Kick Start My Heart

I never thought of driving as a strenuous activity,” I murmured to myself while on my way to Syracuse last Saturday and trying not to nod off. It was the middle of the day; I should have been wide awake. But I had forgotten the golden rule of the diet kick-start/cleanse: work out at your own risk when you’ve dropped your caloric intake down to infinitesimal levels.

For the first time since 2009, I am taking a beach vacation this summer. And let me clarify, while Shawn, Melinda and I went to San Diego to visit Big Hungry Lance and Annie in 2009, the weather was cold and overcast, as it was in 2008 when we went to Ocean City, MD. I haven’t had a real beach vacation that included actually lying on the beach in swimwear since sometime around 2004. This is a sacrilege, as laying on the beach with a good read is one of my very most favorite leisure time activities ever.

So I’m really excited to be hitting Hilton Head, SC this July with Katie and Robin, with whom I shared a suite sophomore year at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian College. We haven’t all been together since 1999, a very bleak period in fashion history:

I know this picture is small – it’s scanned. But you may notice Katie’s kind of epic ombre hair, my do-it-yourself highlights and choker necklace, and Robin’s clunky footwear. Oh, 1999, ya done us wrong. I’ll have a new set of worries to address for this summer’s trip: while Robin was born svelte and never looked back and Katie regularly runs in 5K and other Ks with numbers higher than I can keep track of…I blog about food and count bacon as my favorite. I shudder to imagine myself in even a one piece, let alone a bikini, but am determined to enjoy this vacation looking great in a two-piece. That’s a swimming costume, not a basket of fried chicken.

Enter, Dr. Roger Adams, AKA Gomez, husband of my colleague Lisa/Morticia, and nutrition and exercise coach extraordinaire. As I explained last fall, when I worked with Sheri Oppenheimer at the 100 Women Project, I do better dieting with rules. I’m a goal-oriented gal, and my type A personality and Virgo birth sign set me up to do best with a strict meal plan and a disciplinarian to guide me. Otherwise, I am fully capable of convincing myself that bacon, pork shoulder, flour tortillas, and mac and cheese are all within reasonable healthy eating plans. Roger’s EatRightFitness business is currently my Jedi Master.

The first step of Roger’s plan is a bit brutal, and that’s what landed me in the car on Saturday, driving to Syracuse for a fundraiser and feeling like I might keel over in the driver’s seat. A three-day cleanse or “Kick-start,” as Roger calls it, is a great way to get your metabolism in gear, but one would be wise to skip one’s usual 60 minute treadmill workout when one is consuming mostly fruit and a few protein shakes. Sheri used to say a cleanse was a good time to lay off the cardio and practice “self-care,” and I should have heard her voice in my head this time.

I was wiser on Sunday, and stuck close to the couch, doing some light stretching, laundry, helping Shawn lift flat screens around the house and whatnot. But Roger’s EatRight mojo is already working – I’ve lost five pounds of water weight just since Saturday!

I’m writing this on Monday, and start Phase 1 of the diet itself tomorrow. I also am traveling to Austin, TX tomorrow for a work event, so it will be fun to maintain a really strict eating plan while rushing through airports and whatnot. Luckily, I’m staying in my favorite Austin business-approved hotel - Courtyard by Marriott Downtown – so I’ll be in a comfortable and familiar location from my IBM freelancing days. I believe I’m meeting Big Hungry Jill’s sister Alison for either lunch of dinner at Max’s Wine Dive there tomorrow, so I’ll blog about that later in the week, although my schedule will most likely preclude a post Wednesday morning this week. Max’s looks pretty amazing, and I’m using it as my cheat meal this week, though Gomez has warned me not to undo all my progress by going overboard. I’ll look into sampling a few appetizers, probably, and maybe splitting an entrée with Alison.

Meantime, if you need a little help getting ready for bikini season, check out EatRightFitness.com to read more about Roger’s shtick. His guidance is very much different from the soft touch of the 100 Women Project. It’s an interesting change to have defined meal plans with amounts of food I can eat, and even the times in the day I should be eating. He’s also sent me a workout plan that will be challenging when I’m on the road this week, but has me moving six days a week, which is basically what I was doing when I worked from home and have slacked off on majorly since taking an office job. The thing is, I think we’ve all passed the days where we think a magical diet will cure us forever. It really is all about calories in/calories out, and if I want my work-from-home body back, I have to find a way to work exercise back into my weekday routine. It won’t be easy, but I didn’t actually expect it to be.

If you do decide to call Roger up and enlist his help, please let me know. We can be wellness buddies and get on track together! As much as being more spartan in my diet pains me from a BHS standpoint, I do love all the things I learn working with these experts. For instance, I’ve battled restless legs for years, and Roger told me last week that increasing my water intake up over 100 ounces a day and more cardio workouts could help, and sure enough, Saturday, I only needed one of my crazy legs pills to get to sleep!

Don’t forget to check in on our Big Hungry Shelby group on Facebook, where I’ll talk more about my day-to-day dieting goals, and follow me @BigHungryShelby on Twitter, where my tweets range from food musings to Gavin DeGraw commentary. Have a great week, Big Hungry Nation! My hunger is big, my personality is bigger!


  1. I hear voices in my head as well Shelby... lucky for me they speak some other language so I have no idea what they are saying. Je te dis merde on your diet! I'm gonna go get myself a three piece!


    P.S.~ Real punchy piece... liked it a lot!

  2. Ah, the do it yourself highlights. I was a victim as well in 1999. Good luck on the weight loss!

  3. For the record, I'd like to point out that my body nor my hair look the same as in 1999! It's amazing how your metabolism slows down in your 30's and if it makes you feel any better, I'm also dieting for our big vacation! I'm sure all 3 of us will look fantastic by July and if not, well then we'll just drink until we think we do!

  4. Brilliant solution, Kid Sister! But I agree, we're bound to look fab. How could we not?