It started with my trusty “nice occasion” pants. I put them on, but I couldn’t seem to get them to button. I looked down at my waist in disbelief. It was like watching an awkward middle school dance in the ’80s. My button was on one side of the gym and the hole on the other. The spiteful bastards refusing to meet in the middle and dance.
I did a bit of a wiggle, a kind of jiggle, and some hopping about to get them closed. I tried to hang my shirt in such a way that it covered the impending hazard of a button popping off and nailing someone, i.e. me, in the eye. I blamed the dryer. It’s gone from eating my socks to shrinking my pants. Clearly it wasn’t me.
My bubble of denial popped two days later. I made the mistake of trying to put on my skinny jeans. Oh there was a struggle, multiple struggles. They hurt, but they were closed. My legs looked awesome, but my waist could have passed for a busted open can of Pilsbury Biscuits. Thank God for over-sized shirts and layers.
I couldn’t understand how this happened. I have been following a 80/20 healthy lifestyle for years now, and I have stayed the same size the entire time. Why all of a sudden had things changed? But it was sudden. It never is. It is gradual. It starts small. So what happened?
I had a very awesome and very busy year. I got engaged, planned the wedding, got married and moved multiple times. There was a lot going on. I may have let the 80/20 slide a little bit until things settled down. This is how I fell off the “Healthy-ish Lifestyle Wagon. Face it, I stopped, dropped, and rolled right off that sucker. Looks like I better hail a cab and try and catch up, or buy new pants. And Buying pants is just a big pain in the ass.
I should probably explain the 80/20 bit. So here’s a quick back story. I have always been withing the Doctor’s definition of the approved weight for my age and height. Just a bit closer to the higher end. So when I dabbled in a fad diet or two it was mainly to drop a few pounds. I am a picky eater with food allergies. Fad diets are not really designed for people like me, so I would end up never completing them.
Then Weight Watchers introduced the points system.I didn’t join. I didn’t Google. I just based my diet on the photocopied bootleg material I was given and winged it. I estimated the points, didn’t count beverages, and banked points incorrectly that would allow for entire cheat days. I went from a 14/16 to an 8/10.
I kept the basic principles of portion control and grazing on healthy snacks throughout the day to maintain my weight. I had new pants and didn’t’ want to have to go through the ordeal of buying more again.
I have also tried Elimination Diets and Raw Diets to discover that I am caffeine intolerant as well as lactose. It was while googling this type of cleanse/diet that I came across the 80/20 idea. I’ll summarize the idea is that if you follow the diet 80% and allow 20% for making exceptions what ever they may be you will have more success. You can read more here: healthyeating.sfgate.com.
My 80/20 lifestyle is how I was able to find a working balance between my love affair with all of the foods that are unhealthy and my need to avoid buying new pants. Before it reversed to 20/80, lol, I found some of following things worked for me:
- Cut out refined sugar. Used natural sugars in moderation when needed.
- Cut out as much processed food as possible. About 80%.
- Added more vegetables and fruits to meals and snacks.
- Swapped out regular pasta with rice noodles, quinoa noodles, corn noodles etc.
- Cut out salt. Sea salt when necessary
- Cut out dairy (more of a necessity for me)
- Minimal coffe. Black if needed.
- Herbal Tea
- Keep food diary
- Added extra walking to my daily routine
- Buddy system
- Food Prep.
- Portion Control
- Read Labels
- Dark Chocolate is my Friend
- 3 meals and healthy snacks
- Eat the vegetables first
- Drink water first
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a to go box
- Choose a healthier side
- Cheats are ok in moderation.
Time to get back on the wagon. Hopefully I don’t pop my button first.