Monday, January 20, 2014

Fat Tuesdays are Back!

The longest 2 weeks of my life have finally passed.  Actually, I'm being dramatic.  The 14 days of clean eating and drinking did not drag by as slowly as I had expected.  Now that Charming and I can once again build up our chip supply without guilt, a few questions remain.

Results?  Have you seen that commercial where the husband and wife both try to lose weight and the husband sheds pounds like magic while the wife stays the same?  I think it's an ad for a diet pill.  Or for e-harmony.  Anyway, that's pretty much what happened.  I don't have a picture to illustrate this statement (and I do not recommend googling "fat wife skinny husband" images) so here's one that doesn't relate:
Cupcake loves this picture.  "Mama!  Daddy!  Aw!  Cute!  Daddy cute!"
On the first day of the challenge, I weighed myself.  We don't own a scale (I wonder if someone would accept my iron as a trade for one?) so I weigh in at the grocery store, which necessitates the wearing of clothes and shoes.  I've debated a while, and can't come up with a good reason not to share the actual number: 129.5.  I realize, of course, that my horror of horrors number is the same as another person's dreamy of dreaminess number, but please don't hold that against me.  When I delivered Cupcake, I weighed 136.  This number is the highest I've seen when I've stood on a scale as just one person; not weighing for two.  Charming, too, had put on some weight after we got married.  You've heard of the Freshman 15?  I think there's also a Newlywed 19.  However, after running consistently for a little over a year, he had lost many of those extra pounds, and was happy(ish) with his weight.  He kept forgetting to step on a scale until the end of the 2 week challenge, so his weight loss is from when he last weighed himself in early December.  11 pounds!  I lost 2.5.  I knew I wasn't going to shed a year's worth of late-night fried food snacks and 52 Tuesdays' worth of tacos in two weeks, but I must admit, past experiences had me hoping for a bigger jump start in the direction of my goal weight.  It's just another reminder that I'm not 22, and how unforgiving women's bodies are as we age.

Process?  Charming and I both held up pretty well throughout the challenge.  No candy, no chip snacks, no* alcohol, breakfast every day, and significantly smaller portions for our meals.  Neither of us experienced any ill effects from the deprivation of our usual sugar, fat, and alcohol intake.  We both tried some of the Shakeology stuff, and reached the conclusion that it will not be a regular addition to our diet.

Lessons Learned?  The most meaningful and surprising lesson I learned was that I actually do have willpower!  Ice cream in the freezer, a huge bag full of Halloween and Christmas candy, a couple of beers, and an open bag of chips, all were left untouched by me!  I know, I do things that are difficult for some people (like run double digit miles) and it might seem obvious that I have willpower because I get up early to run or go to the gym.  However, those are activities I enjoy.  Yeah, it's difficult sometimes to crawl out of the warm, cozy bed to run in the cold, dark, morning, but I do so because I want to, not because I feel like I need to.  This diet challenge was different.  I wanted to feel healthier, lose weight, and set a good example for Rip Claw and Cupcake; I didn't want to deny myself the pleasures of candy, beer, tacos and chips.  I was quite proud to discover that I can, indeed, make difficult changes that will be beneficial in the long term.
Guiltless homemade chicken tacos with quinoa on the side.
I also learned that:

  • The absence of alcohol does not equal the absence of migraine headaches.  Boo.  
  • Eating breakfast, 2 healthy snacks, lunch and dinner does satisfy my hunger.  
  • I don't need a second helping to feel full; I need to eat more slowly and let my body do the work it is designed to do.  
  • Based on the amount of time I spent each day thinking about pizza, I think research should be performed to determine whether it is an addictive substance.  
  • It's easier to be bright eyed and bushy tailed at 5:30 a.m. if I haven't had that glass of wine the night before.  
  • Preparing healthy meals and snacks in advance and in bulk makes it much easier to make healthy choices.  
  • I don't necessarily need motivation and support from a coach or health professional.  Making the commitment is more important than following the exact plan, in my experience. 
Now what?  As you may have realized, this 2 week challenge did not produce life-, body-, or fit-of-clothes- changing results for me, but I didn't really expect that it would.  I did happen to read some articles about dieting during the challenge, and was able to confirm what I already knew: a long-term commitment to eating a healthy diet and staying active is the best bet for getting and maintaining your ideal weight.  The things that Charming and I learned during the clean eating challenge have inspired us to make some permanent changes.  We will keep eating breakfast, keep our portion sizes on the smaller side of reasonable, and stay active.  We will buy and consume fewer bags of chips each week.  We will buy and consume fewer alcoholic drinks each week.  We will close our ears to the siren call of the candy and ice cream, at least most of the time.  Perhaps most important, Taco Tuesday will be a treat, not a lifestyle.  

*Full disclosure: Charming had 3 drinks during the two weeks, I had 2.  We also ate enchiladas and apple pie at his parents' house 2 days before the challenge ended.


  1. Nice work! I love the way you write; your sense of humor & intelligence shine through:-)

  2. I love this I am going to share this with my coach team if you do not mind!

  3. Nice summary of your experience. Thanks for sharing it!