Tag: optifast

Weight Loss – Not with a Bang but with a Whoops!

Final weigh in!! And the results are…

Gained a pound. Whoops!

Ah well, 11 straight weeks of loss, I was bound to screw up at some point. ūüôā But it was a combination of no longer walking to work now that I’m teaching (some of my old co-workers joked about how it would be quite a walk to work teaching in Alma!), and overeating at a couple meals. I knew I was over-doing it, and now I can see what happened.

But I’m not distraught or anything. I knew I goofed, and it showed. I’ve never really beat myself up over eating, and considering how much I lost, I won’t start now! Besides, with Diana’s loss (she lost a pound – I figured she gave it to me, she’s so kind), we are tied for overall weight loss on the program!

Although, I hesitate to say that the program is over. Technically, we still have our Maintenance Prep tomorrow morning, 2 classes to make up, and then we plan on going to classes for maintenance (they recommend 26 out of the next year to earn “lifetime membership” to their facility). But it was our last weigh-in, so it definitely feels like a big transition.

I feel better than I have felt in years. I keep wanting to slip into eating some junk or over-eating when we have something really yummy, but I’m better about going easy on it. (Maybe we need to have fewer meals that taste good!) I’m still amazed at my blood pressure, which is a nice clear number to track, going from “talking about medication” to “spot-on normal”. Also, final week blood work came back with everything in the normal range.

So, it was definitely worth it, but it is only the beginning. The program didn’t get us totally healthy, but it jump started us in that direction, and that is probably better in the long run. If we can only lose weight while in the program, that doesn’t bode well. We need to be able to continue our weight loss (and more importantly overall healthy improvement) while outside of the program, in our everyday decisions. That’s one of the reasons I never got into journaling (the other reason being because I’m too lazy). I know myself enough, and have had enough past experience to know that journaling does help me to not overeat, but I never keep it up. I need to be able to eat healthier as a habit, not by doing daily math. Hopefully, I’m well on that track now.

Either way, I know I wouldn’t be able to survive the hectic semester without feeling as good as I do, so the immediate benefit has been nice. I can also walk up the 2.5 flights of stairs to 3rd floor of the Academic Center where my office is in Alma without getting winded. It’s the little things that are subtly better, but add up to a great difference.

From here on, I’ll keep updating the weight page – maybe weekly, at least monthly. Plus if anything health-wise pops into my head to discuss, I probably will. Heck, food is a whole lot more complex if you try to eat healthy rather than “off-the-shelf American”. But thanks for listening in through the major first step!

Weight Loss Week 11 – One more week

Almost to the end of the main program and then it’s maintenance! I have pretty much leveled off at losing 1 pound per week now that we are back on food (and I have been walking less). Plus my blood pressure has really stabilized at what I have found online to be pretty much textbook normal. So that’s awesome.

I hope to kick up the exercise a bit again, especially in this final week. If I can manage a 1.5 pound loss, then I’ll manage a 30 pound loss over the program. Less than I hoped, but more that I have ever lost at a time. My 1 pound a week feels slow compared to my numbers in the first part of the program, but it’s still a steady loss. Plus, towards the end here, we have been less strict about our exact exchanges and all that, and have been more of less just “healthy eating”. Doing that and still losing is great.

Sure, we ate out today and I overdid it. But I choose to overdo it, and still “over doing it” was far less than a normal day for me several months ago. It all just needs to be balanced out. Too much of that, means less of this, and more exercise. No guilt. No habitual overeating. Just enjoying a meal (which, by the way, was today’s class topic – slow down and enjoy food again!).

But today we got our last of the Optifast shakes. So the end is near. I will actually miss the shakes and might not mind having some extra stocked up on¬†occasion. When it’s time for a snack or am in a hurry, it’s easy to just grab one of those. So I have to work on other healthy substitutes for the quick food.

Overall, the program has been good, but like many things, it started dramatically and ends quietly. It really dominated our lives at the beginning (for obvious reasons), but now, it’s becoming more of an after thought. Partly that’s due to actually eating meals and real food again. Another part is the vast amount my schedule has filled up with school going now. (Is it a bad sign that only week is down, and it already feels like a marathon?)

But whatever the reason, 1 week from today is our final weigh-in and doctor visit. We will attend a couple classes as make-up sessions, and then have to go to some more to get “lifetime membership” (basically allows us to get products in the future, schedule meetings with staff there, etc.). So there’s plenty more in store, but it’ll be quieter and less dominating. I hope that’s a sign that it’s a settled lifestyle change. The changes from the program are more habit than challenge. It will be a different kind of difficult, sure, but I am confident that, like a lot of other things in my life right now, it’s the beginning transition to a great things.

Weight Loss Week 9 – Leveling off but feeling great

Forgot to update yesterday, but since I had the day off, I attended Diana’s weight loss class. Diana is still rocking the weight loss with 3.5 pounds lost in 2 weeks (we skipped last week since we were busy and/or recovering from Christmas). I slowed down and only lost just over a half pound. It’s still a loss, but incorporating real food back in is definitely tricky (Christmas didn’t help either). But, my blood pressure is also about the lowest it’s ever been, so I’m quite happy.

Overall, I wish I had written more before we started, because it is hard to really compare how we feel. The overall health improvement has been staggering. Beyond just having less mass, the lower blood pressure and more balanced nutrition (including pretty much no caffeine for a couple months now) is really making me feel great compared to how much I had to drag myself around previously. My energy levels are higher than they have been in a long time. I have more focus. After the kids are tucked into bed, I’m not totally wiped out and vegetative! Woohoo!

I’m sure the job change is also helping. This week’s class was on self-esteem and they had a little mini “rate yourself” quiz, and the results I wrote down yesterday are a far cry from what I would have written a few months ago. The health improvement is a big part of that, but being able to finally leave a career I really don’t like to focus on school is certainly a major factor as well. For the first time in years, maybe even a decade, rather than just feeling like I’m helping the kids to move forward, I feel like I am moving forward and improving in my life.

That is a great feeling, and I heartily recommend people find their own paths to that feeling, even a taste of it for a day.

Weight Loss Week 7 – Mixed News

Well, I’m still losing and have lost exactly 26 pounds overall! However, I had my body composition test since I lost over 25 so far. For future reference, when they say “Do your strength training or else half the weight you lose will be muscle”, they are right. I did plenty of walking for good aerobic exercise, but very little resistance exercise to keep my muscles regenerating. Consequently, I have lost a lot of weight, but only 14 lbs is fat loss. 10 lbs is muscle (I think the remaining 2 are just water since there is less of my to hydrate, and believe it or not, properly hydrated half of our weight is water.)

So, tonight I am definitely starting my resistance exercises with a¬†vengeance. It may slow down my weight loss (which is already slowing a bit with introducing real food), but I’d prefer most of my weight loss to be actual fat.

But my pants are too big and people keep telling me I look slimmer, so I’m certainly not complaining. Even if I have lost some muscle, I still have lost a lot of fat and now weigh less than I have in the past decade. That was one goal for me since when Diana was pregnant with Samantha, I put on A LOT of weight – even more than Diana and she was growing a person. Not surprisingly, that was when my insulin levels went through the roof, but I managed to lose a good amount of weight over time and got down to 225.

Of course over the years I crept slowly back up, but have finally dropped below my post-Samantha lowest weight. My next goal is to get past my pre-Samantha weight of 190.

Also, other good news is my blood pressure is still lowering. My¬†systolic¬†(top number) is the lowest I’ve ever seen it with 110, and the¬†diastolic¬†(bottom) is staying in the 70’s, which works for me. Much better than the 145/100 I had at my last physical. It’s close to a 30 point drop in both values. Definitely a good sign.

Weight Loss Day 38 – Getting Ready to Transition

Had my weekly session today and also had my transition prep! Very excited to start working in foods next week, but it does look like some work especially compared to the “grab a shake and go” prep I have to do now. Although even that will be more prep this week because I filled out the wrong line on the form and got 28 packets of chocolate shake powder, rather than 28 shakes. Whoops.

But I managed to lose another 3.5 pounds! I am down just shy of 25 pounds, and next week will have a body composition test to see how much fat and muscle I have lost. I’m worried about the muscle since I haven’t been able to do many strength-training upper body exercises (did shovel snow), but I have been walking a lot this week, so there’s that at least. My blood pressure is still better, which I was also worried about since it’s been a very stressful week for many various reasons.

I’m just about done with classes for this semester. It seems to of course drag right at the end as I try to get all of the final stuff done. Hopefully next semester when I’m all academic, I can stage things out a bit better.

Well, I gotta start reading over all of my transition information so that I can do all of the math on how much I can eat of what.

Weight Loss Day 31 – Losing the pounds but not the gut

It’s end of the semester, so I sure have been keeping busy with that. Finished one paper last night, have another due next Tuesday, and a little conference for class where we are presenting our papers and commentaries on each other this Saturday. Oh, and work is ramping up as my days left are counting down. People realize I’ll be gone in a month and want to make sure to fit in what they can.

Weight loss went well this week despite not getting in any walking at all until this morning. I was worried I would hardly lose a bit, but still managed 2.5 pounds! And my blood pressure is dropping again. Woohoo!

We saw Wicked in Kalamazoo Sunday night (wonderful show, but long snowy drive!), so everyone got to sleep in a bit Monday. Hence, Diana didn’t go to her class to get an official weigh-in, but unofficially lost 3-4 pounds! Guess spending 3 days walking the mall and stores helps!

Also, since it is going so well and because our insurance is changing in February, we are switching to the shorter program. Instead of 12 weeks of no-food and 12 weeks of transition, we are going a 6 and 6 program. Seeing how this is the start of week 5, in just two weeks we get to start introducing real food again!! Yay! The kids’ dinners are getting harder and harder to avoid sampling (tonights chicken & rice-a-roni was especially yummy smelling!). But we’re managing.

It’s odd also, how even with how fast we are losing weight, it still feels slow. I just topped 20 pounds lost. Yet, I still got this big ol’ gut. For a while it felt like it was softening rather than shrinking (which made me worry that I’d have the problem of flabby stretched skin even after the fat underneath was gone), and now it’s tightened back up. So I don’t know. But I’m down a belt notch and might drop another in the next couple weeks, so something is shrinking.

And the numbers help. I’m really pushing to hit 25 pounds lost soon since that would put me at my lowest since before Samantha was born. I’ll have to really exercise if I’m to hit it next week, and it would have to be a major weight loss week, but even if I don’t next week, then definitely the week after. Plus, when I hit that 25 lb mark, they have a body composition test again to check how much fat I have lost versus how much muscle. I’m eager to see that since that matters more than just a number of pounds. Maybe next week, maybe the one after that. I guess we’ll see.

Weight Loss Day 24 – Thanksgiving and Weigh-Ins

Didn’t post in over a week because we saw all of you over Thanksgiving! So not a lot of motivation to write it all down here as well.

We managed to survive the holiday with eating at both feasts, but keeping it to a minimum (even if we did stretch it and had dessert both days as well!). Diana managed to still lose over a pound over Thanksgiving! Woo hoo! Not sure if that has ever happened in our lives!

I missed last week’s weigh-in since we were traveling to my parents, so this is actually a 2 week total, but I lost 6.8 pounds! Still going great!

I’m getting my walking in, but still need to work in the upper body workouts – both because it would be good for me in general, and also to make sure most of the weight loss is fat and not muscle as well. In January when I am home every morning, it’ll be easier to fit it in after the kids go to school, but we have to figure out something for between now and then.

Not much else to report other than we valiantly kept from succumbing to burrito cravings Рit was close.