Hello from Mars!


Some people who know me know what this is about, but I decided to go public.  I have a secret I need to get off my chest, so open up that closet door and here goes: I am way too fat!


My lifestyle is the very definition of sedentary.  I sit at a desk all day, then drive home and sit either at the couch or at the game table all evening.  I hardly move at all.  Add to that, I love food!  And I live in an area where all the things I love are just minutes away.  With UberEats, things that would normally be “too far” are also easily accessible.  All I have to do is tap my phone, then huff and puff my way downstairs to the street and pick up whatever tasty and unhealthy thing I could possibly want.


All this has led to me being much larger than I want or than is healthy.


No one tells me I’m too fat, but the signs are there.  Recently it was embarrassingly pointed out at an amusement park where I was too large to fit in the safety harness on a roller coaster.  But weight loss had been on my mind for a while before that.


The real problem is that I hate hate hate exercise.  Even though I can handle it physically, going to the gym is mentally painful for me.  Also, while eating healthy sounds easy in principle, in practice for a single person it is quite a lot of work.  Plus, the concept of “exercise more and eat better” is not really measurable, so every time I try, I find it easy to make excuses.


All these things led me to the conclusion that I was doomed to obesity.  However, things that don’t change stay the same.  I don’t want to stay the same, so I have to make a change.


The inspiration for my change came from an unlikely source.  I visited my family in Las Vegas about a month ago and went with my brother and sister to see the Penn & Teller show.  I had long enjoyed their show “Fool Us” and I was excited to see them in person.  In the lobby at the gift shop I saw a copy of Penn’s book Presto, in which he details his own weight-loss experience.  On a whim, I decided to give it a read.


In his book, Penn describes a radical diet program he tried.  As I read, instead of “that sounds crazy” I found myself saying “I could do that.”  While extreme, the program is 100% diet and 0% exercise, so, I decided to try!


That is where this online journal comes in.  This is going to be where I chronicle my progress, starting today, November 1, 2018.  Technically, I started the diet yesterday, on Halloween, but this is the first day of writing about it.


Each day, I will record my weight, muscle mass, water weight, body fat percentage, and BMI.  I got a fancy scale that calculates those.  I also got a simple blood pressure taking machine and a tape measure, so I will also post my blood pressure, pulse, and girth each day as well.  I plan to take these statistics each morning at around 7:00 a.m., though the time may vary by an hour or two based on my schedule.


I am also going to take a few pictures each day, but I won’t post those because…I doubt anyone wants to see hundreds of pictures of me without my shirt.


I don’t know yet if I will post this information daily, or whether I will post weekly.  But if it’s not at least weekly, anyone is welcome to remind me!


My goal is to weigh 200 pounds before I go to Israel in May for Eurovision.  Though I haven’t made the travel plans, I will say May 1 just so I have something to measure.  That’s 6 months, which means I need to lose approximately 16 pounds per month.


Without further ado, here are the stats from Day 0 and Day 1:


Date October 31, 2018 November 1, 2018
Day 0 1
Weight 297.2 lbs 293.4
To Go 97.2 lbs 93.4
Body Fat 38.2% 37.8
Muscle Mass 30.5% 30.8
Water Weight 45.9% 46.3
BMI 38.2 37.7
Blood Pressure 135/88 120/73
Pulse 74 bpm 85 bpm
Girth 51¾” 51½”


My meal on Day 0:  Yesterday I started off with 2 boiled russet potatoes, completely plain.  They weren’t as bad as I was expecting, but I am not great at cooking potatoes and they were partially uncooked and a little harder than ideal.  Then I had one Yukon gold potato for desert.  It was sweeter than the russet potatoes, which is something I had never really noticed before.


I cooked another 4 potatoes, but I was full, so I didn’t eat anything.


In honor of the diet, I played two solo games of Terraforming Mars and listened to the Latvian entry from Eurovision 2003.


I slept very well and feel great.  I am down 3.8 pounds from yesterday, but some of that could just be natural fluctuation.  I have been weighing myself for the past 10 days or so, and I have a +/- 5 pounds ratio that I see so I will not get excited yet.


This morning, I didn’t eat anything.  I never eat breakfast, so I am not usually hungry in the morning.  I thought about taking one of the potatoes from yesterday into work and having it for lunch, but I decided not to.  They aren’t so well cooked, and I wouldn’t want to eat it cold.  If I get hungry during the day, I can go home and eat it at that time.

For my scripture reading, I read Alma 28 yesterday.  I was impressed at Mormon’s comments on inequality.  He finds the only true inequality to be whether people will follow God or not.  Rather than addressing the differences in education, birth, and opportunity, he points out that what really matters to God is our willingness to hearken to him.  We see this in the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi who, though born Lamanites and without the same opportunities as Ammon and his brothers, still managed to find God and become a righteous, productive, and happy people.

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