I made it! Week 1 is history and yes, I really am feeling good. Sticking to the Medifast program has not been a chore, actually just the opposite. What with my busy schedule, the program has provided just the structure I needed to kick off what I am calling my Last and Final Weight-Loss Diet.

I’d love to tell you exactly how much I’ve lost this week…and I have lost. The problem is that my scale seems to have issue with reliability. Not that I’m calling it a liar, but its truth is rather inconsistent from one moment to the next. Checking in with my scale today went something like this; step on…lost 10 pounds. What? No way! Step off, step back on, lost 6 pound. Hmmm…Step off, step back on again, lost 8 pounds…you see what I mean? So, I’m guessing this week I lost somewhere between 5 and 10 pounds and I gotta get a new scale. I don’t do inconsistent relationships.

Now, let’s go back to why I am calling this my Last and Final Weight-Loss Diet. I know, that is a pretty bold statement to make. I understand your skepticism. We know all about the yo-yo diet with its loss and gain, loss and gain…and the gains sending that scale to higher numbers each time. You’ve seen me do it for how long now? Well, no more…not ever again. Understand, I’m not saying this because Medifast is some sort of miracle diet. Actually it has nothing to do with Medifast. Instead it has everything to do with finally deciding to “getting my mind right.” I have made many positive changes in my life, and each follows pretty much this same process:

  1. Identify the issue I want to change
  2. Determine my controllables (I can only change me)
  3. Remove the negatives
  4. Add the positives
  5. Tack Action

Yes, that is a simplistic description of the process; I’ll explain it in more detail another time. I have used this process on everything from emotional distress to physical ailments. I overcame obsessiveness, depression and anxiety using it. I use it to manage the fibromyalgia so I’m medication free. Through this process I have changed relationships with family, friends and co-workers…and myself. This process has allowed me to move into a deeper spiritual life as well as improve my physical and emotional health.

By using this process this week became a time of reflection. A time to identify the issues I want to change. And not surprisingly, weight loss is not the issue. Weight loss will definitely be a byproduct of addressing the issue, but it is not the issue. If you remember, last week I mentioned my penchant for healthy eating, organic, whole foods, and what not. I also talked about mindful eating. Well, it’s obvious that eating right and considering each bite isn’t what got me to 240 pounds. Then again, healthy eating and getting my mind right isn’t just about being thin. It is all about my relationship with the food in my life. So, during my reflecting I came up with the following questions for myself:

  • In developing an eating plan for life, what is the proper balance of food in/energy out that I can live with?
  • I can reduce my intake, but is my activity level at a healthy place?
  • How does my activity (or lack thereof) affect not only my weight, but emotions, fibromyalgia, hormones, sleep, sex drive, so on and so forth?
  • How does what I eat affect not only my weight, but my emotions, fibromyalgia, hormones, sleep, sex drive, so on and so forth?
  • Where exactly does my food come from?
  • How are the land, the animals, and the workers who produce my food treated?
  • Is this an issue for me? If so, how much?
  • Is there a spiritual correlation between where my food comes from and my current weight and state of health?
  • Should there be?
  • What does mindful eating and healthy whole foods have to do with a lifetime eating plan?

These are just a few of the questions I will be examining
and blogging about over the course of the next few weeks as I establish the ground rules for my lifetime eating plan. I hope you will stick with me as I ponder these questions and find my way to a healthy relationship with the food on my plate.

BTW…Yes, I am ecstatic about the weight loss to date and looking forward to more!

PMS: To my Health Coach Jen: Thanks so much for the call this week. It was great to talk with you about all that is going on in my head and how the program is working for me so far. Thanks for the words of encouragement and affirmation. LOVE your updated website with the tips and recipes. You efforts really do make this process a lot easier for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Last month I was going through years of family photos to create a slide show for my husband’s 55th b-day when I began to notice the weight that had crept up on me over the years. Some of the earliest were what I had considered my “fat” photos. Oh no, THIS WILL NOT DO! 

Then the day of the party, Jenny and her husband Aaron show up looking simply amazing! Go ahead; click here to check out their photos on her site. Doesn’t she look hot? And Aaron…ouch! When I saw the change in them just since Christmas I had to talk with Jenny about the Take Shape for Life program and Medifast Meals. 

Now, those of you who know me well know that I can be a bit of a health nut. I can pontificate endlessly about the lack of nutrients in our 21st century food, the paradox of gardening organically while living ¼ mile from Hwy 26, and other trials of the American diet. Although no longer the extremist I once was (I now masticate rather than drink my meals) I am quite serious about whole foods, healthy eating, and nutrition. For myself, I practice mindful eating. I don’t frequent fast food establishments for moral as well as health reasons. I subscribe to George Mateljan’s the world’s healthiest foods site and mostly eat basic simple foods.

But when I saw those photos and how my girth has increased over the last 7 or so years it was obvious to me I was slipping somewhere. Not only do I consider this additional weight unhealthy and unsightly for me, lugging it around is not easy on muscles weakened from fibromyalgia. I decided it was time for severe changes.

First and foremost, I had to get my mind right. We all know the secret for maintaining healthy weight is a balance of calories in to calories out. Obviously I have slipped away from proper serving portions for my activity level. As a Health Coach, Jenny is passionate about helping women (and men) develop healthy eating patterns. She is the first to say that the TSFL is not a way of life eating plan. What it is is a swift kick in the behind for those of us who have neglected the discipline of proper food portions. It is a program for those who want results FAST! For those who are unfamiliar with TSFL and Medifast, it is a doctor recommended rapid weight loss program that’s been around for some 28 years. The program consists of five Medifast meals/day and one “Lean & Green” meal. That very evening I sat with Jenny and discussed the Take Shape For Life program and made out my first order.

This evening I arrived home welcomed by a large box on my front porch. I carried the box in with one hand…this is a month’s worth of food??? What have I gotten myself in for? As I opened the box and pulled out the cartons one by one I realized this is serious stuff. There are bars, shakes, soups and even pudding. For breakfast there is scrambled eggs and oatmeal. Jenny went over the “Lean & Green meal choices with me. You know what? I can so do this!

My goal is to lose a minimum of 65 pounds on the full TSFL program. Once I have reached that goal I will re-evaluate where I want to be and decide when to begin the transition phase back to normal eating.

I purchased a new battery for my pedometer this weekend and have started my 10,000 steps again (another great habit I stopped). It may take me several weeks to get back up to the 10,000 steps/day, but TSFL recommends going easy the first week or so anyway.

During this weight loss time I will also be creating an eating plan for life. In addition to George’s site, I discovered the Meals Matter website. This website allows the user to upload favorite recipes, then create meal plans, menus and shopping lists from those recipes or search the site for others.

I know that I do best when eating 6 smaller meals per day. So my goal is to spend the next few months creating healthy meal plans that will be ready for me to print and prepare once I have reached my goal weight.

Jenny thanks for your tips and advice, your encouragement and support. I am so excited about making positive steps in getting my weight and my eating habits back on track! You rock girl!

Here are my before photos. Believe me, I’ll be posting updates.

No butter for these rolls!

No butter for these rolls!