WEREN'T YOU GUYS ON A DIET OR SOMETHING?
It’s a been a little over a week since Adrienne and Elizabeth ended their South Beach Diet. Correction: It’s been a little over a week since they were supposed to end their diet. Don't let the Women Laughing Alone With Salad photo fool you, things went off the rails pretty quickly and we’re here to talk about it.
ELIZABETH: I lost 3 lbs on the diet, but I think I’m up 7 now. I don’t really know because I murdered my digital scale with a claw hammer. RIP Taylor. South Beach is fairly easy to follow because you don’t have to give up a lot of things for an extended period of time. The first two weeks are the hardest, but, even that’s simple since you can eat cheese, nuts, and sugar-free fudgsicles, which I was all about. I pretty much sailed through the first two weeks with no problem until my friend’s baby shower….at a bar.
At that point, I wasn’t craving any junkie foods and even ate a salad and had a mostly vegetarian based Indian dinner, but I have a great amount of social anxiety, so, I LET THE DRINKING BEGIN! That was my downfall. I mean at that point Adrienne was pretty much over South Beach, and life in general, so I let myself have this. Big mistake. I straight Lindsay Lohan-ed this mother. (Sorry, Lindsay)
Look, I have a problem with drinking. My problem is that I’m just TOO DAMN GOOD AT IT.
South Beach did make me look at how much I drink and examine the affect of it - even though, I went to a house party in a basement with some 20 somethings and drank Wild Turkey 101 straight out of a bottle that some stranger was passing around just this weekend. I realized it’s not great. I swell up, I feel like shit, I can’t get my work done, and my despair about life can hit a total bottom - even though I have zero regrets about the house party.
Another great thing about the diet is that if you do fall off the wagon, if you go back to Phase 1, you’re likely to still drop the lbs you want. However, that’s not what I did. I am literally eating gravy over white rice right on a biscuit right now. My point is that the diet works, is easy to plan for, and you can pretty much use its principals everywhere, including Wendy’s when you’re slurring in the back of an Uber trying to tell the driver not to look as you peel off the stockings your may or may not have peed in.
ADRIENNE: I did South Beach when I was 24 and lost like 20 pounds, so I remember it as an effective diet. It was one of the two times I dropped bunches of weight; the other was during my divorce, which is the best diet, cause you just can’t eat because you’re just so sad.
I didn’t last very long on this diet.
One thing I noticed was I can’t do fake sugar anymore. I used to have a severe Diet Coke addiction, which I broke about a year and a half ago, and now fake sugar tastes fucking awful to me. The last time I did South Beach I was FAKE SUGAR IN EVERYTHING! Popsicles, fudgesicles, diet fanta, jello, peanut butter cookies with splenda, yogurt--aspartame and splenda and stevia, it’s raining down upon me and I’m in heaven!
But now I’m 38 and I’ve lived in Oregon and read the Whole 30 and like I know it’s all about WHOLE FOODS and NO ALCOHOL CAFFEINE OR SUGAR so every time i put some sugar-free pudding in my mouth I felt like I was about to get cancer.
It got me thinking about when I was 24. Everything was easier. You could drink Diet Coke without thinking about your teeth falling out. EVERYTHING WAS EASIER. I know I talk a lot about the daily pressures of my 38 year old life. I don’t mean it as an excuse, but honestly I still haven’t figured out how to deal with it all. I’m a single mom with a full time job. I’m one person. Like the time I spend meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking and prepping and worrying about what I’m eating is all time taken away from my kid or my writing or like even just sitting on the couch watching Drag Race because even single moms have to recharge. I don’t have any of the problems that come with having a husband (whheeeeee!) but that also means that everything that happens around here happens because of me. I only come home to find dinner already made if I stopped at Chipotle beforehand.
I would like to lose 30 pounds. But I’ve got a lot of competing ambitions and goals and pizza tastes good as hell. Sigh.
One more story. So this summer I was like, I have to get my finances in order. I HAVE TO. And I was terrified but I made the choice. I asked for help from one of my besties who’s smart about this stuff and she told me what books to read and how to budget and like here’s the thing I was missing about budgets - you have to redo it every single month because maybe the money coming in is the same, and your fixed expenses are the same, but there are variables every single month that change.
I started budgeting down to every dollar at the beginning of the month. I reconciled against my bank account every single day. The first couple of months were rocky. I went over budget and used my credit card and fucked up and felt like a failure and like I was never going to be able to do it. But I just didn’t have all the information yet. I didn’t really KNOW how much I spent on face lotions and food. So I just stayed true to the goal, I was like, there’s no going back, I’m getting it together, you're ok, one foot in front of the other.
It’s been about 8 months now and I feel so much freer about money because I know exactly where it’s going and what I can and can’t do and like if I buy that life-sized RuPaul cut out, I can’t buy new shoes. Now it’s like a fun puzzle instead of a nightmare I’m hiding from. I used to only check my bank account when I had a bad feeling it might be really low and just use my credit cards willy nilly.
The point is - I am capable of change. Big change. I understand how a change can actually make you feel freer when the burden of the change and worry is off your back. But I haven’t figured out how to do the same thing with food. I just feel so tired. But I want that free feeling. I want to be done with this so I can focus on other shit.
Elizabeth: NO CAFFEINE! Look, girl, I love that you accomplished all this, but bish, no caffeine is not an option EVER. How would my budget get done or where would I find control not to set my ex’s car on fire. DO NOT ASK ME TO STOP COFFEE. I know you didn’t, but I felt some kind a way when you said that! LAWDY! TAKE AWAY MY CREDIT CARDS AND JETS PIZZA, BUT LET ME HAVE MY COFFEE!
I wonder if you’re right though about “back in the days.” Was it easier or were we, women with bodies in America, still struggling about weight. Like there’s a reason they made splenda. Scientists were like, “These people be blowin up, but we gotta give em their double stuff chocolate covered chocolate Oreos!”
Even here, in this conclusion of this diet, you’re saying that you’re tired and want to be done with this food nonsense, but didn’t I hear you downloading NOOM? Girl.
To our readers, we love to hear your stories and would love to share them! Here’s one from Kari, a member of our Fat Heauxs facebook group, who told us about her South Beach transformation and her current thinking.
KARI: I love SB. The last time I lost weight and felt good about myself (2007?) was with SB.
In retrospect, what I didn’t like about SB was it’s aimed at people who have fifteen pounds to lose. The whole phase 1. 2, 3 was needlessly complicated and probably took me back to a standard American diet way too fast.
Currently, I’ve been keeping keto for about 15 months. Lost three sizes without losing muscle (and probably why I am running faster and am now 20% lighter) and find it relatively easy to do. The science of keto speaks to me and I can still have wine and vodka. So…
My relationship with my body is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from what it was the last time I was this weight. I wear leggings like pants. I walk around in a bathing suit without a coverup or shorts or a towel. I run and am trying yoga and CrossFit and feel the possibilities. I wish I could go back to that 26-year-old and say to her YOUR BELLY IS FINE, YOUR THIGHS ARE AMAZING! GO ROCK THAT SWIMSUIT AND SHAKE THAT ASS! Instead, I’ll do that with hair that might be turning grey.