Thursday, February 7, 2008

Eating Clean: My First Week

"If you run thirty miles a week and do five miles six days a week, your body will look like whatever you want it to look like." --Will Smith, in an interview about how he lost twenty pounds for his lead role in "I Am Legend"

"Live like a marathon runner, look like a marathon runner."--
Contemporary quip widely accepted as axiomatic truth.

"If the furnace is hot enough, it will burn anything." --John Parker, Once a Runner

"Exercise alone is not an effective method of weight loss." --Suggested at a roundtable hosted by the American College of Sports Medicine

"No amount of exercise will reshape your body without appropriate nutrition... A layer of fat obscures any muscle definition you might have, just like snow on a [jagged] mountain." --Tosca Reno,
The Eat-Clean Diet.

Let's get this straight. I am not fat, and I don't think I am fat. And I don't prance around in my latest dress putting my husband on the spot asking him if I look fat. (No, I save that for my girlfriends!). So, if you know me, don't think that I have some eating disorder because I want to lose some fat. I am "skinny people fat."

Skinny people fat? Is that even a term? Well, no, I just made it up. But I want that last percentile of physical achievement. Guess what? My abs aren't perfect. There is a layer of fat over them. I do crunches. I run--take THIS Will Smith--MORE than 30 miles per week! I'd like to see that fat go away. Enough said about fat, I'm done. Eating clean and running aren't all about weight loss for me. In fact, I've actually gained weight as a runner.

But here's another fact: I can't eat any less food. I am hungry all the time. I have struggled with hypoglycemia my entire life, peaking in my mid-twenties by passing out at a mall. (Just like Tosca did in the grocery story, we bonded on that story.) I eat and eat before a run, trying to over-compensate. Because running is more important to me than being skinny. I want to feel good and burst with energy.

As I look at my abs, not bad, but not perfect; definitely not Will Smith "looking like I want them to look." Low blood sugar rules my day. I often lack energy and all I want to do is eat more... is there another answer out there? The medical community hasn't been helpful or interested in my hypoglycemia. "Eat peanut butter." Or, "Drink orange juice." Both high in sugar and sending me on an insulin binge roller-coaster.

So, Tosca claimed I could eat six times a day, according to the "eating clean" rules. And I would eat enough to never be hungry. I started the diet Saturday, eating only fresh fruits and vegetables combined with recipes in her cookbook. I've been strict. But if I'm hungry, I eat. I weighed myself on Friday before I started. It seemed like I ate too much over the weekend (
well, I wasn't walking around hungry and I ate a half a bowl of "eating clean guacamole" during the super bowl), and didn't even bother to hop on the scale. But, most notably, I never had the "shakes" from low blood sugar and I never felt weak.

Four days into the diet: I knew the news wouldn't be good with all this constant eating, but I'm hopeful that I haven't gained any weight. Here goes...

And the answer is... I have somehow LOST three pounds. What?! I actually get off the scale, reset it and get back on. Four days on the diet, eating tons of food, and I miraculously lost three pounds. I weighed in again today, and was down a total of four pounds. And I feel great! When I ran this morning, a moderate 6-miler with some strides after the end, I actually felt lighter and more energetic. It was a truly noticeable difference.

Get it; read it; try it out. I'm totally sold, and look forward to having nailed that huge part I've been missing, telling myself, "It's the DIET stupid!"

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