This week is crash diet week here at The Gloss, so I thought I’d share the one and only time that I successfully lost weight and kept it off, in what was sort of a crash diet/complete rethinking of the way I ate.
When I was 22, I moved to L.A. because I wanted to be an actress (let’s just accept that fact at face value, shall we, since that’s really a whole other post for a whole other theme week). I was about 15 pounds overweight, which is basically obese by Hollywood standards. My life was nevertheless marching along just fine, until, at the age of 24, two things happened: 1. My acting teacher told me that if I didn’t lose weight I would never get cast in anything (I’m assuming that now that I have lost the weight, it’s just a matter of time until I reach unprecedented levels of fame). 2. I went to the doctor, who happened to be narcoleptic (that’s neither here nor there, but you have to admit it lends a certain je ne sais quois to the story), because my lower back was bothering me. Without really running any tests, she put me on the scale, and told me the culprit for my back pain was my weight.
Let me stop here to say that neither of those admonishments is a particularly sound reason to lose weight. We shouldn’t be conforming to other people’s beauty ideals, and honestly, that doctor was probably wrong – it’s doubtful that 15 excess pounds, at age 24, was putting a strain on my back.
But at that phase of your life, if you’re told by people you consider experts that you’re sabotaging your career and your health by being a little on the chubby side, you listen (well, if you’re me, you listen).
From there, I took a good look at what I was eating. As it turned out, my diet was comprised almost entirely of carbohydrates. I basically ate bagels and cereal, with the occasional bowl of pasta thrown in there for gastronomic variety. It occurred to me that if I cut out carbs and replaced them with protein, or even a green thing — any green thing — I would be changing the way I had eaten for my entire life. That, I thought, might result in a weight reduction.
So I did it.
For about a year, I embarked on what I would now call a “crash:” I stopped eating carbs altogether. Nary a cracker passed my lips for twelve whole months. Unsurprisingly, I lost about 20 pounds. I felt great. I looked great. But I was constantly hungry.
No, like, constantly. I was never full. I was rarely even satiated. And I remember the moment that I broke that diet like it was yesterday. It was 2:00 in the morning, and I was on my way home from a bar, and something snapped. I wanted — no, I needed — to eat some Chicken McNuggets. And so I pulled up to a McDonald’s, and I fucking ordered them. And them I fucking ate them. And they were glorious.
Since then, I’ve toned down my carbohydrate restrictions. I eat carbs. I just try to balance them out with things like salad, for instance, and fruit, and eggs, and meat, and every other part of the now-defunct food pyramid. I’ve gained about five pounds back, but otherwise I’ve maintained my weight. Now I’m just waiting for the fame.