I feel a little silly admitting this (partly because I've never gone on a diet before) but I have put myself on a low-carb diet. You have to understand, I'm the type of person who a) hates diets and b) LOVES carbohydrates. My mom used to call me a pastatarian and complained that she couldn't feed me if there wasn't some kind of bread product involved. So this is not something I've taken on lightly, easily, or without involving Shane as my outside police. (It helps that he really doesn't eat much bread. All those pictures of lovely bread that I've made? Yep, I'm really the only one who ate those unless sandwiches were made. That's a LOT of bread.) And yes, I'm already fantasizing about the bread products I couldn't have. I fell asleep last night thinking about French toast....
Anyway, this is also not a "meat diet" as some people think of Atkins-like diets. (I'm not doing Atkins, just cutting out...basically everything I really love to eat.) I'm not really going to be eating more meat products, just replacing all of my yummy bread with slightly less yummy vegetables. (Did I mention that I really love bread? Are you getting that idea?) Lots of salad (which is, after all, why I planted the lettuce--to make myself eat more salad), lots of fruits, a little bit of meat and dairy. We've been hearing for a long time now that plant-based diets are the way to go, and until now I've been able to tell myself that bread comes from wheat, which is a plant, so it counts! But I don't really think that's what's meant by "plant-based".
This will be easy enough in the summertime, when fruits are both abundant and, you know, good. The past couple of weeks, I've bought enough raspberries, strawberries, and nectarines that I thought I'd be sick from all the fruit. (Haven't been yet, though.) But I'm gorging myself on this abundance with the knowledge that in just a few short weeks, the produce will go back to what it usually is around here: hard enough to be classified as lethal weapons. (I swear, if you started a food fight in winter here, with fruit, people would be dying left and right.) It has to be shipped from so far away that for most of the year, fruit goes from "hard as a rock and not ripe" to "you missed your 10-second window and it's moldy and gross now". So we tend to eat lots of dried fruit in the winter. And apples, since they keep a bit better than most fruits. Yes, it does get very boring, taste-wise. Can you see why I need to gorge myself on fruits when they're more than just tasteless little deathballs?
Why did I cut out carbs? Well, for one thing they pack a lot of energy. There's a reason marathoners "carbo-load" before races. But if you don't use that energy right away, it gets stored as fat. And with my desk job, I don't exactly use all that energy. At least in the summer. I know I use a bit more during the winter (it takes a lot of energy for the body to keep itself warm, even with longjohns to help) but still not as much as I'd like to believe.
I know this will make me a healthier person. I'm not exactly happy about it, but I will be if I actually manage to lose a bit of weight. I also have motivation in the form of jeans that are just this side of tight. When I wear them, it reminds me why I'm giving up some of my favorite foods. Although, to be fair I'm replacing a lot of that with things like peaches and nectarines, which are also in my top foods. And they're so good right now! The flesh falls off the pit, and the juice dribbles down my chin, all over my arms.... Shane laughs at me because I'm such a messy eater, and always have been. But when it comes to peaches, I don't even care. So good!
The other part of this is that Shane and I have made a pact to exercise more. We sort of slacked off the last few weeks, being so busy. My other outside motivation to exercise is that our dog turned eight. She's becoming a little old lady! I have been noticing over the past year that she gets tired more easily than she used to, and her paws sometimes seem to ache when we go for long walks, etc. But she acts like such a puppy when we walk, bouncing and barking and wagging her tail. I want her to stay healthy, so I will be taking her for at least a short walk every day. (If I write it here, I have to do it!)
To start my day off right today, I made a smoothie last night. Apparently, I need to be more patient when it comes to smoothie-making. The frozen fruit and juice weren't blending fast enough for me and it ended up like this:
Shane: What was that noise?
Shane: *Walking into the kitchen* Um, how did you get it on the ceiling?
Shane: You broke your spoon. And didn't you yell at me when I tried that with the plastic spoon?
Shane: *Sigh* We'll have to paint the wall, won't we? And the ceiling.
So, it turns out, berry juice stains white walls! Who knew? And I'm down one of my nice bamboo spoons. On to day two....