I don’t think I mentioned the change in my diet here yet. A few weeks ago, Neil‘s doctor recommended he try the South Beach Diet to get his triglycerides under control. I decided to join him for a few reasons:
- It’s easier to plan our meals if both of us are under the same restrictions
- It might be easier for him to stick with it if he had a partner in crime
- If that already-slim spouse of mine ended up losing weight while I sat here wishing my extra 20 lbs would just magically vanish, it would probably depress me greatly
So, we started with phase one, which was pretty strict, and required we stick to lean meats and green vegetables for the most part. This wasn’t terribly difficult for Neil, who eats out of biological necessity, but it was near torture at times for me, who is an emotional eater, if ever there was one. More than once I found myself pining away for my regular afternoon snack of pretzel sticks and Dr. Pepper. Or wishing I could just have a big bowl of spaghetti. Don’t get me started about bagels, either.
With perserverence, though, we made it through the two phase one weeks, and as of today are embarking on phase two. Glorious phase two, where we can slowly begin introducing fruits and breads back into our lives. I won’t lie: I have spent the last three days gleefully imagining going back to my happy afternoon carb-fest. After all, as long as I avoid breads and pastas most of the day, it wouldn’t be a problem to have a starch-heavy snack. Right?
Maybe not. Last night I did some research so I could make my food shopping list for this week, and although I’d read it before, it finally sunk in: the diet is not about being low carb so much as it’s about being good carb. That means no foods made with enriched flour. It’s whole grains, or it’s nothing at all. Ouch.
I am starting to wish that I’d eaten better as a child. Not that my parents didn’t try to ply me with vegetables, but if I could have lived on hot dogs, french fries and cans of coke, I would have. My taste for whatever my mother was serving was inversely proportional to how much time it took her to make it. I hated, hated those Sunday dinners of pot roast and three different kinds of vegetables. But burger night? Or Friday fish and chips? Yummy.
So now I have a lifetime of bad eating habits to overcome, and it’s not just a weight loss issue, although the desire to slim down is certainly a factor. No, it’s more about the fact that the stuff I like just isn’t good for me. And I’m realizing it more than ever. I’m also realizing that I have to help my kids develop a taste for the good stuff, too, or they will be in exactly the same boat I am when they are older.
Does all of this mean I will never snack on a bag of Nutzels again? Um, no. (In fact, I suspect a small handful is in my immediate future…) But it does mean that I am going to read more labels and make better choices wherever possible. This is not going to be easy in a house full of picky eaters, with a chef who is essentially lazy 4 out of 7 nights of the week, but I’m thinking that if we keep at it, eventually a whole-grain lifestyle is just going to come naturally. I hope.