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I stepped off prepared with everything I knew about diet and exercise. Which is to say, Not much and much wrong. Starting with all fat is bad and a calorie is a calorie. I began to chart a course away from dietary fictions.
Last Modified: January 10, 2023

July 2014: Dietary Mythos

I started the journey armed with two pieces conventional unwisdom about diet:

Fewer Calories In - More Calories Out = Healthy

One might lose weight on 15 100-calorie cookie packs for a 1500 calorie a day diet, provided one burns more than 1500 calories. Maybe. And there is no sustaining that. It isn’t simple math. A calorie is a unit of energy, not food. Your body does different things with the different things that contain those calories. So where those calories come from is important.

All Fat is Bad

That right there is ancient last century grade A USDA unapproved marketing fad BS. And the driver behind over-stuffed store shelves labeled “fat free”. Some fat is bad in any amount, some is tolerable in limited amounts, some is good in limited amounts, some is very good in limited amounts. Notice a common denominator?

One might lose weight on 15 100-calorie cookie packs for a 1500 calorie a day diet, provided one burns more than 1500 calories. Maybe. And there is no sustaining that. It isn’t simple math. A calorie is a unit of energy, not food. Your body does different things with the different things that contain those calories. So where those calories come from is important.

By September 1 I was two and a half months in. I had lost over 20 pounds. Doesn’t seem like a lot for that length of time but I was rolling like the tortoise rather than the hare And repeat.

I had seen a few people crash thirty pounds off in a month. Seen the same people crash forty back on in two weeks. And repeat. I had done that path. I was determined to think outside the box and find the way. Survival demanded I stay on course to the end. The trick was to find a way that it didn’t suck totally. A path I could walk repetitiously within the context of my own individuality.

Cosmic Individuality

Individuality is a word that is going to roll on out a lot from here on. I have mine. You have yours. Yours is different than mine. In nearly every regard. That is why every “diet plan” has its successes and failures. For the successes that meant the plan worked within the framework of self for them. The failures. Not failures. Just not in alignment with the individual needs of the person who was unable to make it work.

Ourself knows when ourself is being authentic with ourself. And how profound is that?

There is no crime or sin in trying something and it not working. But don’t let yourself fall into the mind trap of thinking that because this thing, or even these ten things didn’t work, that nothing will.

Not so reader. You must simply find the groove that is most authentic to your cosmically individual self. True not only to your physicality, but also to your emotionality and spirituality. It’s all connected. That makes it cosmic. There’s whole essays on that coming. Promise.

A Typical Dietary Day
A Typical Food Day Late 2014-2015

Finding the difference in an authentic path

I did not know what that “different” was or what it would entail, but I knew three things: 

1. Sustainable transformation

I knew that making changes that endure are bigger than diet and exercise. DIet and Exercise are parts of a much bigger picture. But parts that require mastery nonetheless.

2. Understanding comes with time... and effort

I knew that the understanding of what those things are would come to me through the gradual process of looking. This great book says something along the lines of “they who seek, find. They who knock, will have the door opened for them.”

Spiritual usage replete with multilayered shades of meaning aside. It’s applicable.

3. That I had Help

I knew that God, The Goddess, the Universe, the Quantum Super Intelligence whose beloved lab rats we are or whatever one wants to call that thing that’s bigger than us, had my back.

Why? Because I asked real nice and expected the help.

How a word becomes an obstacle: The Diet Circus

I already knew that diet was  a dirty word. Honestly though, it’s just a word that means the stuff we eat. It can be poor or good. Depending.

But as soon as we put the letter “a” in front of it? making it “A Diet.” It becomes problematic up in our head. It did in mine anyway. “A Diet” becomes a phrase that conjures up the visual impressions and emotional energy of all that we can never again enjoy. A negative mind-picture that kicks the gain on our internal misery meter all they way up to ten.

During this time I gave my relationship with food a serious rethink.  I started out with what I knew, No Fat, Count Calories, fewer you eat more you burn the better.

I also knew that this course was unsustainable long term I had to find a balance with nutrition and food. I saw that I needed to eat in alignment with my overarching desires, which were to be well and live. That meant transcending the idea of a diet as a weight loss tool into a balanced, sustainable and enjoyable dietary lifestyle.

As the old cliché goes, The Lord helps those who wait, provided the work like hell while they wait. I went with what I knew with the help of the MyFitnessPal App. After a period of time I was able to develop my calorie sense through developing a routine and better eating habits.

Starting with what I knew

It’s the first steps so you go with what you know right? So I did. Which means I bought low or no fat everything and counted calories like a miser counts coins. This works, but is misleading and not entirely sustainable. And unless a person is that super detail oriented person who does that kind of thing for the perverse pleasure of doing so, they aren’t going to do it forever. And if all calories were created equal. They aren’t.

Right here I want to start droning on about calories. But that’s for later, trying to stick to the story.

I am a creature of routine. That is part of my individuality. for me prospering means following a pattern that I establish. I did that. So I looked and learned, arriving at the eating arrangement as seen in the image up there. Oh, each day varied, but not by much. Breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, evening pint of 160 calorie frozen something that was pretending to be ice cream. same time every day. I set that routine and followed it like a monk follows vespers.

And my body did what the body does. Adapted solid to that routine leading to…

The Plateau

From December 2014 to March 2015 I lost like 3 lbs. I was bumming hard. I solved this discouragement by taking in a Double Whopper, fries, and a Heavy Metal/ Hardcore festival. 

Then I went back to work and mixed things up a bit to break the plateau. At this point I shifted to all plant based for the rest of the ride. Broke the plateau and cruised on down.

See the swell chart below for the whole. My slow staircase down a hundred pound hill. 


My staircase down to success

Data from MyNetDiary and MyFitnessPal

No Data Found

Eating for yourself, A never ending Journey

There were a lot of other things in other areas of self going on. This was only one facet of the transformation that I allowed. This was one of the things I had to do on the road to an ideal self.

There was a really long walk (next week) and mindful purpose (week after) all working with dietary changes and other stuff to work the end result. In the intervening six years my diet has continually modified. I will cycle through periods of eating purely plant-based then alternate with periods where I will add lean animal proteins. Occasionally I will even have a Whataburger with Bacon and cheese and a beer.

That was my roll, What will yours look like? As you begin to rethink food, do you think there are any “Dietary Mythos” you are clinging to? If you have tried diet programs, what parts worked for you, and which parts didn’t?

Let me know in the comments below.

Thank You for reading. Much love and blessings to you.

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