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?