Friday, March 22, 2013
A moment on the lips...
Needless to say, for most of my adult life, I have been battling my weight. I am lucky in the fact that when I gain, I gain proportionally, so I can "hide" a certain amount, but there's a limit to anyone's ability to finding clothes that hide your sins. Lately, I have crossed that limit. (I'm always embarrassed to admit that I've gained weight, but being overweight isn't like a secret drinking problem; anyone with eyes can see that, yes, I could stand to lose a few pounds.) Maybe I should learn to be happy with my curves: I see plenty of ladies who are larger than me and rock it. But I'm not there yet.
I've tried a number of diets. When I was at my highest, I joined Weight Watchers, which I followed to the letter. I lost over 40 pounds, but it took me over a year. I kept it off for a while, but it creeped back up. (Unfortunately, dieting is one of those stupid things you need to do your whole life.) Now that I have a metabolism of a lady in her mid-40s, my metabolism is even worse than that.
Four years ago, I gave up carbs for a while and that worked quite well for me. Of course, I had a few extra factors to help out: I was living alone, going through the tension of a marriage falling apart (being stressed actually helps me eat less). I was working on a project at work that was so crazed, people still talk about it. Eating was not a priority. It actually worked! I got as thin as I had been in 15 years. But, eventually I started eating carbs again, bread was back in my life, and once again, the pounds creeped back. These days, I'm much happier, but that's not helping the waistline.
This year, I decided to revisit the no/low carbs thing, at least for a while. Lent was about to start, and I find that's a good time to diet. It's a long enough chunk of time that (with luck) one can see some results, but it's also a set amount of time. No trips were planned during this period, which makes it easier as well. I had my yearly physical right before Lent started, so I took that weight as my starting weight (sure, I was dressed, so my weight surely wasn't that high, but that meant the first few pounds were easy.)
A few things I'd like to point out: I get that no diet is actually *no* carbs, so, please, don't be telling me that "fruit has sugar!" I just say "no carbs" because it's easier when I explain to someone why I'm taking apart my sandwich. I don't actually believe that this type of diet helps you lose weight because it alters how your body recognizes food. I think it works for me because I am no longer eating a loaf of bread with chocolate on top. I don't believe in magic ratios of olive oil or amount of protein in each meal or a handful of nuts. I do believe that different people have slower or quicker metabolisms, and that's just the hand you're dealt.
I've modified the "no carbs" diet slightly. Here are my exceptions. Sauces are ignored. I am not trolling through a list of ingredients for spaghetti sauce or having my Chinese food cooked in a special way. I am not counting anything. I am not figuring out how many carbs are in a teaspoon of Splenda or whatever. I will allow the Atkins snacks, but no more than one a day. Here's the big one: I allow myself one "cheat" carb every other day. Once a day is too much (I've tried that), but I need something. This also allows for some needed flexibility: you're at a work lunch and there's nothing that you can have, etc. I end up using it on oatmeal for breakfast a lot, because I am a weirdo.
It's been going pretty good. I'm getting close to that 10-pound mark, which is enough to prevent me from giving up in a fit of frustration. It's probably not that noticeable to most people, but I can feel it. For that reason, I'll probably keep it up after Lent is over. I feel more in control, and my clothes are fitting better. I'm looking forward to things getting loose. I still am not so sure about fruit, but, for now, it's all I've got.