I can’t believe I’ve been on a real live diet for four weeks. This is unprecedented for me. I’m not a dieter. I am, in fact, anti-diet. Unless you are obese and need to diet to save your life, dieting makes you… not fun. And who wants that? I know plenty of women and men who are constantly on the new fad diet and don’t need to be. I have listened to more snooze-inducing diet talk over the years than I can stand. On the other hand, I have taken more of a carpe diem approach…life is short, enjoy good food. I’m from the South, and we have really good food here. I love nothing more than family and friends around a loaded dinner table. Unfortunately, this 44-year approach finally caught up to me, adding an extra 20 pounds and the possibility of having to go up a clothing size.
When I signed up for the Cooking Light Diet, I was apprehensive, but hopeful. The recipes that were in my plan sounded and looked delicious. I couldn’t believe the food was normal food, and not “diet” food. There were no “can’ts,” only “cans.” There were nuts, cheese, and bacon, for heaven’s sake! There was bread, pasta, and potatoes! The snacks were crackers, cheese, fruit, and, to my delight, there were no rice cakes anywhere! Hurray for snacks! Hurray for snacks that don’t taste like cardboard!
I announced to my family that we would be eating from a healthy eating plan, not wanting my children to have to hear diet talk and calorie talk, especially my ten-year-old daughter. There are more than enough anorexic, photoshopped models in the media that negatively affect girls’ self-images, and I certainly don’t want to add to the unrealistic, unattainable pressure to be supermodel-thin for my own daughter. I also have a growing, athletic, teenage son who can seriously put away food. I needed it to be filling enough for him, so I’ve added bread or a side dish here and there, and offered healthy desserts like frozen yogurt, all of which I skip. Interestingly enough, though, it fills us all up as-is almost all of the time.
My kids are fairly good eaters, but I felt that my first diet dinner had to be on point in order to draw them in. I served Garlicky Kale Linguine for my first dish, on a Meatless Monday. They went nuts for it! It had great flavor and was really satisfying, with a side salad and a Dijon-y vinaigrette. My daughter even took leftovers for lunch the next day. It was a total success, and their enthusiasm helped motivate me even more.
After my first week, my husband, Scott, signed up, too. We decided to do it together. After blogging about it, I had four friends sign up. I have found this support group to be a key ingredient to dieting success. I have also found that being on a diet is a bit obsessive, because you have to think about it every time you eat. You do want to talk about it, and if your support group isn’t dieting, they don’t necessarily want to hear the details. I am so happy to be doing it with my husband and friends! We talk, we text, we share our highs and lows.
After four weeks on the Cooking Light Diet, I’ve lost 8 pounds. I have gone up a notch on my belt. A pair of pants that were inappropriately tight a month ago now fit. My muffin top has become a mini-muffin top, and I am astounded and elated with my progress. I feel like I have regained control over my eating, and it is truly the best feeling. I have discovered new ingredients, like porcini mushrooms, and how using simple ingredients like garlic or cinnamon can make a healthy dish sing. Author and food activist Michael Pollan writes about healthy food rules: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” This diet plan has finally shown me how to eat like Pollan instructs, and I am loving it. My friends are loving it. They have all lost weight, fast, too.
I am excited each Sunday to see what recipes my next week will bring. I don’t care a thing about being a stick-mom. I just want to be healthy, to be active with my kids, and be able to fit in my clothes. I have 12 more pounds to go, and if I can just keep my weekends in check, I might even be there before my goal of May 22. I can’t wait to find out!
If you’d like to know more about the Cooking Light Diet, visit CookingLightDiet.com, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!