Today Elaine from the Miss Elaine-ous Life is sharing her South Beach Success story!
On May 16th of this year I was sitting in my bed and eating my THIRD cupcake for the day and probably my FIFTH for the weekend. See, the day before we’d had my son’s 3rd birthday party and there were too many leftovers, if you get my drift.
I looked myself over and realized A) I just “sneaked” this cupcake B) that’s NOT healthy in SO many ways and C) it’s time to make some changes.
I had seen a friend of mine and her husband lose weight on the South Beach Diet and thought to myself, “How hard can it really be?” I felt I needed something to jump start my weight loss so I emailed her and she let me borrow the book right away. I started the following Monday with the strict first two weeks of Phase 1.
And I won’t lie, it WAS hard. I cried the third day because I just wanted a darn piece of fruit, which is not allowed in the first two weeks. Neither are alcoholic beverages or caffeine. And of course, no bread, no potatoes and a slew of other things I liked to eat and drink. A lot. I recall standing in front of the sink cutting up strawberries for the children and it took all my will power NOT to stick one or all of them in my mouth!
I followed the recipes and food guidelines in the book and by the 5th day or so I’d already lost about 3 pounds. I was happy with and motivated by my progress and since the sight of fruit no longer made me cry, I was pretty sure I could make it the next nine days. And I did and I lost about 9 lbs. in those first two weeks!
During Phase 2 I was able to add some fruit back into my diet (Hallelujah!) and even red wine and that made the first 2 weeks well worth it! I did not miss the bread as much as I thought I would and had gotten used to eating many salads with lots of fresh vegetables as well as lean beef and turkey, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts and cheese. Oh and the famous SB “ricotta cream” for dessert.
Once I’d lost about 15 pounds total (after an additional month or so from starting…) I adapted the diet and added in some other carbs including sprouted grain breads and cereals and low carb tortillas. I also started to eat some dark chocolate, a square or so at a time to help my cravings for dessert.
To date I’ve lost about 25 pounds but I don’t credit all of that to South Beach per se. I also exercise at least 3 times a week, sometimes 4, and I’ve ultimately changed my lifestyle and the way I eat in general. Yes, I do have times when I “cheat” but I simply do not eat nearly the amount of sugar and “bad” or “simple” carbs (refined and white flours) that I used to. And I honestly don’t crave them. I can leave a basket of bread alone at a restaurant and I NEVER thought I’d be able to say that!
South Beach is based on the Glycemic Index and there are certain things that are just too high on that scale that I also avoid including potatoes, carrots and bananas. It also touts the fact that you quickly lose belly fat and I can attest to that – at least I know I did!
Although the first couple of weeks of South Beach were tough I think I’ve found an eating lifestyle (I loathe the word “diet”) that I can live with. I would like to lose another 5 – 10 lbs. and do my best to maintain at that point. I’m pretty happy with my body at this point and I feel I don’t use food as a “crutch” as much as I used to.
I’m running again and plan to do my first 10K in less than a week and I’ve also toned up by doing Zumba as well as some weight training and other cardio at our gym.
The South Beach diet definitely helped me jump start my weight loss and fitness goals. If you are interested in the diet I recommend reading the book for both the information and for the recipes and food guidelines. Here is a list of pros and cons on a good SB website, which includes other information and recipes for SB as well.
And now you can see the before and after shots showing my progress so far.
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions please leave them in the comments and I will do my best to respond. I’m certainly no expert at SB but I know it has been a great lifestyle change for me!
Elaine, congratulations on your amazing success with the South Beach Diet, and thank you so much for sharing with the Sisterhood!!