Well, it's official! This week is my one year anniversary on the Ideal Protein program.
In spite of the family reunion and a stay at my mother-in-law's house that involved lots of "illegal" foods and very few leafy green veggies, my fat ratio dropped significantly during vacation. (Avoiding carbs and taking a lot of vigorous walks during the family visits helped me maintain my weight and get rid of some fat!)
Over the past year I've dropped 121 lbs., 86 of those pounds were solid fat! My fat ratio has dropped from 48% (at risk) to 30% (acceptable). My jeans size has dropped from a tight 24W to a loose size 12!
I had my measurements taken yesterday at weigh-in and found out that I have lost a total of 100.75 inches from my body. My waist has shrunk from 48 to 32 inches! My thighs went from 38 to 22 inches! (This is a weird observation, but my waist is now smaller than my thighs were when I started Ideal Protein!)
As the summer temperatures climb I notice that I have a new-found tolerance for heat. In the past if the temps went above 78, I was sweaty, out of breath and irritable. This weekend I worked comfortably and happily in the garden with temps approaching 90! My female cycle, which was seriously out of whack, has regulated and my knees operate without pain! I feel and look younger than I have in years. (One of the cousins at the reunion said I look like a teenager and a close family friend told me that I look better than I did when I was a teen! How about that?)
It has been an amazing year of self discovery and triumphs! I still stare at recent photos of myself because I can't believe that's me in the photo!!
The body goes through some crazy changes when it drops a lot of weight and even though I've addressed some of those changes in earlier blogs, I am going to mention two of them here because I've been getting a lot of questions about them lately.
Hair: During the first few months of this diet I was finding an alarming amount of hair in my hairbrush and shower drain. It seemed like my hair was coming out in clumps and I started to freak out about it a bit. My hair was thinning out at an amazing rate.
If this happens to you, don't freak like I did. The hair will come back (and in my case a lot healthier looking and less grey than before.) The initial hair loss has to do with hormone levels and your changing size. Once your hormone levels balance out to suit your new size, you'll stop losing hair and it will grow back.
Skin: As you drop sizes there will be some bagging, but it does improve over time. During the first few months I was alarmed by the way my face looked when I bent over the makeup mirror in the mornings. The skin on my upper arms was really loose, too! I find that the bagging seems to go in cycles. My weight will shift and all of a sudden things start hanging loose, then over time the bagging will shrink up, or it has in my case.
I think it all depends on the elasticity of your skin. My stomach, thighs, upper arms and neck have all had me worried at one point or another. The skin on my neck and arms have firmed up a lot and are still improving. My stomach and thighs are pretty baggy right now, but I think both areas will improve. I've been doing a lot of reading and more than one source says that my skin will continue to adjust to my new size for as long as a year after I am done dieting. I'm hoping that the bagging on my stomach and thighs (the biggest parts of my body back when I was obese) will eventually shrink up or improve. We'll see. Oh, and surprisingly, my breasts didn't deflate or flatten while I they were getting smaller!
Two things that I think helped me keep from getting too baggy was my fluid intake (I drink a ton of water during the day) and moderate exercise. The gentle bike rides to and from work, occasional walks and gardening have kept the body moving. Because phase one of Ideal Protein is so restrictive, you are discouraged from doing any strenuous exercise (activities that get you breathing heavy) so I haven't been doing aerobics or marathons, but a good bike ride or brisk walk keeps me flexible, works the muscles and probably encourages my skin to stay springy.
I have never been one who enjoyed exercising in the past (I was a confirmed couch potato), but I am finding that my body craves movement now that I am doing it regularly the way it used to crave chocolate! Weird, huh? I actually had bike withdrawls during vacation!!
I wish you tons of success in your own journey and wish I could spread the joy in my own heart to yours .... everyone should feel this good!