Last time I quit smoking (for seven or so years) I gained about 20 pounds over the course of a year. I was counting on the same time frame this time around. But of course there's a catch- last time I began jogging as soon as I quit. In fact, the exercise is what aided me in staying smoke free through the roughest part of quitting. This time? I haven't started the exercise yet, and every fat cell in my body is rejoicing at being constantly nourished to the point of gluttony.
A bit of background: Many in my family are over-weight to near obesity. I have always been on the skinny side (taking after my mother's family.) The largest I have ever grown to is a whopping 194 pounds. That's not too bad on a 6'1" frame except for the fact that it all sits around my midsection. Being near 50 doesn't help matters either. I tried on a suit that I bought when I was "fat". To my horror, it was too small!
After running in to make sure that I wasn't in mortal danger (which was a possibilty considering the mournful wailing I was emitting) Amanda suggested that I join Spark People and use the site to monitor how many calories I take in daily so that I can fit into my suit properly by August.
Let me tell you.... dieting is NOT for the faint of heart!! After going through this process I have nothing but the greatest of respect for those that can stick to a diet.
It started out like this:
Her: How much do you think you need to lose in two months?
Me: Oh, 10 pounds should do it.
Her: Alright. Then you can have 1690 calories per day and meet your goal in weight loss.
Me: No problem!
Her: What did you have for breakfast today?
Me: My usual- two donut sticks, two small items at work.
Her: (after much calculating) That's 1543 calories. You have 147 calories left for today.
Me: Ok, great! It's 6pm and I'll just have my two sandwiches and be done for the day.
Me: Why not?
Her: Each sandwich is 546 calories. That will put you over.
Me: What can I have then?
And so it has been going. I've found that eating -anything- puts me over on calories. WTF????
After much griping and complaining she dragged me to the store to find things that I could "eat". So I read some labels.
Canned Pineapple: 180 calories per serving.
Canned Chili: 290 calories per serving.
Mustard Greens: 15 calories per serving
Peanut Butter: 190 calories per serving
And on and on. What's that? Not bad you say? Ha!!!
That's where they get you, because when you read the fine print you find the following:
Canned Pineapple: 477 servings per 6 oz can. You can have 1/4 of a tidbit today, that's it.
Canned Chili: 800 servings per can. You can lick the lid, but it will likely put you over the limit.
Mustard Greens: 12 servings per can. You need to be a hamster to fill up on this stuff.
Peanut Butter: Serving size is 1/2 teaspoon. You don't even dirty the knife with that little bit.
And when they say teaspoon? They mean ONE LEVEL TEASPOON of something. Hell, you don't even have to wash the spoon when you're done! Not like you'd be willing to leave any residue if you dared brave the calories anyway.
All in all, torture would be preferable to dieting in regards to weight loss.
People complain that waterboarding is bad... but at least they don't make prisoners diet.