And I can't tell you how happy I am about this. So very very happy.
We are doing a diet called Ideal Protein. We see a diet coach (nurse) once per week, weigh in, talk about how things are going, and then go home motivated for another week. Sometimes we buy some more food, but we keep our pantry pretty well stocked with our food. It's a big purchase at one time, but we are usually "set" for at least 3 weeks afterwards, so it isn't so bad.
How the diet works:
- We eat a protein packet for breakfast. I also drink coffee, David drinks tea. We can have a shake, bars, or a package of other foods.
- For lunch we eat 2 cups of veggies plus a salad and a protein packet. Again, sometimes we have a shake, sometimes we have a package (think chips or nuts). We can dress our salad with olive oil and vinegar. The coach recommends some products that are fat free and calorie free, but I haven't found that I like them, so I'm sticking with olive oil and vinegar for now. We are going to make up some salad dressings this weekend to try out. I'll let you know how they go.
- For dinner we eat 8oz (pre-cooked weight) of lean meat, grilled or baked, a little olive oil for cooking, 2 cups of veggies. I find it difficult to actually eat all of this food, but I try.
- And 2 hours after dinner we have another protein product. We almost always have a shake.
The food comes in different types. There are shakes, puddings, bars, pancakes, cereal, oatmeal, "puffs," nuts, and "curls." The puffs and curls are kind of like chips. I like eating them with my salads. They come in flavors like salt and vinegar or barbecue...others as well.
Almost all of the food has been good. There are a couple of flavors that we haven't found appealing (lemon and banana come to mind) but most have been enjoyable.
We also take a bevvy of nutritional supplements. We need to keep our salt and potassium levels up. Magnesium assists in weight loss. Calcium supplements are required because we are not eating dairy.
I want to say that when I found out how the diet worked, and how restrictive my eating was going to be, I almost walked out of our first session with the doctor. I thought "there's no way I'm going to be able to do this." But, I had had to work very hard to convince David to try this, so I knew walking out wasn't going to work...and that I'd tried every other diet imaginable and found them all lacking for one reason or another. So, I had to give it a try.
And let me tell you that within a week, I felt like a new person. I had an energy and vitality that I hadn't had in a long long time. I felt in control of my eating and motivated to try new things. I was excited about my real food--ate with gusto when it was time. AND I discovered that I could be hungry without going crazy, craving sugar and wanting to bite someone's head off.
Within two weeks, the thought of sweets or anything sugary disgusted me. I was feeling even better, even more motivated, and truly getting the hang of the diet. I'd learned to live with being hungry (and yes, I'm hungry...right now I'm hungry! And it's only 9:30 and I have to wait until noon to eat, but I'll survive). And I'd learned that all along, I had been poisoning myself, slowly, with sugar and white flour and other processed foods. My skin was glowing and my blood pressure had dropped (it's holding a steady 100/60 or lower now). I can't tell you how completely life changing this has been.
For both me and David. It's so wonderful to wake up every day knowing that I'm now in control of my food intake, and that I know how to control it for the rest of my life. Even though the diet is very low calorie, I want to stay on it forever. I know that we'll phase into eating all regular foods before long, and sometimes that scares the devil out of me, but most of the time I'm simply excited about it. I'm excited to get to my goal weight--and know that it'll happen. I'm excited about the changes that I've made, but mostly I'm excited about how these changes have made me feel.
And without a doubt I can tell you that one of the prayers, wishes, hopes and dreams that I'd held all my life has finally been answered: I no longer want to eat sweets. I no longer crave them. They no longer consume me mentally nor do they control my life. I will never eat sweets again, and that makes me happy. At one point in my life that would have made me sad, but it makes me happy. I'm excited thinking about how I'm going to transform birthday and holiday celebrations to be about the person or event and not the food. It's all such a wonderful thing.
And it feels perfectly and wonderfully normal. Life changing indeed!
Today's picture is of me and David from Sunday. Week 15 into the diet and we've lost 50 (me) and 75 (him) pounds. Astounding. And we are very very proud!