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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Crash diets vs. lifestyle changes: Why I'm choosing the crash diet this time.

I'm a shorty. I measure in at only 5'1". When Asher was about one year old, I worked my literal butt off to get down to a size 4 (117 lbs): Ideal weight for my height. I had myself on a strict diet of mostly salads and wraps, nothing but water to drink, did P90X consistently, and daily bike rides. After a very heavy pregnancy, it was not at all an easy thing to get down to this, and I'm still proud of the work I did.

2008 - Size 6
As you can see, if I'm to lose the weight again, I must become
comfortable with also losing the cleavage I have acquired! lol
I had made a life change, not just a diet, so I was able to keep the weight off from 2006 to 2009, when I unexpectedly found out I was pregnant with Max. As most of you know, my life went to hell at that point... Steve and I separated, my pregnancy was really rough, etc. I let myself eat whatever I want (citing the pregnancy as an excuse, but mostly to deal with emotional stuff). After Max was born, post partum depression took over and all the energy I had left went into finding a way to make Max healthy.

I've had horrible habits ever since. Eating right? Ha! Working out? Yeah, right.

It's now almost 2013, and all my hard work has gone to waste. It makes me sick that I've let my hard work and awesome body get so far into my past. At this point when people talk about doing P90X and I say, "I did that! It's awesome!" they look at me like "oh then I won't do it because it obviously doesn't work." Three different strangers have asked me if I'm pregnant, and Asher has convinced himself I am because my "tummy keeps growing". I refuse to share the actual number on my scale, as it is obscene. You'll just have to settle for my word that I weigh MUCH more than I did back then, and that's enough information for now.

Though, each time I say, "OK, tomorrow I fix this! I go back to my eating plan, I go back to my workout plan, and I lose the weight"... I end up disappointed in myself. My body is too far out of the habit to just pick it up again, and when I do work out, I'm worn out in a matter of minutes. I don't feel like myself at all.

My friend Dyllan sent me a link to the 3-Day Military Diet because he's doing it and it sounded intriguing. I don't believe in crash dieting, so I'm skeptical of everything that claims to help you lose a lot in a short amount of time. I know for sure that an over-all lifestyle change (including heavy exercise) is the only way to do it long-term, especially after a baby (or three), but I can't seem to just kick it into gear and change everything. I've developed bad habits of eating way too much of the wrong kind of foods.

Note: I'm fully aware this diet isn't actually "endorsed by the military" so there is no need to tell me that! It is only called that because a military service member passed this on to some other people as a good way to lose some weight. The name is extremely mis-leading. It's not even just a 3-day diet! Now that we've got that part out of the way...

The diet isn't designed to only be done once for three days. It's a 3 days on, 4 days off thing... For three days you eat what is on the list, then the next four days you eat reasonable meals of your own choice, then start over again. This is why I chose it to kick start my weight loss:

  1. Specific foods. I do a terrible job of coming up with healthy meals and combinations of food on my own. This tells me every single thing and how much to eat for those three days, which I need for now. Eventually I can wean myself off the diet and make up my own rules, but for now I need some assistance in meal planning. 
  2. I only ever last about three days on my "diet" plan anyway. This one gives me permission to only last three days without feeling like a failure. I need that while I'm re-setting my brain and body.
  3. I can still have Thanksgiving and Christmas! 
I know this about myself: I am capable of the over-all healthy lifestyle. I've done it before, for years at a time, so I KNOW I can. BUT, I also know that I am a creature of habit. I will need to act out a specific set of functions for at least a month or two before I can actually make a habit out of it. If I don't, I'll stick to my same-old-same-old routine of eating badly and sitting on my butt. 

After I develop these habits of smaller portions and more protein in each meal, I can keep it up on my own. 3 days on, 4 days off, 3 days on, 4 days off, until I get in the hang of it and teach my body that I feel better on the 3 days on. In between I will be doing some exercise and sticking to low-carb meals until I've lost a bit of weight and can get back into the P90X routine. 

I know you've heard it all before, I'm going to get back into shape! But this time I'm doing it a little more gradually because I've realized I can't just wake up one day and kick butt. I'm too far gone for that. But this, I can do. 

I'm halfway through with my first three days, and feeling great. Hardly even hungry, except last night after dinner (a problem solved by falling asleep!) and feeling hopeful. :) 

2 comments:

  1. I wish you all the luck in the world but you don't need it. YOU CAN do this and you have the right outlook...that you can't always be perfect with this. Being realistic with your goals will help you in the long run because you won't beat yourself up.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're starting this before the holidays!? I applaud your resolve.

    Those Snickerdoodles would be my downfall.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete

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