Friday, June 03, 2005

20 Days of Questionable Virtue

I mentioned in the Sunny Names post that I was on Day 4 of 20 Days of Virtue, so I figured I'd better explain. It's all Joshilyn's fault. She issued a 20 Days of Virtue challenge on her blog and I, always the sucker, joined in. First you need a little background here. Yes, really, you do, so hang in there. About three years ago, I'd started walking every day and trying to be more careful about my eating habits in order to try to lose weight. Only it didn't work. For a year I did this and I lost one...count 'em...one (wasn't that quick?) lousy stinkin' pound. So I talked to my doctor, who did some blood tests and informed me that my blood sugar was all over the charts....sometimes high, sometimes low....it didn't know where the heck it was supposed to be. So she diagnosed insulin resistance (a pre-diabetic condition...sigh) and put me on some meds and told me to watch my carbs. She didn't specify what I should watch them do. Heh. I got home and did some research of my own and discovered the world of the Glycemic Index. It hasn't gotten as much press in the US as it has in some other countries, like Australia and New Zealand, but basically the GI ranks foods (the reputed-to-be-evil carbs in particular) according to how high and fast they cause your blood sugar to spike and how long it stays that way. The goal, naturally, is to eat mostly foods with low-to-moderate GI numbers and save the high-GI stuff for an occasional special treat. This made more sense to me than the "carbs are the root of all evil"-type plans, like Atkins, because with the GI plan, you're eating from all the food groups, but you are -- hopefully! -- making healthier choices from each group. So, I started doing that and continued to walk and drink a lot of water (two things I'd already been doing). And between the meds and the lower-GI eating style I gradually, over the course of about a year, lost 40 pounds. Yay me! But then I started getting a little lazy about some of my food choices and not always going for healthy if not-so-healthy was faster and easier, which...let's face it...it nearly always is. I didn't gain weight, but I stopped losing. But really, I was fine with that. I'm not thin by today's society's standards (which I find a bit ridiculous anyway!) but I felt good and was pretty happy with how I looked. Then, earlier this year, in late February/early March I went on a cruise. Those of you who have read RSR for a while will remember the cruise thing. I had a blast. I told fun stories about it, with photos, including an entire post of Vacation Shoe Self-Portraits. I also drank copious amounts of fruity booze drinks, when I normally seldom drink alcohol at all, and I ate dessert twice a day, every day. Yep. TWICE A DAY....EVERY DAY. Guess what. Surprise!....I gained weight. Ok, yeah, I walked a lot in the ports and I avoided the elevators and walked up and down flight after flight after FLIGHT of stairs every day on this big ship, but evidently when you have my metabolism, that isn't enough to counteract the effect of two desserts a day and many, many fruity booze drinks. Go figure. I must mention here that I consider this totally unfair. It's not like it's the same for everyone. I could deal with it better if EVERYONE gained weight when they did that sort of thing. But my darling spouse is 6' 4" tall and weighs less than I do and has the metabolism of a hummingbird. He could eat dessert three times a day, and take the elevator everywhere, and he'd still never gain weight. It's a good thing I love him because thinking about it makes me kind of want to jab him in the stomach with a fondue fork, just a teensy little bit. So I mostly try not to think about it. "Not thinking about it" is something I happen to be very good at. My middle name is Denial. Deborah AnDenialn Richardson...that's me. So I managed to put the fact that the scale made a post-cruise jump of about 8 pounds out of my mind easier than you might think. Eight pounds? That's nuttin', I thought. No one's gonna notice 8 measly little pounds. It's not like it's TEN pounds. And meanwhile my previously-improved eating habits continued their downward spiral. And the scale crept upward another couple of pounds. Which I ignored. Lalalalalaaaaaa....... Then last weekend I went to put on a pair of pants that fit perfectly immediately pre-cruise and oh my. I could still get into them but it was SO Not Pretty. They were obscenely snug in the glutious butticus region. I felt a twinge of awareness at that point, like maybe...just maybe I should be taking some action. So I did. I changed to bigger pants and shoved the offensive ones into the back of the closet and ate a bite-sized Reese's Cup. Ahem. Then....THEN....a day or two later I made my daily visit to Joshilyn's blog and what do I find? I find Joss talking about coming back from a book signing tour to find her pants feeling a wee bit snug in the assets. Furthermore, I find her not ignoring this fact, but actually planning to Take Action, in the form of making a concentrated effort to improve her habits in the next three weeks...a plan she refers to as "20 Days of Virtue". And then....Then....THEN!...I see that it's not enough for her to get healthier and thinner her very own self. Noooooo...she has to challenge the rest of us to join her. Talk about a Denial BuzzKill! What a bitch. I mean that in the nicest possible way, of course. Sigh. But really, I'm not stupid. As much as I love food (gawd, do I love food!!!) I also really, really loved feeling healthier and fitting into smaller new clothes. And I don't want to lose that. You don't have to hit me over the head with a brick more than a half-dozen times or so before I say "Hey, is that hail? Should I go inside now?" Or something like that. So I signed the pledge. I'm still walking every day. I'm still drinking lots of water. I never stopped either of those things. But starting 3 1/2 days ago, I also started making a concentrated effort to re-think my food choices and get away from the white bread, white 'taters, and white refined sugar that had made their way so prominently back into my world. It's all about COLOR in the food of DebWorld, just like in my quilts! I'm filling my plate with Green and Red and Orange and Yellow stuff! I'm pretending I don't know there's a bag of bite-sized Reese's Cups in the pantry. (Denial, remember?) I can't say I won't slip and it's certainly way too soon to try on the too-tight pants again yet, but so far I'm hanging in there and I'm feeling pretty virtuous. I have to admit it isn't a bad feeling.

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