I love/hate weekends

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I love the weekend.  Who doesn’t?  Sleeping in, spending time with friends and family, no work- weekends are great.  Except when it comes to my eating.  I struggle to stay “on the wagon” (or for me ‘on the beach’) every weekend.  Some are more successful than others.

This past weekend I attended a friend’s wedding.  I was very good.  Mostly.  I had salad and asparagus and lean meats at the buffet lunch and champagne.  Lots of champagne.

Although alcohol is a tricky issue in dieting and South Beach, dry, brut champagne (my favorite) is one of the best choices.  It is low in sugar and one of the lowest calorie alcoholic beverages.  Which is why a glass or 2 of champagne is ok.  More than that an I start to make bad food choices.

Anticipating that I would have more than 2 glasses of champagne, I planned ahead and asked for my husband’s help resisting wedding cake and other delicious things at/after the wedding.  although I was not pleased with the lecture he gave me when I quickly joined in the chorus to get pizza after the wedding- I am very glad that he did.

I generally take a few steps (lbs) back on the weekend and spend Monday and Tuesday chastising myself for my bad decisions and trying to get back on track and lose the lbs I gained over the weekend.  With my husband’s help, this Monday I was pleased to see that I had not gained any weekend weight.  I didn’t lose anything either, but it was a small victory for me.

I hope to continue my weightloss success this weekend.  As I write this, I am already dreading the 3 day weekend with family and friends at the beach- for what it might do to derail my weightloss journey.  I am so looking forward to spending a few days with family and friends at the beach.  It is just the temptation that abound in those circumstances that I dread.  So this is me starting to psych myself up and get my willpower flowing to resist the poor choices that come after a few glasses of wine on the patio, or the family trip to the local ice cream parlor.  I need to resist those things and take advantage of the beautiful weather and wide beaches that are meant for early morning runs, sandcastles, and jumping the waves.

Wish me luck! Hopefully I have good news to report on Tuesday!

South Beach Diet, and why it works for me

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Why South Beach?  At the time I started it, South Beach was the trendy weight loss plan/diet.  In reality, South Beach encourages you and helps you to make lifestyle changes.  Changes that you can maintain and tweak as necessary when the weight starts creeping back on.  Or you wake up one day 25 lbs heavier.

For me, South Beach provided the structure that I needed at still find successful today.  I need rules.  Allof this “eat in moderation” “just have 2 bites” business does not work for me.  How can I only have 2 bites??  There’s so much cake left, staring at me!

South Beach also allowed me to eat normal foods and not feel like a freak-hermit at age 22 because I could not go out to eat or eat in front of friends.  While it is strict and cuts out certain foods, it also leaves you with a wide range of meat, dairy, vegetables, and fruit to enjoy.  Even now that I am back on Phase 1, I can eat out with friends an at work functions.  I stick to the sesame tuna salad and away from the bread bowl, but it is very doable.

South Beach is also not about calorie counting.  It recommends eating every few hours- especially in Phase 1.  They claim (and I fully support) that you are most likely to eat crap when you are hungry and unprepared with healthy food.  I am bad at specific portion control and knowing the calorie counts of everything I eat.  I enjoy cooking and would much rather know that all of the ingredients in a particular dish are SB friendly thank count calories and chide myself for eating 1300 instead of 1200 one day.

Phase 1 is also helpful if you are like me and craze sweets.  I do not crave bread or pasta.  They are both delicious.  BUt I crave cake and pastries.  Delicious baked goods.

Through the first 2 weeks of Phase 1, you lose (or at least) control sugar cravings so that they are not prevalent once you start to work in more healthy carbs in Phase 2.  It is difficult for me to not eat fruit for 2 weeks, but it is also doable.

Although not as much of a priority as it was 8 years ago, it is still important for me to feel like a (semi) normal person.  I can cook and eat out and lead a normal life without counting points or calories and bringing my own prepackaged meals with me everywhere.

I have recommended South Beach to many people.  Some have tried it and found success.  Others have tried it and gave up on Phase 1, claiming it was too restrictive.  For me, SB is that magical place where there are rules and structure yet the freedom to eat out and not feel so different form non-dieting friends and family.

How did I get here?

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It is easy to say that my family history and genetics are working against me.  I am not the only member of my family to struggle with my weight.  As with most things, I believe that has an impact, but so does the rest of my life and actions.  I can explain away my first 22 years, but I’d rather focus on now.

I got married in 2012 and then got sloppy about my eating habits.  More treats and snacks came as I was no longer concerned about fitting into a dress and thousands of pictures being taken.

At the time, I also worked at a very stressful firm with a very poor culture and relationship between the senior staff and mid level staff.  This left me wracked with anxiety about my job performance and job security.  So I turned to my doctor and medication for help.  Of course, weight gain came with the medications.  My doctor told me that they would make me hungrier.  I had no idea how right she was.  Within a month, I gained 10 lbs on top of the 5 that had crept on after the wedding.

Thankfully, I got new job and was able to wean myself off of the SSRI’s.  But the weight stayed.  As much as I have tried to buckle down, that 20 lbs is sticking around.

Let’s try this again

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After graduating from college in 2005, I decided to change my life.  I had been heavy, obese, chubby, fat, etc for as long as I could remember.  After years of concerned parents and doctors trying to convince me to lose weight, i decided to do it myself.  By myself.  For me.  I was moving to a new city, starting grad school, and attempting to be an adult.

So I did it.  In one year, I lost 100 lbs.  I started at 280 and a size 18/20 in August 2005; by my sister’s wedding in September 2006 I was 180 and a size 12.  Since then I have been mostly successful at keeping the weight off with fluctuations here and there around 190.  At my lightest, I weighed 169.  At my heaviest I was 205.

205 was last week.  I do not have a good excuse for this, but I know that anything over 200 is not acceptable for me.  It’s been a combination of \ a stress/anxiety producing job that led to a few months of SSRI’s.  After the job switch 6 months ago I have been unable to get the weight off.

My goal is to be 180 again.  I was 180 in May 2012 when I got married.  I plan to be there again.  Not for my first anniversary, but comfortably for the 2nd.

The first time around I stuck to a very strict South Beach diet plan- and lots of exercise.  It worked!  When I have been successful at maintaining my weight or losing the lbs that creep on, it has been by going back to South Beach phase 1 and starting over again.  I have maintained my commitment to exercise over the last 8 years.  But I need to step it up.

Let’s do this.

Hello world!

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