Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Week 28, 189 lbs.

My diet coach, Caroline, took this photo of me with my "before"
pants when I talked at the Ideal Protein orientation seminar.
Thanks, Caroline!!

99 lbs.  99 lbs!!!  I am within one pound of reaching the 100 lb. mark!!   My fat percentage dropped a BUNCH this week, so I have a lot to celebrate.

At weigh in this week I saw a former boss of mine.  I worked for her several years ago as her executive assistant.  She and I have both struggled with our weight most of our lives and seeing her today reminded me of all the diets we tried together.  Each new year we worked together was going to be the year we got into shape.

There was the "Thin Tastes Better" diet - this one was a low carb number.  You could not eat ANY carbs all day, except for one hour during the day in which you could eat anything at all.   I do not recommend this diet for anyone with binge issues or a background of eating disorders.  Sure, I lost weight the first couple of weeks, but being given an hour a day to eat whatever I wanted was a recipe for disaster. 

We tried so many schemes and diets, but the craziest one we tried was the Cabbage Soup Diet.  We were so malnourished after a week on that diet that we were biting each other's heads off and acting crazy.  I think that was the most miserable I've ever been while dieting.  I pity anyone who happened to do business with us that week!

I could tell that my former boss-lady had dropped a lot of weight from the last time I saw her and I hope she's having the same positive experiences I am having while on Ideal Protein.  This is an amazing, empowering diet. 

Someone asked me this week for advice on how to make a diet work and keep the weight off after you're done.  90% of my success can be attributed to my mind set.  Long before I started this diet I had made up my mind to like myself, regardless of my size.  I also stopped talking down about myself.  I stopped calling myself fat.  All self depreciating comments and insults were removed from my vocabulary.  I did a lot of mirror work - I looked at myself in the eye while looking into a mirror and said nice things to myself.  (This may sound incredibly goofy, but you'd be amazed how hard it is to do when you've spent a life hating yourself.)

Then I found a diet that would work with my lifestyle.  The chemistry of this diet makes sense for me, especially since I come from a long line of diabetics.  (I'm a genealogist, I've tracked the diabetics in my family back to the early 1800s!)  When I signed on for this diet, I did it without doubts about myself and I did it with complete faith that the diet would work.  I believed that the diet would be easy to follow and that I would have great success with it.  The rest just fell into place. 

As for maintaining after I am done dieting, I will go into that with complete faith that I will maintain a healthy body weight for the rest of my life.  There is no room for self doubt or self defeat in my brave new world.  Nothing can make me go back to the old way of living - life as it is today is so much better than it ever was before. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Week 27, 191 lbs.

The "before" pants!  The photo is not the best,
it was taken with my cell phone, but you get
the idea.  It's amazing how far I've come!
Closer and closer!  I am nearly to the century mark!  My goal for the week is to blow past the 100 mark for Monday's weigh-in!

If I could travel back and time and tell my heavier self back in June what I would accomplish by December, I think I would have laughed hysterically at myself.  I was so fat for so long that I had resigned myself to always being the biggest girl in the room.  Today I am such a different person - alive with the knowledge what I am able to accomplish!

Yesterday at weigh in, Caroline (my Ideal Protein coach) asked me to give a brief testimony at that evening's orientation seminar.  I told her I would think about it .... and then went home, telling myself that I'd only get up there and talk if I found some old "before" photos to take with me.

I found some photos that were captured on my husband's game camera while I was watering the garden. They're pretty horrifying.  Then my husband reminded me of the Capri pants I kept.  The pants were too tight to wear in public when I started the diet and when I got too small for them I hung them in the back of my closet after my friend Michelle suggested I keep an article of clothing as a reminder of how far I've come.

YIKES!!  I've come a long way, baby!!
I hadn't looked at those pants since I put them in the back of the closet and I was stunned when I held them up in front of me.  I know in my head that I'm a lot smaller than I used to be, but it blew me away when I held up those pants and saw HOW MUCH SMALLER!!

Anyway, I went to the Ideal Protein seminar and was blessed to find a good friend, someone I love a great deal, in the waiting room.  Because of me and what I've been able to do she decided to give the diet a try, too!  I can't tell you how much it warmed my heart to know that my journey isn't just doing good things for me, it's touching the lives of others and inspiring them to make a change.

Seeing my friend gave me the confidence I needed to get up in front of a room of strangers, tell my story and show some really HORRIBLE before pictures... like the one I posted here at the right. 

I really enjoyed talking to the group.  I like giving others hope - to show them what is possible.  I remember the doubts I had when I started this program and the spark of hope that another woman gave me when she spoke to my orientation group. 

What a wonderful opportunity to pay it forward!  I hope I get the chance to do it again!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

UGH!! Sugar!!

I have been so strong, so sure, so determined .... and this week I've been torpedoed!!

I got one of those Keurig coffee makers recently and it came with a selection of flavored and non-flavored coffees in cute little cups - a world of coffee lay before me!  A couple of mornings ago I popped in a pod that said "cappucino" on the label.

It smelled divine and I drank deeply on the first taste.... and discovered a very syrupy drink!  The stuff was full of sugar!  Did I stop and pour the drink out?  Of course not!  I figured there couldn't be that much sugar in that little cup and I didn't want to waste the treat.

Well guess what!  That little cup of cappucino had enough sugar in it to start some nasty cravings. (I checked the nutritional information on the web and was astounded at what all was packed into that thing - tons of sugar and carbs!) The beast I thought had been conquered raised its ugly head and all I could think of was snacking on sweet stuff.  I was fighting a binge!

I got to work and a volunteer had brought in some Christmas cookies as a treat.  Christmas cookies are a serious weakness to begin with.  When I was a kid my mom was a wizard when it came to making cookies, especially around Christmas time.  I always looked forward to Christmas when I was a kid, especially when it came to mom's delicious, artistic culinary creations.

I found myself responding to those cookies at work on an emotional level.... and since I was already craving sweets, I crumbled (like a cookie) and ate two.

Ever since then I've been having a heck of a time staying on track.  I just want sweet stuff!  In the past when I've gone "off program"  I've still been very careful about my sugar intake. Something just told me that with my family history of diabetes, I should avoid anything with a high sugar or carb count.  Apparently my body chemistry doesn't do well when it comes to sugar.  When it gets a little it wants more, and more and MORE!!

I think about my beautiful, wonderful grandmother, who had adult onset diabetes and how we discovered a fridge full of sugary stuff after she'd had a crippling stroke. She knew how dangerous sugar was to a diabetic, but yet her fridge and pantry were full of sugar. Did she fight these horrible cravings, too?   This unfortunate body chemistry is probably the driving force behind the eating issues I fought in high school.

The old Lanza would have been defeated by this set-back, might have even given up completely on the diet in favor of a good ol' self-pitying binge!  The Lanza that exists today was able to step outside of the situation and observe the episode objectively and learn from it.

I now know my weakness. After being off sugar for so long it's interesting to see how my body has reacted after getting a hefty dose of it.   I can turn this weakness around and empower myself to avoid these horrible cravings going forward. 

My life as it is right now is so much richer, happier and more fulfilling than any cookie or sweet drink ever made me feel in the past.  I don't want to go back to the old way of living.

I am in control of my life and health - I take responsibility for who I am and what I eat.  I am stronger than any craving.  I understand my weakness as never before and am developing strategies in avoiding a similar pitfall in the future.  There is no point in beating myself up or giving into guilt over this episode.  It was an opportunity to learn and grow. 

It was also a wakeup call - I don't have any more excuses when it comes to sugar.  I HAVE to avoid the stuff as much as possible for the rest of my life.

Today is a new day.   I am back 100% on Ideal Protein.  I'm pretty sure I'll see an increase in my fat ratio when I weigh in on Monday and I won't be happy about losing ground - but I'll know the reason why it happened and won't repeat that mistake.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Week 26, 193 lbs.

Another four lbs. gone!  Hooray!

I have now shed 95 lbs. and am feeling amazing!!  That's a lot of weight I'm not carrying around anymore! No wonder I feel so good! I am STILL amazed with each passing day at what I've been able to accomplish in a short amount of time.  I cannot believe I am THIS CLOSE to the 100 lb. mark!

One of the things I worried/wondered about before starting Ideal Protein is something a lot of people are asking me about now: What happens to all the extra flesh that's left behind when you drop a significant amount of weight? Does your skin hang off your body or does it shrink back? 

Without being too graphic, I'll share my own experience.

So far it seems like my body goes through cycles.  I've had some weeks where the skin around my neck, upper arms and other places sags and dangles quite a bit.  For a while, when I bent over my makeup mirror in the mornings my face would do an alarming sharpei impersonation! And one time when I was doing laundry, my upper arms were so loose that they seemed to be moving independently from the rest of my body. The flapping back and forth startled me and had me scared of what I would look like when I finally reached the end of this journey.

Fortunately, the skin seems to be recovering and is bouncing back to where it is supposed to be but it is taking time for it to happen.  The skin under my chin isn't sagging any more and the underarm flaps (and other parts) are sagging less and less with each passing week.   It's not all going away... yet ... but I'm noticing improvement in areas that really had me worried. 

Even though I am 45 years old, I am hoping that my skin has enough elasticity left that the excess "baggage" will be minimal.  I have had some discussions with my doctor about this issue and have read a lot of information on the web.  The web resources told me that it would take about a year for everything to adjust to my new size and my doctor told me that it is very likely I'll need corrective surgery, that it is relatively inexpensive and may be covered by insurance.  After thinking over the information available I've decided to wait a year after I finish phase one before making any decisions about surgery.  I'd like to see how much I am able to recover on my own.

Until then I am praying that the genetics that gave me good teeth and a pretty eye color will give me some resilience and that toning exercises and regular cycling to work will help.  I am also continuing to drink tons of water, because along with helping me drop weight it will also help my skin and body stay healthy.

Speaking of staying healthy, I had another doctor appointment about a problem I was experiencing right about the time I started Ideal Protein.  The cause of the problem was my excessive weight. I have been checking in with the doctor fairly regularly on this issue to make sure it's clearing up and that there's no further treatment needed.  I am happy to report that as of last week, the doctor said there's no need to see her again until my annual check up!! 

My doctor was also amazed at how far I've come since my first visit with her.... she actually gave me a high five after reading my chart!!  She told me that not only is my blood pressure down into a healthy range, that by slimming down I've also reduced my chance of developing ovarian and breast cancer.

Have a marvelous week!