I’d rather set the record “gay”

For some strange reason, the Republican National Committee has me on their mailing list. A couple months ago, they sent me a survey that purports to “set the record straight.” Having recently taken two graduate courses in statistics and quantitative analysis, I was quite amazed by the survey tool as an unbiased method for gathering information. Well, I guess you could call it “unbiased,” if you worshipped Rush Limbaugh.

I made some edits to the survey that I thought the RNC might appreciate. I appreciated that they always include a postage-paid envelope for my responses. It helps the US Postal Service and saves me money! What could be better???

The Doctor is in

Steve G and I started the South Beach Diet on January 2. In the past 15 weeks, I have lost 24 pounds and Steve has lost 20. That works out to about 1.5 pounds per week, which is the right pace for a sustained weight loss, the experts say.

I’ve gone from a 35″ waist, when I was 196 pounds, down to a 32. The day clothing manufacturers added the 35″ size is a day to be both blessed and cursed. It saved me from the dreaded 36s, but it also allowed me to go beyond the 34, which had always been my limit. Now, I have some 32s that are almost loose. I never thought I’d see that day again!

South Beach is a great eating plan for people like me. The book is written to educate people on why some foods are better to eat than others. I admire Dr. Agatston because he really doesn’t care how much we weigh – he wants to avoid health problems in the future. But there is this added benefit of getting thin that is the carrot on the stick.

It’s really not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. (Does that mean the radical right will start worrying about the “South Beach Agenda”???) I am hooked. It even has me exercising more. I bought a Pilates video that Steve and I are using. It may be a little bland, but it works. And I’m TiVoing different shows on Discovery Channel’s FitTV to get more cardio into my exercise routine.

There are naysayers who think that this diet is part of the “low-carb” craze that is currently sweeping the United States and elsewhere. They’re wrong. The first two weeks cut out almost all carbs (except for tomatoes and some “starchy” vegetables like beans), but that is done mostly to force your body to get over the cravings that are natural when you’re used to eating a lot of sugary-sweet things. It’s also low fat, so you can’t have a glass of whipping cream with your scrambled eggs and bacon. (You can’t even have the bacon, much to Steve’s chagrin.)

Starting the third week, you get to add whole grains and fruits, a little at a time. The goal during this phase is to figure out the right spot where you can continue losing weight (and improving your blood chemistry). For me, it’s three servings of grains and two fruits.

We can tell you that as a weight loss plan, this works. No, it’s not easy. We cook a lot more now, but we also try to make food in batches that can last us through the week. The first two weeks are tough, but the results make up for the relatively minor sacrifices you have to make. I’ll report back later on the blood chemistry thing. I had a blood test back in November, and I’ll be having my annual physical in a month or two. Then we’ll see if my cholesterol numbers have changed.

Stay tuned.