Today I started two weeks’ worth of “The New Adkins Diet.” While I have tried many times over the last 45 years to control my weight, this is one of the first times I have ever ascribed to a diet that has a first name.
FACT: My usual eating habits are killing me. The older I get, the less able I am to jump-start my sluggish metabolism. That is especially true given that carbs are the main staple of my daily eating routine. Yes, I cook with EVOO rather than a more fattening oil or butter, yes I eat lots of salads, salmon and beta-carotene rich veggies like onions and red and green peppers and yes, I love the mediterranean foods high in complex carbs like bulghar wheat and lentils that Mom cooked to perfection.
But too often, those good-for-me Mediterranean ingredients are coupled with mounds of pasta, or sit atop crusty brick oven pizza and washed down with too many glasses of wine. And, more often than not, eaten too late in the day or evening to do anything but turn immediately into excess weight around my midsection.
I don’t know if Adkins is the answer. Several years ago, nursing a broken heart, I dropped 60 pounds quickly because I was too distraught to have any interest in food, even comfort food. I spent my work lunch-hours stiff-marching myself around DC, alone or with Dorf or another office buddy, talking out my frustrations and pain, and eating only a cup of frozen custard for lunch. Candy bar late in the afternoon. Cheese and crackers for dinner. Day after day. Night after night. And nothing much after 8pm. The weight fell from my 200 lb+ frame. I discovered my chin and my waist again. I went from a size 20 to a size 12.
At first I was still so locked in my emotional pain that I didnt notice the pounds dropping around me like discarded clothes. One day, a coworker caught me in the ladies’ room and asked if I were sick. I didnt know what she was talking about at first. She said, “well, you’ve lost so much weight this summer, I was just wondering if you are ok.” I took a hard look in the full-length mirror in the ladies’ room and saw the Mary I was in college staring back at me, and I laughed as I turned to her and said, “Do I look sick???”
I want to see if I can find that Mary again. I know she is now 60 and not 44. But I know she is in here and she is aching to come out.
So, Adkins for two weeks will be an experiment in determining if carbs really are toxic for me in the quantities and varieties I have been consuming them. It will also be informative to see how alcohol changes the weight equation for me, since Adkins eliminates all alcoholic beverages from my daily routine.
I don’t really have a goal for this two week period other than to see what changes occur. The book swears that the more weight one has to lose, the greater the initial weight loss can be. If I see NO CHANGE at the end of the two-week period (known as INDUCTION in Adkins-speak), I’ll have to decide whether to stick with it for another two weeks or try something different. I selected this diet, low in carbs and high in protein, because it suggested early success. Regardless of the early results, I will take pride in recognizing that things must change and taking this first baby step to make it happen.