Southern Man

Saturday, February 05, 2011


Like many in the second half of their century Southern Man has long struggled with his weight and his generally poor level of fitness. And like many who have naively prescribed to the "eat less and exercise more" school of fitness and weight loss Southern Man has been continually frustrated by lack of results. And a week of relative inactivity during which he ate far more than he should have threw him into enough of a blue funk to dig out an old digital camera that he hasn't used in years, charge up the battery, set up the tripod, and take a couple of "before" pictures.

The results were profoundly depressing. But rather than wallow in self-pity Southern Man is determined to do something about it.

Southern Man has the luxury of being able to purchase pretty much any book that strikes his fancy (hat tip to Amazon Prime) but when they arrive he typically tosses them in a corner and forgets about them. Well, time to look through the book pile. He dug out Good Calories, Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat (both by Gary Taubes, purchased a few months ago) and read them cover to cover last night. They dispel a number of myths about diet and exercise that Southern Man has long held dear and make a compelling case for weight loss through a low-carb, low-sugar diet.

So Southern Man took a tour of la cocina and found carbs. Lots of carbs. Lots and lots and lots of wonderfully delicious carbs. And sweets. Too many sweets. Southern Man maintains a dark-chocolate cache that is second to none and he visits it far too frequently.

So Southern Man will embark upon a three-pronged program to lose weight and attain at least a modest level of fitness and upper-body strength.
  • To attain a higher level of fitness, aerobic exercise - probably some sort of running program. Southern Man was quite the long-distance runner back in the day and has a shelf of trophies to prove it but that was twenty-five years and a hundred pounds ago. It would be nice to get back to the point where he could participate in weekend runs again.

  • To attain a higher level of flexibility and strength: stretching, exercise and weight training. To say that Southern Man is "inflexible" would be an understatement but he still has the stretching charts from when he was in therapy for his back problems. There are some free weights in la casa as well and you don't need a gym to do squats and sit-ups and push-ups: just discipline. Which has been sorely lacking to this point.

  • To lose fatty weight: low-carb, low-sweets diet. Nothing too draconian here other than to increase awareness of carbs and replace them with meat and green veggies as possible; in fact he may just try to make sure that two of his three daily meals are carb- and sugar-free and eat what he likes for the third one. The sweets will not be eliminated but carefully rationed, possibly by putting the free weights in front of the sweets cache and requiring a certain number of extra reps for access.
And those dreadful digital-camera snaps are on his desktop as a constant reminder to stay the course.


At Saturday, February 05, 2011, Anonymous Gendeau said...

I think you'll find that chocolate doesn't have to be catastrophic carb-wise.

The US and UK pile in the sugar, but in France I've found chocolate that is very high percentage 'actual' chocolate / cocoa.


That site suggests you should look around, you could get lucky even in the States (as I said, the UK seems to love milk-choccy as well)

I'm not saying they're diet friendly, just not diet-pathological

bon appetit

At Saturday, February 05, 2011, Anonymous Gendeau said...

BTW I googled "chocolate haut cocoa france 90% carrefour"

the link was on page two of results, but the actual page was a touch recalcitrant (sp? apres biere!)

At Saturday, February 05, 2011, Anonymous gendeau said...


Where to find them

In Europe
They are everywhere, especially in small food shops, department stores, and most all grocery stores. You will find some Specialty Chocolate shops but they are very expensive.

Expect to pay US equivalent of $0.75 to $2.00, although occasionally more.

In The USA

health food stores and co-ops
fair trade stores
some candy stores
upscale grocery stores
specialty cooking stores
European specialty shops


Post a Comment

<< Home