01-26-2013

Lots of thoughts rolling around in this little brain of mine lately.  Maintenance has been foremost in my mind.  But mostly I have been wanting to be totally done with this diet (or any diet) and never wanting to keep track of what I eat again.  I want to be a “normal” person who doesn’t have to keep track of the food I eat.  I want to be a “normal” person who gets to eat potato chips, cake, cookies & candy bars any time the urge to eat them hits me.  The fact is that I want to be able to eat whatever I want to eat whenever I want to eat it without any restrictions at all!  It upsets me that I CAN’T eat that way without gaining a huge amount of weight and affecting my health in a bad way.  But “normal” needs to look different than that for me.  So what will “normal” look like for me?  I’m still trying to figure that out but I plan to give the Ideal Protein Phase 4 a try to see if I can make it work for me.  I just wish they would give us more direction on what this way of eating needs to look like in order for me to be successful with it. Phases 1 – 3 have been great because I was told exactly how to eat…so many packets, so much protein, so many vegetables…it all was very clear.  Now I feel like I am left to figure it all out by myself.

But I DO want to succeed, so this is the plan I will follow once I am done with Phases 1-3:

 5 days a week:
   -Breakfast: Eat what I am hungry for.  I love breakfast so I won’t have any problem here.
-Lunch: Protein with low-carb veggies & a salad. This meal can have more fat in it.
-Supper: Higher carb with little to no fat.  This one is the difficult one for me to figure out.
-I will need to figure out my BMR (basal metabolic rate) so I can stay at or below that number.  I will need to be better about planning my meals for each day so I don’t get to supper time and find I have no calories available for me to be able to eat.

 1 day a week:
   -Have a more relaxed day where I can eat things I wouldn’t normally eat. This is the day I get to eat that piece of cake or whatever foods I have been craving for.

1 day a week:
   -Phase 1 day, keeping it low fat, low carb & low calorie.

The 5-days-a-week supper is the hardest part of this eating plan for me to figure out.  Dr. Tran Tien Chanh, the originator of the Ideal Protein Diet, recommends not needing much, if any,  protein for this meal.  But all my life, I have been told to eat my most “balanced” meal at the evening meal and this would include protein, vegetables, starch (potatoes/pasta/rice/bread) & fruit.  So no protein (which was the main part of this meal) is difficult for me to get my head around.  And even without the protein aspect it is hard to figure out what to serve at this meal.  How do you have little to no fat when you eat spaghetti or pasta with any kind of sauce? I need ideas and lots of recipes so I can figure out some favorites I can live with for the rest of my life and, so far, it is has been almost impossible.  Even low-fat recipes have more fat in them than what I am assuming we can have.  One of the participants on the Ideal Protein Diet Sparkers Team was told by their coach that 10 grams of fat was the upper limit for this meal.  I’ve been busy trying to locate recipes that will work with this upper limit in mind and it is really tough.  But I won’t give up!

My coach told me that Chef Verati (who created the wonderful “My Ideal Recipes” cookbook) is creating a Phase 4 cookbook and I will be one of the first in line to buy that cookbook as soon as I hear it is available.  But it’s not for sale yet so I am still trying to find some go-to recipes on my own.

I still have some time to get this all figured out because I have actually returned to Phase 1 eating.  I have been floating between 158 and 155 pounds for a while because I would eat Phase 3 type of eating for a few days, eat totally off-protocol a day, eat a Phase 1 day then back to Phase 3 type of eating. I would gain the weight, then lose it only to gain it again while eating this way.  I have 15 additional pounds I want to lose so I decided to suck it up and return to Phase 1 for a while.

Once I start Phase 4, I will post any recipes I end up finding and liking.  I am both excited and scared about what maintenance will look like.  But the fact that this diet has changed my life so much for the better is absolutely amazing so I am sure maintenance will be amazing too!

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12/11/2012

I had my weigh-in yesterday and, I won’t lie, I was expecting a larger loss.  I have been doing really well staying on-protocol for the last 3 weeks except for a stupid day on Friday.  But I really thought I would get at least 2 pounds per week which should have been a 6 pound loss for the time period.  Instead I lost 2.6 pounds total.  I know, I know, I keep saying any loss is a good loss.  But sometimes a person just needs that big loss to spur them on to continue.

I DID lose a massive 1 inch from my waist!  I can tell it too because clothes off the rack are fitting so much better (size 12’s no less!).  I have always had a problem with my waist being almost the same size as my hips because I carry a lot of fat around my middle.  This diet seems to help get rid of even that hard-to-budge-fat, which I am very thankful for since that seems to be the worst place to carry fat healthwise.

I talked it over with my coach and I have decided to phase off for a while.  I am doing a Phase 1 day today (because of some indiscretions yesterday) and then I am on to Phase 3, then Phase 4 starting on Christmas.   Sometime in January I will reevaluate my status.  If I am happy with my current weight at that time, I will stay on Phase 4 but if I find I need to continue on to my initial goal of 140 pounds, I will restart Phase 1.

I got on my elliptical this morning for the first time in months and did a good 25 minute workout.  It felt really good! I’m looking forward to the challenge of figuring out how to live on Phase 4 and not let it be a free-for-all and exercise needs to be a part of that.  Thanks for following my journey with me!

11/19/2012

I had my 3-week weigh-in this morning.  I lost 1.2 pounds total.  It seems like my losses are just creeping along as I get closer to my goal weight.  I’m also getting just plain tired of being on Phase 1.

I’m seriously thinking about phasing off and going into maintenance for a while.  Some days I just can’t make myself stay on-protocol.  And the closer I get to my goal weight, the harder it seems.  Is this weight “good enough”? Yes, I can be satisfied with being a size 14 and wearing medium tops. But is this weight “healthy enough”?  THAT is the real question and I don’t have a good answer for it right now.  Maybe if I phase off, start the maintenance phase and begin exercising again I will get some of my oomph back. Then at a later date I could go back onto Phase 1 and take the rest of the weight off.  I’m going to think hard about this and, if the next 3 weeks don’t go better, I will talk about it with my coach.

11/06/2012

The renewal date for me to be able to use idealproteinjourney.com as my web address is coming up soon and I have decided not to renew that site address.

I was hoping that I could off-set some of the cost of maintaining that web address by people clicking on the advertisements that appear on my blog.  Unfortunately, that has not been the case.  In fact, I have not received one penny from those ads, so people must not be clicking on them at all.  I don’t pay attention to what they advertise but, since this is a blog about losing weight, I can only surmise they must be advertising something that references diets.

Some time in December, the idealproteinjourney.com link will no longer work and the blog will only be accessible with the longer http://idealproteinjourney.wordpress.com link.

11/03/2012

I’ve done a lot of thinking lately about when people have a weigh-in and then post the words “I only lost x pounds this week”.  I can’t help but feel folks are setting themselves up for failure when I read those words.  So I posted this on my Ideal Protein Diet SparkTeam and thought I would post it here too.

Have you noticed that we sometimes end up with unrealistic weightloss expectations and it ends up causing us problems? We have a big loss that first week and sometimes even the second week and then we expect to continue to lose our weight at those same rates.  We sit down and use those figures to extrapolate how long we will need to stay on the diet to reach our goal. Oh, we are so happy that we will be done with this diet in x weeks and can get back to eating all those foods we are giving up for now.  Only x weeks, then back to “normal”!

Then BAM! We lose 1 pound for a week or two and become totally unglued because we didn’t lose what we expected to lose. We say “OK, this week will be better! I will stop eating all the restricted items I am allowed to eat and maybe even cut back on the amount of protein I will eat because that will save calories.” We do this for a week and lose a larger amount of weight.  We follow the same regimen for another week and…BAM!  We only lose 1/2 of a pound or even GAIN weight!  WHAT?!?! How can this be?!?! Then we start with the negative thinking and beating ourselves up for not doing better and then finally justifying that off-protocol food in a feeding frenzy or stopping the diet altogether.

The promotional material says the average weightloss is 3-7 pounds per week with women at the lower range and men at the higher range.  Those initial gigantic losses are fairly normal when someone begins dieting using any type of diet.  But the IP stats are for a whole lot of people over a very long period of time.  And we just cannot use those initial losses as what our “normal” loss rate will be.  There are so many variables that will affect how much weight we will lose in a given week because we are not machines.  We can plan all we want but, in the end, we will lose the weight at the rate our individual bodies will release it. Sometimes it will let go of a lot and sometimes it just will not budge for an extended period of time.

The key is to stay true to the protocol and possibly adjust our expectations.  Don’t withhold foods that are allowed thinking it will make the losses happen faster.  They probably won’t.  The IP Diet is a finely-tuned protocol made to work for the majority of people and by denying ourselves some part of it we may actually be hindering our weightloss rate. We will also feel more deprived.  And the more deprived we feel, the higher the chances of failing to lose the weight because we will be more tempted to cheat or stop the diet altogether.

Let’s not get all caught up in the numbers. It isn’t like we are suffering through each day being famished and then only losing 1 or 2 pounds, but rather it is losing 1 or 2 pounds of fat and nothing more which is a good thing!  If we are continuing to lose any weight at all, then we are succeeding! Celebrate every pound gone!  We can jump up and down and be extremely happy when those big numbers appear but we also need to celebrate just as fervently the smaller numbers because they represent getting one step closer to our goals.  Let’s not let those unrealistic expectations de-rail us!  Instead, let’s truly celebrate the fact that we can finally rid ourselves of this excess weight on a protocol that allows us to not feel deprived while we do it.  A small step forward toward our goal is so-o-o-o much better than stepping backwards towards obesity again!

Let’s do this folks, one step at a time!!!

10/29/2012

Today was weigh-in day.  Since I go 3 weeks between each weigh-in you would think I would lose a large amount of weight…not!  I seem to struggle with my eating at least once a week and last week it was Friday so I hadn’t fully recovered from that and the numbers showed it.  But I’m not going to get depressed because I chose to go off-protocol a few times.  Instead I got right back on-protocol with my food choices and I fully intend to stay focused and get my forward momentum back until I conquer this weight.  I also really need to find ways of coping with bad days other than turning to bad-for-me-foods. They really don’t solve anything and actually end up causing damage to my body that I really don’t need.

I will be posting my weigh-in results shortly but I also took some new pictures to show how far I have come.  I intend on posting those here and also printing off some before and after photos to post on my refrigerator.  When I look in the mirror I don’t recognize that I look all that different than I did at 249.4 pounds.  My eyesight seems to be very skewed when it comes to my body image. I still see fat me when I look in the mirror. So I intend to post those pictures in my kitchen, in my bathroom and maybe even in my bedroom so I can see what I truly look like.

Taken in December 2011 at 249.4 pounds.

Taken October 29, 2012 at 163.6 pounds

NOW I see the difference!  I tried to arrange the camera exactly the same each time so if you look at the panels on the door you can see how much smaller I am. It’s amazing how our eyes can fool us when we look in the mirror.  I would encourage everyone to take some time to get photos taken so you can see how well you are doing too!

10/20/2012

I’m still plugging along!  It gets a little frustrating when it seems like I lose the same couple of pounds over & over & over again.  But that is how weightloss works…it isn’t just a straight line downward no matter how much we want it to be.  Instead it looks something like this (I’m giving you a lot of numbers to make a point):

10/01  161.4   (-0.2)
10/02  161.8  (+0.4)
10/03  162.8  (+1.0)
10/04  163.0  (+0.2)
10/05  165.4  (+2.4)
10/06  163.6  (-1.8)
10/07  164.0  (+0.4)
10/08  162.8  (-1.2)
10/10  163.8  (+1.0)
10/11  161.8  (-2.0)
10/12  161.4  (-0.4)
10/13  164.2  (+2.8)
10/14  162.0  (-2.2)
10/15  161.0  (-1.0)
10/16  162.2  (+1.2)
10/17  160.8  (-1.4)
10/18  162.2  (+1.4)
10/19  160.6  (-1.6)
10/20 159.8  (-0.8)

That’s right, you read that correctly, I hit the 150’s this morning!  Will I stay there?  Probably not.  As you can see, there is no straight line here, it’s up, down, up, up, down, down, etc.  That’s why, if you are going to weigh yourself everyday like I do, you need to just write it down and forget about it.  You can’t freak out or stress about the gains or you will end up causing more problems for yourself like losing motivation or producing cortisol (look it up on the internet).

So, even though I seem to lose the same pounds over & over again, the overall trend is still downward.  And I am happy with that!  Hope your trend is downward too!!!

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