With all the changes made in my life over the last 2 years, I have become the zen master at flopping on the couch at the end of the day and detoxing from the stress of the day. New job, new city, new life style, new house, parenthood, corporate America, and so on! Needless to say I got a bit out of shape…at least that was what I thought. The other day I weighed myself for the first time in months and the shocking truth slapped me in the face…I’ve completely let myself go.
Many moons ago I was a slender y0ung man who once was a runway model, had difficulty buying clothes due to my slender waist and long limbs, and was full of energy. On March 19th, 2007 I quit smoking…cold turkey. I had been a pack and a half smoker my whole adult life. Needless to say, I put on a little weight. Next I shifted from being an assistant director in the field for movies into a producer in a chair…many long flights on planes and shoots spent sitting, snacking, and loafing around. When I got married in 2008 I weighed the most I had ever weighed – and seeing myself in my wedding pictures inspired me to get back in shape…which worked for a while. Then came Max, the baby. I ate with Kate and put on the paternal baby weight as she grew closer and closer to her due date, but once Max was born she lost the weight in a hurry. I, however, continued to escalate. When I weighed myself the other day the results hurt. I knew I was gaining weight but I had no idea how out of control it had become.
From the day I met Kate till now I have gained almost 70 pounds…though truthfully I am about 35 pounds over weight from where I should be as I was a toothpick back in the day. My waist size has gone up 7 inches…4 of them coming in the past few months. When I sit at my desk or on the many plane rides I take, my stomach rests gingerly on my lap reminding me of my laziness. I am not flexible anymore. The bed creaks when I get in to it. Last month I sat on the couch and a spring popped! The couch gave up on me!
My family has been teasing me but the problem is that my weight gain doesn’t look as bad as it is. I’m 6’4″ so it is easy to hide it by distributing it throughout my body and by leaving my shirts untucked when possible. My mother enjoys poking me in the belly like I’m the Pilsbury Dough Boy but she doesn’t have the problem I have…I love food. I love the feeling of eating. I love the flavors, smells, textures, emotions, and experience of the meal. I’m also a habitual snacker from quitting smoking. She eats out of necessity to not starve. Luckily there is another like me in my family, my dad. I have watched him lose weight whenever he needs to through dieting and have always poked fun at him for having to…then my metabolism went on strike and here I am. This year he started something completely different and this week I’ve decided to give it a try after watching his success. I’m doing the Dukan Diet.
DIET DAY 1
The Dukan is simple, you eat a lot of proteins to get your body into a fat burning state of mind and teach it how to lose weight. You do this aggressively for a few days, then you add veggies and other foods for a few months, then you eat anything you want and have 1 all protein day every week. Pretty simple. Obviously there is exercise, limitations, etc. but it is a very palpable diet for me as a first-timer. You can eat in any quantities you want and the end goal is the ability to eat what you want 6 days a week. Yesterday was day 1:
- Hard boiled egg for breakfast
- Steak with Worcestershire sauce and seasoned chicken for lunch
- Rotisserie Chicken snack after work
- Dinner: Ham, pickles, shrimp, non-fat yogurt
- Late night snack of oatmeal galettes
My blood sugar plummeted after work and the rotisserie chicken saved me. I felt very tunnel visioned yesterday and had a hard time focusing. Eating only meat was fine in the meal but following the meal left me feeling full but still longing for a flavor to balance it out…I felt unbalanced. I drank tons of water (you have to drink a quart and 1/2 a day) and that helped but of course sent me to the bathroom numerous times. By eavening I was sick of eating…I just wanted some chips or a cookie…but that is of course not allowed. I was flooded with thoughts about food and of course realized I would not be able to have any Halloween candy this year! I thought, well…I can have a little candy right? I quickly calmed myself, its just candy you’ve had a million times in your life…it will still be there when this phase is over. Then I remembered Thanksgiving! Its okay, you’ll be in the cruise phase and Turkey is 100% on your diet.
That night I had terrible food dreams! Piles of stagnant meat dropping into piles of landfill-looking heaps in my belly as garbage trucks lugged them around my stomach. Every few second a few more piles of protein-laden meat would drop from the ceiling and splat on the pile with a heavy and wet sound. My garbage trucks were running out of room for the meat. The air smelled like shrimp and the walls of this belly-room were coated in spices, pepper, and grease. I awoke to find the cat hovered over me sniffing my breath…trying to figure out where that delicious meat smell was coming from.
Day 1 was rough…but it is over. Day 2 will be better. Day 3 will be great…and so on. I am doing this. I am going to drop 8 pounds by the time I go to NYC next week. 15-20 by Christmas. Next summer? I will be at my target weight and back to the good ole days where I can’t float in water. Just like smoking, this week is the week I stood up for myself and made a change in my life. I’m going to be healthier. Nothing can stop me. Not my stomach disease, not my job, and most importantly not me. Its go time!