As a writer and a graduate student I spend a lot of time sitting on my tush.
In the winter it’s easy to hide a few extra pounds here, a few inches there, under a layer of sweaters.
But, now it’s springtime. The layers have been shed. And I’m trying to bring sexy back.
A year ago I went to a nutritionist for tips on finding the svelte body I know is hiding under my peri-menopausal weight gain.
She was tall, blond and thin and looked liked she’d never eaten a single Girl’s Scout cookie her entire life.
Trust issues surfaced for me.
If she hadn’t walked the walk – or in this case, eaten the sleeve of Thin Mints – how did I know I could really trust her?
I come from the “I’ve never met a carb I didn’t like sensibility.” On my epitaph, it will probably say: She liked carbs.
PSA: I am not, nor will I ever be, a dainty eater.
Of course, I totally faked it (like most girls did!) when I used to go on dates. A few bites and “Oh, I couldn’t possibly eat one more bite.” Once we were in a serious relationship, I was a burger, fries and shake girl.
When I was younger I had a wonderfully electric metabolism to match my hearty appetite.
My husband used to joke, somewhat nervously, “Are you going to explode one day? How do you eat so much and stay thin?”
Well, I wouldn’t say I’ve exploded, but I’m seeing weight in places I never knew existed.
Which brings me back to the nutritionist…
She asked me to write down everything I eat from the moment I wake up to the minute I go to bed – boldly assuming I’m afraid to get crumbs in my sheets.
So I did.
Apparently, my cereal and banana intake for breakfast puts me in line with the carbo-load of an Olympic athlete. But here’s the problem: I’m not doing “Olympic” anything. So I’m probably more in line with the diet of a sumo wrestler.
She suggested I eschew my cereal, banana and milk and try yogurt and fruit instead.
That’s right, you heard me: No cereal.
Deep in my heart, I know the nutritionist is right.
I eat too many starchy carbs, especially in the morning. But I’ve been eating cereal my ENTIRE life (with the exception of waffles and pancakes, and oh, french toast). That’s almost 18 thousand bowls of cereal.
Cereal in the morning makes me happy. Just like coffee in the morning makes me functional. The combination of the two is like a warm hug from God.
Stopping now would require Herculean effort.
One look in the mirror did the trick.
My muffin top grew from mini to Costco size. My bras were getting too tight. And my pants felt like they were strangling me.
The decision was made. (It only took me a year, but whatever.)
So today was Day 1 of this hell experiment. I had yogurt, blueberries and sliced bananas mixed with tears of longing.
The only thing that got me though this no-carb torture was imagining the pounds (not to mention my happiness) melting away, and promising myself a tuna fish sandwich at lunch.
I felt dizzy an hour after I ate. My body rebelled against the new diet I was only a few hours in to. I told myself this must be what Gisele Bundgen and Daniel Craig and all those other gorgeous sexy humans with actual discipline do to stay lean, gorgeous and drool-worthy.
And me? Well, I’m just dreaming of bread and imagining I’ve already gone down a size.
In the meantime, when’s lunch?