My Sweetie Pie and I are on a diet, and have been since the second week of March. Its through a healthy lifestyles program at the hospital where I work, and each week we meet twice to learn more about portion sizes and food choices, etc.
Today, as we drove home after church, we passed a man holding a sign advertising the incredibly delicious chicken fried steak at Nelson's Buffeteria. As we went by, my husband and I both felt our breaths catch in our throats. I looked at him and said, "We could split one. That wouldn't be so bad." He quickly agreed, and we turned down a side street to reverse our direction and head back towards Nelson's, the home of the aforementioned beefy, chicken fried goodness that is the size of the platter, with a side of mashed potatoes, all covered with cream *GULP* gravy and a large, warm roll...but as we started to pull back out, a wave of strength washed over me, and I turned to my husband and said "We have a weigh in on Tuesday, and I don't want anything to jeopardize it." He agreed, reluctantly, but thankful that I was the strong one (for once...most often he is the voice of reason). We came home and had a very yummy lunch of Shrimp and White Bean Ragout.
This diet has tested me to the very core of my being. For years now, we have prided ourselves on the delicious meals we have created for our family nightly, complete with everything that has now been taken away from us due to the program that we signed up for. Rolls, fried foods, gravy....mmm, gravy....just good Southern cooking that we enjoyed immensely but it wasn't doing anything positive for us nutritionally. We were taking in too much fat, too much salt...just too much, period. Now we are watching our intake, planning meals around what our bodies need, not just what we think sounds good.
It definitely hasn't been easy. And knowing that these are permanent changes we are making has taken some getting used to. When I asked our sons what they wanted to see on our family menu for the week, Pumpkin Pie said he'd like "some chicken wif gwavy on it,", and I said, tearfully, "Me too, baby! Me too..." The kids are getting used to the new way of eating around here as well, and Sweetie Pie and I both feel good about the example we are setting for them, not just with our diet, but also with the exercise we are fitting into our daily schedules, a model of healthy living that we hope they will catch onto and continue to live into their adult lives as well.
With all of this healthy eating around here, I've replaced almost all of my daily beverage intake with water. However, I am allowing myself to indulge, while still following the diet plan from the program, which allows me to have 8 oz of my favorite soft drink a day. So, once a day, I blissfully partake of one of these small cans of Pepsi.
We are committed to sticking with this way of eating for the rest of our lives, because we know its the best way for us to be getting exactly what our bodies need nutritionally. We are already noticing changes in the way our clothes fit, and of course, the numbers on the scale are going down...though Sweetie Pie's are going down much quicker than mine...