Amy Coward

I am a professional dieter. Or at least I should be considered professional. After all, I’ve been doing this since I was 15 and ahem, that was a while ago. I should probably receive an honorary doctorate from an esteemed university somewhere – Dr. Amy Coward, Dieter. But then, that would require me to be good at it, right? There’s the problem.

I am continually on a quest to lose weight – sometimes more, sometimes less. But there are always a few (usually at least 10) pounds that I can’t get rid of. No. Matter. What.

I’ve followed a number of plans over the years – I’ve counted calories, counted points and counted carbs. I’ve exercised like a crazy person, running in the morning, lifting weights in the afternoon. I’ve been to spin, zumba, pump and yoga. All in an effort to lose my bum. But, no it’s still there.

I have to admit that I’m completely overwhelmed by all the advice that I read or am given by friends and family. It’s enough to make your head spin. Eat more meat. Eat more plants. Drink milk. Drink only soy milk. Have butter, not margarine. Eat nuts. Don’t eat nuts. Eat more fish. Watch the mercury in fish. Run. Lift weights. Watch your gluten. Wait, what’s gluten? Aargh. It’s all so technical now. And so contradictory. What happened to “eat everything in moderation” or “calories in, calories out.”

Read any advice column on the web and you’ll think you have the answer. But wait…take a look at the responses below the column. It’s an all-out war of words arguing about the effectiveness of the diet regimen recommended. Doctors weigh in, nutritionists comment and then there are those who claim to know more than either of those professionals. I don’t know what to believe. So many theories.

Currently, my diet is pretty good by most standards. Whole grains. Lean meats. Veggies and fruit. Dark chocolate and wine. What do you mean those last two aren’t good? I was certain they were part of the USDA-recommended dietary food groups. They are certainly at the top of my pyramid and furthermore, they’re required by me in order to maintain a friendly disposition and calm approach to life. In my view, as Dr.Coward, healthy food keeps your fitness in check; wine and chocolate keep your sanity in check.

Maybe I’ll write my own article for the web on that very topic.

In the meantime, despite my constant confusion on the matter, I’m going to keep trying to lose a little weight and get more fit. I may get frustrated when I get on the scale (or more accurately, when I put on my jeans), but I will keep on keepin’ on. After all, I’m a woman in America and that’s what we do best – diet. But also as a self-professed professional, I need to keep up my credentials.

Amy Coward is a public relations professional in Columbia, SC. When she is not managing the madness of event planning at Palmetto Health Foundation, she is turning her empty nest upside down looking for fun and finding it.