Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Dreaded "D" Word

Diet that is.

We're going to Maui in two months. One month ago my excitement began to mix with pressure and dread. The pressure to not only live in a bathing suit for a week, but to look awesome while doing it. To be honest, I don't know any woman that is super-excited to publicly live in a bathing suit for a week.

For the past three years I have not been happy with my body. I got married (which also coincided with my foray into cooking) and started a new job where treats were in constant abundance. The result of these two major milestones was a whopping 20 pounds in six months. This was also the year I turned 30 and my metabolism decided it was time to slooooow waaaay dooooown. I hit a number on the scale I hadn't seen since I was pregnant with Maddie. Then I got pregnant with Luke and gained another 40. UGH! I lost the pregnancy weight and some of the marital-bliss weight, but the scale seemed hell bent on not budging past 132. Given the size of my frame and a closetfull of clothes I was unable to fit in, this was not a weight a I was happy with. A 9 pound baby and second c-section did absolutely nothing to help matters. Everything seemed to jiggle and hang where it didn't used to, and if it did jiggle and hang before, it was now considerably worse.

Combine this with all the pressure we women feel every day of our lives to look perfect. Hollywood and society have presented us with these unattainable standards. The bevvy of stick-thin starlets who claim to be skinny by "fast metabolism" alone is enough to make me gag. I mean, really? Your size 0 is not the result of constant dieting and exercising (read: starvation)? I. Don't. Buy. It.

So here I was: miserable with the current state of my figure, tired, kind of depressed about the whole damn thing, and I felt as if I had lost my glow, my spark. And I had been dealing with this for three years! Oh yeah, and bathing suit central (Maui) was heading my way at warp speed. I began to think, "Eff this. Enough is enough. Isn't three years long enough? Time to make a change!" No crash diets, they just don't work in the long haul. The ankle had healed enough that I could now return to the gym, so that excuse was out. Finally I made the choice for a lifestyle change. I wanted to do something I could live with. Something that would make me happy, not feel as if I was deprived every second of every day. I didn't want to feel as if I was a slave to the gym. At this point in my life I just don't have the 90 minutes to 2 hours to spend there on a daily basis.

Well it is now one month after my life change. I am excited to say I have lost 5 pounds, five inches, and have a heck of a lot more energy than I used to. In general, I just feel better. And I am more confident. It feels good to have my confidence back.

So what did I do? No miracles, just lots of hard work and dedication. Although I ate fairly healthy, there were still lots of tweaks to be made to my diet. I cut out a lot of the excess carbs and watched my portions. I greatly increased my fruit and veggie intake. I try to drink a lot more water. Todd and I have a cheat day once a week. We plan for it. We live for it! As you can tell from my posted recipes, I don't believe in deprivation. I love my food. I don't put as much pressure on the gym either. I now exercise 45-55 minutes four to five days a week. No more 90 minute gym sessions.

Tomorrow I will post part two of "The Dreaded D Word": what worked for me and things I learned along the way.

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