Saturday, March 21, 2009

Gone to South Beach... BRB!

So I've started the South Beach Diet. To be honest while I do feel it is a new way of looking at food, a new lifestyle, and all -- I'm still going to call it a diet. :) It's super different though. Instead of the old Weight Watchers idea of looking at fat and fiber, I'm looking at sugars and fiber. It's just a different way of seeing things.

Right now I'm in Phase I which means I can only have veggies (but not corn and carrots), lean meats, low fat cheeses, nuts, beans, and assorted condiments for two weeks. It's not as bad as I thought it would be (and believe me I about cried when I saw the food list at first). I've done it for a day over a week now, and I've lost 6.8 pounds. I can't see the difference in my body yet, but there are some big differences in my life that I notice:

1. I drink a TON of water now. Never before on any diet have I been able to easily drink the amount of water I'm supposed to drink. Now I drink water all day and enjoy it.

2. My refrigerator is full, and my pantry is almost totally barren! Typically it's the other way around for me. My crisper drawers are full; my freezer has veggie stir fry mixes in it; and at the end of the week, I need to buy more! I used to find months old frozen veggies in the freezer and rotted fresh veggies in the crisper drawers.

3. Grocery shopping has totally changed for me. I stick to the edges of the store where the fresh stuff is, and I barely go down any aisles. It's not as expensive to eat healthy as I thought either since I'm just cooking for one.

4. I used to never eat breakfast, and now I eat it daily. I used to say it just made me hungrier earlier to eat in the mornings. Not true anymore -- that was my body burning through the carbs super fast and leaving me hungry!

5. I don't depend on food/snacking so much anymore. Although I'll tell you that you can overdo celery and no sugar added peanut butter. I still have a stomach ache today from that...

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my food. Those first few days I had fairly constant headaches from the lack of caffeine (if it's not real Coke, I didn't really want it anymore, so I switched totally to water). I also wanted to go out and buy a cake and eat the whole thing, but ultimately I didn't want to ruin what I was working towards. I can still enjoy a good steak or a really good meal... I just can't have the carbs. Most of the time I don't miss the stuff I can't have. I tell myself I don't need it, and I move on. Although out of everything I miss I think potatoes rank high on the list, but I'm even starting to stop missing those. I didn't believe that you could reach a point where you didn't miss stuff, but I'm getting there fast. In a week I'll be in Phase II and get to add in some good carbs and some fruits, but I won't be jumping on those. I'm going to do those slowly because I don't want to plateau.

I guess I finally got to the point with my body and my diet that I got to with my spending a few months ago -- it was totally out of control. A while back I wrote about changing my spending habits and working to pay off my credit card debt. I'll be done paying off my credit card in August (or September) because I've really been sticking to my budget. I've gotten to the point where I've learned to live comfortably within my tight budget, and I don't miss shopping sprees anymore. At Christmas time I couldn't go day after Christmas shopping with my mom and sister because I knew I couldn't trust myself NOT to spend money. Now I can go through my favorite clothing store, look around, and leave without buying anything (even that really sparkly top that would look so cute on me)! I decided if I could conquer my money issues, I could conquer my food issues.

I've talked with some of my friends about being supportive. In fact, I've been a bit more stern than I probably needed to be, and while I apologize for that I must say that I have no room for criticism with this new step in my life. Most of my friends have been exactly what I need -- asking how it's going, NOT acting like they can tell that I've lost weight when it's only been 5 pounds (because you can't - don't lie to me!), and being sympathetic on my first day on the diet (when I just wanted to sit around a whine exhaustedly). Thing is... I'm going to be talking about this. I'm going to be sharing my successes when I have them and looking for someone to help me make sense of it all if/when I plateau. I need my friends whether or not they're on South Beach with me or not -- I need them to be there for me. :)

You have to understand, I'm doing this to try to make myself happy with me - to be something I can be happy about. I'm not happy with how I look, and I'm ready to change that. I look back at pictures from late high school and my 1st 2 years of college, and I like the weight I was then. I can get back there and be happy.

I'm also doing this to improve my health and lifestyle. I want to be able to run around with my niece and nephew more easily. I want to sit next to someone and not feel self conscious about how much space I'm taking up. Most importantly I want to bring my blood pressure down before it nudges over borderline into high, and I have to go on meds! LaRae and I have been talking about how much different it will be to visit Disney World again when we're much smaller. :) I look forward to that!

I know somewhere down the road I'm going to have to add in some exercise, but that probably won't happen until this summer. It's pretty amazing to me that I'm willing to start a new diet while state testing season stress is still going full tilt, but I'm ready for a change I guess.

My goal is to hit my goal weight: 150 pounds in a year or so. I'd be super excited if I made it to that weight by the summer after this one coming up. It's time for a new Joanna (spending conquered, onto the next battle)!