On November 17, I posted "Blog your way to at 56-pound weight loss by New Year's!" in which I described my plan to embark on the latest diet sensation, blogging to lose weight, without the need for any modification to eating or exercise habits. I was skeptical, but the blogging diet seemed as plausible as the other top diet of the holiday season, the "Miracle Pill" diet which similarly promised "up to" an 8-pound a week weight loss without strenuous exercise or calorie restriction.
To double my odds of success, I determined to commence both diets simultaneously. So it was that in mid-November I began writing weekly blog posts while also downing the miracle pill three times daily, as prescribed. I then let the weeks and months roll by as I anticipated the rewards of fitting into my jeans and enjoying the vision of a more svelte me in the mirror come January.
As I'd bolstered my chances of significant weight loss by combining two highly-touted regimens, I ate my way through the holiday season with gusto, taking to heart the assurances that there was no need to modify my usual habits "in any way."
I enjoyed buttery cookies in festive holiday shapes, cream-cheese frosted cupcakes (emphasis on the frosting), pecan pie, salted caramels and two favorites of the season, one a staple, the other a new discovery. I've long been a fan of white chocolate peppermint bark but discovered a new holiday favorite, ROLO® Pretzel Delights.
3 ingredients (small pretzels, ROLO® chewy caramels in milk chocolate, and pecan halves)
3 minutes in oven or microwave
A truly amazing stacked confection, the perfect amuse-bouche and no sticky fingers afterwards, addictive really, and without the nausea that tends to set in after downing several squares of white chocolate peppermint bark in quick succession. The hardest part of the recipe is releasing the chocolate-covered caramels from their festive gold foil wrappers, but the effort is more than amply rewarded.
I also experimented with a few of my own weight loss tricks. I've long held that foods consumed from the bulk bins in the grocery store before you reach the checkout counter accrue calories at a significantly discounted rate. Malted milk balls are my "go to" snack while walking the aisles, toffee-coated peanuts or almonds if I'm experiencing a fiber deficit, but I would imagine any of the bin offerings would work equally well.
The caloric discount also applies to foods consumed in the car before you reach home and unload the groceries (but only if all of the following apply: the food must be consumed while alone (sans witnesses), it must be consumed completely (this is important) and all evidence (such as wrappers) must be safely and clandestinely discarded where it will remain unseen, or at least unattributable to you, in perpetuity.
I did attend my mother-in-law's holiday party just before Christmas, as anticipated in my earlier post. At that point, mid-way into the double whammy diet, I wasn't yet able to fit into anything with buttons or zippers and thus did resort to wearing the roomy sequined top that had been my last resort. But there was still time and I remained moderately optimistic that the two diets were working their unseen metabolic magic and that I would emerge in January transformed.
But then came the last week of December and a spa getaway with my two daughters that took me into the new year. A week of exercise classes in form-fitting clothing, in the presence of unavoidable floor-to-ceiling mirrors, brought the sad truth home with a vengeance. That woman in the mirror, the one who moved when I moved, the one who appeared to have swallowed a bowling pin, that woman was me. Despite my dogged efforts since mid-November, I hadn't lost 56 pounds, or anything close. More likely, by appearances which I chose not to confirm by stepping on a scale, I'd gained 10 to 20.
Ah well. Most things that seem to good to be true, are.
I have commenced another regime for improving my health in this fresh, new year, one espoused at the spa and that I happen to know from experience works well--I plan to eat less and exercise more.
I offer a few miscellaneous reflections after two plus months on the blogging and miracle pill diets:
The weight loss benefits of blogging are minimal, if any, but one does accrue "words," which, if you like words, is a nice enough thing on its own, and if a few of them resonate, all the better.
Blogging did not increase my social media presence as promised. In fact, I made an interesting discovery; within the hours following posting of my latest and greatest to Twitter, I routinely lost anywhere from five to ten followers, week after week.
Was it something I said? My photograph? I concluded it was better not to know.
Perhaps the blogging diet has more to do with losing friends and followers than it does pounds. It's entirely possible I misread the small print. Regardless, I will continue to blog and occasionally post. Because I'm stubborn that way. And in a perverse way the immediate gratification of lost followers is satisfying . . . a reliable, if little understood, cause and effect.
The miracle pills had no noticeable negative side affects, that I know of, yet, so there's that . . .
Oh, and I am pretty sure I am over white chocolate peppermint bark, though it's a long time until the next holiday season and my memory tends to be short as regards past trespasses and gut aches.
I made a magic, spiritual arrow at the spa last week. It's a stick (from a special tree that I can't remember) wrapped in colored yarn of my choosing and garnished with white dove feathers, pungent herbs and a crystal, and with an intention for the year scribbled on a slip of parchment held fast beneath the yarn . . . I will write without judgement or hesitation . . . that is my intention.
It works equally well, I think, if I substitute other words for "write," such as "live" or "love," maybe even "eat," or not.
All the best for a wondrous New Year.
Dorothy blogs about the challenges and opportunities of being a woman and a writer of a certain age in a youth-centric universe.