Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The plan.

We get a lot of magazines at our house. Some we enjoy while others feel like a break-up that just won't take (I thought you said you cancelled the complimentary subscription to Muscle Magazine?). One of my favorites is Women's Health (along with Wondertime and Domino) and I look forward to reading it in the bath every month. It looks good, is well written and has a much edgier vibe than some of those other glossy fitness mags.

It's still a magazine, though, so it's not immune to the tricks of the trade. Like those annoying teasers on the cover: Lose 10 pounds in 3 days! Never do cardio again yet stay thin forever! Have the best sex of your life RIGHT NOW! Have you ever looked for the articles that those catchy headlines are referring to? I have and they're never as good as they sound. Sometimes I can't even find what articles are supposed to go with what headlines. I guess magazine editors figure no one would actually go through the table of contents to try to match everything up page by page.

They're wrong.

Recently I realized the same Women's Health headlines were tricking me every single month. Anything that had to do with the midsection (Flatten your stomach! Get firm abs! Lose your belly!), sent me scrambling to find the right page and uncover the newest secrets to svelteness. Month after month I was bamboozled, uncovering nothing more than a new twist on sit-ups or a smoothie recipe for a healthy snack.

All of the abs articles did have one thing in common though. They all pointed to the book The Abs Diet by David Zinczenko, Editor-in-Chief of Men's Health. Ah, a book! Maybe that's what I needed. So I went online to see what all the fuss was about. What I found was a list of "power foods" that are so good for you they will not only fulfill all your daily nutritional needs but also help your body convert fat into muscle. Since the list included food that was actually healthy (not butter and bacon and extra meat hamburgers with no buns), I was intrigued. I wrote the list down and taped it to my fridge.

Then this weekend at McKay's Used Books I found a copy of The Abs Diet (for women!) for just $3. And so my get fit plan was born. (If you live in Nashville, do yourself a favor and get in the car RIGHT NOW and drive to McKay's. You won't be sorry.)

I am supposed to eat six times a day (which might sound crazy to some but I am always hungry so it works out well for me) and include as many power foods at each meal or snack as possible. The power foods are kind of obvious. Think real foods like nuts, beans, fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and cereal, low fat dairy, lean meat, eggs and olive oil. Basically all the stuff we already know we're supposed to eat.

The book stresses that it's not about cutting out the things you can't have, but enjoying the things you can have. I like that because as soon as you tell me I can't have something, I want it. Bad. So if I want a beer or a glass of wine, it's OK. If I don't want to stop putting sugar in my coffee, fine. I even get one cheat meal a week where I can eat anything I want (supposedly planning a cheat is good for your metabolism and stops you from feeling like a big fat failure when you polish off a plate of nachos).

There's a work out component too, of course, that is supposed to help you build muscle so your resting metabolism skyrockets and you become a fat burning machine. It's just stuff I can do at home (like squats, bicep curls, crunches) on the days I don't do something fun at the Y.

The deal is, if you follow his plan you should see a major transformation in your body in just six weeks. How great is that? Sure, it could be little more than a catchy headline stretched into a full length book but I've got nothing to lose (aside from a few extra pounds, of course).

I think the eating part will be easy to stick to, especially since the diet isn't so much a diet as a healthy way to eat for life. And the at home workout only takes 20 minutes so, as long as Liam continues to be amused by it (Mama, can I ride ON you while you do that?), I shouldn't have a problem squeezing it in.

So far I feel great (you know, since it's been a whole DAY since I started...). The only thing that's off is I'm really, really thirsty. But that has nothing to do with the diet and everything to do with the murky brownish water that has been coming out of our tap all day. The house behind us is being taken down to the studs and I'm guessing the construction crew must have messed with something they shouldn't have. The water company has been working on it for several hours now but we emptied the Brita water pitcher long ago. If the water doesn't run clear soon, I'm going to have to crack open a beer to hydrate.

And I won't even have to feel guilty.

1 comment:

hezza said...

yes...the Abs diet is poorly named. It is more like a super-foods grazing plan that gives you plenty of protein and all those good fats. Its also big on flavor and texture and general yumminess. Its interesting how things that are good for you taste great together (like a nut, a funky cheese, a bitter green and a sweet berry). I have found with a little prepping, I can have lots of those yummy options to graze upon throughout the week. Oh, and of course, god love trader joes for being packed to the ceiling with all of those abs-diet friendly options.