Scared to step on the scale

After more than a week of eating with abandon, I’m afraid to get on the scale this (Thursday) morning.

Of course, I know that seeing the ugly truth will jolt me into action. If I don’t weigh in, I’ll keep right on allowing myself to eat questionable foods. A low-carb Frappuccino here, a few of the Boyfriend’s french fries (or my own order of sweet potato fries) there.

And that, my friends, is why I haven’t made all that much progress with my scale lately. I’ve been half-a$$ing Atkins for a while now.

Sad, but true. Atkins works — for me — when I do it right. And I haven’t been doing it well and truly right for too long. Consequently, the weight loss is slow and I find myself asking “why isn’t it working as quickly as it did in 2003?”

Sure, part of it is that I’m several years older now. I’m on the wrong side of 40.My metabolism has no doubt slowed. But I can lay some of the blame on:

  • Not religiously tracking my eats. I use the Atkins app on my phone (sometimes). Even when I do, the app automatically rounds up or down. When I lost 100 pounds in ’03, I tracked every bite, down to the tenth of a carb, in a series of small spiral-bound notebooks. If I didn’t know a food’s carb count, I’d look it up in my Atkins carb counter. Now, I tend to go by memory (which for all I know is faulty. I’m not getting any younger, after all.)
  • Relying on more convenience foods. Last time around, I (or my roommate) cooked a lot more meals at home. We took turns making dinner (whoever didn’t cook cleaned up). Now, I work through my dinner break and eat at my desk. Usually it’s a ready-made salad from the grocery store or leftovers that I’ve frozen for later. I miss the fun low-carb recipes we use to fix.
  • Allowing more “illegal” foods. Yeah, my low-carb Frappuccinos, while much lower in carbs than the original, aren’t something I should be enjoying every week … or even every other week. If I were counting every carb I consumed, you can bet I wouldn’t be downing 15-20 carbs in one fell swoop.

That’s why I’m starting to wonder if it’s time for a change. A big change.

As my blog reading has branched out, I’ve discovered new ideas and recipes. Paleo intrigues me … so much so that I just bought a copy of “It Starts With Food,” the new book by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, creators of the Whole30.

On the surface, it seems simple: Eliminate grains, dairy and sugar/artificial sweeteners from your diet and, as the Whole9 website says, “change your life. It will change the way you think about food, it will change your tastes, it will change your habits and your cravings. It could, quite possibly, change the emotional relationship you have with food, and with your body.”

It’s billed as a way to push the reset button on your metabolism and learn how the foods you’ve been eating affect your body and your health.

Sounds great, right?

Maybe so, but I’m not quite ready to commit. (Remember, it took me forever to commit to Atkins the first time, too. My roommate and I finally decided we’d try it for two weeks, then, when it didn’t work, go back to eating the way we’d always eaten. Imagine our surprise — and delight — when we both lost weight.)

I’ll get there, I think. What I’ve been doing isn’t working the way it should, so it’s time to ramp things up to a new level. I already know that the more restrictive a diet is, the better — so being told not to eat grains/dairy/sugar leaves me free to choose the good stuff.

I’m thinking a month on the plan will kick-start my weight loss. Afterward, when I go back to my low-carb diet, I’ll be even less tempted by the sweets I should avoid.

Time to dive into the book. Soon I’ll know whether the Whole30 is for me — and I’ll let you know.

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