I made a bet with my sister-in-law over the holidays: the first to lose 30 pounds gets a $30 gift certificate from the other; the first to lose 50 pounds gets a new pair of boots. She rides horses. I ride a motorcycle. We like boots.
The problem with dieting is the food. I was a skinny kid who added 80 pounds since graduating high school. That’s only 2-3 pounds a year. I’ve eaten steaks that (almost) weighed that much, but I’ve been yo-yoing the entire time; hit an unacceptable high three years ago and turned serious about dieting. I set a goal: lose 53 pounds; a reward: a new Mustang; and wrote everything down to chart my progress. I lost 35 pounds in three months, then lost momentum after realizing my reward wasn’t realistic and floated back up.
I’ve been disgusted ever since. Having someone challenge me to a dietary duel was the incentive I needed. But what method to use?
I tried Nutrisystem once. It worked, but I didn’t like most of the food in their kits. One of their scientists must have decided tomatoes are the secret ingredient that washes weight away. Tomatoes were in almost all their dinners—even recipes in which they don’t belong. I’m sure, if you read the fine print, they’re in the snacks and deserts also. If you like tomatoes, this diet’s for you. I’m not a big tomato fan, so I ordered a la carte (which costs more). After tiring of the food and the cost, I tried something else.
South Beach Diet worked well for me. I like meat and have known for a long time that my enemy is carbs, but Phase One is austere and lasts for several weeks before the diet relaxes to Phase Two which slows weight loss, but broadens food options. The only thing is, my partner in this diet is my wife and she’s a vegetarian.
So, we devised our own individual plans. I’ll keep mine to myself until I’m wearing new boots. My sister-in-law might be reading this, you know. I’ve dropped over 2 pounds a week overall. I say overall because some weekends have caused spikes.
At a pace of almost 3 pounds a week, my plan works great—when I stick to it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t travel well. I’ve had two weekend trips since the first of the year. Each created a spike on my progress chart that took days to erase and I’m traveling every weekend in March.
I’ve lost a total of 19.4 pounds. My goal is to have $30 more gas money for a family gathering Easter weekend, so, if you see me out and about at a conference, please refrain from offering the Guinness you know I crave and have worn prominently for several years. Buy me a shot of Crown Royal. In dietary terms: It’s a better buzz per calorie.
M. Scott Douglass