This post is more personal than I usually get with my blog. But, since dieting is something most of the world’s population does at some point, it is a relevant post, nonetheless.
Over the last few years, both my husband and I have noticed some middle aged spread. We enjoy food and eat well, but not extravagantly and try to keep our weight in check. He has a taller frame than I but we’ve both been trim most of our lives. My largest weight gains came with my pregnancies and fortunately, I was able to lose the baby fat quickly and easily each time.
In truth, for most of my life, I’ve been underweight. Most people do not understand that it is as terrible to be a waif than it is to be obese. Especially, 40 years ago. Size 0 was not common then and I remember having to look in the junior high department when I was in college! It was embarassing. In addition, people look at you oddly and wonder if you are “okay” (meaning not anorexic or bulemic). Despite a cachetic look, I really was “okay” and answered as such. But, when women get to a certain age, weight seems to settle on one’s body more easily. I’m sure it’s mostly the result of hormones and their effect on the body.
Due to my small size, I never exercised. I never was an athlete, although I played JV tennis my freshman year in high school and ran varsity track, on a whim, my senior year. But, I marched in a wool uniform for the high school field show season and did belong to ski club. Both activities burn calories. Frankly, though, I don’t like to sweat. Never have. This fact has always made my husband and boys laugh. I’ve never been an avid fan of going to the gym or running or any sport, for that matter.
But, when my husband asked a couple weeks ago if I would go on a diet with him, “just to loose ten or twelve pounds,” I said, sure! I’ve known for a while that I needed to shed my middle aged bulge, no matter how slight it is. I just wasn’t motivated to do it. Now, it seems I am.
So, on August 10th, we ventured into a diet together. Fourteen days later, I’m down 4 pounds and my husband is down 10. We are still adhereing to the restrictions we set for ourselves, which come from following an Atkins/Keto type plan that allows for no more than 40 grams of carbohydrates a day. Believe me, that is not a lot of carbs.
No bread, no sweets, no starchy vegetables, nope, nope and nope. We’ve been recording everything that goes in our mouths and that simple act keeps us on track. And, boy! Is it eye opening! I mentioned earlier that I was blaming my weight gain on the fact that I’m a middle aged woman who enjoys life. But, truly, we’ve both decided our weight gain was due to overeating!
Now that we have to account for every calorie, every carb, every gram of fat and protein, we have not been overeating. Snacks are few. Meals are well thoughtout and well eaten. Everything is prepared with fresh ingredients for the most part. We both got into ketosis without experiencing more than a day or two of keto-flu type symptoms. We found a rhythm to preparing our food and eating it.
We don’t eat exactly the same things, but have found what works for each of us. My husband is more into a protein shake (he makes from scratch) for breakfast, whereas I’ll have a litte fruit (like a 1/2 a peach or 1/4 cup of blueberries) and a serving of nuts. We both miss being able to have as much fruit as we want and we miss some dairy, like icecream. However, cheese is still on the menu. And, we’ve both learned to enjoy almond milk – I make my morning latte out of that now! With a sprikle of cinnamon you cannot even tell the difference!
I’ve had a couple of cravings – tonight a piece of toast – when we had breakfast for dinner but at 11 grams of carbs, I decided to forgo it. And, we both learned that 10 tortilla chips is a serving – not 20 or 30 or more. To accompany the homemade salsa that I made yesterday, we agreed to have a half serving each of chips with our meal (grilled tilapia and salad). A half serving? Well, it’s 5 chips! That’s it! You can bet that each bite was savored!
I have to amp up my exercise a bit more. My hubby is blowing me out of the water with regards to that. But, we walked on a trail in the woods tonight with the dog and it gave me my steps for the day.
Both of us are encouraged by our progress, but we are looking forward to when the weight is off and we can have some more variety in our diet. We just need to remember not to overeat!