Most people begin a diet at the beginning of the year, but this year I decided that the best time would be after Fat Tuesday (or Paczki Day or Mardi Gras) ON Ash Wednesday, which is tomorrow! OK, it’s not really named after me, but still, don’t you think that seems just right? So today I fattened up with a paczki of the Traverse City variety, which is not nearly as delicious as the real Hamtramck variety, but I digress. Did I just say that I fattened up? Well, I was already too fat before I even bit into the paczki. I could say it was “baby weight,” but really I shed the true “baby weight,” and now I’m left with the I-ate-too-much-when-I-was-pregnant-and-didn’t-exercise-enough weight. Oof. After Wren was born, I shed the weight pretty easily because I was walking and then running a lot. A beautiful summer and fall stretched out ahead of me and it was really easy to get out with just a baby and really easy to eat healthy, fresh food. Now given how difficult I find it to grocery shop with the two, getting out to exercise has been difficult. And eating really healthy during November and December involved a lot more will power than I was willing to muster so I said, sure pass me another Christmas cookie… So here I am in February and I just feel chubby and yucky. It could be that I’m still struggling with how to shower every day too… ahem. So, here I am.
I didn’t need to share this with you, but I thought that it would help me to stick with my plan if I shared my struggles and successes along the way. First I wanted to make a list of all the diets I’ve tried in the past 20+ years. That’s right, I think I’ve tried one diet or another since I was an early teenager. Maybe earlier actually. Here goes the list, but I think there are more, but I can’t remember them right now.
- Weight Watchers (three or four times?)
- Jenny Craig (twice?)
- medical weight loss treatment
- South Beach Diet (three times?)
- train for a marathon approach to losing weight (twice)
- Ayurvedic approach
- Eat nothing white
- vegan and vegetarian eating for weight loss
- Body for Life
- Skinny Bitch
- French Women Don’t Get Fat
- Body Sculpting Bible diet
- low carb
- eat NO junk food ever again approach
- Jillian Michaels
- counting calories
- counting fat
- low fat
- Biggest Loser diet
- the I’ll diet tomorrow approach (almost every day)
And I’m sure there are more, oh my. And almost all the approaches worked and I lost a bit of weight, but I would get bored (or hungry!) and stop. I feel a bit queasy and distraught when I think about all the time I’ve wasted thinking about my weight and body image over the years. If I had put that energy and thought into something else, I bet I could have found the cure to some disease or come up with a million dollar idea. Best not to regret they say, but I do.
I never have been into fashion or make-up or caring too much about how I looked when I left the house, but recently I realized it was because nothing ever really looked good on me since I was short and stout. Skinny jeans, are you kidding me?! More on this topic in a future post…
Speaking of short and stout, most of the time I don’t realize that I’m only 5’1″ tall. Seriously, I just don’t think about it and it has never really bothered me to be short. But when I picked up The Petite Advantage Diet: Achieve That Long, Lean Look. The Specialized Plan for Women 5’4″ and Under, it was like being hit on the head. Duh! You can’t eat like your husband who is A FOOT taller than you and expect to lose weight, or expect to not gain weight. Or eat like most of the people I eat with because I’m usually the smallest one. Duh! again. Why had the reality of this never really occurred to me?! I suppose it was hidden in many of the approaches to slimming down that I tried, but it was never out there, loud-and-proud.
The diet isn’t brain surgery, lovelies; it involves eating small portions of protein-rich, satisfying whole foods with lots of veggies and fruit. I hate “diet” foods so I’m thankful that the diet really only calls for consuming actual foods and not strange, man-made concoctions with lots of ingredients I can’t pronounce. The books lays out a three week meal plan to follow, which is nice because I don’t have to do any calorie-counting or overthink what to eat (should I eat a salad with poached chicken or should I have a vegan burrito with some kind of healthy “cheese?” Hell, I’ll just have a few cookies and another cup of coffee…) It also involves caloric cycling with some days a bit higher in calories than others. As far as exercise, it calls for a simple gravity band routine that I can do at home, or really anywhere there is a door. This was also appealing to me because I’m not going to commit to finding (and paying for) childcare on a regular basis so I can drive to a gym and workout.
The one aspect of the book I can’t really get entirely behind is that the author, Jim Karas, seems to be anti-cardio exercise. Cardio just makes me feel so much better and this emotional boost goes a long way to making healthy choices and having a good attitude toward life. I’m not going to give it up, but since it’s only playing a very small part in my life right now, it’s not much to worry about anyway. There’s really not time to overdo it since I sometimes can’t find time to take a shower or clean yesterday’s dishes…
I also contacted the author to find out if I needed to adjust the calories since I was nursing. He said I could safely add about 200 calories, which I decided could be a couple extra pieces of fruit or something more satisfying like a small handful or almonds or some low-fat, natural cheese.
Are you still reading this post? Man, I realize this is probably getting boring and somewhat embarrassing for me , but I just wanted to get it all out there. Tomorrow I will post one of those awful “before” photos and some numbers (yikes!) so wish me luck! Please and thank you.
Now for you, lovelies. Any tips or tricks you’d like to share? PLEASE send them my way. Pleeeeeaaaase! xo
p.s. Happy Fat Tuesday! Any amazing indulgences you’d like to share? Giving up anything for Lent? Good luck to YOU!