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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Another way

This is part of a chain.  If you haven't read seeking healty diet  please do so.

Another way walked past my desk one day at work.  Was I open to it?

A friend of mine walked past my desk.  A particular friend whom I just happened to really admire, I'll refer to him as K.  I looked at K and said "wow did you lost some weight"?  Now, I didn't say wow because he was overweight and I was shocked to see his body composition move towards the lean side.  No, I said wow, because I always thought of him as a fit, in good shape, 40 something adult male.  So K went on to explain to me that he has been on the Atkins diet for 3 months and has lost a lot of fat while eating till his hearts content, pun intended.  If life is an amusement park, this was the beginning of a new ride that started out awesome and keeps getting better.

My brain heard Atkins and ever present attendant quickly gave me two ideas.
1.  This wasn't to much of an idea as it was a feeling.  I experienced the feeling of warning, un-popular, like I felt a little ashamed as if the A word should not be said out loud.

2.  I remembered back in middle school when my grand parents talked to my parents about this Atkins diet they were on.  At the time I was very lean and thought about diet as much as I thought about retirement.  I remember their big point was that Atkins worked better than other diets because when presented with fat, protein, or sugar the body would preferentially burn sugar so it would never get to the fat, because by the time you are hungry again you eat more sugar.  I also learned that carbohydrates break down to sugar.  I remember really liking this idea at the time.  It made sense.  Sense is good.

I felt guilty about #1 because of what "every one" else thinks about it.  Sorta like...remember in elementary school when everyone loved Michael Jackson, then a few years later everyone hated michael jackson but secretly liked him still, and then later on loved him again...yea like that.  I had respect for Atkins though because of my memory of #2.  I didn't let the negative overwhelm me.  So I approached K with openness and curiosity.  He went on to tell me how he ate, how he felt, why he did it, and some about how it works.  I remember looking at my desk seeing a bunch of bananas, a bag of apples, and oranges, a box of cliff bars, and bags of tuna.  High carb, low fat, calorie restriction.  Here were very clearly two worlds colliding.  Looking back I think I was really lucky because I wasn't afraid of fat.  I was just doing what men's health magazine told me to do, because I wanted abs, and to look like the guys on their magazine covers!  Not a bad goal, and actually it's one that I still have.

Being open minded I started to look up Atkins and low carb.  I quickly found a diet forum where I saw there was this one guy that was answering every ones questions.  With some digging I was able to find his email address and started a several month open dialog about How and why Atkins worked.  I was so happy that he responded.  It turns out he was a scientist by trade, and what he said to me vastly opened up my world view.

Ultimately body composition comes down to hormones.

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