Author: JC Gardner
Title: Now ladies, don’t let the word diet be your enemy.
One of the most detested four-letter words in a woman’s world is DIET. The mere thought of it makes us uncomfortable and even depressed. In my youth, I was nicknamed, “string bean,” for being tall and thin. I could eat whatever I wanted and not gain a pound. Of course, right outside my front door was the best gym a person could have -- double-dutch, hopscotch, freeze tag, handball, kickball, and roller skating, just to name a few of the regular activities on my list. I walked to a lot of places, including school, the park and the store. My bike was another regular activity. I took dancing lessons and remained active until I got married and had kids. Then the weight started to stick like an unwanted houseguest. I tried to kick it out and it claimed “squatter’s rights.” I tried buying clothes a size too small as motivation but that only ended up with Goodwill becoming a happy beneficiary.
About ten years ago, totally unhappy with my look and also determined to be a future sexy senior citizen, one of my colleagues told me about low carbs. I didn’t know what that was. She explained she was doing the Atkins diet – all the meat and vegetables you can eat, but no pasta, no bread, no cake, and only select fruits. Humph!
I was intrigued by this diet. So if I eat sausage, bacon and eggs every day for breakfast, with chicken and collard greens for lunch and fish, cabbage for dinner, I’ll lose weight? If I have a taco salad (with sour cream and guacamole), with chicken wings and a diet coke, that works too? How about half a rotisserie chicken with creamed spinach and kale?
I didn’t believe it, so I decided to give it try. How hard could it be to not eat carbs for one week? Well it was crazy hard, but I did it for two weeks and lost 8 pounds. Another two weeks later, I lost another 5 pounds and then I was in a zone. In four months, I lost 35 pounds. My co-workers told me to stop dieting – that I looked great and was getting too thin. Woohoo, right?
I kept it off for a year and then I had a breakdown. My mama’s homemade potato rolls started calling my name. That warm brownie sundae with wet nuts invaded my thoughts. Rice or potatoes with pan gravy were in my dreams. Cornbread stuffing, sweet potato casserole, carrot cake, and a host of my favorites were just too hard to resist. I would take a spoonful; then a half cup, then two servings, and next thing you know, BAM, string bean was now a snow pea – all puffed out but in the wrong places!
I’m on the tall side, so any weight gain tends to distribute itself pretty evenly, but you know when you are alone and the clothes come off, the mirror tells no lies. And that skirt that used to fit oh so nice? Now the button and the button hole have a nice valley between them and the two shall never meet.
Two years ago, once again, I decided my quest of eventually being a sexy senior was getting off course. I love to cook and I love to eat, but as women, when we age, our metabolism changes and slows down. Also, our midsection is even more prone to expansion. I needed to do something!
I discovered Zumba. Zumba is a high-energy, Latin-afro Caribbean, dance exercise program. If you have the right teacher, you will burn hundreds of calories. It is the most fun I have ever had working out. But that has only been part of my strategy. At my age, I had to change what I ate.
I loathe counting calories. I despise it. It is the bane of my existence. The thought of measuring out my food is equivalent to being in prison. This is why certain fitness programs are not for me. And buying pre-made expensive food and having it delivered to my door is simply not realistic for the long haul.
Recently, I made yet another discovery called, “My Fitness Pal,” a FREE app that is also a web-based program that counts the calories for you. The counting part goes against everything in my nature, yet I love it because the program kind of reminds me of a video game and I like playing it. You control what you eat and how much you eat. There are literally no restrictions but there is a measuring aspect to it. You dictate how much you want to lose – no one telling you what your goal weight should be. Lose at your own pace. Workout if you want to or don’t. The food database is enormous. If you have a smart phone, you can scan almost any product and it will automatically upload the item along with all of the nutritional information. Finally, something I can make work!
Now ladies, don’t let the word diet be your enemy. If you anagram the word diet, one of the words it creates is EDIT. Dieting is a way to edit your life and improve your appearance. Is it hard? Heck yeah! Does it take commitment? Yes indeed, but what doesn’t? You have to start somewhere. There are so many weight loss options out here today. Maybe low carbs is your thing, or the prepackaged meals works best for you. You only get one life to live on this earth and if you don’t take care of your temple, no one else will.
Are you ready to make some changes in your life? Join me in my quest to be a sexy senior citizen. Start your journey today. Need some motivation? Hit me up: firstname.lastname@example.org.