Sunday, January 19, 2014

things i learned on the 3-day military diet

I ate whatever I wanted to on Christmas vacation and it finally caught up to me. 

I needed a kick start to lose it all.

The wildly popular military diet promises you'll lose ten pounds in three days. 

I had nothing to lose, so- wait, I had ten pounds to lose, so- I decided to give it a try.

Here's what I learned:

1) dieting is lonely

2) I have a massive sugar habit that fresh ground whole wheat does not negate

3) I love to eat

4) I love to cook even more than I love to eat

5) dieting can push others out of my life

6) I snack far more than I thought I did

7) my kids think I'm skinny (LOVE THEM)

8) dieting makes me grumpy and cross

9) choosing and preparing food is an art; I like that task and don't like someone else planning it for me

10) I hate dieting

After working out like a maniac, drinking water, eating an extraordinary amount of tuna and boiled eggs (ehhhhhhbleeehhhhhyuck) and no snacking at all I lost a measly 2 pounds on the second day.  I never got to the y on the third day, but I doubt I lost 8 pounds.  I ate at my favorite coffee shop with a friend on Friday morning, came home to lunch and Jacob's homemade [whole wheat, mind you] monkey bread for lunch, and we ordered Dominoes for supper.  Pretty sure my two pounds lost are back on.

I am not a dieter and I don't own a bathroom scale.  It's on purpose, too, my little effort to reject our culture's obsession with weight and unrealistic expectations for women.  I don't want my daughter to grow up watching me weigh myself and whine, or weigh herself and think that her value comes from numbers (or lack of numbers).

With that said, I know how it feels to be overweight.  I really never want to go back to that; in my mind I am just one box of oreos away from the slippery slope.  I envy the effortlessly thin:  it isn't effortless for me at all, it is a humoungous huge massive big whatever i give up battle.

When I decided to lose weight, I had some extreme motivation:  I liked a guy.  (surprise, surprise.)  He was funny and smart and cute and very popular in my group of friends and I didn't think I stood a chance unless I was skinny.  Or sort of skinny.  When you're almost six feet tall, no one is ever going to refer to you as wispy, slight, slender, small [etcetera ad nauseum]. But I definitely wanted to move away from the big girl description. 

I did lose it.  It was really hard.  I ran.  Miles and miles and miles.  I did sit ups.  I drank dieter's tea that made me so ill I didn't drink it again. (I never forgot the stuff:  Apricot dieter's tea.  Avoid it.  Vile liquid, that.) I ate salads and cut sugar and quit eating whole bags of Doritos and just plain quit eating so much, which was really hard, because I dearly love to eat.  But I lost a lot of weight.  And I wasn't big anymore.  I did end up having a chance with Daniel ;) and although of course we fell in love because of a million other reasons, I know that all of my working out and losing the large had a little to do with it. 

Having been there, in the defeated frustration of facing a mountain of pounds that have to melt off of you somehow, I really never want to go back.  I worked too hard.  For better or worse, weight is something I'm always conscious of.  I don't want to obsess (which is why we don't have a scale) but I have to pay attention or else.

These days I eat pretty healthfully; I also eat exactly what everyone else is eating.  From experience, I know that you don't get overweight eating dinner with the family.  You gain weight when you finish the bag of chips and stuff the evidence in the trash, when you take the cookie dough ice cream to bed, when you drive through McD's and order fries while you're alone, when you drink pop instead of water.  And I don't want to teach my kids that it's ok for mama to eat a celery stick while they eat lunch.  That's not healthy. Besides, celery is awful.

We have sugar and we eat at McDonald's and I like potato chips as much as the next person; but there are some guidelines I follow pretty closely as I feed my lil family (and myself).

don't buy junk - if I buy the cheetohs, we will eat the cheetohs.  It's only logical.  So don't buy 'em.

don't buy pop - we stock pop for company. Otherwise- no.

don't buy juice - instead, drink sweet tea! wait, no, I mean, drink water.  Seriously, it's far better for a child to eat an apple than slurp an apple juice sippie cup. And not buying juice saves a ton of money. 

reduce meat consumption (replacing with a wide variety of legumes + eggs) -

always have fresh fruit sitting out - clementines, grapes, all kinds of apples, berries, bananas, oranges, real pineapple. 

nuts sitting out (pistachios, almonds, etc.)

plan dessert for one meal per week (sugar has a way of happening, but I usually only buy/plan for one)

oatmeal instead of cold cereal

stock healthy snack foods:  chips, salsa, popcorn, dried fruit, healthy food that actually tastes good

serve something raw with every meal blueberries thrown on top of oatmeal, baby carrots for lunch, fresh greens for supper- it doesn't have to be complicated.

have an off time when everyone's guard is down and we can just eat whatever.  weekends!

What I learned on the three day military diet?  I reminded myself why I don't follow fad diets.  It's far more fun and effective to plan healthy meals and exhibit some self control when it comes to the Edy's Cookie Dough in the freezer.

Also I learned that the three day military diet doesn't work. (Thanks for nothing, tuna x 3 cans.)


  1. I was so tempted by that military diet! Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. I lasted half a day on THAT diet. The end.

  3. Can I just say thank you? from the girl who has never been super slim like all her friends who seem to eat everything remain cute and trim (even after pregnancies). from the girl who seems to be constantly losing and gaining the same 10 pounds because of those terrible sugar cravings. from the girl who knows all the healthy food to eat, but loves ice cream and soft baked cookies. from the girl who desperately does not want to have to worry about food and simply live life.

    and from the girl who wonders if becoming slim and trim will attract the cute guy :)

    thanks for being transparent I needed to hear that :)

  4. It's not about temporary fad diets. It's about adopting healthy and sustainable eating habits.

  5. I know this has nothing to do with the theme of your blog post (which I absolutely agree with, go you), but I have found one diet I like--the Whole 30 diet. I used it to lose the baby weight from Elanor. It's very healthy and you can eat as much as you want to. I did it for 30 days in November 2012 and I haven't tried it since, though I'm keeping it in mind for when I want to shed a few pounds or for the if/when next baby :).

  6. Just admiring your work and wondering how you managed this blog so well. It’s so remarkable that I can't afford to not go through this valuable information whenever I surf the internet!

  7. I'm currently on this diet (Day 1) and totally agree! I didn't realize how much I normally eat in one day until I started today. I am so hungry but I'm trying to lose 5 lbs. so I'm gonna finish this diet & see the results. I mean, surely I'll lose AT LEAST 2lbs. -- right!?

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  9. I am truly inspired from your write-up and sharing this too with my friends and colleagues.

  10. Your post is very helpful, thank you. Multivitamins are consumed to supplement your daily nutrient intake especially if your diet consists mostly of empty calories coming from unhealthy food items like French fries, chips and cookies. Taking these regularly helps your body recover and grow. See more

  11. Wow! Thanks for the feedback regarding the military diet. Well, I tried it already before I came across your article and here's my experience with it... Well, first I tried it because I was desperate to lose some weight fast for a friend's wedding (legitimate reason, right? lol).
    The food seemed healthy enough but I did replaced a couple of food such as tuna (!), hotdogs and vanilla ice cream. Oh yeah, plus saltine crackers!
    I replaced those with broiled fish, tofu and yogurt, and felt better!
    The first day was tough. Good thing I had my sister doing the diet with me. It must be the low carb food but we felt irritable on the first day. We read somewhere that we had to drink tons of water..which we promptly did. Did we feel better? Yeah, we did!
    At the end of the diet, we lost around 4 pounds each.:)
    Here's a great link that helped us in our fitness journey, hope it helps your readers, too

  12. Nice great share, about things that learned on the 3-day military diet. You may experience better results in your military diet by accompanying it with some light exercise. Exercise is often a chore, but it can boost your metabolism and can help you lose weight. See more

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