Friday, June 6, 2008

So far, so good

I am happy to mention that so far I have managed to resist any cake temptations that have come my way. Actually only two real cakes have crossed my path—one a piece of melting chocolate cake from a birthday lunch at work, passed around the table to share and I let it go right by me! The other is chocolate cake which is in the kitchen at my office right now (I don't know why it is there, I am suspicious that some evil being heard my anti-cake vow and brought it just to torture me—because the world revolves around me). And despite a very intense day and rough afternoon, no cake shall pass my lips. (I'll stick to my skinny caramel latte. The third today... but decaf because I don't want to give myself a heart attack or panic attack or something!)

I actually repeat my mantra to myself whenever thoughts of cake or sweets cross my mind—"no cake, no cake." It seems to help me focus.

In the interest of full disclosure (why, I don't know), it's not that I haven't had any sweets whatsoever. In fact I just had two small Walker's cookies that I bought with my latte. Moderation in all things!

And why this determination to shun cake (and other delicious, sugar-laden goodies) for the next month?

Well, as I've mentioned off and on, I did pick up a few pounds in my month of races. I finally had to acknowledge that it's not "just water weight" when the pounds did not drop off quickly (and spiked up on days when there was water weight gain).

I want to lose the pounds without—get this—changing what I eat. Yes, I want to lose weight without dieting or cutting back. I also don't want to increase my exercise because, for goodness sake, I work out excessively already and if I tried to add any more I wouldn't have time to go to work, sleep, or watch any TV. (And while I might be willing to give up work, and could possibly go without sleep, please don't take away my TV!)

So if I'm not going to change my basic eating patterns—what I eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks—I have to omit the extras. That would be the little treats I let myself sneak in, that are in addition to the usual meals and snacks.

And with me, little treats are almost always sweets. This can be a real problem because the sugar in a little taste of cake or cookie triggers my sweet tooth (and you know, stuff with insulin), and makes me crave more sugar. Remember the episode of Sex and the City where Miranda has a chocolate cake and she keeps shaving off skinny slices until it's almost gone? That's me (potentially, if I had a whole cake under my control). (Perhaps it's not a good idea to be writing about chocolate cake with one only a few feet away... NO CAKE!) Sugar and other carbs also make me (and most people) retain water, leading to the dreaded "water weight gain."

After a month cake free I'm pretty sure I can handle the return of cake in July (my sister's birthday and a wedding) and August (two birthdays, including my own—and there will be cake!).
And after a week I've dropped the most egregious water weight pounds, leaving just a few pounds to get back to my pre-Whidbey weight (the weight at which I had hoped to lose five or ten pounds to help make me more aerodynamic and speedy). It may be that I do have to look at everything I'm eating to get below that old barrier. Too many healthy almonds and walnuts, perhaps?

It's a good thing that I truly love and crave vegetables, lean meat and fish, fruit, oatmeal, and Fiber One cereal (not a joke, I drool for it). Otherwise I might have a hard time shunning pizza and burritos and donuts and hamburgers, and all the other gooey, greasy, sugary foods that other people seem to eat with impunity. I just don't eat those things. I'd rather have a giant salad with chopped vegetables and turkey (my frequent lunch or dinner), than a skinny little piece of pizza that might taste delicious but wouldn't sate my hunger. *

Tonight (I should get home and start cooking) I'm going to have pasta because I'm doing a 10K tomorrow. (And I don't care what they say about carb-loading,** I get to have pasta before a run! Usually in a restaurant but I'm staying in tonight). So what I'll make is a small portion of whole grain penne with lots of roasted eggplant, bell pepper, mushroom and onion, and turkey for protein, tossed with organic tomato sauce and served on a bed of spinach. Dee-licious!

*But let me be clear, I am not one of those people who look at those foods and find them disgusting. Oh no, they look wonderful. I just choose not to eat them.

**I wanted to have a link to an article I saw recently that said that carb loading isn't necessary or helpful, but I couldn't find the article. All I could find were pro-carb loading articles! So your pasta is safe for now.

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