It’s not a diet…it’s a lifestyle.

Photo credit: Nickshell.com

In 26 years, I’ve never done a diet, until the last two weeks. I never tried Slim Fast, Weight Watchers, Atkins, fasting, you name it. Although at times I’ve wanted to lose a few pounds or tone up to fit some pants more comfortably, dieting hasn’t just been my style — I prefer eating more healthfully and working out.

But when a friend on my Costa Rica trip told me about how South Beach had worked for her, another friend and I decided to test it out when we got home. No carbs, no sweets, no fruit, no alcohol…how hard could it be? Again for me, it wasn’t about the weight. I set a 5 lb. loss goal, but the real goal was to get me out of the rut I had gotten into before my vacation, eating too much bar food, drinking too many beers in a week. Those who know me know that I cook healthy food at home, and work out several times a week. But we all get into a rut, and I’ve been in mine. So the overall goal was to kickstart me getting back into a good routine, and to make me more aware of what I was eating. Not as many “real things” as DC health and fitness guru Chad Hamilton might say.

So it was on. I stocked up on a ton of veggies and made my egg quiches to get the first week started. My friend and I emailed each other our daily diary of meals, cheering each other on through the headaches, and fatigue, giving each other tips for recipes, and reassuring one another when we had a cheat night coming up. My friend celebrated her birthday in the midst of our diet, and I had already made plans to go to my favorite Cajun restaurant — I wasn’t going to cancel that.

Near the end of the two weeks, I was craving bananas and bread and feeling the effects of the diet through Charley Horses, a rumbling stomach, and little energy to work out. But despite the hiccups, I had turned down on multiple occasions: cupcakes, donuts, sandwiches, nachos, beer, and more. My slips came at the end of the two weeks, and my friend and I both have said that the goal wasn’t to kill ourselves over a few pounds — it was to be aware of what we eat, how often we eat, and why we eat it.

Yesterday I had a sandwich. Today I made banana budding and fudge. It’s a treat, but it won’t be a habit. I’m stocked up on veggies again, still have plenty of nuts and protein in my fridge, and am not running out to eat a loaf of bread anytime soon. I also made some pretty darn good recipes in this experiment. In the end, I think I have what I wanted out of a diet…a lifestyle change that will make me feel good for more than just two weeks…hopefully for a long time.

Big thanks to my friend E.B. for going through this with me!!

Have you tried a diet or a lifestyle change? What were the results?

3 thoughts on “It’s not a diet…it’s a lifestyle.

  • A few months back, Heather at Franciscan Center of Baltimore, a few other friends, and I all tried Share Our Strength’s Food Stamp Challenge. Their goal was to try to live on $30 or less of food & beverage a week for two weeks. Our goal was to try to also do it healthily. It was not a diet either (I did lose 17 lbs in 15 days, however) but we did it to really think about what we eat. My final entry on Heather’s blog is listed here. We came to some of the same conclusions as you did
    Thanks for posting!

    http://fcbmore.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/snap-challenge-what-the-hell-are-you-trying-to-prove/

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  • I definitely takes a switch to turn to redefine your attitude. Exercise makes it better and takes off the stress of everyday. Good luck it’s never easy but discipline of self is in order.

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