Yesterday was a very bad day for me in terms of the HCG diet. I was starving pretty much the entire day, and when I wasn’t so hungry that my stomach was almost sick, I felt really uncomfortable/constipated/full. Not a nice combination. Throughout the day I drank a ton of water, which was a great thing, but it didn’t seem to help the hunger very much or for very long. Then I started to get sort of depressed, feeling as though there was nothing to look forward to at all. At one point I even contemplated beginning to smoke again, but I quickly snapped myself out of that stupid thought. When I got home I “cheated” by having 3 wasa crisps and a small handful of tomatoes. Seriously? It’s sad when less than 100 calories of healthy food is considered cheating. And then I took the drops and 20 minutes later ate dinner and felt disgustingly full for about an hour or two. And then I just lost my mind altogether and stopped by the drivethru on my way home from the play/film fest and got a double quarter pounder with cheese, fries and a diet coke. Lovely.
The odd thing was that this morning when I got on the scale I was down another 2.4 pounds. Maybe the McD’s hadn’t hit my system yet? In any case, I had gone to bed last night feeling so lost and directionless. I woke up this morning with a somewhat clearer head, but needed to talk a few things out with LC before I made any final decisions.
I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you that I’m stopping the HCG – it was a desperate attempt to lose a ridiculous amount of weight way too quickly. The biggest factor in my decision to stop is just the pure and simple fact that it made me feel miserable. I was either starving or full/constipated, neither of which is a good feeling. Not to mention that I was depressed and sort of felt like there was nothing to look forward to. I know food shouldn’t be that big of a deal in my life, but let’s face it, part of life’s enjoyment is eating food that tastes good, and the food wasn’t tasting that good with HCG. Not being able to use olive oil or most condiments (like Chaka’s MMMsauce, mustard, balsamic vinegar, etc.) made cooking so difficult. Or just the fact that the list of approved foods was so small and limited. Why shouldn’t I be able to eat collard greens AND onions, for example? Plus the fact that I begged my sister not to tell my parents what I was doing because I didn’t want to worry them. Any diet that is so controversial or potentially harmful that you have to hide it from your family is not a diet I should probably be doing, right? And I never even mentioned the beauty restrictions – not using lotion (my poor, dry skin!!), not letting the conditioner sit on your hair (my poor, fried curls), not using liquid makeup (although that did help me rediscover my love of Bare Escentuals, so that’s not all bad). Some HCGers even avoid mascara because of the fear that any oils may be absorbed into the bloodstream. Ok, now that’s just taking crazy diet to “a whole nother level,” isn’t it?
I’m sure that some of the diehard HCG people might say that I didn’t give it enough of a chance, since I only had two VLCDs, but my response to that would be that I’m smart enough, and know my body/mind/heart well enough, to know when to say ENOUGH! So I’m out $60, but I feel like I’ve gained a huge amount of clarity and focus in the process, so it’s well worth the tradeoff.
I know that some of you are thinking that I’ve being quite manic lately. I’m jumping from one “solution” to the next without really thinking about what I’m doing. And I would agree. I’ve been feeling so desperate to just lose this weight and qualify for Lap Band surgery that I was willing to try almost anything, which is not a healthy mindset to take. I guess I needed to go through it to realize what I was doing and sort of reset myself and my priorities.
But I’ve come to my senses and figured out a plan that makes sense, and is healthy and satisfying:
Take a break today and tomorrow. My body has been beaten and battered (figuratively), and I need to give it a chance to recover. My “issues” haven’t really resolved themselves completely (in terms of the bathroom) and I need to just take it easy for the weekend. So I’ll eat 3 full meals of real food. I won’t go crazy or go into “last supper” mode, but just eat like a normal person would. For example, today’s menu plan includes:
Lunch: 4 oz shrimp with fresh-squeezed lemon and garlic powder on a bed of fresh spinach, 2 wasa crisps, Tazo Passion iced tea (which I was thrilled to find out is caffeine free)
Dinner: fish soft tacos – grilled tilapia seasoned with Chaka’s MMM sauce, cabbage, tomatoes, on 1 flour tortilla, Tazo Passion iced tea (and maybe 1 glass of wine)
Beginning Monday, I’m going back on Medifast and using up the remaining food I have, which should last about 2-3 weeks. It’s a lot easier because it requires little preparation for breakfast and lunch, and going into my final weeks of school that’s what I’m looking for. Dinners will continue to be Lean & Green meals. Calories per day = 800-900.
For those two/three weeks, the only exercise will be walking, as per Medifast guidelines.
Once the Medifast food is done, I’m going to start doing the South Beach Diet (SBD), Phase 1 for two weeks and then Phase 2 until I get to the goal weight.
I know that I may not see a loss at first when I begin SBD because I’ll be eating more than 900 calories, but I’m not going to let that deter me. I’m not going to jump ship and try some other weird fad diet. SBD is basically the way the nutritionist at Kaiser recommended I eat to lose the weight (keeping it to 1200 calories), and it’s the way I’ll be eating after Lap Band surgery, too.
The interesting thing is that I began this blog 3 years ago following the SBD. That’s where “Bella on The Beach” started. So in many ways, this is coming full circle, although, I’ve learned so much about myself and my body/mind/spirit since that first blog entry. In a cosmic sense, this seems like it is what’s meant to happen.
My mindset has changed for the better, too. I no longer feel that the “by whatever means necessary/the ends justify the means” mode applies. Yes, I’m going to do my best to lose as much weight as I can as quickly as I can, but I’m not going to kill myself. I’ll get to the 266 goal in due time. I’m done putting so much pressure on myself. I’m not giving up by any means, but I just realized that I was starting to get a bit too obsessed.
I want to myself this summer as I lose weight. I’m going to be getting Sofi, celebrating my 40th birthday, spending time with friends and family, and just living life. I want the weight loss plan I’m following to be flexible enough to let the “real life” situations in. Which means a glass or two of wine, or a Skinnygirl Margarita now and then. It means riding bikes with my sister and my nieces to go get a frozen yogurt on a hot summer night.
It means the Lap Band surgery will happen when it’s meant to happen. Hopefully it’s over the summer break, but if it’s not, so be it. My principal has already given me her support and said it would be fine for me to have the surgery during the school year, knowing that I’d be taking 2 weeks off for recovery. As much as I’d love to start the school year with the Lap Band in place, it may make more sense to have the surgery sometime in September, after school has started. But like I said, whatever is meant to be.
As of today, with all of the off days, loading days, and VLCDs, I’ve lost 24 pounds. I have 21 pounds to go. I WILL get there. I just need to remember that this is for better health, so it’s important to approach my weight loss efforts in the healthiest way possible, both mentally and physically. And I’m feeling very calm and confident in my decision, which lets me know it was the absolute right one to make.