Fat boy slimmer: Week four - 204.6

Eric Sparling
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I’m halfway to being overweight! Huzzah!

With a 4.2-pound loss this week, I broke the 10-pound mark. No, don’t get too excited (monetary gifts can be donated to United Way). Pounds drop pretty easily in the early days. The hard part of starting a diet is the mental game. Later, as my metabolism slows from prolonged dieting and lean muscle loss – all but inevitable as you shed fat – I’ll need to cut calories further and ramp up exercise to maintain steady losses.

The big difference this past week was the restraint I showed on cheat day. I limited myself to a sub sandwich, a slice of chocolate cake and a big bowl of cereal – in addition to 1,500 calories of my usual fare.

Speaking of exercise, I should probably do some. You’d never know I was once the fitness editor at a fitness magazine. I guess I maxed out my interest in going to the gym early. I always liked weights, never cared for cardio. Now I’m not a big fan of either. Still, if I don’t want to just become a skinny fat guy who wheezes climbing one flight of stairs, I better build my cardiovascular and muscular fitness.

I am trying a little. A few pushups, a bit of time on the exercise bike. I’m interested in running, so that’s on my ‘to do’ list when I get a bit lighter. Standing at the finish line for the Cross Border Challenge – I was reporting, not running – I made an informal commitment with a family member to be a participant next summer. Running a marathon is the dream.

I have two new favourite snacks to report: Neapolitan ice cream sandwiches, and dill pickles when I’ve used up all my calories eating ice cream sandwiches.


This is not an advice column. Please consult a medical expert or nutritionist for sound dietary advice. Eric Sparling is an Amherst Daily News reporter, and former senior editor at Oxygen, a women’s fitness magazine.

Organizations: United Way, Amherst Daily News

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Recent comments

  • Byron Bishop
    June 28, 2012 - 11:06

    Have just read weeks 1 to 4. Mr Sparling is negotiating his way into a weight loss which he will never be able to (a) achieve or (b) maintain. Here's a better plan. Do not eat anything between meals. Nothing. And don't eat desserts. I followed that when my teeth were soft and sore, and I lost weight and am now at BMI 24. I eat fish and chips when we go out, I drink beer occasionally and I am active without exercising. But I have also changed my eating habits to "chronic restrained eating". I have no cheat days. I can also wear my old clothes that I long ago outgrew. When there are ice cream bars and similar things in your diet (except at mealtime) your metabolism will never change. Instead, adopt a new lifestyle, which has lots of nice food at mealtime and nothing in between. Works for a lot of us guys.