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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Nine more months, are you body ready?

It is exactly nine more months until Trinidad Carnival 2010, and though there may not be much excitement as yet with everything still under wraps (note we have yet to receive an infoblast or email with band launch dates or 2010 presentations) you, yes YOU, can start getting ready for the fabulous costumes in store by putting that fitness and diet plan into action.

I don't know about the rest of you guys (since there are some die hard gym bunnies who are working out 365 days a year) but each year I make the promise to myself to start getting Carnival body ready as SOON as I have laid eyes on my costume of choice. Following band launch I have all these lofty goals of hitting the gym and carefully starting a diet plan that would help me achieve my goal of losing that magic number of pounds that I think would make me happy enough to sport my thong all over town.

What REALLY happens is that I procrastinate, life gets in the way of my plans, and I make excuses. I am too busy with band launches or traveling or just celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, relaxing at some all inclusive resort stuffing my face as if there is no Carnival in a few months. And then by the time I know it, Christmas is around the corner and you know dieting at Christmas is near impossible so what results is a frantic, over ambitious plan to lose the weight just two months before Carnival when January hits.

I have done it before and I continue to do it, getting caught in this vicious cycle, putting my body under unnecessary stress! This year I embarked on the South Beach diet hard core, to be honest I started before Christmas and then the diet got derailed and I had to start all over in the new year. Of course I saw GREAT results when I started, the numbers on the scale went down impressively in the first two weeks after the induction stage. However being on a low carbohydrate diet has it's side effects and cons. The numbers on the scale were going down and so too was my energy!

To even get the willpower to get on the treadmill was torture, but with the pressure of Carnival right around the corner I did manage to squeeze in SOME carido activity while on the South Beach diet. Let me tell you, it was hard but I did manage to come closer to my weight loss goal in such a short space of time. In addition, I did something that is not recommended, but was motivated by pure vanity. Since I was feeling bloated (note I did not say I looked bloated) as I was expecting my gift from mother nature right after Carnival, I got advice from someone to try a diuretic pill. Now I had never taken a water pill, as they are commonly known, before but I read up on the side effects and decided I would try it anyway.

The result was the bloated feeling evaporated and in no time at all I thought I LOOKED smaller and was quite pleased. However this meant the days prior to Carnival I could not be far from a toilet as the pill made you urinate constantly and on the road I had to drink lots, and lots and lots of water which STILL did not make me feel any less dehydrated! I was like camel, even after Carnival, with an insatiable thirst.

Looking back I think it was a stupid thing to do especially as I know of another masquerader who was so extreme with their weight loss plan that they were not eating, taking diuretics and got ill on Carnival Tuesday having to leave the band very early. So my point is that instead of waiting until January to do the impossible with crazy diets, diet pills and dangerous diuretics, why not start by putting plans and goals in place now? I know, it is a rhetorical question, but seriously 9 months is more than enough time to lose weight the RIGHT way with diet and exercise so what are you waiting for!?

In the end I was okay with the weight I managed to lose for Carnival, but of course it was not a weight loss that remained as I put those pounds right back on;I have not gone on a scale since then! I am proud of my friends and fellow masqueraders who have continued with the Zumba classes, gym and yoga even after Carnival is just a distant memory to us all and I have finally taken the steps into losing the weight for 2010 the proper way. I have been advised to get at least 3 days of exercise in for the week for now, as well as to do a meal plan at to jump start this fitness plan. I have two weeks to start this and report back to my advisor so I will let you all know how it is working for me.

Which brings me to the inspiration for today! This is a masquerader who lost her weight through exercise (religiously going to the gym) and a sensible diet plan, over the course of 6 months; her starting weight was 210 lbs in September 2008 and she reached 167 lbs in February!

Before @ 210 lbs

After @ 167lbs

I hope her journey can be as much as an inspiration for you as it was for me! Way to go girl!
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