Last weekend was horrible, eating-wise. By Monday everything in my closet was feeling tight, and at that point there were still 11 days until Christmas. I needed to shake things up ASAP. But I also needed to come up with a strategy that I could follow successfully, because going on a strict diet during the holidays isn’t a realistic option, at least not for me.
So now here it is Friday, and I’ve not only successfully “stuck to my diet” every day this week, but I’m confident and enthusiastic about today’s eating plan as well.
The secret is that I’ve followed a different diet every day this week.
Sounds nutty, I know. But see, I’ve experimented with a lot of diets in the five years since my 90-pound weight loss. You know how people complain that what’s considered a smart food to eat on Diet A is a mortal sin on Diet B? Well, I see that as an advantage for the person who gets bored easily with eating the same old thing and following the same old rules all the time.
On Monday I started out thinking I’d fast all day and then eat a tasty meal, like I used to do on weigh-in day for Weight Watchers. That didn’t work. Basically, I stopped by Walgreen’s, noticed they had cashews on sale, and devoured an 8-ounce bag. That’s like 1,200 calories in one sitting. But since I went through several months where that was precisely what I had for lunch on Mondays, I just switched to that template instead. I had an apple in the afternoon, a couple of ounces of co-jack cheese and two 4-ounce glasses of red wine for an early dinner, and I was not only completely satisfied but I was able to view the day as a dietary success.
Tuesday I followed the old-school Atkins diet, which meant I could have turkey burgers and cheese and veggies, along with one of the original Atkins bars.
Wednesday was potato diet day. All the potatoes I could eat, with a stick of butter allowance for the day. I love potatoes, so this was fun, especially since it was only for one day.
Thursday was Weight Watchers Points Plus, where the big reward is free fruit. After not having any fruit all week, I enjoyed grapefruit, bananas, apples and a big bowl of strawberries topped with a tablespoon of peanut butter and a couple of tablespoons of raw oats. All that fruit tasted like the sweetest treat imaginable, and it was no problem sticking to my points total for the day.
Today is old-school Weight Watchers points, which is what I counted during my 2010 weight loss. That means I can have half a cup of Turkey Hill low-cal ice cream (90 calories or 2 points per serving). I’ve also got some 90-calorie Fiber One bars, which are just 1 point each. Same with 94 percent fat free microwave popcorn.
I’m not sure what I’ll do tomorrow, but I’m sure I’ll think of something. It’s not like I’ve run out of diets yet.
I’m down about 4 pounds since Monday morning, but I’m not dwelling on the scale so much as the sweet feeling of nailing my eating plan day after day while eating foods that sound really good because that might be the only day I’m “allowed” to have them.
It feels fantastic, in the midst of holiday hassles, to have a secret eating plan as a lifeline to keep me grounded, so I don’t feel like I’m spiraling out of control.