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I’ve lost a bunch of weight, but I’ve made every mistake in the book doing so. I’ve also developed some totally weirdo habits.

Here are 33 confessions:

  • One of my biggest regrets in life is not losing weight sooner because it was by far the number one thing holding me back from making higher-tiered competitive hockey teams. Many of the confessions below are tongue-in-cheek, but this one actually really bums me out.
  • Speaking of wishing I lost weight sooner, being fat in high school suuuuuucks. (This isn’t really a confession, I guess, so much as an objective and universal fact.)
  • In high school I gained weight while supposedly “dieting.” How? I skimmed some books and read that you should eat six meals a day to “stoke the metabolic fire,” and basically I just used this as an excuse to eat chocolate chip muffins in between my main meals, with no other changes to my diet. What could go wrong?
  • I look at the size of my arms in the gym mirrors all the time.
  • I care more about the size of my arms than the size of my legs. My squat is more than double my bench, and while this is nice for posturing on the Internet about how hard-core I am, and how I’m not like those total losers who don’t work their legs, I actually find it incredibly frustrating.
  • For one brief, split second, I still always “fall” for all those over-the-top fitness ads. Even though I’ve been reading about and studying nutrition and exercise for nearly a decade, and reading about and studying the psychology of marketing and advertising for almost as long, for just an instant my brain still always, always goes, “Yeah, but… what if…?”
  • I’ve justified spike meals and refeeds to myself when my body didn’t need them, physiologically. (My glycogen wasn’t depleted, leptin levels were probably a-ok, etc.) The cravings were really just in my head. Those refeeds were delicious, though.
  • Losing weight is what got me started cooking. But nine years later, I’m still not very good at it.
  • This is because my taste buds are just really bad. (Apparently “more sugar” is not a flavour?)
  • The worst thing I’ve ever tried is tuna with Splenda on it. There might have been some Tabasco sauce, too. I forget. The point is it tasted even worse than it sounds.
  • The worst meal I routinely ate for months on end was cottage cheese mixed with all sorts of stuff: protein powder, uncooked oats, some breakfast cereals, peanut butter, etc. You laugh, but try to overeat something like that. Just try. I dare you.
  • I may cook poorly, but I bake like a champion. Baking is just so relaxing. It’s like meditation for me, but with a delicious prize at the end.
  • The most amazing thing I ever baked was an over-the-top Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake with an Oreo cookie crust, and a rich chocolate ganache topping. I put a picture of it on Food Gawker, and put the modified recipe on my personal blog. It was so rich and full of peanut butter that no one who tried it could finish even a small piece.
  • In another life I think would be a baker. Yes, I’d be “jolly.”
  • I have tried a sub 1,000 calorie/day protein sparing modified fast (PSMF) because I, like every other human being, can be really impatient and short-sighted when it comes to looking better naked.
  • I was not all that overweight when I tried the sub 1,000 cal/day PSMF, so yes, I had extremely low energy and I was incredibly cranky. When my friends asked me why I was acting like a giant cranky baby who hadn’t had his nappy nap, I admitted I was trying a very hard diet, but I didn’t tell them I was on a diet originally designed for morbidly obese people in need of a serious medical intervention.
  • I have a watch that tracks my steps and calories burned and so on, and I secretly want to attach the watch to my dog’s leg to track his calories, just because I’m curious.
  • Honesty, the only reason I ever do chores is because I have that calorie-burn tracking device.
  • I’ve worn some kind of calorie-burn tracking device for almost three straight years. Even though I know they’re not near 100% accurate, it’s just fun as hell. You mostly just have to keep things in perspective and remind yourself that it really only is good for showing relative differences.
  • In my undergrad I had that picture of Brad Pitt in Fight Club on my wall. Yep, that one. It was for motivation. I quite deservedly got made fun of a lot by my housemates for this. (They also made fun of me for my cottage cheese meals.)
  • I still weigh a lot of my food on a little yellow food scale. I don’t think this is necessary for long-term success, but do you know a better way to always get the absolute perfect ratio of oatmeal to water every single time, so that it’s never too watery or too mushy, but just how you like it? No? Exactly. Food scales are awesome.
  • I drink a lot of Fresca (no seriously – a lot), because it has nearly zero calories. I am in a constant battle with Fresca drinkers in my community, because as soon as it goes on sale I buy it in bulk, and I think they do too. I think there’s something about Fresca drinkers. We are all weirdly loyal to our soft drink.
  • I actually buy a lot of things in bulk. This week at the Costco checkout I got a bunch of questions for buying a whole bunch of canned tuna and chicken: “Is it that good?” a girl behind me in line asked. “Uh, not really,” I said. “I wouldn’t even recommend it unless you mix it with a whole bunch of other stuff to make it way more palatable.” “So why do you buy so much of it?” asked the cashier. “Uh, I’m a huge weirdo, basically.”
  • I’ve had almost the same conversation about Walden Farms syrups at Sobey’s. Several times.
  • The Walden Farms syrups conversation is more gratifying because two out of three times, after I explained what they are, the cashier has said, “Zero calorie pancake syrup? You don’t look like you need something like that!” In answer to this I kind of smiled shyly, but inside I was like, Hell yeah.
  • I think most people who post on the Internet about lifting take themselves way too seriously. Stop posturing, Internet people. It’s not life or death, and you’re allowed to smile sometimes.
  • That said, I absolutely am not against grunting or straining really hard while you work out, because that’s not posturing. If grunting is what it takes to get through those reps, so be it: grunt away, my friend. (You should try not to fart, though.)
  • Yes, I grunt. At gyms that look basically like a dungeon, this is no big deal, obviously. In some other gyms? Yeah I’ll admit it can feel a bit weird being “that guy.”
  • I have never seen the mythical gym bro curling in the squat rack. Does he exist? Does his hair have as much gel as I expect it would? Perhaps some day I will find out.
  • If I eat more than one bowl of Kashi GoLean cereal in a day, I fart a lot the day after. This isn’t enough to stop me from doing this every once in a while. Sorry, everyone!
  • Fibre gets emphasized way too much. If you’re on a reasonable diet you probably get plenty of fibre. And yes, you can have too much fibre. Trust me on this, okay? Just… trust me.
  • I will forever be convinced that people who think gaining weight is “harder” than losing weight are just crazy people. Like, eat normally, get in a reasonable amount of protein, and then have a few extra Pop Tarts. What’s so hard?
  • Sometimes when we’re out for a walk at like 5:30 in the morning, I talk to my dog in an uppity British accent.