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Finding a Diet that You Can Live With

A Lifelong Search for Long Term Weight Management

I love my family, but often wish I had inherited some skinny folks genes. I have spent 50 something years being told what I pretty face I have. But never have the words been echoed about what a hot bod I have!

I recently started to work on my family’s genealogy, and met some second and third cousins for the first time. No surprises to find that they also are struggling with the battle of the bulge. I have never had that internal voice within saying “You’re full! You’re full!”

As a child in the fifties I was just slightly chunky, which I seemed to outgrow during the early teen years. High School was a little more problematic. The summer between my junior and senior years, I worked at the Pink Lady Ice Cream Parlor. It was an honor to work there, and the place had been known for its impressive list of former pink ladies. But I was like a kid in the candy store. Did I mention that ice cream is my very favorite food?

In late August I showed up for my new position on the Teen Fashion Board of a department store chain, which I had won in a competition in the spring. The director of the program took a look at me and said “What happened to you?” I had to admit my indiscretions at the Pink Lady.

My mother took me to the doctor, who started me off on diet pills, which made me edgy and prone to restless nights with my mind racing. I hated the way I felt, but the pounds quickly were gone and I had a great senior year.

College and dorm living saw the Frosh Fifteen appear. I was not a drinker back then, but when I moved into an apartment in my sophomore year, my room mate and I went on the Drinking Man’s Diet, which was a lot like Atkins, and was able to shed the weight.

No more problems until my first real job out of college. My previous job had been very physical… I had been a Tour Guide, and was probably walking six hours a day. I had also gone to Mexico on road trip with my then boyfriend and another couple. I had Montezuma’s Revenge for about two months, so I was super skinny.

My new job required about two months of training, some locally, and some on per diem in Texas. Sitting, and eating for two months. Back to packing on the pounds. And it got harder to take them off this time. I finally started the Optifast program–the same one that Oprah did back in the 80s. I lost 45 pounds and looked painfully thin, but photographed so well.

I got off the program and immediately started to regain the weight and more. Then I did Atkins, which was easy for me. Again, the pounds came off, then more came back.

About a year ago, I remembered the Rice Diet, because the UCLA Football Coach had lost so much weight from being on the program during a summer he spent in Durham, North Carolina.

I bought the book, bought the cookbook and started spending time on its website. They have a great forum for other folks on the program. The Rice Diet is basically a lot of rice, whole grains, oats, whole grain pastas, combined with a lot of vegetables and fruit. Very little dairy, very little meat or protein, no added salt. . But guess what! It works. There are some days when I literally cannot eat all of the foods on the daily regimen.

I have created for myself a variation of the Rice Diet, because I know what works for me. I have added olive oil, a handful of raw almonds or walnuts at times, and I just cannot go without some salt. I also discovered Klondike’s 100 calorie Slim a Bear ice cream sandwiches if I need a late night snack. I could not be doing this program without some modification, but the benefit is that for me, it is a life long, sustainable program. That has always been the problem with all of the previous diets….you cannot stay on it forever, and once you get off the diet, you go right back up.

After I had lost some serious weight, I joined the local Curves, where I spend about 30 minutes working out 4 times a week. I bought an iPod and now walk while I play podcasts of news shows that had previously been watched from the couch.

I have also become an expert at combining veggies, spices and my home grown herbs with the rice and grains. My friends and relatives cannot believe that this “diet food” can taste so delicious.

I think the key is finding the right mix of foods, lifestyle and exercise that you can live with. Check out the Rice Diet! It can work for you, too!