Tag Archive: diet


Day 28:  The final week.  Good, ‘cause I’m so tired of this shit.  I really am bored by the whole thing now.  No weigh-in today – we’re going to end the week with the final weigh-in and crown the winner.  One winner, while the rest of us can go on to feel completely dejected, and wallow in our self-loathing for having gone through hell for the last five weeks for fuck all.  Oh, and we’re totally allowed to hate the winner forever.  Because he or she will be skinny AND will have a pile of cash.

Day 29:  I fly out to lovely and balmy Scottsdale, AZ today.  As I’ve said, travel will be my undoing.  Traveling by yourself is one thing, traveling for work is completely different.  I’ve got colleagues who are not in this contest who will not be dragged down by my own constraints stemming from this contest, and why the hell should they.  Clients need to be entertained, fed, boozed up, and usually that’s quite delightful because I get to be entertained, fed, and boozed up along with them in the process.  The catch here is that I’m in the final stretch here, and everything I do – everything I consume, every minute I work out or don’t work out – will have some impact on me when I reach the end zone at the end of the week.

Why the fuck couldn’t this trip be to some place else?  I dunno, like DC or Atlanta or wherever.  No, it’s gotta be to Arizona.  What’s the fucking problem with Arizona?  Only the fact that in Arizona they have In-N-Out Burger out here.  This is so completely stupid, but I’m not at all lying when I say that I am completely powerless against In-N-Out.  I HAVE to have In-N-Out when I am within, say 20 miles of one.  I have done some stupid shit just to get my hands on In-N-Out.  I have, on more than one occasion, booked flights leaving at terribly inconvenient times when I’ve had to fly out to L.A. just so I could arrive with enough time to stop at the In-N-Out right by the airport before I needed to get to where I was going.  I once declined a lavish dinner at Nobu because it was my last night in L.A. and I hadn’t yet gone to In-N-Out, just so I could In-N-Out that night to get a Double Double Animal Style with a side of fries and a milkshake into my fat jiggly belly.  It is sad and pathetic how much of a slave I am to In-N-Out.  But then again, if you’ve had In-N-Out, you can probably understand why.  Maybe.

Going to Arizona today is going to be fucking disastrous.

Day 31: As a general rule, I loathe TV.  I used to watch the entire primetime line-up five days a week.  How the fuck I used to do that, I have no idea.  It’s all shite, and I lost all patience for shite a long, long time ago.  The only shows I don’t immediately turn off now are The Daily Show, Colbert, and Bourdain – that’s it (OK fine I’ll give Mad Men one more season, but I’m fast beginning tire of that shit, too).  This past month has been the WORST time in the world to watch any Bourdain show.  Here is this smug douche, going all over the world, doing all sorts of fun shit, and eating some of the most insane foods.  Needless to say, I’m usually starving when I’m watching No Reservations or The Layover.  And each time, Bourdain is indulging in glorious pork belly, wonderfully rich bone marrow, piles of shaved black truffle, the list goes on and fucking on.  The other day, there was some episode on Azorean food, and I just about licked my TV screen.

Day 32:  The finish line, thank God.  I damn near killed myself getting to this point.  I worked out at the crack of dawn in Phoenix yesterday, then hopped on a plane to fly home, and when I got home, I hit the gym one more time.  This morning, I cranked out another 45 minutes in the gym – I was going to burn off as much water weight as possible this time.  This is it, I’ve done all I can do.  So I get to the office and weigh in.  And…

WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER!!!

Holy fucking shit, I WON!!  No fucking way!  I never fucking win anything, and I fucking won this?!  Holy shit!  Net loss: 26.6lbs in 32 days.

And after 32 days, we all headed over to Hill Country BBQ, stuffed our faces with many, many pounds of meat, then went on an 8-hour bar hopping spree.

Thank God this whole thing is over.  This was by far the most ridiculous thing I’d done in a long time.  Now, on to pigging out during the Super Bowl.

Day 21:  Zero point zero.   That’s what I lost in this week’s weigh in.  Serves me right for forcing an Animal House reference last week.  Now I really have channeled the ghost of Blutarsky.  I lose the lead, natch, and fall back to second place.  A distant second place at that.  This is going every bit as terribly as I had imagined.  Last week’s careless binging cost me big.  Sonofabitch.

Day 22:  This isn’t really about the money anymore.  Sure, winning the pot would be sweet, but sweeter still is the gloating.  Bottom line is I’m a terrible, sore loser.

Day 23:  I may be slightly overdoing it in this final stretch.  Somehow I’ve cooked up (hah!) some demented regimen comprised of calculated starvation and doubling up on workouts.  Like I said last week, I think this may be part of this eating disorder I am unintentionally cultivating.  This exercise in desperation is causing me to be perpetually weary.  It’s like walking around in a hangover haze, but minus the awesome fun night before.  Picture for a moment, if you will, the complete and utter futility of that feeling.

Day 25:  I have lunch with a client today, which means I need to put up with about 5 minutes of ridicule over this stupid contest before our drinks even get to the table.  Fuck it, I’m gonna stick with it.  So I ask for the vegetarian menu (more ridicule erupts).  I go for a grilled vegetable sandwich, forgo the french fries that come with it, and replace it with a cucumber salad.  I am such a chick at this point.  The food arrives and the geniuses in the kitchen have completely SMOTHERED my grilled vegetables with a thick layer of cheese.  Dicks.  But I can’t send it back now ‘cause it’ll come back to me with no cheese but about a gallon of spit in it.  Fuck that.  I go ahead and eat the now-completely-pointless vegetarian sandwich.

Day 26:  It’s a birthday party for my younger kid!  YAY!!!  Pizza, cookies, icing, candy, and a delicious birthday cake the size of a small Mercedes.  He turns five and I turn fat – how great is that.

A sidebar about these fucking birthday parties – they all have to be themed now.  You can’t just let kids run around, have cake, and be done with it.  Everything’s gotta be wrapped around come central idea; nine times out of ten, it’s some goddamn cartoon or video game.  In this case, Kid Dos wanted a Tintin birthday party.  On the one hand, I am thrilled that he’s taken to Tintin the way I had when I was a kid.  Tintin fucking rules and I won’t take any argument about it.  On the other hand, because Yanks don’t give a shit about Tintin – Spielberg movie or not – there is no merchandising for Tintin.  Which in turn means that I can’t buy any Tintin shit for the party.  Which further means that I’m the one who had to design the Tintin-themed invitation, create Tintin artwork for all the partyware and giveaways, design a Tintin image so that the bakery could print it on some shitty waxy sheet (which will probably poison you if you eat a piece larger than a postage stamp) that they slap on top of a cake.  I had to design every goddamn thing for this party.  There’s gotta be an easier to do these things.  Kids parties drive me nuts.  Never have kids.

Day 14:  Weigh-in day.  Down another 4lbs.  I take the lead in this contest.  I worry I’ve peaked too soon.  However, everyone’s starting to plateau.  Everyone starts to convince each other that this is typically the way manic weight-loss programs go – you drop a ton right away, then skid to a halt.  Truth is, I don’t think any of us were trying as hard in the second week as we were in the first week.  I know I wasn’t.  The minute a curry or Mexican showed up, I was like Blutarsky at the cafeteria line.   I just keep thinking about how hungry and grumpy (more than usual) I’ve been the past two weeks, and I gotta look ahead to doing that for another three weeks.  Three more weeks of this bullshit.

Day 15:  Did you know that if you eat a lot less, you poop a lot less, too?  It’s totally true.  When you think about it, it makes sense.  Less going in, less coming out.  I have no more epic poops.  None.  What a goddamn killjoy this is.  The thrill of colossal dumps is a totally a guy thing, by the way.  If you have any doubt, just watch the South Park episode where Randy takes the most epic shit, then enshrines the deuce for his buddies to marvel at.  It’s one of the most brilliant episodes of all time.  There goes one of the few things I’m good at, right out the window.  Or rather down the toilet.  It’s like there is literally no fun to be had whatsoever when trying to lose weight.  I’ll bet Kate Middleton poops just one chocolate chip every three weeks.

Day 16:  I think I may be developing an eating disorder.  There is such a small window of contentment each time I eat.  Because I’ve got to eat less, my meal usually consists of about three bites and then I’m done.  I’m done before I can even figure out what the fuck it tastes like.  Then I’m still hungry afterward.  So I get something else to eat.  But the minute I’m done with the second thing, I’m racked with guilt and I feel like a fat, lumpy turd.  If I could draw this on a scale, it’d probably look like this:

In three weeks, I have yet to finish a meal feeling, “I’m satisfied, I’m done.”  I’m either still hungry or I feel like I gorge my fat face.

Day 17:  I met an old friend for lunch today at The Breslin.  I’d been wanting to check this place out for ages, so I thought, fuck it let’s do it.  If I weren’t in this contest, I’d help myself to all the rich goodness on the menu – anchovies, bone marrow, you name it.  Instead, I got the special that sounded like a typical English breakfast.  Baked beans, eggs, and sausage.  Except the sausage – oh glorious pork sausage – was crusted and DEEP-FRIED!  Washed it all down with a unexpectedly delicious Empire Cream Ale.  Oh my God, was that lunch practically orgasmic.  I spend the rest of the afternoon contemplating the repurcussions of my indulgence.  I’m so overcome with guilt again, the minute I get home, I bolt right back out and head to the gym.  Punish myself with a 45 minute workout.  But I got some extra punishment – some jerkoff was bogarting the remote and kept the TV tuned to some fucking hockey game.  Hockey!  Who gives a shit, we’re still in the midst of football season.  I know there wasn’t any football playing at that very moment, but I sure as fuck didn’t give a shit about hockey!   A bullshit workout made worse by stupid TV.

Day 20:  Epic fail to see out the week.  I end the week with a four-day binge.  It was the Breslin one day, Keen’s the next, then it was a Chinese New Year dinner hosted by my local Chinese restaurant (I’m tight with them), followed by another epic Chinese New Year’s eve dinner in Chinatown.  Four straight days of stuffing my fat fucking face.  In the four days, I devoured fried sausage, a bloody steak, fried lobster, greasy noodles, ribs, curry, abalone, and whole fish.  Chinese New Year is all about food.  Why can’t I come from a culture where it’s all about having great shoes or where short people get laid all the time?  This is bullshit.  It’s like I’m doing everything I can to lose this contest.  Today, I might as well have helped myself to a pound of chicharrón and washed it down with a pint of clarified butter.

 

Day 8:  Weigh-in.  Down 9.4lbs, says the scale.  I need to remind myself that it’s a month-long marathon, not a week-long sprint.  Or some shit like that.  God, I am hungry ALL THE TIME – I realize that this may be closest I ever get to knowing what it’s like to be a skinny, hot chick.  Mid-afternoon, someone breaks out cupcakes.  Sabotage!  I indulge in half a cupcake (hey, I’m down 9lbs!) – 10 minutes after that, I feel like a fat turd.

Day 9:  Perpetual hunger is leading to crankiness.  On everyone’s part, not just mine.  I got into a huge fight at the office today, and called a friend a “skinny bitch” (not sure what she’s all worked up about, I thought it was a pretty flattering compliment).

Day 10:  My second place in the weekly weigh-in is causing me to feel complacent.  For a second night in a row I had delicious spaghetti bolognaise for dinner.  I rationalize the poor decision by telling myself that I’ll work off the calories in the morning at the gym.  Speaking of which, it turns out that when you weigh less, your daily permissible calories drop as well.  WTF.  I now have to eat 200 calories less than when I started this stupid contest.

Day 11:  Curry is catered for lunch today.  Diet = BLOWN.  The saving grace is that every other competitor seems to have indulged the way I have: everyone’s ravaging the food like they’ve been stuck on a desert island for 6 years.  After work, I go to a party and have far too much red wine.  I can’t even angle a positive for the wine.  Week 2 is looking bleak.

Day 12:  A scavenger hunt with the kids in the West Village is cut short by freezing conditions (minus the blinding snow – where the hell are you, snow?).  We’re limping around in sub-zero winds, which is just retarded.  So we ducked into some NYU-area bar for some brunch.   I crush an order of huevos rancheros and it in return crushes my already-faltering diet.  These huevos rancheros are ridiculous – the tortillas are FRIED, three layers of them.  It’s a bed of refried beans, fried tortilla, layer of chorizo, fried tortilla again, layer of cheese, one more fried tortilla, topped with two sunny side eggs.  It is the Schrödinger’s cat of breakfasts: it is both so terrible and so wonderful at the same time.

To make myself feel better, I buy a new pair of sneakers I really don’t need.  I tell myself it’s for my gym workouts.  I come home to watch football.  I can’t afford any more indulgences so I hold out on the booze.  Football without beer is terrible.

 

A bunch of folks at the office decided before the year-end holidays that it’d be a good idea to do some inane “Biggest Loser” contest in the new year.  I was challenged to participate.  I thought about it for a good, solid 4 or 5 seconds before deciding, “fuck that noise.”  I’m a fat ass and I have the willpower of Paula Deen at a Velveeta cook-off.  It’d be much better to poke fun at those dummies participating.

But come the first day of work, I crack inside of 2 minutes under peer pressure.  “C’mon, you can’t be the only one of us who doesn’t do this.”  “Dude, come on, you gotta do it.”  “You really should…”  ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT, SHUT THE FUCK UP, I’LL DO THIS IF YOU JUST SHUT UP AND LEAVE ME ALONE!

So like the feeble, weak-minded shithead that I am, I stupidly joined the office “Biggest Loser” contest.

Day 1:  The weigh-in.  I was not even remotely prepared for this.  If I had planned on joining this contest, I’d have prepped a bit better.  I’d have worked harder at packing on some holiday fat.  I sure as hell ate like a fiend and drink like a fish, I should’ve packed on more poundage.  Instead, I gained nothing.  When I need gain weight, I can’t.  That is some fucked up metabolism I have.  Anyway, I weigh in, and while I’m quite fat, I’m not nearly as fat as I could’ve been.  I could’ve eaten a heartier breakfast (a double order of a Denny’s Grand Slam comes to mind), and maybe I could’ve washed it down with two milkshakes.  Something to bloat the scales at the weigh-in, that’s how it’s done.  But no – that morning, I had an apple and two cups of coffee.  And I went to the gym that morning.  I had to be healthy.  I am off to a massively shitty start.

Day 3:  Chicanery in the workplace has begun.  Unwittingly, yesterday I was offered a banana by a competitor and I ate it.  After that I looked up a calorie count – about 140 calories.  WTF, IT’S A BANANA!!  It’s fruit, it’s supposed to be good for you!  Well played, you dick, well played.

Day 6:  Travel will be my downfall in this contest.  It is positively brutal to stick with healthy eating options when traveling.  If it isn’t really shitty road food, it’s overly indulgent fare.  This evening, a ravaged Pittsburgh Steelers improbably lost to the hallowed Denver Broncos in the AFC Wild Card playoffs, and I watched it all implode from my hotel room in Boston.  After I sat in stunned silence for 10 minutes after the game, I decided to pop downstairs to grab some dinner and eat my grief away.  But I’m such a loser I couldn’t even do that properly.  Go big or go home, right?  Not me, I went half-hearted.  No booze, I drank water.  I loaded on a large arugula salad (oooh, healthy crap), then dove into some over-the-top roasted duck breast that was surrounded by rich, fatty sides with complicated French names.  The duck was mega, but it was an incomplete and shameful experience because I totally pussed out by not going all the way.  If I was going to pig out, the least I could do was booze it up, inhaled an entree with drenched with delicious cream and bacon, doubled up on dessert.  Instead, I executed a pointless, unfulfilling exercise.  I retired to my room more defeated than ever.

Week 1 was tedious at best.  It’s going to be an insufferable month.

 

[Originally posted March 2011]

Veggie Alien

About the middle of last year, I came across a TED Talk that ultimately influenced some of my dietary habits.  It was a talk given by some bloke named Graham Hill.  I was intrigued initially by his name – the fact that he shares his name with one of my all-time favorite Grand Prix drivers, whose namesake is also that of my first kid.  In any case, the talk was entitled, “Why I’m a weekday vegetarian”.  Should’ve known better – right off the bat, he admits that he’s an offspring of dirty, filthy hippie parents, and that he started a website called, wait for it… Tree Hugger.  Ugh.

Anyway, regardless of my disdain for dirty hippies, I tried to distill the essence of the message.  This guy decided to go vegetarian Monday to Friday – and go completely omnivorous on the weekends (though I suspect he’s probably going 90% carnivorous to make up for all that he’s missing out during the week) – for the sake of sustainability and of course, health.  Then I got to thinking: what don’t I try and give something like this a go?  What possible harm to come to me by trying out some iteration of a veggie diet?  In the words of the great Jeremy Clarkson, how hard can it be?  Minimally, I managed to convince myself that having a meal without meat isn’t going to kill me.  ’Far as I know.

Now, first things first – I know myself, and I know that I’d NEVER in a billion years be able to pull off a five-day meat-free diet.  That is bullshit.  For starters, I’m a dude.  And going meat-free for that many days is entirely unnatural for an average dude.  Any dude who disagrees with that is a complete tool.  And a dirty, smelly hippie.  And is worthy of all the mockery you can muster up to completely shit on him for being such a total douchebag.

So this much I knew: I couldn’t do five days.  So what can I manage?  Well, I figured I could manage vegetarian on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  It made perfect sense,  I’d break up the work week that way.  Meat on, meat off, meat on, meat off, meat on, nom nom nom nomm nomm.  And… I built in room for improvement: if I could handle Tuesdays and Thursdays easily, I could possibly squeeze in Wednesday as another vegetarian day, and I’d be rocking three – THREE! – vegetarian days a week.  By my measure, I’d be a fucking rock star.  Not rock star like Lemmy of Motorhead.  This’d be a vegetarian rock star.  So a bit more like Nickelback, probably.

And now, eight months later, am I rocking this diet?  Like fuck I am.

This idiotic leafy regimen has turned into one of the most excruciating things I’ve ever done to myself – and continue to.  And it’s made me grumpier than ever.  It blows and I can’t stop.  I hate it, but I can’t not do it anymore because stopping now would mean a) I’m admitting defeat (and I don’t admit defeat EVAH! Charlie Sheen could take a few lessons from me, I’m not joking), b) I’ll actually be regressing to eating more shit that’s bad for me, and c) my fiber intake will probably be compromised.  Don’t give me grief about that last one – my ten reliable minutes on the can is one on my daily highlights.

So why is this so agonizing?  Because I can’t find a thing to eat on Tuesdays and Thursdays anymore.  ”Hey stupid, what’s wrong with a salad?”  I’ll tell you what’s wrong with a salad: it’s a fucking salad.  I hate salads.  Unless that salad consists of 98% potato, it can fuck right off.  Here’s the thing, being Chinese, I have a natural aversion to raw vegetables.  Because salads are not, have never been, and never will be part of Chinese food.  You’ll find a Greek salad, a Caesar salad, salads with French dressing, salads with Russian dressing, just about every imaginable nationality – when the fuck have you ever seen a Chinese salad?  And don’t give me that shit about salads with a couple of orange slices thrown in it, the sort you find wilting and festering in the corner of a McDonald’s (go on, I triple dog dare you to order that four-month old salad in that plastic case).  That’s about as Chinese as fortune cookies.  I’ll bet some jerkoff named Saul from Queens came up with that stupid idea.  I don’t know if that’s true, but I’m prepared to blame anyone for perpetuating the idea that there’s such a thing as a Chinese – sorry, Asian! – salad.  Fuck that.

Here’s the thing: Chinese people don’t eat salads.  It’s a heritage thing.  It probably dates back to thousands of years ago in China when everything was as sanitary as the floor of a subway car.  And if you’ve ever been to China (I have, no need to go back anytime soon, thankyouverymuch), you’ll see that not much has changed.  Back then, if you ate a raw lettuce leaf, it’d probably kill you inside of three minutes.  You think I’m kidding?  So, what was the solution then?  You cook the shit out of everything. Fire of dragons, black cauldron of smoldering oil, stirfry that motherfucker ‘til it’s barely recognizable as a vegetable.  You fry up that cucumber ‘til it looks like a walnut.  And just to be extra safe, load that shit up with tons of sodium-rich soy sauce and pork lard for added flavor!  Now, those vegetables are safe to eat.  They won’t kill you in three minutes, now they’ll kill you in three years when your heart explodes with lardy goodness.

So salads are right out.  People who eat salads will probably do very well with this vegetarian diet plan I’d drawn out for myself.  You’d go nuts on every variety of salad out there and you wouldn’t be bored for a month, I’ll bet.  Maybe two.  I get no such relief.

So what am I left with?

Pizza?  Pasta?  Roasted vegetable sandwich?  A falafel?  Saag paneer?  Veggie burger?  Is there anything more emasculating than ordering a veggie burger?  Hell, I could always go Chinese with vegetable fried rice or noodles, or the occasional vegetable stir fry.  Tofu for the win, yeah!  And how long before all of that gets old as shit?  Try doing that tiny routine for eight months and counting.  And it’s not like I’ve listed anything that’s particularly good for me either.  How healthy can a ball of deep-fried mashed chickpeas be anyway?  Topped with those insanely good red and white sauces, a falafel will probably kill you in about as much time as a raw mushroom in ancient China.

God, what a fucking dreadful diet I carved out for myself. Mired in tedious options, probably not even fully realizing any proper benefits from going veggie.  And squeezing in the Wednesday?  Like fuck, I can barely manage the two days I got going now.  I swear, sometimes I wake up on a Tuesday, immediately realize that it’s a veggie day and I break out in a cold sweat.  Sometimes on those days I’ll crave meat so unnaturally that I swear I’d eat a bag of deep-fried chicken assholes if it meant that I could get my fix.

I wish I knew why I find it so fucking hard to do this diet.  It’s only two days out of the week.  It’s only vegetables, it’s not gonna kill me.  Oh, that’s right – vegetables are fucking boring.  And meat is euphoric.  I swear a mediocre cheesesteak will beat a killer salad any day of the week.  Especially on a Tuesday or a Thursday.  And if anyone tells you differently, you’re entitled to rip out their tongue because they’re clearly not using ‘em.

Anyway, I concede that this was a stupid idea from day one.  I loathe it, I scorn the day I thought it was a good idea, I fucking hate that Graham Hill guy in that TED Talk, but above all else, I hate that I can’t bring myself to end this veggie diet.