Hi. I’m Arlene. Welcome to my Adventures in Weight Loss, Cooking and Life.
I spent the first 28 years of my life in Indiana, a true corn-fed Midwestern girl who dined on meat and potatoes and rarely met a green vegetable I could stand. When I moved to Flagstaff in 1999 to take a job at the newspaper there, I wore a size 26/28 and had no idea how much I weighed, not having been near a scale in years.
My weight has been a constant battle since about fifth grade. In high school, when my mom went on the Nutrisystem diet, I did too. I lost some weight, going through my senior year at 198 pounds. But bad college habits — breakfasts of PopTarts and Dr. Pepper, brunch buffet plates laden with biscuits and gravy and too many pizzas to count — packed on the Freshman 15 … and the Sophomore 15 … and — you get the picture.
I didn’t get serious about my weight problem — or even want to admit it was a problem — until 2003. That was the year both my parents died — my father of lymphoma and my mother of complications from obesity. (She had a heart attack and bypass surgery, and while she was in the hospital, they diagnosed her with previously undiagnosed diabetes. She didn’t make it out of the hospital alive.)
2003 was the year my younger brother tried Atkins. I decided if he could do it, so could I. I lost 105 pounds in two years on Atkins — and got down to a Size 8. Sadly, I regained about 70 of those pounds after meeting my boyfriend, a carb freak. I’ve tried almost every diet out there: From Atkins and South Beach to the Carb Lover’s Diet, Weight Watchers and the Whole30. After unsuccessful dabbles with paleo eating in the last quarter of 2012, I decided to give WW another try at the start of 2013. I’ve dropped 20 pounds in six weeks.
I like to cook — when I have the time. But between my day (night) job as a copy editor/page designer and my efforts to write and publish romance novels, time is in short supply. So a lot of my meals are quick, easy and use minimal dishes. I love butternut squash, Honeycrisp apples, fast-food hamburgers and drinks from Starbucks.
Now that I’m on the other side of 40, my two cats, Destiny and Spirit, and dog, Cocoa, are the only children I’m likely to have. But I have a niece and nephew that I don’t get to see often enough, and the Boyfriend has a huge family.
Interested in my Atkins experience? I wrote a series of Blast from the Past posts. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 are here. They were excerpted from a book I started writing about my weight-loss experience.