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The Billy Connolly Diet

June 8th, 2013

After a series of medical wake-up calls for me and those close to me I embarked, in April, on a program of getting healthier.  There’s a thousand books with a thousand diets that all seem about one thousandth as interesting as eating nothing but organically grown free range moss.  There’s no doubting, it’s surprisingly difficult to eat ‘well’ in the context of a busy life in Southern California….but I decided to stick to a diet plan I’d heard described by the Scottish stand-up comic, Billy Connolly.  It’s simple, it’s scientifically proven to work, it’s sustainable - and I can tell you….it works!

Eat Less. Do More. -  Billy Connolly

Obviously - with a scientific mind, I’ve got a bit quantitative on it.  I’ve started eating less. Specifically, eating only when I’m hungry, and trying to avoid snacking, grazing or other extreme culinary sports.   I’ve also made sure that what I’m eating is comparatively healthy.  Oatmeal in the morning…I know, I know, Oatmeal is boring as hell.  I make it with fat free milk, throw a handful of low sodium trail mix in there, a squirt of honey…and it’s tolerable. It’ll get me from 7am till lunchtime without feeling hungry inbetween.  Then, for lunch and dinner - big ass salads. All the leaves I can throw in the work cafeteria salad box. Maybe with a bit of turkey. Maybe it’s a bit of tuna. Maybe I’ll mix it up and have a Spicy California Tuna Roll instead….but no more than that.   And for dinner…another big ass salad, but with a bit of cheese, or chicken, or avocado..something to mix it up a bit as well.

I’ve started doing more.  I don’t think I could handle a gym. Too many judging overachievers with a BMI as vanishingly irrelevant as their personality.  What do I do?  Make my walk from the car to the office take about half an hour of hilly walking. Do the same when I walk back out to the car in the evening. Weekends, try to - at least once - go on a hike somewhere interesting…maybe walk up a hill, and cycle back down.

Doug Weight from April 2013

Doug Weight from April 2013

This live chart from the Google doc I use to track my weight shows that over the past 2 months I have dropped about 14 pounds. 7 pounds a month.  0.23 pounds a day.  That’s about 800 calories - the high end of the 500-1000 calorie deficit considered healthy for weight loss.

It’s a balance of getting a little bit fitter and healthier to ‘unlock’ the ability to do a swath of exercise that, at 200lbs and the fitness and agility of an Edwardian roll-top desk, are just not possible. I might have gone for a 2 mile hike - and given up at the 1 mile mark because I simply couldn’t handle it.   Now, at 190lbs, which might not seem much less, I feel fine. I can push a bike up 6 miles of San Gabriel mountain and then Weeeeeeeeeee—-ride all the way back down again.  It’s thrilling to be a road to a healthier Doug.

What’s my goal? To level out when I feel ‘healthy’. Not before.  Not After.   So - if your heart sometimes skips a beat, or walking up stairs makes you breathless, or you have a history of heart issues in your family…and you’re pushing 210 pounds…do what Billy Connolly would do.

Eat Less. Do More.

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