• Day 226: In Which I Up the Self-Denial Game

    Date: 2010.10.05 | Category: Uncategorized | Tags:

    Not being able to eat candy, cookies, ice cream and cake is too easy, I’ve decided.  I need to start sleeping on a bed of nails and wearing hair shirts.

    Let me explain…

    I haven’t been on an official diet since 1981 when my mother and I went on the Scarsdale Diet for fun and both lost five pounds in two weeks.   Just for a lark!  Good times!  I weighed 130 pounds at the time and I’m 5’8″.

    Fast forward a few years and, er, a few pounds.  The dirty little secret of my Year Without Candy is that I have not lost weight.  People are shocked, nay disillusioned, when I tell them.  I was talking to my beloved friend Lauren on the phone today in New York and I heard the dismay in her voice when I reiterated that I hadn’t lost weight.

    Part of it is that I never ate huge amounts of sweets, like some charter member of Overeaters Anonymous, which means my sugar addiction never translated into body fat.   I didn’t hide out in my bedroom, sucking down tubs of Ben & Jerry’s or bags of giant M&Ms and asking my Higher Power to save me.

    What, there isn’t a place in this world for someone who just eats candy every day?

    My theory – and I’m never at a loss for theories – is that my candy addiction functioned a bit like other people’s smoking, crack or crystal meth habits.

    It cut my appetite for the big fat stuff like bread and cream sauce and it jacked up my metabolism.

    A few years ago, way before I went off candy, my solid-gold metabolism ground to a halt.  Years after everyone else’s.

    For my whole life, it was like the evil body gods said, we’re gonna let you eat whatever you want for so long you’re gonna think you’re golden and immune to time.  Then WHAM! I gained 15 pounds in one year – 2005 – without eating one calorie more per day.

    Paging Queen Latifah!   Big girls don’t cry!

    Reader,  I tried so hard to get doctors to see my thyroid problem.  More than one blood test ensued.  There was no thyroid problem.  “Perfectly normal,” the doctors all crowed, despite cousins, mothers and close friends and Oprah getting the diagnosis and turning into whippet-like sylphs thanks to Synthroid.  Not me.  (OK, maybe not Oprah either.)

    What to do?

    Well, French magazines are chockablock full of stories about France’s Scarsdale Diet du jour:  the Dukan diet.

    The “revolutionary” Dukan diet is the brainchild of a French doctor, Pierre Dukan, and is said to be sweeping France.   Which may be true as my friends Terri and Ceriann here in France have been talking about it for months.  Ceriann (fabulous Welsh name) lost 22 pounds in about three months and now looks just as gorgeous as her college-age daughter.

    It’s not easy, though.  You start with an “attack phase” of anywhere from one to ten days in which all you eat is protein. No vegetables even – and that includes potatoes and ketchup.

    It’s like the Atkins Diet, said Lauren who lost 60 pounds on that, except you can’t even eat things like butter and cheese.

    Ceriann sounded very cheerful about it.  The Dukan website brags about how fantastic it is that you get to eat as much chicken and fish, say, as you want.   Oh yeah, that’s the ticket.  How many times has 10 p.m. rolled around and I download this week’s Two and a Half Men and think, I’m dying for a chunk of smoked salmon?

    Anyway, I started today.  It’s 11:30 p.m. in France as I write this.  I’ve stayed the course one day so far.  I wasn’t even going to write about it until I realized how little faith I had that I could continue.  And I remembered, oh yeah, the blog.  I’ll put it out there and my competitiveness and aversion to perceived shame  may keep me on track.

    I don’t know.  I’ve made it one day.  My plan is for the “attack phase” to last five days.

    So you see, I’m just using you.

    I’ll report back if I continue – and if I don’t.  I’m allegedly supposed to be at my target weight by Dec. 29, according to the esteemed Dr. Dukan.

    If that incredible event occurs – and I have no faith at this point – I will disclose actual figures.

    For now, I have one question:

    Does this water make me look fat?