I've lost and gained so much weight over the years that a friend calls me Oprah.
I once shed tonnage on Atkins, but a single piece of McCain Deep’n’Delicious put an F in front of Atkins.
I've also tried Fit for Life, Belly Off, Lean Muscle, Wheat Belly, and Mediterranean.
In the latter, you adopt the dietary attitude of someone living near Mediterranean Sea.
I'd like to see those good folk adopt that mindset during an Atlantic Canadian winter. You think they'd be choosing olives and tomatoes over storm chips in a raging blizzard when the power has been off for two days and you just had to break into a neighbour’s car to charge an iPhone?
I even volunteered to take part in an author’s research on intermittent fasting, where you fast for 16 hours a day and eat your meals in the remaining eight.
Problem was I was scarfing down more in those eight hours than the Fort Mac Syncrude camp on steak night.
Fasting wasn't lasting.
But this time — admittedly like all the other times — I need something with longevity, an approach that will help me lose weight and keep it off.
I no longer want a spare tire, a muffin top, or a dad bod.
And this has got nothing to do with vanity. I decided to stop caring about how I looked in Grade 8 when my Jordache jeans (Jord-ache, if you will) decided they could no longer contain me and ripped down the middle while on a date with a girl who, I believe, broke up with me because I didn't swear.
And, of course, I’ve since lost all my hair.
Appearance means zilch to a bald man with latent Jordache anxiety.
No, I want to reach and maintain a healthy weight so I'm not confused with the Zamboni when playing hockey, so I can catch my son when he runs off with an inappropriate YouTube video playing on the iPad, so no one gives me the Pillsbury poke and asks if it tickles. (I’ll Pillsbury poke the little …)
I also want to reach and maintain a good weight so I can, hopefully, ward off some of those issues that come with age — heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, some cancers, enjoying Coronation Street, etc.
After trying, and failing, so many times, my challenge is choosing which dietary direction to take.
Do I eat carbs or not?
How about dairy, starch, fat, nitrates, red meat, or bacon (the fifth, lesser known, group in Canada’s Food Guide)?
Do I use a smaller plate, eat four small meals a day or chew each bite 33.687 times?
I’ve read articles that support all of this, and that’s got me in a dietary daze, a dietetic dilemma. I don’t know what will make the scales go up or down.
But I’m going to choose a path that gets me there. I’ll keep you posted. Weight and see.
Steve Bartlett is an editor with TC Media. He dives into the Deep End on Mondays to escape reality and salads. Reach him at email@example.com.