Cutting to the Core

I love my carbs

As I munch on a sirloin burger from a local fast food establishment, I think ahead to my 20th high school reunion at the end of this month.

When I graduated from high school in 1987 I weighed 140 lbs. Pretty scrawny but not a tapeworm. When I finished with 13 weeks of Marine Corps boot camp at the end of 1987, I weighed 160 lbs. and was in the best shape of my life.

Twenty years later I top the scales at 204 lbs. and I feel like a slug. If I was a high school wrestler I'd be a heavyweight, and I'd probably be the shortest heavyweight in the history of Washington state.

So for the past month I've made a half-hearted attempt to lose some weight. My old high school friends are nearing their forties now, I don't want to shock them and give them a heart attack when they see me walk in at Jacksons for our social.

Now when I say I've been half-heartedly trying to lose weight, what I really mean is I haven't done anything at all, besides cutting down on soda and drinking more water. I'm sure my teeth are happy but my waistline hasn't budged.

Then, I saw something that shocked the heck out of me. I saw my friend Bob.

I've known Bob since college and he actually lived in Thailand for part of the time I did. He's a very good friend. He's also huge. Bob got to be so big I was actually worried for him. What do you do? I didn't want to insult him but at the same time I was worried. I took the easy way out and said nothing.

But when I saw Bob in June at his sister's wedding, I couldn't believe it. He was still big but he'd lost close to 100 pounds. It had only been about three months since I'd seen him. He looked great and had been doing the Atkins diet.

I had heard from another friend who tried this diet that it worked but I had never seen the work in progress.

The Atkins diet is a diet where you can eat anything you want, except carbs. And in case you're wondering, everything that's good in this world has carbs.

The first two weeks the dieter is allowed to have 20 grams of carbs a day. To put that into perspective, a can of Pepsi has 41 grams of carbs in it.

After the two-week period is over the dieter can slowly start adding carbs to their diet but not much at a time. The dieter will lose weight and then to stop losing weight they add a certain amount of carbs so they will maintain their weight.

That's the Atkins diet in a nutshell.

I attempted this diet. I admit I lasted less than a day, but I did try. I was so hungry the other day I wolfed down a co-worker's half-eaten berry pie. I devoured another co-worker's wafers. I need carbs. I love meat but eating only steak without a baked potato is just plain wrong. I think it's punishable by death in some countries.

So until fitness clubs lower their astronomical prices so normal people can afford to join their facilities, I'll just have to stay fat.

Sorry Pasco High class of 1987, I hope my 204 lb. frame doesn't frighten you.


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