Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fifty Pounds Down the Week After Baconfest!

Whew! By the skin of my teeth, I was able to claim a fifty pound loss from November 21, 2010 to February 25, 2011. THIS IS AFTER EATING MY WEIGHT IN BACON ON SATURDAY! Ok, so that was super hyperbolic... I did not actually eat my weight in bacon, but I had several slices of chocolate covered bacon, three peanut butter bacon cookies, less than one ounce of double smoked bacon that was so delicious I wanted to cry, and even bacon-flavored popcorn. I ate a few chips with dip after my resolve was down from eating all that sugar (and likely awakening my then-resting pancreas). I ate vegetables before I went to Baconfest (it was at my dear friend's house) and more when I got there before I ate the sugary and fatty foods. After a few chips with a bit of dip, I moved myself into a different room and focused on my friends and their conversations. It was a strategy that worked well.

I knew that I was going to be indulging, so I planned for it. I had eaten one less Ideal Protein food the day of and the day before Baconfest, and I ate one less the day after, too. I ate the bare minimum - three foods. The week before that I had four foods most days because when it's really cold out, like it's been here, I get a lot hungrier. I have even split up a chocolate drink packet over two or three days by putting a third or half in with my coffee at work. It's less sweet that way, and it's just enough to stave off hunger if I don't have a long break. (it's not uncommon for me to get hungry while I massage folks, and I don't usually work very long shifts so I don't really need a break )

So... fifty pounds. I'm wearing the skinniest jeans I've ever worn as an adult.... and I must wear a belt with them! My uniform, black scrubs, which are actually more cute than you might imagine, is hanging loosely on me. My shorts, which I had stopped wearing because they were getting too tight, all need belts now. My husband told me to go get some pants! In 18 years of marriage, my husband has never told me to go buy clothes! Whoa!

Hubby (Rob) totally gets it. The other morning he got himself a breakfast sandwich at Subway, and he brought me home a salad! He even had them put just two tomato slices on it because he didn't know if I could have them (I can eat tomatoes once a week on the program). He knew not to get dressing on it because I make my own, too. Lean meats made it a great breakfast!!  Rob is amazed at my body changing, even down to how I move. I'm officially skinnier than I was on the day I got married in 1992. I was 20 years old, and definitely chubby. I still feel chubby around my midsection (visceral fat) but when I look at those old pictures, I know my dress fit more snugly than when I put it on two days ago. Yep, that's right, I can zip up my wedding dress more easily than I could the day I first wore it! (thankfully, it was not tight, just form-fitting)

In my next post, I will talk about how my cooking has been changed in a few ways. I'll give some tips to my Ideal Protein program participants, too - there are ways to make this lifestyle a lot more palatable than folks think!

Be well - Namaste!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Not "skinny" nor "bitch".

January 14, 2011.
221/188/??? - Nov 26, 2011 to May 25, 2011 (starting weight/current weight/goal weight - start and projected finish of Ideal Protein program.
I didn't post for a while, and while I was not posting, that lack of accountability didn't do me any favors. I've been nibbling. More when it's cold, and only the most delicious bits. My weight loss was only two pounds the last two weeks. Well, ok, two pounds each week. Less than the weeks previously, but not a terrible thing, to lose 2 pounds a week of just the fat.
     Why the nibbling, lately? Hi, I'm Sunflower, and I am a compulsive overeater. Well, I was. The problem started pretty early on. in my life. I remember eating extra snacks as far back as first grade.
     Now, at age 38, I understand that some basic body chemistry issues and lack of exercise contributed to my "lack of willpower" that was always assumed of me. I was chubby, but bullied into thinking I was a gigantic fat person. A friend asked if I could stay for lunch, and her response was to me. "Now are you SURE you didn't eat lunch before you left home?" Good grief, I was a very tough, indignant
twelve year old, but that was humiliating. 
     It was after that specific comment that my problem escalated. Suddenly, I realized that this could happen again, and that next time, the person could choose to disbelieve me, and I'd have to go hungry. That is when I started stashing food. I had food on me a lot - just in case. Then, I would nibble that throughout the day. I would simply forget that I originally intended for that food to save me, not hurt me.   
  Hurting myself is what my weight was doing, what my eating habits were doing to myself esteem. The theory of sugar addiction was curious to me for years. Now that I've had two periods of my life avoiding almost all sugars, I can say that I do not want to go back to eating sugary food/drinks all the time. I do not want to add sugars to my system without keeping track of them.     
It's very, very easy to add forgettable foods into our everyday eating patterns. Pass the professional admin's desk, swipe a mini-candy-bar. At the dessert bar, put on extra whipped cream. After work cocktail hour - you're trying to be good, so you have no alcohol, but you eat a handful of peanuts and stale bar mix and a soda. That's at least 200 calories that only had a few grams of nutritional value.  That's making the body use energy to store ... energy.
With the Ideal Protein program, I feel like I'm getting exactly the right amount of energy. My body is breaking down fat - I know because my husband says I'm smaller all the way around. It's working, and I'm not feeling anything but excellent - I shoveled for my usual two and a half hours with only some cramps in my left thigh the next day. Pretty good for pushing 40!
     What has helped me keep from being boring is how I've been preparing my food. I love experimenting with the spicy and strong flavors when I make my salad in the evening. Two kinds of lettuce, green bell peppers, celery, cucumbers, dill pickles, and raw onions, with copious amount of baby spinach, all get put into a huge bowl. At the evening meal, I love to put freshly squished garlic into my salad - I usually prefer to roast it. Then I add cider vinegar and a bit of grape seed oil, with herbs, and then vigorously mix the salad up. For more fun, add in horseradish or/and hot mustard (with no sugar). Mmmm, I love the intensity of this dish!
     At least 20 people a week tell me that I look "so good", and it's nice to have a little bit of that, but I realize it's a shortcut for some people. I mean, "way to reduce your probability of stroke, type II Diabetes and
atheroschlerosis!" is a wee bit awkward. I'll take "you look so good" any day of the week.
     On the flip side, I am not a huge fan of being called "skinny" as a compliment. I'm beautiful at any size, so telling me that being "skinny" has made me more valuable in your life is not appreciated but not given that much weight, either. (pun was not meant).
     I'm really not a fan of being called a "bitch" for losing weight or having discipline, either. I know that there is a book that is called "Skinny Bitch" that has inspired a lot of people. I read it and I like their mentality. They knew they needed a name that would get people to look at it. I do not begrudge them for a moment for that. Their no-excuses mentality is helpful, for sure. To me, there's a huge difference between calling a book "Skinny Bitch" and being labeled (even if it is a "joke") a "bitch" for body size. One of the least judgemental people I ever met was a size "zero" and hated the assumption that she was stuck up just because she was skinny.
     Eating Ideal Protein was easier than trying to get lunch in the Newport Marriott during a National Sales Meeting lunchbreak - in winter! I just went up to my room, and ate the yogurt I had made earlier and chilled in the in-room refrigerator and had a bunch of vegetables that I had brought with me. I had intended to keep them in my cooler with ice from the hotel, but the small refrigerator was perfect for my veggies. Score for me!
     Every day I'm making choices that are mostly good ones, and I'm being reminded of how little I really need. With no sugar in my system, I'm even forgetting to eat! But I will eat when I think about it. I am not
swinging towards anorexia.
     I think I'm swinging back to just being me, with a healthy pancreas and a healthier relationship to food. Hooray!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Days blending in now... except one...

     Most of the days have blended into one more day on the program. The only day that stands out was a Christmas party that I went to.  Saturday, I could have been "on-program" but I decided that I wanted to eat "regular" food this particular night.  I ate careful amounts, but I did eat a bunch of carbohydrates and fats. Corn chips with cheese sauce, mint milano cookies, gingerbread cake (so good!), and peanut brittle. Yum!!! I even had two cups (small) of punch. It was fun, I had a great time, and the next day...........

     I didn't feel so awful at first. I was definitely hungrier than any other time I've been on the plan. But what got me was that the rest of the day, I was VERY emotional. Yes, I had some obstacles put in my way that day, but I reacted in over-the-top emotional ways to each new piece of bad news. (not even directly in my own life!)  I wondered aloud to myself, at the end of Sunday, if sugar was partly to blame for the emotional aspect of my reactions.

     I had been eating gluten-free for about two months before this program, and had noticed that I was not freaking out as much. (history of up-down swings,very quickly, diagnosed as bipolar rapid-cycling -type 2)  When I started my medicine (trileptl, or the generic oxcarbazepine) things got even better. Sunday felt like a throwback to being 17 again, and almost overwhelmed me completely. On Monday, I was visiting with friends who both eat gluten-free. My friend has Celiac disease and cannot ingest gluten, or it causes a myriad of yucky symptoms.  She mentioned how emotionally overwrought she felt when she was still eating wheat and other gluten-filled products. (I have known her a long time, and she's right, she's more calm now.) I put two and two together and got four, so I'll be avoiding cookies and cakes for the rest of my life. I had not really meant to eat gluten that night - I just wasn't thinking. Whoooops.

     I'm not sure what day it is on my program anymore, but I do know this : I'm under 200 pounds for the first time in quite a while. Not sure when I was this number, but I bet I won't see it again... This morning, the day before tomorrow's weigh in, I weighed 199.


     I just wanted to say that again. 199. ONE NINETY NINE!!  My pants are fitting way better, except the ones I need a belt with now, and people are starting to notice that I look different. I keep reassuring everyone that I'm just fine.  I truly feel pretty darn good!

     I'm getting creative with the foods from Ideal Protein, and I got a recipe book that I would not recommend wholeheartedly. I did try one concoction : I brewed up some chai (spiced tea) really strong, and let it cool in the fridge overnight. Next morning, I took the chai, and used it to make the vanilla pudding. That was awesome!!! Later today, I'll be taking my mint concoction and making mint-chocolate pudding. :)  I'm also using different spices, like sweet smoked paprika and poppy seeds in my salad dressing.

     I am the Prepared Girl or I risk being Hungry Girl - at least that is what I figured would happen. It's almost as if my body understands now that I will feed it - not to worry - and chills out. When I was eating sugar a lot,  and carbohydrates like cereal, I was hungry a lot more than I ever am now. So one day, when I got waylaid even with my best plans, I didn't even feel hungry when I normally would have. It felt good to feel "normal".

     My uniform is fitting less snugly, and my pants are getting longer! (if you are round in the middle and lose that roundness, pants get longer!) I may have to have my favorite expensive pants taken in! So far I'm still wearing my size 18 pants, but now I can fit my ARM in there, as well.

       My husband has commented recently that he's proud of my discipline. His words mean a lot to me - he has seen me on the weight loss boat before. He's never once tried to discourage me in any way or "tempt" me. I did have to tell him a bit more about the plan so that he would not offer me protein the wrong time of day (I actually don't need real meat in the morning, but later I feel like I do). I'm still not quite disciplined enough to say no to an egg and a slice of ham that was made just for me. :-)

   Next time, I'll talk about attention, and managing the "oh you look so gooood!" comments and the "oh my god, you're starving yourself" comments, too. I'm hearing both. It's weird. For those of you who do not do the Ideal Protein program, I just want you to know that I'm taking ten pills of supplements a day, so I am not "starving". I do look gooood - But, I've just always looked gooood! In my eyes, and in my husband's eyes, anyway!

Take care and feel free to comment or poke me if I don't update ;-)!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Days 3-8

December 4 - 6, 2010
Days 3-8

     I went in for my first weigh in, and I can tell you this: I never thought I'd be the poster child for the statement "results not typical". I lost - are you sitting down? - fifteen pounds in one week.  To quote Dave Barry, "I swear I'm not making this up." If I had not been on the scale I would not have believed the the reading of 206 myself.  I have weighed 221 to 225 for about three years, after bouncing up from about 190 in 2003. No matter what I've done, I have stayed about the same weight once I got to that 220 range.  I was eating less than I had, and I felt great because I felt like I could stay a certain weight by eating balanced meals. Boy, was I right... Exercise has helped me to remain strong and limber, and keep some muscles pumped up (under my flabby tummy, I have rock hard abs! I do! stop laughing!). Running and lifting weights saved me when I had a back injury that stopped me from being able to do things like walk. It was pretty bad, but I didn't need surgery, and my weight stayed the same.  I was balanced. Or, I was in stasis.
     Balance and stasis are related terms, but the implications of the word are exactly opposite. Balance implies
perfection, while stasis often reflects a feeling of stagnation. I was eating a very well-balanced diet, so my body was in stasis. Every once in a while, I'd overeat, and then I'd gain a bit more weight, and later on I'd try to balance that out by having less carbs - cutting out soda and juice was easy enough. I never cut out alcohol to lose weight - I don't drink terribly much (especially since I take daily medication that does not really get along with it).  (I am forgoing any alcohol for these six months. It's weird but not a big deal.)
     The Ideal Protein diet is making me very conscious of what my brain is often telling me out of sheer habit.  I reached out for a stick of gum, a lollipop, and peanut M&Ms because they were there, not because I really wanted them. I had not realized how many people eat out of boredom combined with "it was there" unconsciously.  I was very surprised when accosted by an image of fried chicken dinner flashed in my brain. It was like accidentally seeing a horror show commercial on TV (or some awful internet/text message picture that someone should really stop forwarding before all bandwidth is gone). I could not unsee it. Rather than craving the whole meal, however, I decided to focus on the part of that whole meal that I could concievably eat. Mmmmm, five ounces of chicken breast meat, yay! In the past, I might have driven to KFC before I knew what hit me. Actually, I know that's true because it's happened in the past.
     I'm particularly susceptible to eating fast food when I'm feeling like I miss my parents, because it's like being cared for, and the tastes are familiar. The quantities are hearty. The salt, sugar, and fat combine for the trifecta of "YOU WANT TO EAT THIS NOWWWWW" feeling. When I am in maintenance, I will be sure to have a little mini meal of KFC food. I know I will never again eat an entire 5pc meal with an extra biscuit. (the extra was so I could have one with gravy and one with butter and jam. oy.)
     Eating differently from my husband for a couple of meals could be stressful if he was not SO supportive. He has been on board since I told him the science behind the diet. Lately i've mentionet that I'lol likely be a very careful eater for teh rest of my life. he does not seem thereatened by this. I'm so glad. He's told me how proud he is of me for being so committed to the plan. That warmed my heart.
     I had my first dinner out, and luckily, I knew what to do : big salad, small protein. I ordered a double salad with turkey breast meat, like the meat they use on grinders. It was a sweet, small, familuy-run spot, and bless their hearts for rolling up some cheese with the turkey. I set most of it aside. some managed to end up in my mouth. Not sure how it LEAPED into me.... (my fork). "Oh no, I'm not going back!" I heard from my body.  End of transgression - no Hail Mary's for me this time!
     I have not really been exercising. I have been, however, helping a friend to re-finish their new house. At some point, I will start excercising again. I dance a little in the mornings, and I walk when I can, but it's been so cold that I'd like to hit my gym so I can use their heat and hot water! (I pay for it, why not?)
     I'm nervous now for the next weigh-in... I keep thinking I'm going to see a bounce up in weight! Not sure why the nerves... anyway, I'm just feeling awesome, so I'm going to focus on that!

     Take care and feel free to ask me questions wherever - email or Facebook!


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Days 2-7

I've completed seven days of eating on the IP protocol, and it's changing my body and my thinking. Pants that were tight last week are loose today. Seriously. I think my husband and my brother are eating less just because I'm not snacking. Heh.

I get weighed in tomorrow, after just a week of doing this program, and I am genuinely excited about the way my body is already changing. I swear I felt a difference after just four days. After just one week, I feel different.

I'm getting downright creative with how I'm prepping my food. There is a huge salad component to this diet, and I'm glad that I love baby spinach and raw onions, for sure. Twice now I chopped up broccoli and bell peppers very finely and added them to the herbs and cheese omelet mix. It tasted like the egg omelets I like to make - the spices were good. I don't even miss the cheese that much. It would be different if it was a lifetime of no cheese.

It's interesting to hear others' take on the "extreme" approach of Dr Chanh Tran Tien. I definitely appreciate the input of my best friend the nurse with regards to this diet. I will be asking my doctor in two days if I need to take any special notice with medications I take. I have bipolar disorder, type 2, and take oxcarbazepine. In the past, I would not have thought this would be something that I could do. The organization, planning, and discipline that this program takes is not for the casual weight loss diet junkie.

My dear husband has been very supportive - VERY supportive! I have the approved/unapproved list of vegetables and proteins on the refrigerator, and he was excited to make some lean steak that we both could have the other night. He's so cute like that. :-) He doesn't understand that I only get "real" (not from a mix) protein once a day yet, and he does not have the portions worked out yet... but he will. This morning, he  brought me two eggs and a slice of ham (1 ounce) for breakfast, not understanding that I can only have two eggs and not the ham, or 5 ounces of (lean, fatfree) ham and not the eggs. And this would now count as my dinner, which I am supposed to eat with vegetable to keep from clogging up the colon. I was in bed, sleepy, and hungry. He was proud and I thought he was too cute, so I ate the eggs and the ham. And I did not get up to have vegetables right away, either! I just did my meals out of sequence and had a good rest of the day.

I've been making the salad dressing I need before I go to bed, and that has worked well. Good thing I love rabbit food! (but no carrots right now, as they're too high on the glycemic index for now) Also, I found 5 ounce tins of lean ham and lean chicken meat so that if I have an emergency and have to travel, I'll be able to bring all my own food without having to worry about refrigerating meat. (it's ok for vegetable to sit for four hours, not meat!) Anyway, canned meat - who would have thought I would ever want that in my life!

I can't wait to find out my weight tomorrow and get the recipe book from Doc Hannah tomorrow! Woot!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Greetings! Day One.


This is my very simple little blog about being on the program Ideal Protein. Welcome!
(I will post my history with weight loss and healthier living another day. As of Thanksgiving Day, before I ate, I weighed 221 lbs on a 5' 3" frame.)

I am not paid or compensated by Ideal Protein for any of my writing. It was my own idea. :-)

When a food is listed in italics, that is a pre-packaged food made by Ideal Protein. Most of the food is in packets, gets blended in a shakey cup with a wire ball in it, and then cooked if needed. It's super easy to do.
Example : I had the chicken soup for lunch. I'll use IP for Ideal Protein, too.

From Ideal Protein :
The Ideal Protein Weight Loss Method is a medically designed protocol that results in fat loss while sparing muscle mass. The protocol was developed in France 25 years ago by Dr. Tran Tien Chanh, MD PhD, who focused his career and research on nutrition with a particular emphasis on the treatment of obesity and obesity related issues.

The Ideal Protein Weight Loss Method is an easy 4-phase protocol which helps stabilize the pancreas and blood sugar levels while burning fat and maintaining muscle and other lean tissue. This protocol is also an excellent support for cellulite reduction and has been used in well over 2500 Professional Establishments in North America over the last eight years with great success.

Chances are that if you are here, you've seen this information. Here's how the first day went... with some backstory.
Day Before : Thanksgiving. November 25, 2010

Hannah, my friend Hannah Redd - Doctor of Acupuncture and my consultant for Ideal Protein, specifically encouraged me to "go easy" at Thanksgiving rather than trying to make an epic Last Meal scene.  I agreed - after all, I wasn't about to be hung, given a lethal injection, or put up on a cross. I was happy about being able to finally correct my pancreas after years of eating in ways that only beleagered my poor little insulin-producing organ. Thanksgiving dinner was wonderful in so many ways. I ate conservatively for a "typical American" at Thanksgiving.  I was very, very aware of what was going into my face. I savored my home-made-from-scratch pumpkin pie (yes, I even cooked the pumkin myself!). I loved the fresh whipped cream on my pie and in my coffee!  I felt pleasingly full, not stuffed, and began plotting for the next day as soon as I got home from our family's house. I had a lot to do!

Day One : November 26, 2010 (This will be the only post that I use this much detail about the day)

When I woke up, I looked at myself in the mirror and said, "You're really doing this thing. You are taking care of me! Thank you!"  I remembered that Hannah said that the first four days were the hardest - after that I'd be over the hump and not hungry anymore. I wasn't particularly worried about it. Some people have a hard time with the feeling of hunger. I've done some inner work to allay those feelings. (read some great books and done some good therapy)

The food part was easy in the morning. I had a peanut bar. Wow, it was tastier and more filling than I had been expecting. I had coffee with a bit of milk (I cannot do skim milk. I am using 2%). I loaded up with my potassium/calcium (p/c from here on out) and my multi-vitamin (m-v). I knew I would be needing to grocery store. I had some vegetables at home, but not enough to get through even one day on IP so I decided to go after I had eaten lunch.

I chopped up a bunch of vegetables, mixed them up, and used grapeseed oil and cider vinegar with some spices for a salad dressing. Chicken soup way better than I expected - it was more chicken-y thank Campbell's cream of chicken soup. I heated it up for just one minute, in the microwave. After the soup and salad, I still wasn't sure about how I was feeling about not eating very much. I was waiting for the "hunger" (or in my case "HUNGRY NOWWWWWWW!" feeling to settle in.)

At dinner, I was baffled. I had been planning on having mushroom soup when I realized that I don't eat an IP food at dinnertime. In the food log, there are two places to log all intake. One is labeled "foods I ate or drank" and the other is "Ideal Protein Diet Food".  I really wanted tuna, and since it's allowed, I had a whole tin of it  (five ounces, which is actually two ounces less than allowed, since it's fish, and not a land-based animal) and I had a mess of greens including spinach and one restricted vegetable out of the two I'm allowed each week. I chose green beans. They were around, so I used 'em. And mmmm, coffee again. Yay!

I was starting to be a little confused, so I compared the food log with the handout that outlines what to eat, and when. It lays out when to take the supplements, which is handy. (seven pills for the minimal requirement, 16 if you do the full complement of supplements that IP strongly recommends) While the logbook has handy pictures of a water bottle and eight boxes to check off, and pictures of the pill bottles with boxes to check off, it does not say WHEN to take the pills. So I've written that in by putting B,L,D, or S in the boxes(breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack), which has helped.

I picked the right time to grocery shop - the store was pretty empty at my local Shop Rite, and I blissfully  bought my vegetables. Cucumbers, bell peppers, onions, baby spinach, and got some more apple cider vinegar and grape seed oil. I got some lean meat options, too. Chicken breast and lean sirloin. Yum!

For my snack later, I had mushroom soup, which was also very good. The use of salt that is high in minerals  is mandatory on IP, and I'm glad, because it's delicious! The seasalt is from Utah, from back when there used to be a sea there! I wish more companies left salt out of their pre-packaged foods. It's nice to choose which salt I want.

I was mildly hungry throughout the day. I was not wicked uncomfortable. The hardest part of the day was eating all my food by 9pm (they say 8pm, but that does not work for me) and then staying up to 1am. I drank a LOT of water, and a LOT of hot teas to stay satiated. It worked well.

Days 2-7 tomorrow!

Be well!