Yes, the “D” word! That 4-letter word we dread after the holidays-DIET!

This is only the third time in my life I have ever “officially” been on a diet of any sort.

When I was in high school I drank the Slim Fast shakes.

Slim Fast Mix

This was back before they had the pre-mixed shakes. My mom would send me the powder in a paper cup covered with plastic wrap held on by a rubber band. I would buy my milk at school and mix it there in the cafeteria. I always liked the vanilla shakes the best.

I didn’t really have a “plan” back then. I just wanted my jeans to fit better.

Isn’t that always what we want…for our jeans to fit better?

I lost weight, as best I can remember. Now don’t get the wrong idea here. I was never a “fat” kid. I have always been very average. However, based on my height and build, I should probably be on the smaller side of average.

I have always been in the proper weight category for my height–sometimes only by a pound or two.

Several years ago, when I say several, I really mean a lot, I went to on diet #2.

weight-watchersI went to Weight Watchers even before the kids came along. I was teaching at the time. If you are a teacher, you are well aware of how frequently there are snacks in the lounge! More than that, I think my weight gain at the time was from other factors. Being a “grown up” and out on my own for the first time and newly married, I think, had a lot to do with it. I was learning to cook. Really the only thing I knew how to make was Lemon Bars and French Toast. The learning curve added unwanted curves.

I was on Weight Watchers back when they had the Fat and Fiber plan. Basically, for a woman, you had to have 15-30 grams of fat per day. It seems like the minimum of fiber was 15 grams  per day. You were required, I think,  to have 5 fruits and veggies daily. You could even include juice! Like all diets, you had to drink your 8 glasses of water.

I did really great on the Fat and Fiber plan. I went to aerobics three times a week. I weighed in every Saturday morning. Chip and I would go walking. Jeans were fitting better. I think I lost close to 25 pounds. I even got a little ribbon! I don’t remember how long I was on it. I still have my little log book somewhere.

That brings us to diet #3.

bathroom scale

It seems to be fashionable to say one is making “lifestyle changes” or some fruity sounding phrase. Hooey! It’s a diet!

You know what else is Hooey??? The phrase “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” Excuse me! Apparently, whoever made that up has never eaten Chicken Fried Steak with mashed potatoes and gravy or Cocoa Cola Cake or Strawberry Delight or….

Okay, I get it, we DO intend to incorporate those new eating habits forever. Skinny does feel good. I get it!

So, diet #3. You know, there is always a trigger of some sort that pushes you into that diet. Maybe you just want your jeans to fit a little better. Maybe you see a picture of yourself and gasp! Maybe you have a reunion coming up soon.

Actually, this “life change” has been a long time coming.

You know, after the kids were born, I lost the baby weight pretty quickly. The nursing for 15 months helped, I’m sure. Then the chasing of toddlers was also beneficial. Somehow, I guess I got in a rut. There was lots of late night snacking on things I didn’t want the kids to have. Wow! Super Mom!

As the kids got a little older, they were off and running, doing their own things. They didn’t really need Mom to push them in the swing any more. They wanted to SHOW Mom all they could do by themselves. So, Mom pulled up a chair and a glass of lemonade and watched from the sidelines. I guess that is where I have been for the past several years.

I am an emotional eater.

When I’m happy–I eat.

When I am stressed–I eat.

When I am bored–I eat.

I am also a grazer and a sugar-holic.

I blog about food! Hello!

The sugar thing has been on my mind for a while. I KNEW I had to do something about it. No, I didn’t get a bad doctor’s report or anything like that. I just knew.

A couple of years ago, I gave a stab a cutting back sugar. Listen to what I did…I quit adding fancy creamers to my coffee. However, I can’t stand drinking black coffee, so I added CREAM! Yeah, I’m thinking that didn’t really accomplish a lot.

When I first got my iPad, I downloaded tons of free apps. One was My Fitness Pal.

My Fitness Pal

Well, there that app sat on my iPad for a year with me never using it.

After Christmas, the only options left for my jeans was buy bigger ones or lose weight.

This time I actually TOLD my family and friends that I was going on a diet. I figured I might start to get some weird looks at the dinner table if I didn’t prep the family first.

I started using the My Fitness Pal app. All it is is a place to log your food and exercise. The app keeps up with your calories, fat grams, carbs, sugars, proteins, all that! There is also a “community” you can belong to if you choose.

I really like using it. There is even a place to add recipe ingredients to figure out the info. on things you cook at home! THAT I really like! You can use the online version, too, but I like the app better. It keeps up with the sugars.

I have been using the app since the first of the year. So far I have lost 9 pounds! My family has been GREAT encouragement. Chip and I go walking from time to time. The kids ask me to play the Wii dance game with them. Hooray! I am not on the sidelines any more.

So far, I am just trying to stick to the 1200 calories/day. It was hard at first. I’m learning! I am TRYING to stay within the limit of 24 grams of sugar per day. Now THAT is hard for this sugar baby!

I haven’t started any major exercise regimen just yet. I can only handle one major life change at this moment.

Really, I guess this diet has helped me be much more intentional about what I eat. I suppose I shouldn’t look at “diet” as a “4-letter word” any more.

How about you? Did you start the “D” word at the first of the year? What is working for you? Do you have a fabulous low-cal recipe to share? Leave me a comment.