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Die at South Beach (Do No Resuscitate)

I blew it the other day. Big time.

Four slices of pizza followed by a Marble Slab coffee and caramel ice cream milk shake. Even though they tasted great when they went down and even though I only drank half the shake, several hours later, I felt thoroughly miserable. I think it was my body’s way of telling me it was time to throw in the towel on the South Beach Diet (experiment) that I’d begun several months ago.

I’ve been on the fencepost about the thing anyway since entering Phase 2 of the plan. During the first week of Phase 2, you are supposed to add 1 good starch and 1 piece of fruit each day to your diet. If you continue to lose weight and no longer have cravings for sugar, then you can slowly add more starch and fruit to your system.

I didn’t have cravings for sweets. I would drink an occasional shake (maybe twice over a four month period prior to my binge the other day) or sweet tea, but I never had this overwhelming desire to drown myself in some sort of sugary heaven (frankly, I don’t care for sweets that much anyway) or bad carb hell (aside from a handful of Doritos that evening when—oh, never mind).

The problem for me was I never continued losing weight after that first week of Phase 1 when I lost five pounds. And even now, I think the weight loss then was due more to walking five or six miles a day nearly every day that week than it was to anything having to do with the SBD.

I’d pretty much held at Phase 2 week 1 since my last post on the subject until Memorial Day weekend with zero additional weight loss. We visited relatives out of town and, even though I’d limited my food intake as much as possible to veggies, lean proteins, one starch and one fruit per day, I discovered once we got back that I’d regained the five pounds I’d lost and then some.

Talk about a revolting situation.

Since then, my attempts to track my daily food intake have been met with ever-increasing resistance (by me) and the sense of why bother? Yes, I know that such a record lets me know exactly what I’ve eaten and how much, but . . . bleh.

So I was at the bookstore a couple of weeks ago, poking around the health section, and came across The 400 Calorie Fix by Liz Vaccariello. I flipped through it, discovered that it gives much the same kind of approach as the SBD but with a caloric limitation built in as well and thought I’d pick it up (for about $5 or so, if I recall).* Now, the book is pretty. Pretty pictures of food. Pretty layout. Typical high end publisher work. One good thing it has is a table giving “real world” equivalents to measurements/portions, such as a small marble is approximately 1 teaspoon, a large marble is a tablespoon, and tennis ball is half a cup, and so on. Where this falls apart is her “hand” comparisons: supposedly a small marble is the same size as the tip of the thumb, which is 1 teaspoon, while that large marble is comparable to the thumb to the first knuckle (and 1 tablespoon). If I take out my measuring spoons and lay them aside my own hand, I find my thumb to the first knuckle to be equal to 1 teaspoon and my whole thumb is equivalent to a tablespoon (which hand part she indicates would be two tablespoons).

No wonder I’ve had so many problems with food portioning—I’m using someone else’s hand! Err, wait, that doesn’t sound right.

Oh, bother.

I’m now just not certain the SBD approach of “eat these foods (but not these), as much needed until you feel full” works. For some, it does, and I’m happy for them. For me, not so much.

Guess it’s time to hit the walking trails again. Five miles. Uphill. Both ways. In the snow. Or, today, the heat.**


*  I can really tell I’m flailing about when I support the mass consumer craze of buying health food books that regurgitate the same information over and over again. (heavy sigh)

 ** Of course, avoiding four slices of pizza followed by a milkshake might help, too.


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