Part 1 of the Weighty Story <-----click there!
Part 2 of the Weighty Story <-----click there!
So where was I? Oh yes, graduating from college.
About a month after graduating college I dove deep into the real world and what I mean by that is that in that one month I somehow managed to attend 364 (approximate estimate) dentist appointments, my own wedding and my first day at my first full time job. Life changed once again beyond recognition. But my food habits stayed the same as in college. I did not cook except for the odd weekend meal that took me 5 times longer than the recipe books indicated and the taste was not even once as promised (apparently, and I learned this the hard way, you are supposed to follow recipes exactly:) Lunch in my cubicle in front of the computer became a part of my routine. The longest walk I had that summer was from the car to the entrance of the mall. As you can imagine I started gaining weight. And then I restricted my food intake to lose weight. And then I would gain the weight back. Oh, I cannot even count the times I vowed to myself (usually on Sunday evening after a Chinese take away meal and some ice cream) that from Monday morning I am on a diet, I will clean up my act, detox, eat healthy and start exercising. Some Mondays I even followed through. I even repeated my stellar performance on some Tuesdays. But by Wednesday I was back to my usual comfort foods. I even once bet my sister that in the next 6 months I will lose 15 kgs...guess what, I lost that bet!
This period lasted 4 years and by early 2010 I was 10 kgs heavier than highschool.
At this stage I was already the proud owner of a large collection of diet books. I had also become an expert (yeah, right!) on healthy food. I signed up for the most expensive gym near my work and started going regularly (it was too bloody expensive not to go!) I started eating better and only indulging in sweets and pizza on the weekend. Yet, my weight did not budge. I cannot even describe how frustrating it is to consciously watch what you eat, put in the effort to run and yet not see ANY results. I felt once again like a victim (Gee, since starting this blog I have realized I have enormous difficulty taking responsibility:). I complained...often.
Then one day Bugi got really annoyed with my constant moaning and told me to stop eating my beloved Summer Porridge from Crush for breakfast every day. I got very upset - how dare he blame my tasty creamy sweet porridge - didn't he know this was a healthy low calorie breakfast? But he got me thinking and I decided to check the Crush website for the nutritional information. Turned out my beloved breakfast was 602 kcal! Every morning before 9 am I had already consumed 600 kcal. Now, to be honest there is nothing wrong with a 600 kcal breakfast. I actually now eat about 400 - 500 kcal each morning and I still managed to lose 10 kgs. The issue was that I didn't know the Summer Porridge was 600 kcal ... I thought it was something closer to 200 kcal and so I made sure to eat more calorie dense foods for the rest of the day, you know since my breakfast was so low cal:) This was a big revelation for me and of course explained why my weight had not dropped. To be honest, I must have been exercising a lot not to gain weight given the size of my breakfast and how much I was eating throughout the day to make up the calories I "saved" in the morning.
Shortly after this great discovery I decided to try the Dukan diet. For those of you who are not familiar, the first phase of the diet is really all about protein, read eggs and meat. I had tried it before but this time I decided to actually follow it for at least a week after having another frank discussion with Bugi (yes, he is my therapist and dietician apparently!) about the importance of not only reading diet books but also actually following them (that man is smart, I tell you!). Again, what did he know about dieting but I wanted to prove to him that the problem wasn't me not following the diet correctly but rather my body's stubborn resistance to lose weight no matter what I did.
So I started. The first day was tough. By the second day I could not even look at another steak. But on the third day I woke up and discovered that I had lost 1 kg. So I stuck with it. I did 4 days in total only on protein and then ate a clean low fat diet for the next three days. By the end of the first week I was 2 kgs down. Then I did the same the following week. By the end of the third week I had lost 4 kgs, my clothes were fitting better and I was motivated. Only problem was by that time I had started to hate eggs and meat. So I changed it up a little bit. Started watching what I eat. Added vegetables. Avoided sweets, stopped eating ice cream (all the while repeating to myself that this separation was temporary!) I stopped losing weight as quickly but I was also eating a diverse and healthy diet so I could keep it up for longer. I was also amazed that I had managed to keep the lost 4-5kgs off for a couple of months! In the month of December 2010 I decided to go vegan until Christmas. I am not super religious but I am super superstitious (the repetition of super is intended - I am that superstitious) and I had something important in my life that had to turn out alright back in the winter of 2010. So I thought, why don't I go vegan for lent - this way I will appease Zeus, this thing will work out and I will hopefully lose a bit more weight.
(Side note: I had gone vegan for lent once in my life before - for Easter 2002. Back then I was applying to colleges and I had applied to Harvard in their early action cycle - i.e. ahead of the regular application period. The response was due before Christmas 2001 and I was determined to do everything required to ensure that I got accepted into Harvard. So I did the necessary - I vowed that if they accept me or defer my application (i.e. a response that says you are the smartest most beautiful girl in the world but we ran out of spaces in the early cycle so we will place you on top of the application file in the regular cycle...ahem, I might be paraphrasing) I would dye my hair white/blonde. And guess what, they deferred me....bastards! I had to live with that bleached hair for the next year! Once again, I was determined to give this application my all so when I figured that Harvard's response was due right after Easter, I decided to go vegan and multiply my chances of getting in. Seriously - rational thinking is something I did not pick up in my teenage years...Oh and just to be clear I did not get into Harvard:)
From Dukan to vegan is a bit of a change as you can imagine. I was determined not to gain any of the weight so I opted out of eating any bread, pasta or potatoes and instead started experimenting with Japanese cooking. Or something like that...to be honest I had no clue what I was doing but I did eat a lot of salads and soups:)
Christmas Eve, I cried when I ate that first Lindt chocolate after a whole month of vegan...no, not really but it was good and apparently I looked so happy with the chocolate that everyone started snapping pictures of me which made me laugh.
And right around Christmas time I started reading healthy living blogs.
To Be Continued....
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