Let me articulate this clearly: I have eaten everything I desired, chemical composition-be-damned, for the last three months. I have drunk half-bottles of wine at dinner routinely. I have had little exercise, other than walking, unless gardening counts. I have baked many an item and I am a very good baker. I have traveled to Europe and Montreal - lands of the yummy restaurants and boulangeries.
It is not surprising that I have gained weight. But it's still a shock that my not-thin skirt is not loose.
On the plus side, this turn of events has given me a chance to create my very own "diet plan" - which is actually quite a lot of fun to do (if not to follow). I'm in no way surprised that all kinds of celebrities and "nutritionists" are getting in on the game.
I've decided to call mine the "Fuck?! My Clothes Barely Fit Recalibration Plan" a) because I don't believe in diets (obviously) and b) it adequately sums up the motivator and the angst in one simple name. I can see the book deal in my near future, yes?
Let's start with the premise: Life is long. Metabolisms change. Lifestyles change. Appetites change. Metabolic homeostasis is delicate. (Doesn't it seem like I have a higher degree in nutritional science?) One's job is not to be ever static in one's size and shape but to be resilient in the face of change, when one decides it is necessary.
And really, what's the truest motivator for getting a grip? Those of you who said healthful longevity - get to the back of the freakin' line. The truest motivator is horror at the thought of needing to buy new clothes (or make them, or borrow them, or knit them etc.)... Who has piles of money and time for that shit? Who feels good about going out and buying her skinnies in the next size up (unless, natch, she's been trying to gain a bit of weight)? Um, hello, I already have good clothes in a size I can get with.
Another motivator: Actually feeling gross. How much can one indulge before it gets old, before it layers on all of the other indulgences and drags? I don't like this puffy feeling.
So, let me outline the Phases. (Of course there are phases. This is after all, a future best-selling weight-adjustment plan.)
Phase 1 aka the "Don't Go Gently" (Two Weeks): This is the phase that's supposed to be really effective because it hurts. I'm hoping that my plan somehow forestalls the pain while achieving the outcome but, if it doesn't, I'll have to make hurt for gain (I mean, loss) seem compelling.
- Very few carbs (sob). Vegetables and the occasional small serving of beans, rice or slice of bread are encouraged, but this is about reverting to the low carb system.
- No booze. I know, I gasped just writing that. According to many women of a certain age (and by that, I mean my mother), alcohol is inefficiently metabolized by the forty-something woman and it goes straight to the waist. Fuck. But remember, this isn't forever. Just for a couple of weeks to rebalance things.
- Lots of protein. Read all the other books if you want to know why. Also, it's good.
- Daily ration of chocolate. It's my gimmick. And it's got phyto nutrients and can satiate while inhibiting appetite when used appropriately. Yes, I did just refer to chocolate "usage".
- Other than the chocolate, and the odd serving of berries or peaches (what, I'm only human?!), no sugar, refined or otherwise.
- Happily, all kinds of dairy, having varying fat contents, are welcomed in small quantities in Phase 1. Also welcome: reasonable portions of nuts, seeds and unsweetened almond milk.
- For better or worse, this the same as Phase 1 except you get to drink a daily white wine spritzer (2.5 oz wine). Can you believe I just came up with that?! You may think the spritzer is a tasteless relic of the 80s but, chances are, you formulated that opinion having observed a lot of people (your parents' age?) going into their 40s and dealing with this apparent "alcohol makes you fat" syndrome. To qualify: Half a bottle of wine, drunk routinely in early middle age, arguably makes you fat. Spritzers simply increase your hydration and support the bottled water industry.
- Occasionally, i.e. every third day but no more frequently than that, you are welcome to fool around with rations of carbs i.e. turn that serving of rice (and every other carb you intend to eat that day) into a slice of homemade flan. Or you can turn it into a plate of porcini pasta with cream. Lord, I want to be in Phase 3.
- You get 5 oz. booze per day. That's it. Drink it in 3 spritzers if you must and call it Pinot Noir Soda. Or, you can save up 2 night's ration and have 10 oz in one night. But no more carry over than that. For example: You can forgo your glasses on Wed. and Thurs. and have 2 glasses on Fri. and 2 on Sat., but that's the extent of it. You can't save up you week of wine and binge one day a week. (What is this, the Adolescent Diet?)