I value expertise. I think that is something that is sorely missing in today’s world, and there many researchers who are studying this very phenomenon. But you don’t need to be any kind of an expert to see this in action. We have flat-earthers, anti-vaxers, and all manners of cults of personalities. For me, that last one is the scariest, as the people who fall victim to one cult of personality seem perfectly able to criticize another despite not seeing their own. But all that would have to be a topic for another day, because while it is easy to comment on the people who would prefer to start with their own overly-simplistic observations and ignore the research, there is a much more damning problem in the world.
That problem is the information glut. And yes, I do recognize that the very act of my writing this is a contribution to the information glut. The irony is not lost on me, but I justify all that in the confidence that so few people read this damn blog that it will never make a difference. I would love it if more people did read it, but that’s just not the case. This justification is ultimately stupid, as the the internet is an ocean of opinions created by billions of individuals spitting into an ocean. I won’t solve this Gordian knot today, and if this bothers you all I can say is welcome to the 21st century.
For most of 2016 I had aspects of a healthier life style. I was biking eight kilometers to work and idem back home afterwards. I was doing this in a horrifically polluted city, so there was a toss up. I ate well enough (I always have), but I ate far too much and had plenty of cheat days. For 2017 I mostly kept up the exercise, but a bar opened up a block away from my house and shit got out of hand. For anyone just now coming up to this blog, here is a summary: this was all in China and the bartender at the bar figured it was good promotion for them to have me and my two friends there every night, so we pretty much stopped paying for drinks. So we started eating their every night. My weight reacted accordingly. In July or August of 2017 I damn near gave myself a heat stroke biking to work, so that went away too. As I left China, I went to Tokyo for a week and had one of the most food-orientated tourism experiences of my life, and moved back to the US as a butterball. I started having pains everywhere, and an attack of gout convinced me that I need to change my life. It was time to diet once again.
At that time, a coworker (who as far as I was concerned had no need to dieting, but that’s another issue. Fucking skinny people…) was having great success with the ketogenic diet. She turned me on to a few websites about it, even though it was not really the first time I had heard about it. In the parlance of the young, I decided to Yolo into it, and I had a lot of success with it. The weight melted off. Before starting the diet, I had to temporarily tell a friend to fuck off because they were trying to live an excessive life and I was all about that diet. i didn’t tell them why I was staying home and not hitting the bars (in truth it wasn’t just the diet. I was also poor). We saw each other again after a month and they were floored by how much weight I had lost, and the fact that they didn’t know what I had been doing makes me suspect that the comment was sincere.
So here is a piece of evidence: for me, the ketogenic diet works as a system of weight loss. We can put that as a piece of evidence somewhere, and move on.
But the keto diet is horrific. All the blogs about it really seem to wave the flag of excess about. Fat seems to be column of this diets system from reading some of the blogs, with some recipes having names like ‘fat bombs’. We will come back to this point later. What is important is the notion at some point a few things started happening. One is that there were just preciously few keto recipes I actually enjoy enjoyed, and I found myself making the same shit over and over again. Pulled chicken, pulled pork, a whole lot of sauerkraut. I would make beardless club sandwiches and lettuce wrapped burgers. But there really wasn’t all that much variety. I also found the diet to be on the expensive side, compared to carbs. Carbs are dirt fucking cheap, and I was poor. Third, I was of the fact that my meat consumption is a first world privilege, and has a massive environmental impact. I consider the environmental argument to be the only valid argument against meat consumption. Thus I wanted to bring my meat consumption down for that reason, and the keto vegetarian recipes I found were shit.
Another problem is that I plain and simple like to get drunk. Shame on me, I know. Thankfully you can get shit faced on vodka and soda water and remain on the periphery of keto.
The fifth point I will make is that I was worried about the health consequences of the keto diet. There is a lot of confidence for it on the web, but it has it share of nay-sayers. This is another point we will come back to it after the narrative section is over.
I kept on the diet for the better part of six months (perhaps more) and then gave it up, partially for the reasons listed above and partially because of other complications: the various stresses of life when you are financial unstable and don’t really have solid work. 2019 was a fucking horrific year for many reasons where I bounced around a lot and absolutely struggled to do anything. 2020 was a bit better for me in some respects, but I lived in a country with a pretty strict lockdown and doing the basic things to maintain my health were very hard. On top of the lockdown, I hurt my leg severely once that crippled me for two months, and suffered a bad attack of gout for another two. The country I lived in also had, cheap, delicious, roaringly unhealthy food. And they delivered for free.
So it’s 2021, and I need to diet again. Principally, the goal is to lose weight. While I was living with my mother for the first months of 2020 she wanted me to get bloodwork done so that I could check to see how things were going on that front. I was rather concerned that I would have massive cholesterol problems. So the question is, what do I do to diet.
Whelp, this went on longer than I think anyone is going to bother to sit through. I am going to go ahead and make it a two parter. Tune in in two weeks for more!