Battle of the Bulge – September 21, 2011

200lbs (91kgs) today.

That means that I have lost 18lbs (about 8kgs) since I started on my journey to get back in shape April 5, 2011. How has it happened?

Most of it has been change of diet. Only four months ago, I increased my visits to the gym, started lifting some weights and exercised three to four times a week. I was only able to lose about 4 or 5 pounds in two months but my weight kept yo-yo-ing. Yet, the time I spent in Uganda saw me stop exercising completely owing to lack of reputable (and affordable) facilities as well as being preoccupied with other things that left little time to go the gym. But the weight kept on coming off.

It must be true that processed foods are far more detrimental to one’s metabolism than organic, fresh food. With limited refrigeration, constant power outages and a largely subsistence economy where people have to consume what they produce before it goes bad, there is understandably limited access to chemicals that preserve food. Eating organic fruit, vegetables and almost nothing processed did me a lot of good no doubt.

In the time I was in Uganda, I ate no pizza or chocolate at all. I avoided milk completely since Ugandan milk is too rich, ate perhaps five slices of bread in two months and cut back drastically on my alcohol intake at the back end of my visit. But I had my regular dose of sugar in my tea, drank fizzy drinks (plus lots of water besides) and enjoyed roasted pork almost every other day.

To be fair, I was also ill about a week, due to a bacterial infection, and lost some weight in the process. But, overall, it seems that the American diet is comparatively ruinous for anyone wishing to stay in shape while eating everything they want. I am already seeing it in the choices one has when one visits the grocery store – row upon row of stuff that does little else but entice you to eat them – usually with disastrous consequences for your gut. Give me Ugandan cooking any time.