What does LCHF stand for? “Low Carb High Fat.” As those of you who read my blog know, I watched a movie back in March called “Fat Head” (available for free on Hulu.com or live streaming on Netflix). It was the first time I heard someone tell me that carbs are bad for you (as in, they cause cancer, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, etc) and fat is good for you. I tried the Atkins diet a few years ago, but I just followed the rules, I didn’t pay attention to the science or the principles behind it.
Let me give you my history. I am going to be open and honest here. I am five foot nine. I’ve always had a big frame. When I was in high school I weighed between 180 and 190 pounds. I ran track, cross country, played football, and was pretty athletic. I was not “fat,” and yet the government told me I was (see this chart.) I went to college and got a job as a “package handler” at a shipping company. I started adding muscle and when I met my wife, I looked pretty good. (Disclaimer: “the older we get, the better we were” applies here.)
Then I got a job sitting at a desk. My diet was poor and my life had become sedentary. I started to pack on the pounds until, at age 23 I weighed 250 lbs. I had to buy two new suits in 1998 because I didn’t fit in my old ones anymore. Now I was fat.
I tried several diets to get rid of the extra weight., but nothing worked. Over the past 13 years my weight has fluctuated between 245 and 270, until this past winter, when I got up to 285, my heaviest ever. I realized that I either needed to do something or buy bigger clothes, since mine were all too tight.
Then in March 2011 I got sick. It was just a cold, but it hung on for over two weeks, and made me sit around most of the time. I watched the Fat Head documentary on Netflix. The weight loss started when I ditched the carbohydrates. Even though I’ve lost 30 pounds, I still feel like I haven’t done much, since I am still in my “normal” range where I’ve been for the past 13 years. I told my wife that I don’t feel like I’m doing anything until I get down under 245. That’s still ten pounds away. I’m losing slowly, but I guess that’s the healthy way to do it.
I’m reading a book called Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. This book gives details on studies done over the past hundred years, showing that fat is good for you, and carbohydrates (bread, pasta, sugar, oatmeal) are bad for you. Revolutionary stuff.
It is taking me a while to adjust my thinking. I go to the store, and see things that say “low fat!” and even though I know better now, I get the feeling that “low fat is good for me, high fat is bad. Salt is bad, bread is good, etc” It’s hard to adjust your thinking after being told your whole life that 2+2=5.
It felt really good this weekend when I went to work and someone who hadn’t seen me in a few weeks said, “Wow! You’ve lost weight!” And it wasn’t the question of someone being polite (you know, “have you lost weight?”), it was a declaration that she could tell I was less large. And then at church yesterday someone told me the same thing. “I can see it in your face,” he said.
I’m jogging about two miles every other day (slowly building it up), I haven’t taken the elevator at work for over a month now (and I work on the 5th floor). My plan is to get down to my college weight of 200 lbs by hunting season (November) at the latest. This is a journey. I didn’t gain 95 pounds in a month or two, and I’m not going to lose 95 pounds in a month or two. Ideally I’d like to get down to 180, but I’ll be happy at 200lbs. Updates to follow over the next several months.