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!!

xox

Slow Going

So last week I didn’t post much because Presten’s dad was in town.  I am so used to posting at night or mid-day and both time were being spent with him.  We got in late every night and I just felt exhausted.

Last week was a bit of a rough week. The days went so slow and we didn’t get home until 9 and then we needed time to just be together after the kids went to bed so almost every night we were awake until 12 or 1.  It led us to committing to go to bed early this week.  We need the rest and sleep.  It’s not the insomnia – thank God that is pretty much gone – but it was a self-induced insomnia, created by a need for time together.

So I think my biggest lesson learned last week was, “its not worth it”.  I spent a bit of time explaining this meal plan I am on and how it works to Presten’s Dad, Henry.  I’m not sure he got it or would ever want to do it despite his need, but to each his own…  I learned though that it isn’t worth it to cheat on this diet all for the sake of a moments taste.

When you put food in your mouth the flavor and taste lasts mere minutes and then your food is mush and you must swallow.  In order to feel enjoy your food again you must take another bite.  This, I believe, is what leads to obesity.  Lets take me for example:  I love sweets – and not just any; I am quite picky.  I love to bake my own goods.  When I take a bite of a fresh-baked cookie it tastes so good in my mouth as I chew it.  It is warm and sweet gooey goodness.  Then I finish chewing and it is swallowed and gone.  How then can I re-live this amazing yummy goodness?  More cookies, more bites, more chewing and unfortunately more swallowing!  So I keep eating, soon consuming the entire batch of 24 or more cookies and of course more than a days worth of sugar, fat and calories.  But are my taste buds satisfied? Nope.  I want more.  Then the choice: bake more cookies now or wait until later or tomorrow.  Well fortunately my stomach comes into play and tells my brain that it has had enough sugar and is considering giving some of it back, my stomach churns and I feel nauseous.  Then the choices change: throw up or lay down.  As the sugar digests my blood sugar becomes a rapid roller coaster – first spiking up with the cookies and then flying down with the digestion.  I feel sick and for what?  Happy taste buds?

Now I don’t always allow myself to lose control this badly but I must admit that before beginning this diet I always over-ate.  I would eat two or more servings of whatever we were having, especially if it was pasta (yum!), and it was somewhat often that I would indulge in the above ritual of taste bud pleasing cookie eating.  I never ate “just enough” and rarely ate as I should.  Sure I ate a bit healthier than some – eating more veggies and less junk food.  You would rarely find chips or soda in our house and it was once every 2 weeks or so that I would buy ice cream.  I didn’t buy junk food so we didn’t eat it.  We didn’t eat much pizza – maybe once a week or less – and I tried to evaluate the nutritional value of every food I bought.  However, unless you eat nothing but fresh veggies all the time, more than one serving will likely make you fat.  Even veggie pizza is pizza and fattening!  But my taste buds are never satisfied and some part of my brain was always hungry.

So back to my lesson: its not worth it.  Recently I purchased “goldfish” in an attempt to have a not-so-bad quick and easy snack for my kiddos.  I never realized how good they smell until I had gone so long without them.  Now along with sweets I love bread, crackers and especially crackers with cheese. (Cheese, Grommit!!)  I never realized how tempting a large box of goldfish could be.  Sure I ate them sometimes with the kids before but was never overly tempted to eat the whole box.  But now, full into this diet and far removed from the last time I ate goldfish, cheese, crackers or bread, I am finding myself desiring to cheat.  I imagine myself running off with the box of goldfish during nap time, locking myself in a closet and eating the whole box.  What a sad picture indeed!  But my self control kicks in and I give them crackers without eating too many.  Yes, too many.  Each time I have served the kids – well almost every time – I have given in to the wonderful smell of cheese crackers.  This may not seem like a big deal to you and for you it would not be a big deal.  But being on a meal plan that is so strict in fat, sugar, carbs and calorie intake I must be careful to not go overboard.  Well goldfish aren’t exactly low-fat, low-sugar or low-carb.  And goldfish aren’t the only way I have been cheating lately.

Henry (Presten’s dad) took us out to eat several times while he was here.  It was a nice break from cooking as I am the only grown-up chef in our house.  But alas there are very few restaurants that pay any attention to calories, fat, sugar or carbs.  They just don’t care.  Even the restaurants who serve “low carb” options aren’t paying any attention to the other factors.  One restaurant served “under 550 calories” but did not mention how much fat, sugar or carbs they had.  Most of their choices were served with white rice or pasta, both of which are high carb and high sugar (not so good for a diabetic!).  So we had a very tough time finding places to eat.  Poor Henry ended up eating at Chipotle’s with us most of the time.  I could get a salad with a bit of meat and have my “Lean and Green” meal out.  The only problem is that they didn’t have many options for veggies so I ended up getting lots of lettuce, pico de gallo, and avocado (of course I also got sour cream and cheese too, shhhh).  So I broke my diet a bit all week long with the avocado, sour cream, cheese, oh and the honey-chipotle dressing, too.  But the salad was oh so good.  I could eat it every day, I think, and not get tired of it!!

So last week with all the eating out, cheating with goldfish, and staying up late my diet was very thrown off.  So yet again I have a new beginning.  I bet other people don’t have as much trouble as me on this diet.  I’m learning a lot about myself though and as my physical body is shrinking the rest of me is growing.  Hopefully it wont take me too long to get down to where I want to be.  My humongo hips and thighs are still too big and they are what I am working on now.  It’ll take a lot of resisting temptation, exercise, water and eating right. God help me!

xox

Diet: A little rough

So I must admit that this diet is getting harder.  As time passes since I last had some of the foods I enjoy eating, I have begun to miss them.  The meal program food is good but I miss fried foods and pizza and… well its a long list.  So its getting tough to stick with it.

But then I look in the mirror after my shower and realize that I have lost weight.  My flabby tummy from two babies is flatter and firmer and I can tell that I have less fat all over.  My pants aren’t as tight, either.

So I know this diet is doing me some good and I know I need to stick with it.  But feeling and knowing are two very different things.

Keep me in your prayers and if you notice that I’ve lost weight than dont hesitate to tell me so.  It feels good to know others have noticed.

xox

P.S. My Diet Progress

My diet is going alright.  I have been on it over two weeks.  I have lost more than 30 lbs and I have been feeling good.  I was feeling awesome until I felt tempted and gave in some  — not too bad though.

Today I gave the kids some goldfish crackers and they smelled so good.  You don’t realize how good cheese crackers smell until you haven’t had them for more than three weeks.  So I indulged.  I only ate about 20 little goldfish but they are very high in fat and that threw off my diet a bit.  Cassie came around the corner to the kitchen and said the greatest thing, “Mommy!! What are you doing?”  I looked at her as a child would look at a scolding mother and said, “I’m eating goldfish.”  She had a stern maternal look on her face and replied, “No, Mommy! You are on a diet!  You are unhealthy!  You are supposed to be eating your diet food!!”  I closed up the fish and put them away, at least until she went back to play then I snuck about 5 more.

The only thing I don’t like about this diet is that it is so precise that you really have to stick with it and never “cheat”.  It has the perfect amount of calories, fat, sugar and carbs to keep you from gaining weight.  It puts you in a “fat burning mode” and eating too much calories, fat, sugar or carbs will pull you out of that “Fat burning mode”.  This wasn’t the first time I cheated.  I have been sneaking a bite of bad food here and there and I think its added up.  I felt not-so-good today and had no energy.  That’s what I get for cheating…

Oh well.  Tomorrow is another day.  I’ll get a new shipment of food soon and after sampling many of the foods I custom designed a package of things I know I like with only about 5 new things to try.  That way I will have a lot of things (like chocolate pudding) that feel like cheating but aren’t.

Keep me in your prayers, please.  I need this weight loss.  For my kids, for my gallbladder and liver, and for that Baby that I am hoping to conceive at some point in the future.  I need to be healthier and this diet is just the way to work on that.

Thanks for reading.  I would post with or without readers, but it feels so different knowing that someone is reading my blog.  Thanks a bunch! Hope you get something out of it.

xox

Diet: Am I “fat enough” to lose weight?

(I would like to preface this article by saying first of all that I believe every woman should have some curves in normal places – bust, butt, thighs, whatever – and should not try to be sticks.  I have no intention of becoming a stick and don’t think any other woman should try to be a stick.  I would also like to say that I love my Mama.  Now please read on…)

 

So I have had many loving people express to me that I don’t need to lose weight.  Today yet another lovely lady from church expressed that she could hardly believe I was 200 lbs to begin with and by looking at me would never think I need to lose any weight.  While I appreciate their love and concern I want others to understand what I see that they do not.

Do you know what really made me decide to do this program?  It was partially how bad I felt day-to-day and how little energy I had (at such a young age!!).   But what really opened my eyes was when I realized just how overweight I was.  Last summer I visited my parents in NC.  They live on a large piece of land in the middle of nowhere, Frogsboro (YES, Frogsboro), North Carolina.  Every summer I go visit and let them enjoy their grandchildren while I help around the land doing chores that are more difficult for them which may include mending fences, building stairways, helping in the gardens, house chores or whatever else they have for me to do.  This past summer my Dad said to me very lovingly, “Margaret you are getting fat and if you don’t do something about it now you will be as big as your mom someday. And when you get that overweight it is very hard to go back.”  Now I love my Mama very, very much and would never say or do anything to hurt her but she is no small woman.  There is a lot of her to love, and as much as I love her I would rather Presten have less physical body to love, if you understand what I mean.  After my Dad said that to me I looked at myself very objectively and said, “Am I really getting fat?”.  Well you may think not if you saw me in my usual jeans and a nice shirt, but standing in front of a tall mirror butt naked it is quite evident to me.  Some overweight women have this unattractive problem of having extra fat on the backs of their knees.  When I realized that fat was collecting on the back of my knees (a place where curves should not abound) I knew I needed to lose some weight.

My mother has been overweight since I can remember.  For years as a teenager I remember her trying weight loss program after program trying to get her weight off.  She doesn’t feel good.  Working in her garden is hard for her.  As a teen I told myself that I would avoid that difficulty by never getting overweight.  On the other hand I watched my skinny sister – almost too skinny at one point – go from skinny to quite obese.  She would tell me “I hate myself” referring to the stranger she saw in the mirror once she got fat.  Watching her I told myself I wanted to love the woman looking back at me.  I want to look in the mirror and feel good about the naked body looking back at me, not hate it and wish it were not so big.

I mean no offense.  But I think many of us get so used to just looking at our faces in the mirror that we don’t see the rest of our womanly body.  Sometimes we let our eyes glaze over and ignore our fat.  Or we deny our need for weight loss until we are so far gone that we don’t know how to get the weight off.  I am blessed with a high waist, a long torso and long legs.  All that combines to make a body that hides fat rather well when you put some nice clothes on it.  Shorter women do not hide their weight as well because it has fewer places to hide.

So try this for me: Go to the grocery store and pick up a 10 lb sack of potatoes and carry it around for about 5 minutes – not in the cart but in your arms.  That 10 lbs gets a little heavy after a while.  Those of you with small children who love to or need to be carried know what I mean.  Imagine if you are  just 10 lbs overweight your poor body is lugging that extra weight around all the time.  This is how I feel.  I have too many sacks of fat clinging to me and they gotta go!!

I’m not trying to look like some sickly-skinny super model on the front of some titty magazine! Those women are not only air brushed and not real, but to be so skinny they have to not eat real food and not take care of their health but worry more about image.  This is not about what other people think of me – or even what Presten thinks of me.  Presten loves my body the way it is but he also wants me to be healthyI don’t love my body (or the way it looks right now anyway)!  I want to be healthy, not skinny just healthy.  Plan and simple you shouldn’t have love handles on your derrière and believe me I do, I just hide those handles with very good pants!  Just because you don’t see my fat doesn’t mean its not there!

In addition to all this, that 200 lbs I weighed before all this was pure fat (and bones) but very little muscle.  When I lived on the farm with my parents I worked very hard doing hard labor and weighed a healthy 160 lbs and could carry a large bag of chicken feed over my head for fun. I felt good.  I looked good.  I liked the way I felt and looked.  After my emergency c-section with Serenity (2 years ago) I spent a lot of time sitting around waiting for the pain to go away and the scars to heal.  I felt miserable and I could literally feel my muscles deteriorating.  Where I had nice muscles before now lies fat and flab and little tiny muscles barely enough to lift my 40 lb child up in my arms.

So I want you to understand I may not be morbidly obese but if you could really see me – the real me that hides under my clothes – you would agree that I need this.  Be supportive.  When I’ve lost the fat you will look at me and say, “Wow I didn’t realize how fat you were until you lost it all!!” and man I will look great and feel great about myself.

At the risk of making this extremely long I would like to say that don’t we do this with our spiritual bodies?  Don’t we cover up our sins, our crimes, put our skeletons in our closet and try to make people believe that we are perfect?  We put our best foot forward, our happy shiny face on as if to say, “Love me. I am perfect.”  I’m not saying we lie or anything.  But how many of our “friends” really know us the way God knows us?  God knows every single bad thing we have done and still loves us!  The dirty, ugly, stinky, yucky skeletons we hide from everyone else he sees and still loves our inner being anyway.  To me that makes His love so valuable.  It also makes those few relationships where the person is truly intimate with you – not physically I mean but with who we are – so very, very valuable.  I share all of myself with my husband and my parents.  I hide nothing from them.  When I sin I confess to them.  When I have struggles I share those with them also.  And even knowing my worst mistakes they still love me.  I think it is valuable to have people like that in your life.  People who remind you that you are not the sum of your mistakes.  The you they love is so much more than that. That person is who God loves.

Have you embraced His love and shared you true self with Him lately?

xox

Oh! and P.S.

This diet program is going very well for me. I’m am feeling really good now that I weigh 170 lbs!! Only 20 or so more to go.  Trust me, I need it!!

Dieting is paying off

I am now down to 170 lbs from 200 lbs.  I feel great about how much weight I have worked off and I am really looking forward to working the rest off.

Today went rather well.  I am getting toward the end of my months worth of food but still have quite a bit left.  I’m SO GLAD I didn’t eat the stuff I like first.  Then I would be left with nothing but the stuff I hate now.  Instead I made myself eat the stuff I didn’t prefer more often and I saved the best for last.  So now most of the meals I have left are the good stuff, which makes this long-haul much easier!

I’m ready to start exercising.  I have more energy (YAY!) and have felt pent-up energy that I just want to work out.  I really enjoy doing “aerobic dancing”, especially Carmen Electra’s videos. ;)  Its fun and it works!  I lost 15 lbs rather quickly last time I did the videos on a regular basis.  So I am really hoping adding this in will help.  I intend to talk to my Health Coach about adding it in soon.

It has been a bit tough not cheating but I have stuck to the diet rather well.  I am finding myself craving pizza rather often and cant wait to sink my teeth into a veggie pizza asap.  But working my weight off is well worth waiting to eat pizza.  Imagining being healthy really helps!

Well I’m off to bed soon!

xox

Day 8: Deep Seated Beliefs Challenged

I love food.  I love to eat. I love to make my taste buds happy.  I love to cook food. I love to smell food.  I LOVE to bake yummy goods.  I love to lick the bowl afterward.  I love the smell of cooking bacon early in the morning when I still feel groggy and its aroma wakes me up.  I love the sound of French fries cooking in the fryer.

Did I spend too much time around food as a kid? Yes.  Many of my favorite memories revolve around food. 
Daddy making pancakes for breakfast, and sometimes bacon.  His pancakes are always the best. 
Helping Mom prepare and cook Turkey dinner for Thanksgiving and Christmas many years.
Helping Mom prepare several special meals like shrimp for New Years Eve and home made eggrolls from scratch.

My mother has a way of taking raw ingredients and turning them into something amazing.  Its not my parents fault that I love food so much, well not directly. 

I was thinking about my birthday and all I could think about was what food I would eat – pizza, ice cream cake, mmm, and maybe even Mt Dew!  What about fellowship? Friends? Good times with people I care about? Is food all that really matters to me?  Now of course I am on a diet so it is understandable that I am thinking about food so much.  But it made me re-think my beliefs and thoughts about food.

Its not that food is the most important thing to me.  On the contrary, the time I spend with those I love is one of the most important day-to-day things in my heart.  The problem is that when I was growing up many of my most vivid memories revolved around food and my whole family enjoys eating (and our bodies show it) and I suppose I just associate good times with food.  Our family always talked over meals and we would talk while we prepared those meals.  The conversations were usually important, not just “what was the weather like today?”.  It was the only family time we really had consistently.  As I became a teenager, my Dad and I would work outside on things (I grew up on a farm), and I would often help my mother in the garden (though I spent most of my time with my Dad).  Those memories are some of my most cherished memories I have and they have very little to do with food.  But by then I was a teenager and the foundation had been laid.

So I suppose my revelation is that food only matters so that is may nourish my body.  How many things do I eat just because they taste good?  I know I have discussed this before so I wont go down that road again. (See previous post “Day two-ish”.)  I have realize though that I must not allow food to occupy so much of my thinking.

As for the diet portion of my day it went rather well.  I had the weirdest feeling of having energy yet feeling very tired.  I stayed up very late last night with Presten because he didn’t get home until 11 from the men’s retreat.  He’s staying there tonight so I have no excuse to stay up late.  Once the kids are asleep I intend to go to bed shortly thereafter.

Now I must go parent I hear them playing in bed…

xox

Day 7: WOW!

So that burst of energy I was hoping for finally came!!  I spent most of the day cleaning while my kids played near by.  I deep-cleaned their bedroom, cleaned my kitchen, cleaned the living room and almost finished all the laundry.  Its amazing how much laundry piles up when you don’t do it for a week.

Today for the first time in longer than I would like to admit I enjoyed being a stay at home mom.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the idea of it all the time.  But imagine being me with no energy, constant grumpiness and tense nerves, and feeling half asleep all the time.  Would you enjoy staying home with two kids who have 10x the energy of you and feeling like ripping out your hair because your nerves are shot?  Me neither.  But today this wasn’t the case.  I felt calm, at ease, energetic and more than ready and willing to face my day and clean, clean, clean.  I love to clean.  I love to organize.  And I love my kids, no matter how bad I feel.  But today I enjoyed my kids.  Not only did I clean but we played and danced and we they didn’t watch one single movie until just before bed. We got a new DVD from Netflix and so we sat down and watched “Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Samson’s Hairbrush!” and they ate popcorn while I munched Nacho Cheese puffs (from Medifast, of course). Dear, God, make this a normal day for me from now on.

I sure hope this is the beginning of a very nice life full of energy, wellness and sanity.  The only thing is tonight my chest feels tight and I am having asthmatic symptoms.  My nose is stuff, too, and the combo makes me think I’m just reacting to the dust I stirred up cleaning today.  I was trilled to get so much done and enjoy the day with my kids!  Thank you so much, God.

This diet isn’t perfect, just as no diet is, but I do believe it is the best I have heard of or read about.  I started this diet so addicted to sugar that I literally could not go more than a few hours without having sugar.  My list of negative symptoms included everything from frequent headaches, to grumpiness and constant exhaustion with insomnia to boot!  The list was incredibly long and it seemed there was no way I would ever feel good again!  I tried so many things, and several diets.  I considered myself a somewhat healthy eater and tried my best to be my best but that’s the thing about health – you can push through feeling bad but you cant snap your fingers and feel better or get better.  This diet is hard work.  Its so hard to make myself NOT eat the chocolate chips in my cupboard or the (air pop) popcorn I pop for my kiddos occasionally.  But I FORCE myself to behave because of my greater goal.  With this diet – and most other meal changes – you cannot just do it sometimes.  You have to commit to it and stick with it completely, never straying from the plan to “cheat” or take a “vacation” from the plan.  You have to do it all the time or not at all or you will not receive the results and certainly not as fast and therefore you will get bogged down and depressed and probably quit.  So I am committed, despite the call of sugar from my cupboard and my kiddos begging for me to bake cookies like I used to.  I am committed because I love them, I love me and I love my life and want to enjoy it not survive it.  Are you enjoying your life?

xox

Day 6: a few more lessons learned

I am forcing myself to not jump on the scale more than once a week.  But there is no way that I could NOT be losing weight as few calories as I have been eating.  The past four days I have had no more than 900 calories and some days much fewer.

I don’t feel as great as I want to every day but I am certain that the reason is the late time I have been getting to bed, rather than the diet itself.  I haven’t gone to bed before 10:30 since I started the diet, and have stayed up quite late on many days.

This morning I tried baking the “muffins” using the suggestion on the box.  They were alright – way better than the oatmeal by itself.  Presten brought more oatmeal home yesterday after a pt brought it to work because they didn’t like it and were going to throw it away.  I could stand eating the muffins, or at least Presten could eat them for breakfast, but I cant stand the oatmeal by itself.

I also discovered today that I must add more than 6 oz to the shakes in order to make the blended “iced cream” I like to make.  I tried adding less than 8 oz it instead of making “iced cream” it made sort of a whipped mousse stuff, which was not as appetizing as it may sound.  So if you intend to try making a sort of “iced cream” out of the shakes then by all means start with 8 oz of water, not 6 oz!

TMI warning: I know I have lost some more weight because before I started this diet my “under garments” were so tight I really needed the next size up.  Now they are still somewhat tight but not so much that they dig into my thighs.  So I must be smaller…

That is about it for today.  I felt more tired than I would have liked to an slept while the kiddos took their nap.  I keep hoping that my extra energy will kick in but I guess in order to do that I would have to actually sleep more at night, huh?  Maybe I’ll get to bed earlier tonight… maybe!

xox

Day Five: Temptations abound!

So Tuesday is my hardest day!!  I have Ladies Bible Class in the morning (which I really enjoy) then Cassie has class after lunch so we always stay to have lunch.  So that means I am out for Breakfast, mid-morning snack, Lunch and afternoon snack (and sometimes even Dinner).  There are always treats at LBC and they are usually very yummy and quite irresistible.  Well today a sweet young lady named Julie brought some sort of pie (I dared not investigate), some sort of extremely yummy looking pastries and sausage balls.  Talk about temptation!!  I finally gave in and tasted a sausage ball and they were very good, but not as good as being skinny, holding my new baby and eating healthy.  In the end I decided that it wasn’t worth it and didn’t give in and eat more than one – but I really shouldn’t have even had one. :P  Then for Lunch the teachers (at Cassie’s preschool) were eating Chinese and offered us some.  I allowed my kiddos to indulge but did not eat any, which was tough for me because Asian food is my super fav!  (Well I love any type of food that tastes good!!)

So I was a pretty good girl today.  I considered just taking a break from the diet and eating the foods they had at LBC but I did not, especially since only 5 lbs doesn’t warrant a break.  Now my birthday (which is about two months away) may warrant a break especially if I have lost the weight I want to lose.  I always have Dairy Queen Double Chocolate chip Cookie Dough (with EXTRA cookie dough) blizzard ice cream cake for my birthday! ALWAYS!! It would be sad to miss out this year BUT my goals are worth it.  Plus I’ve told Presten that its totally fine with me if we move my birthday celebration (with friends and CAKE) to this summer AFTER I have lost my weight.  Then there will REALLY be something to celebrate – I’m alive AND well! 😀

So I thought I would share some lessons I have learned on this diet so that you, the reader, may perhaps learn something from my mistakes, downfalls, and plain observations. (These are in the order I thought of them, not by importance or significance.)  Here goes:

  • Using a “Magic Bullet” or other blender is much, much better than using the “shaker jar” that comes with the program.
  • All the shakes taste much more appetizing if they are FROZEN and then blended.
  • Make life-style changes and learn to prepare healthy meals.  If you stop eating unhealthy to lose weight but once that weight is off you go right back to it, then you will never keep your weight off.  I had so many unhealthy habits and addictions.  I loved having Mt. Dew in the early morning – blue mt dew is my fav! I hate coffee and the Mt. Dew gave me the push I need to get the day going.  So unhealthy for me though…
  • If you are not satisfied with your Health Coach (with Take Shape for Life) you can change HC’s.  I am not aware of how to do this but have been told that it is possible.  I am fortunate to have a good HC.
  • For optimum results, find a goal that really means a lot to you – especially one that makes you feel emotional.  Food is emotional.  We eat when we feel things.  So it is important to have a goal that you can think of when you feel tempted to eat.
  • Eating is social.  Have your own food or diet friendly food at social gatherings.
  • Plan ahead – always carry a bar in your purse (or pocket if your a guy).  That way if you get caught expectantly you will still have food.
  • Determine for yourself why you want to lose this weight and stick with it.  Never let a well-meaning friend deter you.  I have had several good friends tell me, “You don’t need to lose weight! You look great!” After unsuccessful convincing, I tell them “honey, you have NOT seen me naked! I just hide my fat very well.”  Sure I may not be 200 lbs overweight but that does not mean that I am my healthiest weight for me.
  • If you find yourself reasoning out why its okay to do something then its not.  Tell yourself NO and move on.
  • Have a support friend – not just your Health Coach.  Its important to have a friend who will cheer you on, especially one who will encourage you to eat what you should.  Presten is very good at this.
  • Put up sticky notes to remind you of your goals.  I have notes on my office wall reminding me of Bible verses that encourage me as well as a sign with my goals on it as a drawing by yours truly of my potential future baby.  It reminds me that my goals are so much more important than the temporary pleasure I get from eating something I enjoy
  • That is one of the most important things to realize: eating yummy unhealthy food is like having good sex with the wrong partner: it may feel good but the feeling doesn’t last long.  Sure chocolate tastes good.  Sure I love ice cream.  But I am working my body toward a healthier me and if I eat those thing I will only feel guilty and disappointed in myself.  Also the yummy taste only lasts a few seconds with each bite, which means I need to keep eating to keep enjoying.  That is how I got fat in the first place.
  • Also you must realize that healthy food and good food CAN be the same thing, you just have to learn how to combine those two.  I have found it very hard to make healthy food taste good but I think I am finally there.  Keep working at it! Your body is WORTH IT!
  • And finally: You are worthy of a healthy body.  When our bodies are unhealthy we don’t feel as good as we could.  We cannot do as much as we could if we were healthy.  And most important: we wont live as long!!  Unhealthy people – especially obese people – die younger and with more health problems.  I don’t know about you but when I get old I don’t want to feel old and I am certain that feeling bad and being old do not have to go together.  We have all known some old person who was 85+ but still active and looked healthy and felt great.  My Granny in FL is that way.  Sure she is in her late 80’s but she looks great, feels pretty good and still walks down her long drive way to get the mail, “just a little slower” she says.  So remind yourself, “I am worthy of the healthy body I am working toward.  I deserve good health!”

I know I am and that is why I wont let anyone stop me from becoming a healthier me.  I cant wait to see what I look like!

xox