Keith Gaughan

An attempt at public introspection


I’m starting the hacker’s diet

· 4min


An old post from the second iteration of my blog. I was actually pretty down on myself back then about all this, though it only comes out here and there. This attempt, as you might guess, failed.

There’s one thing that I really dislike about myself, and that’s my weight.

I’m not tremendously overweight, but suffice to say that I weigh much more than I should and much of that should really be muscle or just not there.

I really started to put on the weight when I started college. Being in the labs all day, with nasty cafeteria gruel and an abundance of junk food as the alternative, meant I started snacking on the stuff much more than I had at home.

I’ve never been active, but then again, I never overate, and I definitely wasn’t a person who bought sweets: I never saw the point (though my sister thought this excuse was just me being miserly). Up until I was sixteen, I was healthy if somewhat unfit.

Then, the summer of my Transition Year, I put on some and got noticably heavier. Still, it wasn’t an awful lot so I wasn’t terribly bothered by it all. My weight stayed stable for the next two years.

College was where it started to all go down, and not in a good way. Starting college on the other side of the country, even a small one like Ireland, isn’t what you’d call stress free. Far from it. It doesn’t help that to get up home I have to take a bus, a bus that takes seven hours: if I decide to go up home, I’ve about a day actually there, and then I’m on my way back down to Cork.

I didn’t take care of myself at all. Junk food, coffee, tea, sandwiches, crap food, &c. Combined with the inevitable sedentary lifestyle of the student (or worse: computing student), it was a given that I’d put on even more.

The first time I started to feel somewhat better was a while after I bought my bike. Since I haven’t been able to use it for the last while (my fault), I now feel the beneficial effects—-effects I didn’t notice at the time—-fading away. It’s not a good feeling.

I haven’t checked my weight in a while, but I know it’s not what it should be. I just have to grab my stomach to know.

So what’s a lad to do? Actually doing something about it might be a good idea. I’m not the best at keeping up an excercise regime, so that alone isn’t going to work. What I need is a proper diet to get my weight down and some gentle exercising.

Last night I resolved to start on John Walker‘s Hacker’s Diet. I’ve had the PDF sitting on various discs for the past four years, and I kept meaning to do something about it. I’m sick of all the extra weight I have on me, and I’m determined to get rid of it.

Earlier today, I started. The sum total of my intake for the day was a 1l of apple juice and a baguette from the Dunnes deli counter. Later that day, we went out to view a commercial property, and afterwards headed to Burger King to get a bite to eat. As I’d started this diet, all I got was a coffee. When I explained why I wasn’t ordering anything, I said that I didn’t “…want to end up any more of a fat bastard (mocking laughter) than I already was…”. The jibes I got weren’t exactly encouraging, and they continued to mock me later. And it’s not exactly as if any of them are exactly what you’d call svelte, not by any measure. Thanks for the encouragement.

But regardless, I’m going to soldier on. This is, at least in part, a chance to build character. I could probably do with that.

I stayed in late at work, reading all the feeds I hadn’t read earlier. I’m feeling a bit peckish now, but I’m not going to give in. Next, I might detail part of my plan of attack that isn’t explicitly stated in the book.

Update: If you’re doing it, you might be interested in the exercise and weight log and fitness ladder PDFs I’ve done up.