So, I began my own personal ‘bridal boot camp’ a week after we got engaged. It’s been a long time coming. I’ve put on, um, a not insignificant amount of weight since I met Michael. (In a later post I will explain to you how this is entirely his fault.) We want to do an engagement shoot in the spring (one of the presents we got at the engagement dinner (see previous post), plus I have something else planned… more on that later) and I want to feel better about myself by then. And I especially want to get back to a healthy weight by my wedding. Even though we probably aren’t getting married for a good 18 months or so, I don’t want the added pressure/impossibility of trying to lose 40 pounds in a matter of months, months that will also be the busiest/most stressful as far as planning goes. Not to mention having time to get a dress and have it altered, etc.
Anyway, I finally feel ready so I’m going for it. The biggest thing I’m doing is cutting back on alcohol. Confession time, and this will come as a huge shock to those who know me: I’m a bit of drinker. And nothing in the world makes me happier than a glass (bottle) of cold champagne. Um, except the love of my intended, of course. But I have to admit, one of the perks of being engaged is all the excuses to drink bubbly! And I’ve found there’s always an excuse to celebrate. I celebrate cooking dinner, I celebrate the NBC Thursday night lineup, I celebrate coming home from work.
I incorporate drinking into all our outings. (Let’s pick pumpkins- and have Oktoberfest beer! Let’s go to the Tribeca film festival- and then go to DeNiro’s bar! Let’s go look at Christmas lights with spiked hot chocolate! Let’s volunteer at the animal shelter right next to the brewery!) I seek out recipes that use alcohol so I can make it a theme night. I always cook ribs by boiling them in beer first, while I drink a better version of what I’m cooking with; not only does my penne vodka sauce contain actual vodka but so does the chef; and I’ve long since learned the joy of sauteing anything edible in wine.
Don’t judge me. It’s not my fault liquor makes everything better.
Anyway, so my absolute favorite part of this diet is cutting way back on drinking. I’m limiting myself to the weekends (um, which start on Thursdays- but hey, they don’t include Sunday!) and this first week will probably only be Friday and Saturday. Yeah, it’s so fun.
Since I’m going so far as to strip the majority of the joy from my life (♫ ♪There’s a tear, in my beer, cause I’m crying for you…♪♫ …wait, this is Pelegrino) I’m pulling out all the stops and doing a real diet, cutting back calories, fat and carbs, counting my caloric intake and incorporating exercise. It’s a dramatic departure from my past ‘diets’ in which I slathered mayonnaise on bacon and insisted, “Dr. Atkins said NOT to work out the first few weeks! And there’s only three carbs in this Miller Lite!” I have some little free weights at home I’m using in bursts of exercise- I’m a fan of those ‘100 calories in 10 minutes!” workouts where you piss off your downstairs neighbors by alternating marching in place, jumping jacks, running around your coffee table and executing some truly sexy lunges for a minute at a time.
Also, walking. I’ve started getting off the subway several stops early and briskly walking/jogging home. Well, more walking than jogging because I usually forget to leave my bag at home, so when I run I have to clutch it to my chest and look like I’m being chased by an especially slow mugger. Eventually I’ll get it together enough to bring sweats to change into and a backpack for my book. Mike and I had wanted to join this amazing gym in our neighborhood, Green Fitness Studios- it’s a green gym (um, duh), with self-powering machines and a living roof; it offers yoga and Pilate's classes and even has a spa- but we just can’t afford it now until we get a handle on our budget and how much money we have to save. So I’m trying to be creative. Today I’m getting off the subway in lower Manhattan and walking across the Williamsburg Bridge to get home. Wave hello if you pass me on the J train!
Honestly, dieting isn’t feeling too terrible right now. Michael and I are both feeling really good eating meals that are not only better for us but prepared much better too- props to me and my light touch with the oil, thank you, thank you. And props to Fairway of Red Hook for their bangin’ produce section, ample parking and convenient-to-me location.
I’ll share my weight loss triumphs (and failures, if you’re more into schadenfreude) as they happen. Hopefully soon.