Monday, August 27, 2012

Week 12, 234 lbs.

Now that's more like it!!

With a good, old-fashioned scale that uses sliding weights, we're back on track.  I'm now officially down 54 lbs. ... and it's only taken 3 months!

This week my husband said he has trouble telling if I am still in bed when he wakes in the morning because I "don't make as big a hill" in the bed and he hasn't heard me snoring lately.

When I was heavier my snoring had gotten so bad that I was even waking myself up and I wasn't sleeping very well to begin with!  Insomnia, aching joints, problems breathing, and general discomfort kept me from getting the rest I needed.

I've been getting a better night's sleep lately and am waking up feeling rested. Today I actually slept until the alarm. I can't remember the last time that happened. 

My husband and me at a Renaissance Faire
shortly after we started dating.  I was 35 back then.
I am happier and feel better at 44!

Another observation my husband made was about my activity level.  He's noticed that I am having a hard time sitting still in the evenings.  Fifty-four pounds ago I was a zombie when I'd get home from work and did very little on the weekends. In the old days chores would be put off for another day and now they're getting done. 

I can tell my husband is proud of me and he's liking the changes he's seeing in my shape, too.  I can't express how wonderful I feel knowing how much happier we've both become as I've grown healthier.

My husband never complained about my house keeping, my growing size or the things I promised that I was never able to deliver. I think in some ways he was afraid of saying anything because he wasn't sure how I would react.  Let's face it, he had a wife who was morbidly obese, lazy, drank too much and had hormone issues - if I were in his shoes I'm not sure how I'd handle the situation.  Knowing that he stuck with me and loved me through the ugly years and married me when I was at my peak weight (probably over 300 lbs.) makes me appreciate and love him more than ever.

Today we're living in a nicer environment.  I am in the process of reclaiming our home and undoing the damage that six years of neglect have caused.  There are still a couple of rooms in the house that need work, but the rooms that have been reclaimed are staying clean, dusted and looking good.  In a way I see my home as a reflection of my health - as I get better, so does my house!!

This morning as I was getting ready for my weigh-in I realized that I am either right at the size I was when Larry and I met or maybe a little smaller.  This is the woman he met and fell in love with nine years ago - just wait 'til he gets a load of me when I am at the end of this journey!!

The Labor Day weekend approaches.  This weekend I will either be driving to the Texas Coast for a family gathering or hosting my mother-in-law and sister-in-law at my home.  Either way, I will be seeing people who haven't seen me since I began this diet.  I can't wait to visit with loved ones and be able to fully enjoy their company instead of feeling tired or self conscious about my size.

If I end up at the beach, I'll be running and playing with the children. This is the first time in ages I feel young and joyful.  I feel alive for the first time in too many years and have the energy to keep up with the little ones!  I even found an old swimming suit that's in good shape (it was hardly worn) and fits again!!

Because of the holiday weekend, my check-in post will be on Tuesday evening instead of during the day on Monday. 

Have a beautiful week,


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rocking the medical exam!

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal;
nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude
.  -Thomas Jefferson

As mentioned in a previous post, I had a doctor’s visit this week to assess a condition that has caused some concern.  The problem was attributed to my excessive weight so I was hoping that the progress I’ve made in shrinking my size and eating healthier diet have helped the situation.

The first glimmer of hope came when the nurse took my vitals.  After weighing me she looked at my chart and said, “Wow.  You’ve lost some weight!”  (At my last appointment in July I was 32 lbs. heavier than I am today!)  She also took my blood pressure and noted that the reading is in the healthy range rather than the “borderline high” reading I had last month.

During the exam, my doctor took a look at my insides with her equipment and said the condition that had her worried was clearing up and body functions will be back to normal operation in no time.

A capture from my application
video for a regional weight loss
reality program.  This was what
I looked like in April of this year.
Since I was in my 20s I have been overweight.  Up until the past year and a half I was never really concerned about the damage the excess pounds were doing to my body.  I was heavy and didn’t like being heavy but I was never that motivated to do anything about it because I felt I was fairly healthy in spite of my weight.

I don’t think I was being completely honest with myself.  Looking back at the previous years, I realize I could have accomplished so much more with my life if I had been feeling better and feeding my body healthy foods instead of junk.  Like they say, hind sight is 20/20.

It took an interruption of my body functions and crippling pain in my knees to get my attention, make me look at my out of control weight for what it was and do something about it.
A photo I took of myself this week.
I am still learning how to use my
cell phone's camera.

My growing weight was a slow form of suicide, fueled by a low self esteem and apathy.  Thank God I woke up and put that way of living (or dying) firmly in the past!  Each day I grow healthier, stronger, happier, and prouder of myself.  I am discovering how to appreciate myself and be grateful for the life I have been given and the people I am blessed to have in my life.

I had no idea how bad I was feeling until I started feeling THIS GOOD!  Now that I know how much better life is – and can be from here on out – I am facing the 100 or so extra pounds left on my frame with renewed vigor.  Nothing can stop me or turn me back to the old way of living.

That adage about old dogs and new tricks is a fallacy. You can change your life.  All it takes is a change of mind.  I'm living proof!

In other news, I am riding the bike to work again and it feels wonderful!  It’s amazing how much easier the task has become with 51 fewer pounds to carry around!  The cooler morning temps have me looking forward to the cooler commutes this fall – maybe I’ll even start going on longer rides!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Today's Affirmation

You've been provided with a perfect body to house your soul for a few brief moments in eternity. So regardless of its size, shape, color, or any imagined infirmities, you can honor the temple that houses you by eating healthfully, exercising, listening to your body's needs, and treating it with dignity and love.     -Wayne Dyer, Daily Affirmations

Marina and Lilly, my bikes!
I read this earlier today and just thought I'd share.  We are all miracles on God's planet - divine children of God -  and we should treat ourselves as such.  Revel in the moment and enjoy the body you were given to accompany you on your journey through life!

Speaking of exercising and listening to my body's needs:  My body needs me to get back on the bike. The cooler morning temperatures today had me wishing I was cycling to work instead of driving..... so tomorrow, I bike!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Week 11, 237 lbs.


What happened, you ask?  Technology happened, that's what!

Apparently, the digital scale the center has been using since I started the program started malfunctioning last week, showing greater results than what people had actually achieved!  Instead of being down 6 lbs. last week, I think I was only actually down 2-3 lbs. and it was about the same for this week.  (Insert disappointed sigh here.)  My total progress is 51 lbs., which is still something to be proud of.

Ideal Protein White Cheddar Ridges
photo from the Ideal Protein website
My favorite restricted snack.

So I didn't actually gain this week, even though I am showing a bigger number on the scale than I did last week. 

I wasn't expecting a great loss this week anyway.  I have a medical issue that's hindering my progress: causing water retention and monster cravings and last night, I went off the program.  I could blame the whole thing on the health issue, but to be honest I was pushing boundaries and seeing what I could get away with.  I ate not one but two extra (restricted) IP snacks! 

That kind of thinking is silly.  I am not dieting because some authority figure forced me on the program.  I am doing this for myself.  It was my decision to go on this program and I am doing this to reclaim my health and live a more vibrant, meaningful life. Rebelling against the program doesn't hurt anyone but me - and keeps me on phase I longer!

What the hell was I thinking?

So today, I put the self-destructive tendencies back in their box and am back on track.  I am a successful dieter once again!  Like I've said before, each day is a fresh start and today is all that matters.  I can't undo yesterday's transgressions, all I can do in the present moment is avoid making the same lapse in judgement.

I have an appt. with the doctor this week and hope the problem I am having is something that can be easily fixed - because let me tell you, three weeks of PMS-like symptoms is not fun and makes dieting even MORE challenging.  The doc did tell me on my last visit that the issues I am having are due to my excessive weight, so she'll be impressed to see a smaller me!  Knowing my weight is the cause of the problem also makes me more resolved to stay the course and continue losing weight!

On a positive note, I went for a long overdue haircut.  My hairdresser has lost 130 lbs. with a different program and looks fantastic.  We exchanged weight loss stories and observations.  Among the things we have in common is the surprise when we look into the mirror and see different facial features.  The change in body contours takes you by surprise - especially when you catch an unexpected glimpse of yourself when passing a store window or mirror.  We both admitted touching our collar bones as if they were something completely unexpected - we were both so heavy that the contours of our collar bones were forgotten under a mass of fat. 

After talking about what to do with my mop of unruly, scraggly curls, she put the stylist cape around my neck.  Instead of having chins and jowls all the way down to the collar of the cape, I was shocked to see a long, graceful neck. 

I know I have mentioned the reappearance of my neck before, but when you're in the stylist's chair you are stuck staring at yourself in a big mirror for a long time.  From that vantage point I was really able to take it all in and study the changes.  I have big green eyes where puffy slits used to be.  My lips are bigger, fuller! My shoulders aren't as wide as they used to be. 

I couldn't stop staring at myself.... with a sense of wonder!

So regardless of what the scale said this week, I am having amazing results and am happy with where I am today.... NEXT week I'll conquer the 55 lb. mark - and I'll do it by sticking to the plan!!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The video that changed my life!!

Okay, maybe it didn't change my life drastically, but it sure made things in the kitchen a whole lot easier!!

As I've stated more than once on this blog, I have fallen in love with cauliflower!  The vegetable is so versatile that it has become a staple in my kitchen while on Ideal Protein.  A favorite way to prepare cauliflower is to "rice" it.  You can make a fried rice-type dish out of it or you can sautee in a skillet with olive oil and garlic (or whatever seasonings you want to use) and serve it under your favorite sauce/meat instead of rice or pasta.  Other folks on the web suggest steaming the riced cauliflower, but I haven't tried that yet.

I used a cheese grater for my first attempt at ricing.  It took FOREVER and made a godawful mess of the kitchen.  Other methods suggested using a certain blade in a food processor, but I didn't have that equipment handy.  I was resigned to having a messy kitchen until I discovered this resourceful woman on the internet:

How cool is that???  I've tried it twice since watching this video and both times it worked like a charm and the clean up afterwards was a breeze!

One head of cauliflower makes A LOT of rice, which works great for me.  I cook the entire batch in a huge skillet, use what I need for dinner and then take the leftover "rice" to work the next day for my 2 cups of lunch veggies!

Bon appetit!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Week 10, 236 lbs.

50 lb. Sack of Potatoes

Well, I just blew past the 50 lb. mark and am now down 52 lbs!!  Can I get an "Amen"?

That's the size equivalent of a large feed sack or  average 7 year-old child.  I have two nieces and a nephew who weigh less than what I've shed off my body so far.  When I look at something that weighs the same amount of the weight I've dropped, it blows me away.

This has been an amazing week, with both ups and downs.... thankfully lots more ups than downs.

Saturday was the day of a big artist reception at work.  "Everyone" was there, including a few folks I hadn't seen in a few months.  I wasn't wearing anything fancy, just a pair of tan slacks, a black tanktop and a gauzy overshirt that I found hiding in the back of my closet with the other clothes that had previously been too small.  Even though I wasn't wearing anything special or different from what I normally wear, people kept complimenting me on my outfit.  I also got a lot of "you look really pretty today" remarks. 

To top off the event, I saw a member artist enter the gallery and waved to her from across the room.  She gave me a weird look and then waved back.  Later, she approached me and apologized for not recognizing me earlier.  "It must be that amazing outfit you're wearing."

"Something like that," I smiled back at her.

After work, I met my brother, sister-in-law and a couple of friends for dinner at a local wine bar.  My brother and his wife (two of my most favorite people on the planet) live out of town and neither had seen me since I started with Ideal Protein and I think they were both amazed at the transformation.  I have to admit feeling all glowy and proud of myself from their praise.

Dinner at the wine bar was a bit of a challenge. Luckily, before meeting them for dinner I had studied the bar's menu online and found a smoked salmon salad that would fit with my diet if I asked them to hold the egg and bacon. Arriving prepared allowed me to visit with the other folks at the table instead of agonizing over the menu.

The hardest part of the meal was when everyone was ordering their beer and wine.  When the waiter got into describing some of the red wine selections my mouth started watering and I nearly ordered a glass...  Then I reminded myself that I was right on the verge of reaching the 50 lb. milestone and wanted to reach that so much more than I wanted one glass of wine.  There will be fabulous wines to taste (in moderation) when I reach my goal - the world won't run out of wine between now and then.

Afterwards we went to a martini bar downtown and had a good time visiting.  I wasn't tempted by the mixed drinks nearly as much as I was by that glass of wine, instead I focused on enjoying spending time with loved ones and catching up.

On Sunday my mom and I took advantage of a big sale at a local department store and I was bowled over to discover how many sizes smaller I am.  I was a tight 24W when I started and am now somewhere between a 20W and 18W.  While my pants size is still found in the women's department. I was actually able to try on tops in the regular size department.  Not only that, one of the items I purchased had no "Xs" in its size!!!  I love being a "L" instead of an "XL" ... and it's a huge improvement over a "3X!"

It will be a big day in the life of Lanza when I can say goodbye forever to the department of synthetic clothes with huge floral prints.  Why does every designer of women's sizes think big women have no sense of style and want to wear something that looks like the curtains from grandma's house?

While shopping we ran into a friend of my mother's who has lost more than 70 lbs. since starting Ideal Protein in April.  We exchanged stories and encouragement, bonding at the cash register.  Her daughter, who started the program at the same time I did, is also down 50 lbs.  Those of you out there who are still wanting to throw barbs at the program or think I am an exceptional case, let me tell you, there are a bunch of us in little old Kerrville, Texas who are slimming down and getting healthy, thanks to this amazing diet.

I only have three more lbs. to make it to the 55 lb. mark.  I'm hoping to blow past that one and bump close to the big 6-0 mark ...  I am the incredible shrinking woman!!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Success and Mind Set

"Hope you are really enjoying---and not just suffering.
Well worth it all---if you can make it stick"

I knew when I started this blog and eventually opened up to others about being on the Ideal Protein diet, that I would be opening myself up to the opinions and prejudices of others.   Today I got an instant message from an acquaintance.  She had heard about the diet, was impressed with my progress and had questions about the program.

Her questions were more about the possibilities of my failing, how deprived I am feeling or if I am experiencing any light headedness or health issues as a result of the diet.  (Guess she hasn't been reading this blog.)    I answered her questions, told her I didn't feel deprived or hungry, my health is doing nothing but getting better and I feel like I could easily stick to the diet until well after Christmas if that's what it takes.  My answers didn't seem to impress her.  What she wanted to hear were the negatives - my guess is she wanted to hear excuses for why this wouldn't be a good program for her.

She also asked about the cost of the program and if it was worth it. Worth it?  Hell yes, it's worth it!  Good grief.  I'm visibly shrinking and feeling healthier than I have in years.  I am re-claiming my life and ready to take on the world!  I don't know how someone can look at me, see the change in my body, the nicer way I am dressing, my happier frame of mind and ask "Is it worth it?" 

She really wanted to wish me well, I could tell... but she just couldn't let go of her own doubts and conceptions of what "diet" means to avoid voicing a few barbs.  The quote above was her parting shot at me before she signed off.   It was if she was saying "Good luck!  You'll never make it." 

By the way, I AM NOT SUFFERING, for crying out loud!  Suffering was what I was doing when I couldn't walk or sleep because of the stress my near 300 lbs. was putting on my body.  Suffering is listening to teenaged boys sitting near you in a restaurant making fun of your size.  Suffering is the shame after realizing you've become an embarrassment to members of your own family or letting them down because you aren't doing your share of the chores (or ate all of their cookies).

Life is already richer, happier, more vibrant after a little over two months of healthy eating that in my mind failure is not a possibility.  I am already a success! 

If you are overweight or morbidly obese and unhappy with the way you look or feel, your condition is not permanent.  If you are willing to change your life - REALLY change your life - you can do it.  However, you won't make any progress until you first shift your attitude to a success-oriented state of mind. 

If you think diets make you suffer and never work, then guess what - there is no diet on the planet that is going to help you. There's no magic fairy out there.  You have to do it yourself. The change begins inside of you.  It's not about the level of exercise or what you're eating in a given day.  The thing that makes the biggest difference between success and failure is what's going on in your head and it takes a lot of work to switch off the negativity. 

It took me a couple of years to get to this point, to get firmly on my own two feet and make up my own mind about what works and what doesn't.  The negative opinions of others don't affect me as much as they used to.  Frankly, they're just noise.  I know what works.  I know what I have to do, I have a firm goal established and I'm willing to do the work necessary to reach that goal.

It's not my job to convince others that this diet works or save them from their own bad habits.  I'm a living, breathing example of the program at work.  My job is to reach my goal, get healthy, keep focused, stay positive and live life to its fullest.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Day in the Life

The collection of water bottles in my office.
My daily assignment is to drink all four bottles
before I head home in the evening.
Well, I "went public" with this blog and have been overwhelmed by the positive response I've gotten.  I didn't get the snark I was expecting and only got a couple of criticisms that I took in stride.  I was overwhelmed and feeling blessed by the whole experience.

The criticisms I received are from people who don't understand the diet (or weren't really listening to what I had to say about it - just looking to knock it down for some reason).  I think they were concerned that I was dropping the weight too fast, that this is another fad diet or it was somehow dangerous to my health.  So as promised in my last blog, here's what a typical day on the Ideal Protein (IP) entails.  This may answer a few questions.

I wake up most mornings between 4 and 5:30 am and get the coffee started.  On weekends and days when I am off work, I'll enjoy a couple of cups of coffee and watch the sun rise.  On work days, I will pour one cup of coffee and mix into the brew one of the IP protein packets (Chocolate, Cappucino or Vanilla Drink Mix) and drink that for breakfast.  It makes a tasty breakfast and is surprisingly satisfying for the first meal of the day.  I also take some vitamins and fill up a 32 oz water bottle and try to drink it empty before I jump into the shower at 7.

On weekends, I will prepare an IP omelet or crepe so I can sit down and have breakfast with my husband.

Before I leave for work I fill up four water bottles (equalling about 104 ounces) and put them in my bicycle's pannier bag so I can drink them during the day at work.

At noon I eat my lunch.  Lunch consists of 2 cups of vegetables and another protein packet.  When the weather was cooler, the protein was one of the soup mixes (I really like the broccoli cheese soup and tomato basil soup) but now that it's warmer, I am drinking a lemonade or other drink packet.  Workday lunches are usually 2 c. of baby spinach with a no calorie, no sugar, no fat dressing.  When I am at home lunch is more creative and I roast or stir fry some veggies and prepare an IP chicken patty or other selection.

After work is when I used to snack the heaviest and we are allowed one snack (sometimes two) during the day.  So when I get home I have my snack, usually the IP crisps or cheese puffs.  They're pretty tasty and come in generous portions.  I fill up a 32 oz. water bottle and drink a couple more until bedtime.

Dinner is usually late, around 7-8 pm, and consists of two cups of vegetables and 5 oz. of an approved meat.  The vegetables I can eat right now are pretty limited.  Among the approved veggies are cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, leeks, peppers, spinach, turnip, collard greens, raw onion and various other green leafies.  My current favorite veggie is cauliflower (which I used to think of as bland and uninteresting) because it is so versatile.  

My favorite way to cook cauliflower is to break it into florets, put it in a pan, sprinkle it with sea salt and curry powder and roast it in the oven until it gets a little crispy on the outside.  I swear, I'd eat it like that every day if I knew my husband wouldn't rebel against it.  I have also discovered a way to use cauliflower as a rice substitute (more on that later).  Broccoli and leeks are also really good roasted. 

This diet has made me a better cook in some ways, since I've had to get creative and resourceful to keep things interesting and palatable while staying within the confines of what I'm allowed to eat.

Both at the afternoon snack time and with the evening meal there are vitamins to take and more water to drink.

Bedtime is around 10 pm.

The diet is extremely restrictive, even when it comes to the veggies you can eat.  My husband's dietician was disturbed when I told her I could only have tomatoes once a week and there were some veggies, like carrots, I couldn't eat at all.  This diet is NO sugar, extremely low carb and low fat. My guess is the reason behind restricting certain veggies has to do with the sugar and fat content.  Even with the restrictions I haven't had much trouble following the diet.  After the cravings of the first couple of weeks were past (I was in detox!) I haven't been hungry. 

The protein packets range from snack bars to protein drinks.  There are soups, chips,  cookies, puddings, chili, spaghetti and more.  Most of what I've tried from the selection (there are so many I haven't tried them all yet) have been tasty and easy to prepare.  I absolutely detest the crispy cereal and wasn't a big fan of the blueberry-cranberry drink, but I've liked the rest of what I've tried.

Another thing that's restricted is the kind of exercise I can do.  Strenuous exercise, the kind that makes you breathe heavily is discouraged.  Up until two weeks ago I was still riding the bike to work.  I stopped riding when I noticed my fat percentage wasn't going down but my lean mass was.  I was afraid I was overdoing it on the bike, and one of my diet coaches thought that might be the case, too.

I did get to talk to one of the doctors at the clinic last week, and he said my mile and a half ride to work shouldn't be much of an issue so I'll get back on the bike when the weather cools off a bit.  Right now, the climb up the hill between work and home may be considered too strenuous. :)  He also suggested drinking an extra IP protein drinks a bit before I head home to make sure my body had something to consume for energy.

I'll be happy to get back on the bike!  I've missed it!

You may be wondering about all the water I'm drinking.  The diet says to drink at least 64 oz. a day, More is preferable. The diet coaches all say that the people who are good about drinking water are the people who loose weight the fastest. I wanted to do whatever I could to boost my results, so I did some reading on how much water I should be drinking and the consensus seems to be this formula:

Take your weight and divide it in half.  That number should be the number of ounces of water you drink in a day.  I figure if I drink 32 oz. in the morning, plus the 104 oz. at work that should cover the requirement and the 64 (more or less) I drink in the evening is a bonus.

It's an easy diet to follow.  I don't have to count calories or think much about what I can or cannot eat.  I've found restaurants in town that serve salads that fit within the diet, so when I get to go out for dinner I haven't had any trouble sticking to the plan.  (I do need to remember to carry my own salad dressing in my purse, though.)

So that's what a day in the life of an Ideal Protein dieter is like.   I hope this answers some questions/concerns that folks might have about this program.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Then and Now Comparison

So here it is: A comparison of what I looked like before I started Ideal Protein and a photo of what I look like today, 45 pounds lighter!

Two things I wish I had done differently, and I'll keep it in mind for my next "photo shoot."

1. I wish I had a "before" photo of myself where I wasn't wearing an outfit to camouflage my size.  While one fat roll can be seen on my belly, the big shirt hides a lot of what I was carrying around.  I think I have a more honest "before" photo hiding in a drawer in my office.  It's really horrible but it's what I am going to use for the next reveal.

2.  I should have worn pants, or something more form-fitting, and a different colored shirt today.  The skirt hides the progress I've made on the lower part of my body.  And my thighs were one of the first places I've lost weight.

All that aside, here's what I notice.  I see a waist line where it wasn't before. My face has changed (My mom says I look younger). My eyes are bigger and I have a neck again!

At the same family camp out I mentioned in an earlier post, I complimented my seven year old niece on her lovely swan neck.  She responded with, "Yeah, you don't have a neck, do you?"

Ah, the brutal honesty of children!  Yes, it was mean (probably not intentionally mean) but I needed to hear it.  My ego took a real beating on that campout!  :)

The next time my little niece sees me, which will be in a few months, I wonder if she'll be able to recognize me.  The changes aren't huge or dramatic yet, but they will be.  She's only known me as the slow-moving, obese aunt she's had all her life.  I can't wait to see her face when she lays eyes on her new and improved aunt the first time!

Later this week I'll post a "typical day in the life" so whoever reads this blog knows what following this diet is like, along with a couple of veggie recipes that I've discovered and fallen in love with.

So now I'm headed over to FaceBook to put my story out there.  It's a scary step - one that opens me up to the opinions of others, whatever they may be.  No matter what anyone says, I am fully committed to this diet and I'm not going to stop until I've reached my goal.  I've come too far and feel too wonderful to stop now!

Wishing you, whoever you are, all the success and joy in the world - no matter what you're attempting!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Week 9, 243 lbs.

45 lbs. gone!!  Lanza is doing a happy dance! 

I'm a fat-burning machine, baby!! 

Watch me conquer the big 5-0 next week!!

Today Caroline and Keith, two of the amazing people at Wilson Family Chiropractic who are coaching me while I am on Ideal Protein, asked me about the differences in my life since I started on the diet two months ago.  I decided to share some of my observations on this blog.

A lot more than my size has changed.

Knees:  My left knee is pain-free.  The right knee is still stiff but I am able to climb stairs again without any issues. This is probably the last time I will mention my knees in this blog because they're no longer a problem.  I hardly notice them any more - they're functioning close to the way they're supposed to work.

My skin and hair look great. The crazy acne I've fought for as long as I remember has all but vanished and my hair shines like never before.

I feel good.  Really good.  Not just because I am a smaller size, but because there are fewer toxins in my body.  The foods I am eating right now are low in sugar, carbs, fat and salt.  There are no toxic additives like MSG or aspartame in the food I'm eating.  I also haven't had an alcoholic drink in two months.  I don't think I've eaten this healthy since I was a pre-teen.  I have a general sense of well-being and am more upbeat and happy.

I don't think this upbeat attitude is just because I am wearing a smaller pants size.  I think I feel good because my body is functioning the way its supposed to.  I'm giving it premium fuel instead of that additive-laden crap I had been giving it for so long or over-feeding it.

The weirdest thing is what I am able to accomplish.  Instead of collapsing into a recliner after work or vegging out in front of the TV over the weekends I am getting things done.  Stuff that's been left undone for years is getting completed.  I've reclaimed a room in my house that was a catch-all for junk and clutter and converted it into sparkling-clean den. I painted and redecorated my bedroom.  Clothes are getting folded the same day they're washed, dishes don't sit around in the sink the way they used to and I am making my bed every morning.  I don't even recognize myself anymore.

I actually started out this day planning to watch a favorite movie and take it easy most of the day because I have been working so hard on the house and felt I had earned a break.  Watching a British costume drama and doing nothing else (except snack) used to be one of my favorite weekend activities.

Well, so much for that plan! I couldn't sit still long enough to watch a movie! Instead I found myself pulling all the work clothes that are now too big for me out of my closet. I boxed them up and donated them to a local charity. (In the process I discovered a lot of clothes that used to be too small for me that I can wear now!!)  I also did three loads of laundry and weeded a patch in my garden.

A new me is emerging.  This is the me I was meant to be:  A productive, vibrant person who takes pride in herself and her home.  I truly believe that I was slowly poisioning myself to death before starting Ideal Protein and I never want to go back to that life.

There are people in my life who have only known me as fat and unhealthy.  Nieces, nephews, inlaws and many old friends have never seen me as anything but heavy. Some of the people in my life know I am on a diet, the others I haven't told because I wasn't sure it was going to work when I started this journey.  I also wanted to really wow them if the diet did actually deliver the results it promised. Imagine their surprise when they see my transformed frame for the first time!

Others are in the dark because I felt if I told them I was on a diet, they'd say something snarky or do what they could to discourage or belittle my efforts. 

Tomorrow I am going to ask a co-worker to take a photo of me and am going to post it next to the first photo I posted of myself on this blog for comparison.  I am going to take the blog "live" and let who ever happens to read my FaceBook page in on the secret.  It's time I came out of the closet and shared my story.   I want to encourage others and feel like my results speak for themselves when it comes to the snarky folks.  I'm ready to take the risk and reveal my soft underbelly, so to speak.

Life is too short to waste it feeling sick and depressed.  Life is a precious gift and we're meant to LIVE each moment to its fullest. I have wasted over 25 years of my life sitting in front of the TV, accomplishing very little.  The rest of my life will be spent making up for that lost time.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Thoughts on Loss

If you tell someone you lost something, it usually means you want it back or you're grieving because it's gone. You will search high and low to recover a lost item.

A lost earring.
A lost love.
A lost job.
The lost treasure of the Incas.
Jimmy Buffet's lost shaker of salt.

You get the idea.

The dictionary lists these definitions for loss:
  1. Detriment, disadvantage, or deprivation from failure to keep, have, or get: to bear the loss of a robbery.
  2. Something that is lost: The painting was the greatest loss from the robbery.
  3. An amount or number lost: The loss of life increased each day.
  4. The state of being deprived of or of being without something that one has had: the loss of old friends.
  5. Death, or the fact of being dead: to mourn the loss of a grandparent.
So why do we say we loose weight?  None of those definitions fit what I am working so hard to accomplish - the whole Ideal Protein experience has been an extremely positive one.  Once these extra pounds are off me and I'm at my goal weight, the last thing I want is to find them again or have them returned to me!  I am happy they're gone!

Maybe that's one of the reasons why so many gain weight back after they've shed it:  Somehow the subconscious mind (which takes things very literally) takes the term "weight loss" as a literal loss - a deprivation - and undermines our efforts in trying to regain that which is lost.

I've been doing a lot of reading about the subconsious and how it works and it's fascinating stuff! The subconscious mind is a funny thing.  It has no sense of humor, no grasp of irony.  It believes everything you say.  If you flippantly say to a friend "Man, I have a fat butt!"  the subconscious mind believes it and works towards maintaining that reality.   That is why I've been working so hard to take derrogatory remarks about myself out of my vocabulary and have been retraining myself to maintain a constant positive dialogue with myself.

Words have power.  Anyone who has experienced an answered prayer or watched a child shrink after an adult mocks them knows how powerful words can be.  Sticks, stones AND words can all make an impact.

So, aside from a change in established attitudes and habits, I'm thinking it's time to take the "loss" out of my weight reduction dialogue.  It will be a challenge to come up with other ways of stating my progress, but I'm good with words and think I am up to the challenge. 

If anyone out there has suggestions on other ways to express decreasing weight, just put them in the comments below!  We need to come up with terms that mean "Gone for good!"

Pound number 42, you're fired!