slim down with the ramen diet!

i’m fat. tubby, chubby, a chunky muffin.

i’ve been this way since i finished college and moved on to the ‘real world’ (and not the one mtv would like us to believe in, where beautiful college students and dropouts all live together happily for awhile in a big-ass house that someone else pays for and get in little arguments about who’s not sleeping with whom, and everything ends up just being cute and obnoxious and nothing at all like your life will ever be). i know that my problem, along with the millions of other americans who are, like myself, overweight, is that my caloric intake is greater than my energy expended – and not due to a glandular or genetic predisposition like some people would like to believe.

don’t get me wrong, i believe there are a lot of people who just cannot, for varying reasons, lose weight. i am not one of these people. i am fat, and i know exactly why. i eat too damned much, and don’t exercise enough.

and this is not a cry for help. i don’t want richard simmons’ chubby ass beating down my door, insisting that i jump around like a fool and listen to oldies while he soothes my crying eyes with some little speech about the thin person screaming to get out from inside me. kiss my ass, simmons, big as it is, and get out.

i work at one desk all day, then come home and sit behind another one, futzing on the computer. granted, this is how i make my living, but still, if it’s not sitting at the computer – like i am right this very moment, damn – it’s lounging on the couch, watching television.

and so, i’m going to change that. i’m going to lose some weight, finally, instead of packing it on, eventually to reach critical mass and start burning brightly as my fuel supply is burned off in the great, gravity-driven furnace of my own hugeness.

i have actually started working out on a regular basis – stairmaster (which royally kicks my ass at the lowest setting), stationary bike (good thing it’s stationary, because i can’t ride the actual mobile kind at all), and freeweights. every other day i do that, and on off days, i lie on my back watching tv and try to catch my breath. actually, i do sit-ups and crunches until i can’t stand any more, then wait for the next commercial and do it all again. not a bad routine, methinks.

but still, the results can’t come fast enough. i must examine my lifestyle, and compare it to the only time in recent memory that i was actively losing weight – my first two years in college.

bulking up on a hearty diet of depression, self-loathing, and ramen noodles, i supplemented my own weight-loss plan with regular doses of malnutrition, dehydration, and a will to survive like that of a lemming waddling ever closer to a cliff. but i didn’t exercise, and i certainly didn’t do aerobics to oldies music. i vegetated then as now, soaking in my own juices, bathed in cathode-ray-tube beams, barely seeing the light of day. and, in all, i lost about 25 pounds in 18 months.

i’ve gained it all back, of course, in spades. i’ve gone from the steady post-pubescent spread that every man will eventually have to accept to a point where i’ve gained almost two pants sizes in less than a year and a half. it’s not that gaining weight is a problem – i expect i’ll be a chunky muffin the rest of my life, short as it probably is, it’s the rate of acquisition that’s troublesome. i started out with a nice, round buddha-like belly that my female friends felt was comforting in a teddy-bear, reminds-me-of-my-dad kind of way, to a when-are-you-due, and-what-are-you-naming-them, filling out my t-shirts and the pleats in my trousers in places i wasn’t comfortable with.

i can track all this by the belt i wear, and refuse to replace. it’s an old, worn leather strap with only a few holes in it. i can tell that a year ago, i was on the smallest hole, and was that way for a while judging by the permanent dent in the leather. since then, though, i’ve crept past one, two, three holes to where i’m holding steady now. the biggest clue, of course, is the pants i wear, or rather, don’t, because i can’t squeeze my ass into them any more. my wardrobe is dwindling because i’m too stubborn – or thrifty – to go out and buy new clothes, with the slightest chance that i might be able to still fit into the khakis i bought just a few months ago still on the horizon.

and so, i have before me my future: a package of top ramen, chicken vegetable flavor. included in this handy little shrink-wrapped noodle brick are 14 grams of fat, 1580 milligrams of sodium, 54 grams of carbohydrates, and 8 grams of protein. all told, about 380 calories. not too bad for an entire day’s sustenance, if you consider that’s two servings – not that anybody ever eats just half a brick of ramen anyway.

i can deal with that. a little malnutrition can’t hurt too much. not that i haven’t gone to some extremes before. for two weeks about 8 months ago, i fasted. didn’t eat anything, but drank lots of water and orange juice – the later only after about passing out after work one day. and i managed. not too shabby, for someone who hadn’t gone a day without a meal his entire life up to that point. will power, that’s the ticket.

so, now all that’s left is to work out the depression angle. i’m not doing too badly on that front, watching way too much tv and avoiding human contact, i think i can manage to get to the suicidal thoughts stage in a few weeks. by that point, i will have started losing some water weight through dehydration – munching on raw ramen and heightened sodium intake will do that.

note: the author wishes that you all know he is not suicidal, does not condone crash dieting or fasting to lose weight, and does not enjoy eating top ramen. he is, however, a little on the overweight side, and working on changing that.