Diet misery Q&A


I’ve been getting lots of questions about the New De-improved Wankmeister Diet. Answers below.

Q: Why are you doing this? Is it a test or a goal?
A:  I don’t know. Yes. Or no.

Q: What is the scientific basis for your approach?
A: Physics. Output > Input results in weight loss.

Q: Duh. I mean the health aspects. What scientific health principles have you based this on?
A: There are none. Except for my friends telling me I’m crazy.

Q: How much do you weigh right now?
A: This very moment? 151 lbs/68.492 kg

Q: How tall are you?
A: 72 1/8″, 183.2 cm

Q: What is your weight goal?
A: 145 lbs/65.770 kg

Q: That’s insane, isn’t it?
A: Perhaps. Today’s post-ride weigh in was 146.5 lbs, but that was mostly dehydration as I’d forgotten to take a water bottle and the ride lasted over five hours.

Q: You really are weird, aren’t you? And stupid?
A: Apparently.

Q: You earlier claimed to be doing this on coffee, starvation, and willpower. I call bullshit. You’re not still claiming that, are you?
A: The first phase was pretty much that, going down from the 168-170 range to the mid-150’s. Now I’ve devolved into more careful planning.

Q: Why?
A: The first 10-15 pounds were horrible, but easy, as they involved cutting out the obvious stuff. There is no more obvious stuff. And not much stuff either, for that matter.

Q: What “obvious” stuff?
A: Coffee went from heavy cream to whole milk to 2% to nonfat to black.

Q: Sugar. What about sugar?
A: Not a sugar-in-my-coffee kind of guy.

Q: What other “obvious” stuff?
A: Third and fourth helpings. Massive greasy gut-bomb dinners like Mrs. WM’s Famous Fried Chicken Strips, Mrs. WM’s Lazy Tonight Frozen Gyoza, Mrs. WM’s Gutbomb Chicken Curry and Rice by the Kg, Mrs. WM’s Extra Oily Salad Dressing Ladled on with a Shovel, Mrs. WM’s Heavenlicious Meat Sauce Made with Pure Yummy Fat Calories, and of course Mrs. WM’s Honey I Bought a New Prius-load of Hag Bars and Ghana Chocolate How Many Dozen Would You Like to Eat Right this Minute?

Q: Blaming it all on Mrs. WM, eh?
A: No. Taking charge of my meals. There’s a difference. And that stuff was pretty obvious. You asked about obvious, remember?

Q: Okay, okay. So what did you replace all that with?
A: Gnawing hunger.

Q: I mean food.
A: I started eating breakfast. Daily. To be more accurate, I’ve become so hungry that I will kill anyone who tries to prevent me from eating breakfast. I wake up three or four times a night now to see if it’s time to get up and eat breakfast.

Q: So in addition to destroying your health from a nutrition vector, you’ve wrecked it from a sleep/recovery angle as well?
A: Yes. However, I awake each morning at 4:30 AM so alert, hungry, keen, and poised to attack the day that, paradoxically, I have more power and mental energy than I’ve ever had in my life.

Q: Now we’re talking. So it’s translating into power on the bike?
A: No. I’ve lost speed, power, endurance, and acceleration.

A: But I’ve gained incredible recovery and lightness on the bike. I recover instantaneously. No matter how long the grade my legs feel light and they turn over the pedals effortlessly.

Q: So what if you’re dropped and going at a snail’s pace?
A: This isn’t a Bike Racing Improvement Diet. I’ve sucked at bike racing for thirty years. That won’t change with a different calorie allocation.

Q: Now that you’ve cut out the lard sandwiches, what do you eat?
A: Before I figure out what I’m going to eat, I figure out what I’m going to burn.

Q: Huh?
A: Lots of diets focus on intake, which is necessary. But they don’t also focus on consumption, especially consumption that swings wildly from day to day. On the NPR I burn 1,500-1,800 calories in the morning, and another 500-800 on the commute home at night. Tack that onto my basic caloric consumption of 1,585 calories and you have a potential 4,000+ day. Contrast that with Friday, when I don’t ride at all and spend two hours max in the gym, using at most 500-700 calories. Without a crystal clear picture the night before of what my burn is going to be, I can’t make a food plan for the following day.

Q: Oh, my Dog. You’ve gone off the deep end.
A: Really?

Q: Absolutely. What you’re saying is you not only count calories, but you micromanage them daily. I’m assuming that means meal by meal?
A: Yes.

Q: Sounds like you’ve taken all the fun out of life.
A: Not all of it. Just most of it. Especially when “fun” means gorging, regretting, and hurting like a dog while riding.

Q: Okay. So the positives are waking up four times nightly, getting up for breakfast at 4:30 AM, and having to memorize calories per gram for every food item in the pantry. What are the down sides?
A: Mood swings. Or rather mood swing.

Q: What’s that?
A: I now live in two states. The state of eating and the state of hunger.

Q: How’s your sex drive?
A: It drove away.

Q: I suppose that’s another “positive?”
A: You’ll have to consult with Mrs. WM on that.

Q: Do you expect to live like this the rest of your life?
A: No. Once I reach my target weight, if I reach it, I’m going to try to maintain it for an entire racing season and see if it’s as horrible and unendurable after a few months as it has been so far.

Q: Why should it change?
A: Because each time I plateau, I adjust and frankly don’t feel so hungry. It’s the constant bumping down to new levels that triggers the starvation response and the desire to eat my fork.

Q: Any concerns about proper nutrition? Losing your hair? Rickets? Pellagra? That kind of thing?
A: None. Breakfast is oatmeal (40g small day, 80g big day) sweetened with 40g of raisins, followed by zero-fat yogurt (100g small day, 200g big day), 84g raspberries, 90g blackberries, sometimes 50-90g banana (big day), and 40g trail mix (extra big day). There’s tons of nutrition in a breakfast like that. Plus a pot of searingly strong coffee.

Q: Lunch?
A: Used to be PB sandwich with coffee and cream. Now it varies depending on the day. Small day is half a block of tofu, one egg, teaspoon of soy sauce, and a large Fuji apple. Big day is whole block of tofu, two eggs, tbsp of soy sauce, can of tuna, 2 tbsp of salsa, apple and banana. Afternoon snack is 40g of trail mix and/or a banana.

Q: Dinner?
A: It varies. I try to incorporate Mrs. WM’s healthier leftovers into my own regimen. Beans. Edamame. Tofu. Boiled egg. Smattering of spaghetti flavored with some garlic and dried tomatoes and red pepper. Cut the oil.

Q: Any WM diet tips?
A: Sure. You can make a great dressing with one part balsamic vinegar to one part dijon mustard. No oil required.

Q: Any tips on dealing with the hunger?
A: Eat the high volume, low cal stuff first because it’s filling. Take the time to dice vegetables as thinly as you can. It brings out the flavor, takes longer to eat, and is more filling. A salad with 150g carrots, 150g cucumbers, 150g celery, 150g onion, 150g cherry tomatoes, and lettuce with the aforementioned dressing will feel like you’ve eaten an entire sandbag.

Q: Sandbags, huh? Sounds appetizing.
A: You want Chef Boyardee? That’s a different aisle.

Q: Now let’s talk reality. Dessert. Sweets. No Hag bar, Ghana scarfing dude gives up dessert? Really? How do you sate the sweet tooth?
A: Zero-percent Fage Greek style plain yogurt. It has the consistency of Hag, and tastes great once you get used to it.

Q: That’s what they say about anti-freeze, you know.
A: Hmmm. Mix in berries and/or thinly sliced banana. It’s pretty darned good.

Q: That’s it? Not buying it.
A: Well…

Q: Go ahead. Spit it out.
A: Every now and again…

Q: Yes?
A: You can add…

Q: Uh-huh?
A: A little tiny dollop of..

Q: Yeessss?
A: Hag vanilla. Or chocolate.

Q: Thought so. You fucking diet cheaters are all alike.
A: Yes, we are.

Q: Any plans to market this as the South Bay Wanker Diet?
A: No.

Q: Why not? It seems tailored to crazies, and the South Bay is filled with nothing if not that.
A: This isn’t a “program.” It’s an illness. If you want serious, long-term weight loss, go with a proven program. ViSalus seems to work for a lot of people.

Q: But not Wankmeister?
A: I don’t like being told what to do. And I like to dice my own vegetables.

Q: Ooookay. Any chance you’ll share the actual daily food plan details with us?
A: Sure. I can post them in the comments if you’re really interested. But it’s boring stuff.

Q: Any last advice?
A: Whether I stick with this or fail tomorrow, I’ve learned how to evaluate food. How many calories per gram? That’s so important and we just don’t learn it in the normal course of things. You can immediately see the difference between a carrot at .41 cal/g versus spaghetti, at 3.57 cal/g, and you can choose to increase the one and decrease the other. It’s huge, and once you start thinking this way, you understand why the food industry is so hell bent on obfuscating these values and making them hard to use.

Q: Soapbox alert…
A: Yeah. It’s extraordinary that menus actually have this info now, but it still takes practice and a calculator to figure it out. After a few weeks, though, you can start to eyeball. It’s great. It’s empowering.

Q: Empowering? So you think it’s eventually going to translate to watts?
A: Once I get to 145, assuming it’s not immediately followed by a graveside service, I’m going to try to build power at that new weight. Maybe it’s impossible, maybe not. But it’s going to be fun trying.

Q: That’s the first time you’ve used the word “fun” to describe any of this.
A: Well…it is fun…for me.

Q: I thought you said it was miserable.
A: No emotion exists in a vacuum, dude. Any way, gotta go.

Q: Dinner?
A: How’d you guess?

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