My Daily Donut Diet

Posted: June 20, 2016 in Uncategorized

My “Daily Donut Diet” is over. The gluttony had to end.


Here’s the deal: I’m still on my quest to gain a few extra pounds of “seal fat” before my English Channel swim in August, but the sugary carbohydrate treats have not been serving me well, and I’m looking for new ideas.

Before you roll your eyes, let me put this out there… I’ve heard all the “poor baby can’t gain weight” comments.  But just as people struggle to lose weight, the opposite is true too. The body likes a comfortable plateau.

To be honest, my inability to gain weight has been difficult for me, and I’ve had some pretty shitty days.  As passionate as I am about open-water swimming, I’ve had days when I struggled to get my head in the game. I found myself questioning my passion (and competence) for cold-water swimming.  Questioning the very sport I love!  What!??  Yes, I’ve had bad days where I wanted to throw in the towel altogether and leave my sport.  On one very bad day, I screamed at my training partner that I never wanted to see the lake again. Then I swam a shitty 1/4 mile and went home. (shivering all the way).  Training like that will not get me across the English Channel.

Attitude is everything… and while it’s true that I’ve been on a diet that most would envy, I was struggling to gain weight and my attitude was not improving.  I was on the “eat anything and everything you want” diet, but I made myself ill in the process.  My energy levels suffered, my moods suffered… and my workouts suffered.  Surprise!  (well, maybe not)


On a side note: The Southern Banana Pudding ice cream is pretty amazing!

But even if you do have a very good reason for needing to put on weight (such as, to prevent a trip to the ER with hypothermia!) it just doesn’t add up.  Or, as my father likes to say, “It doesn’t compute.”  You simply cannot eat junk food and expect to perform well as an athlete.

It’s the same rule I use for mixing cocktails: “Good in, Good out”.  Food is the same way, and I honestly don’t know why I thought it would be any different.

Just for fun… here’s an idea of how painfully slow my weight gaining has been since the start of this year:

January: 130 lbs.
February: 132
May: 136
June: 137

Problem is, I feel like most of that gain has been muscle weight.  I’ve been consistently chasing new PR’s powerlifting in the gym with my trainer.  (This year I broke 200 lbs on my deadlift and got to a 160 back squat.)  Those are both much heavier than last year…so I know there is muscle weight in there.

But where’s my SEAL FAT… and how do I get it??  A few more pounds over the next few weeks would definitely help my cold water tolerance in the “No-Wetsuit” zone!

Okay, I’m off to eat to some pasta and an avocado now and maybe I’ll double-up on some protein powder… but I’d love to hear your ideas!




  1. Tom Cupp says:

    I’m one who struggles to lose weight. I also know others who struggle, like you. For me, carbs are the enemy. I gained a pound and a half just looking at the pictures (I jest). Perhaps, for you, instead of consuming simple carbs like white flour and sugar (which the body processes and excretes quite rapidly), try more complex carbs, which your body will process much more slowly. Don’t be concerned with how quickly you can gain weight. That’s the same trap dieters fall into, only in reverse, and it fails them. On a low-carb eating plan, I expect to lose one to two pounds per week. That’s about the same rate that I acquired all of those calories. I can’t lose 20 pounds overnight, in a week, or even a month (Well, OK, I can on a different eating plan; but, it wouldn’t be healthy for me, and the weight would only come right back with a couple of extra pounds to spare.). Give it a shot, and tell us how it works out.

    • Thanks Tom, I’ll look into that! I’ll need to start gaining weight again in about year for my July 2018 English Channel adventure, Round 2! Right now I’m just coasting, trying to put on more muscle weight and gain some “brown-fat” by swimming in very cold water. I’m on my way out today to test the water at Haller Lake, which was reported to be down to 1 degree Celsius!
      Thanks for your note,
      Kate 🙂

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