Exercises in futility: My adventures in dieting and, uh, exercising

I would bet that if you looked at every blog run by a woman that’s about her life you would find that 98.3% (scientifically arrived at) of them talk about the woman going on a diet at some point.

It’s my turn. Aren’t you excited?

So the downside of having a really awesome husband who shares your interests in good food, good drinks, and not moving a whole lot is that you tend to gain weight.  Unfortunately, I’ve gained a lot of weight since we got married four years ago.

Since then I’ve been on every diet ever invented: Weight Watchers, Atkins, Mediterranean, The French Don’t Diet plan, a gluten-free diet, the Paleo diet, you name it — I’ve probably tried it. I’m really bad at all of them because I completely lack self-control and I genuinely love the act of eating.  If there’s good food around — let’s face it, even mediocre food — I have to eat it or I feel deprived, like I’m missing an experience.

Even so, I was actually at least OK at keeping my weight at a not-embarrassing level (I’ve never been thin, but I wouldn’t say that I was exactly fat either) until I graduated from law school.  I think a couple of factors started coming together to really put on the pounds:

1. I began pretty much sitting at a desk all day. At least when I was a student I had a chance to walk around campus, go run errands, do stuff. Once I became a working adult that kind of went away and got relegated to weekends.  Then, because I was stressed and hated being a lawyer, I felt like my reward at the end of the week was to get to sit around and do nothing. And damn it, I was going to do nothing hard.

2. I had disposable income! In law school and college, believe it or not, I really did not drink much. I might be the only human in America that can say she actually did not drink until she was  21.

I’m really super cheap so I just didn’t feel the need to waste what little money I had on alcohol. If I was having a bad day in law school I picked up a 6 pack of beer and drank one bottle. Maybe two if I felt cah-razy (say that in Amy Farrah Fowler’s voice, it’s funnier). That 6 pack was going to last as long as I could possibly get it to — I was going to get a good return on my investment! (Because, obviously, the longer the 6 pack stayed in my refrigerator the more of a return I got on my money.)

With disposable income I felt freer to try new drinks on a more regular basis. And I discovered that, yes, I quite like alcohol.  Unfortunately, alcohol packs on the pounds.

Disposable income and my husband and my’s sheer laziness also led to eating out a lot. I can’t imagine why I gained weight, can you?

So now I’m at the point where if I don’t lose some weight I’m going to have to swallow my pride and buy a new wardrobe. I only have 3 pairs of pants and one skirt that actually fits so I and my coworkers are getting kind of tired of my attire.

(Oh man, if it worked that way I’d wear those damn grey pants everyday for a month).

The lowest weight I was ever at was my third year of law school.  I went into a deep depression and the only thing I ate was Twizzlers. For serious, for about six months I subsisted solely on Twizzlers and lost 20 lbs. I looked great but my dentist wasn’t too happy.

I can’t seem to bring myself to do that again and exercising is really a no-go. In the past four years I’ve bought an elliptical trainer and a treadmill, thinking since I’m too lazy to go to a gym, I’d exercise if it was in the house. I was a little optimistic about myself… (If anyone wants to buy an elliptical trainer or treadmill, barely used, email me!)

So now I’m back to a low carb diet.  Specifically, the diet starts with three days of no-carbs for cleansing.  I can only eat meat, meat, meat, and, oh, eggs.  And for some reason hummus and guacamole (but no vegetables, so it’s basically just me eating spoonfuls of hummus and guacamole…). Plus, I’m supposed to eat every 3 hours.  Last night I went to the refrigerator to find a meat-snack and about wept with joy when I saw the hummus and remembered I could have some.  Sweet, sweet, non-meaty non-eggy hummus.

After the first three days, the diet goes to regular low carb with an allowance for one day a week for cheating. My husband and I went to the grocery store on Sunday and left with enough meat that I’m pretty sure all the world’s vegetarians spontaneously and instantaneously burst into sobbing, wet tears without even knowing why.

I’ve now made it through the third day and… actually it’s not too bad yet. I can deal with not having sweets. I’m not really a sweets eater. But I do love me some carbs: sweet, enriched, white carbs. In fact, most days I basically subsist on bread, rice, and potatoes. I’m not looking forward to giving them up but I haven’t had any success on diets where I got to continue to eat them, so I have to relegate them to my cheat day.

I will admit, however, that I was driving back home from work today and took a route that I forgot Krispy Kreme had recently built a store on. That Hot and Now sign was on and it took every scrap of self-control I have to not turn in there. God, I love me some Krispy Kreme. If I could live solely on Krispy Kreme for 6 months and lose 20lbs I would totally be all in. (I like how this paragraph came right after I talked about not needing sweets too much. I’m a pile of contradictions, people).

And then I had a really stressful day today and I would cut your mom for a glass of wine, but I can’t have one until tomorrow.

Being without carbs will be hard, but I keep telling myself that if I have to buy a whole new wardrobe, I’d rather it be because I’m becoming Elle Woods instead of a big, fat honker moose cow.