Fat, Dumb, & Happy Day 7

Sunday, March 16, 2014  – 221.4


Earlier in the year I had intended to begin exercising and tried running. I liked it – even though when I was doing it the temperature was near zero. I was running for about 10 minutes tops each day, which isn’t much, but since I haven’t run since I was in primary school it was a big improvement. I liked running outside as opposed to the treadmill, which I think is somewhat soul-deadening compared to running outside in the real world.

But then my knees began to hurt. A lot.

I’ve seen the T-Shirts that say ‘pain is the weakness leaving your body’ – very macho – but I also know a number of my contemporaries who have had hip and knee replacements. No matter how cool titanium joints sound, I would prefer NOT to have one, thank-you-very-much.

My plan ‘B’ for this is to try again after losing 30 pounds so there’s less weight pounding on my knees I’ll try again.

In the meantime, I’ve been given the opportunity to get my exercise in another way – one that is low-impact and much more gentle for fat folks trying to get a little exercise: swimming.

It was nothing I pursued – it sort of found me.

A local drama that made the papers, good intentions, and mismanagement led to the construction of a beautiful building intended to be a Jewish Community College. It was funded by a huge donation by a generous benefactor, but cost overruns and overoptimism led to the whole project collapsing and the generous benefactor left with a huge, unfinished, empty building.

The generous benefactor, now a reluctant landlord with a white elephant on his hands needed to do *something* with this facility, and leased it to a local family who decided to open a ‘family-friendly’ athletic club.

I like that. It’s not a muscle-head gym, but a place where families can come with their kids and feel welcome and comfortable.

My wife came home one day and announced she signed the family up for a membership. The place hadn’t even opened.

I figure it’s water under the bridge *now* – I might as well see if I can get some return on the investment.

I got to test it out for the first time this morning. It is an olympic-size salt-water pool – I never knew salt-water pools existed. I did 20 laps.

I must be honest and state that I can’t swim – I only know how to propel myself through the water and avoid drowning. It’s not flailing, but a rather graceless yet workable facsimile of ‘swimming’.

I have no fear of the deep water because my ample adipose tissue causes me to bob like a cork.

With my poor form, swimming side by side with people who actually know how to swim, I shamelessly made a fool of myself if there was anyone there watching and judging me – but being of an age and disposition where I don’t much care what people think of me most of the time, I was unselfconscious and quite enjoyed the experience.

It was also a bit of a timing test. Much of my life, with kids and school and schedules and work and meetings sometimes requires down-to-the minute timing to make sure I can get done what needs to be done. From the time I left the house, got there, got undressed, got in the pool, did the 20 laps, got out, dried, dressed, left and got home and threw the bathing suit and towel in the dryer was 55 minutes total – I might be able to make that work.

I can get there at 5am on weekdays when they open, be back a little before 6am, have 20 minutes to chill with some coffee, then wake the kids and go through the morning routine of having my younger daughter to before-school daycare by 7:30, then head off to work and be there between 8:30 and 9am.

Could not only be workable, but enjoyable – oh – and good for me as well.

It bears repeating because it’s so important: I’m not exercising because it will help me lose weight! That doesn’t work except for the most dedicated gym rat with plenty of spare time. Exercising to lose weight is a myth perpetuated by people who sell gym equipment, athletic club memberships and sports accessories.

You can sit on your fat ass, diet, and end up with a much less fat ass without a lick of exercise. I did.

The reason to exercise is because it’s good for you – if you can manage not to hurt yourself doing it. There is ALSO a booming industry in repairing the injuries of exercisers who hurt themselves. A friend who was about as physically fit as one could imagine and looks way younger than his age (mid 50s) just got a hip replacement. Why? All that damn exercise – that’s why!

Exercise because you like it, because it is good for your health, and because it can make you feel better psychologically. Don’t EVER think it will help you lose weight – the chances of this are thin (pun intended).


The feeling of being on the clock never ends. The moment I came home from the athletic club, my daughter needed to go to her lacrosse practice. I have no idea what lacrosse *is* – something involving a ball and long sticks with tiny fishing nets at the end – but my daughter seems to be interested so – whatever.

Coming home I had to help my younger daughter practice piano. Before that, however, I decided to make something with the crockpot. In another experiment I threw in a can of tomatoes, a pound of grass-fed gound beef, 2 bags of frozen artichoke hearts, some lelftover sliced onions, some aging mini sweet peppers and the remainder of the taco mix that was masquerading as smoked paprika (and threw away the container). lastly – 20 shakes of Tabasco sauce. I left that to cook, did the piano practice with my daughter, then needed to take her to ballet, then take her to her piano lesson, then come home and do dishes and clean the house.

Along the way I found two abandoned hard-boiled eggs. I had these with a few splashes of low carb ketchup. I’m not much for hard-boiled eggs but I’m a big fan of ketchup. they went well together. I should remember to do this more. Eggs are a perfect food – relatively cheap for even the highest-quality eggs, easy to cook, and packed with top-notch nutrients, protein and fat –  and hard-boiled eggs are convenient.

I also had a tiny brie, packed in a small plastic container.

I’ve been in ketosis continuously since day 2 and I still feel the ‘water in the gas line’ feeling where waves of energy appear, then falter, then appear again. Occasionally a slight headache appears, then disappears as well. Again, nothing unexpected – and certainly beats how I felt when eating a lot of carbs – perhaps I was more miserable than I realized.

9 pm

I ate a lot in the evening, though all of it low carb – if not as low carb as I would have liked.

I avoided the pasta, the cake and the pie that was about had my crockpot dish of ground beef, tomatoes, & artichokes. In fact, I had three bowls. The fact that I didn’t put in too much seasoning brought out the natural flavors of the meat and vegetables.

But I was still hungry.

I ended up having a half-bottle of wine while eating pork rinds with cream cheese. I had a lot of cream cheese – perhaps half the package. Again, right now the focus is on sticking to the right foods and not necessarily portion control.

The wine as concerning. It doesn’t make me fat in itself and is low carb, but it stalls me at least until it gets out of my system. The worse part is it’s potential to get me into carb-gobbling mischief. I thought this was it – the screw up I’d been waiting for. But it didn’t happen.

Before bed I finished up 2 cups of the drinkable yogurt and went straight off to sleep.

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