“You’re looking well!”
“You’re a lot slimmer!”
“Is that Shahid?”
“You’re looking sharp”
“You’re setting the standard”
“You’re raising the bar”
I’ve heard all of the above and a lot more these last 7 weeks. As a Type 1 diabetic who’d become obese without noticing, I spent a long time, years in fact, unable to lose weight despite seemingly eating small portions. To start hearing such platitudes from people close to me is quite a pleasant surprise.
Seven weeks ago, my diabetic consultant wanted to put me on more blood pressure medication and once they do that, they’re always reluctant to take you off it again. I’m already on 300mg of Irbesartan for the kidneys, and the last time I tried something, Amlodipine if you must ask, it discoloured my feet and caused my ankles to swell. We soon put an end to that, but the obesity stayed.
The turning point was seeing my reflection in my switched-off-iPad and finding what I saw repulsive. The biggest shock is the incongruence, the moment you come face-to-fat-face with your cognitive dissonance about how fat you’ve really become. Still, all that happened was that I faced the reality, but I took no action.
At the turn of last year, Tim Ferriss’ UK agent was kind enough to send me a preview of The Four-Hour-Body. If you click that, you’ll be able to buy it from Amazon through my affiliate link and I’ll get a tiny kickback, but my mission is not to shamelessly promote Tim’s book. In this series of articles, I’m going to tell you what I loved about it, and what didn’t quite work for me; what I had to adjust and what I was able to aggressively pursue. I’ll also explain why it’s one of the best books I’ve ever read, and why I am definitely a Ferriss fan. So go ahead, buy the book, because even if you disagree with everything he writes, even if you don’t act on it, you will enjoy the style. It’s compulsive, and it beats reading another God-forsaken misery memoir.
I’ve been tracking my weight on the iPhone, the charts make for interesting viewing:
After one week of what I’ll call for want of a better term The Four Hour Diabetic plan, I’d dropped from 95 to almost 90kgs. How the hell did that happen, and how did I break the 90kg barrier before the month was out? Did I crash back up in September? What the hell happened on the 20th, or rather, what did I eat on the 19th to make the 20th look like a disaster? Let’s take a look at September.
Pretty spectacular, right? The trend line does not lie. And at the end of the month, I’m within a Krispy Kreme of my goal weight, which I should remind you, I’m supposed to reach by about December the 6th. Apart from that stupendous peak around the 19th, there is no altering the fact that over the course of the month, I’m dropping about a kilo a week. That’s the upper limit of what you can safely expect, but as Ferriss suggests, go with what works for you. If you’re prepared to break convention, expect unconventional results.
We’re barely into October and we start with a blip up at the beginning, but the trend line tells me I will beat my goal weight 7 weeks before my deadline. That’s spectacular, and I haven’t been to the gym once. I haven’t run once. I haven’t cycled. I did a few kettle bells, but nothing serious and not since August as far as I recall.
Whatever I’m doing works. Look at the comments at the top of the article. I’m getting into suits I haven’t worn since 2006. People who haven’t seen me for two months are not recognising me. I can tie my shoelaces. I can walk reasonable distances. I can take the stairs.
In the next few weeks, I’m going to tell you exactly what I did, how brutally hard it is and how easy it has become to stay with the plan when the results are so amazing. Dieticians will gasp with horror and conventional wisdom will indeed be damned. I will answer with my renewed vitality, my sense of purpose, my hunger for life, my diminishing gut bucket and the three notches in my belt I no longer need.