Last summer I didn’t shed my winter weight.  I carried it with me right into the next winter and into the spring.  My clothes were tight and I was four pounds over my “red alert” weight of 150  and threatening to add on some more.  I caught sight of my butt on a video and gasped, “This has got to end!”

No mater how many hours I worked outside or how careful I tried to be about not over eating, those pounds were stuck on my hips and thighs.  I did yoga, I went on walks, I ate sandwiches on dry bread to no avail.

Worse, I was hungry all the time, picking up boxes of crackers at the store to bring back to my office to see me through until dinner.  I often went back for seconds.  Let’s face it, I was eating like a teenaged boy!  I woke up thinking about food, planned my day around it, and dreamed about it.

When that little voice in my head suggested that this is what happens to fifty-something women and that it’s completely normal and to be accepted, I realized I was in trouble.  So I bit the bullet and put myself on my version of a real diet.  The Liquid Diet With Dinner Diet.  It’s worked for me all my life and I was hoping it would this time.

I like to think of this diet as a food attitude adjustment, but the simple fact is I needed to eat less if I wanted to lose weight.  No amount of exercising was going to achieve the same result.  Humans are designed to survive famine but we weren’t designed to survive constant feasting.

I set a target of ten pounds and stocked up on fruit juice.  Every time I got hungry, I’d take a swig of juice.  I was hungry all day but kept telling myself that dinner was going to be my reward.  I reminded myself that I had been hungry all day when I was eating breakfast, lunch, dinner and crackers and cake and all that stuff I was eating before.

I lost four pounds the first week.  By the third week, I no longer craved second helpings at dinner and was able to start bringing solid food with me to work.  A cup of leftover greens would hold me all day.  I’d just eat a couple of bites every time I got hungry.  I remembered to drink lots of water and juice.  The pounds continued to go away.

Two months later, I’ve lost thirteen pounds and my clothes are comfortable to wear again.  I’ve long since resumed my normal eating pattern but am no longer eating teenaged boy portions.  I’ve come to realize that I don’t have to eat everything I cook and that the compost pile needs to eat sometimes, too.  That my eyes are nearly always bigger than my stomach and most of the time when I think I’m hungry, my body is really just asking for a drink of water.  And I’m learning to slow down and stop eating when I’ve had enough.  I’m glad I bit the bullet and let myself get hungry enough to reshape my attitude about food!

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.

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