I’m not super good at it, and I’m not the most terribly patient person. On Friday, I tried to multitask while cooking pierogi. (for the future, even. I’d already eaten my share for the day! It was an exercise in delayed gratification for me. One of my problems as a fatty fat is that, when I made food, I wanted to eat it right then. I had a really hard time understanding that it was okay to wait until later for all that work to be worth it. This is a lesson you must teach children, and somehow I had struck it from my memory.)

It did not go well. In fact, astute observers of my personal world will note I nearly burned my damn face off. I had hot oil do that little pop-and-explode thing and it splashed on my face. It was not yet hot enough to cause serious damage other than a totally manly and not childish yelp followed by a totally heroic and not skittish effort to get the pan off the heat and covered. I may have held a glass lid in a manner approximating the way you might hold a shield to keep a dragon at bay. I will confirm nothing.

Even with a guinness on that day (what I had intended to be my real cheat of the week) with it’s 210 calories and 18g of carbohydrates, I came up shy of requirements. Saturday and Sunday were awash with bad decisions related to travelling. When you’re poor and hanging out with poor friends, it’s very difficult to be insistent or picky about what you eat. That said, I didn’t like making the bad decisions. I just felt they were necessary. In fact, I regret them. That’s a good step in the right direction for me, mentally. Normally, when I eat bad-for-you-but-delicious foods, it wasn’t an exercise in savoring a rare occasion. It was an exercise in satisfying my unending, unbending gluttony. That is already beginning to change. I kind of can’t wait to eat healthy again and get back on track. And I was only off track for two days. One and a half, really.

It’s an interesting change, to say the least. Oh, also? I got trainer approval for burrito-y goodness. That was the hotness. The salsa was, at any rate. The rest of it was mild. But delicious.

And last but not least, let’s pour one out for Hostess. Seems like as soon as one uberfatty like me goes on a diet to avoid an inevitable spiral into heart disease and diabetes, I’ve destroyed an American Institution.

I feel like they should just find me in the vat where they make the twinky batter out of sugar and baby souls, eating their way to profitability. And when my roommates comes up to the outside of the glass and puts his hand against it, I’ll say “The needs of the fatties…outweigh…the needs of the few. Or…in this case…the one.

You have been, and shall always be… my… friend.”

And then I drown in Twinky batter. Fuck, that’s morbid.