Friday, December 12, 2014

I HATE THE TERM "WILLPOWER"


will power

noun
1.
control of one's impulses and actions; self-control


I've struggled with overeating my whole life.  I honestly do NOT remember a time when I was not cautioned by loved ones not to eat so much.  My first diet was at age 9, with a regular diet struggle beginning around age 15 and continuing to the present.  I definitely WANTED to lose weight and eat better.  I educated myself and tried exercise programs and even joined the track team (as a manager/statistician because I couldn't run) and did workouts with the team.  I wholeheartedly followed a nutrition education and exercise program in college as my Phys. Ed. credit and learned about calorie counting, empty calories, etc.  Even though I HATED gym classes throughout elementary and high school (because I wasn't good at it and got teased/embarrassed) I liked to do workouts like walking, aerobics, stationary bikes and steppers.  And yet all of this time I was overweight. 

DOES THIS SOUND LIKE A LACK OF SELF-CONTROL TO YOU?

I'd work hard and get down a few pounds...maybe as much as 20...then circumstances and life struggles would throw me back into emotional eating, stress eating, and convenience eating.  EVERY TIME.  And guess what? Medifast hasn't been any different.  I had to DRASTICALLY  change my environment and habits, which greatly affected my family, in order to be 100% on the program at the beginning.  When I could no longer continue that level of "control", I began the old struggles of impulsive eating.  I used every bit of distraction I could to try to avoid it, but over the past few months I have fallen back to the CONSTANT struggle not to overeat.  And I'm still on Medifast....the program that helped me lose 50 pounds in 6 months!  Now I'm struggling to not gain over the holidays, and hoping to squeak out a few pounds a month in the New Year.  What happened to my momentum? 

What happened to my WILLPOWER?? 

I TRY  constantly to control my impulses, but my brain and my spirit tire of the battle and just give in.  Sometimes just for a moment...sometimes long enough to ruin the progress I've made. 

ALCOHOLISM CANNOT BE "CURED", NOR CAN ANY ADDICTION.

No matter how much "willpower" I exercise, it will eventually run out.  No one can control their lives and surroundings 100%. 

INSERT SOLUTION HERE

Sorry...I don't have it.  If I did I'd be doing infomercials.  I simply start over every day.  Every morning.  If I succeed one day, it fuels me the next day.  If I fail, I dig deeper.  But sometimes there is just nothing left and days go by where I rest from the struggle.  And then I begin again.  It's not willpower.  It's HOPE.  It's DESPERATION. It's LOVE for my family and a desire to care for those I love with a healthy body.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

WEEK 35

Somehow I managed to lose another 1.2 pounds this week!  My total is 68.4.  I'm thrilled with that. I've changed things up a bit.  I was not able to keep the "will power momentum" up (hate that phrase but that's for another time), and I have been stressing out over the try/fail lifestyle, and the crazy fluctuations when I eat sugar or do cardio, even if my calories in are less than my calories out.  It's been a long 8 months, and I'm ready for change.  So I have been gradually adding in all the food groups (faster than Dr. A's book recommends, though).  As of today I'm leveling off for a while at eating 3 Medifast meals a day and then eating healthy foods the rest of the day, not to exceed 2000 calories.  I've increased my exercise, mostly strength training but also cardio.  I'm aiming for 3-5 veg a day and lean proteins, not to exceed 10oz. a day.  I've only had small bites of fruit so far, but will add them in this week not to exceed two servings.  I will allow breads here an there, but will not make them part of my regular plan for a while.  Starches (potatoes, rice, pasta) will be only occasional. 
I'd still like to lose 15 pounds, but I'm fine with it being slow. 
My Holiday goal is to lose another pound (to reach 195), and maintain that until Jan. 1.  Then back to trying to lose.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

AN IMPERFECT WEEK 34

Another week down, another 1.2 pounds down!  I'm really quite surprised because it's harder and harder to stay on track these days.  Evenings have become very difficult.  My old habits linger near the surface.  They are the reason I got so big to begin with.  I have to fight daily to not use food as a comfort/relaxation/celebration tool.  Especially now that winter is creeping in.  No more walks after dinner. (I guess I may have to face my dislike of the dark and cold and do them anyway.) Harder to get up and do a little exercise in the morning.  I think I have Seasonal Affective Disorder....I just want to curl up in a warm spot and read or watch TV, and my motivation for all of life diminishes.  So I have to remind myself daily that this is not what will make me feel better.  Get up and get moving!

So, I'm proud that I fought it enough to lose another pound this week, and I'm staying below 200!  I don't EVER want to see that number again!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Weeks 32 and 33

As I predicted, I didn't stay in "One-derland" for long.  Week 32 was up a bit (1.8 pounds), but Week 33 I was back down (2.8).  So my total now is 66 pounds!  I'm in the 100's and determined to stay there!!
Also, this past weekend was Ladies Retreat for my church.  I go every year and I so enjoy the time with my friends/"family" there!  Of course, the food is amazing, and the game room is filled with snacks.  Inevitably someone...or several "someones"....brings leftover Halloween candy.  Just when I think the candy temptation has passed, I'm faced with it again!!  HOWEVER, so many of my friends there have followed my journey and are so encouraging and supportive, that it was EASY to stick to my program!  I brought popcorn for my contribution to snacks, and that's what I ate, along with almonds that I keep in my purse for such occasions.  My new habit with events like this is to sit with my back to the snack tables/buffets and focus on conversation.  I also allow myself Diet Coke more in those situations to "keep my mouth busy".  I did allow myself a few bites here and there of the infamous food at that retreat center, but it was just bites.  I took my scale so I could weigh in on my usual day (Saturday). (Love my portable scale!). 

I am now contemplating the maintenance part of this journey!  I'm not far off.  I think I want to lose about 15 pounds more and then transition off the Medifast foods.  Learning to eat real foods and control my compulsive tendencies is going to be the VERY MOST IMPORTANT part of this whole journey.  If I can't KEEP it off, it was a lot of trouble for nothing! 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A PEEK AT "ONE-DERLAND"!!!

Did I just make it to "ONE-derland"??  I did!  Today I weighed in at 199.8.  Now, not to be a buzz-kill, but I don't expect it to stay that way the next two days, but I know it will "come back".  You see, last night I enjoyed a fun evening with my family, celebrating my daughter's 12th birthday, at Medieval Times.  It's a dinner theater experience using live horses and skilled performers who act out a fairy-tale type story of a King, a Princess, and Knights of the Realm.  (Enough of the ad-go some time-really cool!) The dinner is FANTASTIC!!  Each person gets 1/2 a chicken and other delectable items (all served without silverware because it's Medieval Times - duh! -).  So, I ate off the Medifast program a bit.  I took the skin off the chicken, but I ate it all! (hangs head in shame) I also ate 1/2 baked potato, about 3/4 cup tomato bisque, two bites of garlic bread, and two bites of apple tart. 
I fully expect to pay the price on the scale by tomorrow.  But life happens, and it wasn't a "fail" for me...it was allowing a treat.  Now, I wish I had only eaten a little of the chicken and brought the rest home, but I didn't, so we just go on.
So the stats are as follows:  Week 31, down 3.2 pounds for a total loss of 65 pounds.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Week 30

Wow, didn't think I'd pull off two pounds this week, but I did!! I guess I knew I COULD, but I was so afraid I would give in to temptation and blow it.  I'm thrilled, yet still a bit anxious because of the Meltdown Challenge I'm in.  I still have to lose 4.2 pounds by Oct. 28 (10 days). 
I have now passed the 60 pound mark, and I'm nearing ONEDERLAND!!
This is where my coach would tell me to do a Happy Dance!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

ANOTHER MILESTONE!

I am finally at my pre-pregnancy weight from my second/last pregnancy! It only took me 11 years and 355 days!  And the scale is creeping down again after my fluctuations.  I'm feeling pretty good right now.  I'm still in the six week challenge to lose 6% of my body weight (for me that was 12.7 pounds!).  I have 17 days left to lose 6 more pounds.  It's anyone's guess at this point, and I'm taking the pressure off myself.  I'm going to do my best and be happy with that.
So the numbers for this week:
Day 203/week 29 = down 3.2 pounds!  My total to date is 59.8 pounds!

In other news, I attended my college reunion/Alumni event this weekend, and met my coach for TSFL/Medifast, Gina Ruby, for the first time!  We had gone to school together for one year...she was a senior and I was a freshman, but we didn't know each other then.  We met through friends on Facebook, and she coached me by phone and email.  So it was really nice to meet her in person! There was pizza from the local favorite pizza place, and ice cream from the local famed dairy, but I passed on the pizza and had just one ounce of ice cream!  Good move, because any more may have messed up today's weigh-in! 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Week 28-restoring balance

Wow, last week was an emotional one, with the scale going up so much.  Fortunately, it was quite a bit of fluctuation and not actual weight gain, because several pounds have already melted off.  When I left for our biking trip last week I was about 208.  I lost a pound and a half right away, then it went back up to 209, all in just a few days. When we got home I was 211, and the next day I was 213.  And that was with reduced calories (but not adhering to Medifast diet) and increased exercise.  However, by getting back to the program, even though it's not 100% yet, and REDUCING my cardio, I have come back down to 208.2.  What a ride.  Some roller coasters are just not fun.
This has totally messed up my 6 week Meltdown Challenge that I joined with my coach.  I would have to be perfect on my program now in order to avoid being disqualified.  But I'm not striving for perfect...in the past it just sets me up for failure, which is usually followed by a binge on junk!  Instead, I've relaxed my expectations and am trying to lose just 1/2 pound a week.  Forget the challenge...just keep the scale going down.  I don't work well under pressure. 
And so goes another week. I'm determined to get to the 100's...I'm so close!!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 27-Increased activity means increased weight??Really???

I've been away this past week so I'm late in posting.  For week 27 I gained .4 pounds.  I really don't know how.  I've been trying so hard with this 6 week challenge that I'm on with my coach.  I refocused and really got my head back in the game.  The one change I've made is that I'm sick of being sedentary.  I want to get my activity level back up and build some muscle.  So I've started increasing my walking and adding some hand weights/upper body.  So sure, maybe that little .4 pound gain is muscle mass. Maybe it's a fluke.  My experience in this "game" tells me it will come right back down.

But not this week, I'm afraid.  Here's how it's been.
Clay and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. We are both trying to lose weight and get fit, so we planned a trip that included lots of activity and very little temptation.  We went camping, staying in a rustic cabin at a campground in the mountains near the C & O canal bike trail.  We biked between 6-15 miles each day, and took at least one walk or hike a day.  One hike was really long and strenuous.  We also had to walk a long ways to the bathroom (and when one drinks as much water as I do, that's a lot of walking in a day).  We also decided to keep to our diets on this trip.  We are both using meal replacements (I'm using Medifast, he's using Special K Protein bars), and then eating one healthy meal a day....we go by Medifast's Lean/Green standards, but I increase his calories a little because he doesn't have as much to lose/he's male, etc.  Now, I realize that with so much activity...hours a day...I needed to increase my calories a bit too, so I added almonds and peanuts and an extra Medifast bar each day.  I also allowed myself two servings of fruit a day over 3 days time (fruit is not allowed on Medifast because of the sugars).  My reason for this was because of the hair loss I've experienced.  I know it messes with the Medifast program/balance, but I was getting concerned about my nutrition and frankly didn't want my hair to keep falling out (I also have increased vitamins).  So bottom line, I burned way more than I consumed this past week.  We did eat our Lean/Green in restaurants a few times, and I had a few bites of soup once, and a few bites of Fried Green Tomatoes once, and a Pepperidge farm 100 calorie thin bun (7 grain) with my Turkey burger at camp one night. 
So, extra activity, healthy eating/calories watched closely, water consumed.  I took my scale along and weighed every morning.  (Sharing numbers is necessary here). Clay's weight went down daily.  Mine went up daily.  Factor in a little "female fluctuation", but I still don't get how it kept going up...a total of 2 pounds for the week.  Week 26 I was 207.6.  When I left for our trip on Wednesday I was 208 (assuming female flux).  Friday morning I was down to 206.4.  Then Saturday, my usual weigh-in day, I was up to 208.  Then Sunday I was 209.  And today, Monday, I'm 211.  I do NOT get this.  I can't tell you how frustrated I am right now!  This is beyond fluctuation.  It can't be water weight/female stuff anymore.  I doubt I built that much muscle in a couple weeks of increased activity.  I just don't get it.  I'm so discouraged.  I was SO HUNGRY all week...Clay even said one night my stomach growled all night!
In the past, small gains have come right back off. I want to encourage myself with this. But this is the largest gain I've had and it is frightening.  I'm trying so hard and sacrificing so much. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

WEEK 26-SIX MONTHS

It has been 26 weeks/6 months since I started my Medifast journey through Take Shape For Life.  I am down another 2 pounds this week for a total of 57 pounds!  I had slowed quite a bit, but my coach encouraged (railroaded :) me to join a 6 week weight loss challenge to get me back on track.  So far it has helped.  My mindset is much better.  I've had to face several events and a lot of stress this week.  I haven't been 100% on my eating plan, but I've been better, and it showed in my 2 pound loss.  For this challenge I need to lose 6% of my body weight...that's quite a lot for me, especially after already losing over 50.  But it IS possible...more even if I push it.  But I'm not about pushing...I just want to keep going and not lose focus. 
It's time to take measurements and pictures again.  I'll get to that soon!
Thanks again for my reader support!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Week 25

Week 25 brought me down 1.4 pounds. I weighed daily and watched the scale RISE until this morning when it went way down.  Figure that.  Roller Coaster.  But I like down. 
Total for 175 days is 55.2 pounds.  That's only 5 pounds in 6 weeks, but down is down. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Week 24

Bleh. Up 0.8 pound. Didn't really "deserve" a loss this week anyway...too much cheating.  Even ate a couple Atkins (sugar free) peanut butter cups. Just tired of all this.  It's so hard to keep up in "real" life. 
But I'm still gonna hang on.  I just bought six months worth of lean meats/fish/poultry and veggies that will be delivered to me and packed into my freezer for me.  All individually packaged.  Trying to eat better quality, lower fat/preservatives, but still be somewhat convenient.  And keep me out of the grocery store!
I saw a behavioral coach yesterday...I will take her advice (keeping that part personal).  But today I'm not overly positive.  Just tired, I guess, and bummed about the gain.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Weeks 22 and 23.

It's getting a little boring posting weekly because the weight loss is now much slower.  It appears I completely forgot to post it last week!  So here it is....Week 22/Day 154 down 3.3 pounds (making up for the previous week), and today, Week 23/Day 161 down 1.7 pounds for a total of 54.6.

It's been another tricky week with being out of town Saturday through Monday.  My old self is still there, and slowly weakening the "new" me.  When I have to be around food/temptation constantly it gets me so frustrated.  I struggle to avoid it, my head tells me I deserve it and that I can have just a taste.  Justify, justify, justify.  Often I'm successful all day in those situations, only to get home and start eating everything in sight.  My eating issues are so emotional!  And my hunger issues just make it worse.  I'm still hungry when I do this diet correctly.  Of course, now that I keep doing little cheats every week I mess up the "metabolism magic" so that it takes a week to get back on track again.  If I never cheated, maybe I wouldn't be hungry?  Who knows. 
 
My coach suggested taking out artificial sweeteners because they can confuse our brain into thinking we're getting sugar when we're not, and then our body wonders where it is, so it responds with hunger and cravings.  So I tried it, but with already feeling so deprived and struggling to do this "right", restricting more just made me crazier.  Losing the flavor of my beverages made everything so much blander...something I couldn't take.

Bottom line, I AM  still losing, miraculously.  And I keep getting back up when I fall. 

To those just starting this journey, please keep going.  IT IS HARD.  But it will work.  At the beginning I had to change my environment and mindset drastically in order to be able to take this on.  Do what you have to.  The first two months are crucial.  And talk to your coach!  Even when you feel guilty/ashamed, your coach will help, I promise!


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Week 21/Day 147

I'm on a plateau, it seems.  I only lost .6 this week.  I weighed almost every day again (because I'm obsessed).  It was a lot lower a few days ago. My calories have decreased, as has my sodium.  I'm hungry a lot, but my weight has gone up overall in the past two weeks.  I'm currently removing artificial sweeteners from my diet.  THAT is killing me!  Coach says they make me crave/hungry/gain.  I'm trying to see if kicking them helps, but I miss flavor!! (And I don't like lemon in my water)
This means no Diet Coke, so I lose my caffeine source (don't like coffee/cold tea). 
Heading to beach for two days.  Have to stay strict with diet and no flavored beverages.  My attitude is not very good right now! 
Bleh!!

Monday, August 11, 2014

I've messed up

This week is not going well.  I'm trying so hard each day to stay on the program, but my old habits are back.  I'm hungry and so I'm snacking.  I try to stick with what I'm "allowed" to have on the program, and just increase the portions.  But I'm just plain eating too much.  Mathematically, as I've said before, it doesn't make sense.  I'm still not eating enough calories to gain weight.  But I am.  So I'm hungry most of the day, craving stuff all day, and gaining weight.  I'm up 2 pounds since July 29th. 

The only way I know to fix this is to get back to Nazi style, like on day one...basically starting over.  I'm panicked, as I remember just how hard those first days and weeks were and I doubt my ability to be that strong again. 

And today is my birthday.  Can't even have something special.

I brought this on myself by cheating.  But seriously, are there Medifast users out there who can do this program for 4-5 months and NOT cheat?  Ever? 

Eh!! Just so frustrated and disappointed with myself.  I do NOT want to gain!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

A Light in the Dark! (more on Faith)

A good friend of mine suggested a book to me after she read my blog.  The book, CONVICTIONS: How I Learned What Matters Most, by Marcus J. Borg, has been a great help to me!  Borg deals with many of the questions that I have had concerning inerrancy of the Bible.  As I've mentioned before, I SO BADLY want the faith I once had, but life and education and scientific discovery left me having to choose between intellect and faith.  How could I deny intellectual findings?  Just the concept of "God's wisdom is greater than our foolishness" wasn't cutting it for me.  Yet I couldn't deny the fact that I felt a true Spirit within me, Someone who has comforted me and given me peace for years.   
I could restate Borg, and Rob Bell, and other authors, but instead I just suggest that you read for yourself!  They deal with these questions/concepts much better than I ever could. 
Bottom line, I finally feel like I can sincerely worship God and cherish the Bible as truth again, without holding to Biblical inerrancy.  What a load off my heart and spirit!

Paying the penalty

Taking a "break" from the strict 5 and 1 of the Medifast program (5 medifast meals and 1 lean and green meal each day) always bring weight gain.  This week I wanted to relax a little because I had finally hit the 50 pound mark and we were going to be going away for a few days (mini vacation).  I started my "break" by allowing myself a soft pretzel from Auntie Anne's.  Big carbs there, and sodium, and fat (butter).  This type of thing (even on a much smaller scale) always results in a weight gain for a couple days, but then comes right back off.  I was willing to accept that for a little "normalcy".  The next few days I simply increased my "lean and green" (a few more oz. of lean meat and extra veggies), and allowed myself a piece of cheese here and there.  I actually did just fine at the amusement park and museum and hotel.  My issues were on the long ride home in the car.  I was out of Medifast snacks and so tired of restrictions, and just plain hungry.  I went into a convenience store in search of snacks for the family and the best I found for myself was peanuts.  And I ate quite a few of them. 

Now, I had decided not to weigh myself for a whole week (I've been weighing every day or two).  But after those four days off I was getting nervous.  So I weighed in and found I had gained 3 1/2 pounds.  About what I thought. So I got right back on the program, but found myself hungrier than usual.  Now, on Medifast, after the first few days one is not supposed to feel hungry.  I always have.  For some reason, I just struggle with this.  There have been some days that I really don't experience hunger, but not often.  But going off program and then starting up again is probably the reason for the extreme hunger the next couple of days.  I ate an extra Medifast each day and increased veg and protein a little. 

I weighed in today and the scale is creeping back down slowly.  I'm still 1.6 pounds heavier than last week. 

I've been dieting for so long, counting calories most of my life, etc.  When I "do the math" that SHOULD work, it's frustrating.  The total calories that I consumed each day on that 4 day "break" should not have resulted in weight gain.  I should have maintained.  But something about the Medifast way (metabolism, super low sugar/carb) makes my body work differently.  Eating carbs causes these spikes.  I knew this, and I accept the fact that when I do reach goal, there is a long "weaning" period to get me back onto "real" foods.  The huge, fast weight loss is my reward! 

So, it's been a little frustrating this week, but not anything more than what I expected.  I felt I really needed a break.  Sometimes life happens. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Week 19 totals

In week 19 I lost 3 pounds!  I've lost a total of 50.6 pounds and I feel so much better!  I'm half way to goal!  I took measurements again this week.  In the past 5 weeks I've lost another 4 inches, for a total of 16 1/2 inches in 4 months. (I measure chest, waist, hips and thigh).  I've been weighing daily for quite some time, but I'm going to try to stay off the scale until next Saturday and see how I do. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

FIFTY POUNDS

HALF WAY THERE!!!
As of this morning I have made it to exactly 50 pounds lost since March 22nd!  I honestly can't believe I have stuck with it this long.  And I'm not ready to quit, although I have to admit I'm only giving it about 85% at this point in the game. Life really gets in the way, temptations abound, and adrenaline runs low!  But I'm chugging along, correcting mistakes as I go.  My coach asked me to consider BEING a coach.  My gut response was "No Way!" I'm not good enough! I fail too much and I still have so far to go myself.  But as I've thought about it I realize it's not doing it perfectly that makes a good coach....it's picking myself up every time I fall.  And that I've done.  I've got scraped knees (or more accurately, chocolate on my chin) to prove it!!
But I won't be coaching any time soon.  I'm juggling far too many things in life right now.  But it's not out of the question. 
All of you who have read my blog, encouraged me, and shared advice have been my backbone.  THANK YOU SO MUCH for supporting me!
I have decided to celebrate with a hair cut and color in the near future.  I'll post pics.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Week 18: Ropes Course

This past week I lost just one pound.  I'm still glad the scale keeps going down, but I know I can do better.  You see, I've had trouble with temptations and nibbling, and with hunger in general.  From a Medifast/Take Shape For Life perspective, this is not good.  If I stick with the program 100% I should not feel hungry and the temptations should be less.  But from a practical perspective, I have been seriously restricted for 4 months, and I've had to deal with so much food around me that I can't  have.  100% seems unrealistic, and yet if I don't do it 100% then I'm reducing the science of Medifast to just a calorie counting program.  It's much more than that.  I want the fat-burning state that I had a month ago, but I don't see how I can be THAT strong without isolating myself.  I've really been trying my best, but I do falter a lot.  I have NEVER stayed with a program this long, or lost this much (my previous "record" was when I lost 40 pounds in a year in my mid twenties). 
So all I can do is continue to take one day at a time.  I'm, once again, starting my week super-focused, even as I've had to shop for groceries for my family and put it all away in the fridge and pantry, knowing most of it I can't have.

ROPES COURSE
On a very positive, proud note, yesterday I went with my family to a local indoor/outdoor amusement park.  I felt confident to get into a go cart (used to worry I was too big), but I didn't drive (still working on confidence in trying new things).  But I tried it...step one!  Then I tried a ropes course...also used to be too big, but now I'm well under the max. weight.  But I don't care for heights. I did it because I knew in my heart that I could and I wanted to prove it to myself.  So I harnessed up and up I went!  But wow, that was scary!  Looks much easier from below!  And my brain didn't acknowledge the harness I was in...it just chanted "You're gonna die, you're gonna die!!" But as I watched about 8 preteen girls dancing around on the ropes like they were no big deal, I decided I couldn't be shown up!  And I SLOWLY crept across course #1, then onto another, and another.  I was ready to say, "Okay, I've proved enough" when I realized I still had to cross BACK in order to go DOWN!  And so I did...because I really wanted to go back down! 
I'm a survivor!  Bucket list down by one!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Week 17

Day 119, week 17, down 2.2 pounds for a total of 46.6.
Any suggestions for my 50 pound celebration?  (Goal is 100)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Weeks 15-16

Again I blame my busy summer for not posting regularly! Things have been pretty steady, meaning I have had the same ups and downs with traveling/events, etc., which bring temptations.  But the scale continues to creep downward, so I'm happy. 
Week 15 I lost another two pounds, and week 16 another 1.4 (and yes, those points me a lot to me!). That made my total  44.4 pounds!  Tomorrow is my next weigh.

I am so much happier these days, and for the most part I'm more energetic.  I'm not ashamed of how I look, and sometimes I'm proud of my appearance.  I see my old habits and justifications slipping back now and then.  Sometimes when I have cheated but still lose weight I think "well, I got away with it last week!".  I need to stay more focused on my new positive habits.  I'm currently reading Dr. A's Habits of Health.  Excellent read and very practical motivation.

I'd love to hear comments from any other Medifast users, or answer questions from those of you who are curious about the program.  Let me restate that I had hit bottom more than once and had failed at weight loss over and over and over.  This program was what made the difference for me.  I thought I was hopeless, but it gave me hope...and quickly!  And the success is what drives me to continue to goal (which, by the way, is to lose 100 pounds).

Thanks for your views and comments!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Week 14

I'm a couple days late in posting...busy summer!  I lost two pounds in week 14 for a total of 41 pounds (in 98 days).  Steady as she goes....  Facing "food events" (like family reunion, vacations, etc) are still my greatest difficulty.  If I can just avoid foods I can't have, I'm golden! :)  But I can't, and so I continue to struggle and learn.  I just purchased Dr's A's Habits of Health and I'm learning some new strategies.  Onward and .....Downward!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Three Month Totals and Musings

June 22nd marked 3 months on my Medifast Journey.  I've decided to post numbers today...something that has been very hard for me to disclose.  But all they are is numbers.  How I look and feel, and my overall health is what is important. 
 
On March 22, 2014, on my new digital scale, I weighed in at 264.8.  On June 22, 2014, I weighed in at 224.8 exactly! (And yes, those "points" mean a lot to me!)  I lost 40 pounds!

I won't list all my measurements, but my 3 month losses are as follows:  Chest= 3in., Waist= 4in., Hips= 2.5 in., Thigh= 3inches.  I am down 2 full sizes in clothes, and I'm nearing the next size down. 

I'm ecstatic when I stop and think about how long I've struggled to find something that works, and then how far I've come so fast.  And yet I still find myself anxious for the scale to go down and the next size down to fit because I so badly want to stop being fat forever!!  The emotions don't stop!

Unfortunately, I still have all the same addictions I had on day one.  I cheat in little ways nearly every day.  At first I was able to avoid "real" food by allowing my husband and my two kids (18 and 11) to "fend for themselves".  I stayed out of the kitchen and away from food that wasn't on my program.  I avoided the pantry and had a "mom shelf" in the fridge.  But as time has passed, I see that my family is not eating the way I'd like...I don't see enough veggies being consumed, and too much processed stuff and eating out.  So I've put myself back in the kitchen some to try to fix this.  And what do I do?  I nibble.  I try all the tricks (mints, etc) to prevent this, but often I WANT to nibble...and it always leads to more that what I'd intended.  Some days I'm very strong and calm and others I'm a mess and want to eat everything in sight.  I still need work!!  And lots of it.  But I'm just not sure where to get help.  Even therapists start by sending me to a nutritionist (been there-not the issue) and weight watchers (done that program 3 or 4 times).  It's not knowledge or program.  It's love of food, emotional eating, sugar and carb addiction.  I have yet to read a book that truly helps (and I've read SO MANY).  I even tried Overeater's Anonymous for a while.  I've been asking God for deliverance and help since I was a teen! 

I believe I will be in a daily battle over this for the rest of my life.  The biggest job now is to release another 40-50 pounds, then I need to learn to maintain.  The thought of it fills me with fear.  So I can only focus on today.

I'm SO GRATEFUL for where I am right now.  I feel so much better!  I move better, I'm happier, I can buy most of my clothes in stores now (as opposed to online plus size stores).  But I can't let down my guard.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Week 13

No fanfare this week...just down 1/2 pound for a total of 39 pounds.  Tomorrow marks 3 months, so I'll do my measurements. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Week 12

I'm a little delayed in posting my 12 week totals. I went away for the weekend with friends.  But I took my portable scale and weighed in on time (Sat. morning, June 14).  I lost 2 pounds this past week, for a total of 38.6.  I'm very happy with that.

This weekend, as I traveled with friends, I discovered that it is possible to stay on track with my program even while vacationing...at least for 3 days!  We ate in restaurants a total of 5 times.  My plan was to ask the cooks to prepare my meal specially, but I chickened out.  I chose a menu item and just had them remove what I couldn't have.  So I ate a grilled Chicken Salad 3 times!!  They were all bigger than what I needed, but I just didn't finish them, and I was careful with the dressing.  But another meal that worked for me was a garden omelet made with egg beaters.  It was already on the menu.  What I didn't do, but hopefully will be bold enough to try soon, is ask for the chicken/eggs to be cooked without oil.  But for this "vacation" experience, I just took it as prepared. 

I also enlisted the girls I was traveling with to be aware of my situation, and help me to remember to eat on time (every 2-3 hours).  However, that was no problem for them since I kept saying "I'm hungry!".  I know I shouldn't still be hungry on this program, but I still have days that I am.  It's good to be hungry at meal time, but I often feel hunger about 20min. after a meal.  I've been told it  is digestion, but it sure feels like I'm hungry!  But I drank water (and a few Diet Cokes :), and kept myself distracted. 

We visited Hershey, PA, so while at Chocolate World I did allow myself two dark chocolate Hershey's miniatures after the ride.  At another point I also had a mini milk chocolate. 

Glad to be home where eating right is easier, but glad I didn't pass up the opportunity just because of my program.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Week 11

This past week was nerve-wracking, after all the events and the weight gain from last week.  I had a couple minor slips.  But the Medifast system works, because I had a 7 pound loss this week!  So my 3 pound gain from last week was recovered, plus another 4. A friend of mine once suggested I look at weight loss in terms of sticks of butter...each pound is 4 sticks.  So even if I only lose 1/2 pound I can still imagine it as two less "sticks" of fat on my body!  So, to date I have lost 146 sticks of butter!

Some facts I have been very aware of this week:  1.Drinking water is key!  Not sure all the science behind it, but it makes a difference.  I chose to weigh in every day this week and I could see a loss when I drank plenty of water the day before, but if I didn't have enough water and consumed more sodium than usual, I stayed the same.
2. Not every bite "off program" will ruin my progress...but high sodium and breads are the biggest culprits in those unexpected weight gains. Bread=bad news for Medifast users. 
3. When I justify going off program, I have to deal with the gain and then just get right back on track.  But I know if I justify too much, I may not get back on one day.  So I will be very cautious in what I decide is an "OK" time to splurge.  Life happens, but I can control more of it than I think, I think! :)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Week Ten: A Roller Coaster of Events

Week ten has been a roller coaster of events!! My son graduated from high school on Tuesday, my husband's grandmother passed away at age 99 and we attended her funeral on Thursday, and my daughter was promoted from 5th grade to 6th grade in a ceremony on Thursday evening.  (All events involved food). All other days this past week, especially Friday, were spent preparing for a big graduation party for my son.  The party was Saturday, here at home, and I made food for over 50 people (although not quite that many actually came).  The menu included a few of my son's favorites, along with  general finger foods and a cake. 
So how did I manage to stick to my Medifast program?  Um. Well. I didn't.  Oh, I tried all week, and did quite well most days.  But I was not able to control my environment or my schedule, so my first difficulty was eating on time.  And, of course, all week there were SERIOUS temptations.  Friday proved the worst, as I made my son's favorite...and MY favorite...Broccoli Casserole!  By evening I had taste-tested several things, all really bad for the program.  Saturday morning I weighed in to a weight gain.  Sat. I started out great on my program, but forgot to eat again because I was so busy in the kitchen.  Finally I just made a plate of "real" food and sat down with guests for a break.  That led to just abandoning the program for the day.  Sodium was a huge factor in my eating, so I knew to expect another weight gain.  Sunday, however, I was back to the regiment! 
THE NUMBERS:  So, Saturday morning showed a weight gain for the week of 3.2 pounds. That went up again on Sunday by another pound.  Today, however (Monday), I'm back down 2.  So I anticipate a "full recovery" by next weigh-in (Saturday).  I have more events coming up, but none that I have to cook for, and I believe the rest will be much less tempting and easier to deal with.  Wish me luck!  (I'm not jumping ship by any means!)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Good Days

There ARE good days on this weight loss journey.  Of course the weigh-ins have all been good because I've continued to go down, even if it's only a pound.  But today was good because I didn't experience the temptation that I normally face.  Sights and smells were just not a big deal to me.  This is pretty rare.  Most days it drives me nuts to see commercials for food on TV, and to watch my family eat things I can't eat.  I hide in my office during meal time a lot!  But some days, and thankfully today was one of them, I just don't have to fight.  And it feels good. 
I spent my Memorial Day at home with my family, cleaning and preparing for my son's graduation party.  My husband put steaks and burgers on the grill, and I made fried zucchini and mashed potatoes for them.  But I prepared my own zucchini w/just a touch of oil and no flour...just some salt and pepper.  I ate Medifast mashed potatoes.  I had turkey meatballs.  And I thoroughly enjoyed an extra serving of Diet Coke as my treat.  I did, however, have a couple small bites of steak (to taste) and a small slice of watermelon. But it was controlled...it was my "picnic", so I didn't feel deprived. 
Feeling very blessed with success.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Week Nine

Week nine weigh in shows a loss of 1.2.  Blah. But it's down. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

WEEK 8 WEIGH IN

Down another 3.8 pounds this week! Much more than I expected because I faltered a few times.  My total to date is 31.2 pounds.  I got some "new" clothes last weekend, which always feels awesome.  And the fact that I paid very little for them is even better. A generous friend was sending a bunch of clothes to consignment and let me have first pick.  Some items I bought at YARD SALE prices were high-end and still had tags on them! 

I'm feeling pretty good.  Turning over in bed (I have back pain when I'm lying down) is so much easier/less painful.  My light-headedness has subsided, though still not completely gone.  (Just when I get up from sitting on the floor, etc.). I have the energy I need.  Emotionally I'm still a mess....this is a roller coaster ride.  Learning new ways to handle stress and frustration rather than eating is a skill I'm VERY slow to develop.  I sometimes justify "cheats", and then feel the guilt later.  Temptation when I'm around food is still pretty bad (some days better than others).  I have been told of a lot of ways to fight the temptation, but I don't always remember to do them (STOP/CHALLENGE/CHOOSE is what TSFL folks tell me.  I remember a friend telling my child once "Stop/Breathe/Think). 

My next milestone will be the 60 day/two month mark.  I'll do measurements then (May 20 or May 22). 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

WEEK SEVEN WEIGH IN

Week 7/Day 50, down 2.8 pounds for a total of 27.4.  I can deal with that.  After my post yesterday, I see that my Dad was right when he said "Worrying works. Nothing I ever worried about ever happened."  :) 
But seriously, the fluctuations this week were scary...down for 2 days, up for 3, then a dive back down over night. 
I seriously need to relax.  As soon as I learn how to do that without food, I will! :)

Friday, May 9, 2014

SOME DAYS...(Food and Fears categories)

Some days are just hard.  When my brain and body are tired and my workload seems overwhelming, letting go of food as my comfort is sheer torture.  This was one of those days.  From the moment I got out of bed I was overwhelmed by all that needed to be done, and my instinct was to eat! 
I have been weighing myself daily again to watch for fluctuations so that I'm not so freaked out by minimal weekly losses.  For the first few weeks, if the scale "stalled" or went up, it would go right back down in a few days. But this was week 7, and it. just.stalled.  I was SO hoping to make a milestone this week.  I lost very little the past two weeks so I thought sure I would see the scale go down this week.  It did, for 3 days, then back up again.   Tomorrow is my official weigh-in, and unless my body does something crazy, that milestone is still several pounds away.  Yeah. So much for not freaking out. 
So how does this relate to fear?  I am so afraid that I will continue to make these sacrifices but not get results...torture all for nothing.  I'm afraid that I just can't keep it up (I've had several "slips" when I tasted bites of "forbidden fruit") and I will fail...I will gain it all back.  I fear that I got overconfident in doing this program and in putting myself out there for all to see (FB and this blog).  I will fail in front of the whole world. 
And then there is the fear that, if I'm so tempted by food already, when I still have at least 4 months to go, what will it be like when I return to normal eating? How do I stop the compulsion?
So what did I do about it?  I basically just gritted my teeth and kept going.  I forced myself to get started on my to-do list, and I just kept reminding myself that I only have to do Medifast for TODAY.  Tomorrow will worry about itself.  If I can just follow the rules for 24 hours until my weigh-in, then maybe I can even take a meal/day off.  So I just kept going. 
I ended the day at a friend's house, planned almost a week ago.  I've lost enough weight to need more clothes, but don't want to pay much because I may not stay in this size long.  This friend has lost a lot of weight over the past year and had a lot of clothes to get rid of.  She had them priced for consignment and let me choose what I wanted before she took them to a shop.  I got some REALLY nice things that fit me well.  It felt good to see myself in clothes that fit.  It reminded me that my work thus far IS paying off. 
And yet tonight, I struggled with watching the kids eating snacks.  I ate some cheese curls...I know I'll regret it. (Not a big bowl like the old days...about 6-8 pieces...but even that can mess with my metabolism). 
As I said.  This Is Hard.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Authority of the Bible

Back to faith issues. 
        Believing in the Bible as the inerrant Word of God was never a problem for me growing up or going to Bible College.  Everyone I associated with believed it, and I was taught all the passages from the Bible that claim it is God's Word.  With that presupposition, all of my Biblical studies make sense and draw me closer to this loving, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God.  This gave me a deep sense of security and meaning in life, and obvious life goals to chase after.  I read the Bible daily, and with all the college and church classes I took I'm sure I read the Bible through several times.  Reading it usually brought peace and meaning.  Occasionally I was confused, but I would just go on to what I could be confident in/fully understand.
        But as the years have gone by, I have NOT always been surrounded by those who believe this way.  I now find that I have friends and acquaintances who believe very differently.  Some believe that a different "bible" is the holy scriptures that we should live by, but it's different from my Christian Bible.  Some don't believe in any bible or God.  I've also read books and articles written from other perspectives.  And just watching the news we see so many "religions" out there, all claiming they are the way to truth and righteousness.  They have their teachings and traditions that they are just as convinced are true as I was about mine.  Their parents/teachers taught them a different way, and they trust them as much as I trusted my parents/teachers. 
        So who is right?  How can we be sure that the Bible we are reading today is, in fact, inerrant?  How can we know how to interpret scriptures written so many years ago to different peoples of a very different culture? Man has learned so much more about the world over these thousands of years, and it brings questions about creation, dinosaurs, the age of the earth.  Man has become much more civilized, so that the Old Testament ways seem so barbaric and oppressive....how could God command the slaughter of women and children, entire nations?  Multiple wives?  The oppression of women?  Things we look at as evils today were daily life in the Bible.  I've heard many explanations, but none that hold water. At least not for me.
        The Bible is God's Word because the Bible SAYS it's God's Word is not a good argument.  "All Scripture is God breathed" (2 Timothy 3:16) does not define what books are Scripture. 
        Trust me....I WANT the Bible to be everything I always thought it was.  It is the foundation of what I have lived my life for.  But I don't see it.  I used to tell others who had this problem to immerse themselves in Bible reading and prayer and the Holy Spirit would reveal Himself to them.  Yet, when my doubts started kicking in, I realized that immersing yourself in anything will cause you to be swayed by it...that's how Cults get followings. 
        I sometimes have the "What if's".  What if those who canonized the Bible were not "pure", and had wrong motives, either putting in something that didn't belong or excluding something that did?  What if those who have translated the Bible made mistakes?  What if the common interpretations that we have are incorrect?  Shouldn't we be ALWAYS searching and "checking" our work?  Do we just take what was done so many years ago as "right" and never challenge it?  What if God is waiting for us to wake up and look closer.  Doesn't Paul say somewhere "don't trust me...look it up for yourself!"? 
        This is why I don't think questioning is wrong.  We should always be searching.  Text books have changed over the years because man has learned more and realized that he was wrong in some things.  Maybe the cannon of Scripture needs to be revisited.

WEEK SIX WEIGH IN/LADIES BRUNCH

This will be a "combo-theme" entry!  First, I weighed in this morning.  Weight loss total for week six is 1.6 pounds, for a total of 24.6.  I was pretty upset at first, because I checked my weight on Wed. and it was 1.2 pounds LESS than that.  So I was expecting a much better number.  And I still think that, despite what the Take Shape For Life/Medifast program says about losing 1-2 pounds per week, at my size, with the restrictions I'm on, I think I should be losing more.  I vented in an email to my coach, and then just went on with my day.  The body will do what it will do.  I can tweak, but that's about it.  Hoping for a big week next week.

So now we will talk about how I handled the Ladies Brunch at church this morning.  I didn't want to just avoid another food oriented gathering because, let's face it, that would mean I would have to avoid most social gatherings.  And I needed to get out with friends.  So to plan ahead I made an egg white omelet with spinach and salsa and a Medifast brownie.  I took them along, and warmed the eggs in the microwave there when I arrived.  I chose a table as far from the buffet as possible and faced myself away from the food.  I ate slowly and concentrated on conversation the whole time.  While the speaker was speaking, I slowly ate my brownie and sipped my diet coke.  At one point someone came around with a tray of goodies.  Because the person I was talking to knows what I'm dealing with, it was easy to decline and continue talking.  What was truly awesome was that my friend declined too...she didn't have to do that, but it sure made it easier for me!!  That's a friend. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

REDUCED CRAVINGS

It just dawned on me yesterday that I haven't had a true craving in several days!  I see foods advertised on TV, and smell the neighbors BBQ-ing, and the aroma of tacos wafted through my car as I delivered Taco Bell to my family for lunch yesterday.  But I never felt like I NEED THAT!  It made me think "YUM", but there was no emotion attached.  Some readers may not get this...those of you who DO will know what a big thing this is! 

If you are new to Medifast, or any weight loss program, and are experiencing those horrible first day-week-month cravings, take heart!  Keep it up, and they will diminish! 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

WEEK 5 WEIGH IN

Total for week five = down 2.2. Grand total=23 lbs.  Who can complain about that?  Not me.  The jury is still out on whether it was a good idea to go off program for Easter Sunday.  I might have lost another 2 pounds if I hadn't. 
This week was a tough one, but not my toughest.  At least I knew to expect the immediate increase after eating off program.  But it also came off by Wednesday.  And 2.2 pounds more in a week is good.  But I had fatigue and hunger issues again.  I don't really know why.  I saw a doctor about the occasional lightheadedness when I bend/stand, but he didn't seem concerned.  Thinks it's a side-effect from a med. I'm on.  Having some nosebleeds this winter, but usually they don't continue this late.  And they are at least once a week now...two this week.  I thought all this related to BP going down, but doc says it's not low enough to go off meds.  Nothing hindering my lifestyle yet, so I will wait it out.  My moods were down this week too.  Maybe I'm just tired all around. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

KUDOS FROM MY DOCTOR

I went to see my Doctor today to talk about the Medifast program I am on, and to discuss some dizziness I've had. I was hoping for a reduction in Blood Pressure meds, but that was not the case.  The dizziness was from another source.  (And I'm fine).  But the Dr. was very pleased with my progress and had a lot of encouragement for me.  This is the first I've been to the Dr. since a few weeks before I started, so I was anxious to see the weight difference on their scale.  It was 21 pounds!  It's good to know that my home scale is accurate! And maybe next time I go see him I will get to reduce my meds!

Eating on Easter

Easter weekend was full of foods and treats in my home.  We had family visit and I truly enjoyed making meals and treats for them.  At first I planned to just eat a few bites of a few of my favorite items.  But in reality, I just felt like eating normally for the day and enjoying myself.  I avoided bread and fatty foods/candy at first.  But later I ended up having some crackers and cheese.  I enjoyed a few servings of my broccoli/cheese casserole.  I was very tempted by the mashed potatoes but decided to make Medifast potatoes for myself instead.  By the end of the day I did have some chocolate.  Now, compared to my past holidays, this was no big deal.  But it certainly was off my current program.  But I went into it knowing that the scale would go up for a couple days because of it, even if I controlled the calories.  That's just how it works on this program.  So, yes, the scale is up 2.4 pounds.  But today I'm back to my program and actually happy about it.  Although the food yesterday was enjoyable, I found it addictive and hard to stop once I got started.  And by late in the afternoon I was feeling quite sluggish.  Even after a nap I wasn't very energetic the rest of the day.  So I was able to see clearly what various foods do to my body.  I honestly had no problem "getting back to business" today.  Because I had the increased calories I felt it was ok to exercise this morning, so I did 22 minutes on the elliptical.  That felt great!! And I just enjoyed some zucchini...not my favorite before Medifast, but I really like it now.  And I feel good.  So next time?  I really don't know.  I have some events coming up.  I've learned that I can avoid the food at events if I am not preparing them. But as the sole preparer this weekend, I just couldn't resist.  I do know that it's best to try to avoid preparing others' foods.  And going off program for more than a day would be a bad idea.  One day at a time.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

WEEK FOUR SUCCESS!!

Wow.  I mean WOW!!  I guess weight fluctuation isn't quite so scary after all, because it appears to have balanced out.  The last week + I was worried, but today's weigh-in....Day 29....drumroll....down 6.4 pounds this week for a grand total of....drumroll..........(longer for more drama).....20.8 pounds!! One month! 
I did measurements again.  Hips were up by 1/2 in, likely due to imperfect measuring skills on my part.  Chest down 1", Waist down 2" and Thigh down 1- 1/2 ".  The jeans I bought a month ago are now too big.  The ones in the bottom of the drawer for "emergencies"....because they were too snug....now fit best.  The ones in storage because I couldn't fasten them, now fasten! 
Progress.  Relief. 
Now to my MEDIFAST user friends, be aware that when I started getting really hungry and therefore discouraged, I talked to my coach and she advised adding one Medifast meal a day, and not going longer than 2 hours between meals/snacks.  I honestly think that adding the calories helped, due to my size and the drastic cut in calories this program is from what I used to eat.  I suspect I may have gone into some type of starvation mode?  And my body held onto the fat? Really only speculating, but I have seen a few seasons of Biggest Loser :)!  Either way, this week I averaged 100 calories more each day (IN MEDIFAST PRODUCTS) and lost more.
Now, what do I do with this victory?   It is, after all, Easter weekend!!  All. That. Chocolate!!!!  But honestly, the big weight loss doesn't make me want to go celebrate and eat junk.  (Ok, maybe a little).  I'm more inclined to keep going!  However, I'm realistic, and have decided that maybe tasting a bite of real foods but not having my own servings may be in order for me today.  But I'm pretty sure chocolate/fat/junk will cause problems...so I'll stick to tasting the roast beef and potatoes and broccoli casserole.  Maybe a small piece of cheese? 
I'll let you know how all my temptations and musings pan out after the holiday, and how it affects the scale next week. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

THREE WEEKS TO BUILD A HABIT, A LOT LONGER TO BREAK ONE.

It is said that it takes three weeks to build a habit.  I've been on the Medifast program/ Take Shape For Life for 3 weeks and one day.  And I'm in  a groove.  But I've found, to my dismay, that although I'm in the habit of eating my 6 small (no, miniscule!) meals a day, eating slowly, and drinking 80 ounces of water daily, the old eating habits haunt me.  I still think about food a lot, and if I'm around food or even just smelling it, it can be absolutely tortuous.  TV commercials, Facebook posts/ads, even other people talking about food all affect me.  Sometimes it's mild and I can push it aside, but other times it makes me crazy.  The temptation to cheat is CONSTANT. 
PROGRAM IN A NUTSHELL for the sake of understanding this post: 
5 Medifast meals/day (about 100 cal. each), eaten 2-3 hours apart, and one "Lean and Green" meal per day (5-7 oz. of lean protein and 3 servings of veg, and they must be from a list of approved foods).  I can also have up to 3 condiment servings (quite small) and an "optional snack" of sugar free Jell-O, dill pickles, celery, OR an oz. of almonds or pistachios.

I do falter occasionally....an extra serving of calorie-free-but-sodium-high dill pickles, a bite of the noodles I just cooked for my kids, an extra condiment serving to make my bland protein taste better, a cheese ball that fell from Kelly's bowl as she was preparing her tv snack.  Sometimes I am so hungry that when it's time for my "Lean and Green" meal, I give myself an extra serving of veg, or an extra ounce of meat.  Now, on any other diet, if my calories for the day were below 1000 and I "cheated" that way, it would be no big deal!  But for this program I have found that cheating has a bad effect! 

It's hard.  I'm hungry a lot.  I miss food.  I drive myself nuts w/my rationalization. But I have to trust the program.  The support from my friends has been more than I ever expected, and so very helpful!Onward and Upward! Or Downward?? Whatever...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

WEEK THREE

Really rough week.  I continue to weigh myself daily, but the fluctuations are driving me mad.  The first two weeks I only fluctuated morning to evening, but now it's all over the place.  Lesson learned.  So according to this morning's weight, I'm down 1.4 pounds this week.  (Yesterday it was a pound more....again...flux). 
So my grand total for 3 weeks is 14.4 pounds
That really does sound good.  But I guess my depression is hitting me hard this week.  I'm basically detoxing from food addictions and compulsive overeating. This puts my emotions in overdrive. 
So I'm choosing to look at the 14, not the 1.4, and carry on. 
I have to stay away from the kitchen this week...I've gone back to preparing meals for the kids occasionally.  It's too hard.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

REALLY FRUSTRATED

It's been 21 days.  I ate off program on Sunday (Day 15), and then gained a pound a day for three days.  Freaked me out!  Now, when I say I ate off program, it means at an event I ate a grilled chicken sandwich in place of my plain chicken breast.  So the bread and the condiments were all that were off program.  And I did this intentionally, thinking it through, and figuring in the calories (total for that day was 1500 calories...usual program day is just under 1000).  Yes, the Medifast "rules" warn that one piece of bread could mess up your progress.  I took the risk, but thought it would simply slow down the weight loss. Honestly, in doing the math/calories, I really didn't believe it would affect anything.  But because I don't know all the science behind Medifast, I thought it was possible that I might plateau for a couple days.  But gain a pound a day for three days, when I went right back to the program the next day???!!!  That was nuts.  Now, it could be hormones, but who knows.  But on day 19 the scale miraculously went down again. (Yes, I'm weighing daily....if I don't see progress I get discouraged.) And now I've lost the three I gained, plus another 1/2#.  What a roller coaster...and so soon into the game. 

Also, my coach hasn't answered my messages in over a week. I've emailed, FB messaged, called/left message, and texted.  I had some pretty important questions...they were to me anyway.  I finally emailed a nutritionist from the website and 24 hours later got a response on two of the questions.  The rest I'll just give up on.  I guess when you get a "free" coach, you can't expect much.  But now I really want to find someone who will take an interest in me.  I feel very fragile in this effort....each day I feel like I could crumble and give up.  It would help a lot to have someone to share advice/knowledge.  I hate confrontation, though, and don't know how to switch without causing it!

I really want to eat.  I guess it has gotten a bit better overall, but today I want to eat. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Faith: The Fall of Man

My thoughts and questions in the realm of faith are not easy to organize, so today I'm starting at the beginning...The Fall of Man.

According to the Genesis account, God created Man and Woman and placed them in the Garden of Eden, and gave them dominion over all living things.  He gave them one law...do NOT eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  All the trees in the garden they could have their fill of, just not that one. 

Now, we do not have much detail.  The account is only two chapters (less, really).  But what I see is this:
God said "don't eat", and they didn't.  But then God allowed the Serpent (Satan) to tempt Eve....to deceive her. She didn't know who he was.  The creatures were all created by God and she never had reason to fear or distrust any of them.  The Serpent told her she would NOT die.  That's when she ate.  Then she tempted Adam, and he ate. 
Ok. God said don't. They did.  They should die.  Fair enough.
But what actually happens? 
1. The serpent is cursed.
2. God put enmity between the serpent and woman.
3. Woman will have pain in child birth, and will have to submit to her husband (according to some interpretations).
4. The ground is cursed and Adam must now grow his own food in the cursed ground. ("painful toil")
5. And then, eventually, you will die.
6. Banished from the Garden.
7. And these curses will carry on to all their offspring forever.  One sin curses them all.

Now, that's a lot more than just "you will die".  It's hard labor for a lifetime, followed by death, and continued on to all mankind.

Is this a loving God?  Why did He create Man?  Wasn't it for companionship?  Why would He then continue to create more men if they would be born destined to die? 

And if we jump to the present, according to the Theology I studied (conservative Christian), far more people will spend eternity in Hell than will spend eternity in Heaven.  (Heaven and Hell are topics for another post.....or twelve).  DOESN'T THIS MEAN SATAN WINS??? (For those who are familiar with Rob Bell, I'm not stealing his ideas...I'm echoing them.)

All of this becomes intertwined in other theology, but that's enough for my poor brain for now.  But ONE LAST IMPORTANT COMMENT.  I'm NOT a heretic.  I'm not turning my back on God.  I'm not rebellious.  I'm SEARCHING! These are legitimate questions.  I am active in my church and I'm seeking truth.  I mean NO DISRESPECT.  This is simply my journal of my own confusion.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

I Survived Week Two

I made it through week two!  I lost 3.2 pounds this week.  My total for 2 weeks is 13 pounds.  How awful is it that I'm disappointed?  I'm disappointed that I didn't do the program 100%...a couple times I ate bites of items that were not on program, and a few times I ate extra program items because of hunger.  If I had done the program 100%, maybe it would be 15 pounds!  But I know in my heart I did my best....it has been such a difficult thing for me to do!  I need to press on.  I want so badly to get this weight off, but I've told myself a million times that it didn't come on overnight and it won't disappear overnight.  A month ago I couldn't imagine losing so much so fast....but being hungry for 14 days kinda makes me in a hurry to get it over!
I miss food.  I miss eating.  The Medifast meals, although palatable and nutritious, are not "real food" to me.  I guess that's good...I never crave another Medifast! :)  This program is allowing me to escape my addictions/triggers (sugar, flour, fats) but still know I'm getting proper nutrition.  The closest I'm going to get to "cold turkey" for food addiction. 
I've also cut back significantly on my sugar substitutes.  I used to drink a lot of sugar free beverages, flavored waters and Diet Coke.  I still allow myself between 8-16oz. of Diet Coke a day, but the rest of my drinking is water....Eight 8oz. glasses a day is recommended for the normal person....my size adds two more, and for each 8 oz of Diet Coke I'm supposed to add another 8 oz. of water.  I'm averaging 11 glasses of water a day!!
How do I feel?  Well, the first week was fatigue!  But week two I really did feel pretty good.  Not MORE energetic than usual, but I didn't feel fatigued any more. 
I'm encouraged to continue.  I'm going to keep myself occupied and work at distracting my mind from cravings!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

SIX MONTHS???!!!

Wow.  I don't know if I can keep this up for 6 months.  This has been a very long 11 days.  I'm hungry so much.  I'll admit, it's slowly getting better.  And I have more energy. But I really miss food....real food. 
Tonight I baked up some Pillsbury Crescent rolls for my kids because the package was going to expire soon.  I ate my healthy dinner first, but the aroma did me in and I ate about 1/2 of a roll.  A part of me says "Hey! I am only getting about 900-1000 calories a day!  A few more calories isn't going to stop me from losing weight.  It's simple math."  But the program guide says even one piece of bread can mess up the chemical "magic" I've got going on right now.  Bottom line...I cheated.  Guilt.  But guilt will just lead me to more eating eventually.  So I have to rise above it.  But FEAR jumps in now...what if I don't lose this week?  I cheated Saturday and today, and I used salt a few times without asking my coach if that is allowed.  I'm still using artificially sweetened drinks, although I've significantly reduced them.  Caffeine down a lot. But I lost 10 pounds last week....won't my body be trying to hold onto it now?  AAAAAHHHHHHHH!! 
I am so afraid of always being this big.  So afraid of failing at this program.  Craving food and afraid of food all at the same time!!
How can I possibly keep this up for 6 months?

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Faith part

You may be wondering how I came up with "Food, Fears and Faith" as my blog name.  It's been obvious so far that the "Food" part is my journey to conquer my obesity issue once and for all.  I figured that by blogging I would
1. Be "out there" for all to see, giving me incentive to stick with it 2. Have an outlet to vent the difficult times and rejoice in the successes, and
3. Encourage anyone out there who may be going through the same struggles.

The "Fears" part, you may have figured out, is because letting go of food as comfort causes me to have to face ALL KINDS of fears in my life...fear of failure, fear of being hungry, fear of facing my addictive food "demons".

I included the "Faith" part because, along with the food and fear issues, I'm also going through a mid-life crisis in my faith.  I'm questioning ideas and theologies and practices that have been part of my life since birth, but that  I never really "chose"....just accepted, because everyone around me did.  Over the past few years, this has been a violent storm within me.  So much is just incredibly hard to explain, so I'll save that for when I have more time.  But I will be throwing in some of my musings in that area, and welcome feedback.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Rocky Start To Week Two

I was running out of adrenalin as I began week two yesterday.  I was thrilled with my 9.8 pound loss, but I was craving SO MANY FOODS, and just absolutely sick of being hungry.  (yes, I am hungry a lot on this program, but it has gotten better). Of course I wanted to celebrate the loss, too! But I knew it couldn't be with food.  (But I soooooo wanted it to be! To reward myself!)

So here are the facts.  I tried to just rest and enjoy the Saturday, but guilt set in because there was a lot to be done.  So I tried to start a project, but I needed my husbands help and he was busy.  Next project, needed my son and my computer...both busy.  Then I just became incredibly cranky and frustrated!  I couldn't accomplish anything, but sitting around was making me crave food.  My daughter was bored and I was trying desperately to find something for her to do that didn't involve electronic devises!  But it was raining cats and dogs....no outdoor activities.  So, after a little Mommy Meltdown, I declared that Kelly and I would be going to the Mall to shop for clothes that she needed. 

We ready ourselves for the mall and then I realize....I have to get her lunch there....and I will have to watch. And smell.  What have I just done?  But we go anyway, Medifast snacks in my purse.  Her favorite food court counter was closed...for good.  She doesn't want anything else....(I would've eaten ANYTHING at that point, so I had no sympathy).  She settled on Auntie Anne's pretzel dog.  Oh. Did. That. Smell. Amazing.  Hunger pangs killing me...got a diet coke to share with her...that helped.  My little snack didn't help enough...killed the hunger but didn't TOUCH the temptation.  I asked her for a bite. She questioned me about my diet in a very grown up but respectful way.  I told her I promised it would be one bite and no more and that I would stick to the program the rest of the day.  She conceded.  Best. Morsel. In. The. World. 

After just one week.  And on a "high" day when I started out feeling so successful.  Set back, but not a train wreck. 

The rest of the day was "on program", but filled with food fantasies.  Stayed up much later than usual watching a movie, and the hunger was BAD because it had been 2 hours since my last snack. Went to bed hungry.  (BTW, the movie was Hunger Games! :)


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Week One


For those looking for numbers, I'm just not ready to post that deeply embarrassing fact.  So let's just say I want to lose 100 pounds, and this is not unreasonable for me.  (Many who know me will not believe this, because I "carry it well", but trust that my Dr. agrees.)

The first few days were difficult as far as being hungry and tired goes.  This was a SIGNIFICANT reduction in calories from what I was used to (From about 3,800 per day to about 850 per day).  But the support from friends and family and my "adrenalin" kept me pushing through.  Drinking hot tea was one of my solutions, and eating slowly was a MUST!  I've NEVER been good at eating slowly, but because I could only eat one small portion of Medifast food every 2 1/2-3 hours, I ate slowly to make it last.  I drank all the water that was required as well (80 oz. daily for someone my size, plus an additional 8 oz. for every 8 oz. of Diet Coke I drank....this quickly reduced THAT consumption!)

Significant to the mental aspect of this challenge was my frequent visualizing of what I will look and feel like if I can just keep this up for six months.  Imagining the upcoming summer with much less weight to haul around in the heat and humidity.  Reminding myself of all my physical hindrances to a fulfilling life also helped.  I need to have relief from back and foot pain, get off high blood pressure meds, and be able to shop "off the rack" like a normal person (rather than from online "fat" stores).

"Food fantasies", as I call them, began about day 3.  At first it was just thinking about foods I've had recently and imagining how they would taste, then it progressed to actually dreaming at night that I had forgotten I was dieting and ate the "old" way! By the end of the first week I was having to push thoughts of food/eating out of my head constantly.  So many cravings!! 

What kept me from cheating?  Well, I think it is because I chose to weigh myself every morning for the first week.  I needed to know that this was working in order to stick to it.  When the first 24 hours released me of 4 POUNDS (water weight, of course), I was VERY motivated to continue.  Day two released 2.6 pounds.  Another pound a day for days 3 and 4, and then fractions after that.  Now I'm going to weigh in only weekly.

WEEK ONE TOTAL LOSS = 9.8 POUNDS

Friday, March 28, 2014

MY STORY

My name is Andrea. I'm 46 years old, and I've battled obesity all my life.  For a few years in my late 20's I had "conquered" it and was living a very fit and healthy lifestyle.  But getting married, and having children sent me backwards.  It's been 2 steps forward and 3 steps back ever since.  About a year ago, after failing at Weight Watchers, a hospital weight loss clinic, Nutrisystem, Atkins, and a few others, I just gave up.  I had such a hard time saying no to food.  Even though I loved to exercise, time and injuries and the weight itself kept me from being able to do enough to make a difference.  I had spent SO MUCH MONEY trying to lose weight.  So I just lived life for a year.  But I hated how I looked and just could not accept it.  So when I was given the opportunity to talk with a Coach for Take Shape for Life (Medifast products), I decided I had nothing to lose.  I laid it all out there....can you help me?  She was so confident and so convincing with her clients' before and after pictures that I decided I would give this one last ditch effort. 

First I had to overcome my fears.  Fear of failing.  Fear of being hungry.  Fear of health problems because it was such a drastic cut in calories.  Fear of the commitment of SIX MONTHS without my addictive foods.  To do this required two things. First, I talked with my family and told them I could not prepare food for them for at least the first month.  My kids are 18 and 11, so with my husband's help they really don't NEED me to be involved in their meals.  I needed to be separated from my addictions as much as possible.  Second, I posted on social media to my closest friends and asked for support.  I was specific, and I was humble.  With the flood of support this brought, I jumped into the Medifast program head first. 

It's only been six days, but I've lost 9 pounds.  Tomorrow morning is my one-week weigh-in.