Sunday, November 1, 2009
Three months ago my friend suggested an idea, an experiment really, to take a hard-core carnivore and make him a vegan for six months to see the effects on weight loss, and improved health. Not me she assured, rather someone else willing to have their vegan food supplemented by a company, and their weight loss and health improvements documented. This was not the first time my friend questioned my health via my eating and drinking habits, so sensing this soft sell I quickly pronounced, “That’s crazy! I would never do that!”
I love the food and drink pleasures of life too much to even think of going vegan! For 10 years I indulged myself in these pleasures, but the only lasting effect is that I am now at least 70 lbs over weight, and have painful knee joints. No matter, give me a bottle of Bordeaux and my giant porterhouse steak dripping in blood and butter any day! I’m happy! Besides, I know how to lose weight, I’ve done it may times before. Bottom line; eat healthfully, and in moderation.
But there is the rub; I don’t do anything in moderation.
So over the past few months as I really thought about it, I realized that that happiness in a juicy steak and fine scotch was instantaneous, but fleeting, while my general unhappiness with the way I felt, and the way I looked was constant. But vegan? Why not vegetarian? Or a moderate diet of chicken and fish and vegetables? Because like most Americans, I battle moderation. My appetite for life is such that if one is good, ten is better! That is called gluttony, and besides being a deadly sin, it is also deadly. It was suggested that I go vegan, and that this company would provide vegan food, i.e. “fake meat,” and it is indisputable that a plant-based diet is the healthiest diet. So, veganism it shall be. Also, to accelerate my weight loss and detoxify my body I will not drink alcohol during this endeavor – I tend to eat poorly when I drink.
Unlike the current crop of popular TV shows I was never obese all my life, quite the contrary; I was thin all my life. I was an athlete from the age of 8 to 28. But, throughout my 30’s I ate and drank to my heart’s (and hardening arteries) content and no amount of advice from doctors or others about my weight gain dissuaded me from having fun. Now, I was never worried about “finally” losing the weight since I would abstain from alcohol during Lent for many years and without increasing my paltry exercise or alter my diet I would still lose 15-20 lbs in 40 days! If I did the South Beach diet I would lose 20 lbs in a month! But all that weight came rushing back like little kids welcoming their dad in a warm embrace after work.
So what started as a gentle suggestion which I swatted away as ludicrous began to grow on me, and I started to think that this is the time, because when I chose to start tomorrow, it never seemed to come. Simply put, if I was going to lose the weight, and keep it off I had to do something drastic. I had to push all my chips to the center of the poker table. I had to be “all in.”
My goal, besides healthier cholesterol, liver, blood pressure, etc., is to get back down to what I weighed my senior year in college. That means my goal is to lose 75 lbs.
November 1st, the vegan quest begins.