Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Weight Loss Challenge

I know, I know, this is not my first post discussing diets and weight loss. But I have to think about dieting every single day, so the least you skinnies can do is read about it every few months or so. Now grab yourself a cupcake and read away. Mmmm, cupcakes. Sorry. We now return to your regularly scheduled blog post.

It would appear, at least from my 35 year old perspective, that getting old is hell. Last year, I went to my doctor and asked him to test my thyroid. You see, I was watching every calorie that went into this big mouth of mine and working out about five days a week (and we're talking really working, bless my heart) and still not seeing any results. I figured it had to be some sort of medical condition, because clearly, it was no fault of my own.

My cute, sweet, Brooks Brothers-wearing doctor, who is about the same age as moi, said he has never seen anyone so disappointed to get good test results. I kept asking: are you sure my thyroid is working? Really? Noooo! It can't be! He explained that the older you get, the more effort it takes. I asked him if everyone has to work as hard as I had been, and he said that most people are content to gain some extra pounds as they age. Um, no. I am not one of those people.

I moved on to plan B and asked him if he could please send me to some sort of fat farm. Ever the patient professional, he managed to keep his laughter to a minimum and said that he did not believe a fat farm would accept me as a candidate, and also that the other folks there might be a bit hostile towards someone (such as myself) who came to such a drastic measure to lose ten pounds. Then he diagnosed me with perfectionist tendencies and made me promise to relax. Yeah, I see that happening.

I knocked off those pounds through some extreme measures (800 calories a day, ultra low carbs), but found that it is next to impossible to sustain such efforts without become homicidal. I decided that a little extra candy coating on my frame was probably more flattering than shackles and an orange jumpsuit, so I eased off on my diet. By the time winter passed and the holidays were gone, I was back up my ten pounds, plus some change. It's a shame that, in order to look decent, I can't hang out with my good friends Little Debbie and Chef Boyardee. They really are good people.

Since January, I have gained and lost the same four pounds over and over again. I will have a good week and lose a couple of pounds, have a fun eating weekend and gain it back. Lose one pound, have an extra slice of pizza, gain it back. It is the Groundhog Day syndrome of weight loss. And suddenly, our tropical vacation is looming large. When faced with the option of wearing a wet suit instead of a bikini, and walking around the Bahamas in jeans because all my summer shorts are too tight, I saw it as a call to *immediate* action.

Which brings me to my current adventure. I am, deep breath, embarking on the Adovcare 24-Day Challenge. The details of this ditty include no cheese (which I swore I would never do, but you know what they say about desperate times), no alcohol, no sugar. Not even mushrooms--apparently these are mold/fungus and the goal of the first ten days of this challenge are to 'cleanse' the system of such toxins. No Diet Coke...Lord have mercy on my Coca Cola soaked soul on that one. This avoidance of processed foods also means no Baked Cheetohs (which are kind of my jam), no Saturday morning Egg McMuffin runs, no handful of Teddy Grahams after dinner (hey, they are nutritious and vitamin-enriched--it says so right on the box). Sigh. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

So, none of that stuff, and plenty of healthiness. For a girl who doesn't like fruit, cares little about meat, and doesn't get super excited about veggies, this has been a bit of a change. There have been plenty of supplements (I have to keep a chart on my fridge to keep track of it all), three ounce servings of lean proteins (no red meat), egg whites, and plenty of salads with lemon juice instead of salad dressing. These are not typically my favorite foods, but believe me when I say, you get hungry enough and this stuff will taste pretty good. Did I mention I can have unlimited green vegetables at any time? Green beans and broccoli, you sexy beasts, you!

All in all, it has gone pretty well. There was a panicky incident on day one when I accidentally ate an extra tablespoon of almond butter (I wrongly read the serving size for 'medium' sized people--damn you, small frame!), and a few less-than-delicious episodes with a fiber drink that tasted the way I would imagine a hay milkshake to taste, plus a near sobbing incident when I passed the frozen pizzas in the grocery store, but I'm plugging along. I may--but probably not--be a bit "hangry" from time to time (angry because I'm hungry), although I feel that all things considered, I am maintaining quite the sunny disposition. Clint may tell you different, but who knows why men say the things they say, am I right?

At this point, I am seven days in and four pounds down. Our trip is in exactly three weeks, and I am determined to be a buff bodied, lean, mean, beach dwelling machine. Or at least not swimming in a t-shirt and wearing a muumuu to dinner every evening.  Will I find these lost pounds over one family-sized plate of pasta at Carmine's in the marina village? Or sip them back on, one Miami Vice cocktail at a time out by the pool? Hopefully, the fact that I am leaving for vaycay a few pounds lighter will lessen the chances of the muffin top becoming a pound cake.

I'm off to eat my half piece of fruit and 1/8 cup of almonds as my second meal of the day. "Meal," ha, ha. Hopefully I have expended enough calories typing this post to burn off that meal replacement shake I enjoyed for breakfast, because every bit of effort counts at this juncture. I leave you with this little bit of wisdom I found last week, and I hope it inspires and motivates you as much as it has me:

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