Looking Towards the Future

The past two weeks haven’t been “great” for me, on many levels. First, I haven’t been losing much weight and that has been discouraging and second, I’ve been having a lot of pelvic pain resurfacing so I haven’t been able to comfortably exercise.

During the last two weeks I’ve also been experimenting – if you will – with how my body reacts to different slips in my diet and it’s been a good thing and a bad thing. The good first: I can certainly lose weight even if I mess up. The bad: I can mess up and I don’t want to be able to do that – at least not yet.

When I started Medifast, and the idea that getting to a metabolic state and staying there was so important, I was determined not to undermine my chance at success. I was 100% On Plan that first two weeks and just barely off plan the third (barely=not eating all 5 MF meals), and it wasn’t until the forth week that I became really discouraged by my lack of staggering results.

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Its amazing that the PEAK of calories I’ve had in the last month has still being amazingly conservative in comparison to what I used to eat.

With all that, I’ve decided that for the next three weeks I’m going to be working on the next stage of my journey which will be sans-Medifast but still with much more concentration on carbohydrates than with my previous endeavors.

Having read about various carbohydrate centric (whether to avoid or use) diets, I’ve decided I’m going to put together a meal plan to try “carb cycling” – something previously used for body builders but also can be used for weight loss. The name is pretty self explanatory – but basically you have low carb days and high carb days, it’s that simple.

I found this set of guidelines on DailyBurn:

High-carb day

About 1 gram of carbs (x your body weight)
0.75 grams of protein (x your body weight)
As little fat as possible

Low-carb day

0.2–0.5 grams of carbs (x your body weight)
About 1 gram of protein (x your body weight)
0.1–0.2 grams of fat (x your body weight)

Which I’ve tweaked to work with how MyFitnessPal tracks, based on my weight:

High-Carb Day
1400 calories

Carbs = 175g (50%)
Protein = 140g (40%)
Fat = 16g (10%)

Low-Carb Day
1200 calories*

Carbs = 30g – 88.5 (10% – 25%)
Protein = 180 (60%)
Fat = 17.7g – 40g (15% – 30%)

* The only way to come close to the guidelines for the low-carb day is to eat 200 calories less – which is not surprising. I’m just going to have to decide if I want to the low end of carbs or the low end of fat – as I can’t do the low end of both. Given how easy it is to go overboard on the bad carbs, I’ll likely choose the high end of fat to begin with and change if I need to.

Now, I simply need to put together a meal plan so that I can prepare a few days at a time to follow this micro-nutrient framework. While I believe I’ve kicked my dependency on fast food and carbs, I don’t know if I’ve quite tackled preparing multiple meals for a few days at a time. But – that’s what the next few weeks will be for!

I’m really excited to be thinking about moving away from Medifast, not because I haven’t enjoyed what progress I’ve made – but because of all the hate surrounding Medifast as a weight loss method. Everyone has the rights to their opinion, but its surprising how many health forums participants don’t seem to understand that most people are fat due to issues completely separate from what they put in their mouth. It’s lifestyle. It’s emotional. It’s physical. So to say, “eat whole foods and walk once a day and you’ll be fine” doesn’t solve anything for most really overweight people.

All my stages are out of order.

I had my third weigh in on Sunday morning, and I was surprised to see not only a lack of weight loss but in fact weight GAIN. Only a few ounces, mind you, but gain all the same. After surprise, there was acceptance: plateaus happen. After acceptance, there was anger! Plateaus don’t happen after two weeks! An entire week, wasted! How is it I have so much fat for my body to burn now that it’s getting less carbohydrates, and yet it’s not doing that?

After anger, I got depressed. I really want this to work because I don’t think I’d have very much success on the other plans I’ve heard about. I want this to work because I’ve committed to it. I want this to work because it seems like it SHOULD work. But here I am, getting yo-yo results on a very steady and controlled plan. On top of that, my newest monthly order was just shipped so I’m financially committed to this for at LEAST another 5 weeks.

After depression, I became resolved to go HARD on my 100% On Plan promise. I don’t do many things that are off plan, but clearly something is effecting my results. I’m going to contact Nutritional Support (NS) and provide some details on my daily micro-nutrient totals as well as the condiments I’ve been using to see if any of them are the issue.

Last but not least, I’ve decided to weigh myself every morning now, instead of once a week. I think weighing in once a week is good for people who have lots of fluctuations that are inaccurate of the end goal – and are discouraged by those fluctuations. However, I don’t know if I’m one of those people, and waiting once a week to discover I didn’t lose anything is wildly anti-climatic. Already I’m glad I made that decision, because when I weighed myself this morning I had lost nearly two pounds since yesterday 😀

My First Weigh-In

I woke up this morning, both nervous and excited to weigh-in, not to mention hungry (<— nothing new, I always wake up hungry) – but still waited until about 8am to weigh myself.

Results: 2.6lbs

I’m not going to lie – I’m disappointed. After reading so many other’s grand successes, I was looking for some of the same. I have been 100% On Plan the entire week. Only three days did I have approved snacks and I always stuck within my condiment limits. Looking at the nutrition breakdowns I never went above 100 grams of carbohydrates and only twice did I go passed 90 grams. I was committed!

But, I need to face the facts. Most of the people who are on the MF support forums are long time “losers” and also started at weights tripling my own. I’m fortunate not to be morbidly obese, so I can only guess that the more you have to lose the quicker you’ll lose. Also, I began menstruating on day four – which can effect results (though for some women its good and others it’s bad) – but I wont know how it effected them until NEXT Sunday.

Starting this week, I’m going to add a second walk into my daily routine and try to get up to 10K steps rather than my current 5K. Most days I’m surpassing 5K anyway, so I don’t think it’ll be too taxing on my system during the acclimation period.

I always felt that I was an accepting person – logical and realistic. So I don’t know why I didn’t keep my expectations low, and why I’m being so hard on myself right now. Perhaps its because I know I don’t want to be on this diet for long, but I don’t want to give it up if I’m getting results. But I will give up before its time if I’m not getting good enough results. I wanted them to be so amazing so I’d feel stupid for quitting. But, they’re average. Average is easy to drop.

Luckily, on top of being an accepting person, I’m also oddly optimistic. I have a lot of theories as to why I didn’t get a stellar weigh-in today and only time will bring light to those theories.

So, until next week – I’m staying 100% On Plan.

Today has been hard.

Today has been a bit hard for me. I’m getting hungry sooner than my next meal, I have a headache, I’m tired and feel flushed. I have a feeling it’s either related to the fact that I didn’t get as much water as I should have yesterday or that today is day four on this low carbohydrate diet so I must be entering (or have already entered) ketosis – possibly both.

BUT! I’m trying to keep positive. Drinking lots of water and just concentrating on where I want to be – not where I am now. I wont always be on this diet – and I need to remember that. Depending on my success, I could be in transition by Christmas!

Two things that I want to find solutions for:

  • Coffee in the morning (I never need it when I wake up, I need it about an hour after I get to work)
  • Curbing hunger when I’m an hour away from my next meal

Looking around on the MF community site, a lot of people suggest using one of my shakes in my coffee to sweeten and lighten – but I don’t want to lose that meal. People also mentioned I could use 1/2 cup of almond milk – and it would count as one of my three condiment servings – which I am thrilled about!

375116957_701The community also suggested sipping on hot bullion when hungry – which I think is also very do-able. I don’t need something to replace a meal – so please no drastic comments about that – just sate my hunger for an hour.

So, while today has been hard (and it’ll likely get hard, its my sister’s birthday and apparently we’re have cookie cake to celebrate!) it’s almost over and then I’ll be one day closer to my first weigh in!