Organizing Theory & Artistry

Exercise Update – Dieting!

Salad anyone?
Salad anyone?

It has been about 3 weeks now that I have been exercising with the DDP Yoga system. On Sunday, I weighed in and found that I had gained ¼ of a pound! It was time to face facts that there is a reason they call it diet AND exercise and that my superior metabolism which has always allowed me to eat whatever I like has sadly changed!

I have already done the experiment of eating what I like while exercising vigorously 20 minutes per day and learned that I can eat almost anything I want and not gain weight with that regimen. However, I will not lose any weight and I have about 10 stubborn pregnancy pounds to get rid of.

At my annual physical in December, my doctor told me that my weight is fine. My vital signs are also completely fine. I asked him if I would still be fine 10 pounds lighter. He said that would still be healthy but starts to get on the skinny side of things. He also said that beginning at age 30, the metabolism starts to reset itself and that every 5 years your metabolism drops down a bit more, making it easier to gain weight as you age. It’s important for me to get a handle on where my body has reset to so that I am ready for the next 5 year reset point.

So, with great dread, I decided that it is time to try a diet. The DDP Yoga system strongly recommends that if you want to lose weight, you need to eat gluten-free and dairy-free and pretty much eliminate all sugars from your diet. I am definitely a carbohydrate addict so this is not an easy prescription for me by any means.

I decided to keep my diet super-simple. I am incorporating many of the DDP Yoga plan recommendations but not quite all of them. I also wanted to choose a diet plan that is sustainable if we go out to eat.

plain oatmeal with berry smoothie OR chia seed pudding with frozen fruit

Lunch and Dinner: Monster salads. Huge salads with tons of veggies and a smattering of lean proteins like fish, chicken or turkey, a little bit of cheese and dressing. Occasionally a gluten-free carb like rice or quinoa too.

Snacks: as many veggies as I want to eat

I have never tried a diet quite like this before. It is far from my first choice of diet. I love sugar! I love dessert! I am not going to be doing this forever, I assure you, but for 30 days, I am going to try it and see what the results are.

It is really hard to diet when you are the mom and cook for a family. Since I am the only one in the house on a diet, I have to cook delicious foods for everyone else that I can’t eat!

They eat:  Waffles and pancakes (with lower glycemic agave syrup)
They eat: Waffles and pancakes (with lower glycemic agave syrup)

I eat:  oatmeal with berry smoothie.
I eat: oatmeal with berry smoothie.

They eat:  pizza
They eat: pizza

I eat: salmon salad.
I eat: salmon salad.

So far, I have survived 3 days on my new diet. The first 5 hours were the toughest. All I could think about were the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen and the hunger pangs. Fortunately, I occupied myself with some spring cleaning.

The next day, the hunger pangs were still there. I counted down the hours between meals. I couldn’t wait to eat, even though it was “only” salad or oatmeal. Fortunately, my foods are filling so after I eat, I don’t really feel hungry. Sometimes I feel a bit low energy and wish I could grab a slice of bread or a sweet.

It is interesting eating this way. There are a few advantages to it:

1) Meal planning is a cinch. There is nothing to plan. It’s oatmeal and salad.

2) It’s cheap. It is truly not expensive to eat this way. The huge box of oatmeal will feed me for at least the entire month (perhaps two months) and it was less than $10. An enormous bag of spinach at Costco that will feed me for a week was $5.

But the difficulty in sticking with this diet was summed up by my 7-year-old:

Isn’t that boring?

Yes, it is boring. It takes 90% of the enjoyment of eating away. It’s the same old thing day after day after day. Yes, I do change up the salads a bit from meal to meal but it’s still salad. Simplifying my diet gave me more time to think about eating. We probably take more enjoyment from eating today than anyone has at any point in history. We can eat any number of foods we want at any time of year. Delicious food is everywhere, from recipes to make at home, to frozen foods to take-out and restaurant meals.

Throughout most of history, people didn’t have this luxury of choice. They ate what they grew most likely or what was available in their immediate vicinity. If there was a bumper crop of corn, they probably ate nothing but corn for a very long time. If someone slaughtered a deer, they probably ate that for weeks. It probably wasn’t that interesting eating the same thing again and again and again. There were periods of time when people routinely went hungry. Peoples of the past probably didn’t think about food and eating in the context of enjoyment as much as we do today.

Now, a few days in to this diet, I am starting to adopt a similar mindset. I don’t really care about eating so much because I am not going to be eating anything really craveable. I just eat to sustain myself. Sometimes I get wrapped up in doing something and I forget about hunger pangs or delicious goodies on the kitchen counter. My scientific integrity also keeps me motivated. I just need 30 days of data on this diet to see what it does to my body.

Salad . . .
Salad . . .
. . . and more salad.
. . . and more salad.
Chia seed pudding with frozen fruit.
Chia seed pudding with frozen fruit.

Anyone else dieting out there? Any tips or advice? Please share in the comments.