Potato Diet – Day 1


All my life, I’ve kinda avoided crazy diets, but have always struggled with my weight.  I’ve tried food tracking, limiting calories, etc, and they achieve results but haven’t “taken” long term.  I’ve seen the cabbage soup diet, juice fasting, etc, etc and I’ve always stayed away from them.  So I’m allowing myself a chance at a good crazy diet for the first time.  I’ll explain the inspiration and my reasoning.

First of all, what will typically happen is I’ll lose anywhere between 10 and 40 pounds over the course of 6 months, and will slowly introduce cheating elements over those months into it.  Eventually, I’ll run into a holiday, birthday, etc, and the whole thing goes to shit.

It’s become clear to me that this is not just a bad eating habit, but I have had a long-running addiction to overeating and food.

I’m 36 years old, 334 pounds (was 355 prior to my last diet which derailed around the 320lb mark).  I’m clearly in Stage 2 Hypertension, get winded too easily, and barely have enough energy to get through the day.  I know that a heart attack or diabetes is in my future if I don’t change – possibly both.

I reached a point in my life where I was willing to sacrifice the future for the sake of enjoying the present.  And I’m now looking down the barrel of having a life in which I want as much of a future as possible.

I have followed the magician/entertainer Penn Jillette for quite some time and it was no secret that he had lost a lot of weight, but it wasn’t until a few days ago that it was revealed how:

He ate nothing but potatoes for two weeks straight, then slowly introduced other fresh veggies and stews into the mix.  No salt, no oil, no seasonings at all.

It was also revealed the scope of the change, in that he lost 100lbs in 87 days.

It’s not necessarily the speed of things that entices me, but the reasoning.  His lifestyle and health sounded very similar to mine, and his reasoning was this:  He was never big on moderation and he needed to make a dramatic change.  He entered into this to both reset his taste buds and to break his addiction and alter his relationship with food.

This is what I need to do – break my addiction and alter my relationship with food.

So, I decided to go through with this.  Fortunately, I had some money available to me on my health insurance’s Flex account, so I decided if I’m going to do this, I’m going to log everything and do it with a modicum of intelligence, considering I acknowledge this is a pretty stupid endeavor.

I bought a blood glucose meter, a blood pressure machine, and a scale that was able to handle my bulks.

I took some stats for a few days prior to doing this, so I have a baseline “control”.  I’m taking my stats each morning before consuming anything.

  • Day 1 (control)
    • Systolic BP: 186
    • Diastolic BP: 113
    • Pulse: 93
    • mg/dL: 111
  • Day 2 (control)
    • Systolic BP: 200
    • Diastolic BP: 113
    • Pulse: 83
    • mg/dL: 105
  • Day 1 (start of diet):
    • Weight: 334
    • Systolic BP: 184
    • Diastolic BP: 117
    • Pulse: 93
    • mg/dL: 110

I had never really monitored my blood sugar before, but according to what I’m reading, considering I’m doing this after 8 hours of no eating or drinking anything, my levels put me squarely in the camp of prediabetic.

This shit definitely needs to stop and I need to approach it as the addiction it is.  I need to eat, need calories to live, but I have to cold turkey my enjoyment of eating and redefine it later.  Boot camp, if you will:  break myself down, and build myself back up later properly.

So, I have just finished lunch.  For breakfast and lunch, I had two medium white potatoes, cut and boiled till just tender.

This is clearly not going to be easy.  I’m 12 hours into it and hate it.  The first few bits of each meal have been fine, but as I finish the bowl, it’s a purposeful trial of chewing and swallowing.  If this is an addiction break, this is definitely a cold turkey method while allowing me the calories, starch, carbohydrates, protein, and vitamins I need to survive.

I’m going to continue keeping an eye on my vitals each day as this goes on to make sure it’s not going into dangerous territory.  I’m also taking some vitamin supplements daily and have changed my morning routine to include an ice-cold shower instead of my usual hot shower and downing a 16-oz glass of ice water.  In doing so, I’m (hopefully) preventing my metabolism from shutting down and going to sleep, keeping it nice and active.

I’m going to try for the full two weeks of potatoes, maybe even evaluate at the end and see about a hair longer.

Right now, my taste buds are most definitely NOT reset and they are screaming at me.  Gotta power through.

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