Husband Follies Episode Number 185 – Giving Up Carbs

You must know about my meticulous, engineering-type husband, who is the opposite of me and my personality in so many ways, because you HAD to have read my previous episodes of Husband Follies or at least an occasional blog post.

Therefore, I am cutting right to the chase on this one. Several weeks ago, my husband hurled a four letter word at me, and not only is he is NOT taking it back, he is using it with all of the engineering earnestness as he does most things in life.

The word, of course, is DIET.

As in LOW CARB diet. An even more loathsome set of words.

His goal, at all 6 ft 1 inch of him, is to weigh 185 pounds by our son’s wedding next September. (Shout out congrats to Adam and Jess who motivated this!)

Trust me, he is going to make that mark way before the deadline at the rate he is going. He is shrinking before my eyes.

Back to the ugly words, low carb diet.

Without getting too dramatic, aside from my kids, Carbs are my Raison d’etre. I live for carbs, I thrive on carbs, and to be honest, I think I am deeply in love with carbohydrates, and just wish that food type didn’t have such a chemical sounding name. A sexier name like Colin or Michael (Firth, Buble of course) would seal the deal. Or maybe I am just addicted. All I know is that I wouldn’t want to live in a world without my beloved carbs.

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Carbohydrates you see, are chains of sugar molecules. For several years now, we have been told that SUGAR is the ENEMY. The thing that is causing cancer, heart disease, obesity, and all kinds of health issues. Certain carbs get processed in the body like sugar.

Sugar has always been my friend, and it is tough for me to look at something I like as being bad. We are now frenemies, I guess you could say. I know I shouldn’t like sugar and sweets as much as I do, so these days I approach with some degree of wariness and regret while I am, say, eating those peanut M&M’s.

And carbs, carbs! Especially the white bread, pasta beauty carbs. I am the type of person, who with all dignity, refinement, and of course sneakiness, can down an entire basket of Italian bread dunked in olive oil at any given restaurant. When dining with others, it is usually gone while they are still conversing and I am discreetly stuffing my cheeks. I’ll tell you why I know I am discreet–the rest will look at the bread basket ready to take some and discover it is all gone. “What happened to all the bread?” they ask. And I play dumb.

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(While I am writing this, I am consuming more popcorn than the average person would be able to down at not one, not two, but three movies.)

I am the type of person who would not only eat dessert first, (and I have done that on many occasions) sometimes that’s the only course I eat for dinner. Just last night, my dinner was pumpkin pie with lots of whipped cream. (It’s Fall you know, pumpkin season, even though it is still in the 90’s in Houston so of course I had to have pumpkin pie.)

Well, before you judge, I was on the hot run and didn’t have time for anything else.

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At any rate, I am certain that my husband would have liked for me to SUFFER with him, but no, I think I have been sympathy eating roughly the equivalent of every one of his non-used carbs each day. I didn’t want them to have abandonment issues.

Fortunately, I run around so much and maintain a healthy exercise schedule, that I probably won’t gain quite as much as he is losing, or let’s hope not.

So getting back to my geeky, engineering type husband, he did his thorough research before restricting carbs and then went shopping. Then he got an app on his phone where he painstakingly had to enter every calorie and carb he consumed each meal.

It was really annoying to sit with him while he did all this, including looking up foods he ordered if we were eating out. It made me want to flaunt and eat even more carbs during the meals. I would say this task could take him ten minutes to get through.

After a week of that, with the weight just peeling off his body, he thankfully gave up on the app, just about when I was going to give up eating with him. (He realized it was a ridiculous and far too complicated thing – but I could have told him that on his first use.)

Now he can calculate in his head what he is eating, what the values are, and take it from there. He is being super disciplined and I just hate that about him. I am rarely disciplined like that.

He’s been, of course, a bit cranky too. His temper has flared and I believe it is sugar withdrawal. But the doctor’s scale today revealed a weight lower than he’s had in many years.

So there you have it. Soon I will be squired around by a very meticulous, carb-calculating skinny noodle. Wait…Noodle, Oh Noodles, YUM. Looks like that’s what I will be having for dinner tonight!


  • I am doing this as well. Blood sugar levels back to normal, even fasting numbers first thing in morning. I have lost 15+ pounds and feel so much skinnier… Now off to buy a couple of pants in size 4 inches smaller than I used to wear.
    It works!

    Syd Waldman

  • This new way of eating is not really a diet, which I consider a nasty 4-letter word. It is about staying healthy. The test results at my last annual physical, way back in Feb showed my blood sugar numbers going up. I am not “pre-diabetic” but this is not going in a friendly direction. As I continued to eat a toasted bagel for breakfast every weekday morning, and some weekend mornings, I considered the possibilities if this trend continued. NOT GOOD! I remembered bumping into Dave Trealor at the first ACL (Austin City Limits) concert Arlene and I attended in Austin several years ago. I’ve played ice hockey with Dave and had not seen him in awhile. He was never fat, always far thinner, and far better built than I ever was, even at his highest weight point but he was way thinner than I had last seen him. When I commented about his loss of weight, and I do not remember all the details but I do remember him saying that he had cut out all fried foods. That got me to copy a non-fried foods thing from time to time after that, but having tomatoes instead of home fries at the New York Coffee Shop for breakfast once a week, just didn’t make a dent. Especially while having one of their huge and delicious bagels. And the rest of my week was made up of carbs and refined sugars, which is the exact focus of my current eating habits. Limit carbs to under 150 a day and as little refined sugars as possible. The app, MyNetDiary was essential to get this going. I am not very knowledgeable about nutrition. My basic plan is eating all organic foods at home and we have no products with high fructose corn syrup. Have done this for many years. So the app, which allows you to type in foods or scan barcodes, immediately shows the details of what I consider to eat, and tallies it up by the meal each day. One of my biggest challenges was that I am often on the run., My timing is not great and it is not uncommon for me to be working at my desk until the last second when I need to leave to get to an appointment when I realize I’m still in PJs. That’s the good and bad of a home office. I used to just grab a breakfast sandwich at McDonald’s, or if mid-day would grab lunch there or at another fast-food place. Now, I am better at eating a good breakfast most mornings but if I have to run out, I grab a banana, apple, pear or 2 or all 3 of them and a bottle of water. I keep a large container of extra fancy unsalted mixed nuts and grab a handful of those in a sandwich bag. After 3-weeks, I am used to what I’m eating, not missing anything and happy. I’m eating healthier and losing weight. My big challenge will be when we go to Luigi’s, our favorite pizzeria here. Instead of splitting a salad and having 4 pieces of pizza, I’ll have a full salad and 2 pieces. Sorry, Arlene! I know you like sharing the salad but you’ll have to have your own. Since you may want to take up some of the pizza I’m not eating, I will be happy to take home a half of your full salad and will have it for lunch the next day. I’m now hoping I can get my triple chin down to a double or, can I even imagine, single chin? It will be nice to be able to look at the camera for photos and not towards the sky to reduce the number of chins in my pictures. Oh to dream!
    And a special shout out and thanks to my good friend Dr Mike Greenberg, who has provided guidance, insights, knowledge and encouragement to me. I could not have gotten onto this path without his help.

    • Gary, I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic 8 years ago. I started walking 10k steps a day and using a phone app (loseit) to count calories and track my weight. Within 4 months, I had lost close to 30 pounds and have kept it off for 8 years by “changing my lifestyle”. My sugar levels are now normal. My best wishes to you. If you get a Fitbit, we can become Fitbit friends and challenge each other.

    • My comment came up as anonymous.
      Jim Amster

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