Thursday, March 19, 2009

Lenten Fast update

As someone who hasn’t really done much dieting,(zero self control, food obsessive), I’m amazed at how quickly weight loss can gain momentum if you really apply yourself to the business. For the first three weeks of my Lenten Fast the needle on the ancient scales in our bathroom didn’t shift from a steady 145lbs. But I continued to eat elephantine mounds of tofu, fruit & vegetables, restrict carbs to oats and a scant tablespoon of rice here & there, drink no alcohol and resist take out.

Then in desperation two days ago I tried on a pair of rejected skinny jeans when I couldn’t find anything I disliked enough to wear to clean out my storage container. And they fit. As did the other two pairs of trousers I had stashed away in February when they wouldn’t do up around my waist. And then I got back on the scales of horror to discover I had lost five pounds, seemingly overnight.

My increasingly frequent bouts of dull work-related insomnia have helped: when you don’t fall asleep until 5am you end up missing breakfast and moving straight on to lunch, which consequently becomes a much lighter meal. I’ve been boringly rigid about having no bread, muffins or waffles in the freezer for snacks, so my butter habit’s almost disappeared. I’ve drunk no juice or sodas, only pints of iced water & a few espressos. On the few occasions I’ve been out & about and needed energy I’ve chugged a Diet Coke (much against my instincts – all those hideous chemicals).

I also haven’t been socializing so my greatest vice, eating my way through restaurant menus, hasn’t been in play. So my portion sizes have become smaller, and I’ve found myself satisfied with increasingly small quantities. But I’m not up for complete deprivation: my omelettes are still fried in butter, my soups often coconut milk bases and, because I am generally eating less anyway, the odd burger, cookie or cinnamon roll is still within my daily calorie limit which, even though I eat vast platefuls of food, I rarely reach.

And I’ve discovered that once you get the weight loss ball rolling you enter a healthy zone, where the odd hunger pang between meals is ignored, rather than being a snack signal, and where it’s much more rewarding to resist eating the rubbish that would help to pile the pounds back on again.

I don’t know who’s happier right now: me or my greengrocer who has taken to slipping his best customer free pieces of fruit in recognition of the $25 dollars & upwards I spend at his market stall. (Believe me, that’s practically my body weight in broccoli.)