That last ten or fifteen pounds simply wouldn’t come off. It didn’t matter how much I worked out. It didn’t matter how many races I ran. It didn’t matter how small I made my meal portions. Even giving up old comfort food friends like pizza and candy couldn’t get me over the hump.
But then I was introduced to the South Beach Diet.
It wouldn’t be a radical departure from my normal eating routine but there would definitely be some changes. Breads, soft drinks, alcohol, anything with processed sugar needed to go. But the idea that I could finally get rid of that little spare tire gave me the drive to go for it. The goal? Lose thirteen pounds in fourteen days. Then eventually work correct foods back into my regular routine.
I started each day will a small, egg dish with broccoli. Not much flavor but with enough pepper, I called it breakfast. My mid-day snack was a handful of pistachio nuts with a noon time salad containing some vegetables and lean turkey mixed in.
More pistachios for an afternoon snack and an evening meal that was usually grilled chicken or pork with more salad. It wasn’t easy, but it was healthy and what my body needed.
But day two on South Beach had two effects that I had not expected.
First, laying on the floor of my den trying to play with my young daughters I found I didn’t have the energy to pick myself up and walk to the kitchen for dinner. My body was not pleased with the lack of processed “go” foods and decided it was done. My energy slowly returned that first week. Very slowly.
Second, I was in Ketosis. In other words my body was using fat for energy. Sounds great right? Well, it was for me, except for my breath. Unfortunately, when my body was burning that fat my breath tasted and smelled like a family of skunks had taken up residence behind my uvula. Breath mint stocks soared for a few weeks.
I won’t keep you in suspense. At the end of the two weeks I had lost those pesky ten pounds, and then some. I had given up some things I loved and to this day eat them in moderation, bread being the biggie for me.
These days breakfast is some lean turkey and a skim cheese stick. Lunch is still a nice salad and dinner is usually some grilled meat or an ultra-thin crust pizza. Some people tell me they don’t care to eat the same things over and over each day but the benefit to losing those last pounds can be lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and better health. Those processed sugars that are in so much of what we eat are simply no good. Period.
This lifestyle (I don’t call it a diet) really took me to the next level of a healthy weight and allowed me to go after more of my fitness goals, such as qualifying for the Boston Marathon.
Still working on that one by the way, but I’m close!