If all goes well, he wrote on the afternoon of March 10th, you’re reading this mid-April and I actually have something to talk about. If so, Long Post Ahead. You’ve been warned.
Caveat: It is, in fact, a long post, and it was written over the course of 30 days. Thus, there are wildly careening tense shifts ahead. I don’t feel like going back and editing it, so hold on tight and deal with it.
Both of my long-time readers know that I have struggled now for years with my weight and my in-the-last-10-years evolution into a nearly full-blown emotional eater. Now and then I get it in my head to try some dietary change to get me back down to something acceptable–which is to say, something sub-220 at the very least. I decide to low-carb or I decide to eat “clean” or I try to do the three-ingredients-max thing. Then one bad day throws me into a tizzy, said tizzy puts me at the drive-through whoring myself out to a double quarter pounder with cheese, and the next day I pretend to be surprised that I’m over 255.
What you have to understand is that I went through my youth with the metabolism of a hummingbird. I didn’t see the high side of 150 until I was in my 20s. Didn’t hit 200 until I worked at a deli and was pounding corned beef sandwiches for lunch five days a week. About 10 years ago I was somewhere in the 210 vicinity. So being 250+ is a little hard to take. Truth is, though, I bought this. I eat like I’m 14, and I make rocks look active. I eat, I sit down to work. I eat later, I sit down to write. I go home, I eat, I sit down. The local YMCA gets a lovely donation from me each month and yet I don’t show up to thank them. Considering they have a sauna and a steamroom, two things I love, my failure to find my way there even once a week is even more pathetic.
In early March, someone posted a link on their Facebook wall to a story about a New York food writer who had “come out” as a vegetarian. Nice enough, but that, in turn, pointed me toward a story about food writer Mark Bittman and his book, VB6. A few years back, Bittman was overweight and pre-diabetic, and was told by his doctor that he had two choices: go vegan or go on medication. Basically, he opted for neither. He chose to do some research, the result of which was his decision to go VB6–Vegan Before 6. The concept is simple. Before six in the evening, dinner time, eat vegan. Not tofu and seitan hot dogs, necessarily, but fruits, veggies, and grains. No meats, no dairy. The whole “nothing with a mommy” idea. After six, the ban gets lifted and, in moderation, you eat what you want/love/crave.
Stop here for a sec. In moderation is one thing. Smart and in moderation is another. When I decided to try to go VB6, I knew that I had to try to meld that idea with the clean eating concept for dinners. In case you’re not familiar with clean eating, it basically just means eating as close to whole as possible. Fresh veggies, simple lean meats, good grains like brown rice or quinoa. In short, and this is the key point, the kind of stuff I love and prefer to eat anyway. And yes, I have tried to eat like that before. But I wasn’t limiting the dairy. I wasn’t relegating the meats to once a day. Most importantly, I was giving up too easily and resorting to the bad simplicity of eating crap. VB6 sounded like something I might be able to pull off.
Before Week 1
Although Bittman’s book isn’t out yet, the idea had me so intrigued I decided to start testing the waters on my own right away. I figured I could course-correct later. I mean, how bad off could I be by reducing meat and dairy in my diet? On Sunday the 10th I went shopping. Got myself some sprouted grain bread (because the English muffins I love were out) to go with the natural peanut butter I had at home. From previous runs at dietary shifts, I knew that this little burst o’fuel could take me a long way in the morning. I bought some green tea to replace my coffee, since I can’t drink it black. I bought zucchini and red pepper, intending to make a little sautee to go with brown rice. (Said sautee using only olive oil, no butter.) And, on a whim, I sprung for a bottle of “Green Goodness” juice that was loaded up with fruits, spirolina, Jerusalem artichoke and other things I’d never have thought of drinking.
The point was, I tend to slip when I get lazy. If I have decent food handy, even if my mood plummets, I’ll eat what’s there. When I hit a pit and I don’t have something to stuff into my face, that’s when the Baconator becomes the best choice ever. I needed to give myself the initial momentum I needed to Evel Knievel my way over my personal Snake River Canyon.
Which just sounds dirty.
Monday morning came, and I started my VB6.
The whole thing began with me checking in at a robust, change-inspiring 254.6 pounds. I went into Day One locked and loaded–I had my sautee, my bread and peanut butter, my willpower. I questioned what I had waiting at home for my first VB6 post-6 dinner–a big, honkin’ leftover beef enchilada from the night before, white rice and black beans rolled in a white flour tortilla soaked in enchilada sauce and peering out from under a mess of cheese. But hey–Bittman said whatever I wanted, right? I just didn’t want it to go to waste, and it had been quite good the night before. Monday actually rolled past without too much worry. I do so very love natural peanut butter, and my sautee was delicious. The enchilada seemed like a reward. I even allowed myself a bit of dessert–a dark chocolate and coconut granola bar. Which is actually better than it sounds.
Tuesday was tricky. A last-minute project put me at work later than I wanted to be. That afternoon I had stopped by a local place to grab a salad, some fruit, and hummus–to go with the just-about-to-be-iffy carrots I’d thought to scrape and cut in the morning–but I’d gone through them. (Okay, there was still hummus, but a) I wanted to save some for the rest of the week and b) I didn’t want to sit there slopping it out with my finger.) By the time I left at 6:30, my sugars had hit bottom. Hunger was getting angry. I was reverting to type. And I sort of gave in to it. Yes, I pulled into the McDonald’s drive-thru. I figured I could just order those nice dropped-in-old-fat chicken strips they had and call it even. But no. They don’t have those anymore. Yet, I managed to avoid the call of my dirty, regrettable lover, the QPC. I settled for a 10-piece Chicken McNugget because, as well you know, you can never get quite enough poultry sphincter and toe-knuckle meat. It filled the void, and I tried to tell myself that I’d been eating nice and healthy for two days, and this would be my only gaffe.
Which it was.
Tuesday night when I got in, I made more brown rice. Wednesday morning while I made my daughter’s lunch I sauteed up the rest of the zucchini, pepper, and onion to go with it. Dinner that night was lemon chicken breast, quinoa cooked in a bit of vegetable broth, and my ever-beloved Brussels sprouts, cooked with just the right hint of caramelization. Which is to say, I left them on a little too long but was able to save them. That dinner tasted so very clean; the sparkle of the lemon, the smoky bite of the sprouts, the fresh flavor of the grain. I made do with half a chicken breast. Thursday, a salad for lunch, with vegan dumplings I have fallen in love with, and a Greek salad with grilled chicken for dinner. That was almost tricky. My son and I have a standing sub sandwich date on the night when he takes karate late. We do this so often and with so little variation, I sometimes only have to mention his sub, and the lady on the other end finishes reciting the order for me. I could have gone steak and cheese. I had earned it per Bittman, right? But their grilled chicken is so good. It was a treat.
Thursday night I had to hit the grocery store for cat food. No, not for me. Headed there, I decided I’d grab some couscous for Friday. I couldn’t find veggies that pleased me, though. Then I wandered toward that part of the store I promised I wouldn’t–the meat substitute area. I figured, why not try? I don’t want to make a big shift to faux meat, but if I could find something tolerable? Why not? I grabbed a pack of “chicken.” But I was still faced with the idea of couscous and fake chicken, period. That wouldn’t do.
This is where a little prep came in handy. I knew I had black beans. I always have black beans on hand. Because they love me, and I love them. So in the morning, I cracked the can and added a good amount to the couscous. But that wasn’t enough. Spices! In went some oregano, cilantro, and cayenne. Even then, I wasn’t done. At lunch I wandered down to the caf, where I had to face up to and deny a St. Patrick’s Day lunch of corned beef and cabbage. (I had already walked away from my usual Friday morning breakfast buffet fare of home fries, six sausages, and two of these eggroll-like things stuffed with bacon and eggs. Besides, I make a better corned beef than they do.) I got some red beans, some green pepper, and a pair of pepperoncini. This, along with a few splashes of one of my favorite hot sauces, Dirty Dick’s Hot Pepper Sauce with a Tropical Twist, made for a fantastic lunch. Even the faux poultry (or faux-po, for short) was acceptable. Friday night was a mixed bag. I was going out to see some of my short plays performed. I had an hour’s ride, so I figured I’d find something on the way. In fact, I found a great little cafe with a caprese panini–I could have a nice little meal and, except for the ciabatta bread which I assume was made with eggs, keep it vegan. Ah, but then, after watching a particularly painful maiming of an otherwise good play (it’s been done before, and far better), I reverted. I was a little hungry, but with my mood, I ended up at the drive through. Chicken strips and fries. This, with pineapple chunks and hummus from my office stash sitting in my backseat. I rationalized that the chicken was the only meat I’d had all day.
Then, of course, there were two weekend lunches to get through. I was worried that this would be my real stumbling block. Saturday means you call the sub place and pack down a big-ass cheesesteak, or find a reason to be near a Five Guys by noon. Sunday looks similar. I’m pleased to say that I did not waver through these difficult times. In the cupboard I found a lonely can of vegan lentil vegetable stew–nice and thick and hearty. That was Saturday. Sunday the wife and I had lunch out. I managed to avoid salad and enjoy a black bean burger–hold the yogurt-jalapeno sauce. Dinner stayed close to clean, with chicken-veggie gyoza and a quinoa pilaf.
By the end of the week, I was definitely seeing some results. The gut was slowly receding. From past forays along this route, however, I know that the first week involves a whole lot of water-weight loss. (I’ve been peeing like a thoroughbred, whatever that means.) So week one is more of a “can you do it?” week than a “look at what you did!” week. And I did do it. Best of all, I hadn’t felt deprived. With the exception of Tuesday, my hunger never got too bad–and never during the day. I mean, I grazed a bit during the day, but it’s fruit or cashews or veggies. Light, healthy stuff. Even the bag of Fritos I scarfed down one day didn’t feel like cheating. After all, it’s corn, oil, and salt. Period. I’ve kept the dinners on the healthy side, too, never taking Bittman’s “eat what you like” credo to mean it was time to mound cheddar over a lump of bacon grease and sandwich it between a pair of coffee rolls. I just ate what I enjoyed, which is simple food prepared well.
I was actually looking forward to Monday morning, when I would again weigh myself. Just for luck, I poured a serious Metamucil bomb down the hatch before bed.
Monday, after all my morning business was concluded, I stepped on the scale. It read 251.1. Disappointed, I stepped off, reset it, and stepped on it again. It read 249.8. Back off, back on, 249.8. So there it was. I had cut a shade under 5 pounds, which is typical for a week where I pretend white bread doesn’t exist. (You know, if you don’t count that panini.) Best of all, the lack-of-reason cravings were going away. By the end of the first week I could look at the cafeteria menu and see something like “steak bomb” or “pastrami,” which normally would have sent me galloping down there, and I could just shrug and either turn to my grains and veggies or head to the local salad bar to let those veggie dumplings make sweet, sweet love to my mouth again.
I’ll wait a moment while you get a wire brush to scrub that image from your mind.
During this week I revisited the couscous and faux-po dish, mostly to get rid of the -po. I tossed it with black beans and herbs and topped it a fresh, spicy pico de gallo the wife had picked up. (I had an avocado to go on top of that, but it wasn’t ripe enough, damn it.) In fact, the Very Supportive Wife had gone to Trader Joe’s and picked up some interesting veggie/vegan choices. Wednesday’s lunch was a microwaved vegan pad thai from said trip. Thursday, that delicious lentil soup with sprouted-grain toast. I was doing okay! Dinners were also coming nicely in line as well. A pork tenderloin, sweet potatoes, and asparagus sauteed in olive oil and garlic on Monday. Chicken on wheat penne drizzled with basil-and-garlic-infused olive oil with tomato and capers on Wednesday.
I even conquered the Tuesday and Thursday night hurdles. In the former, I treated myself to a bowl of red curry chicken soup and tempura California rolls from the Japanese place next to our usual sub shop. (I just wasn’t feeling Greek salad-y.) That, my friends, was a very tasty victory, indeed. Thursday I fought down an urge to “just get a couple slices” at Papa Gino’s while my son was in karate, and instead powered down a Qdoba veggie burrito–who knew they offered brown rice now? So I kept it on the veggie side, and also kept my dairy low. That lead to another treat on Saturday. I was headed in to Cambridge for a nightclub show, so I decided to re-visit a Mexican place I loved when I lived there, a place with burritos the size of hearty toddler. One carnitas burrito and two tacos al pastor later, I was a very happy man.
Over the weekend, I found myself getting more creative in my quest to stay on track. On Saturday morning my sprouted grain muffin hosted a quick batch of guacamole instead of peanut butter. I had the avocados and the salsa, so all it needed was a shot of kosher salt and that became an oh-so-fine breakfast and a nice change from my new norm. Sunday’s lunch was the last small bit of wheat penne in the house, tossed with some marinara (after a careful label read) and some more of the salsa, making for a simple-but-good and quite spicy pasta arrabiata.
Cruising toward the end of Week Two, though, it was occurring to me that while I had a pretty good lock on my dietary/food lifestyle shift, it wasn’t going to matter until I got off my ass and increased my level of activity. With spring theoretically in the air (despite snow) there was no excuse to not at least put a daily walk or two in there. And, yes, I would have to find time for the gym. I was getting a little slimmer, but being fifty and sedentary, there was going to come a point–soon–when I would have to take it up another notch.
Through the weekend I powered up on the Metamucil, and I got ready for Monday.
Heading into the week, I was still feeling good but was not entirely convinced I’d cut that much weight. Even after two weeks of probably the best and most thoughtful eating of my life, the mirror was suggesting that while this was a nice choice from a lifestyle perspective, I could be kidding myself about the weight loss. Looking at myself on Sunday, I guessed that in the morning the scale would read 245.
Well, it read 251.1. I stepped off, then on, and it suggested 253-something. I turned it over, pulled out the battery and put it back in, stepped back on, and it read 249.1. Once more on and off and it said 247.9. I figured one of two things was true: either I really hadn’t lost that much, or my scale, after five years, probably needs a new battery. What was definitely true was that I needed to get more active.
However, I needed to reconsider my up-the-activity idea after an arthritis flare-up in my knee over the weekend caused some swelling and stiffness. It wasn’t painful, but it was enough to convince me to have it checked out, and I thought perhaps putting my return to the exercise bike at the Y off a week would be wise. But I was intent on getting in some walks. That might seem contrary, but since I’d been walking without too much difficulty, I figured I could pull that off, whereas the constant pumping on the bike occurred to me as too much. (This probably makes no frigging sense whatsoever, but there it is.) So, yes–walks. Especially on lunch hours, as I’m just a 10-minute drive from the beach. (A fact which hasn’t changed in two years and yet has not managed to inspire me to any kind of regular visit thus far.)
The week whipped by pretty quickly, and I easily maintained course. Monday night’s dinner was a delicious creamy avocado pasta I found at the blog Oh She Glows (and which she found at myrecipe.org). Before you make a face, think of a nice linguine alfredo, but with a fresh avocado flavor and a hearty shot of garlic. Plus, it whips up in 15 minutes. Boo yah. Actually, with that for dinner, along with sauteed zukes and nice multigrain rolls, I hit my first-ever Meatless Monday. Which I offset on Tuesday by taking my son, who had made honors in school, to 5 Guys. My first dose of red meat and grease in two and a half weeks, and it felt like an absolute treat. I ate nothing else that night, and promised to shoot for going meat-free for the next two days. (Please note: It’s not like I thought one hamburger would somehow undo 15 days of proper eating; I just wanted to safeguard myself against slips.) Quinoa and stir-fried veggies made another appearance, and Wednesday I experimented with soba noodles with peanut sauce, topped with sauteed carrots, scallion, and Brussels sprouts. (Because the frigging grocery store didn’t have bok choy, dammit.) My sauce was a little more hefty than usual, and my saucing hand likewise so, but it was still a nice meatless meal. And, you know…peanut sauce. Win.
Then came Easter. I knew we were having dinner with the in-laws, but I hadn’t realized we were eating late afternoon and not evening. I had a decision to make. There would be ham, turkey, and lamb at table, all of which I love. But technically I’d be two and half hours away from sounding the all-clear meat horn. I was three full weeks into a four-week experiment. I had to decide whether to taint my results to put on a good social show, or decide that I am, in fact, a person who eats VB6 and stick to it. I went for the latter, down to passing on asparagus that had been buttered, and a lovely looking tomato-orzo soup made with chicken stock. I chowed down on a roasted root veggie dish I made, loaded with acorn and summer squashes, turnip, parsnip, sweet potato, and onion. I had some roasted fingerling potatoes which, in retrospect, had probably also been buttered. I was expecting some of the meat to find its way back to my house post-6. When it didn’t, I contented myself with a small round of egg salad I’d made on Saturday from eggs that didn’t make the Easter cut, and awarded myself the Small Victory medal for getting through a meaty holiday 99% animal-free.
At this stage of the game, I’m was noticing changes in what I want and don’t want. For example, one night during this week I had to run to the grocery store for eggs. I had just had an iffy dinner out (crab-stuffed, breadcrumb-loaded halibut under too much cheese) and was feeling kind of snackish. I think that three weeks prior, I would have been reaching for the Ben & Jerry’s. But I didn’t have the urge. I managed, though, to find a box of gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate chocolate-chip cookies, and I treated myself to a couple of those. Even at that, I didn’t have the desire to wolf down the box.
It’s also worth noting that at the end of Week 2 and into Week 3, my sinuses were very clear. This is rare for me. I feel it can be attributed to reducing dairy. I had a milk allergy as a kid, and, of course, milk is infamously mucous-producing, and now that it’s fading from my diet, I’m just clearer up in there. My boss, who’s very much a nutrition freak in a good way, said my eyes seemed clearer. So the changes were going on all over the place. I walked on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, and overall was feeling pretty good.
Because I’ve been writing this as I go along, it’s interesting to scroll back at the beginning of a new week and see how I was perceiving my progress in the days prior. Then I get on the scale and it giggles at me and my efforts. Monday morning, going in the last part of the first 30 days, with the week before having involved a couple meatless days and a modicum of exercise, netted me less than a pound’s loss. I was at 247.2.
At first this bothered me, of course, but only because in my crazy head the pounds were supposed to be coming off me like melting candle wax, my fat suit dripping away to reveal the skinny guy hiding underneath it, and it was supposed to happen by now. This has always been my problem with dietary shifts. If I’m not emaciated within a week’s time, I get depressed and I start eating suet. What I need to do, of course, is to latch onto the understanding that I am at the start of something, even almost 30 days down the road. This is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s a full-on lifestyle change, not a quick fix. And even with the small change over last week, I have to understand that the trend of losing weight continues. I haven’t gone back up, I haven’t back-slid, I’ve stayed the course and I’m not going to undo a couple decades’ worth of poor eating and inactivity in 30 days.
But I can tell you at this point, writing on April 1 without hint of practical joke in sight, that I feel like VB6 is the change that sticks with me.
I carried on with my peanut butter English muffins in the morning. I hit the salad bar a couple times despite my beloved dumplings disappearing from the offerings. I discovered that both Qdoba and Chipotle offer not just vegetarian burritos, but said burritos with brown rice, so double win. Tuesday, in fact, was a two-burrito day–one at each, for lunch and dinner, thus making Tuesday meat-free. (Monday’s dinner was chicken with the roasted rooties.) There were a pair of semi-mistakes mid-week–some very good chicken tenders with fries on Wednesday (the guy puts a bit of curry power in his batter–it’s amazing) and a meatball sub on Thursday. But, again, by the rules of VB6, this is permissible. I just didn’t feel great after. Necessity and bad timing on Saturday found me hitting the drive-thru Saturday night. I managed to keep it to one Spicy McChicken, but that was clearly a mistake. When I got home I heated up a pair of tasty aloo chaat–potatoes, chickpeas, and tamarind in pastry, like an Indian Hot Pocket, but less likely to induce vomiting. But I must give myself some kudos for Friday. I had intended to treat myself to a local joint’s duck confit-filled potato skins, but the place was packed. I was on the edge of hungry, and decided I’d just hit the grocery store and get some good beef hot dogs and just have them naked with baked beans. Upon entering the store I was given a sign: 10 avocados for 10 bucks. Hallelujah. I grabbed two and some wheat linguine and joyfully revisited my creamy avocado pasta, for a meatless Friday.
The activity level rose this week. I walked on the beach on Monday when the temps nearly hit 60, but skipped the walk the next day when it was 35. Hello, New England in spring. Hit it again on Wednesday and on Thursday night, post-regrettable-sub, while my boy was in karate. On Friday I walked in the woods at a nearby cove. If it wasn’t for a bit of a throbbing knee after my Friday walk, I would consider stepping it up from 15/20 minutes to 30. Maybe soon. (I didn’t walk on Saturday per se, but spent an hour re-lining a garden pond and moving 5- to 10-pound rocks, so we’re calling that one even.) As much as the change of diet is becoming integral, so is the walking. During the work week it’s a nice way to clear my head. (This will not be news to anyone who has walked.)
Despite all this, on Thursday night I was feeling like nothing was happening. In fact, I worried that I had gained. So against my own rules, on Friday morning I hopped on the scale. It read 246.3. Almost a full pound from Monday to Friday. It restored my faith–but left me wondering if my weekend regime was sabotaging my efforts. Monday would tell. After that it was just two more days to the 30-day mark.
The Final Few Days
It is without the slightest hint of surprise that I tell you that the last Monday morning weigh-in of the 30-day stretch came in at 248, my first backward motion of the run. Admittedly, Sunday night’s dinner was a chicken, onion, and pepper calzone of reasonable size because, in the spirit of full disclosure, I was watching WrestleMania at a friend’s house, so you have to figure that was still with me that morning. I also didn’t walk on the weekend, but did a fair amount of yard work. I called it even, and perhaps that was a mistake. Knowing that I was at the tail end of the experiment, I soldiered ahead. Monday night’s dinner was a simple breast of chicken with the ever-popular sprouts and some store-bought portabella and provolone raviolis that I sauteed in a bit of olive oil and garlic to put a little crisp on ‘em. That night I also brewed up some brown rice for the week. (And gave in to a craving for a Rocky Road Klondike bar. My first in a long, long time.) On Tuesday I was close to broke, which gave me the impetus to skip the usual Tuesday-night-with-the-boy fare. I waited until I got home–taking note of the fact that I wasn’t being tortured by hunger–and used Monday’s leftovers to make chicken salad–which, normally, I could eat pretty much every day. Especially when tarragon is involved. I warmed up a pair of multigrain dinner rolls to use as bread. Happy Johnny.
On Wednesday morning I got on the scale. And I smiled.
If you’ve gotten this far, 5,000 words about what I had for dinner later, you have probably come to the same conclusion I have: there are virtually no surprises here.
Honestly? It’s pretty obvious. Try not to eat crap, get off your lazy duff, and you lose weight. Go figure. For me, personally, what has come as a surprise is finally finding a dietary shift that not only works for me, but actually sort of invigorates me. It rewards and reinforces my appreciation for clean eating, and also nudges me to a more plant/fruit/grain-based food lifestyle.
Although Bittman’s book isn’t out until the end of this month, from reading ahead I can tell you that the other benefit that he calls out is that by reducing your meat intake, you technically contribute to lessening your overall environmental impact because of what it takes, resource-wise and energy-wise, to raise food animals. I would have to confess that I haven’t given that much thought, but if your social awareness is keener than mine and bends in that direction, there’s another reason to go for it.
And juuuust in case, because I know how the internet works, if you’ve come here after the book comes out and you’ve read it, this will not be the place where you want to let me know how I misinterpreted VB6, or what I did wrong. I’ll be reading the book and adjusting my approach accordingly. And if you do feel like arguing it with me, I’ll just point at my stomach and smile some more.
I would tell anyone planning to go VB6 that they genuinely need to enjoy cooking. Otherwise, it could get old fast. You can’t do salads every day for lunch. I mean, you can, but that would suck, and I’m glad I didn’t have to go that way. A desire to play with food, like the avocado pasta or the couscous with black beans and tomato or the soba with peanut sauce, goes a long way. I enjoy the challenge of keeping myself interested and finding ways to adapt the stuff I know I like and bring it to this new mindset. I’ve found several great vegan sites, like Oh She Glows, and those have inspired me as well. And I’ve just scratched the surface. So viewing your kitchen as a playground and having a very open culinary mind is extremely helpful.
What matters most, I think, is this: Having started eating this way makes me want to continue eating this way. I can see giving myself “skip” days here and there going forward. I don’t want to be the guy at your barbecue noshing on salad and blue corn chips because it’s 4:45 in the afternoon. In my head, if I have a skip day, I then balance the scales with a pair of meat-free days. I don’t worry about reverting if I have a burger for lunch one day out of 30 because I know how much I enjoy living this way–even beyond the weight loss.
I guess I haven’t mentioned the final number yet, right? Here you go: as of the morning of April 11, the scale read 244.5.
It’s a nice start, and that’s what I most need to keep in mind: 30 days is just a start. I can find my way to 220, and even lower. It’s certainly more of a challenge at 50 than it would have been at 35 or 40, but it will be interesting to see where I am in 60 days or 90. Or a year from now. If 220 is my target, then I’ve set my initial sights on losing 34 pounds. As I bring this entry to a close, I have lost 10 pounds. I’m already 30% of the way there.
So although the book hasn’t hit yet–and I very much look forward to reading it–I would like to say to Mark Bittman: Thank you, sir. Thank you very much.
I am a person who eats VB6.