Saturday, July 7, 2007

The Anniversary Dinner & Vacations

If you've been following the blog, you'll know that my wife and I were not in agreement on what to eat on our anniversary. She wanted to forgo the diet and I wanted to stay low carb. I hadn't thought of making the carb cycle short and making my next one longer, extending to the start of my vacation. Regardless, my wife and I went out for our anniversary dinner last night. Unfortunately, we were unable to be at home and had to eat in a rural part of the state where we had very few restaurants to choose from. So, we ended up at a basic steak house. I stuck with the low carb diet and she ordered some beef tips along with fried cheese and onion rings. Dessert wasn't an issue as everything else had filled us up. There were no hard feelings. She didn't stick exactly to the diet, but she didn't splurge. I don't think my watching her eat onion rings made her feel as guilty as she had expected.

After dinner, we ran by a store named Cato's. There, I helped her pick out a dress. It was a size 20. Before the diet, she wore a 28. Buying such a small dress seemed to make her happy. It is the first size 20 that she has bought and it fit her absolutely perfectly, all over. Brandi, if you are reading this, I hope you don't mind me sharing your size... If so, I apologize for letting the cat out of the bag (insert foot in mouth).

Today, Brandi headed off on a one week vacation with her mom, sister, and other female relatives. She will be taking this week away from the diet. I, on the other hand, am back at home, eating low carbs. Tomorrow, I leave town on business. Because Brandi and I are going to Virginia beach in two weeks, I think that I may shorten this and the next carb cycle. I may decide to make this cycle end on Tuesday (after only 8 low carb days) then do 2 or 3 days of carb-up followed by 8 or 9 days of carb-down. This will bring me to the start of our vacation which is to not be low carb. I am not sure of my wife's cycling plans. I think she intends to do this week's vacation off the diet followed by one week of low carb followed by another week of vacation off the diet. We'll see. I'll try not to pressure her. We'll just let the scales do all of the talking for me... heh, heh, heh... With that said, I guess I'll talk no more of her diet plans for July here or in person.


PJ said...

I think it is hard enough to do a new eating plan alone. Someone else to encourage and help with the food and more importantly, not distract with BAD food, is awesome.

But I can see how no two people are likely to agree on what they feel like eating all the time, and the weight loss aspect adds a sort of guilt trip to it.

I once lost a lot of weight on lowcarb, and gained most of it back because I went off. My ex- had moved in with me (my charity), and wanted to eat out all the time, my picking around food caused constant mild overcarbing, the food he wanted at home constantly tempted me and sometimes (like with fresh garlic bread) just destroyed me and I'd eat it, and eventually my cravings were so insane I went off plan. I wouldn't wish that on anybody, and I think a supportive spouse or roommate is a HUGE asset.

Two things come to mind for me here, and it's none of my business but you did post this openly so hence you get opinions from people like me. ;-)

First, lowcarb isn't really meant to be a diet, but an eating plan. As long as lowcarb is considered fake food or dieting, it just means that the minute someone considers they've "done enough" weight loss, they're likely to go off it, and gain back at least as much as they lost. That is really a problem. If she feels guilty about eating onion rings in front of you now, she'll feel worse when she's 30 lbs heavier than before she began the diet. So a genuine focus on food being healthy and nutritious as the primary goal, seems useful.

As an analogy, I think it's like if someone considered praying to be only good for what God might give you or making sure if you get run over by a truck heaven might be good to go (LOL). The whole point of prayer is the quality of that experience AND moreso, that it is part and parcel of setting a certain state of mind and relationship with God throughout one's life. Well, I figure food is the same way. Only eating because something tastes good, and not because it's healthy, while I know we all do this occasionally, in the end it misses the whole point of eating well to begin with. It's a life-wide thing. It requires a whole shift in focus. If that shift doesn't happen, if health and being good to oneself doesn't become the priority, I think it puts a huge (no pun intended) probabilty factor against maintaining any weight lost.

Second, I think in a perfect world you guys could focus on how yummy a lowcarb food you could have at special occasions. I mean seriously. A candlelight dinner with an awesome main course, and some kind of chocolately lowcarb dessert (there's even LC ice cream to go with that), is more than workable. It is specifically "grain-based sugars" usually that suck people back into lousy eating. In a forum I'm in people were recently talking about how they could live on donuts, or thought so, until a lowcarb bakery opened up, and their sweet stuff rocked, but weirdly enough, after trying it, the people didn't really have any big urge to eat it again (unlike regularly sugary highcarb stuff). It really underscores how much of the highcarb eating is an addiction to the components, such as grains and sugar, and not just about taste.

The problem with eating carbs is that they tend to make you crave more of them. If someone sneaks carbs, it can really amplify cravings too. I react to milk; if I drink even one gulp of milk in the morning, despite that isn't enough carbs to matter, I will be starving for sugar/carbs the entire day, so I know to avoid that.

You guys are on a carb cycling plan. It's possible that for whatever reason, your wife's body has a harder time kicking the carbs and readapting without them than yours does. Whether this is because she is less active or nibbles a bit on carbs or simply because that's the way her body works (it happens), who knows. I'm just saying it might legitimately, physiologically, be harder for her to pull off carb cycling without falling off plan, than it is you.

Big Daddy D said...

I appreciate your comments, PJ. You make several very good points.

I have issue with only one comment. To me, "diet" simply describes what you eat with no baring on time frame. The debate over the word "diet" continues to pop up over and over again. If I was to say that I was on a vegitarean diet, you'd not assume it to be temporary. So why do you think that my low-carb diet should be any different? My wife and I have been doing the low-carb diet for almost a year now. I know many people who have adopted various "lifestyles" (food or otherwise) that were shorter lived. I don't mean to sound rude, but I consider this debate to be mostly linguistics and rhetoric.

Even if your definition of "diet" were to hold true in that the word implied a temporary state, that would be okay by me. The reason is that once I reach my ideal body weight, my "diet" will change. I will switch into a maintenance mode that will surely allow more flexibility than what I have now. And, I suspect that even this maintenance "diet" will continue to evolve as I age or my activity levels change. I don't believe that there is any one diet plan that works for everybody. And, I neither do I believe that the same diet plan will work for an individual for the remainder of his or her life. I suspect staying fit will entail a great deal of tweaking and experimenting over time.

Sparky's Girl said...

Congrats to Brandi on her new size!!! I'm so excited for her! You are both doing so well!

Sherrie said...

Glad to see everything worked out!

I think maintenance is all about flexibility even during extended weight loss phases you need to have some flexibility otherwise sooner or later you will get bummed out by it all. Just my opinion though.

I think its great that you two do it together as a couple, PJ has a good point though but I can't really comment on it as I have no idea how she goes, if she handles the carb ups as well as you. Its all experimentation really, you two may have different triggers or need different amounts etc