Tuesday, January 12, 2010


…but I will.

Yep, it’s another gain for me for last week. Well, it’s going to stop. Now. As of yesterday.

I am done procrastinating, and I am ready to get down to business. Don’t ask why, just go with it. That is what I am doing.

I am going to try something new that I think will work for me. Even though my wages are being garnished and I am flat broke, I bought a book from Amazon – The Belly Fat Cure by Jorge Cruise. It was only $9.99, so I figured I would take a chance. Now, normally I steer clear of books about diet and nutrition that have the words “miracle” or “cure” or similar in the title; I am a firm endorser of that famous phrase: if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. But I was reading an article in the most recent Costco Connection magazine where Jorge was on the cover, and it went into his philosophy a little and it kind of clicked with me. The basic gist of his program is to eat less sugar and carbs. Yes, it’s not new or scientifically ground breaking. And as a type 2 diabetic, it is really how I should be eating anyway. But I have never been able to wrap my head around this; and with all of the studies being done showing that the Atkins plan is really not that healthy for you, I just didn’t really know what to do. I had already pretty much eliminated pasta from my diet because it is high in carbs – but it was hard because when you look at the majority of frozen diet entrees sold in the market today, they all have pasta in them. So I tried really hard to stick to the ones that were pasta free. I don’t normally eat a lot of bread at home, but because I am a fast food addict, avoiding bread was next to impossible. And you all who know me know how I love my pizza! I started ordering Domino’s thin crust pizza when I caved to the craving because their thin crust is ultra thin, and I figured I was saving a ton of carbs just by doing that. Well, obviously it hasn’t been doing me much good.

His philosophy is very close to the one set forth by Dr. Mehmet Oz, author of YOU: Being Beautiful and YOU: On A Diet – it’s all in your waist measurement. If your waist measurement falls into the healthy range, you will be healthy. That doesn’t mean you will be the same size as a Victoria’s Secret model, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing as I am pretty sure that being 5’10” and only weighing 105lbs isn’t healthy either. For women, the goal waist size should be 35” or less, and for men 40” or less. Do you want to know what my waist measurement is? I don’t want to tell you, but I will since I have pledged complete honesty in this blog. It is 65”. Yep. The tape measure was only 60”, so I had to make an educated estimate past that. Sigh… In the book there is a lot of discussion about Paleolithic times and why our waist-to-hip ratio was important to our ancestors blah, blah, blah; I won’t go into it here. If you want to know about it, read the book. In fact, if you want to follow this plan, read the book and talk to your doctor about it. Here is the plan in a nutshell: structure your daily eating plan around 15 grams of sugar per day and 6 servings of carbs per day – notice I said SERVINGS, not GRAMS. The problem with the Atkins diet is that they want you to eat as close to zero grams of carbs as possible, and that just simply isn’t healthy for you (since carbs are a natural and important part of our diet when consumed in moderation) and it isn’t very practical or enjoyable. The scary thing is how sugar has completely invaded almost everything we eat nowadays, and how it isn’t even necessary in the vast majority of what we consume. There are, of course, naturally occurring sugars such as in fruits and milk. Unfortunately for me, fruit and yogurt are two of my favorite go-to-diet components. Fruit on this plan is assigned a more stingy role in the diet – not cut out altogether, but discouraged as a main staple of the diet. As a type 2 diabetic, this is in line with the medical stipulations on diet in general. And milk has a ton of sugar in it!! Ever heard of lactose? That is the natural occurring sugar in dairy and it doesn’t agree with a lot of people (thus being lactose intolerant). I should stay away from milk anyway, as I do have an allergy to it, but I do love me some cold cereal and milk, and what else are you going to dunk your double stuffed Oreos in? He strongly recommends almond milk, which so far I have not been able to find out here. Oh well, I rarely drink it, just use it in cooking and for the aforementioned cereal and cookies, which I won’t be ingesting much of now anyway.

Anyhoo, basically if you are eating foods lower in sugar and carbs, you will be eating lower calorie foods as well. HOWEVER, and I put this in BIG CAPS, one thing reading food labels over the years has taught me is that food may be low in calories and carbs but can still be high in fat. Like meat and cheese. These can be “freebies” on this plan so you feel like you can eat as much as you want; but they can be quite high in fat so be sure to use moderation. That means don’t stuff your face with them, OK? OK. Glad we covered that. The book has a ton of recipes in it to help you with meals, etc. Oh, and you get to have some fast foods too – like Taco Bell! One of my favorites!! So I liked that provision because I have a tendency to freak out if I can’t have an emergency drive thru option.

There are two things that Jorge and I butt heads on: exercise and diet drinks. He keeps saying how exercise is completely unnecessary and is only needed if you want to build strength. I feel that exercise is a vital part of a healthy human being’s life; maybe not body building or gym membership required type exercise, but you should move your body on a daily basis if you can. That part of the plan kind of bugs me, because it harks back to those fad diets that claim you don’t have to exercise to lose weight. Uh, I disagree. And I agree with Sissy – I don’t want to lose a ton of weight and have my skin hanging off of me like an ill fitting suit. I want to be toned, and that only comes with exercise. The other sore point is diet drinks because of the artificial sweeteners in them. Ok, look – I know that those things are bad for you, and soda pop is basically water and chemicals. I get that, I really do. And I know that aspartame (Equal and NutraSweet) is linked to brain tumors, sucralose (found in Splenda) destroys the good bacteria in your gut and triggers the same blood sugar reactions in diabetics that pure sugar does, and saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low) causes cancer in rats. However, if you want me to get fluids into me, then I will be ingesting them. I will make a diligent effort to cut back, but I love my little packets of powder that I pour into my stainless steel water bottle every day, and I love my Coke Zero. So, back off buddy, lest you reach for my drink and draw back a bloody stump. This is basically the only time I come into contact with artificial sweeteners, and right now I feel I have to choose my battles. When I get close to the end of the war, this will be one of the last battles I fight; hopefully by then I will be strong enough to be victorious!

The other thing that I do like about this plan is that there is no introductory period where you have to cut yourself to the bone and “shock” your system into losing the weight. You just…start. So, I started today. Well, actually yesterday, but I don’t think I did very well. I went grocery shopping last night at Wally World; I didn’t have to buy anything special, but I did need to buy stuff that was – shall we say – appropriate. I did try some sugar free cookies and bought a box of Truvia (a natural sweetener made from the stevia plant – good stuff Maynard). I also purchased a box of instant grits as a sub for my normal morning breakfast of instant oatmeal that I have at my desk at work. No sugar in grits! They were really good too! I got the butter flavor, and it just needed to add about ½ a packet of Truvia as the grits tended to be a bit salty.

We shall see how this goes; I will write again next week (if not sooner) to report on how it’s going. Wish me luck!!


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