my best friend and i always say, "IDIOT!" when we do something stupid. and today i present to you in its natural habitat, the world's biggest idiot....me.
when we were together last, it was april of 2012, and i was trying to get back on a diet after a 33 pound gain in just four short months. i was 2 pounds shy of having regained all of my juice loss. i'd say that diet lasted about 3 weeks before it went all to hell. i don't remember why now. the thing that haunts me at night is that polar express cookie on december 9, 2011. that was the night my body got back on a collision course with morbid obesity. seinfeld said, "look to the cookie." i say, "RUN FROM THE COOKIE!" that store-bought, plain-jane cookie brought my whole world down.
so what have i been up to since april, 2012? well, i bought a car. i bought a house. i got a dog. i returned the dog. i knitted 3 dishrags. and i gained another 30 pounds. that's right. for those of you keeping score at home, between cookie night - december 9, 2011 - and april, 2013, i gained 54.6 pounds. you heard me. 492 days, 55 pounds.
at first i was in a constant state of "i'll start my diet again monday" shenanigans. some function or occasion was always making it a bad week to begin my diet. then it became this very dark thing in my mind where i was very nearly aware of stuffing my face with garbage just because i could. "fuck you, diet!" i said as i sucked down my daily large caramel frappe, "don't hold back on the whipped cream."
then in october i put an offer on a house, and i felt like it would change everything. i'd be in charge of every bit of food that came through the door, all of my own meals, a fresh start. i moved the second week of december, so it was holiday time. parties, christmas, etc. i told myself i'd start in january. until then, i needed some groceries. oh boy! after living with my folks for the past 4 years, i gleefully treated myself to rare delicacies such as pop tarts, toaster strudels, skyline chili, and adorable little bread bowls filled with cheese and bacon. chip dip, hello! and did i mention i moved to a real city where they have real food like thai, indian, japanese and an ice cream shoppe on every corner? "well i MUST sample this and this and that to get a taste of the local fare before it's diet time!"
week after week i'd shop to get just enough groceries to last until my diet started. but life would get busy, i'd eat fast food, then i'd tell myself, "self, you can't let these groceries go to waste! you'll need to postpone that diet while you polish off these lasagna ingredients and try this pinterest recipe for taco bake! and have you forgotten the frozen pizza and box of ALL CRUNCHBERRY cap'n crunch?"
so i really don't know what happened to me on april 21st. i guess i ran out of groceries. i went to the store and bought my last supper - two frozen skyline chili meals. yes, two. and a pile of shredded cheese, oyster crackers and hot sauce...and what last meal would be complete without a pint of pistachio ice cream? i mean come on. i bought a few lean cuisines because i didn't even have a plan. would i go back to vegan? low carb? weight watchers points? 1200 calories of a blend of food groups? i picked up some slim fast and figured that would answer breakfast and lunch for a few days while i figured it out. i'd never jumped in without a plan before.
the next day was monday. i decided to look up TOPS while i was at work. i belonged to a tops group many years ago. it's a weight loss support group with a weekly weigh-in and meeting, but you can follow your own diet plan, and it's significantly cheaper than weight watchers. i found several groups that meet near my house and decided to try a few different meetings until i found a group i liked. that night i walked into the first on my list of groups to test-drive and saw two smiling ladies sitting at a table filled with what appeared to be prizes. 5 minutes later i was writing a check for my annual membership dues and getting on the scale. the group i'd belonged to years ago totally did not have its shit together. they gained more than they lost each week, and many of them went to eat at a buffet together after our weekly meetings. but these new ladies, they mean business. they had so many prizes and incentives, and everyone was losing weight. they even have several KOPS. TOPS stands for Keeping Off Pounds Sensibly, and once you reach your goal, you become Keeping Off Pounds Sensibly. I'd never met a KOPS in person in all of my years at that old club.
The meeting was great. I felt like an alcoholic who had been court-ordered to attend meetings but came out born again. I went home that week and blasted off six pounds. During that week, as a complete coincidence, my friend surprised me with a book called The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl. Basically this girl had a blog like this one, lost about 200 pounds, and put her blog into book form. She is also my long-lost twin, because page after page I find more and more we have in common. So I've been going to my meetings, reading this book, and thinking I should really start blogging again, because the accountability helped me so much. Back in its heyday, thousands of people were actually reading this. But I didn't want to start back up and fall off the wagon again after two posts like last time.
So... from April 22nd til today, June 5, I have lost 24.2 pounds. And for whatever reason, it has not been hard at all. I think tops is the main motivator. I know I have to go get on that scale each week, and I love the way my new friends cheer for me when I announce my loss during roll call. Monday was our monthly awards meeting and I was awarded a ribbon for being the biggest loser in May, along with a charm for losing 10 pounds. If I keep on track, at July's awards night, I should receive my 20 and 30 pound charms at the same time. They also hand out cash like it's going out of style, so I came home with $37 in reward money for my hard work. Dude!
To anyone who is still knocking around here because of finding me through the juice diet, I apologize because I'm about to blow your mind. I went totally the other direction, and I'm back on low-carb, high-protein. Which is different from Atkins, because I'm not frying up pans of cheesy bacon burger in alfredo sauce. I thought back to a time when I'd lost a ton of weight on Atkins, and a time when I'd lost a ton of weight on a 1200 calorie diet. And I thought, "what if I combined these principles and stuck to lean protein, keeping my carbs AND calories low?" Boy howdy, was that the magic charm for me so far. I've gotten a tiny bit sad a couple of times when I saw peanut butter cake at work or drove past the local ice cream stand. But really I'm not craving that stuff. Nor am I being a nazi. When a friend had a birthday party at the Mexican restaurant, I had two tacos, some chips and salsa and a salad. When my brother had a cookout I took my own entree but helped myself to several chocolate covered strawberries, two bites of cheesecake and a Dorito. It's fucking INSANE how good a tiny treat feels in comparison to the way it feels when you help yourself to ALL of the treats ALL of the time.
I joined a gym. I don't think that's helping me much because I haven't actually worked out there yet. Heh. By the way, when did I go back to capitalization? Doy. anyway, i joined online during a special promotion, then got intimidated about going in to get my membership card. i finally did that on monday, and now for some reason i'm procrastinating on going in to actually work out. but i'll get there. i've set my alarm for 6am every day to get up and go, but i keep accidentally staying in bed until 7:40. it's not really motivating me to go when i get on the scale every morning and see another loss.
yes, i'm obsessed with the scale, exactly what every diet expert will tell you NOT to do. but i really feel like i've just completely fucked this up so horrifically that i need to know EVERY SINGLE DAY what the impact of the previous day was on my body. if it's down, i eat a little more. if it's up, i drink a lot more water, up the protein and down the grains, and i drink my cleansing zija tea before bed.
in a week and a half i am going to disney world and i am terrified. right now i have it in my head that i can maintain my diet with only a couple of small cheats. maybe ice cream twice, a meal in morocco at epcot---i fricking love the falafel there. otherwise, status quo plus lots of walking. it would kick ass to come back to my tops ladies and show them i've actually lost weight on vacation. but the last time this happened was when i went to the outer banks during a hardcore diet. i made it through the first 3 days before i caved and caved hard. i know my body, and i could easily gain 8 pounds in one week of vacation. SO, this is complete insanity, but i've decided to take my scale on vacation with me. i'll make myself get on it every morning so i can visualize what the previous day has done for or to me. if anyone is still out there, i could really use your encouragement during that week!
so, there you have it. the world's longest blog by the world's biggest idiot to commemorate the world's biggest weight gain in the world's smallest amount of time. thanks for listening, and i hope to check in daily with shorter missives about the ups and downs of my diet. at this point i'm back below where i was when i began the juice diet. but i've got 31 pounds to go before i even get back to my weight on COOKIE NIGHT. then another 45 after that to reach my 100 pound goal. i'd be happy with 83, but you get a special tops award for 100, and i'm greedy for awards now that i've had a taste of victory.
if you're reading this, especially if you're one of my old juice peeps, please let me know how you've been doing during my absence. i hope you're all lighter, happier and healthier. thanks for having me back.