Preface: Please remember that weight is a relative term. What one person considers overweight, another person considers underweight. Every body is different, everyone’s idea of ideal weight is different. I’ve been in a debate with some friends about what “overweight” or “ideal weight” really means. In my opinion “ideal weight” is the weight ranges that the medical world feels is appropriate for your height, stature and age…..and also the weight in which you are 100% happy with your body. If you are 20 pounds overweight and say you are happy with your body and have zero qualms about running around the Great Wolf Lodge in a swimsuit, and you never feel like there’s something you can’t wear because of your size, then kudos to you. It’s different for each and every one of us. You can stand two similarly sized people together and they could be 15 pounds apart in weight- everyone carries their weight differently. We can argue in circles about whether weight charts offer a realistic range, or what does “healthy” weight mean, blah blah blah. I’ll save that for another topic later. Medical charts show that my weight should be between 124-138 pounds. For ME personally, MY ideal weight is 124. Anything above that and I don’t feel as good about myself, I don’t feel as comfortable in my clothes, I don’t feel sexy. I don’t care what the rest of the world thinks about that target and I’m sorry if this offends you if you are heavier than that and feel like your ideal weight is 150 or 160 and maybe my weighing 124 and complaining about a 5 pound weight gain makes me a “skinny bitch”…..but you know what? I worked hard to get here and I’m not giving it up. This is MY body and I have to keep it real and be honest with myself.
Christmas. You know, the holiday that seems to be centered around family, presents, and food?
Thanksgiving- another holiday centered around family and food.
Halloween- another holiday centered around food, well candy.
Gee, that’s a good solid 8-9 week span. There’s an old saying, “It’s not what you eat between Christmas and New Year’s…..it’s what you eat between New Year’s and Christmas that you should worry about!”
You betcha. Here’s my “Post-Medifast-Weight-Loss” holiday eating reality:
I’ve managed to maintain 124 for nearly a year. Yippee! And it’s been relatively easy. The only difficulty I had was when we went on a 7-day camping trip last June and I got caught up in eating chips, and sandwiches and s’mores and soda pop, and beer. And when we got home and my pants were a little tight, um, I know where I went wrong, so I got back on the BeSlim lifestyle and the quickly-gained weight slowly melted away. I was back to my slimmer happier self, yippee!
Halloween came around and for once I wasn’t interested in eating my kids’ candy. Thin tasted better than 3Musketeers or Almond Joy or even Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Until about a week later. I knew where the hidden stash of candy was and I started grabbing 2 or 3 of those litle treats every afternoon to eat. My weight didn’t change so I convinced my brain that this was OK. I did notice my belly getting a little flabbier, though. But it didn’t slow me down. I was OK. Not Great Wolf Lodge in a bikini OK, but OK.
Thanksgiving weekend came along and with my continued candy treats and all the pie and good stuff I had gained three pounds and about two inches on my waist. That’s above my comfort zone. I recognized the danger I was in, so no more Halloween Candy. Time to get back on the BeSlim lifestyle. I got back to 125, but my waist never fully shrank. Then Christmas came and I really started getting out of control. I’m keeping it real. I think a lot of people want to know what really happens when you go off the TSFL/Medifast program….and that’s why I’m writing this.
I have zero control around baked goods so I simply DON’T make them anymore- no more muffins or cupcakes or cookies, nada. I cannot handle that temptation so I just don’t have those things in my house. A few weeks before Christmas I finally decided to cave and bake some pumpkin cream-cheese muffins. They are oh so good. And my sweet tooth had me eating 2 or 3 per sitting. Doh! And then I was out doing Christmas shopping and treating myself to Peppermint Mochas and Eggnog Lattes from Starbucks 3-4 times a week. There were even days I’d go out before work and get one! (And I work FROM HOME.).
Dinner was no longer Lean & Green. Dinner instead was quick and easy and minimal veggies. Sometimes there was no dinner. And then the kids started Winter Break so I bought donuts, more than once a week. And I ate more than one each time. And we baked cookies and I started drinking a Coke every day and making myself those good ol’ Grilled Cheese sandwiches. And eggnog- oh how I love eggnog. And so that became the norm- pasta based dinners without veggies, pastas and breads for lunch, skipping breakfast or eating donuts, snacking all day long, drinking soda, making poor choices.
It got worse. I love black licorice and started picking up a bag every time I went to Bi-Mart. And I’d eat the whole bag. All sugar. And I bought Lindor Truffles and Dove & Ghirardelli chocolates to use as stocking stuffers, and I was eating a couple of those every day. I basically reverted to my old eating habits. You know, the habits I’ve had for 20+ years.
I was getting a little bloated and flabbier around my middle, and the scale fluctuated between 126-128 and I just thought- eh, no big deal. Until the day before Christmas when my husband and I were out shopping and he asked if I’d gained weight. Um, yes, but only a couple pounds. (OK, it was really 4 pounds at that moment). Well on my frame, a couple pounds is the difference between my jeans fitting WELL and just fitting. He could see the difference. I was mortified. I was NOT going to become another “diet fail” statistic. TSFL is not a diet, it’s a change in lifestyle. And I just “unchanged” my lifestyle. You can’t do that.
So I stopped. No more soda, no more chocolates, no more donuts or muffins, we’re getting back on the veggie train and focusing on eating the right foods at the right times. Well, except for Christmas Day… because we have lots of goodies planned for that day. Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls, pumpkin pie, berry pie, red velvet cupcakes, champagne, more champagne, prime rib, ham, bacon, egg nog, mmmmmm.
And then of course there’s leftovers. Like several days of leftovers. So more Cinnamon rolls, pie, champagne, egg nog. I kept my eating binge going.
Then we went out of town for the New Year’s Eve weekend. We don’t eat fast food….but we decided to stop at McDonalds for lunch on the way there (chicken burger and fries and soda). No dinner that night, pancakes for breakfast (without any protein) the next morning, sandwiches for lunch with chips and salsa, pizza for dinner, pancakes again the next morning, clam chowder with crackers for lunch, pasta for dinner, more pancakes for breakfast…..cookies, brownies, M&M’s, soda. Bleh.
I have to confess to something; I put together an amazing sugar-loaded buffet for my kids every New Year’s Eve. They aren’t allowed to eat this way the rest of the year so it’s kind of a “treat”. It’s something we’ve done every year so I don’t really want to take it away, and like I said, these aren’t things they get to eat the rest of the year.
This year’s buffet:
That buffet consisted of Mint M&Ms, cherry cordial Hershey Kisses, Ghirardelli Brownies, Oreos, Blackberry Pie, Chocolate Covered Pomegranate Seeds, Chocolate Orange, Popcorn, and slices of Cheddar Cheese, with a side of Sparkling Apple Cider and whipped cream to top your chocolately concoctions.
I’m an awful parent, I know.
I knew I was in trouble already with my weight and I could have had the attitude of “well, it’s the last day of the year, might as well go out with a bang and load up on all these goodies,” but instead I had the attitidue of “well, it’s the last day of the year, why wait until tomorrow to get healthy? I should just start now.” I didn’t snack on ANY of that stuff until 3 hours after my previous meal. At which time I loaded my plate with 3 slices of cheese, ONE brownie and 3 Oreos and felt incredibly guilty doing it. I had 4 oz of sparkling cider to wash it down.
The next morning I could barely get my pants on. They were tight. And they were the same pair I’d worn the previous 3 days. Gulp.
I refused to get on the scale when we got home. So that was my wake-up call. In fact, I was so ashamed of what I’d done that I didn’t get on the scale until 3 days later. It read 129.8 by then, so I can only imagine what it would have said when we first got home! This is 5 pounds over my “ideal” weight.
I immediately went back on the BeSlim plan. NOT on the TSFL 5 & 1, but on the maintenance plan. To kick-start my healthy eating I also started incorporating some of the Medifast foods back into my daily routine. I’m back to eating breakfast within 30 minutes of getting up, either eggs, or oatmeal with yogurt, or a MF meal. I’m eating Medifast snacks, wholesome lunches, I went grocery shopping and bought more veggies. I’m back to making healthy Lean & Green dinners for my family.
When I’m out running errands now I’m not stopping at Starbucks for a “treat”. Thin tastes better than spending $4.50 on something that I’m just gonna pee out after it attaches itself to my growing muffin top.
I made the daycare kids chocolate-chip pancakes for lunch and it took A LOT of effort for me to not have one, not even just one bite. I LOVE chocolate. Do I feel deprived? No. Because thin tastes better than a chocolate-chip pancake anyday. Besides, I can make a MF chocolate pudding or MF brownie instead.
No more soda. Just water. Do I feel deprived? No, because I know there’s no nutritional benefit to soda and all it’s gonna do is make me bloated. No more champagne or beer, either (which has been hard because I like to enjoy a glass on Friday nights). And even though I know I have Lindor truffles and Dove chocolates in my closet, they aren’t tempting me.
And the power I feel from not being tempted is an amazing feeling. It’s certainly better than the feeling I get from eating a Lindor truffle (which is mmmmmmm…..this is sooooo gooooooood, but I really shouldn’t have eaten it.). Yeah, not eating it sure feels better than caving in to the temptation.
All of this just reinforces the basic simple fact that you are what you eat. What you eat makes up how you look and feel, and I felt awful, sluggish, tired, bloated over the past few weeks.
I had kept my weight off for a whole year, to have it all go to waste (er, waist?) on a bunch of high calorie sweets? Heck to the NO! No way! I’m never going back. I’m turning this ship around right now. Well, a few days ago actually. January 1st to be exact. And progress has been slow, but it’s been steady. I didn’t try as hard when we first got home, but over the weekend I made the commitment to get back to 124. I’m using LoseIt.com to track every bite I put in my mouth so I can hold myself accountable for what I eat.
Today I weigh 126.6 and I’ve been maintaining a loss of about .4-.6 pounds every day.
And check this out….between proofreading this and posting it I received this inspirational message from a friend:
“The person without self-control is easy prey to the invader. He yields himself to the first assault of his ungoverned passions, offering no resistance… Having no discipline over himself, temptation becomes the occasion of sin, and hurries him on to fearful lengths that he had not contemplated.” – Charles Bridges
One of my TSFL clients came up with her own mantra, “I am in charge! I am in control! Food does NOT control me. My emotions do NOT control me. Food does NOT control me. I control ME. I WIN!!!”
You are in control of you. Always.
You have a choice. Always.