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My Commercial

Friday, October 15, 2010

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating, I did not intend to be a walking commercial for any diet plan. I recognize now, by all the people that have seen my results that is indeed what I have become a commercial. Also, please remember, I am only half way to what I believe will be my goal weight. I have about 55 pounds more I want to lose. My goal is to be there shortly after the first of the year, but certainly by the Iowa Dancesport Classic when I want to sport a really nice dress! Because I know first-hand what a struggle it is to lose weight and how our society is dealing with a growing obesity epidemic, I am more than happy to share what I have been doing if it can help. Unlike most commercials, I don’t stand to gain anything financially from this. That is not to say that at some point in the future there might not be some way I would benefit from this, but for now, that is not why I am sharing this.

Since I am posting this in a public forum, I would ask that you not share it with anyone without my personal permission.

The nuts and bolts of my program…

First, I had to make a mental change that I was going to take control of my eating and not let it control me. This was the hardest step and I think it took about 30 years to happen, but most of it has occurred over the last year thanks to prayer, Scripture and reading a couple of great books by Matthew Kelly called The Rhythm of Life and Perfectly Yourself: Nine Lessons to Enduring Happiness”. I can’t recommend them strong enough and while saying they were life-changing sounds cliché those of you that know me, know I do not use that phrase likely. For those of you that don’t know me as well, the visual changes you are seeing are just the tip of the iceberg.

Second, I needed some tools...

Tool #1 was hormone testing and dealing with the affects of stress, bad nutrition and other medical factors. I have been taking appropriate supplements since early March when I began to lose weight. I won’t go into those details here, but if this is a component you think you might need to deal with then, send me an email and I’ll help as I can then.

Tool #2 was implementing the things I had learned or realized through the first step—and being consistent.

Tool #3 and what most of you want to hear about is called Ideal Protein. Ideal Protein is based on a book by a Dr. Tran that you can find here. Please don’t let the picture of him on the cover turn you away! LOL
Ideal Protein is a low carbohydrate, low fat, and moderate protein diet. Because of the way it works, this diet requires a commitment that isn’t always demanded in other diets. For whatever period of time or weight loss goal you want to achieve, you need to commit to the program because little cheats can cause large and expensive setbacks.

Ideal Protein is offered through various medical practitioners and it is even approved by the FDA. If you are local, I would be happy to point you to mine but if you are out of the area, you can get more information on the website I linked. There is on group that is set up to do it online called IP Togo, but I don’t know a lot of the details about it. The reason it is offered through medical practitioners is so that you can be monitored on a regular basis. I believe this is the “ideal” situation.

I paid a fee to begin the program which covers my weekly visits until I reach my goal. All I pay for each week is my food and supplements. Supplements are needed with this diet and they don’t add greatly to the cost.

My first meeting was a couple of hours long and went over lots of details of the program, my medical history as well as taking measurements and weighing. Each week I go for my weigh in and pick up the food I ordered the day before and any supplements I might need. I have an opportunity to discuss with my counselor anything that might be coming up that I need to deal with and to check my progress. That is why many of you will notice that my updates come Wednesday mornings. I have a regular commitment to that appointment because it is just easier to make it a priority. I have intentionally shared the bad with the good news of my weigh ins, but in the 13 weeks I have been using Ideal Protein, I have lost 45 pounds and that includes 2 weeks where I was stable or had a slight gain. That averages out to over 3 pounds a week. I have also dropped 3 pant sizes. In the three months prior to that, I had only managed to lose 15 pounds and believe me, I struggled to do it.

Here’s my unprofessional commentary about how this diet works and why it works. Ideal Protein is designed to give our bodies the protein we need to maintain muscle tissue and reduce the amount of carbohydrates and fat in our diet to force our body to burn the fat we’ve been storing. Many diets help us lose weight but as we lose that weight we also lose muscle tissue which is what helps us burn calories and so, they can be unproductive. The way we burn fat specifically is through a state called ketosis. This is why it’s critical not to cheat. When we cheat, it takes our body out of ketosis and then, we usually spend 3-4 days getting back into it. That’s 3-4 days with no weight loss and you are still spending the money for the food packets. It just seems like a waste. It is an unbalanced diet and you would not want to live this way indefinitely; however, for me, I didn’t want to live fat forever.

The program uses an engineered food or as my girls call it “astronaut food” because most of it comes in silver packets! Each person’s individual protocol might vary, but in my case, I use 3 of these packets a day. With one of them, I also include 2 cups of specific vegetables. For one meal, I eat 5-7 ounces of proteins, depending on the type, and 2 additional cups of those same vegetables. I can also eat lettuce as much as I want.

Not sounding so appealing? Well, it’s honestly not too bad. The variety of foods is enough such that most people can find things they enjoy. The foods range, from omelets, oatmeal, crepes, soups, puddings, gelatin, drinks and bars. The packets are basically your protein source. They give you the protein in a way that reduces the amount of fat you get with it. With the addition of spices—most of which are allowed and some Walden Farm sauces that have no protein, carbohydrates, sugars or calories, I feel pretty good about what I’m eating. Is it gourmet? No. Do I have a variety of foods? Yes. Is it effective? Yes. Am I hungry of feeling deprived? No.

What this means from a practical standpoint is that I eat different than everyone else in my family. When I go out, I need to plan ahead what I will eat. I have managed to travel and dine with friends at restaurants, attend social events and everything, but I have to do it differently. There are a couple of restaurants where I can plan to have my meat meal and stay on the plan and then, there are others where I need to need to only eat a salad. If you decide this is something you want to do, I’m happy to help you strategize on how to get through it. Oh, I should mention, there is no alcohol on this program.

Exercise is rather an interesting subject on this diet. The first 11 weeks I was on the diet, I was dealing with my stress fracture or in a boot cast which basically meant I was getting no exercise. That obviously did not affect my weight loss. I know there are special protocols for those that are exercising in serious way, but I can’t speak to the details of those. In general, when you are exercising you don’t want to get your heart rate so high that you body will try to burn muscle. Remember the goal is to burn fat not muscle.

I know I have written much more here than I probably needed to, but most of this has come up in my conversations with others about what I’m doing and so I’m trying to give as much information as I can. I am doing this in this format because then, I won’t feel like I miss saying something I think is important because I get busy or distracted when I try to respond to you.

Just a couple more thoughts that I want to wrap this up with. Ideal Protein is working for me because I am committed following it very strictly and making changes in my life that will last a lifetime. If my commitment slips, or I waiver in my willingness to make those changes then I expect that my results would also slip and waiver. Being on such an ‘unbalanced’ diet gives me an opportunity to break bad habits. By the time I get back to eating ‘normally’ the habits that have plagued me from the past will be a distant memory. This was a key factor in choosing this program. I don’t feel like I am struggling with this diet. I have accepted that I need to eat differently to be healthy and that’s just the way it is.

In my crazy decision to do this in such a public way, I have been given so much support. I had hoped for accountability and got so much more. I have also found a great deal of wisdom and encouragement on a message board called 3 Fat Chicks where they have a very active discussion on Ideal Protein. It’s important to have support that understand what the obstacles are for any diet you do, so whether it’s traveling or the holidays, or just a place to share those before and after photos, I highly recommend checking them out.

Finally, if you are considering doing this, I would suggest you look at your calendar. We are approaching the holidays which could be rather difficult on this program. I’ve been doing it since July and I plan to stay on it through the holidays, but I know for many of you it is unthinkable to not have Christmas dinner with all the goodies. Unless you have a loss goal that can be achieved in a couple of months, I might consider waiting until after the holidays to begin. Spend the time reading, praying and preparing emotionally for what can really make a difference in your life. Don’t wait forever though because there’s always going to be a major event or an excuse.

There is so much more I could say, but I’ve already said enough to scare some of you off, I’m sure. I’m okay with that because I know this isn’t for everyone. We are all overweight for a variety of reasons and we have to be willing to face those reasons and commit them to the past before any program will truly work for us. Ideal Protein has just been the right too for me at the right point in my life. Whatever you decide to do, know that I’m here for you to help in whatever way I can.

Blessings and prayers,
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.