Friday, August 10, 2012

Diet is More Than a Four-Letter Word

There’s something inherently cleansing and rejuvenating about confessions. They can impart upon the confessor a sense of freedom, a releasing of burdens or a shift in moral turpitude. So in the spirit of admission (absent flagrant immorality, of course), here is my purifying confession:

I am on a diet.

No, seriously. I am on a bid to shed some unwanted pounds that have decided to take up residence in this temple that I call my body. Actually, I'm well established on my weight loss journey and I’ve come an impressive way (in my eyes) since my first official weigh-in on June 14th. (I won't mention just how much I tipped the scales, but I will say that for my height‒even though I didn't look it‒I was actually considered to be overweight by the 'experts' and their damn charts.) 

June 14th was the day I joined Jenny Craig

Now this post isn’t necessarily an endorsement for Jenny Craig, per se; after all, they pay top dollar for their own advertisements splashed across American television screens, so I’m thinking they don’t exactly need my help in that area. However, it has to be said that I have experienced some measure of success since June 14th.

Why did I choose Jenny Craig?

Simply put, I got tired of yo-yo dieting. Over the years, I’ve turned my attentions to a myriad of diet plans/fads/programs. Let’s see, there was the South Beach Diet (convoluted meals), the cabbage diet (cabbage? really?), the oolong tea diet (I’m surprised my stomach recovered from that one), the ‘do-it-yourself’ diet (starving and binging just isn’t safe) and a whole host of others.

Some diets have worked, and others have failed. But ultimately, I guess they have all failed because, in the end, I wound up back in the same pathetic position that I was before I started the diet: feeling *fat* (and please don’t give me that “but you didn’t need to lose weight; you looked fine before” spiel‒if the universe is in harmony with the elements and everything is as it should be, we should all make personal decisions, such as the one to lose weight, to please ourselves and not to appease others), bloated and having a less than stellar body self-image. The scale was not my friend.

I can admit that because I’m a woman, fully grown. Okay, I’m still in the process of seasoning (my seasoning, by the way, is spiced paprika, in case you were wondering…), but I’m well versed enough in the special nuances of me to know that I can be honest with myself and others around me, even if it makes me cringe or even throw up in my mouth a little bit.

So now I’m a client of Jenny Craig. I’m glad I walked into that innocuous little center off of High Ridge Road on that hot summer day. In a sense, it was the walk of shame, but it led me to what I hope is a life-changing transformation. It was the first step on the road to a fantastic body! That’s right . . . I said it!

Some of Jenny's cuisine . . .
Eventually I’ll be weaned off of Jenny’s cuisine, which is the goal once I reach my desired weight (of which I am a mere nine pounds away from accomplishing). While I must be honest and say that the food is not something you would expect to get at a five star restaurant, most of it is certainly palatable, and then some. There are a few standouts on the menu that I wholeheartedly look forward to eating while, conversely, a handful of the entrées are so bad that I wouldn’t wish them on a starving homeless person.

And now that I’ve come out of the diet closet (I seem to be doing that a lot lately; first it was the tofu closet after my food allergies scare, then it was the carnivore’s closet after falling off the meat wagon and now this…what’s next?!?), my aim is to try and share some of the ups and downs of the 1,200 calories per day (all of Jenny’s meal plans are devised by a nutritionist) that provides me with sustenance, nourishment, and, yes, even a little bit of comfort. So far, even though some of the portions are on the tiny side, I haven’t passed out from lack of food. And as I have now rounded the corner of my half-way point, the weaning has already begun. But then again, throughout this entire process I’ve been eating out on my own one, two, three or more times a week. Yet still, I manage to shed the excess weight.

My goal is not to become supermodel thin, painfully emaciated or eat one carrot stick and call myself full. This personal journey is one of staying motivated, staying focused and, above all, staying healthy. I’m doing it my way . . . with a helping hand from Jenny Craig, of course.

How you choose to manage your weight is up to you. Or perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones‒unburdened and unencumbered with the complexities of weight management. Way back when and once upon a time, that used to be me. But, being seasoned as I am, I fight against the ravages of Mother Nature, which can sometimes wreak havoc on a woman’s body. Ultimately, I believe I will win the battle and be all the more healthy for it. Until then, I move one day at a time; one meal at a time.

Next up: Dinner!

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