I hate diets. If you succumb to the pressure to "diet," it means that you are admitting that there is something wrong with your body or your eating habits or your exercise regime. I prefer "lifestyle changes." That is what Biggest Loser preaches to us, right? That is what Weight Watchers is all about. It's not dieting or starving yourself or depriving yourself, it's about changing your habits and "lifestyle" to a healthier version of "you." Riiiiigggght.
I'm incredibly lucky that I used to be skinny. I say "used to" because that ship has sailed. When I was little, my dad would get angry with my aunts thinking that they were filling our heads with "crap" and convincing us that we had to diet and be skinny. What he didn't realize was that we had a really high metabolism and good genes to begin with and when you spend the entire day running in circles around your house, you will most likely be skinny. In high school, I was a three-sport athlete. That meant that I started conditioning for volleyball in late July or at the beginning of August (2-a-day practices in the summer heat and humidity,) went right from volleyball postseason into basketball pre-season and then from basketball post-season into track preseason. It was a never ending cycle of conditioning and practices and games and track meets and ... oh wait - was I supposed to eat in there somewhere? As I mentioned, that whole "high metabolism" thing, when paired with highly active lifestyle meant that I could eat anything I wanted. We would go to McDonalds after a game and I would get a Big Mac Value meal (before life went "super-size") and still eat another cheeseburger after that. (How my mother could afford to take both Trixie and I out to eat at once is a mystery I may never solve.)
In college, I continued my active ways, playing basketball and volleyball almost year 'round and eating on occasion. By then, I had graduated to being able to eat most of a medium pizza all by myself. Yes, I said "medium pizza, all by myself." (And then there were those empty calories associated with alcohol that had to be burned off, but we won't talk about that today.)
The point is, I didn't have to work at it. I could eat just about anything I wanted, spend the afternoon in the gym and not have anything to worry about. Needless to say, those days are GONE.
As you might expect, the whole "real life" thing puts a damper on one's ability to spend part of the day in the gym and the other part at the beach. When I finished school and had to get a full time job and study for the bar exam, working out went out the window. I tried joining a gym - 24 Hour fitness in Woodland Hills, but finding time to get there was difficult and required motivation to get off the couch. I was still able to keep the pesky pounds away somehow and so it wasn't too big of a concern. A few years into the work force and I got engaged. Suddenly, the weight was a big issue again. I don't remember how much I lost before the wedding, but I did lose weight and tried to eat healthier. I was playing in a volleyball league at the time, so at least I was getting some sort of a work out. I remember one of the guys I worked for making an offhand comment at lunch one day, about how he liked that I would go out to lunch and just eat "real food." I wasn't sure how to take the "compliment" until he explained that most of the women he knew were always watching their weight and when they went out to eat would limit themselves to a salad or fruits or veggies. I would go out and order a cheeseburger with onion rings and a chocolate shake for lunch. YUM. So I guess that was a compliment.
Then there's child birth. Ah, the joys of carrying a child and the wonder of birth. Yup, I "wonder" when I'm going to get my body back. I "wonder" how long its going to take to stop the sag. I "wonder" where that ass came from? I "wonder" whose body that is in the mirror because it ain't mine!
My chiropractor back when Brooklyn was a baby told me that it takes anywhere from 6 months to a year (sometimes more) for a woman to feel physically back to "normal" after having a child. I remember telling Rob this and I remember him asking me when Brooklyn was 6 months old "it's been 6 months, are you done yet?" Brooklyn was just over a year old when I decided that I had had enough. My clothes didn't fit right, I felt sluggish and frumpy. I went to Weight Watchers and over the course of 6 months, I lost almost 20 pounds. I had a few wisdom teeth pulled during that time and got sick once or twice, which helped get me through some plateaus, but I lost the weight. I was back down to a size 8 and I could button my pants without laying on the bed and sucking in my gut. Yes, even "skinny" people do that. I was happy with myself again and I can honestly say that one of the reasons it took me so long to get to a place where I was ready to have another child, was because I knew what it had taken to get back to feeling like "me" again after one child and I wasn't sure I was ready to do it for another.
Fast forward and here we are, Kensi is now 7 months old. I was o.k. with things until recently. A lot of the pregnancy weight came off quickly (that "ICU" diet, I'm telling you) and it seemed like I was getting back to "me." Then about a month ago, things stopped. That little pouch on my tummy isn't going anywhere. The jeans aren't getting any looser and the "muffin top" is creeping out. As someone who can't stand seeing teeny boppers in tight jeans that they definitely shouldn't be wearing, as the fat rolls out over the top, it was very hard for me to stand in front of the mirror and see even the smallest roll start to develop. ugh. Now what?
Well, I had options. I could go to the gym on a regular basis. (eh... not thrilled with that idea.) I could get up early and go running. (I don't think so.) I could get up with Brooklyn and walk her to school every day. (yeah, not really liking that either.) Or, I could "diet." Hmmm... that has appeal. What would it take?
I didn't really give much thought to dieting, since I thought that my eating habits weren't that bad (aside from watching Biggest Loser with a bag of cookies next to me.) I tried to eat fruits and veggies on a regular basis and I don't eat a lot of pasta and white rice. Despite that, my weight was stuck. Then I had a can of Yoplait yogurt. (If you're thinking this is going to turn into an infomercial, it's not. Just bear with me.) On the can, it said "lose 5 pounds in 2 weeks with our Tune up diet!" 5 pounds in 2 weeks? That's interesting. So I checked it out. The "diet" basically consists of eating 1 container of yogurt each day for breakfast and lunch, along with a grain serving (either 1 cup of multi-grain cheerios or 1 granola bar) and a serving of fruit. Dinner consists of 6 ounces of lean protein, 2 servings of veggies and a serving of "fat." Also including in the day was 3 servings of dairy (including the milk for your cereal.)
So I decided to give it a try. How hard could it be, right? Well, fair readers, I can honestly tell you that I lasted 3 full days. (Not counting that I tried it Monday for breakfast but had Taco Bell for lunch and completely caved at dinner. - Those Chocolate chip cookie bowls and S'more cups that I made didn't help.)
I don't know how people do it. I don't know how they go on these "fad" diets or "crash" diets where they eat only one thing for weeks (or even days) on end. I just don't know how they do it. By lunch on the third day, I was done with yogurt. I was eating some of my favorite flavors and it was all that I could do to choke it down. The multi-grain cheerios were tasteless and I am NOT a big fan of skim milk. Having grown up, literally "on the farm," skim milk is too much like water. I need a little thickness there. I did o.k. with the fruits and veggies and I was actually surprised at the amount of food for both breakfast and lunch. I didn't feel starved or hungry and wasn't looking for snacks at 2 or 3 in the afternoon, so I guess overall, the "diet" did it's job. But I couldn't get past the fact that breakfast was tasteless. I guess that's why I prefer Weight Watchers to deprivation diets. With WW, I can eat what I want, as long as it is within my points range. (No, this is not an infomercial either.)
My original plan had been to work my way through the 2 weeks and try to lose those 5 pounds. (I actually managed to lose 2 in the first couple of days. I think the hour long cardio kickboxing class might have helped a little with that.) Then I would go back to WW and get back into the swing of things, that much closer to my goal weight. (I'm a lifetime member, having hit it and maintained it already.) That plan went out the window with breakfast this morning. Although I will say that having done a few days on the "diet," I was not inclined to eat as much as I normally might have, and was able to push the plate away. That's not to say I didn't make bad choices to begin with - somehow I don't think the sausage link would be considered "lean" protein.
So here I sit, surrounded by the remains of my turkey sandwich on wheat, with Baked Lays and iced tea (unsweetened, of course.) A container of yogurt is nowhere in sight. I can't say whether or not I will go back to the cheerios - there is certainly something to be said for the marshmallows or raisins (or chocolate chips) that you can find in cereal - it gives the stuff taste! I will probably finish the skim milk, if only just to avoid wasting it, and I will certainly finish out the cottage cheese and fruits and veggies in the fridge. But I think the next time I think about trying a fad "diet," I'll go run around the block three or four times first. Maybe then I'll be too tired to think about food and just go to sleep instead. Happy eating!