There’s Less of Me

I had made mention, about a month or so ago, that I was starting a diet. This is not the first time time I’ve dieted and it probably won’t be the last. Luckily for me, even when I don’t keep the weight off, the act of dieting is successful in the short term.

When I was growing up… even in mid-adulthood, I seemed impervious to weight gain. For much of my early thirties, I lived on Hydrox Cookies and Coca Cola and gained not an ounce.

I thought I was bulletproof.

Helaine found the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach. Even then, while we were dating, I stayed slim. I quit smoking cigarettes in 1984, again, without weight gain.

It wasn’t until Steffie started eating solid food, and I would finish what was on her plate, that I started to expand. It wasn’t rapid but it was steady. When I bought clothes I would notice the size going up. I remember one salesman at a men’s store where I shopped commenting on my added heft.

Note to clothing salesmen: If you want to sell more, don’t tell me I’m heavier than I was.

Finally, probably five years ago, with my suits getting tight and my cheeks getting chubby (my mother had commented to Helaine I was getting a ‘fat face.’), I decided to do something. I had never dieted and was sure I had no will power. I had heard about Atkins, but knew little.

The more I read, the more enticing it became. That became especially true when I read Dr. Atkins write, you can eat many foods to your heart’s content… as long as your carbohydrate intake is under control.

I cut the sugar from my coffee. There was no more bread or pasta. We referred to chicken wings as the breakfast of champions. My weight went up the first day and then dropped. Within two weeks I was down nearly ten pounds and it didn’t take long to go from 200 to 175.

People always remark that when you get off this diet, the weight goes back on. Duh! Of course. It doesn’t immunize you from self destructive behavior.

Over these past few years I have gone up (never over that first plateau at 200 pounds) and down (never quite as low as 175).

It is better to be thinner than heavier – not just for health, but also because I have so much invested in my weight with suits and shirts. You can’t go out and buy a new wardrobe every time you change.

This time, again, I started near 200 pounds. I’m just a bit over 180 now and doing fine. This time, I am doing the diet a little differently, using some of the strategies and foods from the South Beach Diet. At the same time, I am eating less fat. There have been no chicken wings for breakfast this time.

There are times when I crave sweets, or stay hungry when I know I would be eating if not weighing myself every morning. Helaine is incredibly helpful, baking low carb cookies (using almond flour) and making a Ricotta cheese concoction that I eat every day.

And then there are those fudge bars from Klondike. Three net carbs is what the package says. I’d eat them off the diet!

We are going on vacation in the beginning of July, and I’d like to try and stick to the diet until then. After vacation I’ll have to figure out how to put myself in some sort of maintenance mode. That’s never worked in the past, but I have to make it work now.

Hopefully, by July I’ll be around 170. It’s been a very long time since I was anywhere near that. I’d like to be close to 175 and definitely below 180 through the rest of 2004. It won’t be easy once pretzels and cake return to my diet.

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