In a recent post (Move your ass, sister!) I talked about some of my challenges with physical fitness and weight loss over the years. I also discussed how in recent months I’ve overcome some of my motivational barriers and begun working out regularly.
I’m still working out six days a week and surprisingly, I’m enjoying it. I like the way I look after a workout, all covered in sweat and red in the face. It’s validation that I worked hard. I feel my body getting stronger in some ways, especially through my arms, and I am definitely less fatigued throughout the day and have more energy. However, I’m losing weight at a snail’s pace, and it’s incredibly frustrating.
When I first started increasing my workouts, in the first two weeks I gained four pounds. Four fucking pounds! Everyone said, “Oh, don’t worry, you’re probably just gaining muscle. This happens.” Despite the fact that I was calorie counting and working out daily, these four pounds just sat there, shaming me every time I got on the scale. After a couple of weeks the scale began to slowly eek its way down, a half-pound at a time. To date, I’ve lost those four pounds, but only those four pounds over a nine week period. At this pace, I need to change Operation Hot by 40 to Operation-Hot-By-The- Time-You-Stop-Giving-A- Fuck-About-Being-Hot.
I talked to my doctor and she didn’t have answers for me. I’m very healthy and my bloodwork is always great. The logical answer is for me to look at my diet, and admittedly, I could be making some better choices. But I will never be that girl who can survive on salad and lemon water. I enjoy food, and while I understand calorie counting and calorie quality is important, I believe in moderation versus elimination. I know from experience that if I’m too extreme in my diet or calorie reduction, it will just set me up for failure. I start to feel sick and lethargic for days, and then ultimately throw the diet out the window out of frustration and physical misery.
More importantly, I get cranky and snappish when I’m hungry. Have you spent time with super thin people who don’t eat? They’re assholes! And they should be crabby because they’re starving! Living in LA, you hear about this stuff all the time. It’s really popular for people to take appetite suppressants or other drugs to help control their weight, because God forbid, if your thigh is wider than your arm, California may just kick you out for not conforming to the standard. If there’s some actress or model throwing a fit on set because her imported bottled water isn’t the right temperature, I guarantee you she probably isn’t really a bitch as much as she just needs a sandwich.
I know liquid diets are really popular these days, too. That’s one thing I will never be able to wrap my head around. I don’t know about you, but when I’m hungry I want to feel like I really ate something. I want to chew my food. I love the flavor and texture and aroma of good food. I can’t just choke down a green shake made from ten kinds of lettuce that tastes like horse piss and feel even remotely satisfied. Can you?
A girlfriend of mine tried this diet where she had a list of all these different drinks she had to rotate through in a day. It was so complicated everything had to be written down to keep track, and there was a different mix or shake you had to take every hour or two. And then for dinner she could have a small salad with an ounce of chicken. An ounce of chicken! That’s like two bites! But I would call her to offer support and encouragement because that’s what friends do. She can usually make it to day three or four before she goes crazy and eats an entire pizza by herself out of desperation, and honestly, who could blame her?
I just can’t live like that, but I know that I have to find a balance between my diet and exercise if I’m going to make this work, and I feel like if I don’t get this right, all the hard work I’ve done so far will be for nothing. I’ve recently started a new diet I found floating around Facebook. It requires me to eat five small meals a day with a lot of protein, vegetables and whole foods only. I’m on day four and so far I’m not starving and I don’t have the urge to kill people. In my book, that’s a win!
PS–If it goes well, I’ll do a follow up post to share the details of the program. 🙂