Dieting with Cinnabons

It’s only just begun, but I’m cranky anyway. I’ve been slowly packing on pounds for two years now. Dieting just isn’t working. I’m not hugely obese or anything. But I’m certainly not filling up my dance card either.

I’ve had a slight weight struggle for years. I’ve done all the fad diets from the liquid milkshake crap to diet drugs prescribed by my doctor. I have to admit the diet drugs worked pretty well. I really like them. So much easier than struggling with midnight cravings. But I started having some strange reactions, so I figured I might not ought to be taking them.

Before Atkins was a household word, I lost the 20 extra pregnancy pounds. I was so steeped in Atkins that I can still quote the carb count for nearly any food you can name. Several years ago, I managed to find 20 pounds that I thought were long gone. I counted carbs. I “worked out.” Ok, so I walked around the neighborhood until I produced sweat. I danced hard, fast and furiously in my living room to my itunes, to no avail. And then the unthinkable happened. I gained more. Ten more to be exact in my estimation.

So, I went to my doctor. He put me on a strict 1200 calorie per day diet, and gave me mega vitamins, a B-12 shot, and some dolls. Remember the old phen-phen? Yeah, the diet drug that was causing people to lose their livers, kidneys, and eyesight. Well now, they have discovered that just one of the phens works wonders and without all the side effects. When it was all said and done, I had dropped 34 pounds. I was shooting for 20 pounds, but hoping for 25, so imagine my delight when I hit minus 34.

The weight stayed off for several years. Until one Thanksgiving when I baked 18 pumpkin pies. And ate four all by myself. Not all at once. Gosh what kind of hog do you think I am? I think I probably finished them off inside of a week. I’m pretty sure that was the start of my downward spiral into overeating beyond what my 5’2” frame could hold. That was two years ago.

My doctor keeps telling me I have to get “active.” He said I should walk. So I did. I was up to about three miles a day and then the monsoon season set in. I haven’t walked in a couple of weeks. And I gained another four pounds.

I’m one of those dieters who participates in the ritual of  the “Last Hoorah.” That’s when you pig out for one last time the day before the diet officially starts. My Last Hoorah consisted of homemade pizza loaded with cheese, sinful chocolate cake/cheese cake, and a big bag of potato chips for a midnight snack. Just the week before my Last Hoorah included a little bit of chocolate candy, some cupcakes (plural), a dinner at Sonny’s Barbeque, and some Maryland Fried Chicken – I just happened to find one in a town nearby when we visited the zoo. You just cannot pass up Maryland Fried Chicken. The week before that I vaguely remember my Last Hoorah was centered around a large milkshake from Chik-fil-a. Their milkshakes have the same caloric count as a steak dinner complete with load baked potato. Oh yeah, I had that too.

Do you get the drift here? I’m all about the Last Hoorahs and NO diet. Recently, I was philosophizing about my weight. I had read somewhere that we are genetically programmed for a certain weight and no matter how hard we try to be a different, usually lower, weight, we are going to remain at that genetically predisposed weight. We are supposedly programmed with our weight, just like our eye and hair color, or our height. I believe that. It makes sense. Whenever I gain the ultimate poundage, I always end up back the same weight. It’s the same exact weight that I was when I delivered both of my eight and a half pound babies. It was like that’s the highest my weight ever was and my body wants to revisit that same weight. It’s also a fact that fat cells do not shrink. My belief is that they wish to be inflated whenever they are deflated.

Well that belief was blown to smithereens. I went to the grocery store for dinner makings after a totally stressed out, horrendous day at work – see The Bully! All I really wanted was comfort food. Something warm, gooey, creamy, soft, and delicious. That’s when the Cinnabon sweet rolls in the dairy department practically threw themselves into my cart. I caressed their photo on the front of the can. I wanted to make out with that photo, but I do have a certain reputation to protect in this small town where nothing escapes the night with a thousand eyes. A two can pack made its way home with me. I plopped the can down on the counter, and my daughter eyed me with the same suspicion one eyes a lunatic.

“What’s that?” she asked.

“Cinnabon sweet rolls. What does it look like?” I snapped.

“What are you going to do with them?” she dared another question.

“I’m going to make them for dinner. You got a problem with that?” I dared her  rebuttal.

“Nope. I’m going to help you eat them.”

“Then we better make both cans.” I wasn’t in the mood to share.

I couldn’t really see much difference in eating the sweet rolls verses a “real” dinner. Each little roll had 140 calories. But that was before I smeared each one with pineapple cream cheese. So now, we were looking at a delightful little piece of comfort at under two hundred calories. I ate three of them. I was so stuffed I couldn’t move. I was uncomfortable and queasy. I don’t recommend my dinner choice to anyone.

While flipping through some old photos, I came across one of me the size I want to be. As I stared at my past self, I realized that was the time in my life when I was having the affair to remember with Dr. Atkins. Something inside me clicked. If I want to be that size again, I will have to rekindle my relationship with good Doctor.

I’m still cranky though. I love carbs. Cake is my favorite food group. I adore sweet potatoes with sour cream. The love of my life? Pretzels – in any style, but preferably by the whole bag. I love, love, love Cream of Wheat, especially for dinner when it’s cold outside.

So, Dr. Atkins it is. I’m back to having real, thick cream in my coffee, bacon whenever I feel like having some, and a nice array of cheese for snacks or meals. That’s where my new comfort lies. In cheese. I will say that before you start losing weight with the good doctor, a strange phenomenon occurs. Inches fall off before the pounds do. I am experiencing that inch dropping now. It’s only been four days, and I’ve lost three and half pounds. I’m excited. I know this diet works, and I’m looking forward to going to Florida for spring break in April, and hopefully, with ten to fifteen pounds less.

I know some of you will lecture; “Dr. Atkins is not healthy!” I can hear you now; “you have to eat a balanced diet.”

To you I will admit that yes, you truly should eat a balanced diet consisting of the four food groups. I am, however, experiencing a crisis and I cannot follow that balanced diet for now. I am also of the opinion that it is far healthier for me to be on Atkins than to be carrying an extra 25 pounds, which is stressing my heart, feet, legs, and heck – my whole body and especially my head.

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