Today I Sort of Started a Diet

low carb food pyramidIt’s more of an lifestyle eating plan than a diet. And I hesitate to say anything about it, in case I don’t lose any weight! 😉

I’m a terrible dieter. I don’t like to be hungry and I don’t like to follow rules. Yes, I’m a bit inflexible. But, I’ve decided that it’s time to make some self-improvements, especially now that I’m in my 50s and looking good takes a lot more effort than it used to. Plus, I’ve got time to devote to it and I know I can lose some weight if I put my mind to it. It’s part of me redefining myself.

In the past year I’ve read a number of books that make a great deal of sense to me. Unlike my husband who believes that all calories are equal and the only way to lose weight is to reduce calories taken in (especially fat) and/or increase calories burned, I believe that different calories are metabolized differently. I know that I gain weight/fat when I eat carbs, not when I eat fat. (It’s hard to debate the issue with him. He eats a very low fat diet, works out a lot, and is thin. So, he’s living proof of his beliefs. How can I argue with that?)

I won’t get into the details. There are lots of resources out there. Google “eat fat and grow slim” along with “Mackarness” and you should be able to find the pdf of a 1960 publication that I found really compelling. Other resources include books by Jorge Cruise and Gary Taubes.

Anyway, I’m taking my first tentative steps.

And they are tentative. For example, I eat steel cut oats every morning. Granted, it’s a healthy whole grain and it’s GREAT for digestion. But, it’s all carbs. And – I’m not willing to do without it. Did I mention that I tend to be inflexible? I am, though, willing to reduce my portion from 1/2 cup of oats to 1/3 cup. Also, I sweeten it with a little maple syrup. Not a lot, mind you but, again, pure carbs. I bought some sugar free maple flavored syrup and I’m going to try mixing it half and half with the real stuff.

I don’t have a lot to lose, maybe 5-10 lbs, so I feel that any adjustment I make will be an improvement and should result in some weight loss, even if it takes longer than the books promise. Right? And I’m a very patient person so it’s OK if takes months vs. weeks. I don’t use much sugar to begin with, but I do have a Vietnamese coffee every, single, solitary morning. Clearly, I’m a creature of habit (which is just another way of saying I’m inflexible.) Jorge Cruise’s book The Belly Fat Cure has a bunch of recipes – many that look really appealing. I thought I could switch from my Vietnamese coffee to his Perky Blended Coffee Shake. Unfortunately, there’s no way I will EVER, EVER, EVER be able to use Stevia or Pure Via. I tried it the other day. Truly hideous tasting stuff and it messed up my stomach for a couple of hours afterwards and distracted my yoga practice!

So, I’m sticking with my Vietnamese coffee. I just need to find a way to reduce the carbs I’m ingesting. Putting the condensed milk back in the fridge immediately after spooning it into my glass would be a great start. That way I won’t stand there, doing the Sudoku, dipping my spoon back in the can until I’ve doubled the amount I’m taking in every morning. That should make a difference, shouldn’t it?

One of the worst thing about eating low carb is that carbs are cheap. Protein and produces are not. So, eating low carb goes against my natual instinct to live inexpensively. But the sacrifice will be more than worth it if I can lose some of the weight I’ve put on over the past 18 years. (I weighed 120 before and after each of my three kids. If I could get down to 129 today, I’d be beyond thrilled! In fact, I think I’d look terrible at 120. I don’t understand how that works because I looked great at 120 when I was younger. Nora Ephron says the same in her book I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman.)

Anyway, as I was saying, carbs are cheap. We all know that obesity has exploded in the past few decades, especially amidst poverty, and I’m sure cheap carbs are the reason. As Elton John sang back in the ’70s when I was still in junior high:

Times are changing, now the poor get fat

I’m not poor. I’ll be poorer because I’ll be eating fewer carbs. But I’m not poor. And I refuse to be fat.

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