Trying to get back in shape….

Getting healthy v’s getting skinny

Why does everyone have an opinion of everyone else diet choices?

I love my new job. I work with a great team. We’re a small group, only six of us. We joking call ourselves JOIC Team Six, since we’re a military unit, deployed to the border. Unfortunately, we’re all desk jockeys. We don’t get to see any real action. We sit behind a desk all day, working intel, making powerpoint presentations and watching cameras.

When I first got here, they said we participated in mandatory PT, mainly because they also ate breakfast tacos everyday and had lots of BBQ’s. Nobody has ever actually enforced the PT rule, and apparently everyone here has gained at least 15 lbs in the first 3 months. I’ve not been here for 7 months, and I haven’t gained 15 lbs, but before I came down here I thought I’d be using my spare time to work out everyday, and had planned to go home looking smoking hot like Jessica Biel. This hasn’t happened either…..

My weight fluctuates about 5 lbs on a weekly basis. Matt says he can tell when I’ve been eating well and actually doing some exercise. My biggest downfall is I’ll eat really healthy and then I go home to San Antonio for a weekend or my 4 day, and I eat crap and don’t exercise at all. So then I spent time looking for an eating plan I could live on while I was here that wouldn’t be too hard to make Matt eat when I went home. Even worse than the weight fluctuation was I was getting headaches from the food changes. We did some research, and we’ve worked out it was because I was going between high sugar and carb intake to low sugar. I also worked out that I really don’t like the feelings I get from sugars and carbs. So after some research, Matt showed me a ketonic diet and how people would get headaches going on and off. It’s also what people get when on Atkins Induction, or whats referred to as Induction Flu. After looking at various eating plans, like low calorie, which leaves me constantly hungry and wanting to snack on crap, or low sugar, or eating how I used to eat, which was pretty much pescatarian, I decided to try something new. Matt loves his meat. I couldn’t go home on weekends and make him be a vegetarian. I didn’t want to be constantly hungry or having headaches. So I decided to kick start some fat loss with a ketonic diet, and I found the Atkins Induction plan to be fairly easy to do. The website actually had a full 2 week eating plan, with recipes and everything. Best of all, when I go home, I can stick to the plan, and Matt will eat it. I did go nuts last weekend home though. It was the Italian Society’s Spaghetti Dinner, and all money raised goes to the kids of slain police officers, so I happily lapped up some carby goodness.

I chose to do Atkins because it was the easiest. They have a free website, they have recipes that are super easy and require minimal fuss. They have snacks and shakes for when I just want something small or don’t feel like cooking. Even better, since starting on it, I feel great. I don’t get headaches, I don’t get that carb coma of needing a nap after lunch. When I bring more food to work the boys love it because it’s steak and salad. I never feel super hungry anymore, except for when I cheat and eat sugar or pastry. But anytime I mention I’m eating low carb or trying Atkins, people just freak the fuck out. Never mind I feel great. Never mind I’ve already had people telling me that I look great and I’m losing weight. As soon as you say low car, low sugar, whether it’s Atkins, Paleo, Caveman or any other low carb diet, people start going on about how you can’t just cut out an entire food group. Well, actually, I can. It’s not so much about cutting out sugar and bread. It’s about cutting out the crap that has been loaded into pre-processed foods. I’ve always been fanatical about reading labels on food. Have you read an ingredient list on simple things like bread? In the US, it’s has a list 50 ingredients long, with crap like high fructose corn syrup, and a bunch of things that I can’t pronounce. My philosophy is that if you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t eat it. I’ve also stopped drinking soda. Well, I take that back. If I can get a Bundaberg Ginger Beer, I indulge. I’ve had a Mexican Coke, cause it’s got real sugar in it. But they’re very occasional things. I do like bubbly drinks, so I’ve starting keeping a supply of Perrier or San Pellegrino around. I get the fizz, and still feel good 20 minutes later.  I’ve started cooking again. I used to love to cook. I used to be an actual cook in a restaurant. Somewhere, I forgot how much I enjoyed cooking. Now I cook everymeal from scratch again. No buying frozen meals or eating at fast food. I make clean healthy food, and it’s delicious. In fact, it’s so good, one of the other guys at work pays me to bring him food every day.

I don’t know why people think Atkins in unlimited steak, bacon and eggs. I eat green leafy salads, lots of veggies, and have a small portion of lean meat, like filet mignon or pan seared fish. I’ll make avocado and shrimp salad or roast chicken. I’m not really a bacon fan, but I’ll make it in small portions. I do enjoy eggs for breakfast, and they’re way more filling than cereal. I cook them in coconut oil, and they’re so light and fluffy. Actually, I cook just about everything in coconut oil. It doesn’t burn like Olive oil.

So far it’s working pretty well for me. I cheat a lot, like today I made Beef Wellington with green peas. It was delicious. I’m thinking of giving up on the restrictive Induction phase and moving to the next one. I really don’t have that much to lose, only about 10 lbs, but it’s all in my belly. The rest of me looks just fine. It actually doesn’t even bother me that much, except I don’t look super cute in a bikini, but since I’m not an actress getting papped at the beach, I really don’t care. The only real reason I’m trying to get rid of it is because it’s the most unhealthy place to have fat.

I turned 35 this year. Next year I’ll be 36, the same age my dad was when he died of a heart attack. I have naturally high cholesterol, which the doc and I worked out I could manage without taking prescription drugs. But now I figure I should get off my lazy ass and try to actually get healthy again. Not for looks, but for my life. I don’t need to be 100 lbs again. I don’t need to fit into a size 0 jeans. I just need to get rid of the belly fat (and hopefully I won’t lose my boobs or butt). I no longer feel the need to look like a Hollywood actress, but I also don’t want to look like a fat Texan. I think that’s attainable. I think it’s a realistic goal.

I just wish people would stop telling me that what I’ve chosen to do, which is actually working for me, was wrong.