The Totally Unscientific
“How I Ate Whatever I Wanted and Lost A Ton of Weight”

I lost forty pounds (fibbing, it’s actually 37) in the past five months. I’m going to tell you exactly how I did it. And, this will not involve you sending me your credit card number, purchasing a book, or signing up for a mailing list. Honest.

I’ve decided that I’m a thin person. I used to be thin a long time ago. Poor choices and insanity kept me heavy for many years. Then I began losing weight

Five years ago.

and gaining it back. Repeat. And repeat again. Five years ago I thought I had figured it out. I was running lots. I ran six half-marathons and a full marathon in a year. I was taking very good care of my body – no pizza, burgers, or chocolate, and one very big resentment. I loved the results but hated that I couldn’t eat the things I enjoyed. And that whole thing about eating what you want and then exercising more to catch up – that doesn’t work for me. I’m a fairly active person. Unless I’m writing I keep moving, but I couldn’t burn off the extra calories. So, I succumbed to the resentment and began gorging myself. And, I didn’t stop until earlier this year. The numbers on the scale were higher than they’d ever been. It scared me and I didn’t like the way I looked. So, I made some changes.

Funnily enough, even through all the family-size bars of chocolate, tuxedo cakes, hamburgers, and excessive weight, I did keep running. I wasn’t running as fast or far as I had when I was distance training but a week rarely went by when I didn’t put some time in on the treadmill, plus I was walking the dog two or three times a week too. I was still moving but I was eating at a pace that no exercise program was going to beat. So, I knew it was going to require some kind of dietary change. I didn’t/couldn’t want to do a customary diet of any kind because I knew what would happen. It might work for a little while but I’d be so angry that I couldn’t eat what I wanted that the resentment would kick in and I’d jump off the bandwagon again. So, I came up with a plan.

First, I cut out the chocolate. This isn’t a permanent deletion from the short list of items that give me joy in life. It’s just a temporary deletion. So, I cut out the chocolate and desserts. After a couple of weeks I didn’t miss them. I can’t believe I just typed that but it’s true.

I haven’t drunk a lot of soda pop in years but I do enjoy a Coke if I’m eating out and occasionally at home too. I cut those down but not out. Instead I have a fizzy drink that has no fat, no calories and limited excitement. I’m sure there’s the equivalent in every grocery store aisle. The interesting thing about the fizzy water that I drink is that it does actually quench your thirst. Soda pop – not so much.

“I eat whatever I want”

Now the big one, here’s the major revelation – I don’t eat between meals. I eat my meals and nothing else. So, at night after dinner if I am doing something sedentary I don’t snack. I’ve broken the rule only once or twice when I’ve had a piece of fruit before going to bed because the hunger pang was too much (and I didn’t want those fat cells multiplying in my sleep). Other than that I eat my meals and that’s it. Oh, and I eat whatever I want during those meals. So, pizza, hamburgers, pastas, salads, whatever, I eat it.

And I lost 40 pounds (37 actually).

Based on my experience as a fat man, who’s trying to be thinner, I believe we all need to tailor our diets individually. What worked for me will not necessarily work for someone else. And, there’s no guarantee that this will continue to work for me. But, the weight has come off pretty consistently and it’s still coming off.

Two months ago I attended a family function at the other end of the country. There was food and food and food and desserts. I indulged. Now, many of you will indulge with a larger piece of pie. I indulge with several larger pieces of pie. I snuck away from the gathering one day, found a gym and put in an extra running session. When I got home and stood on the scale there was no weight gain. I almost broke into tears of relief.

The good news is that my unscientific diet is working. The lesser good news is that I’m only halfway. I think I have it this time though. And if I get there I’ll update you. In fact I might even write a book about it. I know how to do that.

“I know how My Temporary Life ends”

For those of you kind souls who have asked about my progress on My Temporary Life Book Three, I now am better than a third finished, with material I’m quite proud of, I have a title, and I know how My Temporary Life ends. That particular epiphany was very special to me. I have no time frame but I am moving forward and thank you for asking. See you in about forty thousand words or forty more pounds, whichever comes first.

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This Post Has 14 Comments

  1. brbold says:

    Congrats on your weight loss formula. I’ve always said I have to watch my weight by knowing myself and what I won’t/can’t change. I need to work with my “stuff”, not against it because diets don’t work. When on a diet all you think about is food. We all have to figure out what will work for us as individuals.
    More important, I’m so glad you are progressing with My Temporary Life. I am truly looking forward to it. How about your detective series? Love your writing, keep it up.

    • Martin Crosbie says:

      Thank you Barb. My priority (other than trying to lose weight) is on the My Temporary Life series for now. I have another John Drake, “The Dead List” novel started and that project is next on the list. Thanks for asking!

  2. Godd for you, Martin. I’m glad you found a way that works for you. I, too, lost 50 pounds seven years ago and have kept it off. But my route had to be different. I had tried everything common medical knowledge suggested. But it took a Phd. nutritionist to figure out that I was eating things that cause inflammation and IBS. Now, as long as I mostly avoid those particular triggers I remain healthy. So, you are correct, we each need to find what works for us, personally, and not buy into the myths doctors and dieticians want us to. It is not “one size fits all”.

    • Martin Crosbie says:

      That’s awesome Yvonne. Congratulations on taking it off and keeping it off. I hope I’ll be able to claim the same success.

  3. Janice Spina says:

    Congrats Martin, on your weight loss! That is a difficult thing to do but once you nail down the basics it is a win win! I try to get in 10k steps a day and eat almost everything I like, but never over eat. I need to eat gluten free so that keeps me being more careful. Moderation is what works.

  4. David says:

    Martin, I was truly inspired by your story. I think we share a similar eating pattern. So, I have wholeheartedly cut out snacks and deserts. It’s been painful, but I’m sticking too it. The first week, I lost three pounds and was absolutely thrilled. The second week, I had put another pound back on. The third week, weight stayed the same. I’m committed to this, but I’m wondering how long it took for you to see steady progress. I know for you it took 5 months lose all that weight. Was their an initial time period where you didn’t see much progress? Would love to know more about how you stuck with the early days?

    • Martin Crosbie says:

      David, congratulations on taking control! I didn’t see real progress until the third week. Then it started to roll. The other factors for me were not eating at night after dinner and doing a bit of exercise. The initial hunger pains were tough but it’s very worth it. Good luck and let me know how you make out.

      • David says:

        Martin, turns out three weeks was the charm for me too. Been making steady progress. Down about 11 pounds so far, which is really fantastic. I will admit, I am hungry all the time. But I’m trying to convince my brain that feeling hungry is actually a good thing and that is a sign of weight loss. I want to associate that feeling with something positive. Anyway, I’m super excited about this progress and I have you to thank. All these years and I never could do anything about this weight and now I’m finally making some progress!

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