I started the South Beach Diet on Monday. That means no sugar and no carbs for two weeks. Have I gone mad?
Yes. Yes I have.
The proof is in the pudding-sized pile of Butterfinger wrappers Husband came across a few weeks ago. I must have been so blissed out on mediocre chocolate and crystal peanut meth that I forgot to hide the evidence. Stealing from my own kids' Halloween buckets like a junky! For shame!!
It's no secret I've been having a hard time coming off the sugar-fueled roller coaster of the past year. Over the past two months, I've progressed to the point where I can go a whole day without sugar, two even, but by the end of the third, I'm wild-eyed and desperate and suddenly housing a jar of leftover chocolate fondue I found in the back of the fridge. A big jar. And I'm not feeling too good about myself afterwards.
That's where South Beach comes in. The underlying principle of the diet is to reset your physical and mental expectations for your sugar consumption. That means cutting out ALL sugar for the first two weeks, even the natural sugars found in high-glycemic fruits and vegetables as well as dairy. It's also means no carbs, which your body immediately converts into sugar. Meanwhile, you can eat as much as you want of everything else: meat, cheese, beans, eggs, nuts, leafy greens, cruciferous veggies. The idea is that once your system is entirely rid of the addictive substance, you don't crave it anymore. Then you can slowly add certain foods back into your diet (note: I don't think this works for cocaine).
Now before you start shaking your head at me like every single friend I've told about this bold move—as if Tom Cruise had suddenly appeared by my side with his manic, empty eyes and a mission— remember that this is just temporary. It's just for two weeks. I don't plan on living a carb-free, sugar-free life forever. I love those things and believe that most of them aren't bad for you in moderation. I just need to restore my original factory settings. The sugar cravings are driving me batshit insane, and something drastic needs to be done. They don't have any Betty Ford clinics for sugar addiction, as far as I know, so I'm stuck with the South Beach Diet and Husband as its bastard enforcer. It'll be a miracle if we're not divorced by Christmas.
After these two weeks pass, foods I fully intend to add back into my diet are: potatoes, whole grains, pasta, all fruits, and all the sweet veggies in my winter CSA share, like beets, squash, and parsnips. All of these will be fine once they don't taste like heroin to me. Thereafter, desserts will not be daily, and carby snacks discouraged. With any luck, I'll be able to return to my pre-cookbook way of eating, which has enabled me to maintain a stable, sustainable weight pretty much all my life thus far.
First step: clean out the refrigerator and freezer of all tempting items, including the pumpkin butter I like to eat out of the jar, and the various fig pastes left over from recipe-testing. Next, make the children eat the rest of their Halloween candy in one sitting. Hop to it, kids, you won't hear me say those words ever again. Ready, set, go! Third, have Husband hide the chocolates my neighbor brought back from Barcelona, and although you suspect he hid them in his own belly, try not to care. Fourth, send Husband to do the food shopping since he's the only one in this house who knows how to survive this diet AND lose 30 pounds AND keep it off. Fifth, get cooking.
Just don't mind my grumpy posts in the meantime!