About that Last Diet

On October 3, 2011 I wrote this post about my last diet. And by last I meant final. Because after more than two decades of trying to figure out this weight loss business, I honestly felt like I only had one attempt left in me.

As it happens to turn out (as with so many things I say) I was wrong.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s first step back and see how that so-called Last Diet went. As usual, we begin with a graph.

Weight loss graph

The first eleven weeks went quite well as you can see. The diet even survived Halloween and Thanksgiving, and by December 2, 2011 I had lost thirteen pounds. Not a lot, compared to some other diets I’ve had in the past. But as this was my last diet, I had decided to take the slow and steady route.

But there was one small problem. The Switch wasn’t on. I was certainly going through the motions, and getting some positive results, but deep down inside I knew The Switch hadn’t been flipped and this was bound to fail sooner or later. Like so:

Weight loss graph

The astute reader will notice that the first and last points along the X-axis share the same Y-value. In diet-speak that’s what we call “gaining it all back.”

My Next Last Diet

On February 13, 2012, disgusted, I decided to try just one more time. And this time, with a plan: gluten-free, dairy-free, and (hardest) artificial-sweetener-free (meaning: no diet soft drinks). Oh, and also: keep it under 2000 calories per day. I even decided to get serious about tracking food again. I logged into MyPlate and was greeted by:

MyPlate Widget

Why yes, I would love to add that widget to my site. I doubt that’s the kind of advertising MyPlate was hoping for when they implemented this feature, but who am I to question it?

Anyway, I started this new diet plan and it went extremely well. For one day. Because without thinking, I mistakenly began a diet the day before Valentine’s Day, and while dining with Laura that day, I accidentally broke a few of my rules. So I took the mulligan and restarted this last diet on February 15.

Time for another graph!

Weight loss graph

In the interest of speeding up this blog post, I won’t go into the details. Suffice it to say this was working and I rarely felt hungry. I logged what I ate every day and I most definitely felt like The Switch was on. Fer real. This was it.

The Unexpected Diet

Though this plan was going well, it still didn’t have quite the “oomph” I was looking for. Slow and steady no longer held the fascination over me that it once did. I wanted to kick this into high gear.

So after doing some more research, I found the most sure-fire diet imaginable. Here it is in a nutshell:

  1. Either via genetics or known carcinogens, get cancer.
  2. Begin treatments.
  3. Watch the fat melt away.
Please, as with all diets, check with your doctor first before beginning any new diet or exercise program. Back to the Fridge is not responsible for your health and well-being. Do not attempt this at home. Professional driver on a closed course. Offer void where prohibited.

Here’s something I learned while in the hospital for ten days. A semi-functioning liver coupled with 157 saline bags dripping into my IV coupled with no exercise can only lead to one thing: serious fluid retention. My weight graphs show a very large gap between April 3 and April 17, so I really have no idea what sort of ups and downs occurred while bedridden. All I know is that before I went in the hospital I was about 220 and my first at-home weigh in afterwards was 222.

Now, with everything going on with me, you’d think the last thing I’d be concerned with is my weight. But I had to admit I was a trifle disappointed by the two-pound gain. Until I realized it was the fluid retention. My first clue that I was retaining fluids at all was the balloonish nature of my feet, my giant, swollen ankles, and my legs which recalled sturdy, young oak trees. At first, I was afraid I hadn’t taken any pictures of this mess. But as I flipped through my camera, I managed to find one:

Fortunately, as my body began to heal, it also began to rid itself of the excess fluids. The day after I weighed in at 222, I was 211. Wait a sec. 211? Seriously? I stood there and blinked and weighed myself again. Still 211. “I lost eleven pounds in one day? Holy crap.”

The next day I weighed in at 205. “I lost six more pounds in one day? Double holy crap.”

The next day I weighed in at 201.5. By now my feet, ankles, and legs looked perfectly normal and I had lost a grand total of about twenty pounds in three days. (And based on official doctor visit weigh-ins, it was twenty-six pounds in four days.)

Can we see that last graph?

Weight loss graph

The astute reader will even notice I dipped into Onederland for a couple days. But, once the Universe realized that happened, it bumped me back up to 201, which is where I’ve been hovering ever since.

So that’s my diet update. While I’m not entirely thrilled with this whole Linoleum thing, I have to admit that, all else aside, this whole unexpected diet “success” was entertaining to watch unfold. I know I’m definitely in for some rough times ahead, and future weight changes might not be as fun to observe. But for now, I’ll take whatever enjoyable diversions I can get.

20 Responses to “About that Last Diet”

Charlie said
May 1, 2012 at 12:10 am

Oh, I almost forgot. Today is my weight tracking anniversary. My spreadsheet begins on May 1, 1990. How pathetic is that?

    Karen said
    May 3, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Not all too pathetic (your weigh-in from 1990) as I have one from 1987 (but I am two years older than you, so maybe we’re almost even!). I have all my Weight Watcher’s cards, and my personally created Excel and other spreadsheets. Does this diet thing run it the family? It must. I have a special event coming up on May 12th (10 days) and had every intention in January of losing 20 pounds before then. I don’t think I can achieve what you did in 3 days, but I’m trying. Praying for your healing and that there is little nausea. Keep up the good work. Smooches – KintaKaren

Michelle said
May 1, 2012 at 4:56 am

Charlie – I love the graphs especially the pictures behind the graphs. The unicorn and cat have made my day.

Thankfully you are keeping a sense of humor through all this.

Maybe your next book will be about beating the linoleum with laughter!!

Have a great day!!

Deb said
May 1, 2012 at 6:23 am

Well Happy Anniversary Chuck! Big doin’s going on with your body.

I am thinking the absence or presence of a little sucralose or gluten either one may not get quite the attention it would under other less preoccupying circumstances, but good on you for sticking to the plan.

A query:Is your switch flipped or no? I think mine is broken off but I’m at least stuck at a weight that is still within 8 pounds of target, so….. Excelsior!

Deb said
May 1, 2012 at 6:23 am

PS – why is it that your comments clock lives in another time zone? Just curious….

    Charlie said
    May 1, 2012 at 6:44 am

    This blog runs on a server in the mountain time zone, so it’s using the system (or more accurately, database) default time zone. Every once in a while I look into adjusting it, but then I think: no matter what I set it to, it’ll be wrong for 23/24ths of the world. I suppose I could set it to UTC, but in some ways that might be worse.

      Charlie said
      May 1, 2012 at 7:55 am

      Well, I at least changed it to central time, but as you can see, existing comments have been permanently stamped with MT. That’s a bit unfortunate. I’d hoped WordPress stored dates in UTC but then displayed them in whatever local time zone set at the configuration level.

      Anyway, it’s still wrong for 23/24ths of the world, but at least it agrees with my wall clock now.

yourprettiersister said
May 1, 2012 at 6:31 am

Happy Graph Anniversary!!! Ha!

Can I lose that much weight in 4 days please!

It’s funny when you mentioned that you shouldn’t be concerned about the number on the scale given all that was going on – but I’m pretty sure I would have thought the same thing!

I love you Charlie!

Biz said
May 1, 2012 at 6:47 am

I was actually telling Tony that I thought you’d get to onederland, but getting cancer wasn’t the best way to go about that!

And I love My Little Pony and the elephant picture – so funny!

Having dinner with Momma tonight – have a great day Charlie!

Love, your prettiest sister, Biz

Anna said
May 1, 2012 at 8:47 am

Not the ideal way to lose 20lbs, but hey, trust you to take the easy way out!!! lol

Kiddin, of course.

22 years of diet bliss! I think our lives are running in parallel, although I’m probably more like 1980!

Hey ho! Some of us are just born to diet! ๐Ÿ˜€

Keep smiling Charlie ๐Ÿ™‚

Julie said
May 1, 2012 at 11:17 am

Can I have a pair of legs like that? You made me laugh Charlie.
Hope that you are doing okay. I remember coming into onederland with you. Still there but have gain a bit back. Gotta get back on the wagon.
Take care Charlie. Blessings!!

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Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said
May 2, 2012 at 7:18 am

So is that the title of your next book? The Linoleum Diet? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Charlie said
    May 2, 2012 at 8:11 am

    I’ll call it, “How You Can Lose Twenty-Six Pounds in Four Days But Shouldn’t.” It’ll be a best-seller.

Suzie said
May 2, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Wow, that’s a lot of weight in 4 days…crazy that you could lose it like that! Keep smiling and keep laughing ๐Ÿ™‚

Stoic said
May 2, 2012 at 8:31 pm

OMG! That cat is cracking me up!!!

brian h said
May 4, 2012 at 9:42 am

You made me laugh out loud unexprctedly s. everal times with this post. God bless you man. You are my hero right now. Brian

    Charlie said
    May 9, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Laughed unexpectedly? You’ve been here before, right?

Helen said
May 8, 2012 at 9:09 am

Once again you’ve managed to make lemonade out of… water? I say your humor is going to pull you through everything. Including this last diet!

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