Aspen Princess: Weighing the good against the bad … and finding motivation | AspenTimes.com

Aspen Princess: Weighing the good against the bad … and finding motivation

Alison Berkley Margo
Aspen Princess

Ryan and I are doing another cleanse diet thing and he lost 14 pounds in two weeks.

Please god, in my next life, I want to be a man with a high metabolism. Amen.

After all these years, you guys know I'm obsessed with my weight, mostly because of my inability to lose it. I know it drives all my friends crazy. I can almost hear them rolling their eyes over the phone when I launch into yet another monologue about my frustrations with not being able to lose weight despite this, that or the other thing.

The thing is, I've done every diet known to man. I lived through the low-fat diet craze of the '80s and the Atkins Diet in the '90s. For almost 10 years, I consumed nothing but cottage cheese, chicken breast and salad. I'll never forget when a really hot musician took me out on a first date when I was living in Jackson Hole.

I thought things were going great when he looked straight at me and said, "What's with the carnage?" And then gestured at the pile of rice I'd crammed into my now empty miso soup bowl.

He never asked me out on a second date, even though I was really thin.

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I moved to Aspen in 2002 and then I was all about celebrity-style dieting, which consisted of not eating much of anything at all and smoking cigs or drinking coffee whenever I was hungry, and of course working out two or three times a day.

These days it's all about elimination diets or eating "clean," which basically means emptying out all your cupboards until all you're left with is kale and tahini. You can eat meat as long as you know its genetic profile and where exactly it was raised, kind of like living in America during the Trump era. It's all about lean, white meat. Plus, it's only entitled rich people who can actually afford to starve themselves by not eating anything that isn't artisanal.

Of course I've done several of these elimination diets. I did a six-week paleo challenge where I ate like a cavewoman and ended up gaining weight because I ate so much paleo granola that I probably tripled my daily caloric intake on account of "eliminating" the oats and only using high-calorie, high-fat nuts with coconut oil and maple syrup.

Then I did a 10-day cleanse wherein I spent 250 bucks on products from a multilevel marketing company who tried to brainwash me by forcing me to drink this nasty green drink three times a day, swallowing a bunch of their supplements, and then eating only green foods. I lost weight, but after 10 days of being miserable and slightly constipated, I was too pissed off to enjoy the five minutes I was thin before gaining all the weight back as soon as I started eating actual food again.

I've also done a bunch of juice cleanses, and you would actually be amazed by how expensive it is to make raw juice from organic produce. I will say that the effects are pretty profound. It did prove to me that what you eat does affect your health in a wide variety of ways. While it can be a good way to jump-start weight loss and/or clear out a disturbed or sick system, eventually you want to go back to like, chewing your food.

For years, my obsession with my weight had everything to do with how I looked. Now that I'm pushing 50, that's the least of my worries. A recent visit to the doctor revealed that my weight was the highest it's ever been. I also learned that I was on the line for diabetes, with blood-sugar levels venturing out of the normal range into something dangerously high. Since giving birth, I've also had issues with hiatal hernia, a constant pain between my rib cage and stomach where my bloated abdomen is creating pressure against my diaphragm.

Plus, the superficial part of me that is obsessed with my looks took a backseat when I became a mother. This is a mixed blessing: on the one hand, it feels good to have my priorities straight and to feel happier and more fulfilled than I ever have before. On the other, I have less time to devote to myself, forget about the full-time job my body seems to require to remain fit and trim.

That's when I knew I had to get my diet under control once and for all. I threw down my credit card and spent $300 on yet another multilevel marketing company that does nutritional supplements and offers a 30-day cleanse program. This one is basically the designer Slim Fast diet (if you're old enough to remember those commercials): "A shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch, and a healthy, balanced dinner." You buy this insanely expensive protein powder and make smoothies for breakfast and lunch. Then you get to eat dinner, sans all the usual suspects, including gluten, dairy and processed sugar.

Ryan watched me do this for a few weeks before he decided to join me, a choice he came to entirely on his own. I've lost 10 pounds in six weeks to his 14 in two, but we are both feeling and looking much better. If my husband was handsome before, he's smoking hot now, and I'm just happy I can fit back into my favorite pair of jeans. I'm a long way from where I was back in my 20s when I could work out all the livelong day and think of no one but myself, but I'm hoping I've found the balance. Having a child in our 40s, we're pretty motivated to take care of ourselves so we can stay young for our kid.

In that regard, my motivation to be thin hasn't changed much. It's still all about a boy. Only now, it's my beautiful son.

The Princess is so happy it rained. Email your love to alisonmargo@gmail.com.

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