Judy Mintz: South Beach or bust
From: Everywhere I Go
May 22, 2012 at 10:00AM
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 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.