Saturday, I shopped for clothes.
Needless to say for millions of Americans this isn’t a stop-the-presses kind of event. But in my world, well, it’s huge.
And in more ways than one.
Now usually I avoid shopping for clothes like most do encounters with copperhead snakes or elected officials. I simply hate doing it at all costs. I try to get new clothes for birthdays and Christmas — then wear whatever it is until the shirt or pants in question simply disintegrate at about wash No. 1,000.
But Saturday I decided it was time to update my wardrobe to match the size I am today, which is noticeably smaller. Since January when I began what I called here my “New Food and Drink Plan” I’ve lost 35 pounds — give or take a pound or two on a given day. It was better than I had hoped and a little more than I planned. But so far, that’s OK, too. In January I weighed 192 pounds. Today when I woke up, the scale read 157.8. It’s about the size I was on the day Roselee and I got married in 1997. Sunday, by the way, I weighed 160.
So at Christmas 2012, I wore size 36 pants and shirts in the process of speeding past large into XL territory.
Enter the Dukan Diet, only I don’t call it a diet. This is because diets fail. I have no immediate plans to fail. Or so I hope anyway.
I’ve written about it before. A physician from France developed this hybrid diet that’s part South Beach, part Atkins and part common sense. It’s meant not just to cut pounds, but change eating habits toward a healthier lifestyle. Lots of lean meat — and I stress lean. This is no all-the-bacon-and-hot-dogs- without-bread artery-clogging fest. That particular diet never made any sense to me at all.
I have now completed all phases of the Dukan Diet and can say I liked it quite a bit. There is very little measuring (what is 4 ounces of steak anyway?) and clear guidelines (no points, no calories). It was easy to follow and relatively simple not to cheat. In the process I gave up a lot of bread (for a little while), pasta, cake, pie, cookies, corn chips, potato chips, pretzels, sugar, potatoes, pizza, burgers and beer.
But that still leaves a lot of stuff to eat and with my spouse’s help, it was tasty stuff: Grilled chicken, fish, shrimp, steak, London broil, turkey, vegetables of all kinds and a little pumpkin desert that really helped beat back the sugar craving.
Now, with a few exceptions, I want to eat this way all the time.
Over the past month or so, people have stopped me in public to ask how I dropped so much weight. “Did you just stop eatingf?” is the most common question.
The answer: Hardly. I get to eat plenty and hopefully will continue to do so.
I’ve been wide open to return to my normal pre-Dukan diet — with some really, really minor modifications — for a couple of weeks. My weight has remained stable at 156 to 161. Three things I have to continue doing: Drink a liter of water or more a day; eat two of the oat bran pancakes my spouse cooks up each morning; and have only protein one day a week. Otherwise, I can eat or drink whatever I want.
But the upshot is, I’m making better choices, staying out of the office snack machine, only having a beer on the weekends and not taking that second cookie. I’ve also learned that 2 ounces of spaghetti is plenty, a good thing to remember when in an Italian family.
Can I stay on this particular plan?
Hope so, after all I just bought some pants at size 32. I hope to wash them a 1,000 times.