Permed hair dyed with hydrogen peroxide is one trend I should have skipped
Fashion and diets are continually evolving and being reinvented.
What do fashion and diets have in common? They are both forever changing and urging you to hop on the latest and greatest trend. When I reflect back on my life, I have fallen for both fashion and diet trends.
After my freshman year of college I was all about the “Rachel” haircut while wearing the flannel shirts from the 90’s. The baggier the better. Of course, part of the reason I liked the baggy clothes was because of the 15lbs I gained while away at college. At the time, it was the heaviest I ever weighed. It was 1995 and Phen/Fen was just taking off in the diet world. I hopped on the trend and used the medication to lose the weight I gained while away at college.
While Phen/fen worked well for weight loss, the combo of meds can potentially have negative adverse events on the heart. I discontinued the meds and went back to my previous lifestyle. Shockingly, when you party 5 days per week and eat and drink whatever you want, you can’t sustain weight loss.
I continued to experiment with various fad diets throughout college. The worst one by far was the cabbage soup diet. All the diets I tried were quick fixes. There was no lifestyle modification for long term success.
The next time I made a significant effort to lose weight was before my wedding. I become obsessed with being skinny for my wedding. Instead of a diet, I just didn’t eat much. As unhealthy as this “diet” was, it worked. The skirt for my rehearsal dinner was the smallest size I fit into as an adult.
First comes love, then comes marriage…then comes the babies in the baby carriage. With my first pregnancy I ate whatever I wanted. It was a free for all. There is one particular moment I look back on with a lot of shame and embarrassment. I was traveling for work and went to a Pizza Hut for lunch. I may or may not have taken 3 trips to the buffet line for pizza and lasagna and then one final trip for the cinnamon breadsticks. Yikes! In total, I think I gained 45lbs.
After Nathan was born I thought the weight would automatically come off of me. I weighed myself when I got home from the hospital and couldn’t believe it didn’t all just disappear. DUH! I felt like I had no other option but to find another diet. This time I tried the zone diet. This was a very practical diet in which you counted carbs/protein/fat. I became obsessed with losing the weight. Eventually I got back to my goal weight, but of course we wanted more kids.
With my second pregnancy I did not gain as much weight. I didn’t eat dessert everyday or shove my face full of whatever I wanted. Instead, I ate more fruits and veggies. This time I gained about 30lbs. For weight loss this time, I tried Slim Fast and then the Atkins diet. I was miserable, but did my best to make it work.
Between 2006-2019 I tried too many diets to count. Whatever the latest greatest fad was I tried it. I was never as heavy as I was when I was pregnant, but I always had 5-10lbs that I wanted to lose. Once I hit 40 years old my eating and exercise plan were not working anymore. My weight crept up to an all time high (without being pregnant). My pants didn’t fit, my face was full and I felt miserable. Even though I was exercising 5-6 days per week I could not lose weight.
Instead of trying yet another fad diet I decided it was time to make a lifestyle change that could lead to long term success, not something that was just a quick fix to drop 5-10lbs.
I am thrilled that I found a lifestyle that I can stick with. For 2 1/2 years I have focused on eating 100g of protein per day, and getting about 1500-1600 calories per day. I also practice intermittent fasting (also known as having a feeding window). My body fat % is lower than it’s ever been and I am stronger at 45 than I was in my 20’s. Most importantly I FEEL good. I am not bloated, uncomfortable, or tired. Instead I wake up feeling powerful and energized.
If you are looking to make a change in your health, look around at all the options and see what fits your lifestyle. Find a plan that works for you and don’t trying to force yourself to do something that is not sustainable in the long run. Remember to stay clear of plans that make unrealistic promises like losing 10lbs in 10 days.