So I started the South Beach diet yesterday. My reasons for this were twofold. The second was, of course, to lose weight—I’ve put on a good 30 pounds more than is healthy for me in the past two years. The first, the reason I’m going on South Beach instead of any other diet plan, is to help me regulate my hypoglycemia.

This plan was developed by a physician, for a bunch of overweight cardiac patients whose extra pounds were putting them at severe risk for a heart attack, or a second one. Oddly enough, however, he found by coincidence that it was also fantastic for diabetics and hypoglycemics because the entire point of the plan is to teach your body to process carbs in a different way. It’s basically a two-week Phase 1 with no “traditional” carbs (bread, pasta, potato, rice) and also no fruit . During that time, your body learns to deal with sugars and fats differently and will burn them differently from then on. (There’s also an expected weight loss of 8-13 pounds in the two weeks). After that there’s a more lenient Phase 2 where you add healthier carbs (sweet potato, whole-grain pasta and rice if you want, and fruit) back into your diet, with an average weight loss of 1-2 pounds a week. Phase 3 is maintenance, with nearly all carbs added back in moderation, for weight “maintenance”. Phase 3 is basically an unrestricted diet but by then you’ve learned to watch the amount and kind carbs you eat more carefully.

My mother actually recommended it to me, she and my father went on it for weight reasons alone, but she thought it would also help me a lot with my blood sugar issues. Mom teaches aerobics and pilates and has studied nutrition a bunch. I give her recommendations a lot of, pardon the pun, weight when it comes to things like this. I was at first surprised to hear she’d gone on it, as she usually ignores “trendy” diets. (This book is currently a top-10 bestseller at major bookstores.) She passed up on Atkins several others during their heydays, but this one caught her eye. Reading through it, I can see why. It looks solid, balanced, and logical.

I’m really hoping it’ll do what it’s supposed to and balance out my metabolism. My hypoglycemia has been a drain on me for some time now and often leaves me feeling utterly lacking in energy and unable to do things I should. It would be nice to put an end to my sugar peaks and drops and have my blood chemistry be more flatlined and less bipolar. If it doesn’t do that, oh well, at least I’ll have shed some of the weight that’s making me feel a bit sluggish lately.

I’m having really extreme sugar cravings today. Yesterday was fine, but today’s been bad. I want dessert more than I have in a long, long time. I’m sure it’s because my body has less sugar than it’s used to, but it’s kind of unpleasant. mcc went looking for sugar-free fudge pops for me, but couldn’t find them at the local store so I’m stuck with gum instead. This is feeling a bit stressful right now, but supposedly the acute cravings go away within a week or so.

It’s amazing how carb oriented our culture really is. I went out for lunch today and ordered a salad. Which they served with bread. Everywhere I go, bread comes to the table, or tortilla chips. Most side dishes to meals are potatoes or pasta or rice. Another thing that’s surprised me is that for all the diet soda on the market, restaurants have very few. (I’ve had to switch over in the past days due to this whole damnable no sugar thing). I’ve found ONE place in town so far that has diet Sprite. Sprite is pretty much a staple drink anywhere one goes, why not have the diet too? Seems the only diet soda anyone has is diet Coke. At all. Anywhere. This is annoying me somewhat.

Wish me luck, I’m going to need it. I’ve never been fantastic in the willpower department. I think if I make it past this week, or at least the first two week hard phase I’ll be OK, but that’s going to be difficult for me. Carbs are some of my favorite things to eat. The no fruit rule is going to be horrible as well. That’ll be the first thing I add back.

Oh well. Here goes…