I’m overweight again (for me), need to go back to paleo


I saw this ad, being blasted on both sides of the Atlantic for its body-shaming message, and it reminded me: I weighed myself over the weekend, and it’s time to go back to the full paleo diet.

It’s not that I looked at this ad and decided I need to do something because I don’t look like the person in the picture. If I DID look like the person in the picture, I’d have a whole other set of problems — such as standing in front of a mirror looking at myself all day, which would hurt my productivity.

No, I was concerned about this before the picture. This just reminds me.

I’d been feeling like the waistbands of all my pants had shrunk for a couple of weeks now. After gorging myself on ribs Saturday night, I tried the scale at my parent’s house (we don’t have one at home), and it was as I suspected: 181.6 pounds.

That doesn’t sound like much for a guy who’s a fraction under six feet, does it? But it is, particularly if you’ve always had a skinny frame. A guy with a skinny frame doesn’t look good with a gut. And a guy with a skinny frame who weighs more than 180 has a gut.

I looked it up. This chart says that if I have a “light” frame, I should weigh 146-157. If I have a “medium” frame, it’s 154-166. I don’t know what’s perfect for me, but the last time I had really been working out heavily for awhile and felt in super-good shape, I was somewhere in the 160s. You know, in the range for wrestling Shute.

A year ago, I was around 170, maybe a trifle under if I took off my shoes. I was working out every morning, a hard 40 minutes on the elliptical (“The West Wing” on Netflix was helping with that”). I was eating strictly paleo — no grains of any kind, no potatoes, no legumes, just meat, fruit and non-legume vegetables. It’s not the most in-shape I’ve ever been, but it felt good.

I need to get back there.

I don’t know why I’m telling all of y’all this, except that if I say it out loud and have witnesses, maybe I’ll actually do it.

14 thoughts on “I’m overweight again (for me), need to go back to paleo

  1. Doug Ross

    I’ve seen some people tweet their weight every week when they are trying to lose. The public “shaming” sometimes can be a motivator.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Yeah, I think in my case, a little body-shaming could be a salutary thing.

      So, who’s up for a weekly picture of me in a swimsuit? Not the one in the picture, another one…

      1. Brad Warthen Post author

        Let me hasten to add — that’s a joke, not a threat. I want MORE readers, not fewer.

        I can see the circulation campaign now: “bradwarthen.com — Now with MORE semi-nudity!”

  2. Kathryn Fenner

    The basic rule of thumb I read is that everybody gets 100 lbs. for the first 5 feet in height, then women get 5 lbs. for each inch over that, men six. Plus or minus 10% for frame. You determine frame size by putting your thumb and index finger around your dominant hand wrist. If they overlap much = small frame, meet = medium, fall short much = large frame. I have a medium frame.
    Of course, weight is only one indicator of fitness—you can be skinny fat or heavy fit–my husband is very muscular (he does this crazy workout involving kettle bells and bear crawls, etc. over at KORE Wellness). He weighs a whole lot more than he looks, because of it, although he also could stand to lose a few…
    BMI is a lousy indicator of individual health, btws, b/c taller people and muscular people have proportionally higher BMIs. Football players are usually technically obese, but are far fitter and healthier than some petite woman who lifts Barbie weights.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      By that standard, I have a small frame. So I should weigh 146-157 according to that chart I referenced. Which is ridiculous. I’d be sickly, wasted away, if I got under 160.

      Your six-pounds for every inch over 5 feet sounds sensible to me. By that, I’d weigh 167 or 168.

      Unlike your husband, I have never put on weight from weight training. I’ll bulk up somewhat if I really go at it, but I always lose enough fat to make up for it.

      Women — or rather, a lot (too many) of women — fantasize about looking like the girl in the picture (and I MEAN girl — that’s a girlish figure, not a womanly one).

      Me, I’d like to have about 20 pounds more of pure muscle — with a slightly bigger bone structure to accommodate it. And close to 0 fat. Which means I’d weigh what I do now, but be way leaner.

      By the way, I have the bone structure I have from lack of dairy products growing up (I didn’t start taking calcium supplements until I was grown, and then only sporadically). Other men in my family are bigger-boned, because they drank milk…

      1. Kathryn Fenner

        She’s got a lot of hip for a girl, tho….
        The link between dairy/calcium consumption and strong bones is not very scientific, btws. You also may have a smaller frame b/c of asthma neds, or simple genetics.
        How much protein do you/did you eat? That has some bearing. Japanese immigrants who eat an “American” diet, way higher in protein, become way taller than those who don’t. My brother and I ate way more protein than our parents did growing up and are way taller than either.

          1. Kathryn Fenner

            Even as a growing kid? That’s when it matters, of course.
            Not that being taller is healthier…

  3. Doug T

    I mentioned on this blog I have fasted from solid food on Fridays since Lent (except 2 Fridays I didn’t work). 14-15 Fridays I think. Lost 15 lbs. Fridays aren’t too bad. Saturdays can be rough if I dehydrate too much. I will stick with it until early July when I get my 10 year colonoscopy. That should be good for another (temporary) 5-7 lbs!

    1. Kathryn Fenner

      There is a whole lot of science out there backing the benefits of intermittent fasting. From what I read, fasting 2 days (eating about 500 cals.) and eating normally the others has the most science, but there are also studies backing a small eating window of 6-10 hours–basically skipping a meal. Apparently it resets your system–enhancing insulin response, lowering triglycerides, etc.
      I have found that skipping either breakfast or supper works–breakfast is easier to skip from a social perspective, but I do get munchy early afternoon, but skipping supper is a breeze–I sleep better on an emptier stomach, to boot!

  4. Brad Warthen Post author

    At the beach yesterday, there was a girl pushing one of those frozen lemonade carts. She had a better figure than the one in the picture above — slightly curvier. Her arms didn’t look like sticks.

    But even though she looked less like a survivor of Heroin Chic, she still had to lean into the cart with her whole barely clad body, at more than a 45-degree angle, to keep the cart moving, her head down toward the sand with her hair obscuring her face. Which is always the case — these things are always pushed by gorgeous girls who can’t weigh 110 pounds.

    Which led me to conclude years ago that a huge part of the business model in the frozen-lemonade business is sympathy — the poor thing, having to push that heavy cart! Buy something from her and lighten her burden!

    Sympathy. And, of course, sex…


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