A Fistful of Carrots: Back from MIA with a New Eating Plan

Life blew up in my face earlier this year, shortly after my recommitment to Reddit’s 90 Days Goal community, with an embarrassment of personal disasters large and small. I stopped working out, and I stopped tracking my diet.

Did you know that if you stop doing these things, you put weight back on, if you’re me? Yes! I have found the secret to gaining weight! Call today for your free brochure, 1-800-GIV-NO-DAMNS.

Faux telephone chat hotline commercial from the television show "30 Rock."

"CALL NOW FOR DIET TIPS FROM DALLAS' MOST DO-NOTHING LADIES"

I didn’t gain a ton of weight back, but I lost some of my muscle tone. So while the scale stayed at the same spot, I started having a little more trouble fitting into the smaller pants I’d been so happy to get back into a couple of months back.

Working out has been a big ol’ failure. On top of feeling sapped of energy by emotional crap, I’ve also let myself be sucked into the black hole that is Star Wars: The Old Republic. While it’s fun, the shine is off the apple, and I’m beginning to remember I did things other than fly a Corellian freighter across the galaxy with a Wookie and a companion whom I’ve taken to calling Lady Batman because I don’t know what the hell she is. But I digress.

I went to my doctor several weeks ago to get my shoulder reevaluated. He concluded that my range of motion and use have both been restored to close to normal, and that I should continue with stretches and physical therapy workouts as I see fit until I don’t think I need them anymore. I have scaled my stretching and PT workouts way back (“almost none” counts as way back), but I do still need them from time to time, as my shoulder still gets sore.

It completely slipped my mind to ask him about my snoring until my boyfriend mentioned it to me later in the week. I called my doctor back and got an appointment almost right away. At that appointment, my doctor gave me two options: participate in an expensive sleep study to find out whether I had sleep apnea (based on the screening tool, it is not likely), or lose weight. Ohhhh, lose weight! I haven’t been trying to do that for the past ~20 years, so that sounded a lot easier.

He described to me a diet that sounds a lot like the Paleolithic diet, although he danced all around the name in describing it. No grains, not even corn; avoid starchy root vegetables; lots of raw vegetables and fruit, sparing meat in portions the size of my fist. He also said no diet soda, few carbs, and as few sugars as I could get away with.

After listing off everything that I’d eaten or drank over the course of the last week as forbidden, with the possible exception of coffee and water, he wished me luck and set me up with a sleep study just in case I wanted to go that route. I said I’d give the diet the old college try. I’m sure that saying refers to someone else’s college try, because mine was not much worth emulating. I wanted this to succeed. Especially since I found out that I’m an inch shorter than I was during high school, and my BMI was therefore higher. I was instructed to drop from 189 to 163.

The first week was a resounding success. I was full, eating less food without being hungry, and had already shed several pounds. The second week’s progress is still in evaluation mode, as it overlapped with vacation to the land of fried foods and family, and the damage has yet to be tabulated. However, many family members commented on how much weight I’ve lost. It’s getting close to the official 20 pound mark since last March.

I felt really happy when my smaller pants began to fit comfortably again, leading me to dream of the day, hopefully soon, that I could go clothes shopping for smaller sized jeans. I just can’t wait for the inevitable frustration of, first of all, trying to find my size in petites, and trying to find it in the clearance section, the short, cheap wench that I am. What do you mean, I could just buy a belt? You shut up over there.

Will I start working out again? Sure, I always do. I can’t promise anything on a specific timeline, but I am never happy staying inactive for long. Texas gave winter a miss this year, and the weather is relentlessly beautiful. Daylight savings time happens this weekend, and there will be an hour or more of daylight after work each evening. How long will I be able to resist going outside in that?

A cloudy, multicolored sunset over a suburban neighborhood.

I mean, really. This cannot be resisted for long.

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