I wanted to lose 20 lbs. I thought I'd look super sexy in my swimsuit in Thailand on my first ever baecation this upcoming summer if I was a few pounds lighter; 20 pounds seemed like a perfectly achievable yet arbitrary number to aim for.
Though I wanted to lose 20 lbs, I didn't want to diet nor exercise. I know...so how does one go about losing weight without at least doing one of those things? It was going to be a struggle, as it always is for me when I want to shed some extra skin, especially since I'm not into quick fixes. I don't diet because those regiments are usually impossible to maintain forever and inevitably end with some sort of weight gain once reinstating "normal" eating habits. I'm more of a lifestyle change type of person which actually can be harder. Auditing what you eat and deciding on an action plan that you can stick to permanently is way harder than temporarily surviving on ice cubes and lettuce for 6 weeks; at least you can see the end in sight. With a lifestyle change there is no end and whatever decisions you make you must be able to deal with long term.
As I was fixing to be honest with myself, I already knew what my dietary demons were: sugars and carbs. I cannot get enough of pasta, rice, bread and sweets. I actually once created a website for a computer science class in College commemorating my carb and sugar weaknesses; each subpage was dedicated to one of the above culprits...but I digress. I knew I couldn’t sustain a diet that completely eliminated pasta, rice, bread and sweets nor did I desire to completely eliminate them. Health is very important but my happiness is too. So...what was an agreeable medium? One of my best friends recently shared another mutual friend’s weightless strategy of eliminating carbs in her meal prepped dinners. She had been doing it for a couple weeks and already lost 5 lbs. Because of her results, she planned to sustain this for the duration of her life. I am not one to doubt anyone's success but she's African and one of the biggest staples in their diet is rice. I was very interested in seeing how long this would run its course.
In either case, it got me to thinking. It is well known that decreasing your intake in carbs helps you drastically drop weight and quickly. My mom was once on Atkins and was most successful at losing weight while on that program. If I was going to eliminate carbs, I had to do it in a way I knew I'd stick with. I came up with what I called the "9 to 5 Business Plan". Monday through Thursday I’d avoid eating bread, rice, pasta or dessert and Fri - Sun I'd allow myself to indulge, still being mindful of my calorie intake. It wasn't intended to be a binge fest, so as to unravel all my progress earlier in the week, but a respite so I didn't go crazy and curse everyone out.
This was going to be hard, especially since prior to making this life style change I had ordered my favorite mushroom ravioli from Maggianos for a work meeting the upcoming Monday. I'd be surrounded by nothing but pasta and bread for 4 hours and had to muster up the strength to avoid it. Luckily, I have a great support system. My boss had just come back from a work trip that focused on physical and mental health, so she was on a Be Well Work Well high. During our weekly catch up meetings, I told her about my weight loss goals and decisions and she insisted that I make an accountability plan right there in that moment. I was instructed to set calendar invites for my designated workout dates, create back up plans if I missed those dates and get some accountability partners to make sure I'm committed to my own plans. She was one and my boyfriend was the other. He was probably the best and worse person to choose because he'd make me stick to it even when I didn't want to.
I was both motivated and scared. As I write this, it's only been a week and I've never been so thrilled about reaching a cheat day in my life! I missed the simple addition that rice makes to a dish, the taste of toast with my eggs, and noodles with my meatballs. I sound and feel like I'm a reformed drug addict still suffering through withdrawals. Surprisingly, the dessert wasn't as hard to give up, perhaps since I'd done that before. I have made some mistakes for sure. That lunch I mentioned earlier, at the very end I ate a ravioli; It was only one but I needed it! And I missed one workout last week but I woke up Friday morning, got on the scale and I lost 2 lbs 🙂 That's motivation enough for me. Thailand...here I come 🙂