What I am doing to lose weight seems to be controversial in some way. I'm not sure why complete strangers or casual acquaintances have any interest or investment in what I eat or don't eat, or what other people choose to eat. There was a lady I knew who'd lost a lot of weight by going vegan. Her friends and family labelled her a 'fanatic,' and told her she was foolish for cutting out meat and dairy and that there was no way she'd be able to sustain it. She got to be the butt of jokes, and heard tales around her office about how she'd gone crazy and done drastic things to lose her weight. Another lady I used to talk with lost weight by cutting out junk food and eating lots of natural foods. Her 'friend' berated her for eating a banana as a snack, because it had "too much sugar." And me? I eat out of packets. I don't eat fruit at all. And I get "you're just going to gain it all back" and "you're hurting your body" comments as well as "you're losing mostly muscle" because I am eating an average of only 900 calories per day.
Extreme? Maybe. I'd say yes, 900 calories per day is extreme. Eating out of packets and cutting out sugar, flour, grains, milk, potatoes, and fruits is extreme. But I think I had an extreme problem. And I do not think extreme = bad, in all cases.
I've mentioned before how I went to my doctor 9 weeks into Medifast for a complete physical and health assessment. My doctor was amazed at the improvement in my health, and my blood work was much better as well. My "nutritional assessment" was great (as shown by blood work) and my doctor told me to keep on doing Medifast. My headaches, heart palpitations, and acid reflux disappeared. My joint pain was reduced dramatically. And because I am eating 75-110 grams of quality protein per day, I am not losing muscle mass. So, since I am getting good, healthy results from my method, why would people attack it?
Maybe part is jealousy. A lot of times people feel threatened seeing someone else succeed at weight loss. In fact we all have those feelings to some extent. When I was stalled for 20 months I'd see other bloggers getting to goal and I'd panic and wonder, "how can they do it? what is wrong with me? if they can do it and I can't, maybe I am defective!" I was wrong... I was not defective... but the feelings were still there. And people might see your weight loss as a threat in that way, or because you'll be sexy and get more guys than they will, or you'll be a *different person* than the familiar fat one they know and love.
Another part is ignorance, I think... People think of 900 calories and imagine trying to get enough nutrition in there to sustain a person, and it is very difficult to do. It almost takes a professional... a doctor... a nutritionist. And that is exactly who designed this program. I get what I need from my 900 calories. My body is in better health than it has been in over 15 years. I am stronger, happier, more capable. Yet, it is hard for people to fathom that ANYONE can exist on 900 calories.
Me on the couch, drinking Coke, eating hot dogs on white buns and Cheetos, polishing off a batch of brownie batter and having Pizza Rolls dipped in Ranch for dinner. Probably taking in 3500 calories per day, minimum. How much nutrition do you think I was getting?
Not enough protein.
Too many refined carbs.
WAY too much fat, salt, and sugar.
Very little in the way of fiber or nutrients unless I took a vitamin.
Now, picture this:
Me working in the yard, drinking green tea, coming in to fix my packets of Medifast food every couple of hours, drinking tons of water, walking my daughter to the park, and fixing fresh vegetables and lean meat sauteed in olive oil for dinner. How much nutrition do you think I was getting?
Plenty of high quality protein (75-110 grams).
Very limited refined carbs (80-85 grams of carbs per day).
About 20% of my calories from HEALTHY fats.
Limited sodium and almost no sugar.
Plenty of fiber and nutrients not only in the packets but in the fresh vegetables I eat daily.
16 oz of water at every meal and snack, and more in between.
Which ME was in better shape nutritionally? Which ME has a better quality of life?
Unequivocally, the latter.
Sure, there is something in between. There was the me who counted calories for 2+ years, averaging about 1500-1700 per day, eating lots of healthy foods but not enough protein, and still too much junk and sugar. Still the binges several times a month. Still not able to consistently lose weight.
People see me thinner, happier, stronger. Yet some still feel the need to say,
"That's not healthy!"
As if they know better than my doctor. As if they understand my body better than I do.
And so it is controversial, eating out of packets. Some say it's great, some say it's foolish.
But here is what I say.
THANK GOODNESS I did not listen to the worry in my head when I was offered free Medifast... the worry that said, "people who read your blog won't like this. They might not read anymore. They might think you are nuts, eating out of packets. They might think you sold out."
Thank goodness I did not say NO to the offer because of THAT. Thank goodness I did my research and felt right about it and did what I believed was best for *me*... not for my blog, not for readers, not for Medifast. For ME. I don't get anything out of Medifast but the free food I eat, and they could not pay me a million bucks to LIE on my blog about what their diet is like. I've said in my reviews that some meals taste like crap. I've said it isn't easy, it is still work. It is not a magic bullet. But I also will say, this is right for *me* at this time.I took Medifast up on their offer because I have integrity. If I'd turned them down based on what my readers might think, I'd have been disloyal to myself. This whole journey... the blog... is about getting me healthier. I love that it helps others along the way... not necessarily by anyone trying the same diet *I* am trying, but by seeing that you have to find a way that works for *you* and stick by it and do it day after day after day until you get to your goals. You have to be loyal to YOU.
So don't let people bring you down. You'll hear all kinds of nonsense on your journey, from "you're eating too much" to "you're eating too little," "you exercise too much" and "you're skinny enough as it is." Know yourself. Ask your doctor. Research your options. Switch plans and speeds when necessary. And do what is best for YOUR body... because what anyone else says about it is *their* business. Not your issue. You shouldn't have to defend your food choices. I explain mine so that people understand... but if the Food Police comes knockin' on my door and is not interested in facts or explanations, I send them packing.
And that can be controversial too :)
Thursday Update: July 23, 2014
8 hours ago