Monday, May 31, 2010

For the Rest of Your Life: Diet, or Lifestyle?

Over the past decade or so, it seems like "dieting" has become a dirty word. Everyone wants to use the term "lifestyle change" instead. If you're on a "diet", it's assumed you are doing something drastic or unsustainable and as soon as you stop the "diet" you will gain back any weight you gained, but if you have a "lifestyle change" then you'll lose all the weight and maintain that loss for life.

While there is some truth to that assumption, it is not really accurate. It certainly is the trendy thing to say: "I made a lifestyle change." Nothing wrong with that. But the word "diet" just means what you are eating. And if you change what you are eating, permanently, then your weight and health will also change accordingly. The negative connotation with "dieting" lies in the fact that *most* people who lose weight DO gain it back. But why? Why do people regain the weight? It's just because they DID go back to their old eating habits. And that is, I think, what people *really* mean when they say "lifestyle change." They mean, "I am not just doing this for 6 months or a year. I am changing permanently!"

Permanent change is *essential* to permanent weight loss. That's common sense. It doesn't matter if you are doing South Beach or Atkins or Weight Watchers or Medifast or the Cookie Diet or clean eating or calorie counting; once you "stop" doing it, if you go back to your old overeating ways you will regain the weight. In fact, the blogging world is *full* of people who made a "lifestyle change" but then "went off" and regained all their weight, because they did not stick with their chosen lifestyle. You can't just stop whatever you're doing to lose weight, eat a bunch of cookies and Big Macs, and think the weight won't come back. But does that mean you *must* lose the weight using whatever method you want to continue forever?

No. I don't think it does.

I often get comments and emails saying that I cannot succeed because I cannot do Medifast forever. Sometimes the comments are phrased nicely: "I worry about you because can you really do Medifast for the rest of your life?" Sometimes they're not so sweet: "You're just going to regain all the weight you lose because there is no way you can do Medifast for the rest of your life!" But the common phrase in all these queries is, "for the rest of your life." Can you do Medifast for the rest of your life?

Well, no. Of course not. But I also don't want to lose weight for the rest of my life. I know lots of folks will disagree with me on this, and that's fine. But this is how *I* see it. I am in the "losing weight" phase of my life. It's a season... a set time frame. Maybe it'll last a few years, maybe months, who knows? But at *some* point I will be finished with losing weight, and will have a new 'forever' goal: maintaining the loss. And the tools I need for each phase can be different.

When the kids were all little and in car seats and booster seats, I needed a mini van. When I bought it, no one said to me, "but do you really want to drive a mini van for the rest of your life??" because it is understood that in different seasons of life, we have different needs. The mini van served me well, running five kids around to soccer and baseball and dance. As my children grow up and move out, the mini van loses its utility, and I start thinking about what vehicle will work for me NOW. Maybe it's time to get a sedan, or a smaller, more gas-efficient car. When I only have one child left to drive around then I won't need eight seats in my car anymore. So I'll sell the van and get something else that works for me.

In the nearly three years that I have been blogging, I have used many 'tools' to lose my weight. I started out just eating more fruits and vegetables and less junk, and I dropped a good chunk of weight. When that was not enough, I started calorie counting. That worked great for awhile, then slowed. I added exercise. That helped. When I plateaued and struggled for a year and a half even with counting calories and eating nutritious foods, it was time for a new tool. And for me, that tool was Medifast. I admit I was hesitant and skeptical at first. But I was willing to give it a shot, because it seemed balanced and useful *to me*. And I have learned *so much* on this program... this "diet." I've lost my obsession with food. I've been given a glimpse into normalcy, without binges, without constantly battling and relapsing and fighting compulsions to eat. I've learned what it is like to have a life not dominated by food-and-diet thoughts. Isn't that ironic, that a 'diet' is what helped me lose my weight-loss obsession?

I wake up happy. My pains and headaches are mostly gone. I have my five Medifast meals every day, 2-3 hours apart... things like protein bars, bowls of chili, chicken rice soup, and other protein-packed mini-meals. I have dinner with my family as well, and have learned to prepare low carb, delicious meals with lots of lean protein and fresh vegetables. I love this way of eating. I eat at least 72 grams of protein and no more than 100 grams of carbs each day. I make sure to get in my healthy fats like olive oil. I bike or walk for 30 minutes most days. And I have dropped about 30 pounds in the past 3 months.

Medifast is a TOOL. It is MY tool for this weight loss season. Can I do it forever? Of course not. Yes, Medifast does have a transition plan and a maintenance plan for when people get to their goals. It teaches you how to eat properly for maintenance, and I will likely go through those programs and blog about them here. But no, I don't intend to 'diet' forever. I already know how I want to eat forever. I want to eat the way I learned to eat before Medifast: whole foods, local foods. Lots of local, grass fed, free range chicken/eggs/beef/pork. Lots and lots of local organic produce. But what I *will* keep from my Medifast experience is eating higher protein and lower carb. I'll add fruits and grains back in, in moderation, but I intend to keep my carbs low and protein intake high. I'll also keep the "mini meals every 2-3 hours" concept. It helps me a lot! I'll keep exercising, and hopefully even increase it as I lose weight.

I know some people DO plan to diet forever. And that's fine for them. Me, I have no desire to count points until I am 90. I have no intention of counting every calorie for the next 50 years. For ME, maintenance will call for different tools. It will be a different season. Diets and Lifestyle Changes are *not* mutually exclusive. One CAN use a diet as a tool, but also permanently change their way of eating and exercising. My lifestyle has *definitely* changed forever. I am never going back.

52 comments:

Leanne said...

Dude. You have to do what you have to do.

If Medifast works for you then so be it. Really it is none of anyone's business as long as you are not harming yourself or anyone else.

It is a diet that MUST turn into a lifestyle to be successful.

I will say that each time I go down the weight loss road - one more thing sticks with me - guaranteeing me added success in making it a lifestyle.

Karen said...

How insightful and I can relate to so much of it. When I was visiting my Mom and sisters over Mother's Day weekend my older sister saw me drinking a Slim Fast shake for breakfast. She said "But can you do that for the rest of your life?" I said "Sure, why not?" I like Slim Fast, its reasonably priced (especially compared to the McDonald's drive thru!!!), its convenient, it comes in a variety of flavors, and its a nice balance of protein, carbs, and fat. And as you mentioned, I don't have to wake up thinking "Oh no...what will I have for breakfast and how many calories will it be?" I don't drink coffee so I get up in the morning and relax with a Slim Fast while letting my dogs in and out and reading e-mail!!! So, I can totally see how freeing the Medifast is from "dieting"!

As for your next vehicle: I suggest a small SUV...room for you and your husband and your youngest child AND YOUR FLAT COATED RETRIEVER!!!! :)

Karen said...

PS: Loved Leanne's salutation: DUDE. Was that a nod to Hurley? I miss Hurley already even though I am obsessively watching LOST reruns!

Harry said...

I get your point that you're using a diet as a tool, but I doubt that's how the majority of dieters view it; they don't understand that they need to address underlying issues or alter their "normal behaviour" (as you do).

On the fitness/weightloss forums that I browse, the people who create "How do I lose weight?" posts are looking for a temporary fix, a diet they can use to lose weight, stop, then carry on with their previous behaviour. Even when they are pitched with "you need to change your lifestyle" most respond with a variant of, "Meh, I just need to lose X lb before Y date".

Ultimately there will always have to be a lifestyle change if you want to lose weight and keep it off. I think the concern from the people emailing you is that if you cannot transition from "not losing weight" to lifestyle change/maintenance, then how do expect to transition from "Medifast"? I think that's a fair question/criticism, which you've answered nicely.

Kyle Gershman said...

Lyn,

This was an outstanding post that doubtfully will put to rest the differences in language between diets and lifestyle changes, but perhaps give the naysayers a different viewpoint.

Of course no single tool fixes all underlying issues of someone's health issues or failure to gain health and you essentially handle that point very nicely as well.

I think there are those out there who choose be critical because they are insecure themselves and fight hard to see that all see the world as they do to further buoy their own concerned belief.

You've got it covered, though.

Anonymous said...

Weight loss is free! If only people could feel as condfident in common-sense programs; researching and learning their bodies, we could boycott the weight loss industry that is getting all of us tubbies for BILLIONS of dollars each year. TOOLS, are exactly what these companies are. Medi-fast included. Invest in yourself, not their shareholders.

Jori said...

I really used to enjoy your blog. Now I'm disheartened that it's just a subtle infomercial for medi-fast. Really sad.

Lyn said...

Anonymous~

your comment would be more helpful if you linked us to your blog so we could see your success with weight loss, and how you accomplished it.

As for me, I spent a solid two years learning how to eat correctly and use 'common sense', but I still stalled out for almost 18 months. Sometimes, for some people, just "eating right and exercising" does not get the results we want. If it was that simple, half the country wouldn't be obese, and anyone who simply *wanted* to lose weight would just do it. I am glad there are options for all of us to choose from, and thankful I found something that helped me work through a difficult time.

Lyn said...

Jori~

I mention Medifast because that's what I am doing, just as I mentioned South Beach when I was doing that. I have no desire nor incentive to promote Medifast; I get nothing from them but the food I am eating, whether people try it or not. I've been clear about what I like and don't like about the program. But this blog is, in all honesty, for *me* to share *my* journey, and will always be about that no matter what plan I am on.

There are hundreds of weight loss blogs out there to suit every taste and need. I'm sure you will find what you are looking for out there and I wish you the best.

Ice Queen said...

Very well said. :D

I use the word diet in the context of what I eat. Fruits and veggies are apart of my daily diet. Cheeseburgers, not so much, anymore. :D

As far as weight loss and maintenance is concerned, we all need to go the route that works for us, our bodies, lifestyles and where our heads and hearts are. Medifast is good for you, a band for someone else... Counting calories seems to be right for me. If it helps us to get our bodies and minds in sync and to a healthier reality, that is all that really matters.

Mom to the Fourth Power said...

Lyn -
Very well written post! I am doing medifast too, but have friends who have success on other programs. Why some feel we need to sabotage others and critique them to death is beyond me. We should be supporting, cheering, and encouraging each other on our journeys!

I am having some success and I am thilled. I am SO excited for you and others who are having success and FEELING better and LEARNING. It really is a learning process. Best of luck to you!

~Margene
http://www.believingitspossible.blogspot.com/

PS - The reason I put my blog link is that it isn't connected to my profile and NOT because I am just trying to promote it (as I have been critiqued for this as well... sheesh!)

Karen said...

Seriously, Jori???? You must be missing the tons of excellent information and insight Lyn shares with us...oh and its ALL FREE! Any time I come to read Lyn's blog it ALWAYS gives me a boost and makes me know I can keep going. And guess what! I have not bought one single Medifast product. Nor have I joined Weight Watchers or bought South Beach products...not because they aren't all great and helpful TOOLS but because I don't feel like anyone is shoving an "infomercial" at me just because they are choosing to use these tools to regain their health.

But you probably think that I am doing an infomercial for Slim Fast from my comments. Or is it an infomercial for Flat-coated Retrievers? Or maybe small SUVs?

How about a little "Thanks Lyn for all you give of yourself for NOTHING from any of us READERS in return"? Oh right...you just want to complain.

Rose B. said...

I agree with another comment by Karen. I am new to your blog and will admit I am clueless about Medifast, but I do find using a Slimfast Shake or even using some frozen diet entrees on stressful days to be liberating. When I am stressed, I go back to the shakes because I don't have to worry about figuring out calories, etc. Once life is a little hectic, I take the time to make more healthy balanced meals. But I agree with Karen, lot easier on the budget and waist and stress level to grab a Slim Fast drink than a McDonalds meal.

Do what works for you and I do get the impression that you are dealing with the underlying issues that have caused you to overeat in the first place. That's the biggest issue.

Wishing you all the best and I am thrilled for you!

Ms. PJ Geek said...

Wow! not everyone that reads you GETS you. But many of us do, so just know that.

Because I don't always see it, I see a nutritionist that reminds me at each visit of the progress I've made and that I have changed my life and lifestyle. But she also points out that I'm also currently actually "dieting" and eating with restricted calories and restricted choices.

When I moan about being triggered to buy pretzels, then feeling good about putting the pretzels back, but that someday I want to have balance with choices of foods and that I can choose
to have pretzels. That there be no "bad" foods. She reminds me that when I get to maintenance I won't have to eat such a restricted diet, but that avoiding hose triggers and those calories gets me to my goal sooner.

Sometimes I forget this because
I do see more in the media or more in blogland about making ' lifestyle change' or about intuitive eating. I do want choice. But right now this body has to actually diet..eat restricted calories and exerise quite a bit to lose the last 50 pounds of my 160 lb journey down the scale.

anne h said...

Lyn - you are a wise one.
And calm under pressure.

Just noting all the controversy and feeling this post stirs up is a clue that our thoughts are so divided -
collectively and individually.....

Such divergent problems can't be solved with one singular solution. Perhaps the real alternative exists on a much higher level of thought. Or one more basic.

LHA said...

Congratulations on finding a way to lose weight and become healthier. I totally agree that different things work for different people. If you have been overweight and trying to lose for many years like I have, then you have a good idea of the best, most comfortable way to lose weight....they way that works for YOU.

My recent journey has been under the supervision and guidance of a nutritionist, and that has been a tremendous help to me. Perhaps someone else who is struggling would find this suggestion helpful. Having someone to go to weekly to discuss emotional issues and design eating strategies has assisted me in untangling the knot of physical/psychological problems contributing to my out of control eating.

Thanks for blogging. Your writing is inspiring.

Dinah Soar said...

This is Lyn's blog, about Lyn's journey for Lyn's benefit. She journals it here on this blog and allows us to read along.

Those who are upset with her using Medifast puzzle me. It is helping her to achieve her goal and she has learned a lot on this program. Why begrudge her that?

Janice Connors said...

Do you know what's really sad Jori
that you don't get that this is Lyn's blog about HER life and Medifast happens to be a big part of HER life right now because it's one of the tools she is losing to help herself "Escape From Obesity" so of course she is going to talk about it!!!

Spaghetti Cat said...

Lyn, i LOVE this post. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!
You have put into words what I have been doing. You are such an excellent writer!

Not going to lie, your blog did lead me to medifast. If I had a billion dollars, I would send it all to you as a THANK YOU for sending me in the right direction. I am in the 170s! I made a new blog where I am Actually HONESTLY sharing about myself and my Journey. To me its not a diet or a lifestyle change, this is my LIFE and its a beautiful, terrible, wonderful, scary, exciting journey!

I really enjoyed Medifast while I was on it, and I have switched to something similar and cheaper however I am supplementing it with the food I have left over.

At first yes I felt like Oh no, I am going off plan- even though I am following the new programs plan.

However- this is ACTUALLY WORKING FOR ME! As Medifast is WORKING FOR YOU!

You are eating small little things like cheeses and whatever and enjoying LIFE. You are so less food centered, myself as well! It is amazing!

Personally I have a lot of free time so I am enjoying learning more about high protein low carb and such. I am enjoying blogging and posting on all these fun new forums I have found. I am LOVING it.

I am working my program (that I will not be on forever either!) to work for me! I am able to have 25 calories of chocolate and stop at that.

I don't think I could have ever ever said that in my life before. I am able to really enjoy cooking, trying new food, it is really just an awesome leg of this journey.

I can understand I guess how people feel that oh.. i am concerned or you will gain it back, but I see you getting to know yourself better every single day and its awesome.

and in response to one comment- yes, i *could* just eat whole free foods, healthier foods and try to make my own diet up as I go. I actually WANT to study nutrition... but I have done "my own thing" for 20 years. It hasn't worked for me, so I am trying something new!

Thank you for your post Lyn!

Spaghetti Cat said...

Ps sorry for the super long replies, you have been such an inspiration and change factor in my life its hard to shut up :P

Lily Fluffbottom said...

You know what is disheartening? All these people who don't understand what you were trying to say. This is your life, and you've found something that works for you. You acknowledged when it no longer works effectively, you'll adjust and progress.

That is beautiful. That is what we all need. I'm glad you found it, and don't worry about the naysayers. Its not about them. Its about you.

Love your post!

karen@fitnessjourney said...

I think the most important thing, whether you call it a lifestyle change or diet, is if it is a healthy plan. It sounds like you are not relying solely on on the Medifast, you are using it in moderation. If you feel good, you're losing weight, you are able to exercise, you're blood pressure and cholesterol levels are good, etc... that should be the indicator of how successful your plan really is.

Best of luck!

spunkysuzi said...

I truly believe that this journey is different for everyone! What works for one does not work for another. I can't do extremely low carb because i have problems with my kidneys. However, keeping my carbs in check most days sure does help me.
Weight watchers has helped me, Lyn has helped me. And be assured that if i found anything that i think could help me at a time i needed help i'd be the first to try it!

✯FiTCETERA✯ said...

A rose is a rose ...

Dieting is as touchy a subject as religion and politics it seems. :)

I will always support you and cheer you on, Lyn! I want you to be happy, healthy and successful. ♡

Autumnforest said...

You have the right attiude. My sister got gastric bypass and it forced her to eat differently and after going her whole life saying she couldn't physically lose weight, she realized there was nothing wrong with her ability to lose weight, it was how she was going about it. She also knew that once she had the bypass lots of people she knew gained their weight back. She had to learn to live on those tiny amounts of food her stomach would allow and not cheat with shakes and alcohol and other things others used. You are learning to eat those smaller more nutritionally-packed amounts and your body will request them when you go off Medifast. I believe you're onto something.

Anonymous said...

Your rationale is so balanced :) I keep checking your blog even though I'm not in need of losing weight, but because your story is inspiring. The lessons of perseverance and not beating your self up but moving forward can be applied to every aspect of life. And I'm also looking forward to seeing the post that says you are below 200 :) because I think it is soooo close and you are doing it in such a responsible way :)

purple_moonflower123 said...

All I can say is Amen! ;-)

Jeanne said...

This is a GREAT post!! And so very, very true. There are STAGES to just about everything in life including weight loss and we all have to do what works best for US. And personally, if you want to use your bog to promote Medifast or any other tools, then I say that is totally your choice!!!

((hugs))
Jeanne

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't use Medifast.

I'm not you, and you aren't me.

We each get to make choices that fit our own needs.

Kind of simple, yet profound.

Keep doing what helps you and makes sense to you, whatever that is. That is all.

Julie Lost and Found said...

I was just about to blog on this word: lifestyle..when I read this!

It sure does seem like "lifestyle" is the preferred term of these days. Personally, and you can call me rebellious, the term pisses me off and I find it intimidating since I know what I need to do to lose weight, but I don't want to call it a "lifestyle" change because the entire STYLE of my LIFE is changing in so many other ways, some unpleasantly!..in all other areas that really don't pertain to food and weight loss. Lifestyle is the way you live your life. Eating, exercising etc is just part of that. Since the rest of my life is up in the air, I prefer to stick to the word "diet" right now..or as my nutritionist, Bobby, has coined "liveit" (Diet has the word 'die' in it; liveit has the word 'live')

My cousin has had a great deal of success on Medifast. There are all sorts of tools. Good for you for seeking and finding what works for you!

Tabby said...

You should do what works for you, can call it what you will. What if you wanted to use medifast for years to come? Is that something horrible? Some people do weight watchers for the rest of their lives. Right now I'm counting calories. I don't wanna do that forever either. But for now it keeps me on track and has been functional to my weight loss. I guess i don't like the word "diet" so much, because I relate it to "prison" lol

As for slimfasts, I use the low carb ones as a snack in the afternoons. It really helps me control my sweet cravings, and for me it's been key to helping me keep from binging. I like to shake them up and pour them over ice and sip it slowly. I may use them for a long time as long as they are helping me.

Great post, as usual Lyn :)

Tabby said...

Also - My mom in law lost 80 lbs on weight watchers. Her critics told her that she'd gain it all back as soon as she went into maintenance phase. People have been down right cruel to her over the years and I don't get why. She did this for herself and it's made her happier and healthier. She still goes to her weekly meetings because she loves the camaraderie and support. She told me that this is for life. I say go with what works for you and throw out the rest. I've sent her a link to your blog because I know she'd enjoy reading here.

Fat Grump said...

Lyn, hasn't using Medifast shown you that you do respond well to eating fewer carbs and more protein? It's working for you - and that's what matters. Your diet pre-Medifast was healthy, but not balanced properly for you. Your time on Medifast has been helpful in giving your weight-loss regime a bit of a boost.
I suspect that without Medifast you'll continue to do well. You are a bright, active woman who is now preparing healthy meals for the whole family. The lessons learned on Medifast won't be lost - they'll be incorporated into your life without that particular eating plan.

More power to your elbow Lyn! You are doing so well and seeing results. You'll devise your own higer protein/lower carbs plan with all foods once you decide to come off Medifast, I am sure you will. Funnily enough, I was thinking about the 'It's for life' aspect of healthy eating and looking after ourselves yesterday. I think all the knowledge about food you have gained along the way, both before Medifast and on it, will stand you in good stead in the future.

In Honor of Me! said...

You asked me to send you an email - you wanted to ask me a question?
I emailed you from my aol account - sbpetal353@aol.com

(In honor of me)

:-)

In Honor of Me! said...

I think all the haters should just leave! I enjoy this blog - if I ever stop enjoying it, I will simply move on to something that speaks to me at that time. This is a journey - as I grow, my needs and interest change. I used to read blogs that bore me now.

Perhaps others who find fault are ready to move on to a different experience that best suits what they are looking for. I don't think bashing people who are willing to share their experience honestly - like Lyn does - helps anyone.

Just my thoughts on the matter. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest.

ohiofarmgirl said...

Dont worry about what they say...or thier concerns. Cross that road when you get to it. Dianntha

Andra said...

I don't quite understand why someone would be so hateful as to send nasty e-mails, but I get why "diet" has become such a hot button issue.

I know that you and your readers know this as well as I do that "Diet" has become an industry and in our thin obsessed society it no longer means "what people eat." Big Diet preys on the frustration of obese people with two goals in mind. Keeping us fat and parting us with our money. If the Big Diet industry truly found a cure for obesity they would be out of business.

Getting the weight off is only part of the whole process of healing food addiction. Unless we get to the root of why we overeat, abuse food, punish ourselves with food, the weight will come back. You've done much of the soul searching work in the past three years so no doubt sticking to "the diet" is going to work to get the weight off. As you said, it's a tool.

There are obese people out there looking for the quick fix and who aren't so evolved as to look beyond box the diet program comes in. So once they are "off the diet" they gain the weight back.

I understand your need to justify your choices, especially with an onslaught of negative feedback but this post has left me with some questions for you, Lyn. How much money, to date, would you be out if you had the pony up the dough for MediFast? Also, what has MediFast done to help you deal with your core issues of food addiction?

damjana said...

never say never. One can maintain by eating the same way-because first you lose/gain then maintain at the weight which the body considers ideal. So the medifast would at a certain point bring no more loss. Same for me: i need more strength when below 100lbs if i want to lose.. Good luck

Keelie said...

I could not agree more! I wrote something similar...Check it out:

http://wearelosingitblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/momentum.html

You are going to have no problem in the long run because you "get it"! So happy for you:)Keep inspiring.

Keelie

Anonymous said...

Lyn,

I think that you are right. We have tools that we use to lose weight and, over time, the tools have to change. I can see how Medifast is a great tool for you right now. It got you on track and losing weight. You are right that we gain weight back if we go back to our old eating habits.

I have been reading your blog since the Fall of 2008. You are a wonderful writer who struggles with the same things that me and many others struggle with. I have applauded your successes and worried when you struggled. You are very brave to share all of this with us. I also want to thank you for all the info and recipes you have posted. You have been a huge help to me personally.

I am not criticizing you about using Medifast but I think that you are not exactly seeing your past clearly when you say, ".....When that was not enough, I started calorie counting. That worked great for awhile, then slowed. I added exercise. That helped. When I plateaued and struggled for a year and a half even with counting calories and eating nutritious foods, it was time for a new tool." During that year and a half you wrote about binging, eating junk foods, and going over your calorie limits. There were few, if any, months when you didn't post about those issues. You were not consistently on plan and that really hampers weight loss. Calorie counting and nutritious foods won't work if the person does not stay on plan and slips back into old eating habits often enough. The same is true for Medifast.

I wish you only the best. Medifast does seem to be the right tool for you right now but please don't make it sound like calorie counting and eating nutritious foods didn't work. I look forward to continuing reading about your success!

Lyn said...

Andra~

very insightful comment!As for the questions you asked, Medifast runs about $300 for four weeks and I have been on it for 13 weeks. That doesn't include whatever is spent on the Lean & Green meal cooked at home each day. I've seen many people on the Medifast support boards who say this amount is way more than their usual food budget, while others say they are saving a lot of money because they're not eating fast foods or junk anymore. But it ain't exactly cheap.

As for what Medifast has done to help me deal with food addiction, well, Medifast *itself* has not done anything, actively. It's just food. However, eating in such a controlled and low carb manner has really freed me from food obsession. I can't really explain it all here but I've tried to expound on that throughout my recent blog posts. For the first time in a couple of decades I am not frantic over food, bingeing, or acting and thinking like an addict. The answer, I think, is explained well in The End of Overeating by Kessler.

Anonymous~

calorie counting did not work *for me* because I was unable to control my binges. I could got for 2 weeks or so and then I'd binge. That negated any loss I'd seen over the two weeks of counting calories. I have tried for a good 15-20 years to stop binge eating. I have *never* been able to go more than a month without losing control, and even then, I was obsessing and fighting the thoughts of food all the time. That has changed for me. Eating low carb, high protein has been The Key for me to be freed from that intensity and has given me back control. And I do have Medifast to thank for showing me that.

Happy Fun Pants said...

Well, personally I don't think that Medifast would be a good tool for me - at least in this phase of my life.

But just like what you wrote, you don't think that the intuitive/mindful eating is helpful for you right now.

The beauty of life is that we each get to choose what we want to do with our lives and our bodies.

What works for one person, will not work for another. I learned a TON of stuff following the Weight Watchers plan. But I can't continue with it - at least right now.

I have had several "concerned followers" email me regarding my decision saying that if I don't follow the WW plan, I WILL GAIN ALL MY WEIGHT BACK. Well, that's what they're saying about THEM.

People's comments about your plan are really just insights to their own eating control/habits/lifestyle.

F--- the naysayers. You're doing great. You're listening to your body and (even though people might disagree with HOW you're doing it) you're getting all the right nutrition, vitamins, and things your body needs.

Go, Lyn! :) You've got plenty of us cheering you on.

Teale said...

I have to give you props for always responding to trolls in such a polite, non-confrontational way. I also have to give you props for always writing amazing entries. I've read you since the beginning & your blog never gets old! :)

Anonymous said...

*Off topic warning*

Today I tweaked your meatloaf recipe (to better fit my family's unique tastes). I cut the soy sauce in half and I substituted chipotle adobo sauce for the tomato sauce. WOW! This is a perfect example of real food made delicious and easy. Thanks for the recipe idea. We all loved it!

Theresa said...

There is a lady who approached me to do a "weight loss support system" for each other and her mantra is the lifestyle change. Honestly, as soon as I heard her say those words it made me bristle. Hearing how she is "never going to record, it's to restrictive" she will never "plan ahead, she is spontaneous". I've been there and done that. MORE work than that is required to actually lose weight. I could maintain my weight with a healthy lifestyle, but needed to lose weight. I have been eating hummus, lentils, whole grain everything, fruits, vegetables, barley. You name it, I've been eating this way for two years with no weight loss to show for it. My lifestyle HAS changed. What had not changed was my desire for more food than the 1200 calories a day I would need to lose weight. I added the gym 5 times per week. It was the step classes, spinning, cardio and weights. My result at the end of my one year membership was a gain of 6 pounds. Not what I had intended. Do all these things make me healthier? Yes. Should they be PART of my lifestyle? Yes. Do I need to drop weight to then be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Imperative. Higher protien has allowed me to feel fuller with less calories. Will I eat this way for life? No. But I will actively try to get some weight off so I can have a better chance of living my chosen healthy lifestyle.
If people want to get mad at someone perhaps it should not be Medifast, Jenny Craig or Weight Watchers. Perhaps it should be the lobby groups for corn subsidy or advertisers for Big Food. All I am trying to do (when I use Medifast) is trying to combat what I have done to myself through eating too many calories and listening to too much advertising. The real evil here is Big Food.
I have a link, it is specific to one company but all of the Big Food companies are the same.
http://www.retireronald.org/files/Retire%20Ronald%20Expose.pdf

Anonymous said...

Congratulations for your change!

Everyone is different and so the TOOLS each one use to lose weight. The important thing is to believe that every change you make is for you! All of us need to feel better and worth ourselves.

I learned to worth my weight and body in a weight loss retreat in Costa Rica, it's called Resolution, didn't want to mention name but I loved it. I went for a week and lost 9 pounds, met new people, went to beaches, national parks, hill walks, beach walks and a nutritionist with us all week. I learned that MODERATION is the key. NO points or counting calories. Plus you need to do exercise, it feels great. I felt it was a jumpstart to my new life.


Now I've lost 30 more pounds and feel happy of keeping control of what I eat. I am having some success and I am thilled.

Katy said...

Great Post!!! One of your best ever.

bbubblyb said...

We have to do this journey whatever way works best for us. I think you are doing great and feeling great and that's what matters. I also think things have to change as we go along so it's really not like we will do the same thing forever anyway. Enjoy your success I'm definitely rooting you on.

My Body In Motion said...

I really really liked this post. Recently, I have been anti-diet... but you're completely right that a diet is simply the way a person is eating.

And I think that medifast is a great method for you! It's working and you've definitely got the right mindset about it.

I love your blog! Keep on inspiring all of us who follow you!

-J.Darling said...

Funny - I just blogged about this on my Blog today! www.roastedbearmeat.blogspot.com.

I had to get off Medifast due to the high Soy content. I'm currently undergoing testing and ovary removal with concerns for Ovarian Cancer. Soy has an artifical form of estrogen that doesn't help my body in such large doses.

BUT it was a very helpful program! ANYTHING WILL WORK as long as you put your all into it. That's why people have success w/ guided programs (like Weight Watchers, and Lindora, etc). EVEN THOSE WITH GASTRIC BYPASS CAN AND DO PUT THE WEIGHT BACK ON IF THEY DON'T LEARN HOW TO CHANGE THEIR LIVES!
Medifast is a great, healthy way to change your life.

I've learned to be a grazer now - eating small amounts, protien and veggie focused, every few hours. I'm still losing 1-2 lbs/week, and I'm able to work out more than I was on Medifasts limited calories (that said, I HAVE to work out more to maintain and continue to lose).

I'm glad you aren't discouraged by the nay-sayers! Don't knock it til' you've tried it!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant! I had fallen into the you-must-do-it-for-life group, but I also wondered about the folly of it. I mean, sometimes you just need to get the weight off and then work from there. You are right indeed - no matter what you do, you will regain the weight back if you go back to your old habits.

Kenny said...

What is going on here? The internet is no place for common sense and intelligent writing.