I’ve been struggling with my weight for far too long. I am tired of it.
When I began my summer travels the first week of June, I weighed about 135. I traveled almost constantly from June through September, and halfway through that time period, I also quit smoking. Between June and October, what with the travel and quitting smoking, I gained an additional 17 pounds.
I weighed 152 pounds.
I posted this picture of Chris and I at his friend’s wedding in early November – it was 2 days before I started my new diet plan. None of my clothing fit me. I had to borrow a dress. It was so tight on me that the straps left red scratches on my shoulders for days.
I am only 5′ 2 3/4″ (I say 5’3″ because it’s easier)…and I have a very small, petite frame. According to most doctors and weight charts, I should weigh between 105 and 115.
So, I began this new diet plan under the supervision of a new doctor.
I haven’t talked about it online, other than to say that I’m on a diet, because I know that a lot of people are weary – and let’s face it, judgmental as hell – about diet programs that involve medication. I didn’t feel like listening to any negativity.
I see a doctor twice a month, and on my first visit, he did blood work, and EKG, and we had a consultation and he introduced me to a special diet plan that he administers through his practice.
The diet plan sucks. It’s hard. I won’t lie and say it’s easy because it is not easy. But it does work and it is changing my life.
My doctor prescribes an appetite-suppressing medication that I take every morning, and I follow a very strict diet. The rest of the diet is really important but I have to say, nothing has worked to suppress my appetite like this since I took Metabolife years and years ago. It makes all the difference! I also have to drink tons of water and exercise at least 20 minutes a day, and the diet pill has stopped my afternoon lag, my headaches and my migraines. I just feel so much better eating all of this healthy food and having this extra pep in my step!
The first month of the diet consisted of cantaloupe, lettuce, squash, fish, the white meat of turkey or chicken, tuna, bok choy, collard greens, salsa, black beans, nonfat cottage cheese, nonfat yogurt, egg whites, lemon, rice cakes, popcorn cakes, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and all of the coffee, tea, diet soda, seltzer and artificially-sweetened drinks I want. I don’t like artificial sweeteners as a rule, so I stick to water, unsweetened tea and seltzer.
I take a multivitamin and a calcium supplement every morning as soon as I wake up and guzzle a glass of ice water. An hour after I wake up, I take my diet pill.
Here’s the hard part of the diet…I have to wait until I feel the physical effects of hunger before eating. That means that at 10 am, when I feel like I should be eating breakfast? I can’t. I have to stop and ask myself, “Do I feel hunger in my stomach? Or do I think I should eat right now because I have grown up thinking that I need to eat breakfast?”
My biggest issue with food is that I eat all the time, whether I am hungry or not. So this part of the diet is supposed to retrain me, and teach me to only eat when I am actually hungry. When I do feel a real physical hunger, I have to drink 8 oz of water with a tablespoon of Citrucel, then wait 30 minutes. The fiber from the drink is supposed to take the edge off of my hunger, allowing me to skip meals and lose weight. If I am still hungry 30 minutes after drinking it, then I can eat food off of my approved list – but only as much as it takes to no longer be hungry. I can never eat to the point of being full.
I did that for the first week and felt that not eating to lose weight was not a healthy choice for me. Sure, I was taking vitamins and getting the nutrition that I needed.
But I can’t just not eat.
Angeline is 15. She’s in high school. She’s dieting and has lost 20 pounds this year by cutting out the junk food and snacks from her diet. I do not want my teenage daughter to see her mom NOT EATING in an effort to lose weight.
And besides the horrible example of unhealthy behavior that would teach my daughter, let’s face it. If you lose weight because you are not eating, what’s going to happen when you start eating again? My doctor said that I would eventually begin eating more but I am cutting to the chase: I stopped taking the Citrucel and just eat a small portion now when I do feel that physical hunger. I only take the Citrucel once a day to keep things regular. ha!
So, after my first weigh in, I found that I lost 8 pounds! The doctor started giving me biweekly B12 injections to help with mental clarity, strength (remember, I am only getting about 800 calories a day) and metabolism.
On my second weigh in, I had lost an additional 6 pounds!
At this point, I was back at my pre-summer weight! I lost enough that I could start fitting into my clothes again, and my yoga pants went back in the exercise drawer. I had a Sears event and a Carnival Cruise Lines event on the same weekend and felt good about myself when I walked in. I hadn’t felt that way in a long time!
By my third check in, I had lost an additional 4 pounds, which the doctor said was still good, considering that it was two days after Christmas. I was honest and told him that I cheated a lot in the past week because I was baking for the family and attending holiday parties and dinners. He set a goal for me to lose another 4 pounds over the next two weeks, and I think that I can do that easily!
My doctor added new foods to my approved list, which really makes me happy! I can now also eat grapefruit, applesauce, cauliflower, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, mushrooms, onions, garlic, garlic powder, peppers, radishes, spinach, tomatoes, parsley, shrimp, scallops, crabmeat, clams, vinegar, mustard.
So what kinds of things am I eating?
I’ve been making things like chicken cacciatore for dinner, and just skipping the noodles for my own serving. When I can’t eat any part of the dinner I made for Chris and Angeline, I just eat a fat free yogurt or small bowl of applesauce, or put a slice of turkey or chicken in a romaine lettuce leaf and eat it like a wrap. I will cook egg whites and add a scoop of salsa on top and a tablespoon of black beans for a meal, or make a small salad with lettuce, tomatoes, black beans, chicken and salsa with no dressing.
I cheat every few days, but try to not eat a lot of whatever I am cheating with. It helps me not to just go crazy on a binge. ha! Even though I am not really hungry, I miss food. I just miss eating food. So a slight cheat now and then helps me not go overboard and blow the diet completely. Even with these little cheats, I am slowly and surely losing weight.
By the time New Year’s Eve rolled around, I was weighing in at 131.
This is the thinnest I have been in over a year. I almost cried when I saw the scale on Monday morning. Seriously.
My doctor says that I need to get down to at least 115. For my frame, he says that 115 is the most I should ever weigh again. I need to start exercising more. A lot more.
Did I mention that I hate exercising? I really hate working out!!
So my goal for the next two weeks is to get back on track and stop eating non-approved foods and to exercise for 30 minutes each day. I can do any kind of aerobic exercise, so I am going to start walking the dogs more and continue doing my crunches and jumping jacks and things like that at home.
I need to unpack my elliptical trainer so that I can get serious about exercise.
My next doctor’s appointment is on January 10th, so I will update then to let you know how I’ve done.
I know that January is the busiest time of year for gyms, and everyone makes resolutions to lose weight on New Year’s Eve, but I am glad that I got a head start and have already reached my halfway mark!
Are you trying to lose weight and get healthy for the new year?