A few weeks back, Vertical sent me a review copy of the diet/memoir book Sayonara, Mr. Fatty. Written by Toshio Okada, one of the founders of the animation studio Gainax (Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gurren Lagann), the book chronicles Okada's transition from super-sized otaku to a more normal size, dropping more than 100 pounds during his journey.
The book, a mix of personal history, analyzing diet methods, and implementing his own, provides for a very reassuring method of dieting. Okada, you can sense, is just like the rest of us -- he's called the "Otaku King" over in Japan, so I would hope that he'd fit in with the rest of us here at Japanator.
At the start of the story, Okada weighed in at 260 pounds. He had to wear 5L (4XL in the US, I believe), and had no choice but to buy first-class travel wherever he went, because he was too large to fit in a normal seat. By the next year? He weighed 150 pounds, wore medium-sized clothing, and turned 49. That's right, even though he's middle aged, he was able to lose all that weight and really transform himself.
It didn't require him subscribing to a crazy plan, purging himself every three days, or eating solely carrots. All it took was a pen and a notebook. And that's all you need, in reality. See what I mean after the jump.
Okada actually has the beginning of his book devoted to looking at all the different types of diets and talking about how he tried them or what he understands of them and why they didn't work for him. He tried a lot of diets. And he graphed it all. Part of it is propaganda, building up to his diet, but he doesn't really force the issue -- it's more of a "this didn't work for me" attitude. Like he says in the book, he's lazy, an otaku, and doesn't really want to have to restrict himself as to what he eats.
This diet, called the "Recording Diet," has you simply carry around a little notebook, or write the information down in a .txt document or however you keep track of the information, and just write down everything you eat. Every last bit. You don't have to restrict what you eat or anything like that yet. Just keep writing. The idea behind this is that the act of writing it down will subconsciously help you lose weight. Whether it be you don't want to write something down for the fifth time that day, or you realize holy crap look at all I ate today, it'll get you to put down that bag of chips.
Later on, the book will transition into getting you to count calories and whatnot, but it's a very smooth transition from recording to adding in calories. I went ahead and read the entire book before starting, but I've already found it to be very helpful, not only in cutting out some of the more dastardly items that I would eat, but in helping to curb my spending -- the real reason why I got the book.
Part of the beauty of Sayonara, Mr. Fatty is that the principles and practices within the book apply not only to dieting, but also to any other facet of your life that you're interested in controlling. As you can see by my little outburst at Anime Expo, I could do with spending a bit less money. And I'm about to drop some more money on figures. And Otakon is coming up in a few weeks. I really wonder if I'll have gas money to drive back home, or if I'll just start living with Topher/Hitogoroshi/Nick Chester for the next few weeks.
All I really need to do is take a deep breath, relax, and keep logging everything. After a while, I'll start seeing that some of the things I'm buying really aren't that necessary, and that I can skip out on that big bowl of M&Ms for now. And if I really want it? Well, let's just say that I'd better be willing to make some sacrifices to really enjoy that one little bit of what I want.
If you're at all interested in losing weight, or controlling any part of your life, Sayonara, Mr. Fatty is indispensable. The book is warm and inviting, and treats you with reassurances and life stories from a man who is just like the rest of us. Sure, it sounds cheesy, but by the end of the book, you feel as though it's possible to lose those 20, 50, or even 100 lbs. I've been recommending this book to people left and right, because I honestly believe it's a great title that will really work.
You can get it for just under $11 on Amazon right now. Go! Go get it right now!
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