When All Choices Are Bad Choices

The road trip to the mountains to hang out with family has resulted in a requisite stop at the Cracker Barrel. No matter what I choose I feel like the old knight from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is going to appear and tell me I “chose poorly.”

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It’s Kismet Baby! or How I found The Carb Lover’s Diet

For most of June, J.D. and I had been talking around what we should try to do to get control of our weight.  We had been successful, in a time before Bean, on Weight Watchers.  And we considered going back to that.  OKOK, J.D. considered going back to that.  I really didn’t want to.

For the record, the WW program works.  But I have done it, repeatedly.  Obviously it isn’t going to work for me long-term.  The first time I did WW, I was eleven.  (Yes, eleven, so the Ginnifer Goodwin story wasn’t all that shocking to me.)  I tried it again in graduate school and again in my late twenties.  And despite following the program (the last time I was on for almost 2 years) and being every active, I have never gotten closer than 20lbs to my goal weight. The open boundaries of the program is a problem for a girl who can put down a pint of Ben and Jerry’s in a sitting.  (What?!)   Also, there isn’t anything new to help things along after you have been on program (in WW speak) for a long time, no Advanced WW if you will.

Regardless of my reasons, it all came down to the fact that I didn’t want to do that again. I needed something to force a change.  I wanted to be excited about my prospects.  And, let’s not beat around the bush here, I want to lose the weight.

In the midst of this, a newsletter from the Birmingham Blogging Academy showed up in my inbox.  The funny thing is that I opened it because I thought it was about Kathryn Tucker Windham, and I was looking for inspiration for my work blog.  (In my defense, the title of the newsletter was “The Greatest Story Teller in Alabama” and she had died a little over a week before.)  But the newsletter turned out to be about The Jen West Quest. 

I’m not going to say that I was immediately sold, but it is hard to argue with Jen’s success on the Carb Lover’s Diet.  As I read though the posts, the actual CLD website FAQ and looked more closely at the plan itself, it seemed like a really good fit. It many ways, the plan is close to how we were eating anyway.  The tweaks were familiar and (mostly) welcome.  Many of the reasons behind the plan were sound and the wiggle room was straight forward, leaving room for a glass of wine, beer, and ice cream.  The website filled in the gaps of information, like questions I had about my husband trying a 1200 calorie diet for a week.  (The answer:  most men should consume 300-400 more/day.)  The diet also received a balanced review from WebMD.  And best of all?  It was planned out for me.

Again, I realize that some folks don’t want a plan, but I wanted the responsibility of meal planning off of my shoulders.  First of all, I have a hard time finding time to do it.  Second, I find the whole process so cumbersome that I have learned to loathe doing it.  So here it was!  This plan could be as tailored and fussy as I wanted it to be.  AND if I didn’t want that, here was a weekly meal plan.  Some where in the back of my mind a woman yelled, “HAVE AT IT ALREADY!”

I was sold.

Face the Music Monday

I know that today is usually a report on the weight-loss progress and the promise pictures to come. Today, however, I cannot locate a scale anywhere have only just confirmed the presence of a scale in the weight-room (thanks Scott!) and the pictures are going to have to wait until Wednesday, when JD joins us.  (I’ve told my some of my family about the diet, but none of them know about the blog.) In lieu of the regularly scheduled program, I thought I would offer up a report of how I am doing with the family holiday and report back on the number later.

The trip down was fine, but our lunch stop was [cue the dastardly music] Cracker Barrel. If you have never eaten at Cracker Barrel, let me assure you that it is all that is fantastically awful about “country cooking.” That being said, I was pleasantly surprised by the salad choices on the menu given that my previous experience with the house salad left a lot to be desired. (Read salad dressing and cheese served with a side of iceberg lettuce.) The smoked turkey breast on a bed of mixed greens (no iceberg lettuce) and other various raw veggies was good. The addition of a little cheese and a boiled egg rounded everything out nicely.

After everyone arrived, dinner plans had to be ironed out. “Out” being the operative word since no-one had had the time to get to the grocery store. And so we headed across the state line to a pizza joint called Lillian’s. I did well to just sound noncommittal about the choice when really I wanted to hit groan, loudly. I had visions of the whole week becoming one big meal centered struggle. Pizza??? How was I going to do “healthy” at a pizza joint?! When we got there, however, I discovered that they had a really great (possibly one of the best I’ve ever had) hummus with baked (baked!) pita and an incredibly robust Greek salad. I want to thank whoever decided on that menu. I don’t know who you are, but may the road rise up to meet you.

Yesterday morning I headed to the grocery store, in the pouring rain, where I was reminded that buying for three people is a huge difference from buying for ten. Yes I realize it may seem obvious when stated plainly like this, but you didn’t see my buggy. That was obvious. I could barely wield it by the time I was checking out. Thanks to the trip though, most of yesterday was fine as far as the diet goes.

I have to admit that I haven’t been perfect. At lunch on Saturday I had half a biscuit. At dinner on Saturday I had a sliver of pizza after I boxed up the remainder of the Greek salad, which I ate yesterday as part of dinner. Also, I’ve probably had a few extra snacks, mostly fruit, and a few more beers than I should be having, though I’m trying to stick to “light” versions. I’m trying to find a good balance between enjoying myself and doing what needs to be done a far as staying on track with short-term and long-term goals. To that end, I suppose it would help if I wasn’t a grump with everyone, including myself.

Sharing is Caring

Last night, JD and I went out with some friends.  This being the first week of our new diet, we were a little hesitant about it.  We turned down a dinner invitation earlier in the week because we were unsure if we would be able to align the incredibly restrictive first week of the diet with what would be served.  (More about the actual diet later.)  When turning down the invitation JD explained that we were trying a new diet. And again last night, after we met friends at On Tap, JD shared with everyone that we were on a diet.  I cringed inwardly both times.

Thinking about it this morning, I wonder why I was unwilling to share this exciting and potentially life changing decision to go on this diet, when my husband was perfectly happy to spread the news around.  And now that I’ve been poking at the feeling for a while, I think I know why I was afraid to explicitly share this part of my life with my friends and family, while being perfectly willing to share it with strangers.

[Deep Breath].  I’m afraid that the people closest to me will under-appreciate the effort.  I’m afraid they will make light of it, if not outright undermine the effort.  Also, I think I’m afraid that by admitting I’m on a diet, I reveal to them a way that I have failed.  (As if they hadn’t noticed.  As if they didn’t have eyes.)  And ultimately, I’m afraid that when they realize that I’m a failure, they won’t want to be associated me anymore. You know.  Because I’m not perfect.

Do I have some baggage?  Boy howdy!

The good news?  After sharing with family (the week night dinner we turned down) and friends (last night), everyone is still talking to us. Shocker, I know.  And we successfully laid down a plan and navigated the great temptation of bar food and beer by eating before we went and having a set number of beers we were allowed to enjoy.  Also, Sam Adams was on special last night, so obviously the universe was feeling friendly.  🙂