This morning I stepped on the scale and was quite relieved to see 199 pounds. It seems like it took FOREVER to get back out of the 200's. It was sometime in October that I bumped up over the 200 mark (from the 180's). I got all the way up to 214 in December, then dropped 13 pounds last month. Last week the scale said 200. So that's a 1 pound loss for this week, which is fine with me. I just started my cycle so I expect to lose a couple pounds this coming week.
A lot of people have expressed concern about my low calorie level (900-1000). I totally understand your worries. I know it is very hard to get proper nutrition in so few calories. However, I have done a lot of research, am being monitored by my doctor, have blood tests that back up my statements that I am not suffering nutritionally, and also have the approval of my gyn doctor who did my surgery for pre-cancerous cervical cells. I am due to see my regular doc again in about a month, and he is *very* meticulous about doing blood draws to make sure I am doing well. He checks for many things, very thoroughly, including nutritional status. I trust my doctor. I trust the blood tests. And if my doctor tells me to stop doing Medifast or to change anything else about my eating, I surely will. I, too, worry because I have been on (and off) this plan way longer than originally intended and I do not want to cause myself any health problems. This plan was created by cardiologists at Johns Hopkins University and thousands of people have had long term success with it. There IS a transition and maintenance plan for getting back to whole foods. I do feel like I am often defending my choice, but I think it is better for me to address the concerns (most of which I truly believe come from people who care about me) than to just ignore them. I hope that even if you don't agree with my choice, you at least understand where I am coming from and respect that it is not done in ignorance. I know a lot of you are relatively new to my blog and aren't aware of the things I have done, tried, and explained already, which is why I am hoping this clarifies it a bit (and if you want to fully understand where I am coming from, you'd need to go back and read my journey. I know some of you have.)
A third doctor, my orthopedic surgeon, has told me that I have GOT to get the weight off, as much as possible and as soon as possible, down to a BMI that is not overweight. Each pound I lose improves the chances of me having my mobility for longer. I need total knee replacements. The only reason I am still able to walk is because I lost 80 pounds, but being obese and/or quite overweight is damaging my joints daily. I hope to put off total knee replacements long enough that I might have an alternate, less invasive procedure on my knees, but the technology isn't quite there yet (getting there but not quite).
Believe me, this has been just as frustrating for me, at times, as well. My health and being there for my kids is of utmost importance for me, and trust me, I would never knowingly do anything to risk my health or harm my body. I am doing what I feel is best after much research. That said, I will also restate that I have no intention of doing Medifast forever, or even for another year. I have learned a lot on this plan about how to eat, cook, and enjoy meals based on a proper balance of lean protein/fresh veggies/healthy fat and that I don't need carby side dishes to have a complete meal. I have learned what my portions should look like, and that eating small, protein-rich meals every 2-3 hours helps keep my blood sugar stable and keeps the binge monster at bay. I've learned to deal with my feelings instead of stuffing them down. I am so, so thankful for all of this and I would not go back and erase any part of my journey, even though it is taking longer than I thought it would. I drew a line in the sand last month that if I was faltering and unable to stick to Medifast by March 1, I would go back to calorie counting (in a low carb state). I also decided that I need to be starting the Transition program by my birthday this summer, *if* I continue that long. I do want to transition properly, adding food groups back in slowly to see what effect they have on my cravings.
I am getting the proper amounts of protein, fats, carbs, fiber, and water. I get more than enough protein to protect my muscle mass from being used as fuel (research protein-sparing diets for more information on this). I am getting the correct amount of vitamins and minerals, the same as one gets from a good mulit-vitamin, from the Medifast food. I am getting nutrients and phytochemicals from the 1.5 to 3 cups of fresh vegetables I eat daily. Nothing essential is missing, here. The only thing in deficit is calories, and I have enough of those in my fat cells to make up the difference (and that is the point... calorie deficit = weight loss). Unless my extensive blood tests show that I am in some nutritional deficit (which so far they have not), I trust that my doctor is correct and I am, so far, improving my health rather than hurting it.
I know it is hard to get the 'tone' of typed words on the Internet, but I want you to know that while I am defending my choice in this post I am not feeling/writing in a *defensive* tone. I just felt like I should explain a little, because it is touching to me that so many people truly care and are worried about me. I am glad to have so many watching out for me and I value your feedback and I do consider all of it. I will keep you updated with what my doctor says and what the blood tests say as well. Thank you for letting me know what you think.
*FTC-required disclosure: Medifast provided me with its products for my personal use for free. I am not paid or compensated in any other way for mentioning their products. Medifast states an "average weight loss of up to 2 to 5 pounds a week."*
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