Saturday, February 28, 2009

Day 18 - Discouraged

Today is Day 18, and it seems like the scales have been stuck where they've been since Day 15. For the past two weeks, I've noticed a slow and steady drop on the scales every morning, but for the past three days, it's hardly budged.

Maybe it's because I started adding food back into my diet. The Cambridge USA folks say you shouldn't do the Fast Start (Sole Source in the UK) program for more than two weeks unless you are medically supervised.

Although I'm not opposed, at least in theory, to medical supervision, I'm trying to figure out how to pay for such supervision. I recently wrote to the Cambridge USA folks for their medical supervision guidelines, and they recommend the following tests:
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC)
  • Blood Lipid Profile
  • Serum Sodium
  • Serum Potassium
  • Creatinine
  • Uric Acid
  • SGOT
  • Serum T4 (only if clinical hypothyroidism is suspected)
  • Urinalysis for proteinuria
  • Pregnancy Tests
  • Electrocardiogram

Sounds great if you are rich. They also recommend that some doctors might want to repeat the electrocardiogram every 30 lbs lost.

And how much is this going to cost?

I have no idea. The worst thing about the US healthcare system is that costs are not predictable. When you go to the doctor, you know how much the visit will cost, but there's no way to find out what the lab work is going to cost, and how much insurance will cover, until after you get the bill.

It doesn't make sense. It seems that if you are agreeing to purchase something, you should be able to find out the price first and then make the determination as to whether or not you can afford it.

So I've got three choices:
  1. Suck it up, ruin our monthly budget (can you say hello credit cards?) and have all these expensive tests done.
  2. Disregard Cambridge's recommendations for medical supervision and do the Fast Start program for an extended period of time anyway.
  3. Use Cambridge's regular program, which means three shakes and some regular food, which promises a much slower weight loss.
I have no idea what I'm going to do. It's a damn shame that money doesn't grow on trees!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Day 15 - Weigh In

Well this morning I had my second weigh-in since I started the Cambridge Diet. I weighed in at 242.6, which is down 3 lbs since last week. I guess that's a pretty good loss, considering my stupid metabolism never wants to let go of any fat.

Of course I would have been happier if I lost another 7 lbs like I did last week.

Maybe I should cut out the extra food at dinner time. It definitely helps me feel a bit more energetic, but I wonder if it really hampers my weight loss.

The vegetables have to stay, though. Otherwise, I spend way too much trouble running to the bathroom!

I live in a older home, and it's definitely in need of some work. One of my home's many problems is that the water heater doesn't stay hot. It's usually a good idea to run a load of laundry or the dishwasher to use some of the lukewarm water that's stored in the water heater, and then wait about 20 minutes until the burner kicks on. Then, the water coming out of the shower is nice and hot.

Last night, when I took my shower, nobody had run the hot water, so the water coming out of the shower head was just barely warm. I'm the type of person who likes my showers hot. If the water isn't coming out at a temperature warm enough to make my skin turn bright pink by the time I'm done, it doesn't feel particularly satisfying.

So I stood in the shower, water pouring over me, waiting for the water to get hotter.

It never did.

Now the water wasn't cold. It was quite comfortable, but not as hot as I wanted, so I kept standing in the shower, waiting to feel the particular satisfaction I feel when I've had a really hot shower.

It never came.

So I stood under the water, letting it run and run. It never got any hotter, and I finally gave up and got out. As I was drying off, I realized that my experience in the shower reminded me of the way I sometimes deal with food.

There are times when I'll sit down to have something to eat, and it doesn't really satisfy. Perhaps it doesn't taste all that good, or it's really not what I wanted. Whatever the reason, it's not satisfying, but rather than put it away, I'll sit there and keep eating it, hoping that eventually I'll be satisfied anyway.

Interesting parallel.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Day 14 - Anticipation

So tomorrow is day 15, my next scheduled weigh-in.

I am having a dreadful case of scale anxiety.

I know my weight should be down. I've done a good job of sticking to the diet. Although I haven't completely Sole Sourced (or Fast Started as they call it in the US), I've been really careful about the food I've eaten. I haven't had much, and what I have consumed has been heavy on the protein and vegetable side, and low on the unrefined carbs.

When I went out for Japanese food, I had miso soup, some boiled soy beans (because I needed the fiber, if you know what I mean!) and some sashimi. Logic would dictate that I did okay, simply because all my shakes add up to a mere 420 calories. If I'm only having a regular day of so few calories, a few extras shouldn't put me to the point of not losing weight.

When I went out for Mexican food, I only ate a few tortilla chips and I skipped out on the tortillas. I had chicken fajitas, which is basically seasoned meat with veggies. Again, I was really careful, and I tasted the heck out of the food I did eat.

In both cases, I had my third shake for the day about 30 minutes before I went out, so I was already feeling pretty full. Going out to dinner with a full stomach is sort of a self-limiting thing, because there's only so much room in there, and I'm not really interested in gorging myself until I feel sick.

So I think I did okay.

But I'm really scared to step on that scale. What if I didn't lose? What if my planned bits of food just totally ruined my diet? What if? What if?

I guess what worries me most is that I've found with every other diet I've been on that I have to eat next to nothing in order to lose weight slowly. Now that I really am eating next to nothing, I'm scared that the scales won't budge and I'll be stuck in Fat Land forever.

If Cambridge doesn't work, then I guess I have two choices: stay fat forever, or consider getting my stomach stapled.

I really don't want to have my stomach stapled.

Day 14

I've started adding very small portions of dinner with my evening shake, and I have to say that I'm feeling quite a bit better. Basically, I'm limiting myself to 1/2 cup of whatever the family is eating, plus as many veggies as I want.

I'm not eating much, because I take my shake 30 minutes before dinner, so I'm not usually feeling all that hungry by the time I sit down at the table.

I'm not sure how badly this will interfere with my weight loss. I guess I'll find out when I step on the scale tomorrow.

On bit of good news is that it seems to have dried up the extreme diarrhea I've been experiencing. Diarrhea isn't anything new around my house as I've had a problem with dumping syndrome since I had my gallbladder out nine years ago. It's nice things are at least a bit more under control, because it's not fun running to the bathroom 20 minutes after my shake!


Based on yesterday's comment, it looks like some of my dieting buddies from the UK have found their way to my site. Welcome friends! It's nice to know that someone's reading my blog besides me.

I feel especially tired this morning because I've been up since roughly 3:30 AM. I wasn't sleeping well to begin with, and a problem at work started weighing on my mind and I figured I'd better get up and see if I could make any headway with it. This is one of the problems of being self-employed -- it's hard to leave work at the office!

I'm still looking for (and not finding) changes in my body. My clothes fit the same, I look the same in the mirror, and my stomach still gets in my way. I keep hoping that one morning I'll wake up and notice a difference, but so far, no luck!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Day 13

Well, I'm still hanging in there. I did go out and have fajitas with The Wife on Saturday and I still lost weight. I did have a few tortilla chips, and I skipped out on the tortillas with the fajitas. Actually, I wasn't very tempted because our server forgot to bring them and I didn't ask.

I split the plate with The Wife, and I didn't eat any of the rice or beans that came with.

I've experimented with eating a little bit and I'm not sure what to think about it. Last night, The Wife served Hamburger Helper and broccoli for dinner. A standard serving of the Hamburger Helper was about 300 calories, which I thought would be too much. I had a half serving and some broccoli, and felt completely stuffed afterward.

It was nice in one respect, though. I was so tired I went to bed early, and didn't wake up in the middle of the night with hunger pangs. Instead, I woke up at least three times because I had to go pee.

Oh well, it's not like I can have everything. The extra sleep was good, I shouldn't expect that I would have extra and uninterrupted sleep.

I found a UK support group for folks using the UK version of the Cambridge Diet, and I've noticed that a lot of the UK folks consume nothing but the meal replacement shakes for weeks or months at a time. The instructions that come with the US version say you shouldn't do that for more than two weeks at a stretch, unless you are under strict medical supervision.

I wonder if it's because the formulations are completely different, or if the good folks over at Dean Distributors (the people who sell the US version of Cambridge) are afraid of being sued. I've compared the nutritional information of the UK and US versions, and it seems the US version has slightly more calories, carbohydrates, protein and fat. It seems to me that if the UK people can safely consume nothing but shakes for extended periods of time, it's probably safe to do the same on the US version.

Still, I'd feel better following directions, so I'll see about discussing this with my doctor the next time I can afford to go in.

Overall, I'm feeling pretty happy about my weight loss (looks like I've dropped close to 10 lbs, though I won't officially weigh in until Wednesday) but I'm still feeling pretty darn tired. I've gotten used to the shakes, and don't find them nearly as odious as I did in the beginning. The only flavor I can't stand is the Super Oats (porridge). That stuff is nasty no matter what you do to it.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Day 11

We have had a very tough week with The Kid this week. Even though she's 13 years old and should know better, she's been behaving much like a 2-year-old. Even though she simply didn't deserve it, we let her spend the night with a friend simply because we needed a break.

The Wife and I went out to dinner last night. I knew it was technically "cheating" but after such a tough week, we needed to blow off steam. I've also gotta live with this diet for the next however long, and I know if I starve forever without the possibility of ever having any food, it will just be impossible.

The Cambridge USA instructions say you shouldn't exclude food from your program for more than two weeks, anyway. Well, at least that's true if you aren't being medically supervised.

So, last night, we went out and had Japanese food. I tried to be really good. I ordered miso soup, some edemame (boiled soy beans) and some tuna and salmon sashimi.

The miso soup tasted really weird, everything else was good, but I couldn't eat much. I had a shake right before we left, so I was pretty full during dinner. Tonight, The Kid is going to be gone again, and The Wife wants to go out to dinner again.

I'm tempted, but worried this is going to lead me astray too quickly. On the other hand, I'm getting really tired of the shakes. The flavors are growing on me, and things don't taste as bad as they did in the beginning.

I suppose a little fajitas wouldn't hurt.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Day 10

This morning I had to cancel my guitar lesson because I've got a case of the tummy rumbles and I don't want to be more than about 25 feet from the bathroom.

The good news is that I don't feel bad. The bad news is that I know very well not to leave the house right now, or I might end up with an incredible ass explosion that would definitely ruin my day.

What's worse is that these atomic butt blasts are starting to take on the colors of the shakes I've been consuming. The other day, after I'd had several strawberry shakes in a row, I noticed that my bowel movements were taking on a decidedly pinkish cast. At first, I even panicked a little thinking that I was bleeding from "down there."

I felt a lot better when I realized that the pinkish skid marks on my toilet paper were probably nothing more than FD&C Red #40 mixed with poo.

Such a comforting thing to know.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Day 9

I'm feeling a little bit less tired than I have over the past few days, but I definitely don't feel like my usual self. Not that I'm all that energetic on most days, but I feel even less energetic than usual.

Last night I had one of the chocolate shakes and I mixed it with a 1/4 tsp of peppermint flavoring. The end result was actually pretty decent. I think I'm starting to get used to the shakes, because they don't seem to taste quite as blah as they did in the beginning.

I guess if you get hungry enough, anything will taste good.

I've started dreaming about what life might be like when I'm thin, and it's frustrating when I wake up surrounded by fat. I can't see any difference yet in the way my clothes fit or the way I look in the mirror, and that adds to my frustration.

Of course I keep reminding myself that I didn't get fat overnight, so I'm not going to get thin overnight, either. It didn't help that this morning the scale hadn't moved from yesterday. So far, I've seen a small, but consistent drop every single day, but this morning it didn't budge.

Maybe the gourmet orange I had at breakfast, or the peppermint flavoring did it.

Probably not. I have a hard time seeing how the 89 calories found in a large orange can ruin your diet, when you are only consuming a total of 420 per day.

I e-mailed the folks at Cambridge USA and asked them for the medical guidelines to give to my physician so she can monitor my progress. I won't be able to afford a doctor's appointment for at least another month, since it turns out we owe the IRS additional money for taxes this year.

I have to choose to pay the IRS before I can afford to go visit my doctor. It's a sad commentary on American life, isn't it?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Day 8 - The Good, Bad and Ugly

Well today is day 8, which means I've completed a full week on the Cambridge Diet.

The Good - I lost 7 lbs the first week.

The Bad - I have a scale that measures your body composition through electrical impedance. So far my % of body fat hasn't budged.

The Ugly - I am really fighting fatigue. I haven't walked in a week because it's been raining gangbusters. Today was the first morning without rain, but I didn't walk this morning as I was just too tired.

I'm also noticing that it's way too easy to make me cry. Last night, The Wife decided to make dinner for herself and The Kid first. I went into the bathroom to take a shower, and as soon as I did, the heater kicked in and wafted the smell of their tamales throughout the house. Even though I only had to wait about 15 minutes for my shake, I found myself laying down on the bed having a good cry.

I managed to hide it pretty well from The Wife and The Kid, and I feel incredibly stupid. It shouldn't be this hard to stick to a dumb old diet.

Yesterday afternoon I was so fuzzy-brained that I gave in and had one of our gourmet oranges. It sure tasted good, and I felt better for a while. I was a little hungrier at dinner time, which may have contributed to the tears. Once again I woke up in the middle of the night absolutely starving. At least this time, I didn't dream about stuffing my face full of food while watched by an audience of super-obese folks.

So far, I've been averaging a loss of 1 lb per day. If this keeps up, only 127 more days to go!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Day 7

It seems that the two hardest times of the day are evenings and the middle of the night. I'm finding it very difficult not to obsess on food after my work for the day is done and there's nothing to do but sit around and wait until bedtime. Normally, some of that time would be occupied by the making, eating, and cleaning up dinner. Now, my evenings consist of slurping down a shake and waiting for bedtime.

I've been taking my evening shower much earlier, and hitting the sack earlier, too. It's just not much fun watching other people eat.

The middle of the night seems to be the toughest part. For the past few nights, my empty stomach has started rumbling and I've found myself wide awake and really hungry. The "good" news, if I can call it that, is that it's just stomach hunger. I've found when I get really hungry, I'll start to get headachy and come down with muscle cramps. I haven't had any of that, but my stomach has made it a point to shriek me awake in the middle of the night.

Last night I woke up to my yelling stomach, and I resisted the temptation to get out of bed and eat. Instead, I lay quietly running my hands over my body trying to see if I could feel any difference. When I finally fell asleep again, I found myself dreaming that I was stuffing my face with KFC chicken. I was peeling the skin off, and eating mounds of the greasy chicken. All the while, I had a dream audience of super obese people. They stood around staring at me, while their stomachs flopped around their knees.

I guess you can tell what is on my mind!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Day 6

Last night, The Kid came to me practically in tears. She wanted to start taking Carnation Instant Breakfast as a meal replacement, because she thought it "wasn't fair" that I was stuck consuming nothing but the Cambridge shakes. I told her that since she was slim, she didn't need to lose any weight.

"Although I don't mind if you have the Carnation Instant Breakfast once in a while because you like it," I told her, "it's not healthy for you to have it all the time. You aren't obese like I am, and you don't need to lose weight."

Then I lied to the kid. I told her I wasn't hungry, and I didn't feel at all bad about what I was doing.

"I'm doing this of my own free will," I said, "and nobody is forcing me to do this. I'm doing it because I'm very overweight, and I really need to lose a lot of weight to be healthy."

The Kid didn't seem very satisfied with my explanation, but at least it dried up her tears.

The truth is, I don't like Cambridge any more than The Kid does, but it has to be done. I've tried just about every diet out there, and it takes too long to get the weight off and eventually I get frustrated and give up because I'm not losing weight.

I know Cambridge works.

I realize it might not be the healthiest way of doing things, but I know that if I stick to the diet, I will lose the weight. Of course once I've lost it, I'll still have the huge challenge of keeping it off, but I guess I'll worry about that when I get there.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Day 5

Friday the 13th turned out to be less-than-wonderful for my diet. We had an ugly explosion at our house. The Kid did something Really Bad, and I was so much at the end of my rope with her that I decided to leave The Wife in charge and I went to pay my mother an overnight visit. I did pack my shake mix, but when I got to my mother's house, I decided I didn't want to tell her I was on a diet.

It turned out my mom had eaten a late lunch and wasn't very hungry, we had a few olives, some carrots and a handful of peanuts. I was starving, but I lied and told my mother I too had a late lunch and wasn't hungry.

In the morning, my mother fixed oatmeal. I had one serving, and went really easy on the brown sugar.

"My you are being good," she noticed as she heaped her bowl with the sweet brown stuff.

We had a late lunch of green beans, chicken tender strips, and baked potato. I limited the amount of butter I put on my beans and potato, and stopped at three chicken strips. The baked potato was very small, not even the size of my fist, so I figured I'd be okay.

I was still hungry after lunch, even though I'd had heaping (and probably harmless) seconds on the green beans. I wanted to eat more chicken, but I figured that if my mother could be satisfied with two strips, I darn well should be satisfied with three. I came home hungry, but skipped dinner, figuring I'd done enough damage for one day.

I went to bed hungry.

This morning I weighed myself and discovered I had still lost weight. I thought it would be really hard to get back to my shakes this morning, but it wasn't as bad. So far, it looks like I've lost about 6.5 lbs since I started. I know it's probably all water and no fat, but it's gratifying to see the numbers go down, anyway.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Day 3

Yesterday I tried one of the nutrition bars. They are much better than the shakes I've tried, but I then later read one isn't supposed to have them when they are working the Fast Start plan.


I also had one of our gourmet oranges around lunch time. There's no way I'm going to let them go to waste, considering they are part of a very expensive fruit of the month club. The Wife and I have wanted to subscribe to the club for years, and this past year was the first time we could afford the luxury.

I am gonna eat my oranges, darn it! Considering that the shakes only add up to about 440 calories, I'm sure one measly orange isn't going to ruin my diet.

Other than feeling tired and cold, I seem to be holding my own. For the most part, I haven't felt particularly hungry. Last night was the exception, and I really thought my stomach was going to gnaw its way out of my abdomen. I think the problem was that had one of the nutrition bars for dinner when I shouldn't have, and we went out to see a play at a local theater. I was up way past my usual bedtime, and I think I ran out of gas because I was still awake long after I would usually be sleeping.

On the drive home my stomach was screaming. I was so hungry I felt a little nauseated.

When we arrived home, I took a hot shower and climbed into bed. I thought my stomach would keep me awake, but I was tired enough that I fell asleep pretty quickly. I felt much better this morning, and didn't feel hungry at all.

I'm having a little trouble getting my shake down this morning. As I've said before, the stuff doesn't taste bad, but I've gagged a couple of times as I've tried to choke down the strawberry. It seems the only way I can get it down is to alternate sips of the shake with gulps of water.

I just keep telling myself to put on my big girl panties and take my medicine.

I haven't noticed any change in my body yet, and I wonder how long it will be before I start noticing a difference. The scale is already claiming I'm losing weight, but I won't post my official progress until I've been on the diet a full week.

Before I got out of bed this morning, I found myself running my hands all over my body and wondering what it would feel like if I actually manage to lose the weight. It's been 20 years since I've been thin, and I can't remember what it was like. I've been overweight for most of my life, and the brief time I was thin in college was really an exception and not the rule.

It's an interesting question to ponder. I hope I get there.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Day 2

I had another strawberry shake for dinner, and it wasn't much better or worse than the one I'd had for lunch. I didn't particularly feel at all hungry, and it wasn't particularly hard to resist eating, since I didn't join The Wife and The Kid at the table. Although they are certainly feeling a little unhappy that I'm not sitting down with them, I didn't see how I could possible sit at the table and watch them eat fried chicken while I had nothing but a strawberry shake.

Fortunately, a buddy of mine stopped by while they were eating. He'd already had dinner, so we sat on the sofa and chatted while The Wife and The Kid ate their meal. My friend was very much a welcome distraction, though if he had not stopped by, I probably would have sat down in front of my computer for a while.

As a side note, the instructions on the shake mix say mix it with cold water. Follow that advice. The shakes taste much better if they are ice cold.

This morning's breakfast was more Super Oats. They came out especially vile this morning because The Wife mixed them up for me. She knows that I usually like my oatmeal really thick, so she prepared them the same way as my regular oats. Regular oats taste good thick and chunky, but the Super Oats come out a consistency of glue. I ended up having to drink about a half liter of water along with my Super Oats glue to get them down. It didn't help that The Wife also sprinkled way too much cinnamon and nutmeg on them.

They weren't terrible, but they were definitely not delicious.

I'm still feeling cold this morning. The house is chilly because the outside temperatures are low enough that our aging heating system is having trouble keeping up. I started the day smarter than I did yesterday, making sure to put on my heavy jacket, socks and shoes before I felt really chilled. Yesterday, I spent most of the day shivering, and didn't fully warm up until I stood under the steaming hot shower for 20 minutes.

I've been making every effort to drink extra water, which is of course sending me running to the bathroom every 15 minutes. I didn't sleep very well last night because I had to make multiple trips, and then had trouble going back to sleep.

Other than feeling a little tired, I guess I'm doing okay. I don't feel particularly hungry.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cambridge - Day One Lunch

For today's lunch, I decided to try a shake. I chose the strawberry Food for Life formula, hoping it would be the tastiest. I tried the chocolate when I got some free samples a while back, and I remembered the original vanilla flavor from when I tried it in the 1980's, so I was hoping for some real strawberry action.

My opinion of the strawberry flavor can be expressed in one word: meh.

It's not bad, but I can't honestly say the stuff tickles my taste buds in any pleasurable way. The mix doesn't have a very intense strawberry flavor, nor is it very sweet-tasting. I was hoping for something that tasted like the strawberry instant breakfast, but it definitely misses the mark.

I've read reports from many Cambridge users that they are extremely hungry on the first day. I haven't found it to be true. I'm not particularly hungry. I don't feel at all different from yesterday, except for the fact that I have a bit of a headache and I'm freezing cold. I'm not sure that I can blame it on Cambridge, though. I didn't sleep well last night, which could explain the headache, and the reason I'm cold probably has more to do with the fact that our house is only a chilly 65 degrees right now. Our house is old and poorly insulated, and it's cold enough outside that the heater can't really keep up.

I hate winter.

Cambridge - Day One

Yesterday afternoon, while I was gone on an outing, the Big Brown Truck made an appearance at my house and left behind a box. The box contained my first shipment of Cambridge Diet, which I'd been both anticipating and dreading.

I'd ordered the 30-day starter package. It contained six cans of their food replacements, a shaker, instruction books, a tape measure, an introductory audio CD, and some samples of their drink mix and nutrition bars. I'd ordered oats, vanilla, chocolate, cappuccino and two cans of strawberry. For some reason, I ended up with no cappuccino and three strawberry, which probably will be fine, since I'm not a big coffee drinker, anyway.

I'd originally planned to do two weeks of their Fast Start program, which limits you to three of their meal replacements per day. That plan was immediately tossed out the window when I learned we received a box of gourmet oranges in the mail. They'll spoil before the two weeks are finished, so I'm going to do a modified Fast Start program -- three shakes a day, plus one of the gourmet oranges.

This morning, I started with the Super Oats. I mixed it up plain, exactly as the instructions described. It came out the consistency of really thick oatmeal. Although I wouldn't describe the taste as bad, I wouldn't describe it as good, either. I sprinkled some cinnamon on top, after a couple of bites, hoping it would improve the flavor. It didn't help much. Instead of semi-flavorless glop, I ended up with a bowl of cinnamon-flavored, flavorless glop.

If I was going to rate the taste on a scale of one to ten, where one was unpalatable, and ten was the best thing I'd ever eaten, I'd probably rank this about a four or a five. It's not terrible, but it's definitely nowhere near delicious. If anybody tries to convince you that this stuff is delicious, they probably need a bonk upside the head with a clue-by-four. Nevertheless, at least this morning, the stuff was edible.

We'll see how lunch and dinner go.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Waiting for Doom

On Tuesday, I finally did it. I ordered a month's supply of the Cambridge Diet. Now I feel much like a prisoner waiting for his execution date. I know that very soon a brown, box-shaped truck will deliver a package, and I'll be eating my last supper for a while.

I suspect I won't be eating meals with the family for a while. I think it's going to be too hard to stick to the diet while watching them stuff their faces with food. It will only be for a few weeks, though, so hopefully it won't be too unbearable.

If this lady could lose 125 lbs in six months on Cambridge, I'm sure I can achieve similar results.

If I stick to the diet.

And to be honest, I guess that really is a big if, considering that every other diet I've tried has been unsustainable over the long haul. Sure, I've lot weight. I've never been able to keep it off, though, because the amount of food I can allow myself to eat to maintain my weight is far less than I like. To stay thin, I have to be hungry, and it gets pretty tiresome after a while.

But maybe six months of this will at least get me to a more desirable weight, and then I can try and figure something out when I get there.

The Daily Walk

Since the first of the year, The Wife and I have been attempting to walk every morning. We've been making the effort, but haven't made it every day because of a variety of reasons. The Wife caught a bad cold, and in combination with her asthma, she didn't feel well enough for walking. Then we had several days of pouring down rain. Since we live in an area that isn't all that rainy, nobody in the house owns a raincoat or umbrella, so wimped out in favor of staying dry.

The Kid has been pretty instrumental in foiling our plans for walking. In a nutshell, she Does Not Want To Walk. Several mornings, I've practically had to drag her out of bed, threatening to make her walk in her pajamas.

A few nights ago, she complained that she didn't think it was fair she had to walk, because she wasn't the one who was overweight. She quite thoroughly rubbed our parental noses in the fact that while we are both too fat, she's just fine, thank you very much.

So it gave me great pleasure when her pediatrician bawled her out and told her she needed to exercise more. Although the doctor agreed that The Kid was not overweight, she felt that The Kid was spending too much time in her room.

So now, The Kid has to go walk with us every morning. Doctor's orders.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Cambridge Diet

Well, I've been thinking about this for a while, and I know I really need to do something to get my weight down. The December holidays were extremely unkind to me, and even though I've making a dedicated effort to walking 2.5 to 3 miles each day, my holiday weight gain hasn't budged at all.

The "lose weight slowly" idea isn't working. I feel like I'm riding a roller coaster -- at the end of a bumpy ride, I end up right back where I started.

So today I took the plunge, and I bought a 30-day supply of the Cambridge Diet. Yeah, I know it's probably not healthy, and yeah, I know I should probably do something else like counting calories, joining Weight Watchers, or just about anything else, but the idea of being on a diet for another year, and having nothing to show for it in the end is really discouraging.

I've been trying to lose weight since April 2007, and I've made virtually no progress. It sucks. I'm tired of being fat, and I'm tired of everything taking for [expletive deleted] ever.

This lady lost 125 pounds on Cambridge in six months. A very nice lady named Janet from Cambridge Direct Sales answered a bunch of questions I had about the product and sent me a few samples. I can't say the stuff tastes yummy, but it's at least edible.

So, why not?

To silence the worriers out there in cyberspace, I will mention what I'm doing when I see my doctor next. My next appointment will be sometime between now and May when one of my prescriptions runs out. I'm going to delay as long as possible so perhaps I'll be able to re-lose the weight I lost before my last doctor visit. If I don't, I know I'll end up setting myself up for a rash of nagging I really don't want to hear.

Yeah, I'm fat. I get it. Quit nagging.

Well my doctor isn't really that much of a nag. She's morbidly obese, too, but I think she went and had her stomach stapled a while back. The past few times I've had an appointment with her, she's appeared to be smaller, and she has mentioned that fateful question at least once. "Have you considered weight loss surgery?"

Um, yeah, I have considered it, and I have only one answer:

No thanks.

I've had more than my fair share of troubles with GI upset and diarrhea since I had my gallbladder out nine years ago. I'm not going to invite someone to cut me open and scramble my already-malfunctioning insides even further. Besides, my health insurance won't pay for anything they consider to be elective surgery.

Of course that doesn't make sense -- they are willing to absorb the high costs of treating heart disease, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, but they aren't willing to cover a procedure that might help people not get those conditions in the first place.

But that's okay, because I wouldn't let someone perform that surgery on me, even if they paid me.