Thursday, June 5, 2008

Men's only diet

I'm a person whose dedication to health is questionable at best.

My breakfast sometimes consists of a cup of coffee (times 3), and occasionally I'll have a lunchtime dessert - minus the lunch. Exercise is a foreign word (although I need to do something about that.)

But I do read lables more carefully now, trying to cut out the fat where possible. While I used to be a frozen dinner junkie, I'm convinced that a skull and crossbones should appear next to the nutrtional information on some meals.

But 18 months ago, I got tired of the spare tire I carried around my waist. I was by no means obese - 5' 10" and 205 lbs. isn't bad if you're carrying muscle (I was not). But my waistline started approaching my age; I found myself slightly out-of-breath going upstairs in my house; my gut pinched me when I sat.

Then God intervened - or at least I was at His house when it happened. The Lenten season approached and a friend challenged the congregation at my former church to give up soda and coffee for Lent. No way could I give up coffee, but I could probably do without those three to five 32.oz convenience store sodas that I chugged out of habit each week (and who knows how many 12.oz sodas).

My other conscious decision was to cut out late-night eating. In my previous newspaper job, I worked evening hours. I might get home around midnight or 1 a.m. and have a slice of pie, a bowl of ice, half a bag of chips - or sometimes all three.

By the time Lent ended, I was down 20 pounds. Right now my weight fluctuates between 175 and 180, and I'm not tired going up the stairs. Best of all, I feel I have more energy than before.

My wife (and other women I know) were jealous, of course. "Only a man could lose weight that way," they said.

I did no research beforehand, but I later saw a diet book that supported the no-soda theory. I also found a story on CNN that discusses the link between no soda and weight loss.

I have the occasional soda - maybe one per month. I'm probably preserving my teeth a little longer by avoiding all that acid and sugar.

And if this blog disappears soon after this post, you'll know that the Coke or Pepsi mafia got to me. Look for my body somewhere is a shallow grave. Just follow the trail of empty soda cans.

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