My Advice About Losing Weight: First, The Basics

I hate scales too. More about them later.

This is a series of posts about losing weight. I broke them up so that I don’t produce an 8,000 word post you won’t read. Instead, it’ll be three or so posts that you most likely won’t read. I’m OK with that.

All day every day, we see images and commercials and blog posts and signs and a million other things about losing weight and feeling good and getting TOTALLY RIPPED BRAH. We overhear coworkers, friends, family, hobos, whatever, all talking about how they are going to lose some weight or drop some pounds or something. I won’t bother quoting the statistics of “Americans spend eleventy-gatrillion dollars every second on diet and exercise products” or obesity rates or any of that stuff, because a) who cares, and b) no, really, who cares? Statistics are for chumps and journalists. Says the accountant.

So today I decided to dispense my shittiest of shitty advice to anyone who cares to read it. It’s about losing weight. What makes me an expert? Well, I AM a clinically-recognized expert in the field of Absolutely Nothing Whatsoever, and I have been recognized by the American Medical Association as one of the Six Billion People Worldwide the AMA Does Not Recognize One Bit. So why do I feel the need to unload my carefully-hoarded lore upon you? I’ll tell you why.

Because I’ve been there. I gained 50 pounds within the first 2 years of getting married. I tried a lot of different diets and workout programs and pills (legal and illegal!) and supplements and plans and all that shit. It’s taken a long time, but I’ve finally managed to reach a point of fitness and health that I’ve never had before. Not in my twenties, teens, early thirties, none of it. I feel good. When I figured out what the hell I should be doing, I lost 40 pounds – my wife lost 60 – and we’ve managed to keep it off for the most part. Fluctuations happen, yes, especially that backbreaking run from Thanksgiving to New Years. But I know what to do, what works for me. I’m not going to tell you what works for me.

But but but why not?!?!?!

It’s very simple: exactly what works for me may not work for you. You might hate eating puffed kamut in the morning after getting up at 4 o’clock and working out. So why would I recommend you do that? The point isn’t about doing what I do, or what the fitness guru of the month tells you, or what Dr. Oz says to do (as my wife has pointed out, if you ate everything that he recommends in the servings he recommends, after a month of shows you’d be eating 12,000 calories a day and have tomato smeared on your face to remove wrinkles), or what anyone tells you what to eat or what exercises to do. Fuck that. Fuck everyone else. You have a fitness expert at your beck and call.

It’s you.

Only you know what your schedule is like, so telling you when to eat and work out is pointless. Only you know what activities you like, so telling you what exercises to do is stupid. See, there actually IS a secret to weight loss and health and fitness and all that shit, and it’s a word hippies have been slinging for a while now. I’m taking it from those dirty bastards and putting it where it belongs. Ready? Here goes.

The secret to fitness is sustainability.

That’s it. The longer you can maintain a healthy lifestyle, the longer you’ll be fit and healthy. That’s pretty much common sense. Well, guess what: pretty much everything I have to say about fitness is common sense. It’s the last thing you hear about, though, when you listen to some bloated gasbag like Tony Horton babble on or see a Weight Watchers commercial or whatever. Losing weight is both really fucking simple and incredibly fucking hard. What I’m going to try to do is show you how simple it is, and some ways to get past the Really Fucking Hard parts. Is it foolproof? Fuck no. Should you see a doctor before performing any strenuous activity? I didn’t, but that’s on you.

And yes, I am a sarcastic asshole, but believe it or not, everything I’m about to say I mean from the bottom of my heart. No bullshit. There may be times where I am abrasive. It’s tough love. I really am just trying to help, because the weight roller-coaster and low self-esteem sucks serious ass.

The Basics

OK. Let’s start big picture. How do you lose weight? Eat less calories than you burn in a given day. Is it that simple? Not really. There are a bajillion factors that people want to natter on about all the time so you’ll buy their stupid fucking book. Are carbs better than protein? Should fat be avoided at all costs? Should I mash the protein between my toes before I eat it? All of these things confuse the big picture, so I’m going to borrow the Doctor’s attitude here: It isn’t as simple as “less calories eaten than burned”, but it’s easy to understand and allows us to move on. If you want to lose yourself in the wide world of metabolism that no one agrees on, have at. I won’t, and I don’t. I recommend you do the same.

So what have we got? Less Calories Eaten than Burned. It’s a good place to start, and it’s all you need to know about the basics. The rest will cost you $29.95 plus $9.00 shipping and handling.

The next post will deal with the Calories Eaten part of the deal.

About Alan Edwards

Former cancer caregiver. Husband of the most magical and amazing person who ever lived.

Posted on May 17, 2012, in Health and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I’m looking forward to this. Not that I need to lose weight, honestly, but because I’m always curious to see what works for other people. Plus you’re awesome, and I want this series to go viral so you can have your own string of exercise videos. Cuz that’s where the money is, dude.

  2. My advice: buy a set of leather chaps, and then force yourself to set a date to wear them in public. It worked for Alan Edwards!

  3. I believe Pete needs to be a self help guru!

  4. Totally agree that the key is sustainability and finding what works for you. I ballooned up 20 pounds when I started a sit down job, and once I really got serious about fixing things, I figured out how to eat better and exercise some. I dropped 40 pounds at my best, though I’ve put back on about 10 of that. Seeing a doctor helped me, but only in the sense of seeing how out of whack my cholesterol was. My lifestyle changes were just me deciding I couldn’t ignore it and paying attention to what worked and what didn’t.

  5. Having your support made all the difference for me.

    I think a significant other that doesn’t support your effort needs to have their ass kicked. No ‘Ho-Ho’ in the world is more important than your loved ones. If you need that shit food in your life you need to keep it out of the house away from the person trying to lose weight. I agree, keep that crap at your office or in your car. You seriously can live a few eff’in hours a night and on your days off without some chips to support your loved ones. If you can’t, you should self-evaluate to figure out why those candies or snacks are more important than the people you love.

    • Alan Edwards

      Likewise, having you to lean on was huge for me, especially on the days I just wanted to sleep in. I’m glad we both made changes and helped each other through it.

  6. I just want to say I am very new to blogging and actually savored you’re web-site. Probably I’m want to bookmark your site . You really come with great posts. Thanks a bunch for sharing with us your web page.

  1. Pingback: My Advice About Losing Weight: Secondly, Calories « Me and My Shovel

  2. Pingback: My Advice About Losing Weight: Thirdly, Exercise « Me and My Shovel

  3. Pingback: My Advice About Losing Weight: Fourthly, Your Brain « Me and My Shovel

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