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New Year’s Reckoning

There comes a time for a final reckoning. Today is mine. And, the date adds an extra incentive, of course, as the very first post of the New Year, 2010.

OK. How in the heck did I stop posting for so long?! It’s so embarrassing!

“Don’t look back, just move forward.”

I’ve been really, really, really busy! I have a family, and two full-time jobs (1 paid, 1 volunteer), My volunteer job involves nights and weekends, and it really ramps up during the holiday season. Plus, this is not my only online writing project.

“your excuses are good, but they aren’t helping”

Alright. Enough wallowing in my lost opportunities. Today we are at Week 21.4 of my Medifast Take Shape For Life program. [That’s nearly a marathon, folks]. My video cam is at work. But, I’m not so stupid I’m willing to go back to the office just to fetch it on my holiday off. So, this post will just have to be a less-than-visual experience.

Here’s a weekly summary since my last post:

Nov. 16th – Week 15 Weight 160. (see my last posting, which included cool “before” and “current” photos)

Nov. 23 – Week 16 Weight 160. No loss. I was discouraged. I was also facing Thanksgiving week which scared me! So, I religiously stuck to the plan, and only allowed 2 small cheats that week. Ironically, I was assigned to bring the pies to the family party. I brought gourmet catered pies, and I only allowed myself to eat a half of one slice. Even though I didn’t cheat too much, I was still really worried about my upcoming weigh-in.

Nov. 30 – week 17 Weight 160. Again. No loss. 3 weeks in a row! But, no gain. I try to console myself that it was a holiday week. Even though I hardly cheated, maybe I wasn’t staying as scheduled as I should? I probably could drink more water. I guess I just have to stick to it really hard this coming week and maybe see a big drop next week.

December 7th – Week 18, Moment of truth…Weight 159. I had FINALLY broken the barrier! That was definitely something to be happy about. I tried not to think about how slow everything was going for me. But it was discouraging. Still, tried to focus on the  joy of finally being in the 50’s again.

December 14 – Week 19 Weight 156. This was really fantastic! Finally a 3 pound loss, and best of all, nearly a 30 pound weight loss total! I celebrated by cleaning out my entire closet. Anything that was too big went in the bin. I ended up taking nearly all of my clothes to  the thrift store. After donating them in the back drop-off, I walked around and went inside the same thrift store and bought myself a new wardrobe. It was so much fun! I was now officially a size 10, with a couple of size 8. Finally, people were really noticing my weight loss and commenting. Even my boss noticed, and praised me! [that’s saying something, folks] I looked great! I felt great! I was too happy to see the looming cloud…

December 21 – Week 20 Weight 160. A 4 pound gain. My worst slide to date. This past week we had celebrated our Anniversary, gone out to eat, and we went to several holiday-themed parties. A “little taste” here and there, and not drinking my water and sticking to my plan and routine added to a lotta pounds on the scale. I resolved to try hard to stay on plan as much as I could with the upcoming Christmas week.

December 28 – Week 21 Weight 164. Another 4 pound gain = 8 pound gain in 2 weeks. Things are seriously spiraling out of control. All my size 10 pants are now tight. I feel bloated and ill. I know that if I don’t get on top of things immediately, I’m in real trouble. I could gain it all back so quickly. But, I know there is still another week of holiday parties, my birthday, my daughter’s birthday and New Years coming up…. So, things were really looking a bit scary. I started following the plan very strict. Making sure my phone alerts rang louder so I would stop to eat on schedule at work. And, I had lost my water bottle, so I bought a new one and started using it, and got more water in – I know how critical that water is! The weather is freezing right now, and since I am feeling cold a lot, drinking my ice water is not as appealing as it used to be. My solution was to switch to drinking the water at tap temperature, no ice, which works for now.

Week 21.4 : 

As of this morning, January 1, 2010 = Weight 162 lbs.

[yes, I stopped blogging, went in the bathroom, stripped and weighed so I could give you that].  

Relief. I’m down 2 pounds since Monday. And I’ve even eaten out every night this week. But, I’ve been careful. And, I’ve been drinking more water.

It’s still discouraging that after 6 WEEKS I actually weigh 2 pounds MORE than my weight 6 weeks ago.

ASSESSMENT

So, it’s time for an assessment. After 21 WEEKS and $1600 of my hard-earned money, I’ve lost 30 lbs, gained 6 lbs, with a total loss of 24 pounds.

The PROS:

  • I’ve lost 24 pounds.
  • I’ve lost ‘more inches than pounds’, having dropped 3 whole sizes.
  • I feel so much better. I look better. I can run and move again, and walk up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath.

The CONS:

  • No matter who you are, $1600 is a lot of money. And to us, it’s an awful lot of money which should be going to pay for other very important necessities right now.
  • The investment seems especially high when you also look at how many weeks I’ve been at this compared to the return.
  • I expected a much more rapid weight loss. Initially, I believed [and my health coach agreed] when starting in July, I could easily lose my 50 pound goal by Thanksgiving and successfully transition off the program by Christmas. That didn’t happen for me.
  • The food has gotten boring. I like the food, don’t get me wrong. I have some of my favorites that I really rely on and I’ll always crave the Carmel Nut bar… But, it’s still processed, bland food.
  • This month, I allowed myself to eat a lot of foods that are not on the plan, and they tasted REALLY, REALLY good. They probably tasted MUCH better than they would have if I had not been denied eating them for so long … like fruit…. and bread …. and chocolate.
  • Maintining my weight loss after stopping the Medifast meals is going to be very difficult without a serious new plan in place.

So, what happens next?

1. FOOD ORDER

I invested in a full order at the beginning of December. That took more than half of our Christmas . Christmas this year was very meager for our entire family so that I could have my Medifast. The idea was that it would be totally worth the investment if I didn’t gain any weight in December and was at least able to maintain what I had lost up to this point.

[Is my guilt coming in loud and clear enough?]

I now have at least 3 weeks of food remaining, so I will obviously stay on the plan for at least 3 more weeks. But, it looks like after 3 weeks, I will only be back to about 156 and/or a 30 pound loss. Then what? My goal weight is 130. Which means I still have 30 more pounds to go.

2. EXERCISE

I have learned by trial and error that the only way I am going to keep off the weight which I have lost and still be able to live a normal life of sometimes-eating-what-I-want, and sometimes-going-to-a-party, and sometimes-going-out-to-eat…etc. [reality] then I MUST EXERCISE.

Exercise is absolutely 110% REQUIRED. I’ve been sliding by on the program with hit-and-miss exercise. I was doing really well when the weather stayed clear and warm and I could walk the dog. Now we’re in subzero temps and the streets are dangerously ice and snow laden. The weekly weight loss always coincided to larger numbers when I was exercising more. Always. But, I was still able to lose something for a while without exercise. I hit a wall several weeks ago. My body simply cannot move into the next level without regular, sustained exercise being included. I wish I had implemented it from the beginning. Maybe I would have reached my goal by now. I don’t know. But hindsight can’t change my today, only my tomorrows. Hopefully, somebody reading this can learn from my mistakes. EXERCISE!

MY ACTION PLAN

1. GYM MEMBERSHIP I went to my husband’s gym a couple of weeks ago to sign us up for a “couple plan”. Ironically, I found out that we already have a couples gym membership! Yes, for the past year we have been paying every single month for a membership I didn’t know I had.  Good grief.

OK. The “good news” is that I can check this bullet item off. I now have a scanner card hanging from my key chain, just itching to be used.

2. GYM USE – This is what’s killing me. The actual using of the gym membership. I can’t figure out WHEN to actually go. If you saw my schedule, you would understand how hard this is going to be. Right now it looks like my options are 4:30 am6 PM or 11 PM. None of these are ideal, all have complications, and none can be a consistent option every day due to varying commitments. Ugh! I know. I’m just going to have to force myself to drive down there sometime each day. I am going to have to accept that it will never be easy. [Sometimes I really hate having to work my full-time 9-hour-per-day office day job. This is one of those times]

3. MEAL PLANNING The MF meals are turning into a crutch. I have to go back to eating real food eventually, and I have to learn how. It all comes down to measuring portion sizes and making healthy choices, and stocking my kitchen with things that work. I know this. But, as a busy working Mom, Medifast works. It works almost too well. I can see how people just keep buying and buying because they don’t want the hassle of transitioning off. And, truth be told, I dont’ think most long-term MF Success Stories ever fully go off. They love the products, and they supplement their meals with MF. And, as long as you can keep affording to do that, more power to you!

NEW YEAR – NEW HOPES – NEW DREAMS

Looks like I have some exciting challenges ahead for 2010! I don’t have all the answers yet, however, it was good to get it all down on paper so-to-speak. I will NOT allow myself to balloon back up and gain all I have lost. No way. This train is headed on a one-way track downhill, folks!

Sorry for the long ramble. You get a big prize if you read the whole thing. [For my next post, I promise there will be pictures and/or webcam!]

Happy New Year! Let’s make 2010 the BEST year ever!

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6 Responses

  1. Wow! I love how real you are! As a coach myself, I just have to ask if yours is helping you with your new plan. :) They should be able to help you with whatever your plan is, even if it is to stop ordering as much of the Medifast (if any) and come up with a great plan to follow! I hope you are using that amazing tool. We have been armed with all sorts of knowledge! Kudo’s for stinking with it the 3 extra weeks! I hope it exceeds your hopes on the return. Blessings.
    Molly

    • Hi Molly – thanks for your comment and encouragement!
      Good News: So far, I’ve lost the first 4 “holiday hangover” pounds and I’m back down to 160 again. (I need to do another update, but no time) I’ve gone to the gym a couple of times and am trying to work in some walking. I’m sticking to plan for the most part, and hopeful for next week’s weigh-in.

      Bad News: I’ll have to check with my coach on other plan options. She has stopped communicating regularly. Mainly I think it is because she has been getting so many new recruits who are taking up all her time and energy, and I’m easy to forget about. So far, I have had no info on how to modify my plan, nor transition off (God forbid). The message I’m hearing is “stick to plan”… which in all honesty, after 5 months, is dreary. It tends to promote discouragement with every “cheat”, instead of looking at life realistically.

      Bottom Line: I must get my butt to the gym and moving regularly every day so that I can be done with MF. It has become a crutch. It is definitely time for me to move on – physically, financially, and mentally.

  2. I am sorry to hear that… I hope that she can take the time to sit down with you and make things real. It is wonderful to be able to do the 5 & 1 perfectly, however, this IS real life, and sometimes there have to be variations. As long as the end goal is to be healthy! I hope you can work something out!!!

  3. […] Will To Live Fit Posted on Saturday, January 30, 2010 by H.K. Since my last post I have experienced an […]

  4. H.K.
    Just came across your Blog/Vlog etc
    & I started out similiar to your starting weight, only I lost my initial 12lbs doing a bootcamp and eating protein every 3 hours. But after that I found out about take Shape for life, and have gone down to about 147!
    I also couldnt afford it, but I am so happy I stuck with it since, I am down from a size 14-16 to a size 6-8!!!!

    I also found that after traveling & walking all day while sticking to the program It made such a difference that I decided to take a 6 mile walk a few days a week now.
    I was also stuck for a little bit here n there..
    I am also a coach and may be guilty of the same things your coach is, but it isnt easy to keep up with so many pp..sometimes..
    & everyone faces different obstacles..
    But when i have an issue I CALL UP Nutrition Services!!!!!
    on the 800 #. 800-572-4417. They are there to help you!
    I was told if you are plateauing, to have more egg beaters or egg whites or shakes..Please call them, they are wonderful!
    If you are bored with the meal replacements, then experiment and google medifast plus recipes! There are so many options & they can taste delish!

    I call up the the Doctor Phone call on Wednesdays and tell them & ask for advice!
    I recently met Dr. Andersen & one of the Nutritionists.
    My husband just lost 23 lbs, My son lost 30 and I have on client that has lost 80lbs!!!!!!!!!

    • Shari – thanks so much for all the great advice! I definitely need to take advantage of all of the free support. I don’t have much time – I’m flying by the seat of my pants every minute – however I will look into your suggestions. One thing I have done since writing this post is that I am going to the gym every morning and working out hard for 45 minutes, plus doing an 8 mile run-walk every Saturday. It looks like I’m breaking down my plateau! I feel “cautiously optimistic”. Congratulations on your great success! – HK

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