Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring Diet

It's the first day of Spring and I'm having my students tell ghost stories. No correlation other than the fact that when I laid out my semester schedule in the fall this was Halloween week. Turns out that this "filler" activity was great for discussing our "movie summary" writing style -- that is heightened storytelling and suspension of disbelief.

I'm also on a diet. Blech.

The weather around here is getting warmer. Thoughts like do I need a coat or just a jacket? are crossing my mind. Getting warmer means that I can't keep counting on having a slightly baggy, comfy layer that I wrap around my midsection to hide the fact that much of my clothing is tighter than I would like it to be. So I will need to either buy a whole new summer wardrobe or I will need to lose a minimum of 15 lbs. before things get warmer. Thus the diet. Which could be thought of as more of an economical move than a vanity one.

Last fall my friend clued me in to something called the "Sacred Heart Medical diet." It's something (allegedly) invented by a hospital for patients that were too heavy to have necessary surgeries. The idea is that you fill yourself up on healthy stuff. You make this soup of green beans, carrots, celery, green peppers, onions and beef broth and chicken bouillon (and because I'm me, a healthy dose of garlic and Mrs. Dash) and you eat it for a week in addition to a rotating schedule of "sides n stuff." Sides n stuff meaning fruit and vegetables and skim milk for the first few days then some veggies and red meat ... then something about bananas.

I read all the articles about it, the good, bad and ugly. Basically it's all stuff I've heard before: Not good for you to do long term, not balanced, effects diminish when you return to your normal style of eating ... Well, duh, people.

Some of us need a jump start to get off the junk food. The best thing this diet can do for me is restructure what I crave. Right now I'm craving box macaroni and cheese. Mmmm, where is that blue box of powdered goodness? Friday I wanted chips and beer -- at least that craving is gone! I've traded it for a piece of garlic toast or even a plain dinner roll.

O, joyous simple white carbs! How I lust after thee!

Instead I'm eating salad. Lots and lots of salad. Vegtable salad, milk and fresh fruit.

O, bread! O, pita! O, thing wrapped in philo dough!

The good news is that -- despite my carb cravings -- my cravings/desires for things like cheesy curls, french fries or other fatty tasting foods is pretty much non-existent.

I've gone through this process of altering food desires several times already. Life gets much easier once I've been eating good, real, natural food for a while. At that point, it's easy to be "good" and not "cheat" when you're not interested in tasting pizza, or fried shrimp or even having that casual beer.

So today is day three. How's it going?: I cheated on day two with an Arby's sandwich.

Which is better than when I've tried this before and cheated on day one and day two and gave up by day three. So for this diet, it's a personal best.

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