Saturday, March 12, 2005

Dieting

Then hunger did what sorrow could not do.

Count Ugolino in Dante's Inferno, canto xxxiii, translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Over the last few months, I have managed to lose a reasonable amount of weight, going from approx. 102 kg to approx. 88. I have been following the advice in John Walker's book The Hacker's Diet, which despite the title is a collection of really commonsense advice from which anyone may benefit. Although many of his ideas seem kind of obvious after you have read them, it is nevertheless very good that you had the opportunity to see them explicitly. (“Things that he had dimly dreamed of were suddenly made real to him.” The Picture of Dorian Gray ch. 10.) And it's based on his personal experiences, too; you can see on page after page that it was really written by a person who has been through it all.

What I appreciate about Walker's book is that it says, in a very plain and forthright way, that to lose weight you must, on average and over a period of time, obtain fewer calories with your food than you consume for your bodily activity. This is all; everything else is just technical detail. In particular, this means that, at least as far as losing weight is concerned, you need not resort to eating different kinds of food than you have hitherto been accustomed to. This is one of the things that used to deter me from dieting; a “diet” is usually taken to mean something that upsets one's whole eating habits, introducing strange new kinds of food into one's life, usually things with horrid ingredients and undoubtedly equally horrid taste; it makes the whole thing far from appealing, and generally upsets one's life and habits in unacceptably many ways. Instead of doing this, a possible alternative is to stick to the food you have always been eating, just eat less of it. This is exactly what I'm doing now. As it turns out, although I have been overweight practically all my life, my weight has been stable for many years, which suggests that I wasn't really eating much more than my body needed. Only a moderate reduction in the amount of food I eat was therefore necessary to make me start losing weight. I used to eat two meals: breakfast and dinner. Now I gave up breakfast, as well as ice-cream after dinner.

I also took up a bit of exercise. I run from one end of the house to another for about half an hour in the morning, and I stopped changing buses when I go to work, which means that I have to walk about half an hour to get to work. I even do some sit-ups and push-ups every day. I've read somewhere that when losing weight, your body attempts to dismantle muscles first and fat afterwards, so unless you take exercise you will end up not only slim but completely emaciated. Besides, exercise also consumes some calories, though unfortunately not very many.

Frankly, I am a little disappointed with my progress in exercise. I still find push-ups fairly hard to do; the exercise doesn't seem to be making my arms any stronger. I had better success with the sit-ups, where I was originally completely exhausted after thirty, and now, a few months later, I can do twice as many in much less time. Well, I guess that these things take time. Maybe eventually the push-ups will start feeling easier too.

Incidentally, I've often read that one's body emits some addictive chemical during exercise, which makes people feel a kind of happiness after e.g. running for some time, and which makes them feel a physical need to repeat the exercise day after day. Well, I must say that I haven't experienced anything of that sort so far. Even after half an hour of running, and sometimes in fact I run for nearly an entire hour, but even after that I don't feel anything remotely resembling pleasure or happiness. Maybe I run too slowly? Or does the happiness-inducing chemical only start appearing after a longer period of time? Either way, right now I'm just about ready to start calling it all a big lie. Don't be in a hurry to ditch your dealer's phone number, folks. Thinking of getting high on running? You might want to think again.

Life is not important. Only calories are important.

Fatmouse

One thing which made it somewhat easier for me to start this dieting process is that my life sucks anyway. If I start dieting, it will suck a bit more, but so what? It's not like it really makes a big difference anyway. Of course, this argument could also be turned around: if food is one of the few remaining pleasures in one's life, then the loss of it will be all the more keenly felt. But it hasn't really been so bad in my case.

Every day, I die a little more inside.

Hammer, Ghastly's Ghastly Comic, 19 Dec 2004

Fortunately, this dieting business isn't quite so difficult and tiresome as I feared it would be. During the day I chew on dried wild cherries and the occassional bite of dark chocolate to ward off the feelings of hunger. Then when dinner comes, I stuff myself with tomato salad which makes one feel full without providing too many calories. In fact this is the most inconvenient aspect of dieting for me: I'm just not the sort of person who would be used to eating small amounts of food. I like to eat quickly, I like to take big bites and gulp them down half-chewed, I get a genuinely physical pleasure in stuffing myself with food to the point when it starts to hurt (it can be an agony when dealing with those huge restaurant meals, but it's a pleasant sort of agony). None of this seems really possible if you are dieting. Your portions tend to be smaller and you try to make them last because you know it will be some time before you have a decent meal again. How I wish that some food existed which I could stuff myself with, without getting too many calories in the process. Oh, and it should taste reasonably well, too. In fact I'm not too picky when it comes to taste. I can't really tell the difference in taste between skimmed and non-skimmed milk, for example, or between low-fat and ordinary yoghurt (but in the latter case, I was disappointed to see that there was also almost no difference in calories!). I'm happy to drink fruit juice diluted with water to almost homeopathic proportions. However, I still wish that all this food processing and chemical industry discovered some way of making food taste good without all these annoying calories. Diet Coke is a case in point. It tastes the same as plain Coke (well, almost the same, to me at least), but while plain Coke has a huge amount of calories, Diet Coke has practically none. Apparently they managed to take out all the sugar or whatever calorie-bearing substances Coke contained, and substitute some chemical substances with the same taste but almost no calories. Why isn't this done for food as well? Just think of the potential! Zero-calorie bread, zero-calorie potatoes, etc. It would be a gold mine. I'm really disappointed that the big business hasn't taken up this opportunity yet, especially with the large numbers of people getting obsessed with dieting nowadays. Until somebody discovers something of this sort, I'll have to keep on stuffing myself with tomatoes and nibbling on my measly portions of real food in great frustration.

Incidentally, this discussion of portion sizes brings me to another pet peeve I have with many proposed diets. They suggest that you have five or even more “meals” per day. Meals my ass. As is plain to anybody, five meals a day would probably give you about twice as many calories as you need, so the “meals” they propose are nothing remotely resembling meals at all. They are mere travesties of meals. For these people, an apple and a cup of low-fat yoghurt constitute a meal. What rot! Of course this is not a meal. It is not even the semblance of a meal. It is not even a dessert. It is not even an appetizer. It is plain and simply nothing at all. Yoghurt should be eaten with plenty of honey, which hardly makes it suitable for dieting. As for apples, apples are food for rabbits. The same goes for most vegetables. Alas, it's mighty hard to diet on an attitude like that.

Another tangential point: some books, such as this one, suggest that some people manage to eat well and yet remain slim because they tend to eat good-quality food, from fresh ingredients etc., and eat slowly and with pleasure, which consequently enables them to eat less and to stop before they have had too much and got too many calories. It's a charming theory, but I don't quite see how I could incorporate it into my eating habits. Even supposing that genuinely good food is readily available (it in fact is, by my own humble standards), why would one want to eat just a moderate amount of it? Surely, if it is really good, it makes even more sense to eat lots of it than if it weren't so good; surely, merely because you enjoy eating it, this is by itself no reason to eat slowly, or to stop when you have merely had enough rather than only when you are full to the point of agony. No, I'm afraid this approach wouldn't work for me. It's so frustrating, so tantalizing, to have to nibble like a mouse while there is still enough food on your plate to suffice for a few big bites! Unfortunately, I haven't yet seen any books or web pages with advice on how to get used to eating slowly and in moderate quantities.

His neighbour's fatness makes the envious lean.

Horace's Epistle 1.2,
translated by John Conington

Alas, how wrong Horace was here! I am pathologically envious, even by the standards of my own people. If there had been any literal truth to Horace's claim, I would be so thin as to be practically nonexistent. No, I'm afraid that nowadays, when high-calorie food is cheap, plentiful, and readily available (at least in industrialized countries), having something (such as envy) gnaw on you is more likely to make you gnaw on something in turn, usually on something with way too many calories for your own good. :-)

Fatmouse takes umbrage at the sight of your small torso and weak flaccid limbs.

Fatmouse

Now that I'm getting a bit slimmer myself (though I'm still fat; I'll probably have to lose at least another ten kilos), I'm beginning to wonder whether indeed being slim has any advantages whatsoever. Walker's book that I mentioned at the beginning of this post contains some very sensible warnings about this, saying that one shouldn't expect one's new thinness to bring about miraculous changes in one's life. In fact, the only thing that can be said for slimness is that, on average, it's probably slightly healthier for you than being fat. That's about it. Expecting anything else is too unreliable and is bound to set one up for a disappointment. For example, one shouldn't expect one's self-esteem to improve, or expect to be able to interact with people more successfully, or to seem more attractive or more popular. And it is all quite true; I already clearly feel that my practically non-existing sense of self-esteem cannot be helped or improved by any change in appearance, whether brought about by a loss of weight or by anything else. Sometimes I think that losing some weight has helped my ridiculously hunched and stooping posture somewhat; there's less fat on my stomach pulling it down, so it's a bit easier to walk a bit more upright. But I find that, even if (perhaps with a bit of effort) I straighten my back and walk upright, my neck remains bent and my look downcast. This is surely caused by the above-mentioned lack of self-esteem, and cannot be helped by loss of weight. It's like the fable of the sheep who put on a tiger's skin but still froze with fear when it met a wolf.

But anyway, to go back to my previous point: now that I'm becoming a bit slimmer myself, I'm wondering whether (apart from the above-mentioned issues of health) there is anything really attractive or desirable about being slim. It turns out that one can be slim and yet be ugly, just like one can e.g. be young and yet be ugly. Of course these things are obvious, but sometimes one isn't quite clearly aware of all the obvious things. Nowadays there exists a fair amount of obsession about being slim; many people not only try to be slim but actually are, and many of them actually visit fitness studios and torture themselves on the implements available there to develop their muscles. And I can't help wondering: all these men, slim, muscular, posture perfectly upright, are they really that handsome? Is this what I want to look like? And I can't help feeling that the answer is in the negative. A few days ago I saw, in the most recent issue of the National Geographic, a photograph of a bunch of Colombian prisoners. Most seemed to lack shirts and had, of course, perfect chests with all the requisite muscles and not an ounce of excess fat. Of course: it's a poor country, with no excess of food, and the people do a lot of physical work, so they can't help being slim and muscular. But does this make them handsome and attractive? Hell no. Sure, it's true that having potbellies wouldn't exactly improve the guys on that picture, but neither did their lack of potbellies make them into ideals of appearance that one might aspire to. In short — and this may be due to my self-esteem problems, which make anything seem worthless as soon as it seems to be genuinely within my reach — although being slim and muscular seems to be mighty popular these days, and people are going to great trouble to become such, I cannot help wondering whether this is genuinely desirable; whether it is a goal genuinely worth aspiring to. All of those people — even though they are slim and muscular, many of them are still idiots, many are shallow (yes, yes, I know; so am I; except that they are merely shallow idiots, whereas I am a fat shallow idiot), many of them still aren't managing to do anything else than merely to somehow get along with their lives; by and large most of them are probably hardly people whom it would be reasonable to envy, and perhaps hardly people whom it would be reasonable to emulate. Yes, they are slim; so what? They still have to go to work every day, waste their time in pointless drudgery just like most other people, they still have to waste their time on solving all the life's petty problems. I just can't see how being slim could be all that much of a help in that. Therefore, I just can't see why being slim would be genuinely desirable (apart from the point of view of health). I see these slim, muscular people with an upright posture, people who spend five hours a week in the gym, and I ask myself whether I want to become one of them, and the answer is, again and again, no thanks.

In fact, sometimes I almost feel something similar to the sentiment of the Fatmouse quote above. Slim people — the really slim ones, especially if they have a slight build to boot — seem somehow puny and measly. Having been fat all my life, I almost couldn't help taking some sort of pleasure, almost some sort of pride, in my fatness. I was somehow glad that there was so much of me. Sometimes when I see a really slim person, with not an ounce of excess fat, wearing a tight-fitting shirt, I really almost feel kind of offended that this weakling (although I do of course realize that in reality, any reasonably fit slim person is of course much stronger than me), this fly dares to share a planet with me! Although I never had a fetish for fat people, I occasionally couldn't help feeling something resembling a delight when seeing, for example, a bunch of really fat Pacific Islanders. And deep down, I still agree strongly with that quote from Spartacus: “You and I have a tendency towards corpulence. Corpulence makes a man reasonable, pleasant and phlegmatic. Have you noticed the nastiest of tyrants are invariably thin?”

Well, anyway, I guess it's high time to finish this meandering post. I hope that I'll manage to stay on my diet until I lose some 10 or so more kilograms and finally get rid of the obvious pillows of fat that are still attached to my stomach and thighs. After that, I hope that I'll manage to keep on doing the same amount of exercise that I do now, which means that I'd be able to eat quite a bit more than now and yet have a stable weight. How I wish that I could stuff myself full to the point of agony on a regular basis...

17 Comments:

Blogger Katsumi said...

Nice to see another person successfully acomplishing his goal - loosing weight. Let me give you and advice since I've been though some dieting as well:

1. don't skip breakfast; it's the most important meal of the day. At least eat some fruit - that will help digest food faster through the day

2. it's better to have 3 smaller meals then one big meal and -heavens forbid!- don't let that one big meal be dinner; the body needs less food in the evening since the day is practically over. What the body does at night is relax and help you work out your fat naturally. If you eat in the evening, the stomach might not rest at night and the body fat will begin to accumulate. Trust me with this one.
Let your meals be breakfast and lunch and a small snack instead of dinner. Eating after 5pm is bad.

3. eat slower, chew you food more; this is one of the most usefull advice. Digestive process begins in mouth - that's what our saliva is for. If food is chewed properly, the stomach does not need to work that much and can digest the food faster and more effective.

4. eat anything you want, but do pay some attention to mixing carbon hydrates with starch - that is the favourite food combination of potatoe and meat. Eating sweets will slow the dieting process, but that does not necessarily mean the diet won't be effective.

I've lost my weight with frequently eating quite a lot of chocolate and following all of the advice above. And it worked for me; even with low amount of physical activity. All of the advice above combined with physical activity make a great dieting formula :)

Sunday, March 13, 2005 3:21:00 PM  
Blogger Katsumi said...

Oh, another thing. I've noticed you don't know how you'd incorporate eating slow and smaller amounts of food..
Once you get used to eating slower it becomes a habbit. If you can't get used to eating slower, you have to force yourself into it. I did that and now I always finish my food last.
Smaller amounts - nah, once you get used to eating slowly, you automatically need less food. Eating slowly helps digest food faster and therefore the stomach can say it's enough even if you didn't eat as much as you used to. You get satiated faster and that helps keep your kg count lower.
But it's not necessary that you eat smaller amounts. Eating slower does the trick. You just have to have the will to do it.

Another good advice: listen to the stomach. When it says "enough", it's enough. It's better to throw some food away than get surfeited.

Sunday, March 13, 2005 3:36:00 PM  
Anonymous S said...

I was just reading some of your older postings and I came across this one; I don't know if you'll actually read a comment from such an old posting, or if you're still 'dieting', but I'll throw in my two cents just the same....
You were looking for something that's healthy and fills you up for just a few calories. You should try a bowl of oatmeal (the real stuff - not the instant variety) mixed with some skim milk, cinnamon, apples, and a splash of vanilla. This fills you up astonishingly well, gives you energy for a long time, and tastes delicious. Of course, you also have to like oatmeal.

Thursday, February 16, 2006 6:01:00 PM  
Blogger ill-advised said...

Thanks for the advice, S. It sounds promising and I'll try it some time.

Yes, I do read old comments -- blogger sends copies of all the comments to me by e-mail, so I don't miss anything.

As for whether I'm still dieting, well, I am, sort of. When I started dieting, I was kind of hoping to slim down to 70 kilos. I haven't quite got there; by mid-December I was at 73.2, and then the holidays took their toll, pushing me to 74.1 by January 6. Since then I've been struggling to get rid of this extra weight, but it's damned difficult. I'm at 73.7 presently.

I think I'll post some charts next month, at the anniversary of this post :) Not that anybody cares, of course :)

Thursday, February 16, 2006 8:34:00 PM  
Blogger Nadezhda said...

We do care - at least I care.

You've lost almost 30 kilos which is an amazing feat! Some people (try to) diet all their life and lose only a kilo or two.

How tall are you? There's a rule of thumb which says men should have (height)-100=(weight). A more sophisticated measure is the BMI (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_mass_index). Even if your ideal weight would be 70 kilos and you are stuck at 73, it would be better to just accept this fact of life and try hard to maintain this weight than to aim for 70 and be continually disappointed.

And I do hope that now you have taken to running outdoors instead of indoors. I live in a flat, but even if I lived in a house I could hardly imagine running inside for an hour. The "landscape" inside varies but little and the air is not exactly fresh, either.

And be proud of your achievement. :)

Saturday, February 18, 2006 2:32:00 PM  
Blogger ill-advised said...

Well, I'm 185 cm tall -- I quite agree that 73 kg is a perfectly decent weight, and there's no particular reason to aim at 70 kg at all costs. It's just my silly stubbornness, and I suppose that before long I'll come to reason and be content with 73.

I was aware of the BMI -- it's an interesting measure, and I was impressed at the wide range of weights that it usually considers acceptable. Some web pages suggested that any BMI between 18 and 25 is pretty much OK, and for me that would mean between 62 and 85 kg. Well, now that I'm looking at these numbers again, I notice that 73 is roughly half way between them, so maybe that's as good a reason as any to stick with 73 and not bother with 70 merely because it's a round number.

As for running, I agree that running indoors is terribly boring. That's why I have largely given it up. I occasionally try to torture myself on the OrbiTrec machine in front of the TV set, which is a little better, but not much, as it's terribly difficult to find anything interesting to watch :) Anyway, instead of running, I took to going to work by bicycle from late March to mid-November, which combines several advantages: it saves time ([ get to work faster than by bus -- though the downside is that I can't read while cycling :)], I don't find it boring (unlike running indoors), and it provides me with a bit of exercise. Running outdoors wouldn't be a bad idea, I agree, but I guess I'm just not terribly keen on running. I just don't enjoy it very much (unlike cycling). And I can't help feeling that the sight of a person jogging is slightly ridiculous; I'd prefer to practice such embarrassing activities indoors so that people won't laugh at me :) I may have lost weight, but I still have all the attitudes that make people fat :))

Some people (try to) diet all their life and lose only a kilo or two.

Yes, I know one or two such examples myself. I suspect they aren't really trying very hard, however.

And be proud of your achievement. :)

Believe me, I am! And I'm delighted to be able to see my ribs again :)

Thanks for your encouraging comments!

Saturday, February 18, 2006 3:07:00 PM  
Blogger Nadezhda said...

You're welcome. :)

Sunday, February 19, 2006 9:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woah, another fan of Hacker's Diet! I love the book and think J. Walker is a genius! My weightloss hasn't been as dramatic as yours, but following his advice proved to me it really is a simple process, a matter of addition and substraction. Now if I could only get rid of my addiction to candy, the "substraction" part would be much easier to accomplish...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006 4:26:00 PM  
Blogger ill-advised said...

I agree ever so much! I also find it terribly difficult to resist sweets.

Why doesn't somebody invent zero-calorie candy? If it worked on diet Coke, surely it can work on chocolate as well :)

Anyhow, I wish you good luck in your weight loss efforts :)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006 8:57:00 PM  
Blogger Bo said...

I was never overweight or really slim but constantly some ten kilos below my height (minus 100 in centimeters); I am now at around 80 kg and 190 cm. Although I don't have such passionate relationship with food as you do/did, I think I understand you and give credit to your arguments. You protest much, but have arguments too.

Then you say that fruit and vegetable is no good for man, and that small meals are also not worthy. This is not correct from my perspective. I know (from experience) there are many things in apples that are good for me. Apples also taste good to me. They have lots of water, so when I am thirsty they taste extra fine. I like to eat fruit especially in the morning till noon. I don't fell neihter hungry nor sleepy.

I think a big problem with the people of this society is that they don't know hunger any more. When I am hungry, every kind of food tastes good.

I partly guess and partly know that food issue is a big problem. It must be way bigger than being addicted to nicotine for example. One can cut cigarettes completely overnight, but of course can't do the same with food.

Thank you for this post; a stimulating reading. I wish you have/had more success in this relationship with food.

Sunday, November 05, 2006 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger ill-advised said...

I know (from experience) there are many things in apples that are good for me. Apples also taste good to me.

It seems that we have a bit of an ambiguity in the word "good" here. I agree that there are undoubtedly many things in apples that are good for one's health. But when I say that apples are no good, I mean that I don't enjoy their taste.

Well, actually, I do think the apples taste reasonably well. But not nearly so well as chocolate :) Besides, they are a lot less convenient -- you have to wash them, perhaps even peel them, then chew and bite like mad, and your fingers get sticky so that you have to wash them afterwards. Now chocolate, on the other hand, is pure pleasure, no work and no effort involved at all except for unwrapping the bar at the beginning, but that's trivial and convenient enough.

Other kinds of fruit tend to have the same problem as apples; that's why, if I eat fruit at all, I usually prefer dry fruit. Candied papayas and pineapples are currently my favourites.

I think a big problem with the people of this society is that they don't know hunger any more. When I am hungry, every kind of food tastes good.

I noticed the same thing while dieting -- if I'm hungry enough, even dry whole-meal bread with nothing on it tastes good :) But this is a kind of "argument by asceticism" which is simply absurd. One shouldn't be expected to starve oneself in order to enjoy the taste of food afterwards. I think the main long-term purpose of all human activity should be to avoid unpleasant sensations, and hunger is surely somewhere near the top of things to be avoided.

The fact that most people in the developed world don't know hunger any more is not a problem, but a solution -- the solution to the age-old problem of the insufficient availability of, and access to, food.

Now it's up to the chemical industry to come up with food that has an enjoyable taste but little or no calories, so that we can simultaneously avoid hunger and obesity.

One can cut cigarettes completely overnight, but of course can't do the same with food.

Well, I don't see any reason in principle why one shouldn't be able to cut all of one's unnecessary food intake overnight, the same as one would do with cigarettes. All it takes is a suitably fascist bent of mind and a willingness to see yourself suffer.

Sunday, November 05, 2006 12:08:00 PM  
Blogger Bo said...

You are not completely serious of course, since chocolate can easily melt and get sticky and way more messy than apples. Apples are clean in two ways: they are products of nature and they contain some things that purify body if eaten correctly; not after meal but before meal, that is when one's bowel is empty. Morning is the best time. This does real good to me for example.

Well, good luck. Eating is slippery.

Sunday, November 05, 2006 10:00:00 PM  
Anonymous saily said...

Congratulations! That's kinda all I can say... I'm dealing with the same problem for all of my life... tho I have round 72 kg right now I wish I had 60 or luckily 56 kg. But I don't know what happened to my will lately... I just kinda can't prepare myself to start all that... the more I'm telling people around me not to buy me sweets or bread the more they buy me just that. And I hate it, cause it's the main reason why I'm fat. I do take exercise, 30 minutes at least 3 times a week. And I must say that after 5 weeks of that I spotted a bit of re-shaping... We'll see what happens... but sadly this exercise is just making me stay on the same weight all the time, but I don't seem to lose anything :).
Oh well... sadly holidays are coming (Xmas and stuff) and it's a part of the year when everybody gets a few kilos more.
I wish you luck with your dieting in the future and I hope it'll make you more satisfied than you say you are.

Best wishes!

saily

Sunday, November 05, 2006 10:43:00 PM  
Blogger Bo said...

I think the main long-term purpose of all human activity should be to avoid unpleasant sensations, and hunger is surely somewhere near the top of things to be avoided.

This could be a description of the world/society man is building; a world without the sense of hunger and truth of death etc. I can't find it honest, however, and even not enjoyable in long terms. I am more on the side of Steve Jobs with "his" (ascetic-oriented) motto "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." Hunger is used symbolically here, but so can your believing quoted above be understood.

Sunday, November 05, 2006 11:59:00 PM  
Blogger ill-advised said...

@Bo:

You are not completely serious of course, since chocolate can easily melt and get sticky and way more messy than apples.

Well, I'm fairly serious. During most of the year, chocolate doesn't melt at room temperature (e.g. 20 degrees or so). It's a simple matter of fact that I never have to wash my hands after eating chocolate, and almost always after eating an apple.

Apples are clean in two ways: they are products of nature and they contain some things that purify body if eaten correctly;

Whatever floats your boat. As for me, I'm just not into this type of nutritional mysticism, and I'm most decidedly not into purity of any description. And cacao beans are products of nature just as much as apples are.

This could be a description of the world/society man is building; a world without the sense of hunger and truth of death etc. I can't find it honest, however, and even not enjoyable in long terms.

I'm not sure what you mean by "honest" here. At any rate it is my honest belief that I would enjoy living in a world without challenges and in which it would be possible to obtain pleasant sensations without any effort whatosever. I don't think that asceticism, effort, suffering, etc. are necessary for happiness; actually I don't even think that they are conducive to it.

@saily:

I do take exercise, 30 minutes at least 3 times a week.

In Walker's book that I mentioned at the beginning of my post, I was shocked to discover how few calories exercise really burns. E.g. half an hour of running would burn maybe 300 calories, and to lose a kilo one must burn 7000 :( So frankly, my impression is that one is probably more likely to succeed by dieting through starving rather than through exercise, although exercise is no doubt a good idea from the point of view of fitness and health.

I wish you luck with your dieting in the future

Thanks. Actually I've pretty much given up on dieting, I'm just trying to maintain my weight now. It has been quite stable over the last year, and my main goal now is to keep it that way. I also wish you good luck with your weight loss efforts.

P.S. Good to see I'm not the only one who's afraid of the approaching holidays :)

Monday, November 06, 2006 7:34:00 PM  
Anonymous saily said...

hahaha :) don't be afraid it'll be fun... just try not to get drift away by all the sweet stuff :) paste a picture of a very fat person on your fridge and then every single time when you'll want to eat something you see that pic and say to yourself..a-a i don't want to be like that again and then eat your nails or something :P (kidding) drink a glass of water.. .that might help... but i doubt you have problems with that... you must have a very strong will... i wish i had it too :D

have a nice day :)

byeeee

Tuesday, November 07, 2006 7:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Weight Loss said...

Your blog on dieting is sweet.
Really great material.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006 3:31:00 AM  

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