WE'VE BEEN ON A DIET FOR ONE WEEK
We've embarked on a 30 day experiment about diet. It may last for more than 30 days, but honestly, we think it’ll be pretty incredible if we get through the whole month. We’ve decided to start with the South Beach Diet because we thought it would be the one that we would most likely be able to maintain. First, the “cleansing” period is only 2 weeks, there’s cheese allowed, and it seems like the most balanced way to eat overall as it allows all the food groups, including bread, during the later phases.
Week 1 of South Beach is done, are Adrienne and Elizabeth still alive???
ELIZABETH: I have a strong belief now that the reason diets want you to go through a cleansing phase has nothing to do with your body. Rather, it’s about trying to force you to thinking that food wasn’t delicious, so when you finally break down and make ricotta sprinkled with cocoa, you think it’s tasty. WELL IT’S NOT.
The first few days of this diet was fine. Almost like CUTE! I’m on a diet and this will be fun for the next 30 days. Then 3-4 days in, I felt a major loss of energy, but still had the right spirit to win it. By day 5, I would have slapped my grandmother to steal her cake, which is weird because she’s dead, but you get my point. PLEASE GIVE ME SOME CAKE.
I don’t even like cake. I mean it’s fine, and so are other sweets, but alcohol, in my humble opinion, is truly a gift from the Gods. Let’s be real, it’s also a good time. You’ve never heard a single person say, “We got crazy last week because we ate SO MUCH CAKE!!!!” No one invites you to cake happy hour or does cake shots. In Chicago, every block has a bar and we encourage drinking even at the grocery stores because BOOZE IS LIFE.
Day 5, I woke up listing all my favorite drinks - Gin martini (up, slightly dirty, with extra olives), a rum old fashioned, bourbon on the rocks, a glass of cab...suddenly, I was struck with an incredible urge to quit the diet and head to a bar for an afternoon at the bar. I miss my friends there - dude sleeping in the corner, couple at the jukebox fighting, the old gal who comes in at 2 pm hammered, screaming about being hit by a bus and paying for her beer in quarters. Instead, my daughter convinced me to go to yoga and I did and it was great.
Through the week, I have been bored of eating the same thing, crave richer food with more depth. My husband is a food writer, FOR GOD SAKES, so I’m used to things that have flavors beyond low fat. It’s BORING, too. Eating like this is the most incredibly boring thing I have ever done. I think about it nonstop. What should I eat for breakfast? What kind of snack can I have? Is this compliant to the the diet? WHY DOESN’T THIS TASTE LIKE TACOS? UGH!
That being said, I will admit I have been sleeping sounder and longer without interruption. I’m excited to not wake up with a headache. Going to the gym is something I look forward to because it takes my mind of my very dull existence for an hour and this week I went 3 times. I am much more productive. To be totally honest, I’ve also had some serious Come to Jesus moments this week, which I’ll write about later. I feel gross today, but I am optimistic that I’ll have a switch that flips and I’ll be like YAY! I LOVE AVOCADO DONUTS.
Another thing, I cried in my car this morning because I lost 3 lbs. It wasn’t a happy cry, it was about a realization that this could be my life now. A life comprised of celery sticks, laughing cow cheese, and an occasional slice of cake that I have to share with everyone at dinner. I keep reading all this crap about changing my mindset to understanding that it’s not a “diet,” it’s a lifestyle. That’s hard to wrap my mind around when my lifestyle for the last few decades is party time Gomez eating Wendy’s spicy chicken sandwiches in a parking lot at 3 am. I love that lady.
ADRIENNE: Ohhhhhhhhhhhh, girl. So far in 2018 I am like 0/2 with the diets. I already fucked up the Whole 30 in January and botched our first week of South Beach. When I started the South Beach I was like, la de da, this is no big deal, soooo much easier than Whole 30, fake sugar and cheese--it’s a cake walk! Then by Friday a fucking snow storm hit Chicago and I was depressed and hungry because I don’t like snow and cold and I’m hard wired to eat food and sit under blankets or in warm baths all winter. It’s like who I am. My mind is like pizza and a blanket, pizza and a blanket. So I’m fighting an uphill battle here.
Anyway, Friday. It snowed a lot and I walked through the snow to Walgreens to buy a Coke and a bag of Fritos to put on top of my compliant chili. Damn that shit was good. I didn’t want to tell Elizabeth about it because <<shame bell>> and also I didn’t want to derail her, but of course I told her anyway because she is my sister. She was like, no worries, you’ll just pick it back up with the next meal, and I was like HAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHA it’s Friday, girl, I’m gone till Monday.
And then I was. Took my kid to see Peter Rabbit and ate movie theater nachos and it was good. What a world.
So I got back on the hog on Monday probably a little mentally worse for wear. It all feels sort of impossible--to do all the things I want to do. I woke up at 5:00 am this morning to write and I typed “I’m so tired I could fall asleep sitting up,” and then i fell asleep sitting up. When I woke up I was wearing my gym clothes (because you see that was the plan, write 5-6:00, work out 6-6:30, shower, deal with kid, commute to school / work, work all day, pick up the groceries for the Valentine’s day lunch kid has to make for school, cook dinner, work more, rinse repeat) and when I woke up again I was like, there’s no way I’m working out right now, I’m so tired. So instead I laid there and stared at my vision board and thought, this is a lot of shit to accomplish in a year.
I have so many things I want to do. Being fit is one of them. But somehow it all felt better in the summer with Team Tuff Muff when it was about moving our bodies and working as a team and working towards a goal and it wasn’t dark at 4:00 pm. Focusing on eating string cheese and a V8 for breakfast as a goal is depressing as fuck.
But we’re having this party and the dress I ordered for said party arrived yesterday and it’s too tight. And so I thought, what if i just recommit as hard as I can to this diet and eat as little as possible so I can fit into this dress! Can I do that alongside all the other things I’m doing? Can I starve myself while working full time and raising a kid and writing a screenplay and running a web magazine and also continue to work out?? CAN I DO THAT.
And then it seemed pretty fucked up to be 38 years old and wanting to starve my way into a dress, I’m not a goddamned Real Housewife (it seemed especially stupid once I realized if I have a tailor move the buttons on the dress an inch it will fit just fine). But this is when i start feeling all existential about it, like, WHO AM I, WHO DO I WANT TO BE?
I think we’re both in a place that’s like, what is the key to releasing us from this struggle? Like the push pull of being on a diet or trying an exercise or wanting to be different or choosing veggies over Jet’s pizza. And like, what’s the key?
ELIZABETH: I will say that I’m never starving on this diet. I always have nuts in my hand - the kind you eat for sustenance; get your mind out of the gutter - or string cheese hanging out of my mouth. Which was never the case when I did the Whole 30. Back then, I was like seeing visions I was so hungry, it was all MOTHER MARY WHY YOU HOLDING DAT CHEESEBURGER??
I hit 44 in January and GIRL, I DON’T GOT MUCH TIME LEFT. Waking up at this age is conflicting, like when I wake up, I’m always still tired, but I’m also relieved I woke up. Because of this, I’m having a strong moment of “Take care of business or STFU.” To Adrienne’s point, I want to be fit and feel good. This week has taught me that I am much better at humaning when I’m exercising and eating well. It hits all my pleasure points and I look forward to writing, working, and my family.
It’s just occurring to me that maybe that moment in car was addressing what you’re saying, what’s the key? The key is to commit and I don’t like committing, which is why I’ve only had 1 boyfriend and two husbands my whole life. It’s easier to stay committed though when you have an awesome creative partner who is forgiving and kind. I’m talking about how Adrienne must feel about me.
ADRIENNE: Hahahah, this is exactly how I feel about you.
I know you’re in a very “we’re either doing this or we’re quitting entirely” moment, but I have to say, I think this is exactly what Fat Heauxs is all about. Most of the messaging we see out in the world is either about success stories of before/after weight loss, or about effortlessly thin celebrities, or about shows on TLC about extreme weight. And we’re not really any of those things (unless we’re chubby celebrities?). We’re just like regular people trying to live our lives and trying to make health and fitness work and I think that’s fucking valuable as hell to talk about and to keep trying and trying no matter how many times we fuck it.
My bff Taylor told me that real sustainable weight loss takes like a year. Like it’s concerted effort every day to change your habits. And I definitely believe that’s true. Because what’s happening for us is like we are battling our true inner natures, which are like, sorta hedonistic. We both have strong YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE streaks and we’re both trying to squeeze like SO MUCH outta this life.
At Fat Heauxs, our mission is to offer real talk about health and fitness from two gals who are just like you. We’ve been trying to nail down a fitness routine, lose weight, gain muscle, navigate how to eat since October and you can see some of our journey on our instagram account email us your stories at firstname.lastname@example.org.