Soooooo.... long time, no blogging. The last 18 months or so have been extremely challenging for me. There was a lot of bad shit going on in my family, a lot of bad shit going on in my professional life, and a lot of potential bad shit going on in the professional life of someone close to me. Plus, I am still working on my novel. Slowly. All that stress and badness led not only to a complete lack of desire to blog, but also to gaining weight. Sure, I have been running a lot, which reduced stress enormously until it led to plantar fasciitis in both my feet, and thus more stress, but it wasn't enough to combat the emotional eating. I put on ten pounds quickly and carried it around for a long time. Which also made it slightly harder to run. Whatever. Vicious cycles work that way, right?

Anyway, things are settling down a bit (the personal professional situation is a million times better, so that's a huge relief), and I have an upcoming trip to Iceland. This trip requires wearing a bathing suit. I know that sounds absurd. Who wears a bathing suit in Iceland in mid-February? Well, people who are going to geothermal pools to relax do. The problem is that I not only look like a seal who escaped from a circus (complete with whiskers), but I can't really close my board shorts over my hideous bathing suit. Some weight loss seemed reasonable.

While wringing my hands over this dilemma and eating PopTarts (did you know that they make them in Sugar Cookie flavor? DELICIOUS!!!), someone I knew via running and follow on Facebook wrote something about a metabolism booster diet that she tried. It seemed interesting. I followed the link.

The diet was developed by Swim Bike Mom, who is training for an extra challenging triathlon (although, seriously, I find the thought of a triathlon challenging enough) and needed to shed some pounds so that she could better compete. She worked with a nutritionist. They developed a metabolism boost diet that allowed her to train safely while losing weight. It is for sale as 3 Week Boost eBook (ie - a pdf buyers will get via email and can print themselves) for $12.

I thought, what the hell, for $12 I'll try it out. I bought it and sat around staring at it for a few weeks before implementing the plan. I was a bit worried because there is a very dramatic introduction that warned me that I would be VERY HUNGRY in the first week (although the writer also lost ten pounds in that time), and I'm not so into hunger. I started with week two. After all, I'm only looking to lose ten pounds total. I was not hungry and lost three pounds, which was exciting until I went away for a long weekend and gained about two back. But still, not bad.

Since I was not hungry, I decided to try week one. I was also not hungry during that week, either. The whole thing is very high protein, lots and lots of vegetables, protein shakes that made me suspicious until I tried them, and some fruit. There are six meals a day, to be eaten every 2.5-3 hours. After week one, I lost four pounds or so. Nice. (Some of this will be recaptured during my Super Bowl eating activities, but whatever.)

Anyone who regularly exercises and wants a diet boost could probably do well on this. The main pro in my mind is how easy the meals are. I do not cook. I hate cooking. But I could find appropriate, prepared foods that worked well (Gorton's Tilapia Filets - totally amazing!), and if I was not a hater of the stove, I suspect that cooking things on the diet would not be hard. Another big pro is that all the days are planned out, so it is easy to follow. Also, there is a lot of Greek yogurt in it, and I love Greek yogurt.

The cons, though, are that the plan is horrifically written. It says to eat 6 oz tilapia and chicken. Well, how should they be cooked? No idea. It says to eat cans of tuna, but not what size can. There's no information on what to drink. I assumed that alcohol, pop, and artificially sweetened stuff was out (and sips of Diet Coke throughout the week was my cheat), but what about coffee or tea? No clue. Do I have to ear fat free Greek yogurt, or is 2% OK? Nada. On the Saturday meal plan, it said it was a flexible day and you could switch meals around. Could I do that on other days? I left a comment on the author's blog asking that, and interpreted the response I received as snippy. (She said it was written in the plan that the order of meals could be changed, but I have re-read this many times, and it says that nowhere.) Annoyingly, the shopping list for the week, which should be awesome, sometimes has the wrong amounts to buy. (I just made my list by going through each day and tallying up the items.) Finally, there are typos. A lot of typos. Like instead of tsbp, 9sbp, or instructions to make a smoothie with a cup of water and water, rather than a cup of water and ice. For a pdf file that I have to print myself, $12 is a lot of money for these types of mistakes and omissions.

That said, I am glad that I am doing this diet. A friend of mine with a nutrition degree said it was very good. I have overall felt great on it, in the sense that I have not been hungry and have had lots of energy for hard workouts. It has forced me to eat vegetables. I believe that in the two weeks I followed this plan, I have eaten more veggies than I did in the past three months. Seriously. So thanks to Swim Bike Mom for sharing her plan, flaws and all. If anyone has any questions about it, email me. I'm happy to proselytize.