Tags and Sizes


Naturally, when one goes on diet, the closet gets a makeover too. I used to wear XLs and XXLs or Size 16-18. But as I started shrinking, I had to buy clothes in smaller sizes. This was an expense I was not prepared for. There is a notion that going on a diet is expensive. It usually involves purchase of specialty food, and specific moderately expensive ingredients. But with my current diet, no special purchases were necessary (except for the Greek yogurt stash in my fridge). The expense came after seeing my empty closet.

Shopping for new clothes, although a very pleasing and extremely rewarding endeavor, was not in our budget. The advantage of fitting in a smaller size is that there are more clothes that fit. No need to rush the purchase. Unlike when I was a size 18, if I found something that fit me well, I’d buy it in different colors since I didn’t know if I’d be able to buy another one of the same style again. I had to buy new underwear too! What surprised me though, was my new bra size. Popular belief has it that you will go down in size with weight loss… But it is also possible that even if your circumference gets smaller, your cup size may increase. That’s what happened to me! I was a 38B now a 36C!

Last year, I gave away over 10 trash bags full of clothes of varying states of use. Some of them were well-loved, others still had tags on them. If I did the math on the cost of all the clothes I had to get rid of, I might have been tempted to keep some of them in the attic. You know, just in case the diet didn’t work or just in case I gain weight again.

But these “just in case” thoughts constitute premeditation. It’ll doom your diet to fail. It’ll give you comfort to rebound.


The 550 Day Diet

I started my 17 Day Diet in September 2011 and I have been on it for 550 Days… and counting. 17 days, huh.

People often ask me, “Are you still on a diet? When are you going to stop?”. Unfortunately, I was not blessed with a metabolism that would allow me to down plate-fulls of yumminess and not have it show up on the scale. I have that a-moment-on-the-lips-forever-on-the-hips kind of metabolism that whatever I eat, I keep. Dr. Mike Moreno of the 17 Day Diet fame, says it in the book… one will have to be on some kind of diet forever. A diet is one of the few things that you just can’t “let go and let God”. I can easily gain 4 lbs over one weekend and that’s just from adding an afternoon snack (which can’t don’t do while I’m at work).

Losing weight does not simply involve a change in eating habits, it is a change in lifestyle. Those who have struggled through attempts at weight loss are too familiar with skipping meals – I don’t do that anymore. I try to eat dinner by 6:00 pm, no more midnight snacks either. If I think I’m hungry, I drink water.

So when asked if I am still on a diet and when I can to stop, I have to say yes and never. That’s the reality I have to live with.

I found this recipe on Pinterest pinned from this blog. Some things can make this “healthy eating” gig more tolerable.

Lemon Garlic Brussel Sprouts

2 lb Brussel Sprouts
4 tbsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, juiced and zested
3 tbsp gruyere, grated
sea salt
Clean the brussel sprouts by trimming off the ends and peeling the outer layer of the sprout off. Cut each one in half.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
Once heated, add the halved brussel sprouts to the pan and saute for about 7-8 minutes on each side until the outer part is a caramelized brown and the inside is soft and fully cooked.
Add the garlic half way through the cooking.
Reduce the heat to low and add the lemon zest, juice, salt and pepper.
Stir to combine and taste. Adjust seasoning if needed. Add the cheese on top and serve.

Been there. Done that.

I’ve been on diets forever. 3-Day Diet, Cabbage Soup Diet, South Beach Diet and so many others. Some of them worked, and some of them, well, just made me miserable. It was late September 2011 when a co-worker said 3 words I have never heard of before. 17 Day Diet.

I was never thin. Well, maybe except for that one brief episode in college. But I have always been that “chubby” kid. The chubby teen, the chubby young adult… you get the drift. I weighed in the 120lbs in my early twenties, jumped to the 150s in my early thirties. I was a size 14 on my wedding day. I don’t recall how it crept up on me but soon enough, I progressed to a size 16, then size 18. Before I knew it I was 40 and weighed 180 lbs! To put things in perspective, the ideal weight for my age and height is 120 — I was 60 lbs overweight!

Then in the summer of 2011, noticing a slight pinch and tightness in my size 18 clothes, I tipped the scale at 190lbs (unfortunately, I was part of a big group of cousins who went on a vacation in Canada and there are hundreds of photos to prove my claim)!

Fast forward to that fateful September day with Annabelle, with her pink 17 Day Diet book. I just copied what she got for her lunch that day and I declared, I start my diet today.

Here’s a recipe from Healthy Living that made this diet a bit more appetizing:

Creamy Salmon Rolls

Bagels are the traditional accompaniment to lox and cream cheese, but since you can’t eat bagels until later on the diet, here’s an amazing alternative that will satisfy your taste buds while waiting. From The 17 Day Diet Cookbook by Dr. Mike Moreno.
4 ounces thinly sliced lox or smoked salmon
1/2 cup yogurt cheese made from fat-free, plain Greek yogurt (see recipe here)
1/2 teaspoon fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 large cucumber, sliced into 1/4-inch disks
1. Lay a large piece of wax paper on your work surface. Lay the smoked salmon slices on the wax paper, overlapping them to make a large rectangle. Spread the yogurt cheese on top of the salmon; sprinkle evenly with the dill, lemon zest, and garlic powder. Using the wax paper to lift the salmon up, roll the fish like a jelly roll, taking care that the wax paper is only a guide and doesn’t get caught inside the roll. Wrap the log in plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
2. Unwrap the roll; lay on a cutting board. Use a serrated knife to slice into 1/2-inch-thick pinwheels. Place each piece on top of a cucumber disk.
YIELD: 2 servings
TIP: Make ahead, slice off as much of the log as you want, then rewrap the rest of the log and refrigerate