Off The Diet And Right Back On

A few weeks ago, I fell off the diet wagon. What the heck. Can’t I take a respite from time-to-time?

It didn’t take long for the pounds to start to reestablish themselves around my middle. I haven’t had the guts to climb on the scale but I’m guessing I’m up 5-6 pounds in only a few weeks.

This brings up an interesting point that most adults have to face. Is it a diet I’m on or do I have to eschew anything fattening for the rest of my life? It’s starting to seem like the latter.

I’m not thrilled by that proposition.

The fact I have no willpower probably doesn’t help. Put something carbolicious in the pantry or refrigerator and I’m all over it. Sometimes the time from last bite to guilt is measured in the milliseconds. When I throw out the wrapper to something and move it below the top layer in the trash can, so it isn’t easily seen, is a sign I’m in denial.

A lot of it is my clothes. As soon as I put on a little weight I can feel it in the way things fit. And, let’s face it, vanity is involved when you’re on camera every day. I don’t like seeing suits pull against my girth – and they have in the past.

Helaine has asked if I’ll forget Atkins and go a little more mainstream. Atkins was very easy for me. Just munch on cow or lamb any time I’m hungry.

I’m going to attempt South Beach, which is similar but adds a lot more fruits and vegetables (though not in the first few weeks). I’ll still pass on pasta and baked goods and nearly everything that is sweet. Thank heaven for Splenda.

Whatever it is, I have to realize that the days I could sit on the couch and eat a sleeve of Hydrox cookies, then wash that down with a Coke, are gone. I did that through my twenties and into my thirties without adding an ounce. God is such a tease.

Watching what I eat has to become a way of life. It’s just another feature of growing up… getting older… that sucks.

My Apology to Krispy Kreme

Floyd Norris, writing in today’s New York Times, had this startling revelation:

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, the hot new stock offering of 2000 that stayed hot even as other new offerings plunged, has suddenly chilled. It blames the Atkins diet.

Don’t give Krispy Kreme my address. I’ve been low carbing it for 2.5 months now, and am down around 22 pounds. I’m pleased, even if Krispy Kreme isn’t.

Actually, Krispy Kreme has always been a bit of a disappointment to me. My reaction after eating my first Krispy Kreme donut, in Las Vegas a few years ago, was, “too small.”

I am a Dunkin’ Donuts guy. They are an Eastern chain of coffee/donut shops. Their coffee is my favorite – smooth and rich. Now that I’m not eating sugar, the smoothness of their coffee is even more important. Their bagels are… I’m not going to talk about it since one bagel has more grams of carbohydrates than I’ll ingest this week and next.

I have low carbed at least three or four times, always gaining back the weight. Every time I diet, I hope to have restraint down the road. I’m hoping for that now. If dieting only immunized you against weight gain in the future!

There must be a boatload of people doing Atkins or South Beach or any number of low carbohydrate diets to cause this kind of tumult at the donut shop. Certainly Subway is benefiting, with it’s Atkins wraps and salads. I hope the bakers all hang on until my diet is over

He who lives by the glazed pastry dies by the glazed pastry.

How Does The Diet Go?

It’s been two and a half weeks since I began dieting and so far, so good. I was so distressed about my weight when I began, that I couldn’t look at the scale to note my starting weight. The best estimate is, I’m down 11-12 pounds and that’s a huge difference.

Within the first few days, my suits started fitting better. Of course the fit of my clothing was the original signal to me that it was time to lose a little. Today, Helaine told me she could see I was thinner.

I’d like to lose 15 pounds more (which would take me back to what I weighed 20 years ago), but that will take a few months. I’m willing to make that commitment. I never thought I’d have the willpower to diet, but it’s not that bad. It’s just that once I get to my goal, I immediately return to being a carb loving, pigging out, hog.

That’s stupid. Unfortunately, intellectualizing the problem doesn’t make it go away.

Of course, once you begin eating the way you did before your diet, you will move back toward your pre-diet weight. No diet can immunize you against your own bad habits as you move forward.

In the past I had been a strict Atkins adherent. This time, it’s a cross between Atkins and South Beach. I suppose I’ve just used South Beach to introduce a few foods I had never used before… but I’m still closer to what Dr. Atkins prescribed.

I like Atkins because the weight that comes off, and comes off right away, is from fatty places, like your belly.

There are two foods I’ve discovered on this trip through the diet that have really surprised me. The first is a chocolate fudge bar from Klondike. The fudge bar is excellent and I’d enjoy it even off the diet.! It uses Splenda for sweetening. I’ve tried Splenda in coffee and didn’t like the taste (nor do I like any artificial sweetener in coffee). It’s a different story in baked goods. Helaine made a flour free almond pound cake, sweetened with Splenda, and it’s really good.

The second surprise is the new Atkins wraps at Subway. I’ve had the chicken bacon wrap with ranch dressing, and it’s really good. Allegedly it is has 8 grams of carbs, which is acceptable. Packed with veggies it’s more filling than I’d expect from its size.

This past weekend in Chicago I was able to keep dieting even though it was all restaurant food. Once you realize what you can and cannot have, it becomes easier. I have yet to crave for the things I shouldn’t be eating so far.

I’m still never taking my shirt off at the beach. America continues to be safe in that regard.

Dieting, Again

Through high school I lived on Devil Dogs and Hydrox Cookies. I never gained a pound.

As I grew older and set out on my own, I kept to that somewhat eclectic diet with a few additions. Working in West Palm Beach, FL, I used to go out for lunch every day, getting a Whopper, minus onions and mayonnaise, fries and a Coke. Again, nothing gained.

I was proud of my metabolism. I wasn’t a gifted athlete or student, but I had a metabolism worthy of envy.

Later, while Helaine and I were dating and she plied me with baked goods beyond belief, I held my size.

Everything was fine until we married and I started to eat on a regularly scheduled basis. As a bachelor, I remember often sitting in a foodless house. Now, there was always food around.

My undoing came when Steffie started eating solid foods. We’d put food on her plate, and whatever she didn’t finish, I would! I started to expand.

A few years ago, my mother told Helaine I was beginning to have a “fat face.” Ouch. But, it was true. I had developed a reasonably significant gut.

I had never dieted and certainly had no willpower. I went on Atkins anyway. It was, to me, a godsend. I’ve got no problem with going all carbs, though I understand how others do.

After a while you miss “sweet.” Nothing on this diet is sweet. Instead, everything you’re eating is salty in some way. Still, the pounds melt off – and they come off from the areas in need.

I lost 25 pounds that first time. Once I had gone to my desired weight, and off the diet, the pounds came back.

People always ask, doesn’t the weight come back when you’re off the diet? Of course, if you eat like a fool – which I do.

Recently, I noticed my suits getting a little tight. Nothing awful, but it’s time, again. Helaine has asked if I’d try The South Beach Diet. She worries about long term effects from Atkins – though I don’t. South Beach is also a little less severe – at least after the first two weeks.

What makes both these diets so appealing is the almost immediate loss of 8-10 pounds. The weight you lose is fat weight. For me, it’s off my stomach more than anything else, and I feel my clothes start for fit. That’s incentive to continue.

It will be interesting to see how South Beach serves me, versus Atkins. After the second week, there is a variety of fruit and all sorts of things Atkins frowns upon that you can eat. The diets are similar in their theory but different in their application.

I’ll be happy as soon as my suits fit properly.