As I’ve told you before, I’ve been failing miserably in my attempt to gain fifteen pounds in Italy. In fact, I believe I’m actually down seven or eight now, which works for skinny jeans, so I guess I’ll get over it. Some of you have asked, however, how I have accomplished this. Well, I’ll tell you. It’s a simple 10 step program I’ve invented over here.
Get 8-10 hours of sleep every night.
And I mean every night. There have only been a handful of nights when I’ve gotten less, and my body has been most grateful for the rest.
Rarely, if ever, set an alarm.
I have always been anti-alarm clock, but unfortunately, it is a necessary evil in our world. Left to its own rhythm, my body would naturally go to sleep around 2:00 a.m. and wake up at 10 or 11. However, normal business hours do not generally allow for such a schedule. Tell me. Who decided that we go to work between 8:00 and 9:00 and stay until 5:00 or 6:00? I would happily work from 1:00-9:00 if I could still have a social life, but when your friends have to be at work at 8:30 the next day, they’re not usually up for dinner at 9:30 the night before. I say we start a revolution.
When you wake up, lie in bed for an hour before you get out from under the covers.
I spend the time writing, and I think everyone can do it. It’s not good writing or lucrative writing. It’s just sort of a time to let my brain wake up and get out anything I would otherwise spend the day wrestling with or trying to think remember. I write down weird dreams I had, I make the day’s to-do list, I try to remember how long it’s been since I washed my hair – all the things that my mind would normally just be churning and churning and making me crazy with. This way, they’re out, and I can organize them better, and they don’t distract me from the rest of the day’s tasks.
Get rid of your boss. Even if you have a really good boss.
I had a really good boss in Raleigh. It’s not the person that’s the problem. It’s the stress of having to do things the right way and having someone always there to see that you do. If you’re your own boss, you can screw things up all you want and know that you won’t get fired for it.
Have zero stress.
I think this is the most important one because if you don’t have any stress, you sleep better, and if you sleep better, you don’t feel like you need to pump your body full of sugar and caffeine to give you energy, and if you think you need to fill up on sugar and caffeine, you can make better food choices, and if you make better food choices, you lose weight.
Stop worrying about money, even if you don’t have much.
I don’t have much money, especially since I stopped getting paid by Wake Tech. I make a little money from writing, but it’s not a lot. But I haven’t worried too much about it. I haven’t gone crazy with the spending, but I haven’t stressed about it either. It’s been nice.
Stop driving. Take the bus. Bum a ride. Walk.
I don’t mean you need to put on your tennis shoes and walk like for exercise (see #8). I just mean that when you take public transportation, you naturally walk more. For example, every time I want to go downtown, I walk from my house to the coffee shop where I buy my bus tickets. Then I walk to the bus stop. I ride the bus for a long time, and then I walk from the bus to the train. Once I’m off the train, I walk all around downtown, but I don’t really notice how far it is because I’m walking in and out of shops and museums and pretty churches and restaurants. It’s not exercise. It’s just more activity.
Do not exercise.
I brought exercise clothes with me (against my own advice). I didn’t use them at all, and I mailed them home last week. I don’t know about y’all, but I hate to exercise. I feel like it’s something I have to do, and that stresses me out, and as we have already established, stress is the enemy. Be active. Don’t exercise.
Instead of exercising 3-5 times a week, drink a glass or two of wine with dinner 3-5 times a week.
I don’t know if this is helpful or not, but it is very enjoyable, and I highly recommend it.
Eat whatever you want, excluding meat.
No joke, y’all. I have been eating things that I never ate at home (or so rarely that they didn’t count) – chips, mounds and mounds of (non-whole wheat) pasta, cheese, creamy sauces, peanut butter EVERY day, Nutella, fried things, unbelievable amounts of pizza, cookies, pastries. It’s terrible. I still eat a lot of veggies and fruits (we have orange and lemon trees in our yard for crying out loud), but if diet were the only factor in weight loss, I would have long-since surpassed my fifteen-pound goal. I mean last night, I ate a Nutella pizza. Let me just say that again: NUTELLA PIZZA. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a TV commercial for Nutella, but they’re hilarious. They are very careful not to claim that Nutella is good for you in any way. They just say that it’s delicious, and that if you eat it on whole wheat bread with other good-for-you things like fruit, it can be part of a balanced breakfast. I think there also may be some claim that it gives you energy, but that is probably due to the 21 grams of sugar per serving.
Now, clearly, this is not a very scientific weight loss study, and I cannot vouch for the results on anyone other than myself, but I’m just sayin’. Seven pounds. Maybe eight. I’ve got two more days.