This week’s post isn’t exactly about writing… except for the fact that writers spend a lot time sitting on their behinds, typing. In that sense, it’s probably not the healthiest of career choices because of the sheer number of hours of inactivity involved. And I work from home, within a few feet of the refrigerator. Nothing breaks writers’ block (or rewards finishing a difficult scene) like a bag of potato chips, right? Or maybe a little champagne?
No wonder I’m constantly struggling with the same 25 pounds.
The issue isn’t really exercise. I love trail walks and I find them peaceful and #inspirational. (If you’re not following me on Instagram and haven’t seen the beautiful pictures I take on my walks,. follow me here). But those walks are also LONG: my favorite trail is 4 miles of isolated hills and valleys that takes about 90 minutes to trek. Bad and crazy weather keep me indoors some days; others, I just don’t have the time.
Fortunately, exercise really isn’t the key to losing weight. In fact, most experts agree that exercise counts for about 10% of weight managment. The other 90% turns on what you eat… so I knew it was time for me to bid my potato chips goodbye.
Cutting down on carbs always seems to work for me. About two decades ago, I tried Dr. Atkins’ low carb diet with great success: in about two months I lost 25 pounds of post-baby weight. I’ve used it a few other times, too. Then I turned 50… and everything I used to do stopped working.
In my search for something that would work for me, I discovered a few websites on the “ketogenic diet.” the “keto diet” is a no sugar, low carb diet– but unlike Atkins it’s also fairly low in protein. Instead, it’s high fat. Yes, high FAT. The ultimate no-no food. In addition to weight loss, the diet is supposed to help with a host of other medical issues that resonated with me: everything from my food allergies and hay fever, to the arthritis in my right ring finger.
I’ll leave it to you to Google the science of it, but I decided to give it a try for 90 days. I’m eating lots of green veggies, higher fat meats in small amounts and lots of avocado, coconut oil and even a little peanut butter.
They say it takes three weeks to change a habit. I’m proud to say it’s been six weeks, I don’t have any cravings and I feel energetic and strong. I’ve lost a few pounds and my stomach is flatter. I’m even getting more work done! But most amazingly is that I’ve had almost NO HAYFEVER symptoms this Spring so far– not even while there was so much pollen swirling in the air that my husband thought it was snow! (Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but you get the picture!)
For about two weeks, I really missed my old eating habits. But now, I’m confident that I’ll be able to continue until June– and perhaps make this a permanent lifestyle change. It’ll be my “writer’s diet” since it’s improving my productivity and my overall health.
What about you? What’s your “writers diet?” Share in the comments or on Twitter under #writersdiet.