First Time Diet

The lovely couple, Sean and Yasmin.

I have never dieted before – at least not for weight loss.

I was some form of vegan/vegetarian/pescatarian for 15 years of my life until I started breastfeeding my firstborn. About 5 months in, I was starving. The best way I can describe it is: meat didn’t seem disgusting anymore. I had to think of meat that way (that it was grody) or else I would want to eat it. Along the way, I listened to my body when it said, “hey, maybe eating pasta and french fries everyday isn’t a good vegan diet,” so I started eating milk and egg products and became a vegetarian. Once I craved sushi so hard I thought I’d have a stroke just looking at it, I became a pescatarian (meaning no land animals). And when I smelled BBQ Hubs was making and decided that for the first time in half my life it smelled, I dare say, good…I made the jump to being an everything-eater.

I thought (or taught myself) that something either smelled or tasted disgusting until my body said it wanted it. This was fine for my activist sensibilities. It became an instinctual process, much like my diet while preggo. Much like the whole experience of being preggo and giving birth, actually. I tuned in to innate functions and said, “have at it, body.”

I ate really well while pregnant. Even better the second pregnancy since nothing was off limits. And here is my dilemma: I eat healthy most of the time…except for my sweet tooth. It’s not so easy to tell my body that banana bread is disgusting in order to cut the cravings.

Hubs and I are going to a destination wedding in 6 weeks time. We are 2 of the 4 friends invited to a dear, dear friend’s wedding with exclusively family attending. It’s quite the honor for us to be asked from the man who officiated Hubs’ and my wedding. He’s Hubs’ best friend and bandmate. Not to mention I just adore the bride, so much that it makes me burst with happiness, and a smile comes to my face every time I see her in person or in pictures. I know we’ll be up in cool Philadelphia weather, enjoying non-Texas temperatures, over the trip that also takes place during my 33rd birthday and we will take pictures as well. Do you get where I’m going with this?

June 11, 2005 – Sean officiating our wedding.

Hubs and I want to look good for these pictures, so I’m jumping in as a first time dieter. I am genetically predisposed to be both lanky and indulgent of my sweet tooth, but Hubs wants a dieting buddy. If he has to suffer through the Atkins Diet until our trip in late October, he wants me to, too. It’s not his first go-round with Atkins. He’s had quite a bit of success the handful of times he’s been rigid to the extents of the diet, cutting out carbs and mixing it with an hour of exercising at the YMCA a few times a week, but we let being generally exhausted from work and parenthood get us both off track. I know I’m not going to be lanky forever, and this trapezoid of a post-babies-belly isn’t going to snap back like a rubber band without a little bit of effort, so I’ve signed my name on the dotted line: I’m going to diet for the first time.

Since I don’t need to drop 15 pounds (more like put the weight where it should be), and just want to eat healthy, poop regularly, and have nice skin, I’m going for Phase 4: Maintenance. This is probably not as easy for Hubs to see me gobble nuts and all fruits to my heart’s content, since he is starting out with Phase 1 where you can’t have more than 20 carbs/day, but it’s better than seeing me eat cereal before bed every night with a chaser of ice cream. (Oh gah, I really want some ice cream.)

The hardest part for me after 3 days of being on this diet is the straight up hunger. I didn’t realize how much I lived for breads, cereal, and granola bars. I eat a lot for someone my size and would like to think it’s because I’m breastfeeding an almost-one-year old. I have 3-4 meals a day and sometimes the same number of snacks. Second Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I eat as much in the meal as Hubs, if not more sometimes. I’m telling you, I should not weigh what I do – so thanks, metabolism. Stick around, ok?

What I’ve learned thus far is that “hungry feeling” is good, apparently. It’s burning up stuff instead of turning the sugars/carbs I did eat into fat. (<—-SCIENCE.) Yay for that, but I want to cheat on my diet so…bad. I accidentally did yesterday. I had a granola bar hidden in my purse for toddler emergencies, but it was a mommy emergency running errands with low blood sugar and I ate it after a lengthy inner monologue. When I got home, I admitted my cheating heart to Hubs. But that sweet thang said most diet-cheaters just don’t get back on the diet train, so as long as I kept plugging along with him, we’re good.

Have you ever dieted? Or done the Atkins diet? I feel pretty good this week, and I’m hoping my addiction to sugar will be broken by the time we go on our trip. Here’s to lettuce-wrapped everything!

Tuna fish salad (made with apple, carrot, relish, mayo, and celery on a bed of lettuce topped with cheese wedges.