First things first: I am a relatively fit, slender woman who has never really been concerned with Weight Loss. At least not for the majority of my adult life. Then I entered my thirties. For the last few years I’ve been steadily putting on pounds here and there that refuse to be sloughed off. My doctor tells me this is normal for women in their thirties. She also tells me what I’ve heard time and time again from a variety of sources: exercise is no longer enough. If I want to shed the flab, I have to Change My Diet.
Diet. Shudder. Never was there a more vile four letter word. Count my calories? Who has the time? Deny myself the pleasures of my nightly glass of wine (or two) and my experiments in culinary delights? What is the point?? Life is short! I’m healthy, active, and usually quite content with my gentle curves and bits of extra padding. Usually.
Why has monitoring my food intake always been so impossible for me? After some consideration, here is my most logical set of answers:
1. I’ve always been really good at the exercise part. I do yoga, I walk a lot, I jump rope (for real! it’s super fun), I ride my bike, I go on hikes in the mountains… You get it; my life is active and I like it that way. This makes me feel like I’m justified in eating what I want. Which brings me to number
2. I eat really, really well. Loads of people have labeled me a Food Snob because I do my best to not ingest crap. No fast food, ever.* If I enjoy a rare soda it’s an all natural ginger brew (mmmmmmm… ginger). I try to eat local and organic foods that are processed minimally, if at all. I prepare my food at home as much as I can. I do this because I believe it matters what I put in my body and I like to feel healthy. Glamour magazine recently published an article about this very practice and titled it, aptly, The Snob Diet. This is how I eat. Not to stay thin, but because I love really, really good food. Which is a nice segue to number
3. For those of you who read my confessional, you know I worked long and hard at developing a positive, healthy relationship with food. It makes me nervous to think about compromising that relationship. I’ve come so far and am so happy living a life where food and I are really, really good friends. Still. Some things have changed.
It isn’t just the “in my thirties” jiggling that has been weighing on my mind (oh yeah, pun intended). The truth is that if all goes according to plan, my ever so handsome husband and I would like to have a baby in the next year or so. I know my body, and I know that baby weight will be a sonofabitch to deal with. I want to be in my best possible shape before scaling that mountain. So. This morning I rather spontaneously decided to try my first ever, real live, honest to goodness Diet. My friend Kamarie had posted on good ol’ FB about her own goals and her resulting grumpiness, and it sparked an interesting thread of thoughts from myself and several other ladies. Many of them talked about this website called myfitnesspal.com, which is one of those handy online food/calorie/exercise tracking thingys. With my doctor’s advice and baby-making on the brain, I signed up.
Let me tell you, this was a rude awakening. My little experiment suddenly became Frightful as I looked at the results of my weight x height x weight and fitness goals… If I want to drop a measly ten pounds, I’m supposed to live on 1230 calories a day?? Uh, that’s all? I became instantly hungry just thinking about it. The website recommends aiming to lose one pound a week, so… ten weeks. May 3rd. I can do this until May 3rd, right? …Right?
Well, you, lucky readers, shall find out with me. Needless to say I know going into this that I generally suck at even Thinking about monitoring my food intake, so it obviously isn’t going to be easy. What I’m the most interested in is how this will affect me – my moods, my energy level, my image of myself… Will ten pounds make that much of a difference? Will the magic of calorie counting really drop the pounds like (whole grain, flax-seed) hotcakes? Halfway through my first day I sure hope so. After breakfast, lunch and a snack I only have 370 calories left for my dinner. Au revoir, nightly glass of wine…
Oh and Ps. I’ll probably have to get a scale. For posterity. I hate scales. Number One Scale Goal? Do not let the scale make me crazy. Wish me luck!
*The only fast food exception is a road trip. I have been on maybe three road trips in the last decade, and yes, for lack of alternatives I ate some fast food. I figure three times in ten years is pretty acceptable. It’ll be a beautiful day when they open a Trader Joe’s in every town the size of Fillmore, Utah…