Let me start off by saying that I hate the concept of dieting. Diets can be good for some people, but usually only work for as long as they are on them. What you need to sustain your weight is a lifestyle change, and those are hard.
What does that have to do with me? Well I was doing really well at this time last year. I was the skinniest I had been since high school, felt great, was starting to move down to pants sizes I barely remembered. Then I moved into Minneapolis, my social life expanded, and I fell right off the exercise bandwagon. I didn't notice it at first since I wasn't weighing myself and I thought all the walking I was doing would keep the weight off. I was wrong.
This weekend I got on the scale for the first time in quite some time, and I was appalled. I weigh almost 20 pounds more than I did when I first moved to Minneapolis. Now, part of the problem is going out way to much, part is portion control, and a good part is a lack of exercise. These are all things I am aware of and can fix if I put my mind to it.
The problem is that I want to lose those 20 pounds at an accelerated (yet safe) rate. So I'm putting myself on a diet. First of all, I'm going to bring back the no-meat pact that I made in September, only instead of no meat for an entire month, I'm going to stop eating meat during the week. This means that from noon Sunday (come on, you have to have bacon at brunch), until Friday at dinner time, I will not be eating meat. I'm going to start eating more beans, more dairy, and other alternative protein sources. Secondly, I'm going to avoid eating pasta for the entire month of February (an exception will be made for Mac N Cheese tour). This is going to be one of the toughest challenges for me. I love spaghetti, ravioli, and every other type of pasta you can think of. It's my go-to main course and I think that has to change. It just has too many carbs and I tend to eat way to much of it. Hopefully forcing myself to learn to cook alternative dinners will help me expand my cooking horizons and help me cut back on the amount of pasta I cook once February is over.
So I'm technically putting myself on a diet, but I consider it a short term solution with what I hope are long term implications. I think reducing my meat intake to 2-3 days per week will be huge, and of course broadening my cooking horizons will be a fun adventure. I intend on raiding the Minneapolis Central Library for cookbooks this weekend.
Finally, I have joined a gym, and my friend Nicky will be making me go until I start making it a habit. Of course I have been going three times per week without much effort since I joined two weeks ago. I even went to Cycle to the Movies on Saturday and biked for a hour and a half. This is the really important step because I don't want to have to limit what I eat forever, and I know that once I get myself to where I want to be again, if I keep exercising and eat a reasonable diet I can keep it there.