My name is Christian Bellingrath and I am married for 40 years to the women I love, my wife Renate. I met her at a party at the University of Dortmund Valentines day 41 years ago. We have two children, Marc, who is 38 and single, and Tina, who is 37 and is merried and has two children aged two and four. For over 25years we live with our children in Florida and we are glad that both live in Tampa, so we see them quite often.
We are Members of a Lutheran Church in Apollo Beach read about our planned trip to Luther's hometown, etc.. I used to sing in the choir at the 8 am service for many years, although I am not an early morning riser. I joined the choir at out church even before we became official members. Renate and I pray every day at night before we go to bed and we try to find some time to read the bible every week. From time to time we host bible studies at our house, we also cook twice a year at our church during lent and advent for about 125 people as we have dinners before the Wednesday services at our church.
We love food and wine, we love to entertain - and we love to travel. Therefore a cruise fits pretty good what we like. The problem with my love for food and wine is that I have to loose some weight. In February 2010, I had decided that for the wedding I needed to loose some weight until May 1 of the same year as I wanted to look great when walking my daughter down the isle on her wedding day. That gave me the motivation to go on the South Beach Diet again and I have began on February 9, 2010. My weight was 217 pounds and I wanted to reach just under 200 pounds. Just in time for the wedding I reached 198.2 pounds. I am sorry to say that I gained all of it back as we had guests and I was eating more than I should and was not following the diet. W
January 2, 2017 I will start my South Beach diet again and I want to go back to the 200 pound or less. Then I just want to keep my weight.
Nine years ago, when my wife gave me a huge Viking gas grill for my 50th birthday, we went for about half a year on the Atkin's Diet. That worked out pretty fine, but we slowly gained weight again after we left the diet - and the South Beach diet is in my opinion healthier than Atkins.
Why do most diets fail? Because everyone does not like to stay on it. Therefore when we started on the South Beach Diet for the first time in 2005, we made one important chage to the diet - we grant us two vacation days per week from the diet. It is much easier to stay on a diet for a long time, when you do not have to do it all the time.
How does my changed diet look like?
What do we change compared to the official South Beach Diet?
- For Breakfast, we always have two eggs, nothing more, nothing less, only two cups of strong black coffee (life starts after the second cup of coffee).
Here we have only very few exeptions, even after we discontinued the diet three years ago. NO bread and NO organge juice is very important. One exeption is Valetines day, when I prepare for my wife a nice breakfast with French bread, smoked salmon, and a glass of bubbly. Sometimes we break the diet Sundays after church when we go for breakfast with friends.
- For Lunch we usually try just to have some salad and cold meat (leftovers from the night before as I am usually grill too much) or fish (tuna or salmon in a can or sardines). We just add a very easy to make dressing of virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar (Costco offers a great balsamic vinegar in 1 L bottles for around ten dollars).
- For Dinner we often grill on my gas grill some meat or seafood and have some salad or vegetables.
- NO alcohol during most diet days, only on the two vacation days + one of the diet days we can have two glasses of red wine.
- When we have lost the weight we want, we will relax the diet even more and allow us some fruit and a glass of wine every evening. To allow the fruit means usually that we eat some fresh berries and also eat yocurt that we make with berries (we taw frozen berries in the microwave), add the yocurt and pomgranate juice. This is a fast and healty lunch.
First of all there are three steps in the diet. The first two weeks are very strict and allow absolutely no carbs. Sorry, I tried that, but it is impossible for me. It is better as you loose much more weight that way. Then comes a little bit relaxed handling of the diet (but I stretch it even more), where you can eat from time to time some carbs and some fruit. If you go to a steakhouse and they do not offer just vegetables or you really want a baked potato, eat it with a lot of butter. This slows down the spike of sugar in your blood. Avoid carbs and sugar (and sugar substitutes, which are bad for your health according to the health newsletter I receive). Once you lost your weight you can switch to a more relaxed state just to keep the weight. My problem with my last two diets was that after two or three years I stopped my diet. But read the way I am changing my diet to make it possible to stick with it. I will let you know if I made it to just below 200 pounds on May 1, 2010 for my daughter's wedding. Today, February 9, the beginning of my diet I have 216.2 pounds, so about 16 and a half pounds to loose.
- Two days a week we grand us a "vacation" from the diet. There are events at the chambe of commerce, or at church, or an invitation from a friend where it would be difficult or impossible to follow the diet. It is no problem if you are going to a steak house, like Outback, where you eat a steak and vegetables and have a salad before. SKIP the bread and NO beer, not even during Happy Hour, where you get two for the price of one. If we want to have some bread or French fries or beer, we count that day as a diet vacation day. Usually we take this vacation for the weekend, if nothing else is scheduled.
- On the vacation days we drink wine or beer, eat pasta (that is what I am missing on the diet) or potatoes, rice dnd whatever carb we want. So life is good even when dieting. You need a vacation to relax every year, so does your diet!!!!
© 2010-2016 by Christian Bellingrath. All rights reserved.