In Which I Attack My Body

The Reason

In California, or maybe just this area of California, people are skinny. The stereo type of Californians being active, beachy, tanned people and crazy dieters is actually somewhat true. Of course not everyone is like that, but some are. Stereotypes, however judgmental and close minded they are, are still somewhat based on actual observations. But let’s not go there. Around here though, it’s sometimes actually at a point where I see another overweight person and want to hug them and say ‘Fight for your right to be fat, sister!’, but of course, that’s inappropriate too.

I’ve been self conscious about my weight for a while now, ever since I gained back the SEVERAL pounds and then some, that I lost a few years ago. I have even noticed a recent unwillingness to be in full-body photos, an inability to do regular tasks without pain or struggle, and an irritation at the wonderful clothes in my closet that I can’t wear, let alone the struggle I deal with when trying to get new clothes in this town (which really seems to only cater to the thin). I’m too fat to go paragliding, I’m almost too fat to fit into the seat on the bus without sitting on someone, and almost too fat to fit into one of the rides at the fair. According to the BMI rating, I am actually obese. OBESE, for crying out loud. Seriously. I’m not just whining or exaggerating. This is fact. This is ridiculous.

The Process

I have been mildly attempting to watch what I’ve been eating lately (blah blah blah), and of course that has been failing. I’ve toyed with the idea of joining Weight Watchers, but didn’t think that system would work for me. I feel as though I’m mildly hypoglycemic, and my husband agrees at my symptoms. My blood sugar goes squirrly when I don’t eat enough, and I start freaking out. I get dizzy, fever, my heart races, I get short of breath, and tell him I need to drop what I’m doing and eat now, and so on.  So, that said, the idea of having to force myself to eat less and face this issue and these symptoms kind of made me freak out a bit. Not to mention, the idea of constantly counting calories and points seemed really annoying and just not my thing. I’m not saying it doesn’t work, because I’ve seen that it does. I just mean that I can’t see it working for me.

I also toyed with the idea of going vegetarian or vegan. For health reasons and for animal welfare reasons. I even had a great dinner and lesson around Whole Foods with someone I met last year through volunteering. She’s a big advocate for Veganism. I talked to my husband about wanting to try this and he balked at the idea, saying he was vegetarian for years and vegan for one, and he didn’t recommend it. He worked for 8 years at a health food store, and despite him being skinny as a post and no personal experience in struggling with being overweight, I do have to respect that opinion too. So, if I’m going to eat meat and dairy and so on, I can at least try to do so with consideration to where it’s coming from (i.e. eggs from cage-free chickens, and so forth). My vegan friend would be sad. 😦

The Diet

Last week I stumbled across The Dukan Diet. Don’t laugh. I too scoffed and turned my nose up at ‘fad’ diets, but then I read a little bit more on this, and felt like Dr. Dukan kinda knew what he was talking about. I showed it to my husband. He agreed that I’d lose weight by eating like this, and approved of its methods. So, given that I just had had enough with being fat, was in the right mindset, and had the support, I went for it.

The Dukan Diet consists of 4 different phases, calculated to last a certain length of time based on how much weight you need to lose. Phase 1: The Attack Phase, lasts 1 week for me. The Attack Phase is: “A regime of pure protein jumpstarts your weight loss with amazing results.” Why? Because people like me need results, and need them NOW. When I change my diet in a major way, it had better be worth it. This phase is designed for results, immediately, not for a sustained eating change in the long term.

We emptied the cupboards, and the fridge, of everything that had carbs, fats and sugars. Five (5) FULL grocery bags worth of food is now sitting on my kitchen floor (see left). There’s also another bag that’s not in the photo of things I can’t eat from Easter (like jelly beans and an awesome looking chocolate thing). As a result, this is the new cupboard photo on the right. There’s even a section just for my husband, with foods that he wants to keep around. Beside the paper barrier (lol) is a stack of various sardines which my husband loves, but which make me want to vomit. It’s a further deterrent against peaking around on the shelf and sneaking foods that I shouldn’t have. Since the food he wants is still in the cupboard, that means the 5 bags that we are trying to figure out what to do with are filled with food that only I was most likely to eat. Yeeeeah…

In Phase One, I’m allowed to have egg whites, salmon, crab, lean chicken and lean turkey (and lean red meat if I want, but meh), including lean deli meats, as well as non-fat dairy of any kind. I’ve got non-fat mayo, non-fat cheese, non-fat cream cheese, non-fat milk, non-fat cottage cheese, non-fat yogurts, etc, all 0% fat. So I guess that’s something! I can eat these foods in unlimited quantities. Let me repeat that. Unlimited quantities.

I also have 1 1/2 tablespoons of Oat Bran every day, and am allowed a cup of coffee if I want (*phew*). Since the cupboard photo was taken, I’ve added a container of protein powder (chocolate flavoured, so I can get my fix, if need be), and Stevia, which is a sugar alternative (per husband’s suggestion). I have tried the protein drink, which is satisfactory, but not the sweetener yet. We got it because I was buying fruity yogurts, which despite being non-fat, broke the carbs and sugars rule. Pout. I find regular yogurt to be really bitter, so hopefully some sweeteners will help.

There’s also a small bag of food set aside which has things that I can eat during the second phase of the diet. It’s a small bag… In the second phase I can add different foods (vegetables mostly), but still need to keep carbs and sugars and fats outta there. I’m scared. I’ll talk more about Phase 2 when I get there, since I realize this post is super long already.

I’m still adjusting, considering that it’s only been a couple of days. I love my chocolate, peanut butter, cereals, crackers, breads and pastas, but not as much as I hate feeling this way.

We’ll see how things are next week!  Wish me luck, and let me know if you’re interested in trying this out too. Check out the dukan diet website for more info.