In a show of solidarity, I've gone on the Ideal Protein diet with my wife. After our second baby was born (almost a year ago!!!), her pancreas and thyroid freaked out. She was already hypothyroid, but her numbers would fluctuate wildly month to month. She was working out four times a week, getting up at 4:30 to get in a 60 minute boot camp session before going to work at 6:30 (elementary school principal). We eat really well, sticking to a sort of paleo/Mediterranean hybrid meal plan. Low carbs, very little sugar, mostly whole foods a lean protein. Her endocrinologist fully approved of our eating habits. Neither of us were gaining weight, which is again evidence we were eating well and getting enough exercise to maintain, but she also wasn't losing ANY of the baby weight.

Long story short, the Ideal Protein diet was highly recommended by both her endocrinologist and the clinic's nutritionist, so off to the races. My doctor had been after me to lose 25 pounds for a couple of years, so I figured why the hell not. It would help her to have some sympathetic support, and it wouldn't hurt me. My doc said go for it.

A week in, and I feel weird, man.

I've gotten over the empty-stomach nausea and headaches, but I feel warm all the time. Maybe because I'm constantly drinking hot green tea? Maybe because my body is continually burning stored fat? I'm anxious to see if I've lost any weight on Monday. I feel like I have. I also feel like losing 25 pounds could have been an easy goal for me to achieve without going on a prescribed diet and just cutting way back on sugar and simple carbs, but this is REALLY helping me defeat cravings for fat and sugar. I'm hoping it'll serve as a big reset button for those cravings and metabolic need for quick energy.

You can real all about Ideal Protein elsewhere. Trainers hate it because it's "cheating", but most doctors recommend it highly. It puts your body into ketosis, but only gives you enough protein to prevent muscle loss, unlike Atkins which overloads you with protein and fat. My "formula" has me on it for 5 weeks, then transitions me into a regular meal plan that's basically the way we eat now, but much more strict on sugar. Which is fine.

The other half of this ordeal is that earlier this year I'd started swimming four times a week in the early morning. I'd go to the neighborhood pool, which is olympic length and totally devoid of human life before 6 am. I'd swim for 45 minutes, go home and have breakfast, shower and off to work. Muscle tone was returning, I could swim continuously for most of that time, and my blood pressure was returning to Good n Healthy. Then my left shoulder started hurting like a mother. Turns out I have calcific tendinitis, and the calcium deposits have been chewing up my rotator cuff. The pain started when one of the bicep tendons was basically severed when my 65 pound dog saw a squirrel and yanked the leash. I have an MRI tomorrow and the orthopedist said I had a 75% chance of needing surgery. So much for swimming. Looks like Pilates is in my future.

This is what 40 looks like, young 'uns. Eat those triple triples now, and drink as much beer as you can. It won't last forever.