Somersizing: The Best “Diet” This Fat Chick Has Ever Tried
If you hate talking about diets or dieting or food or anything like that, you might as well stop here. If you also hate it when people plug things that are endorsed by B-list celebs, you should also probably give this a miss. If, however, you are always up for chit-chat about diets and such, stick around. Have I got one for you.
I came home about 10 minutes and jumped on the scales. I weigh myself at least three times a week, now that I have a scale. I know, I know – you aren’t supposed to weigh more than once a week, but whenever there’s a scale around, I get weighed. Unless I know that I’ve been gaining weight and am scared to look. Then I avoid the thing like it’s the plague. Right now, though, I’m on a diet, and the scale is more often friend than foe.
I have been Somersizing since early summer. I had gained a lot of weight the past year, and I had been packing it on during my hiatus from Korea, as well. I wasn’t eating well, hadn’t been eating well, and it was starting to really show.
I’ve never been a svelte person and, although I harbor visions of myself dancing around like a prima ballerina in a size 4, I’m also realistic about the possibility of that ever happening. Frankly, the smallest I’ve ever been in my adult life is a 10, and I was thrilled to be that small at the time. I also had to practically starve myself to get there.
In any case, I’d ballooned out to my heaviest-ever size over the past winter and spring. I was overeating like it was going out of style, and honestly, I didn’t feel good. I had zero energy, and even running up stairs or walking up the steep hill to our apartment complex left me winded and drained. I wasn’t happy about it, but my weight was in this upward spiral, and I didn’t know what to do to control it.
When I was in high school, I was very overweight, too. I went on a doctor-supervised fast program called HMR. I lost about 130 pounds and went from a size 24 to a size 10. I ran a 10K every day, lifted weights, and was basically the fittest person you ever saw. I went to college and slowly, I started to do what my dietitians called “the creep.” I went back on the Margaret version of HMR (drinking nothing but Slim-Fast for months), and I lost it all again. But then I went to Germany, and I gained 50 lbs. in beer, delicious European bread, and Nutella.
Since then, I’ve been struggling to maintain a somewhat reasonable weight with varying degrees of success. I’ve done the liquid diet once more since then, but I couldn’t stay on it long enough to lose everything I wanted. Besides that, I was tired of all the weight piling back on the minute I started eating again. I lost a lot of weight when I first came to Korea, but I attribute that mostly to being afraid to go out in search of Western food rather than eating a steady, healthy diet of Korean food.
In any case, I had essentially come to the breaking point. I knew that I had to do something or I was going to start seeing negative repercussions in my health, and I don’t want to check out any sooner than I have to. I decided that, since I couldn’t do Slim-Fast, I had to find something else that was doable for me. I shopped around a lot of diets, but it seems like a lot of them require certain things or foods that either aren’t available in Korea or just weren’t appealing anyway.
Then I stumbled on an article about Suzanne Somers. Actually, the article was completely unrelated to dieting; it was about how to home-cure mild radiation exposure. (This was right after the disaster in Japan and everyone in Asia was freaking out about radiation poisoning.) Anyway, I noticed that not only did she have an interesting blog about alternative medicine, she’s apparently some sort of diet guru. Frankly, the only time I remembered hearing about her was on Sex and the City 2 when Samantha reads her book and starts taking copious amounts of vitamins.
I browsed through the rules of the diet and thought that it sounded pretty simple, so I ended up buying the book on my Kindle (miracle device). It was probably the best $12 or so that I ever spent. I read the book cover-to-cover in one night, wrote down the rules, and decided that I would make a Monday start out of it. And I never looked back.
As of today, I have lost somewhere between 80 and 90 pounds. I don’t know what my original weight was, but I know what I weighed when I came to Korea, and I know that I’d gained about 25-30 pounds on top of that, so I’m approaching the big 1-0-0 already. I don’t look it, I know, but that’s because I’d let myself go for so long.
But I’ve been blathering about myself for too long. Let me tell you about this miracle diet. Here are the rules:
1. No “funky foods,” as Suzanne calls them. That includes white flour, all sugar, potatoes, bananas, sweet potatoes, milk with fat in it, beer, wine, alcohol avocados, corn, carrots, all squashes, white rice, and caffeine, among others.
2. Eat protein/fat (meat and cheese, basically) with vegetables.
3. Eat carbohydrates with vegetables.
4. Eat fruit by itself at least 30 minutes before a meal or two hours after a meal.
5. Eat at least three meals a day. Do NOT skip meals.
6. Wait three hours between meals if you’re switching from protein to carbs.
7. Do NOT eat protein or fat with carbs.
That’s it. There is no point- or calorie-counting. You don’t have to follow a special exercise regimen. You don’t have to eat a particular food to the point of being nauseous. You can even cheat.
Yep. Cheat. I cheat. I drink beer or whiskey sometimes. I had a few bites of bread and more than a few bites of cake for Graeme’s birthday. I’ve still lost four pounds this week. As far as the cheating goes, I’ve added an eighth rule that my uncle Chris taught me and his first weight loss guru taught him: you’ve gotta be good 80% of the time. I’ve upped that to 95% because honestly, I’ll be bad once too often at 80%.
The rules sound complex at first, but they’re not. Once you get used to eating carbs by themselves, it’s not a big deal. I just got it through my head early on that eating too many carbs was going to slow my weight loss, and it does. The more fat, protein, vegetables, and fruit I scarf down, the faster I lose weight. The minute I eat too much no-fat yogurt or cereal, it slows down.
The theory behind it is anything that triggers an insulin response (sugar, starch, carbs) has the potential to cause you to gain weight, especially if it’s eaten with fat. The books explain it quite succinctly, so I’m not going to go into excruciating detail here, but I will absolutely cosign on the claim that eliminating sugars and processed food will help you to lose weight. By gar, it put me on the right path.
Within one week of starting this diet, my energy returned, and I felt like a new woman. I have struggled and fought with myself over my weight my whole life, and I’m not fighting anymore. I’m losing a steady 2-3 pounds a week – sometimes more, sometimes less. I am NOT hungry, and I have never felt deprived. I don’t count calories and have no desire to.
I have, however, started cooking a lot more. Most processed foods go out the window when you start Somersizing because EVERYTHING seems to have starch and sugar in it, if it comes in a package. I’ve started learning a lot more about the things we put in our mouths, and it’s really frightening what’s considered healthy in America today. It’s no wonder everyone’s so obese, given the amount of high fructose corn syrup and sugar we ingest.
I plan to stay on this system forever. I am currently what’s called Level 1, the weight loss phase, but someday I will move on the Level 2 and be able to enjoy more sugar and starch in moderation. But honestly, I’m not hurting. Kate Moss is right about one thing: nothing tastes as good as thin(ner) feels.
If anyone out there is having problems dropping the pounds, I highly recommend Suzanne’s regimen. Actually, I’ve read a couple of her books now, and I really love a lot of what she has to say on health and wellness. My outlook on my health has changed tremendously, and I no longer feel like being on a diet – I hate to even call it that, because I don’t feel deprived – is some torture sentence designed to keep me away from something that I love. This is definitely a great way to go if, like me, you are a “bulk eater.”
I highly suggest checking out Suzanne’s books, even if you aren’t looking to lose any weight. Get them at the library, if you aren’t in the market to buy. She has some interesting ideas on a lot of aspects of health and wellness. If any of the rest of you decide to give it a go, let me know how you’re doing and what you think!