Tag: Weight

A Month of Healthy Eating

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” 
― Hippocrates

Bad news for me, team: I lost nearly 15 lbs in a single month doing nothing but changing the way I eat. I didn’t step foot in a gym, didn’t exercise at home due to an erratic work schedule, and made no other significant changes to my day-to-day life.

Why bad news you ask? Because it’s become abundantly clearly in record time that while I knew my diet was affecting me, I didn’t at all realize the extent. To see this much change this quickly has been startling.

Now, let’s be clear, I also changed up my birth control in this time frame (see here for the recap) which, based only on anecdote and personal experience, I thought may also have affected my weight (remember, the science is still out on this point). There’s no way to tell if this may  have had an effect, but I fully intend to talk to my doctor about it at a follow up appointment this month. There’s a working theory that I may be negatively affected by some unknown food item group (which is the most stupid, millennial thing to type) but that’s still up for medical confirmation. More info on that if and when my delightful GP helps me figure it out.

So, what did I do exactly? I’m sorry to say that there is nothing here you haven’t heard or read about before and there are no tricks, I simply cut out all the foods that make life worth living: no dairy, no sugar, no alcohol, no grain based anything. I massively upped my intake of fresh fruit and veg and have eaten more eggs this month than probably at any other point in my life. Seriously, if I never eat a hardboiled egg again, it will be too soon. I virtually eliminated all snacking, even healthy ones, and instead stuffed myself full at almost every meal with salad. I don’t care who tells you they love kale, there’s a 50/50% chance they are lying to you and dying a bit on the inside.

It worked. I’m feeling great. Damn it.

I didn’t tie this to a New Year’s resolution, I didn’t talk too much about about it or make a big deal out of it online or to friends, and I certainly didn’t have any weight expectations going into this. Like my birth control choice, I decided at the end of last year to try and proactively sort out some behind the scenes health and body issues that have bugged me for a long time and evaluating food groups is part of that overall project. The weight loss is just a welcome, if startling, side effect.

I mean…yikes.

I was looking forward to reintroducing a lot of food back into my diet…but honestly I think my consumption of these things will have to stay reduced if I want to continue trying to be more healthy. Things like dairy and alcohol are not food groups I ingested a lot of anyway before this started, but bread on the other hand… And while I don’t and never have eaten processed foods and have made good headway in reducing my sugar intake over recent years, clearly I could have been doing more to eliminate something which I suspect is one of the main culprits to my recent health roller coaster.

Final disclosures: I remain an unrepentant omnivore and moderate, I don’t think foods should be eliminated from anyone’s diet without medical advice and I’m certainly not urging anyone to do so. That being said if you do feel physically crappy for extended periods of time, notice changes to your body or brain rhythms, or sense that something is “not quite right” internally, talk to someone about it. Seek answers and options. I’m trying to be a less passive passenger in my own body than I have been for several years, and to have this many positive outcomes so quickly has been extraordinary.

To the comments! Have you made any big health adjustments in your life? What were your motivations, and what were the outcomes, both good and bad? 

Cutting Cutting Corners. And Ice Cream.

“This just in!  The secret to weight loss revealed: eat less, move more!”
– a friend’s Facebook status

Despite that three day nosedive into blissful sloth and inactivity, I’ve been doing rather well on the health end recently.  See, I’ve finally learned some of the keys to weight loss and exercise – none of them revolutionary to anyone with a functioning brain, but helpful nonetheless.

Principle the First: Garbage in, garbage out.  I’ve hit my mid-twenties and my metabolism has hit the wall, which makes me want to hit things.  Lots of hitting, but I digress.  I now understand why Mum eats large salads and few deserts, this dizzying cocktail of hormones that is feminine existence means that small things will have big effects on my system.  If I eat junk food I will feel awful.  Period.  Plan meals accordingly.

Principle the Second: exercise will trim the fat, not the skeleton.  I will never again go through the cycle of wanting to be thinner, working my bum off for months, and then throwing myself down a well of despair when my ribcage hasn’t shrunk to give me a longer waist.  My skeleton isn’t going anywhere…but the underused muscle will tone up because –

Principle the Third: underneath this shell of laziness and love of caramel, I actually do have a pretty nice little figure.  Willowy?  No.  Slender?  Ha.  Hourglass and the hallmark of a different era?  Yes.  But with a little effort, fabulous.  However –

Principle the Fourth: all the potential in the world is wasted if I don’t actually do anything about it.  Therefore one must watch the calories and make sure the ones going in are good, indulge rarely, snack better, and work out everyday.

Result: I’ve lost 5lbs in two weeks.  And since this is in no way tied to New Year’s Resolutions, the urge to quit hasn’t reared its ugly head.

Self. Denial.

“You should give up hamburgers for Lent.”
“Why on earth would I do that?”
“Well, I’m giving up something bad for me, so you should too.  Be supportive.”
“I’m giving up smoking.”
“You don’t bloody smoke!”
“See?  I’ve improved myself already.”
– C. and J.

I’m at a loss.  New Year, the time for such bursts of ardent revamping passed without so much as a guilty twinge.  The number on the scale creeping upwards gave me pause, but not enough.  The subtle tightening of my trousers was acknowledged, but then dismissed (though oddly enough my shirts displayed no such variance).  No no, friends.  What gets C. back into the gym, swearing off junk food and dedicating herself anew to salads?  

Alright, I'll work out. I'LL WORK OUT!


Of course I’m not going down by myself so J. has been bugged, hounded, and generally harassed until he agreed to give up Mountain Dew (though not all sodas, he would like it noted).  He’s also being dragged to the gym with me to keep me on the straight and narrow.  I got on an elliptical machine today for the first time in six months and clocked nearly three miles before doing a half hour of weights, so I forsee the traditional Lenten feelings approaching tomorrow: sorrow, remorse, and reliance on prayer to get one through. 

I’m already craving sugar.  Keep me strong, friends!

Dress, Distress, Duress

“I had my second dress fitting.”
“How’s it looking?”
“Fine.  The only problem is me in it.”
-C. and Venice

Small Dog has body issues.
Small Dog has body issues.

I work our regularly, my weight hovers between a very healthy 115 and 120, I have low blood pressure, and I’ve achieved that rare state in a woman: I think my body looks pretty good.  Or at least I did.  On saturday I went in for another wedding dress fitting and my confidence crumbled at my feet.  I don’t care if you’re freaking Gisele Bundchen, put on a form hugging dress in a really light color, turn on glaring, unforgiving fluorescent lights, and stand in front of nearly 360 degree mirrors and even you would suddenly feel whale-ish. 

In other depressing wedding news, our invitations have come and while they look lovely, my mother wants them hand addressed.  ?!?!?!  I may have to get all my girlfriends together one night, promise them food in exchange for services, and beg them for their help because not only is my handwriting atrocious, the idea of addressing even just my share of our 400 invitations makes me want to cry!  I’m fully aware that the reception is my parents’ party, they are paying for it, they are throwing it, they are hosting it, but I have this small whiny child inside me who wails, “Do I have to?”