Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Dieting During Christmas

Crazy, huh? Starting a new diet on December 1st? Think about it. It's the perfect time to start a new diet. (This has nothing to do with Tim's unappetizing cooking, either. He isn't really allowed near the stove with a pan.) I give myself Saturday as a "free day" because I can bear the deprivation and salads and fruit and nonfat yogurt and counting calories knowing that on Saturday I can go to Bean Town and blissfully consume an orange chocolate chip scone. On Saturday nights Tim and I go out on a hot date (well, maybe not too hot - it is colder these days...)and I usually pick at what he orders (hopefully something with fries!)  while enjoying endless refills of Diet Coke. It's heavenly. Not only do I have some alone time with my handsome husband and some meaningful adult conversation, we usually go to some tasty place. We love Island's, Claim Jumper, Cheesecake Factory, the new Stonefire Grill, and of, course, the Corner Bakery. With my family we usually try different dim sum restaurants and Thai food. We both love Indian Cuisine and I've been wanting to try a Brazilian b-b-q place, Chiarrascurro, one of these days. Anyway, so Saturdays are my "fun food" day.
    Dieting has been a strange experience for me throughout my life. I've always been a little overweight with periods of thinness or heaviness depending on the season. My three approaches to dieting have been: 1) consuming 1,600 calories a day and getting plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean dairy products and limited refined sugar, 2) eating whatever I have a desire for but only when I'm really hungry and eating only till I'm satisfied, and 3) Weight Watchers and counting "points." I've tried all three approaches several times and sometimes I've been successful and sometimes I haven't been. One amazing thing I discovered with the "eat anything I want, but only very small portions" is that I lost 18 pounds in three months, ate cake for breakfast (I really think Costco has the best tasting cakes for the money!) and I didn't exercise at all. I loved that diet and was able to keep it up somewhat when I was pregnant with Leanne. Then exhaustion, not feeling well, and being distracted made it harder for me to keep up with that approach.

     With all three methods I never could tell why one was successful or not because they all worked at various times. So I've been praying about this issue for a long time and asking God to help me. I really resist trendy, "bandwagon" approaches to dieting. God knows my body, my weaknesses, and what I need. So, it came to me to keep a food diary everyday, except Saturday of course, and be faithful to it just until my 40th birthday in February. I'll re-evaluate at that point. I do feel like my ability to stick with this plan (I'm on week 2 and I've been very disciplined) is ONLY the grace of God. I cannot muster the will  power or desire on my own. It has to be a work of his spirit in my heart and mind.
     What has been discouraging and shocking (still) has been how high my weight has gotten up to. I can trace back how that happened. It was in the fall of 2005 and I had just found out I was pregnant with Daisy. My pregnancy came about sooner that I had planned and I was a bit shocked. Add to that the novelty of cable television and Food Network. Then add Giada DeLaurentiis and her fabulous, scrumptious tv show "Everyday Italian." I watched that show religiously and tried many of her recipes. I love her cooking. I liken it to "food pornography," however, and no longer watch her show. I just can't resist trying her recipes, so I abstain from even turning her show on. (Plus, she needs to cover up her chest! She really flaunts her boobs sometimes and it irritates me!) I gained a whopping 60 pounds during my pregnancy with Daisy. No wonder she was over 9 1/2 pounds! All my other pregnancies I had usually gained between 32 and 40 pounds. So, I'm still fighting to lose those extra 20 plus pounds. Before I got pregnant with Julia I had lost some weight and managed to keep my weight gain to only 35 pounds. I lost all that weight, but have gone up and down about 10 pounds since.
     I'm not motivated by vanity much or what other people think. My cholesterol is slightly elevated, though, and that's not healthy. I want to be a good example to my daughters by eating nutritious foods and being self-controlled. I also want to look closer to the way I looked when my husband married me. It doesn't seem fair to him that I've gained 40 pounds since our wedding (he's made it clear that it bothers him -  I don't blame him). And, I don't want to use food to try to comfort or entertain myself. That's a bad habit. And, I'm not comfortable with how my clothes fit, look, or how I feel.So, my dependence on God continues.Hopefully I'll report that by my 40th birthday I've lost some weight and will continue to lose all the rest that I need to. I'll have to pray especially during Christmas and birthday parties this month when I see all the Christmas cookies, fudge, cakes, chocolate, savory, cheesy appetizers and on and on and on. One strategy that seems helpful is to suck on a Hershey's kiss. They're only 25 calories each! That seems to help with my chocolate craving. Now if I can only stick to just one or two, well maybe three...Oh, Lord, help me!


Heather Griffith Brewer said...

Nice. I was eating a peppermint Hershey Kiss while I was reading this.
Good luck! Dieting makes me most unhappy...I've found though that recognizing the fact that I have had enough is the best thing for me. I watch my extended family eat like there's a famine coming!

dietcokegrrl said...

Good for you! I say whatever works!

And your comment about Giada DeLaurentiis made me laugh. So true. And don't you think she has a big head? Her head looks so disproportionate to the rest of her body. It drives me crazy--and is so distracting.

Lct4j said...

You're right! She's on the cover of Shape magazine this month and she looks fabulous after having had a baby a year ago or so, but she really does have a huge head! (She's still beautiful, though, and she can cook!)