That’s me, at about age 3 or 4… and probably the last time my weight wasn’t an issue in my life. Except for the obsession with Underoos, I was a pretty normal kid. But bad habits and a family who expresses love (and all the other emotion) with food turned me from the average lil’ superhero to a chubby chica by the age of about 7. I can still remember the awful feeling when I realized I was bigger than all my friends. Not surprisingly, I developed a quick wit that was always ready with a comeback for anyone who tried teasing me. Although I inherited the metabolism of a Galapagos Tortoise, I was blessed with a brain full of smarts. Because the only thing more traumatizing than growing up as a fat girl, is growing up as a stupid fat girl.
One of the best things I ever heard about insults and barbs being throws came from the movie “Paris is Burning”, when Dorian Corey is explaining the art of throwing shade. Thankfully, I saw this movie while I was still in high school and it helped me get some perspective. In a nutshell, calling a fat person “fat” is an observation, not really much an insult. If the best the asshole making fun of me for being chubs can come up with is a (poorly delivered, by the way) fat joke, he’s not really worth worrying too much about. Thanks, and enjoy peaking at the age of 16… and the premature ejaculation.
Anyway, back to me. I’ve struggled with weight all of my adult life, gained and lost, lost and gained, the whole chunky roller coaster. It doesn’t help that I have zero interest in sports or any physical activity that requires actual physical activity. I wrote about starting a running (okay, fine, jogging) program a few months ago, and that’s still going well. Even when I lost motivation and didn’t feel like running, I made myself at least get out and walk. Something crazy happened… for the first time ever, I didn’t gain any weight back. I wasn’t really losing anything anymore, but I was managing to keep off the 10 or so pounds I’d already lost.
Here’s my cliche moment, ready? It was like someone flipped a switch in a dark, cobwebbed part of my brain. Oh! So, this is how it works? If I keep doing some sort of exercise and watching what I eat I can maintain progress? Hmm… good to know. Instead of doing what I always do (reach for the remote and the bag of something fried and salted), I decided I might be on to something with this whole diet and exercise thing. As luck would have it, a couple of friends mentioned the South Beach diet, and I decided to look into it.
There are thousands upon thousands of diets out there, and I’ve tried my fair share. South Beach actually sounded reasonable, and something I could learn to do everyday, not just for a couple of months. After hearing about it from a couple of friends and reading through the nitty gritty of the book, I decided to go for it. It helped that another friend was into the idea as well, and would be my SBB (South Beach Buddy). The phrase, “Misery loves company” has never felt for apt.
The most daunting part seems to be Phase One, a two week “detox” that’s recommended for people (like me) are lovers of all things carby and sugary. It blows – no bread, pasta, or fruit. The obvious things are forbidden too: alcohol, chips, cookies, candy, chocolate, aka everything I love. It’s only two weeks, then we’ll get to add a bunch of other foods in Phase Two. I am counting the minutes until I can can have brown rice.
A few days in, and it’s not actually that bad. I made sure to stock up on a variety of Phase One friendly foods so I wouldn’t lose my mind. The most difficult meal is breakfast, I can only think of so many ways to prepare eggs. During the day, I’m surprisingly satisfied. I did get a gnarly headache on day two, but I stayed strong and snacked on some low fat string cheese while imagining zipping up the dress I bought that is currently too small to actually wear in public.
I’m sure the visions will subside by the end of the first week, right?