Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Weighing in on diets and fads

Just like everyone else, I've been battling the bulge in my over 20's years. I'd like to share something I've recently learned - there is no one diet for everyone - each person has a unique chemical make up and what works for one won't necessarily, work for another.

As a kid I was thin. So thin in fact, my uncle used to refer to me as a skeleton with skin. In my 20's I gained some muscle and fat, but I was never over weight. I was a figure skater, and a coach, which indeed helped keep the weight off. I'm also certain that my busy schedule, which in turn interrupted my eating pattern to the point where I'd forget to eat, played an important role.

Then I moved away, got married and had a child. I continued to skate, until my pregnant belly was too big and threw me off balance. After my daughter was born, I decided to take one last shot at a skating competition. However, I was over weight and out of shape. I had months of hard work ahead if I wanted to try. And so I did. I trained hard on the ice and watched me diet. I ate mostly veggies and proteins, and limited my starch intake. I lost 40 lbs. and was thinner than I had been in years. That was in 2000.

After that I went back to my evil eating ways. The weight poured on. Two years ago, I tried to get those stubborn pounds off again. But this time I had one big problem. I was diagnosed with Osteo arthritis in my knees and was told I couldn't skate any longer and doing so would add damage to my knees. My exercise would be limited. So instead I focused on eating and joined Weight Watchers. After three months, I hadn't lost but one pound. I was eating healthy in general ( I always do), but the program just didn't work for me.

I started working out at a gym, determined to shed the excess weight. I ate healthy and worked out three days a week. Again, nothing. My trainer said, "Be patient, it takes time." I already knew that, but after three months, I would have thought something should have happened. So, I changed my routine and hit the gym five days a week. The weight slowly peeled off, but not much, only 10 pounds. And now I had an even bigger issue - I was fit, very fit. The problem with that was I had to work even harder to get my pulse rate up to a working level to burn fat!

I'd given up. I couldn't figure out what the problem was. So, I've been sitting with excess baggage clinging to my body. Until recently. That was when it dawned on me. When I dropped all that weight in 2000, it wasn't the skating alone which did it. It was my diet.

I recently started a low Glycemic index diet. Which means, I eat a ton of veggies, proteins and limit my starches. This diet is recommended for people who have Diabetes or heart problems. While I have neither, it appears to be the correct diet for me. I've watched the scale as the numbers are slowly getting smaller. It will take time, but all proper diets do.

There are other diets which eliminate carbohydrates, but they are fads. Your body needs carbohydrates, just not the sugary, refined type. Rather, specific types to give your body proper nutrition. I suggest when you decide to diet you look carefully and select one that is balanced and teaches proper nutrition. What good is a diet if after you stop, you gain the weight back? Find a diet that you can live with - meaning something that you can stick with and continue even after you lose the weight.

Happy dieting!

1 comment:

Lea Schizas - Author/Editor said...

Wow, Christina. You went five times a week to the gym? I used to go 3x, did enjoy it but made one mistake. Went with hubby and ended up waiting for him in the sitting area.