But Weight—There’s More!

My friend—can you call someone you’ve met three times in 35 years a “friend?”—Grant Petersen, he of Rivendell Bike Works fame, wrote a book a dozen years ago that changed my life last fall when I re-read it for the seventh time. “Eat Bacon, Don’t Jog” is a fast-paced tome for thick-middled men and women who can’t seem to score a win in the battle of the bulge.

When I was approved for TKR one year ago last May, I weighed 230 pounds. At that time my orthopedic surgeon casually mentioned I should lose some weight if I wanted recuperation and physical therapy to deliver best results. Four months later I took Dr. Li’s advice seriously and got on the militant keto-based diet Grant prescribes in his book: no wheat; no grains; no rice; no corn; no sugar; no sodas; minimal carbs; dozens of eggs, pounds of meat, hard, white cheeses, and fish. Grant explains the science behind this diet clearly, and supplements his plan with great recipes and good advice on sustainable weight training and cardiovascular exercise. I gobbled up his insights like I used to gobble cake, to the point were last time I stood on a scale three weeks ago, I weighed 174 pounds.

Truth be told, I endured a similar metamorphosis in my early 40s when I shed 30 pounds in eight weeks on an all-liquid diet recuperating from massive facial reconstructive surgery—TMJ is a hell of a drug. After that jumpstart I logged 125 miles per week on road and mountain bikes over the next two years, getting down to 175 pounds from my 242-pound all-time high in the process.

Unfortunately, that addiction to health and fitness ground to a halt when I got chopper fever in 2005. After parking my bicycle to build motorcycles and start my second act at Biltwell Inc., I ballooned up to 230 pounds over the next 15 years. My corpulence wasn’t enough to scare off my beautiful life partner Paula—she loves me unconditionally, farts and all—but I personally felt like a fat piece of shit. Something had to give, and my knees were the weak link my old bones needed.

Since my knee rehab ended last April, I’ve made indoor and outdoor cycling, kettlebells, and dumbbells a daily routine. Even as I write this on my first business trip to Taiwan in the post-COVID era, I’m making time for resistance bands, push-ups, chair dips, crunches, and other bodyweight exercises. I feel like a new man. Not a nude man, but I’m getting there.

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