No joke: I weigh 219 pounds! This is nothing short of amazing to me, as I began the month of March weighing 234 pounds. I lost 15 pounds in March, whizzing through the 220's to a weight I haven't seen since August 2008. I am thrilled. And if you look at my stats along the left side of my blog, you'll see that I have *never* lost this much weight in a month... not even when I started at 278 pounds and went from huge amounts of junk to a healthy, produce-based diet. And yet I feel I am losing weight at a good, moderate pace: 2-3 pounds per week (I did lose 6 pounds the first week, mainly due to a drastic cut in sugar and carbs). It did not take a ton of effort; I wasn't biking or lifting weights a lot or scrutinizing every calorie like I had been. What it did take was consistency: following the plan I have chosen 100%. No excuses, no "cheat meals," no "days off." I didn't look at the treats that passed by my face all month and drool and agonize and convince myself it would be okay to have just one little off-plan thing. I didn't look ahead to Easter and think, "oh, gee, a holiday. I can't possibly skip the Easter candy and the traditional ham and potatoes au gratin dinner with hot fresh rolls! I am not going to deprive myself of that!" No. It *did* take deprivation, in a sense: depriving myself of candy, of potato chips, of Little Debbie Cakes and all the other things that got me fat in the first place. And you know what? That kind of deprivation isn't a bad thing. Sometimes we just have to quit giving in to our appetite's every whim in order to get the results we want. This was IMPORTANT to me, so I wanted to do everything in my ability to succeed. I always have. Sometimes people might look at my blog, the confessions, the periods of eating crap in between weeks of eating well, and wonder why I wasn't giving it 100%. The answer is: I WAS. But my 100% was only about 80% of what I needed to be doing to get the weight OFF. I *was* giving my all. You might not believe this, but there were times when a binge was out of my control. I felt like a slave to my brain and body as I was driven to eat against my wishes. It sounds insane if you have never struggled with this type of problem, but the bottom line is, I needed help. I didn't know what kind of help I needed, but I think I got it. I think I got it in Medifast.
I'm not saying this diet is anything magical; it is NOT. It is JUST FOOD. Packets of food. But by taking the thinking out of most of my meals... by taking the decisions out of my life about what to eat except for dinner... this method has freed me to work on the emotional issues to a greater depth. And because it is low carb, my cravings have gone away. In fact, I did not binge or overeat or go off plan ONE SINGLE TIME this month. I have *never* gone that long without food issues before. EVER. Medifast does not claim to do any of these things; they just say people usually lose 2-5 pounds a week. That's it. But it has done more than that for me.
I don't want people to read this and run out and buy Medifast because they think it is the magic bullet. We are all different. Yes, many people do lose weight on Medifast. If you follow the plan, the weight comes off. But it is a diet like Weight Watchers or Atkins or South Beach or calorie counting or whatever you *do* to lose weight. And if you go off ANY diet and go back to eating the crap that got you fat, YOU WILL GET FAT AGAIN. People go on and off Medifast, losing and gaining, just like people go on and off any diet. If you are not willing, ready, and 100% committed, NO diet is going to fix your problem. Because diets don't *work.* YOU work. ANY reasonable, healthy plan will get the weight off a person. But you have to find a program, plan, or "way of eating" that *you personally* are willing to do 100%. YOU do the work. Not the diet. But having a plan that feels good and is relatively easy for you to do, well, that's key, too. But commitment... dedication... burying ALL the excuses... that is essential.
I am not out of the woods yet with this eating thing... far from it. I worry I could relapse at any time in a moment of weakness. But as the days tick by and I get farther and farther away from the binges, the *idea* of them gets smaller and smaller, and their draw becomes weaker and weaker. Eating well and being reasonable in my food thoughts and my eating is becoming more the norm for me. At first, I struggled with it: the dichotomy of wanting to eat healthy and wanting to binge. But that struggle is so much tinier now than I ever imagined it could be. I am amazed and grateful. I hope this continues. I never want to fall back into that pit again. I know I could. It's scary. But I am getting less scared as the successful days tick by.
I am still on vacation but when I get back, I have lots to share with you! But now I am heading to bed, full of hope and so very happy to be where I am right now, in every way.
A Week Cooking With Smartbowl
14 hours ago