What are you doing?

So I have realized that I haven’t shared much about WHAT I am doing, just that I am doing a sort of diet.

Currently I am doing the “Take Shape FOR LIFE” (TSFL) program.   This is a meal plan program including foods you purchase from the company, creating goals to be met, and changing your focus.  It is a very good program for weight loss but it is not intended to be continued once you have lost your weight.  One thing I like about TSFL is that it teaches you to have long-term goals and consistently ask yourself, “Will this choice interfere with my goals?”.

The foods are properly fortified with the right vitamins and minerals, as well as the perfect amount of fat, carbs, sugars and calories.  I am on the 5 & 1 program which means I eat 5 program meals and 1 “Lean and Green” (L&G) meal.  The L&G meal I prepare myself and it includes one serving of three different veggies (3 servings total) and one small serving of meat (between 5 and 7 oz, determined by the type of meat).  There are charts to help you understand the best choices based on carbs, fat, calories and sugar content of possible meat and veggie choices.

While the diet may seem a bit complicated it is not.  For 5 of the meals you just open a package and eat something.  Most of the foods are very good, things like pudding, milk shakes, soups, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, bars and more.  Out of all the foods I have tasted about 10% of them have not tasted good, which is not bad.  I do NOT like the oatmeal.  The shakes are not my favorite but they are not nasty like some meal-replacement shakes (I especially like to freeze these and make a sort of ice creamy stuff).  Some of the bars are very good and others are pretty good but I did not think any of them were gross.  The soups were pretty good, but I think they taste great when I add a chicken bouillon cube!  As for the one L&G meal you don’t have to do any more work than with any meal you would prepare for your family, unless of course you usually prepare something out of a box.  But I really look forward to my L&G meal!

So far, for those of you who haven’t been keeping up with it all, I have lost 30 lbs.  I lost 17 lbs before starting the diet just by increasing my water intake to the actual amount I need every day.  Then my weight loss stopped for a few weeks before I began the diet.  I have lost 13 lbs on the diet so far.  I would have lost more if I had stuck with it completely, but have found temptation rather difficult to overcome.

That is one thing about this diet: consistency.  You HAVE TO stick with this diet and eat only what they tell you to.  The whole point of the diet is to get you into the same “fat burning mode” you are in naturally when you wake up in the morning.  When we all wake up we are in this sort of state because we haven’t eaten any food for several hours.  This meal plan (TSFL) is made to put you in that same “fat burning mode” which means you burn a LOT of fat very fast!!  A bonus is that you have much, much more energy!!  This really appealed to me.  But the down side is that if you cheat or do not stick totally on the diet (i.e., regularly eat some foods that are not on plan) then you will not be as effective!  If you do stick with it, I have seen several people lose 6 or more lbs a week!  I haven’t experienced that level of success because I have consistently cheated.  This past week I ate out a lot and found it very hard to stick perfectly on the diet.  I did not lose any weight but I did not gain any back either, which I was very happy about.

One fear that others have expressed to me is that once you reach your goal and finish the program you might gain all the weight back.  Now that depends on YOU.  If you are doing “Take shape for life” it teaches you to change yourself, the way you eat, the way you think about food and what you eat.  That does not mean you can never eat pizza, ice cream, donuts, or other yummy but fattening treats ever again.  It does mean that you have to stop overeating.  So you cannot eat a whole pizza, a whole container of ice cream, a whole box of donuts or large amounts of yummy yet fattening foods!  But should we really eat that poorly anyway??  (I have eaten that poorly in the past and while my taste buds greatly enjoyed the pleasurable experience, the love handles on my butt tell me that it was a BAD IDEA!)

Most people focus on dieting with a negative goal, such as “I want to avoid heart disease” or “I want to avoid diabetes”.  OR, they set goals with a “nebulous” point of view, i.e. “I want to lose weight” or “I want to feel better” or “I want to look sexier”.  All of those are a result of weight loss, but none of them are SPECIFIC enough to inspire you past losing a few pounds.  You really need that inspiration!! It is important to have goals that ignite passion in you and encourage you to reach toward something tangable rather than run away from something you fear or head towards something that you can never define when you reach it. (Like “I want to lose weight” but never specifying to yourself how much.)  Proper goals are SMARTO – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time Oriented.  Most people do not have goals that meet these criteria, and therefore they do not have anything pulling them toward their desires once they achieve a little weight loss, or feel a little better or look a little sexier. You want something that pulls you like a strong magnet. Since I have not quite worked through it all I have been struggling more than I should. I have been feeling “a little better” and I do look “sexier” so I find myself wishing I could go back to eating a whole pizza.  But in reality, my rear end still has love handles that I would seriously like to see removed!! So AM NOT the healthiest I could be and I know it!!  I feel it, I see it and I am certain of that fact!  But I really need to work on the Take Shape FOR LIFE process which includes coaching videos, a book to read and a work book to make sure you get it all. (The coaching videos are provided by my husband’s clinic, which happens to be my health coach.) It is a valuable process to help you learn how to be healthy and think healthier.

One thing some people do not understand is the anatomy of a fat cell.  Fat cells are there for several purposes.  According to Dr. Presten Witherspoon, DC (my husband):

“ Fat cells have served humans since the dawn of creation.  Long ago, when our ancestors hunted and harvested a large amount of food, they overate and stored much of it as fat.  This often would happen at harvest time – shortly before winter.  The extra fat not only gave them more padding to help stay warm, but also provided nutrients throughout the lean times.  As time has progressed,  it has become much easier to consume large amounts of unnecessary calories and fat.  However, just like our ancestors, our body is wired to store fat whenever we overeat.  One major problem with fat today is that many foods that we tend to overeat are nutrient-poor and junk-dense, meaning the things stored in our fat are bad for us (such as chemicals, hormones, preservatives, and other non-nutritive products found in our foods today).  And as we lose weight these toxic products are released from our fat into our bodies.  Our body must then work hard to eliminate these toxic products.”

So fat cells do serve a purpose, but they are not just sitting there doing no harm.  An overweight person is lugging around extra weight that their body does not need.  If you have any kids you know what it is like to lug around weight for a while. (With my kids being 45 lbs and 25 lbs I know what its like!)   Also, fat cells are filled with blood vessels, so the heart of an overweight person has to work much harder to pump blood through all that fat.  This is one of the many reasons that obese people die younger.  Another major problem is when you have too much fat (way more than your body needs) and/or your fat is filled with toxic products that have been consumed in excess.  This is why dieting can often be a difficult process.  But that is a discussion for another day…

So now you know what I am doing and from previous posts you know why.  Now my main focus is to work off those blasted love handles on my butt!!