As I promised, this is not going to turn into some neurotic dieting blog. Aside from the original post, I have only referred to my weight loss once in my little “what I’m wishin’” section. I’ll be honest, it’s not that I haven’t thought about it, it’s just that I haven’t necessarily been so good on the diet. Now, I could come up with a million or so excuses as to why several orders of fries, about half a dozen truffles and several Texas Roadhouse rolls have ended up in my mouth, but the truth is, I like food. This is why any sort of structured diet doesn’t work for me. I have learned that I can’t stick with any plan that has absolutes like no carbs, no eating out or heaven forbid no chocolate. I am also an emotional eater. I won’t play the blame game here (mom), but I come from a long line of emotional eaters. Food is comfort. I don’t usually overeat when I’m happy or even when I’m sad, but in times of stress, it’s safest to lock the fridge and bar the pantry door.
Even though I’m on maternity leave/summer break and I should be pretty darn carefree, I’ve been pretty stressed lately. Getting ready for the anniversary party, my husband being out of town for nearly a week and the anxiety attack of the century, my mother’s visit, have put me a bit on edge and sent me sneaking into the kitchen to nibble cookies, Almond Roca and several of those aforementioned buttery rolls. During the family visits I didn’t even put up the façade of counting my calories. I ate ewwy-goey lasagna, drowned my sourdough bread with creamy spinach dip, indulged in half a sack of ten, snacked on mall cookies, crunched a bunch of chips and almost asked for seconds on a devilish devil’s food cake and accompanying homemade peach frozen custard. In an attempt not to be anti-social, I also decided to forgo my daily treadmill walks. Neither of these have helped to decrease my waistline.
I should probably also point out here that in addition to my habit of gobbling up the goodies when my stress level reaches its max, I also tend to put on the pounds when I get bored, and in the last month, I’ve had several days where I’ve never even left the house. This lends itself to watching way too many movies/old TV shows and eating far too many Teddy Grams just because there is nothing else to do. It’s actually easier for me to stick to a diet during the school year because I just don’t have the time to eat. I don’t let my kids eat in my classroom, so I don’t do it either. Not to mention that even though it’s a small amount of exercise, I’m always walking around my classroom. I very rarely sit at my actual desk. Even during my prep, I’m running down to the copy machine, going to the office to check my mail, trying to track down an administrator or thanks to our new security policy, walking the halls to make sure kids aren’t running amuck. Not exactly going to prepare me for the Boston Marathon, but better than sitting in the marshmallow chair with a handful of pretzels watching yet another episode of Seinfeld.*
During the summer it is awfully hard to stick to that 1200 calorie a day goal I set for myself. Our bi or sometimes tri weekly trips to Lulu’s don’t help either. I can’t stomach black coffee (or any coffee) or even tea, so my only low cal drink option is diet soda. And when going to a place that makes absolutely wonderful spiced chai and the most amazing blended drinks ever, diet Coke, even with a shot of cherry, just seems so bland. After eating a fantastic lunch at Lulu’s, including one of those frothy beverages (blended, decaf, skinny Heath mocha), some soup and one of the most enormous cookies I’ve ever seen (also Heath based), my only way to keep my calorie count even kind of reasonable was to eat two cups of cooked spinach, a nectarine and a roll for dinner. Even then, it put me 150 calories over my desired limit. The extra time off to do whatever I please is the only reason I can find for this diet being so much harder than the last. Last time around there was a sort of force start to the diet when I came back from London nearly 10 pounds lighter than when I left.** It was the tail end of the summer and even though I had some time off, it was easier to stick to the healthy eating. Once school started, I had no problems at all.
I think the best motivator for my diet will be the start of school. Luckily the only edible things our school cafeteria churns out on a regular basis are soups, most of which are fairly healthy. The lines, for the food, however, take up about a third of the lunch half hour, so I generally just skip them. This means I have to bring my own lunch, and even microwave meals, usually full of calories and sodium take a relatively long time to make. It’s easier to pack healthy sandwiches, quick microwave soups and lots of yogurts and fruit instead. That’s the one good thing about the start of the school year.
On the plus side, according to the scale this morning, I’ve managed to lose five pounds since starting the diet. While this weight loss is in no way dramatic enough for any dieting commercial, at least I haven’t actually gained weight, which has happened on more than one diet I’ve attempted. That means I only have 15 more pounds to lose before I’m back at my pre-pregnancy weight and probably only 10 or so before my old clothes start fitting, even if that’s a little tightly. I actually bought two new pairs of pants to star the school year off since I’m down over half my wardrobe and to my utter happiness, the size I bought*** is actually a little looser than I expected. At this rate that may take me a few months, but I’m ok with that. I’ve gotten a little more forgiving with my self this time around and if I slip to 1400 calories, even 1500, that’s ok. I’ll take this thing one fairly healthy snack at a time.
*Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
**I went to London on an organized tour with some of my students. We packed for 70 degree weather and Europe ended up having a heatwave, where most days were high 80’s to low 90’s. That, combined with the almost unceasing walking and the really crappy places they took us to eat, helped me shed the pounds.
***Which is one to two sizes bigger than the rest of my clothes, but still a size smaller than I wore three months ago.