South Beach diet or (gut) bust

Mirror mirror on the wall

Not long ago I was getting ready in the morning and I caught a glimpse of myself in the full-length mirror in my bathroom. “Who the Hell is that?” I wondered, seeing my pale gut sticking out far beyond where I’d ever seen it extend it before.

My daughter, who was brushing her teeth, said, “I don’t like your stomach.” Neither did I. It was time to do something. It was past time to do something.

String bean teen

When I graduated high school, I was 6’6″ (ish) and 165 pounds. When I played basketball (badly) I was easily pushed out of the box. I was simply too light for my height. Over the years, I slowly added weight, but even by the early 21st century, I was still only 185 pounds or so.

In the last couple years, though, the weight has come and come fast. I’ve packed on nearly 30 pounds. On the one hand, I like being bigger. On the other hand, I’d prefer it wasn’t in my gut and my second chin.

It’s not that I was all that overweight, really, but let me put it this way: When I played Wii Fit Plus, my nice lean avatar got a little paunch after I went through the fitness test. Just like me. D’oh!

Taking charge

It’s one thing to have a preference, it’s another thing to do something about. So, when my neighbor said she lost 16 pounds on the South Beach diet, I thought, “well, Hell, maybe I should give it a shot and jump start an improved lifestyle.”

So, that’s just what I’ve been doing for the last few days. Basically, the South Beach diet is a three-phase low-carb, low-sugar, low-fat diet. The first phase, which lasts two weeks, essentially bans dairy, pasta, rice, bread, fruit, juice and lots of other stuff I like. The second phase brings back a smattering of those things, and phase three, which is meant to be indefinite, brings back a few more in moderation.

Here’s how it’s gone:

Day 1:
Boy, all day I really wanted to drink a glass of milk. And a cookie. Or a sandwich. But, what was I going to do, bail on day 1? Of course not. So, I stuck to my guns. For breakfast, I had a couple hard-boiled eggs.

For lunch, I enjoyed a piece of salmon and a salad. It was filling. For a while. In the early afternoon, when I would have gone cookie, I grabbed a bag of pistachios instead. Yay me!

Dinner consisted of pork chops and salad.

Honestly, I was hungry pretty much all day. despite the fact the diet says you shouldn’t be. That’s because it allows you to have snacks, like a small number of nuts, or a bit of low-fat cheese. I had forgotten that bit and despite really wanting a cookie all day, I stayed away. (Ok, I did have a bite of illicit brie.)

Day 2:
In the morning, I ordered up an omelette with mushrooms, cheese and tomato, which kept me full for most of the morning.

For lunch, I filled a salad with chick peas, red beans, tuna and other veggies. That lasted a while, too.

Dinner was fairly lame. I had a can of tuna fish and some scrambled eggs with spinach and mushrooms.

In all honesty, I was already feeling pleased with my healthier eating (cholesterol notwithstanding).

Day 3:
Wednesday began with a repeat of Tuesday’s omelette order. Lunch, again, was a salad stacked with beans and tuna.

For dinner, Cyn and I had a nice big plate of grilled salmon.

Sammy left behind a small bit of chocolate milk, so I quaffed that and immediately regretted it. Not only did I feel guilty, but I even felt a touch ill. It was rich.

Nonetheless, when I weighed myself, I was a couple pounds lighter. Maybe the diet’s working?

Day 4:
Nothing to say. I ate better, but I was still hungry.

Day 5:
Here’s the thing: I was doing great until dinner. Cyn (who is doing the diet with me) and I decided we need to eat something different. We were thinking Indian, since we could still meet our diet needs while eating something other than grilled fish, chick peas and eggs.

Sadly, the Indian restaurant we intended to visit was closed, so we went a Lebanese Taverna instead. What did we find when we sat down? A bowl of bread. Crap.

We tried to avoid it, but couldn’t. After one bit, we switched to whole wheat, about which we felt better. And we tried to order food that stayed within the rules. But, I’m sure we strayed more than we should have.

Oh well. Tomorrow’s another day.

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