What is a time of joy for many women was my darkest hour.
Because I was conveniently and naturally thin (if always curvaceous) until sometime in my early 20s, I don't have a very long history with diets.
After gaining 10 pounds of burrito weight during a stint in the Southwest, I moved to New York City, where I found myself walking and taking the stairs constantly. Random hipsters continued to have awkward sex with me, which reinforced my belief that I looked absolutely fine. I didn't lose any weight, but I didn't gain any weight, either -– at least not at first.
Then I reached my 30s. Sex got better, but my metabolism got worse. A couple of years ago, I hit my highest weight ever. I still looked adorable, because duh, but I didn't feel so great about the weight thing. So I joined Weight Watchers, and began losing and re-gaining the same eight pounds over and over again. That about brings us up to the other week, when I realized I'd hit my high weight again.
I decided it was time for drastic measures. At long last, I would go on one of those famous diets, the ones that girls talk about in shorthand: "I'm on Atkins. I did paleo, and Mediterranean, but they just weren't for me." I chose the South Beach Diet, because while I have zero interest in ever going to Miami, I have a few friends who've done quite well on ye ole SBD.
Here is the basic deal with the South Beach Diet: You spend the first two weeks in the ominous-sounding Phase I. You cut out any pasta, potatoes, grains, ice cream, cake, cookies, brownies, muffins, crackers, and even fruit. You can't even have fruit juice. I guess the point is to get your body out of its sugar-craving habit by going cold turkey for awhile (you can eat as much cold turkey as you want, if it's a lean cut. I fucking hate cold turkey).
Then after Phase I you move on to Phase II, where you can have limited amounts of the things that were forbidden in Phase I. I think you stay on Phase II until you hit your goal weight, at which point you're in Phase III, which seems to be a time when you just do whatever you want so long as you don't gain weight. If you gain weight, you start Phase I again.
I'm in Week One of Phase I. And I would punch you in the face for a fucking bowl of spaghetti. I'm sorry. I'm sure you are very kind, and smart, and interesting. I am grateful to you for reading this post. But I would still punch you if you held it out to me and said, "Remember Sara, you can't have this."
It is a fact that I was in the CVS with a gentleman the other day, and we had this conversation:
ME: I have to find the sugar-free chocolates.
HIM: I don't think you are supposed to have those.
ME: Yes I can. The book says I can. Just a couple a day. Little ones. But I can have them.
HIM: I think you're making that up.
ME: I WILL FUCKING KILL YOU.
It's this sort of scintillating intellectual discourse that keeps things hot, am I right, ladies?
Anyhoo, I CAN have those candies. But I've chosen instead to have one no sugar-added Fudgesicle a day. When I feel wild, I'll mix it up with sugar-free chocolate pudding. And I haven't been a total stickler either. The other day, I had a little piece of bread. Today, I ate some BBQ potato chips. The freaking book says to have a little bit of something if you're really craving it, so that's what I did. No big deal, right? RIGHT?! GIVE ME ALL YOUR BAGUETTES OR I WILL KICK YOU IN THE CHEST!
I know about all the studies that say diets don't work. And I know I'm supposed to love myself exactly the way I am, but quite frankly, exactly the way I am is someone who is on the road to Type II Diabetes (o hai hypoglycemia, family history of diabetes and personal history of terrible food habits.) I love myself enough to say, "It's time to revise my approach to eating." Henceforth, ergo, therefore, the South Beach Diet.
Thankfully, this highly restrictive phase only lasts for two weeks. Eventually, you even get to eat small amounts of ice cream again. I'm trying to look at this program as a lifestyle rather than as a "diet." It just better fucking work. Because if it doesn't, I am going to hunt down the creator and throw cold spaghetti at his car until he cries and takes me on an all-expenses-paid date to Panera Bread.
What's the dumbest diet you ever went on? And what's the one with which you had the most success? Also, if there are any South Beach veterans out there, please tell me what to do to quiet the rage that boils within my breadless soul.