The AbFab Guide to Dieting

“I’m hungry.”

If you’ve been around me at all in the past couple of weeks, you’ve heard me say that. “I’m hungry.” Why? BECAUSE I AM ON A DIET FROM HELL.

Sorry for what I said when I was hungry.

Sorry for what I said when I was hungry.

Ahem. I apologize for that outburst. That was very unlady like.

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All Pain, No Gain

Writing this post is going to be painful.

Not because of some deep, dark secret I’m going to reveal. I’m not reaching into the the depths of my soul and exposing the raw nakedness of my emotional range.

No, it’s painful because I am SO FREAKIN SORE from working out yesterday that extending my arms and moving my fingers around a keyboard is making me cry a little.

My shoulders and back are in knots. I can’t cough or really even exhale without grimacing, which also hurts to do. Because with all the grunting and teeth-gnashing I did while working out yesterday, my face is also sore.

OK, I might be exaggerating a smidge. Hyperbole is fun to me. But I am sore because once again, I am stepping up my weight loss efforts because as usual, I am plateaued. I don’t even know that “plateau” is an accurate land mass to use. Because that would imply a gradual increase and then flattening out. My weight loss has been stagnant for so long, I’d say I’m “Kansas-ed” or “Great Plains-ed.”

My weight loss is more the foreground than the background.

My weight loss is more the foreground than the background.

My original weight loss goal from over two years ago (TWO YEARS!!!) was to lose 100 pounds. The first year, I lost 34. The second year, I lost 12. Yes, 12 WHOLE pounds. There was a baby born last week that weighed more than all the weight I lost in an entire year. (Kudos to that mom, by the way.)

I have gotten in better shape despite the lack of change to the scale, and I know the scale is bad and BLAH BLAH BLAH. It doesn’t matter to me right now. I’m mad that I set a goal for myself and haven’t reached it. Period.

So once again, I’m changing things up and doing something new based on what “experts” out there say to do. And six months from now, I’m sure I’ll be changing it again because the information out there for the best ways to lose weight and get in shape is nothing if not confusing.

I don’t fall prey to the gimmicks, either. I’m not looking for cheap tricks to “lose 10lbs fast!” or anything like that. I’m not drinking shakes as meal replacements. I’m not doing one of those body wrap things. I want to do things the right way, but there is no clear message as to what that is, exactly.

You gotta start somewhere.

You gotta start somewhere.

In the two years I’ve been working toward my goal, here are some of the main weight loss principles I’ve followed, from what I consider to be reputable sources:

  • It’s simple: calories in, calories out. Get moving and eat less to lose weight.
  • Ok, yes, it’s calories in/calories out, but you need to watch your “bad” carbs and up your protein.
  • Scratch that, high-protein, low-carb is the only way to go. And exercise more.
  • If you eat organic and ditch all chemicals and processed food, you can exercise less.
  • Cardio? Pointless. Weights are where it’s at.

And on and on and on.

I’ve adopted these changes as best I can over time. I’m not perfect, far from it. My diet is as good as it’s going to get, most likely. And I’m ok with that. I’m at the gym as much as I can be and still have a life outside of it. And it’s fine. It’s all vanity at this point (ok, it’s always vanity), but dammit, I want to make this goal in my lifetime.

Most importantly, I want to make this goal and still LIVE life. I want to eat really healthy 5.5 days a week, and once a week, I want to have dinner and drinks with friends and enjoy an ice cream with my kids. I find being at the gym four days a week to be a nice level of activity. And maybe that’s my problem. Ultimately, I don’t want to lose all the weight but hate every minute of the process. I enjoy the gym now. I enjoy finding new, healthy foods to cook for my family. But I don’t want to cross the line into dreading the gym or eating only baked chicken and steamed broccoli all day.

So I’m a work in progress. Slow, slow moving, slow as molasses (that I can’t eat), slower than Christmas on a slow-moving barge pulled by slugs uphill on a salt lick, progress. But I’m not quitting. I’ll get to my goal weight, even if it’s on my 75th birthday. And then I will eat a huge slice of cake.