Tag Archives: atkins

Diet Diaries Part 1 : Atkins

30 Sep

Suzanne’s Perspective

Let me start this post with a disclaimer.  I am doing my best to blog honestly.  I do not believe it is helpful to anyone for me to self edit through this process.  I do rant, I do get revolted with myself and I am not always a paragon of virtue, goodness and light.  Please read this blog as being personal to me and my journey.  I am not calling you, or anyone else any of the names I occasionally call myself.  I ask any reader to please not project, or feel persecuted by my rants.  The alternative to posting honestly is to bottle up and lie, and I am not going to do that.  Please deal.  Thanks in anticipation.

One week ago :

It is spring, and I find myself a size 34, instead of a 32 or a 30.  I have these great boobs at the moment, but after that, there is not much to recommend it.  My face is plain and moonish, the tops of my thighs rounded and lumpy and I have a little pasty paunch.  I am as close to chubby as I ever allow myself to get.  Size 36 would be unforgivable –  I would commit myself to the fat farm if it came to that, but this is close.. too darn close to being completely revolting and out of control.

I succeed at healthy eating, most of the time, but for the last couple of weeks I have not, and on top of the 3kgs I was carrying from earlier in winter, this has been enough to deliver me to my present circumstances.  You won’t hear any excuses from me.  There is nothing wrong with my metabolism.  I am not big boned.  I did not eat hardly anything and then just glanced at a pizza and gained weight.  I am the only one who raised my greedy paw to my mouth and who tucked into second helpings of pasta.  Me alone, my hand unguided by any malevolent chubby fairy.

I will also spare you all the boo-the-hoo-hoo’s about how I have been stressed and under pressure in various areas of my life, as well as occasionally lonely and housebound in the cold and miserable weather of previous months.

If chocolate is a friend, who needs enemies, right?

The pic from two weeks ago which tipped the scales : don't you want me baby? (in my defence, that was actually my first drink at a Fancy Dress party, and it was a dark garden, suddenly lit up by the flash of the camera, which revealed the true horror which is me)

I have rationalized to myself, how the 6kg’s  I need to lose presents me with a perfect opportunity to trial a couple of diets, and allow you, the audience, to suffer through them with me.  So here it goes.  You will get only honesty from me, so if you are not sure you are going to like it, stop reading now.

Perhaps I should have said that a few paragraphs ago?  (Don’t worry past week ago self, your future self added a helpful disclaimer, but you should still expect a little hate mail)

The Atkins Diet.

I am looking for fast results, and I don’t mind a bit of sacrifice.  Truth be told.. I NEED  a bit of sacrifice.

In case you have been locked in a trunk for the past 40 years, The Atkins diet is a high protein, low (as in NO) carb plan.  You are allowed to eat large quantities of meat, eggs and cheese and not much else.

I have had a run in with the Atkins Diet before and it worked out rather nicely for me.  I have never been able to sustain it for more than three weeks, and I am interested to see how I fair this time (ie. I am ready to do it again, because I have forgotten how nasty it is).

I start by emptying my fridge of all offending, forbidden items.  Out goes the low fat yoghurt I eat for breakfast.  Into the freezer go the bananas and strawberries I still have a stock of.  I leave the milk behind, as I will still need it for guests.  The cream also stays because I am allowed to use it as a milk substitute in coffee.

yup. there is is.

There wasn’t much else in my fridge, so I head for the shops.  I soon realize this is going to be an expensive little experiment as I fill my basket with bacon, steaks, full fat cheddar, pork chops, chicken breasts and Avo’s.  I spend R500 without even trying, and it’s probably not enough to last me more than three or four days.  I feel a little resentful.

I take my measurements on the first day as I don’t have a scale (which is why I judge myself based on clothing size not on weight).

I decide to refresh my memory about anything else I need to know about the pros and cons of the diet and hit the interwebs.  I am soon confronted with some sobering news.  No alcohol.

I thought I had remembered being allowed vodka and Coke Zero (which has been my staple for years), but apparently not.  I ponder how I am going to survive my date the same evening.  We had planned to “go for drinks”.  I mean it’s not like I am an alchie or anything, but I do have one or  two vodkas about twice a week on dates, and when I meet friends.

Alright then, I will suggest we meet for coffee instead.  Perfectly reasonable, and most places serve cappuccinos with real cream if you ask for it.  I read further.  No caffeine.  Ok.. now that is going to be more of a problem.   “I didn’t sign up for this!”  I wail.

I keep reading.  “You can expect to experience withdrawal symptoms from caffeine if you are a regular coffee drinker, such as headaches and listlessness”.  No kidding.  I feel the immediate onset of a migraine.

Oh, but heres the kicker.  “No Aspartame.  Please choose a soda which does not contain aspartame”.  Well, I never realized this before now, but no such diet drink exists on the South African market (that I can find).  Which means I will have to sip water on my date as coffee and Coke Zero are forbidden.

I have eaten steak and chicken all day, but I decide before leaving the house that the options presented are just too humiliating for me and I allocate myself 2 x Coke Zeros WITH vodka for the evening.

First day diet fail.

I wake up feeling ashamed of myself the next day and decide to not leave the house for the duration of the diet, unless strictly necessary, as there is nothing I am allowed to consume at any restaurant or coffee house.  It was going to be a little easier as for the first 6 days of my diet I would be working from home, and only on the last day did I have a working day which took place outside of the home.  I would barricade myself in, with just bacon and steak for company.  So be it.  Great sacrifices and all that.

I took six aspirins on the second day to combat my caffeine withdrawal, which was severe.  I also noticed I had not been to the toilet.  Hit the net again and found “severe constipation” was to be expected, and combated by adding some husks or other to your food and drinking lots of water.  Yay.

The days pass and I am sticking to Atkins like a crazed zealot.  I have to wash my frying pan four times a day.  Everything is dripping with fat and I pretend it does not repulse me.  My drain blocks from all the fat getting washed down it from pan cleaning on day three and I have a sharp vision of the same gunky glue trying to work its way through my system.

I finally pass one small dry parcel on day four.

I am not sure if I am losing weight or not. I check myself out in the mirror each morning, waiting to see some sort of change (Atkins promises weight loss of between 2 and 5kg in the first two weeks).  My paunch seems bigger, probably because every pork chop and avo topped chicken breast is still churning within it.

Speaking of churning, my stomach is constantly groaning and mubbling like a cement mixer while I am on this diet.  It keeps me awake some nights.

Because it inspires me to remember why I am doing this, I sit around naked a lot while working, to not allow myself to forget about my belly and lumpy thighs.

I may be acting like a crazy person.

would you like a creamy de-caf coffee with your flesh madam?

I am exhausted.  I don’t manage to get through a single day without a nap, and I haven’t found time to exercise this week, which is not like me.

Everything on my plate is brown or yellow and equal parts crispy/greasy.  I am allowed a few handfuls of all the boring vegetables per day, which offer nothing in compensation.

On night four I dream of feasting on chocolate, fruit and cakes, and when I wake for a panicked moment I am not sure if I have or not.

Night five presents another challenge.  I have to leave the house.  It is my “Rumble in Pub” debating night, and I never miss it.  What to do about the beverage situation??? What to do???  I turn back to the net to try to find out why caffeine is the devil on this diet as I remember it never used to be in Dr Atkins first edition.  Apparently new discoveries show caffeine (and the dreaded aspartame) cause carb cravings.  Deciding I couldn’t possibly crave carbs any more than I am already, I make the decision to have three fully loaded cappuccinos at the pub.  They are DELICIOUS and as punishment I get about 3 minutes of sleep that night.

I have spent many hours this week scratching flesh out my teeth.  When you eat this much protein you realize how sinewy and stringy it actually is.  Even a well cooked steak or chicken breast is as easy to chew as a ball of string.  My gums are sore.  My breath stinks.

On day six I ponder how stupid I have been feeling all week.  I feel mildly brain damaged and can’t wrap my head around any of my daily chores or assignments.  I have procrastinated all important tasks, and even this blog, written on the last day of the week is a massive slog which I am plonking out with red eyes, my fingers feeling as heavy as lead on the keyboard.

Is there anything I have enjoyed about this diet? *stares blankly for 20 minutes into the middle distance*

I haven’t once had “that shaky feeling” which I get when I go too long between meals or eat too much sugar or carbs.  Atkins claims to balance your blood sugar levels, and maybe there is something in it.  But before I give them too much credit I was following their guideline of not going more than six waking hours between meals, which may have made the real difference, as I have been guilty in the past of going entire days without eating anything more than one large evening meal.

There have been a few moments where I feel manically energetic and my heart races, so its not entirely true to say I have been tired ALL the time.

One week on Atkins is enough for me, I suspect, and tonight I will take my measurements to determine if my pain and suffering to date has yielded any sort of result.

Don’t worry, I will post them, and we can all compare and stuff.  I would never deprive you of that.

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