South Beach or bust

Recently, I wrote about whether or not women who were getting older were letting themselves go, or were victims of menopause. I opted to blame menopause. Now I feel the need to apologize, because even as I posted that piece, I knew I was kidding myself. I’ve been letting myself go. To the casual observer, I still look pretty good, but I know the truth; extra poundage has made itself at home, hanging out around my waist where it interferes with my self-esteem and zipping my jeans.

The last time I was at a crisis point with my weight I was turning forty. I needed a big change so I started at the top and cut my hair. The difference was remarkable. I loved it. And, it gave me incentive to bring the rest of me up to snuff. I’ve illustrated this for you below.

This time, almost thirteen years later, when I got my hair cut, the only person who noticed was my husband. Not the kick-start effect I was hoping for, but I persevered and dug in for my introduction to South Beach, the diet, not the vacation spot. I was a fan of Weight Watchers back in the day, but South Beach purports to help you drop eight to thirteen pounds in the first two weeks – from your stomach! How cool is that? Sadly, it turns out that this is not easy, particularly for someone like me who has frequent bouts of low blood sugar.

As you know, I am woefully under informed about all kinds of things. Remember the time I found out you can’t survive on a diet of jelly beans? In order to work the South Beach Diet I’ve had to learn a lot. For instance, did you know that everything you eat turns into sugar? (Those of us in the know call it glucose.) And your body needs glucose to survive (which may be why I was confused about the jelly bean thing, but let’s not beat a dead horse). I’ve also learned that some foods turn to sugar too quickly for the body to absorb them properly.

So what magic causes the weight loss during the first two weeks of South Beach? You’re not allowed to eat things that turn to sugar too quickly (us educated folk call them simple carbohydrates), like bread, pasta, and fruit. You know what happens when your body takes the time to squeeze glucose out of all those complex carbohydrates, like vegetables and eggs, you’re supposed to be eating? You become weak. You have to do the elliptical at less than half the usual speed. You need to rest three times while mowing the lawn when you normally zip through it without stopping. You lack the energy to move any faster than the zombies on The Walking Dead.

At the end of week one I was exhausted, but I’d lost three pounds and my jeans are easier to zip so I’m not disappointed, exactly, but I’m less optimistic that I can take off five more in week two. I committed to the two weeks though, so I’ll soldier on. If it turns out not to be the miracle diet I was hoping for, I’ll just go back to smaller portions and avoiding ice cream. Then I’ll return the swamp land I bought in Florida.


13 responses to “South Beach or bust

  1. Way to go Judy! Baby steps are the best way to lose weight, kudos for getting started.

  2. Pingback: Judy Mintz: South Beach or bust « NESCBWI Kidlit Reblogger

  3. Ted in Massachusetts

    Awesome, Judy! As I roll through my 40’s I find that the pounds go on easier and come off harder with each passing year. I’ve been blessed with decent health and decent genes, but I’m also fighting the spare tire. You’ve encouraged me to get back on the “need a belt to keep the pants up” wagon… thank you!!

  4. Hmm, nice to know a couple weeks of South Beach might take care of the weight I wouldn’t mind losing so my pants would fit better. (I HATE buying pants!) On the blood sugar note… I have reactive hypoglycemia. I’ve taken different calcium channel blockers to help prevent migraines and I find they also get rid of all those low blood sugar symptoms (which are caused by the adrenaline we secrete when we have too much insulin and not enough sugar in the blood to use). Wonder if that might be supportive for you and eliminate some of the weakness and fatigue? They’re normally prescribed to lower blood pressure. Just a thought.

    • I wish I’d talked to you before I went to the doctor for an unrelated visit. But I’ll keep that in mind for the next visit, and/or if I don’t start feeling more energetic in the next week or so.

  5. FYI, the picture of you and Hannah in matching dresses is priceless!

  6. Three lbs–good for you! Good luck with the rest of your two weeks.

  7. Three pounds lost is better than gained! I’m a South Beacher and I think it’s the best diet around. I too, have hypoglycemia and this is what works for me. I lost about 30 lbs. Unfortunately, I’ve fallen off the wagon a while back and the weight is slowly creeping back and I really have to get back to eating properly. I tried on some of my summer crop jeans from last year and they don’t fit me now. 😦
    I’ve been eating too many baked goods and chocolate over the past several weeks and I pay for it at the end of the day. I can blame menopause but who am I kidding?

    • Absolutely, losing is better than gaining. Thanks for stopping by Terri, I hope you’ll come back when I’m rambling on about something other than South Beach.

  8. Great post judy. Storage of fat is an extremely complex mechanism, and one that is deeply rooted in the history of our species. Just remember this simple fact. Muscle takes more calories to store than fat..this is like the many laws of physics…it cannot be changed. Make that work for you. Avoid fad diets…or any crazy diet for that matter. Make regular exercise a lifestyle. Avoid over exercising (the body sees this as the need to store more fat and can adjust the metabolism). Adopt a lifestyle outdoors…swim, kayak, hike on weekends, go to the gym on the off days, do it gradually. Eat the good stuff like ice cream once in a while (you will learn how much and when). Most of all enjoy life! I have never dieted. I eat what I want. I stay in shape the easy way…it’s my lifestyle…have fun!

    • How nice to hear from you! I hope you’re well. As for your advice, sounds like a personal trainer/chef/bodyguard attached to me 24/7 would do the trick!

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