Sunday, November 20, 2005

The Try-It Diet

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Okay, I'll admit it. I've been feeling "blahg" for the past week. Was it really because I felt I didn't have anything to blog about, or do the reasons go deeper? They go deeper of course. Truth is I've been crankier than usual. ("Pearl, cranky? I'd have never thought that of her.")
And why have I been crankier? Because I am on a D-I-E-T.

I have NEVER been on a diet. When girlfriends were starting to count calories when they were thirteen and fourteen years old, I thought they were idiots. I was tall and slim and had no need for that nonsense.

When my brother told me when I was about fifteen or sixteen that my "rear view" on the piano bench was getting wider, I scoffed at him. What the heck did he know? I was tall and slim.

When anorexia and bulemia were in fashion, I didn't even contemplate working my way into those categories because there was no need for that. I was tall and slim.

I'm still tall; I'm not so slim. Yes, I've been asked many a time if I'm expecting, and I just laugh and say either "No, it's just 'baby fat'!" or I say, "No, but I've been expecting you would ask that!"

When I moved homes a couple of years ago, I stored some of my smaller clothing at my parents' home; I did not want to toss out the clothes or donate them because I had hopes of being able to fit into them once some point in time. Yes, yes, I know styles go out of fashion, but for the most part I wear clothing that is classic, and thus timeless.

I joined a health club last fall, and went about 8 times over the course of the year. That was money down the toilet.

We bought a rowing machine earlier this year -- it is such a beautiful piece of equipment, and matches my bedroom furniture -- but I had never even sat on it.

But the time has come to join the masses and diet. My husband is my coach, my mentor, my cook, my conscience, my sounding board. He's been on the receiving end of my continual complaints this past week -- moaning about feeling hungry, groaning about the repetitive foods I'm eating, bitching about how tired I feel... you get my drift.

It's not just a watch-what-you-eat-leave-out-the-sugar-and-salt kind of diet; it's rather regimented and food specific. But being on this "meal plan" since Monday has made me aware of how much I really like breads, and sweets, and pasta, and fruit juices -- and how much I miss them...thus the general crankiness.

But I know I've lost several pounds already in these few days. On day #1 of the diet I was at my parents with my children for lunch; I hadn't told my folks that I was on a diet, so they prepared a wonderful milchig spread -- bagels, lox, various salads, pasta, cream cheese. I couldn't touch any of it -- could just have a touch of pretty plain salad and a few green beans. My father was so pleased when I confessed that it was the first day of a diet, that he said "Congratulations!" I told him, "Dad, don't congratulate me now, congratulate me at the end when I'm skinny again."

I've turned down social invitations over this past week and next that involve a meal. I learned (especially from being at my parents' home this week) that it's not so nice if a host prepares a lovely spread and you can't partake of any of it. After a couple of weeks, I'll be more in tune with my diet and will perhaps venture into "eating out."

Until then, I'll stick to my water, to my salads, my tuna/salmon/grilled chicken/grilled veggies, raw veggies and nuts, and hopefully when I next talk to you about my diet, it'll be because I've succeeded at it!

And yes, our ergonomic (water) rowing machine will be getting to know me better too, and vice versa, in the coming days...


A Simple Jew said...

Pearl: I too have had a problem with weight in the past. After getting married, I really started packing on the pounds.

In 2001, after my mother told me she had been diagnosed with Type II Adult-Onset Diabetes, I bought a treadmill and started to exercise and diet. In about 9 months I was able to lose 60+ pounds. Since that time I have kept off the weight.

Here is the secret to dieting (and believe me I have tried everything!)- it is VERY easy:


Another extremely important part of this is to buy a digital scale and weigh yourself before you get in the shower each morning. A digital scale is extremely accurate and does not allow you to round down and be dishonest with yourself. (I have found most people who scoff at this practice are usually FAT)

My weight red line is 185. If I get on the scale in the morning and it says 184.5, that means I have to eat less that day, and probably get on the treadmill and run that night. A digital scale really keeps me in line (in fact, I even brought it along on our family vacation last April).

Think me to be an extremist, but hey, it works.

I have tried eating less, and not excercising - this does not work.

I have tried exercising, and eating anything I wanted - this also doesn't work.

The only thing that works for me (and also a friend who used this method to lose 110 pounds) is

1) Digital scale everyday
2) Excercise (at least 30 minutes, three times a week) - Yes, I am busy too. I run at 7:45 at night after we put the kids down to sleep [and I am tired then]
3) Eating in moderation.

I hope this helps and good luck Pearl!

torontopearl said...

Thanks for your input.

We do own a digital/body-fat-reading scale. I'm tempted to go on it every day, but I think in early days of a diet, at least until you get to a more-or-less desired weight, it's not really recommended to do so.

But yes -- the scale, the rowing machine and the watching-and-being-careful-what-I-eat-and-drink habit will all become part of my lifestyle hereafter.

Jaime said...

Pearl, I never dieted before until 10 years ago. I never had to worry about my weight, maybe I needed some toning, but like you, I am tall and was always thin. Then when I turned 30, I suddenly went from 115 to 140. A few years later, after my daughter was born, I worked out with a trainer and that helped. By the time I was pregnant with my son, I was at 127 and then dipped down to 124...but alas, pregnancy does have its drawbacks and I gained 25 lbs. After my son was born, my mistake was not eating right (I lived off ice cream and cookies) and not exercising. It's been over three years and I just can't seem to drop back into the 120's, however, at least with my clothes on I do look slim. It is kind of embarrassing to see all my old friends, of whom I was always the thinnest one, to now see them looking fabulous - so trim and toned. It's pure laziness and a decadent sweet tooth.

A Simple Jew said...

Pearl - Why would it "not be recommended to do so"?

Doing so would be a reminder each and every day that there is still work to do to get you to the weight you want to be.

I have found that it also helps me see cause and effect of my eating. If I eat a lot of carbohydrates (bread or pasta), I will heavier on the scale the next day. On the otherhand, if I eat a boneless chicken breast and vegetables, I might even be less.

Don't be scared of the digital scale. It is the only honest way to know how you are doing.

Believe me, I have really have been struggling with this issue as well. Dieting is more a change of mindset, than a change of eating habits.

See here for more of my thoughts on this:

and here:

cruisin-mom said...

Pearl...good for you! Dieting is the toughest thing there is to do...hang in will be worth it.

MC Aryeh said...

Good luck, Pearl! It is much easier when you have someone beside you offering encouragement - and it sounds like your husband is doing just that!

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