Like most of America, judging by the morning television programs, I have decided to kick off the new year by going on a diet.  I am also, as always, resolving to pray more, write more, exercise more and read more, but the diet thing is new for me. Through absolutely no fault or virtue of my own, one of the blessings of my particular bag of genetic goodies WAS a tendency to stay thin fairly easily.  Instead of issues with my weight, I was blessed with a tendency towards headaches and stomach problems, premature graying and a HUGE mouth that frequently gets me in trouble.  Hey, we all have our thing, right?  Anyway, I apologize to my friends who have struggled with weight issues all their lives.  I don’t mean to make light of it, I know it is a tremendous burden for many people.  For me, it’s just one more “special” part of being in my 40’s.

Anyway, here we are in 2009 and I am on my first diet.  For those of you who are being judgmental about my need to lose any weight, here is my reasoning: we all need to learn to eat healthier, 10 (ok, maybe 15)extra pounds this year turns into 20 pounds next year, and my fabulous, expensive skinny jeans look ridiculous on me right now.   My clothes don’t fit and I am tired of it.  While Spanx are a lifesaver, you can really only go so far with power undergarments.  I have been exercising faithfully for a couple of years, but apparently I am also going to have to eat differently now as well.  Luckily, I pigged out and ballooned up so much over Christmas that I ought to see immediate results from a return to any semblance of normal eating.

SO, three of my girlfriends and I are jumping on the bandwagon of the latest fad diet, the Flat Belly Diet   We have books, websites, flax seed oil and Sassy Water.  More than that, we have each other and, except for the fact that we are all starving to death, we are having a blast!  Numerous emails and phone calls a day, we have successfully survived 2 WHOLE DAYS together!  Do I look skinnier yet?  My daughters think we need hand signals or a secret handshake or something for our little club.

Here is what I have learned so far;

  • I do a lot of unconscious eating.  It has been amazing to see the number of times a day that I have an impulse to grab a handful of something and put it in my mouth…whether I am hungry or not.  Because I am now choosing NOT to act on that impulse, I am acutely aware of it for the first time.
  • I am reminded of how important it is to have others to encourage you and hold you accountable when you are trying to make a change in your life.  Someone who is NOT your husband.  This is a job for girlfriends.  Girlfriends who will talk to you numerous times a day about eating unsalted sunflower seeds AND shop with you for new fabulous skinny jeans when you reach your goal.  By the way, the sunflower seeds are better mixed into applesauce.
  • Any diet, system, plan is only good because it gives structure to what you are trying to do.  There are no magic bullets or quick fixes.  Just like I get more out of my bible study time when I am doing a formal study with other people, using a formal diet is a way to be intentional and focused about the way I eat.  While this diet has many claims, I’m sure the success is found when people eat less and exercise more…just the way it has always worked.
  • We all agree that fruit smoothies are MUCH better with ice cream in them.

But then again, I could be wrong about all of it because I am really hungry and probably not thinking clearly!  🙂  Except for the last thing, I am DEFINITELY right about that!