Yes, it has been a week over two full months, but it seems like a year ago that I began Atkin’s Phase I- induction. I have to say, I wasn’t impressed with immediate weight loss. However, it started to come off at about week 4. I am still losing it in the OWL phase, even though I just discovered that I use too much half and half. So, here I am at 131. At this stage, my body looks kind of funny. I tend to lose weight on top first. This means I have ribs poking out, tiny little breasts, and a wiry, muscular back. I also still have this junk in the trunk. Really. The junk, plus plenty of thigh. That’s just how my body is. I have a bird chest, skinny fingers, and still have to stuff my rear into some of my size 7-8 jeans. Weird. Still, progress is progress. I would have to get down to 118 or so before I finally slim the bottom- half of my bottom. I may not want to. However, It is this junk which has kept me from EVER reaching a size 4 in pants. I have seen 5 once in my life. Five is perfect, and beautiful. I guess I should be happy to be hippy. I should be glad to have some butt. But of course, I want it to be smooth and flawless. I am 43. How likely is that?
I sometimes pull the skin of my lower back up a bit, and WOW! It’s like a butt lift. And that’s what I really need. A butt lift. Hilarious and vain. But in fantasy world, it’s nice. The lift smooths out the bumples and dimples that I hate. Talk about first- world problems. I am ashamed for even giving any thought to this. Our futile search for body perfection is ridiculous, but in the western culture, ubiquitous.
I hear about others doing Atkin’s or low-carb, giving in to temptation, eating junk. I have to say, that so far, I have resisted. I have had an iron will. I have to. I eat one cupcake, and it’s all over. I stress over too much cream in my coffee or if it’s ok to have a few carrots. But if I am not strict like that, I will so easily slide back into my old unhealthy ways of eating.
Rationalizations and justifications do us in: BEWARE these scenarios:
You decide to buy some Girl Scout cookies for your Mom, or Dad, whoever. There they sit, in the car with you, as you drive over to mom’s. You bought several boxes. Your favorite one is there, too. Those gloriously chewy Samoas, or those tasty, crisp, and refreshing Thin Mints. (Thinking this way is the tempt- you tempt yourself. The cookies are truly powerless)
Next thing you know, your hand is sliding over to the box flap. STOP!! How could you even THINK of letting it go this far? You are seconds from a blow-out. You must cease!
Your mind will tell you some b.s. that you might buy if not vigilant. “You’ve been so good for so long, a couple won’t hurt. You’ll get right back on that horse tomorrow- tonight, even. You can just have bacon for dinner- problem solved. ”
“There are some experts in diet out there that say it’s GOOD to take a couple of days per week and have those disgusting little treats! This can be my DAY!”
“Look at your friend, Stacy! And what about Glenn? They eat whatever they want, all day long, and they stay thin? How could a bit of mashed potato hurt?”
Better yet, your daughter shoves a french fry in your face, and says, “C’mon, mom. One friggin’ french fry is not going to make you gain weight! You’re being really anal about this. Just eat it. Jeeeez!”
Big, sad, kid eyes and a pleading voice, “You’re not gonna have any of my birthday cake? ”
The problem with giving in is at least two-fold. One, if you let your defenses down now, you will do it again. It gets easier every time. Think of that french fry as the gateway drug. (ha ha). The second problem is that you have now begun to undo all that induction accomplished- changing your body chemistry from a glucose burner primarily, to a protein and fat burner. You slow that down, you stop losing weight. You stop losing weight, you get discouraged. You get discouraged, you either end up with “Effit Syndrome” and come home with a carton of ice cream, or you spend two weeks working out at the gym, racked with guild and frustration. Easier to just not have the french fry. How do I know? Remember, this is the 3rd time with Atkins for me. I know how easy it is to compromise a little, and then progress stops. That is a bad place to be.
The only thing keeping me from being back at 145-155 lbs in a year from now is ME. The only person who can be OK with wearing a modest swimsuit to the water park instead of feeling self-conscious and making excuses to stay in the hotel room, is ME. The one who will either be proud of how I look and FEEL and perform at my age- is me. It’s not the Girl Scouts who will be responsible if I fail, or my daughter with her french- fry peddling, not even the adorable step-kid’s birthday cake pleading.
Maybe this way of eating helps my inner control freak be content. Maybe it helps me to be strong in other areas of my life, knowing that in something, this thing at least, I can succeed. Not everyone will keep with it. Many times I have not. I know my weaknesses, but today- I choose not to let those weaknesses overcome me. I remind myself that seeing sugar-laded, fat loaded garbage as a ‘treat’ or reward is the mindset that got me into trouble in the first place. The rest of the world on their high- carb diets see it that way, too. The majority will not understand. For me, sugar is a drug. I can’t really play around with it. Maybe someday, I will be able to practice moderation. Not yet, though. Wow, I really do sound like a recovering addict in a 12-step program…
Yoda said it best, “Do, or do not. There is no TRY”.