You could say I’ve been on a diet my entire life. You know how it is. Some people can eat all they want and not gain weight. I am embarrassed to say my husband wears two pants in order to camouflage his thinness . He weighs less than 120 lbs and is chiseled like Bruce Lee, but he does not work out. He drinks Coca Cola like a coke addict and drinks lamb fat, literally, he drizzles it all over his kebob. I cut out carbs and crave pasta and warm oven bread in my dreams, yet I am the one who looks like I have a problem controlling my eating. It’s not bloody fair.
I did at one point maintain a decent weight—for me 5’2” it was 130 lbs. But that was with a strict regimen of daily Pilates and Tae Bo workouts as well as a food diary and constant vigilance when it came to food. In other words, I had to expend an incredible amount of energy and care to keeping a decent figure. Once I got pregnant and life got hectic, it was over. The Buddha belly came back, the beluga whale thighs, the bulging loaves of arms. I ballooned to 185 lbs. Although I try to keep fit and limit my carbs, no matter what I do my body has been fixed at a specific point that it would take supernatural strength to budge it. Add to this the incredible stress at work and life that has spiked cortisol and other stress hormones in my body, and it is no wonder I have developed an unsightly Michelin tire around my midsection.
The more I live the more I see that weight is like height. Each body is born pre-programmed to be a certain weight metabolically. And although not impossible, it is extremely difficult to change each person’s metabolic thermostat rating. More and more studies are pointing out that this is the case when it comes to weight. Additionally, like addictions and whatever other evils have plagued mankind, weight seems to be hereditary. The tendency to lead a more active life style might also be a product of synaptic connections. Studies from Kent State University have revealed that There is something to be said that losing weight has much more to do with the mind than the stomach. So don’t blame the poor fat f*** on the bus. He or she is doomed to deal with the weight of his/her fate.
I have observed a strange phenomenon when it comes to my weight however. I call it the Greece effect. I have found that when I come to Greece, without really focusing too much on what I am eating and walking around like a tourists, I easily lose 10 kilos. I think this is a result of a combination of factors—the fact that I have little stress when I am in Greece, the fact that without a car I am forced to walk everywhere, the fact that in Greece most food is organic and naturally portioned. In addition, Greece is par excellence the purveyor of the Mediterranean diet—mostly greens, fresh fruits and veggies, fish are staples. If you cut out the souvlaki and stick to eating Greek salads, it becomes quite natural to shed the pounds.
So, as I have just arrived in Greece, I am starting an experiment, using myself as the guinea pig. I will stick to a Mediterranean diet, otherwise known as The Greek Diet. (I cheated yesterday, I had two souvlaki kalamakia). I want to see how much I am able to lose in a month’s time. I will be clocking in my frappe count as I go along as well as the karpouzgia rinds and the peponia. I have a hunch that by doing very little except enjoying life and slowing down to savor food in the company of friends, family and the summer sun and sea breeze, I will lose at least 10 lbs. And I will not have torture chambered myself on those steel contraptions in the gym neither will I have starved myself so that I dream of floating on a giant cheese puff cloud in my dreams.
I will write back in a month’s time and see the verdict. If it works, then I will patent this formula for losing inches. Greece will be the next diet fad. Sure beats chewing on celery sticks and yearning for chocolate. In Greece you get pure organic vegetables and fruit. This will be more like my diet plan:
frappe, no sugar
1/2 cup Greek yogurt 0% fat
Snack: handfull of pistachios, almonds or walnuts
Greek salad, no onions, light drizzle of EEOO, some feta, cucumbers and tomatoes
grilled fresh fish lots of lemon and oregano
one small orange
natural lemonade no sugar
chorta, greens more lemon less oil
grilled veggies–zucchini, eggplant, with tzatziki sauce
grilled chicken breast
late night snack: plum or peach
The Mediterranean Diet, also known as the Greek diet, pyramid begins with a base of daily physical activity. The bottom layer includes bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, couscous, polenta and other whole grains. These foods should be eaten most often throughout the day. Above this group are fruits, vegetables and beans, legumes and nuts. Each of these foods should also be eaten daily. Fats, including olive oil, and dairy, including cheese and yogurt, are other foods that should be consumed daily. The top portion of the pyramid includes foods that should only be enjoyed weekly or monthly. Fish, poultry, eggs and sweets should be consumed on a weekly basis. Red meats are at the top of the pyramid and should make up the smallest portion of your diet by consuming only a couple times per month. The Mediterranean Diet pyramid also includes water and wine in moderation as beverages.