On This Day

Nine years ago today, my family relocated from the Washington, D.C. suburb of Kensington, Md to San Diego, Calif. Whoa! There is no record in my website archive. Looks like I did little posting in late 2007, which isn’t surprising with the move and trying to continue working. At the time, I operated the Apple Watch and Microsoft Watch blogs. Unbelievably, Ziff Davis enterprise closed down both after laying me off in April 2009. That’s why I warned two years ago: “Writers, Own Your Content!

I don’t feel like the same human being, after predominately cutting carbs from my diet starting three years ago. Wearing pajamas, I weighed about 91 kilograms (200 pounds) on Oct. 15, 2007; 57 kg (125 lbs) today. My physical build is more like age 20—as is my remarkable energy. Granted, I look every bit of my 57 years and don’t pretend to be otherwise or cling to some misbegotten attempt at reclaiming youth. I’m merely a happy, healthier middle-ager. 

I grumble much about California culture but can’t complain about San Diego weather, which allows me to walk minimum 3 km (2 miles) a day. Confession: I wear Apple Watch Series 2 to help measure distance and other metrics.

None of this transformation could be without the support of my wife Anne, who enables me to eat differently than I did most of my life. No pasta. No potatoes. No bread. No confections.

From the start of my dietary change, I treated myself like an alcoholic—quite literally a carboholic. That means no cheating. Ever. Because I could easily fall back into the same patterns of eating. The vigor I have achieved helps keep me on the straight and narrow meat and veggies diet. I don’t starve myself by any means but simply eat differently.

I share this for the benefit of anyone else aspiring greater health (and better body mass index). Protein-rich foods are like time-released energy. Carbs boost blood sugar and turn to fat if not burned off. That’s a simplistic explanation but good measure. I eat smaller portions; favor protein to carbs; and predominately eat home-prepared meals.

That bucks the national trend that contributes to diabetes, obesity, and other things. According to the U.S. Commerce Dept., the amount of money spent by Americans at restaurants outpaced groceries in March 2015. A year later, the trend remains.

Meanwhile portions are enormous. Consider the burger joint, where the meal is four times larger than the 1950s. If you like spreadsheets, take a look the USDA’s Food Availability Data System, or FADS, which isn’t quite current as I write: August 2016 time stamps with some of the data much older. Little nugget for you: Americans’ per-capita consumption of carbonated soft drinks grew from 10.8 gallons in 1947 to 46.5 gallons in 2003. Gasp, what about now?

I’m a reformed eater and don’t mean to be preachy. I ate poorly for many years, ignoring warnings from my doctor (and other people) to change my ways. I’m better off now but no better than anyone else.

The photo is the house where we lived for nearly 10 years before emigrating to California, shot on Oct. 30, 2004, using Canon EOS 20D and Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens. Vitals: f/8, ISO 200, 1/200 sec, 28mm. In Apple Photos, I applied the Fade filter to the original JPEG.