Two of the Seven

02.11.2008 | 9:42 pm

Getting back on track, diet-wise, is not easy for me. For two reasons: I get cranky, and I get tired.

It’s entirely possible the two are related.

It’s easy to tell why I’m tired at the beginning of a diet: sleep becomes a real problem for about a week.

First off, there’s the constant peeing.

You see, one of the secrets of succeeding at any diet is to drink a lot of water. A gallon per day, if you can. It reduces the amount of salt in your system, and it makes you more regular, both of which help you lose weight.

But you also have to pee. Pretty much always. It’s a weird sensation to feel like you need to pee just as you finish peeing.

And even if you quit drinking an hour or so before bed, you’re still getting up, all the time, to go pee again.

The more irritating problem, though, is the hunger. During the day, I cope with hunger just fine. I’m working, I’m playing with the kids, I’m writing, I’m reading. I’m occupied. It’s easy to keep my attention off my stomach.

But at night, I’m just laying there. And I’m hungry. And since I’m just laying there and I’m hungry, I start to think about food. And, being who I am, I have a mental inventory of pretty much everything in the fridge and pantry. I’m combining and improvising foods in my mind, and my stomach is weighing in on the merits of each idea.

Hint: it likes all of them.

I’ve mentioned many times that the ability to fall asleep instantly is one of my superpowers. I guess it could be said, then, that hunger is my kryptonite.

Perhaps because I’m not getting as good of sleep, or perhaps because my brain is adjusting to a leaner mix of fuel, I get downright grouchy for the first week of a diet.

High-pitched squeals from the twins, for example, usually just make me simply flinch. Right now, though, I find myself barking in my special angry-authoritative-brooks-no-dissent fatherly voice: “There will be no squealing in this house!”

An identical rule applies to screaming, whistling, and high-pitched singing. Yodeling, too, I expect, though nobody’s tested me on that.

Other symptoms of grouchiness:

  • Minor work crises seem like major work crises.
  • Bad weather seems like it’s personal.
  • I have no tolerance for bad plotlines when riding on my rollers.
  • I am sarcastic to everybody, but tolerate sarcasm from nobody.

Still, it’s only Tuesday, and I’ve already beaten my goal for Friday (I’m down three pounds so far this week). Which means all this sleepiness and grouchiness isn’t for nothing.

Meanwhile, watch your step. I’m likely to bite your head off. Or fall asleep and drool on you.

PS: Hey, my friend Carlton Reid of is up for three awards for his QuickRelease.TV video blog. Do him a favor and click here to learn how to vote for him.


  1. Comment by CLBlood | 02.12.2008 | 8:32 am


  2. Comment by Al Maviva | 02.12.2008 | 8:33 am

    You’ve got nothing to worry about Elden.

    It feels like you have to pee all the time because you’re old and your prostate is going. It has nothing to do with being on a diet but it’s consistent with senility to blame water for your peeing problems. You need to take that drug like those guys in the TV ad take, the one where the middle age slightly gay and giddy acting dudes are riding mountain bikes on pavement and high fiving each other. I’m sure that would help.

    You feel grumpy because you’re basically an evil person. Again, blaming it on the diet is consistent with the behavior of a bad person. Don’t worry about it though – your intrinsically fallen nature won’t have any outcome on the diet. Well, except for the overpowering urge you will have to eat small innocent, good creatures, such as tiny fawns, veal calves, and small tender young roaster chickens.

    Hey, anybody else feel like eating? Man, I’m hungry.

  3. Comment by Mike Roadie | 02.12.2008 | 8:41 am

    So true, my friend…….so true.
    What also gets me is that reducing your calories in and increasing your water intake makes you feel weak, lethargic and unmotivated. If you do work out during this regimen, all it does is make you even more hungry!
    I ate a pint of ben & Jerry’s Phish Food last night! But I was still under my calorie budget for the day! It makes no sense……and it doesn’t work.
    I can’t wait to raid the Valentine’s Day chocolates on Thursday……

  4. Comment by Mike Roadie | 02.12.2008 | 8:47 am

    Why is there a 10 hour delay for posting?

  5. Comment by db | 02.12.2008 | 8:49 am

  6. Comment by Eufemiano Fuentes | 02.12.2008 | 8:51 am


    if you get close to not making your weight one of these weeks, drop me a line. I can easily take out a pound or two of blood before the weigh in, then pour it back in after.

    good as new and even better sometimes.

  7. Comment by chtrich | 02.12.2008 | 8:52 am

    Why is everyone starting to lose weight already? It’s still so early in the year. C’mon, there’s still plenty of time to eat and be merry.

  8. Comment by Big Boned | 02.12.2008 | 8:53 am

    Al – I think that IS Fatty in that ad. In fact, I’m pretty sure that is the whole “core group”. I recognized Dug, Kenny and Brad. What a drag it is getting old….

  9. Comment by Undomestic | 02.12.2008 | 9:04 am

    All those issues? Sounds like you’re pregnant!

  10. Comment by justrun | 02.12.2008 | 9:08 am

    My coworkers can always tell when I’m training again… I leave meetings to pee.

  11. Comment by RachelGio | 02.12.2008 | 9:11 am

    Thank GOD! somebody else who’s grumpy!!! I hate waking up at 3am because I’m so freakin’ hungry I’m actually nauseous! Does that happen to anybody else?

  12. Comment by Bob | 02.12.2008 | 9:24 am

    I don’t know anything about dieting. Why would you want to restrict your food intake? Doesn’t food = love?

    But, I do know a thing or two about peeing. I’ve been to some pretty hot places in the world in my line of work and have been forced to drink a ton of water during the day to keep from dehydrating. This is fine, except it all catches up to you in the middle of the night. Then add in that the bathroom tent is 100 yards away from your bunk and you’ve got problems.

    Here’s what you do. Line up all your empty water bottles next to your bed, so you have easy access to them in the middle of the night. Problem solved.

  13. Comment by Big Boned | 02.12.2008 | 9:31 am

    I do that when sleeping in snow caves too – so I guess the temp doesn’t matter that much.

  14. Comment by Clydesteve | 02.12.2008 | 9:32 am

    Al’s funny. So is Bob. In fact, since they are obviously NOT dieting and getting grumpy, I think they are funnier then Elden today.

    (I actually thought you were funny today, too, Elden. I was being sarcastic) – OOPs! You don’t brook that. But I do understand about the peeing.

  15. Comment by graisseux | 02.12.2008 | 9:46 am

    I actually think about food most when I’m at work. The boredom gets my mind think about what I’ll have for lunch. Even if I pack a lunch, it’ll be 8:30 in the morning and I’m already shaking the crumbs out of the Ziploc bag that once held my sandwich. By lunchtime I’m inevitably hungry again and end up eating the lunch I packed and a calorically dense lunch from some restaurant. I seriously have to leave all forms of payment at home–credit cards, check cards, cash–they all stay home so I’m not tempted to go out. You’d think self-discipline would be enough, but not when you’re as pathetically addicted to food as I am.

  16. Comment by Bryan (not that one) | 02.12.2008 | 9:50 am

    Which burns more calories, being grumpy or being happy?

    Congrats on losing three pounds for the week so far!

  17. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 02.12.2008 | 9:58 am

    I dieted once. It was the worst 20 minutes of my life.

  18. Comment by smashton | 02.12.2008 | 10:05 am

    i’m dieting right now as well. getting married in 4 months is my drive…. but it still sucks. eating little portions riding extra miles… i’m just too lazy for all this.

  19. Comment by Boz | 02.12.2008 | 10:11 am

    Lance Armstrong talked about his weight loss tecniques in his book, and said he trained at a calorie deficit, skipped meals after training rides, and in general was always hungry. He embraced that gnawing feeling of hunger because it meant that he was winning the weight battle. I bet he was pretty grumpy, too. I’d be.

  20. Comment by Lifesgreat | 02.12.2008 | 10:15 am

    Off-topic: Who has recently ridden his/her bike up to Squaw Peak? I went snowshoeing this morning and saw bike tracks.

  21. Comment by Lowrydr | 02.12.2008 | 10:16 am

    Hey, answer the door I think it’s Dominoes with that Double Cheese and Pepperoni you ordered. You know the one that comes with the FREE bread sticks and dipping sauce too.

    Good luck with the diet….Man I have no control at all.

  22. Comment by Al Maviva | 02.12.2008 | 10:22 am

    Bob and BB – I do that trick with saving water bottles as pee-catchers all the time myself. But I have to tell you, it sure pisses off my co-workers and my wife.

  23. Comment by Jerry H | 02.12.2008 | 10:23 am

    I know your post is not seeking info on how to maintain a long term lower weight and be healthy but in bad taste I’m leaving a book recommendation anyhow! (you’ve probably already looked it over).

    Skinny Bitch

    It is actually funny to read and contains nearly exactly the same info that The China Study does but that book is way to dry!

  24. Comment by El Animal | 02.12.2008 | 10:31 am

    [Yodeling] Post your weight! …Post your weight! Post your weight! Post your weight! Post your weight! [Yodeling]

  25. Comment by Sprocketboy | 02.12.2008 | 10:32 am

    Al Maviva, are you mixing up the ads for the prostate drugs with the Viagra ones?

  26. Comment by Big Boned | 02.12.2008 | 11:12 am

    If peeing lasts longer than four continueous hours seek immediate medical attention as this could cause permanent damage…

  27. Comment by fatty | 02.12.2008 | 11:26 am

    el animal – i post my weight every day now. it’s in the right bar, right under the search box.

    al – i’ve never been in a commercial, but — oddly enough — i have a sister who is currently featured prominently in a national ad campaign. i am not kidding. i will, however, leave it to you to guess which one she is.

  28. Comment by isela | 02.12.2008 | 11:48 am

    3 lbs in one week that is awesome! I am still trying to lose 5 lbs…I started last year and the darn things keep finding me. They come disguised, first in the form of tortillas, next in the form of tamales, then in the form of enchiladas.

    Be strong…be crabby….be hungry, lol. Pssst….it’s time to go pee.

  29. Comment by bikemike | 02.12.2008 | 11:55 am


    Pizza Hut ( yeah, normally yuck) has the new crunchy cheese crust pizza. lunch time.

  30. Comment by Mocougfan | 02.12.2008 | 11:57 am


  31. Comment by Canadian Roadie | 02.12.2008 | 12:21 pm

    Hmm, is it April? Way to go on the weight loss. I’ve never been able to lose more than a pound in a given month. Mostly because I like to eat. Mmm, cheese and pepperoni pizza. When’s lunch?

  32. Comment by Al Maviva | 02.12.2008 | 12:21 pm

    Hmmm… tough call. Colleene and Loralie both have names that are MormonSpeltâ„¢ (Now, with 50% More Grammatical Uniqueness) and that should be a clue. But Colleene is African-American, and Loralie just doesn’t look like you. And that Julie girl is talented, and a writer. But I’d have to go with Courtney. Two kids, and looks kind of like you. Except good looking.

  33. Comment by Mike Roadie | 02.12.2008 | 12:21 pm

    I was on totally another site (a work page) when I sensed the crunchy cheesy crust pizza calling me over here….

    LUNCH TIME!!!!!

  34. Comment by Mike Roadie | 02.12.2008 | 12:22 pm

    Suave……..another fine UNILEVER product!!!!

  35. Comment by KeepYerBag | 02.12.2008 | 12:56 pm

    Yudl Ay EEE Ooooo
    Yudl Ay EEE Ooooo
    Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE
    Yudl Ay EEE Oooooooooooo…

  36. Comment by Angel | 02.12.2008 | 12:58 pm

    Funny . . . I am going through the EXACT same things but because for entirely different reasons relating to being a female. I pity those that encounter me right now.

  37. Comment by 29er | 02.12.2008 | 2:02 pm

    hmmm… whichever one is your sister, she is skinny. You can tough it out man. Keep up the good work.

  38. Comment by DNAtsol | 02.12.2008 | 2:21 pm

    When I diet I take a different approach. I eat cardboard-like food products. They fill/swell you up and activate those stomach stretch receptors but no calories! Of course it doesn’t take long for your brain to call out your stomach and say, “HEY, What the F@#$ do you think you’re trying to pull here!” but by that point you’re too full to do anything but laugh at your stupid brain for being so easily fooled.

    Ha ha, stupid brain. you’re so stupid, a stomach can fool you. (I think I’ve been doing a few too many hardtail freerides :) )

  39. Comment by Madisonian | 02.12.2008 | 2:38 pm

    You guys should just do what I do…go back to college. While there are many opportunities for high-caloric intake through eating out, if you pick up groceries every two weeks like I do, you inevitably run out of food before your next trip, and the pounds just fall off. That, and your stomach feels like it’s going to eat itself from the inside out. Minor detail *goes and orders pizza as big as his head*

  40. Comment by Dobovedo | 02.12.2008 | 3:26 pm

    Here is my one paragraph solution to all your problems. Follow my instructions. There is no other way.

    LIFESTYLE! Don’t ‘diet’. Stop going on and off of them. Eat right every day. Keep your treats just that… treats. Value them when you do have them. Portion control. Take that bag of trail mix or box of graham crackers, portion it out as soon as you open the package. Then grab ONE portion. This avoids the process of grabbing a handful as you open the bag/box/tin, taking an overly large ’serving’, and then grabbing another handful as you close the bag/box/tin. SLEEP! Stop with the chugging water to try to lose weight. Drink what you need to replace what you use during exercise and the normal course of a day. Reducing salt if you are working out regularly is not necessary. If you are still worried, cut the extra salt out of the foods you choose. Losing sleep to get up and pee so you can try to lose weight but not lose any because you aren’t sleeping? Crazy. BREAKFAST! Eat your calories earlier in the day. Don’t be afraid of them. Skimping earlier in the day is counter productive, the day is when you need them. Breakfast eaters are thinner on average. It also explains your lack of energy and grumpiness. HUNGER! If you are hungry, eat, but eat right. Fill up on vitamin rich veggies. They are filling without excess calories. You will learn to not only like, but crave them. And, if you are properly fueled up you’ll be less likely to skip your workouts. TIME! Lack of it is not an excuse. We all have 24 hours in every day… you must decide what to do with it. What is important to you? If your weight and health is important, everything else falls into place. SHOPPING! Don’t buy the snacks if you don’t want them in house. Read labels carefully. You will be shocked to realize how bad some supposedly good foods are. Lucky Charms has less fat and possibly even sugar than most of the top shelf ‘healthy’ cereals. “Natural” on a bag of chips doesn’t mean a thing, nor does “organic”. Don’t cut fat to the point where you cram calories down your throat because you are never ‘full’. DINING! Don’t go to restaurants. Ever. They are evil. All of them. Even the “healthy” ones are evil. My wife and I own a bakery… do not go there. Ever. I prefer that we make our revenue off of non-cyclists. I don’t like them as much as I like cyclists.

    And yes… I practice what I preach. I don’t even go inside my own business. It is an evil place.

    This is something annoying I say to my friends on a regular basis: “Don’t tell me what you SHOULD do. Just do it, and then tell me what you DID.” I seem to have fewer friends lately.

  41. Comment by KeepYerBag | 02.12.2008 | 3:52 pm

    Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE Yudl Ay EEE

    Yudl Ay EEE Ooo!

  42. Comment by Lori | 02.12.2008 | 4:54 pm

    That Lance Armstrong just isn’t human. Embrace the hunger – yeah, I’ll embrace the hunger just as soon as I knock the edge off with this bag of chips!

  43. Comment by Accident Prone | 02.12.2008 | 5:34 pm

    The Suave sister is one on the far right with the abnormally blond kid…she lives in NYC and used to have the blog, right? She’s pretty funny too, Fatty. Bet she’s not hungry right now….

  44. Comment by Triflefat | 02.12.2008 | 5:50 pm

    Dobovedo has said it all! Every word could well have come from some gastronomic gospel. We should all follow it to the letter! I actually do.

    I have only one issue with it however.

    Were Elden to adopt this comprehensive eating strategy there would be no more Fat Cyclist. I’ll say that again. NO MORE FAT CYCLIST.No more pathetic, whimsical ramblings about food. No more high calorie recipes for delicious goodies. No more eloquent descriptions of minor successes and minor failures. No more of the joie de vivre that permeates this site (do they have joie de vivre in Utah?)

    Is that what you want Dobovedo? I rather think not. Rather we should let Fatty continue on with his gyrating weight loss/gains while we all sit, observe,enjoy and occasionally leave a comment.

    Thus I say, Dobovedo, thank you for your wise, but tragically misguided, contribution. Suffer Fatty, it’s for our good you know.

  45. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 02.12.2008 | 7:56 pm

    Before I give my answer to the who’s your sister question I want to know what the prize is.

  46. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 02.12.2008 | 7:57 pm

    OK. I can’t wait any longer. I’ll take whatever you’re giving. The correct answer is Errorista (hi Jodi).

  47. Comment by Redheadstepchild | 02.12.2008 | 8:38 pm

    I find if I do tons and tons of crunches, my stomach hurts too much to be hungry, and I can’t get much food in anyway, cause the muscles are tight.

  48. Comment by Hoggy | 02.12.2008 | 9:24 pm

    Sorry to get all practical and technical but if you are exercising you shouldnt restrict your food intake too much or you wont have the energy to do anything. I simplify things like this. Eat all you want whatever you like…just expend more energy than you put in and weight loss will be inevitable.

  49. Comment by TheLurker | 02.13.2008 | 12:32 am

    “And even if you quit drinking an hour or so before bed, you’re still getting up, all the time, to go pee again.”

    Nah, sorry mate. AlMav is right. It’s just old age catching up with you. Welcome to the club.

  50. Comment by buckythedonkey | 02.13.2008 | 12:40 am

    I also managed to drink a gallon yesterday, mostly Tanglefoot ( down at my local pub. Coincidentally it had the effect of making me both sleepy (last night) and grumpy (this morning).

    I was surprised to find that I weigh no more or less today than I did yesterday*. Maybe I’m onto something.

    * Before this morning’s post-session bacon sarnie.

  51. Comment by Dutch Girlie On a Bike | 02.13.2008 | 1:15 am

    Thumbs up to Dobovedo and triflefat.

  52. Comment by Mike Roadie | 02.13.2008 | 3:38 am

    Sorry…..I just got finished reading Dobovedo’s post—I was at the Bakery!

  53. Comment by Gillian | 02.13.2008 | 5:43 am

    Are you sure you’re not pregnant?

  54. Comment by Rob L | 02.13.2008 | 6:09 am

    Fatty – While reading the first section I kept picturing you as Dagwood Bumstead. However the grumpiness made me think more of mr.dithers…

  55. Comment by jerry | 02.13.2008 | 7:09 am

    I agree with Dobovedo pretty much. The underlying truth is a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. At the end of the day your body doesn’t fundamentally know a Big Mac from an apple. The difference is that you would need to eat 3 apples to get to the Big Mac. The moral, if there is one, is eat the Big Mac if want one. Just understand the ramifications of your actions.

  56. Comment by Daddystyle | 02.13.2008 | 8:46 am

    Hate to rain on your parade but we regulars know that the 1st week is always the best.You pig out the night before, then weigh yourself, you drink massive volums of water, eat little, enjoy a few bowell movements and by the end of the week you loose 5-10 lbs. Problem is that sets a precedent and you expect that every week. Reality is a killer as you settle into that pound or 2 a week routine.

    Stay positive.

    I am down 18 lbs since xmas. To bad I have another 25 to go.

    Hope all is well on the home front.

  57. Comment by Clydesteve | 02.13.2008 | 9:27 am

    A note to some new readers: Dobovedo, and others who agreed with him.her – I’m sorry, however truthful and well meaning, thatsort of practical advice is NOT FUNNY. Practical cycling advice is appreciated, and yes, even admired here, though it is best if mixed with impractical ridiculous over-the-top cycling advice, and it is left to the reader to sort it out. But real-life, healthy, food-wise lifestyle advice? Sorry, that sort of thing could ruin the place. Or were you being ironic?

  58. Comment by KT | 02.13.2008 | 10:01 am

    Man, this post made me hungry.

    No one’s talked about the proper carb to protein ratio.

    I get all my nutrition and exercise advice from this blog, but I feel it’s incomplete without carb:protein ratios.

    That crunchy-cheesy crust pizza does look good, but the commercials bug me: that guy has unnaturally white teeth, and we all know he didn’t really take a bite and is just pretending to chew. Did he take a bite and spit it out? Is that the secret to weight loss??? :)

  59. Comment by Harvey [Chubby Old Roadie] | 02.13.2008 | 10:21 am

    I just started THE DIET on Monday. Weight yesterday was 163, yuck [post Birthday weekend]. I prefer to have a healthy breakfast [oatmeal or a single banana] reduce total daily caloric intake, eat a small “meal” every two hours [carrot, 1/2 apple, fruit-veg, wheat bread/cracker] and increase exercise. My goal is 155 by March 10. I’ll commence riding season when the pre-ride outside temp is ~45 F and the roads aren’t [snow/ice/flood] dangerous.

    We had ~4″ of snow in Southeastern Mass overnight [very minor] but are expecting 3″+ of rain today [geesh]. But, the skiing in Vermont last weekend was glorious [thanks to "feet" of new powder][a great Birthday Present].

    Walking past my loyal TREK Tour this morning, hanging mournfully from the garage ceiling, as the door chattered open to reveal the freshly fallen snow, I swear I heard it whimper and sigh, knowing that it would be the snowblower getting the ride today.

    I’ve decided to follow Fatty’s blog semi-regularly for inspiration as the days creep slowly toward Spring.

    p.s. Jerry, I think complex slow release fruit/veg carbohydrate calories are different than quick burn simple sugar calories or fat calories in the way they fuel your “engine” and make you feel while dieting and exercising [i.e. maintain a steady blood sugar level].

  60. Comment by Dobovedo | 02.13.2008 | 9:11 pm

    In response to Clydesteve, who asked:

    “though it is best if mixed with impractical ridiculous over-the-top cycling advice, and it is left to the reader to sort it out… Or were you being ironic?”

    Um… I guess you missed the part where I said I own a bakery? You can’t get much more ironic that that.

    Not only that, but I actually invited everyone to NOT visit my own business? The very survival of which is crucial, so that I may spend ridiculous amounts of money on bikes, bike components, bike gear, bike clothing, bike trips, bike ride entry fees, bike books/magazines/videos. Oh… and all the extra food I eat which costs more than gas?

    Part practicality and part irony… I was trying to help while being a smartass. From now on I’ll stick to being a smartass! ;-)

  61. Comment by Dobovedo | 02.13.2008 | 9:12 pm

    PS… it was “him”, but I’m not afraid to buy a pink jersey when they are available.

  62. Comment by Clydesteve | 02.14.2008 | 12:15 pm

    Dobovedo – Ahhh, then it was delicious irony, and very funny – way to go guy! Sorry about taking it seriously. Well not seriously, actually, but…

    Oh, and I have a pink FC jersey – it is verrry manly.

  63. Trackback by Buy phenttermine online. | 03.4.2008 | 3:28 pm

    Buy phenttermine online.

    Buy phenttermine online.

  64. Trackback by What color is generic lexapro. | 03.4.2008 | 3:28 pm

    Lexapro generic equivalent.

    Generic of lexapro. Generic name for lexapro drug. Generic lexapro. Lexapro s generic brand name. Generic name for lexapro. Generic equivalent to lexapro. Lexapro generic.

  65. Trackback by Porno bdsm. | 07.27.2008 | 2:41 pm

    Porno bdsm.

    Porno bdsm.

  66. Trackback by Blonde assfucked. | 08.3.2008 | 8:27 pm

    Blonde assfucked….

    Blonde assfucked….

  67. Trackback by Arizona preset loan officer appointments. | 09.5.2008 | 10:31 pm

    Advance check loan goodyear arizona….

    Small business loan no collateral .gov arizona. George ramos loan officer in arizona. Arizona preset loan officer appointments….


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.