Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Fat doesn't care how I feel - and a bit about hunger

I am so glad my fat doesn't know or care how I feel. I'm so glad it responds to what I put in my body, not what state my emotions are in.

Sometimes I think people feel like they've failed already just because they WANT something or they CRAVE something. Somehow, in the WANTING or the CRAVING they already feel like a failure and so they may as well succumb.

I am just thankful that my fat doesn't care what I'm craving, it only comes or goes based on what gets into my mouth. And I control that. I control that whether I'm happy, whether I'm sad, whether I'm PMS, whether I just had a run-in with my MIL. And if I don't STUFF my emotions with food, or ESCAPE my life with food, then I will continue to get to my goal.

I'm hungry right now. Yes I am. But it's not time to eat yet. So I'm not going to have my next MF meal until 3:00.

Many times I hear "I felt I needed extra calories" or "I was hungry so I added an extra meal". Let me ask, what is wrong with a little hunger?

We obese folk are so stinkin' afraid of a little hunger! How did we get this way? How did we get so, so SOFT? It's like we don't think we should have to stand even a little bit of discomfort, or HUNGER, to accomplish what we set out to do?

None of us want to hear that normal people let themselves actually GET hungry BEFORE they decide it's time to eat! Yes! It's amazing, I know. And sometimes they will even allow themselves to STAY hungry for a period of time before they get something for themselves to eat, like perhaps they are waiting for a mealtime to roll around or something. It's like a DAILY thing, even SEVERAL times a day that normal-weight people, people who self-regulate naturally, actually GET HUNGRY.

Crazy concept. I'm exploring it more fully as I sit here, hungry, but OK with it. OK with being "normal".

I have done this program once before, and all told I have now lost over 200 lbs with Medifast. I will let you in on a little secret. You ARE going to experience hunger at times during your program. Sometimes it will be so intense, you think you must be doing something wrong, because after all, we shouldn't be hungry on Medifast, right?

Wrong. Some people rarely experience hunger on Medifast. Some people are hungry every day of the program. I oscillate between the two, as I think many people do. But I challenge you next time you are dying of hunger and it isn't time to eat....I challenge you to sit tight and work through it. Start learning to enjoy that hunger pang, that feeling of emptiness in your stomach. Remember that it is only your stomach that is empty, not your life. Remember the many blessings you have, remember why you are doing this in the first place...and remember, NORMAL PEOPLE GET HUNGRY, and it is no biggie for them.

That's all for today....just something I've been thinking about.

Bilbo was sadly reflecting that adventures are not all Pony-rides in May-sunshine

AKA the Medifast Blues. Tolkien never spoke truer words than that one phrase. This phrase comes from The Hobbit and it occurs after the initial euphoria of beginning on an "Adventure" with the dwarves wears off. They are cold. They are wet. They are hungry. And the lofty ideals and mighty intentions they had when they began the journey are tested when the trials begin.

But they press on. No, our Medifast adventure is not all pony-rides in May-sunshine. It is not all fun. It is not all gung-ho-let-my-emotions-carry-me-through-the-day good times. Even the losses we see consistently on the scale from week to week sometimes just don't create enough motivation to continue. Welcome to the business of life, my friends.

We press on. We are running a race, and we hit a wall sometimes. We stumble sometimes. We pick ourselves off as we see the runners disappearing in the distance, those who did not stumble. We wish we were them and feel a bit sorry for ourselves.

But the choice is always ours. Do we continue with perseverance or do we turn around and get on the fat-wagon? I, for one, ain't turning around.

The 95%

This is a scary but true statistic, in ANY weight loss program. Only 5% maintain their loss. Which will you be? Which will I be?

I see quite a bit more resolve these days on the blogs than I have seen in the past and I WANT to believe that our statistic is higher by the sheer determination I am seeing. But think of it this way, ladies and gents, those of us who are working the plan day in and day out are much more likely to be in the 5% that maintain their loss.

I used to get mad when I saw posters saying "I just couldn't help myself" and "I just had to have it" or "I deserved to have this or that after my long day" or "I can't wait to eat jellybeans again"....I wanted to shake them and say "GET WITH THE PROGRAM YOU ARE HURTING NO ONE BUT YOURSELF!"

But guess what, I don't get mad anymore. Because there has to be a 95%, and those people will continue to express themselves on these boards also. I will leave room for the 95% and strive to be part of the 5%. And that statistic is talking about those who actually lose the weight to begin with! It does NOT include those who lost a few pounds and then gave up after two or three weeks!

Just some of my meandering thoughts this evening as I continue to contemplate TOTAL abstinence from OFF PLAN foods and how they cannot be a part of my food plan ever again.

Fat Doesn't Care How I Feel....

My fat doesn't care how I feel, the only thing it responds to is what I put into my body. If I go through the motions of Medifast, no matter how I FEEL about it, I will lose weight. There is no such thing as "half-heartedly" as far as fat is concerned. In other words, I don't have to be gung-ho excited and elated every second of every day that I am doing Medifast. I can hate it one day. I can be angry the next. I can cry the third. I can feel a bit of joy that I'm not still in size 26 jeans, and then GET ON WITH IT. Get on with the business of losing weight, no matter how I FEEL. This is life.

I no longer find my worth in food. I've separated from it. I hope to never go back to finding my worth in food. So white fish every day and broiled asparagus is boring. I know that. I've seen "exciting" and "exciting" got me to 268....TWICE.

So every day I go about my boring MF routine. Some will say "mix it up, have fun with it, get some variety". No. I won't, because that is not the purpose I have assigned to food. Food is sitting in a corner. Food isn't going to have fun with me anymore. Food is grounded. Food is fuel. Plain and simple. And this much of it, and that much of that, all within MF guidelines, will get me where I want to go.

So I am on day 7 of my restoration to sanity, my abstinence from anything Off Plan. I humbly take the strength that God provides me each day to get through yet one more day. Simple. But not easy.

I've not failed, I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work - Thomas Edison

And with that I re-enter the land of the living Medifasters. I've been banging my head against the wall wondering what it is in me that causes me to do well for 3-4 months and then try things "my way" for awhile. Well, I know it is stubborn rebellion, for one. Immaturity, secondly. And thirdly? A fear of success.

Well, I am going to do some real head-work and soul-searching to get this thing figured out. And if I can't figure it out, I atleast need to get to the point where I am doing what I need to do, complying with the program, no matter how I feel about it.

Time to grow a pair. Of course I am referring to self-discipline and perseverance. Thanks for being with me on this journey.
I'm going through a Dave Ramsey course on Financial Peace right now, and this morning it struck me that I always seem to have to have "something" spiraling out of control. I don't plan it that way, but it seems to be the case and I want to change it.

My biggest "failure" categories through my life have been 1) weight, 2) finances, and 3) housekeeping.

Funny that these three areas all have to do with persistent self-control, which is a character attribute I am working on attaining in ALL areas of my life.

But for some reason, and I especially noticed this the last time I lost weight, I seem to "transfer" addictions/compulsions. The last time I lost weight, I went willy nilly on my spending. When I'd have a bad day I'd "E-bay" it away. When I went to the mall I never left without having purchased something for me because, well, because "I deserve it".

This time, and perhaps this may be one of the reasons it seems harder to remain consistently on-plan, this time I am getting my financial house in order. AND I am also getting my house-house in order, by trying to stay on top of the cleaning and the clutter.

You see, I never really learned consistent and persistent self-control last time. I just transferred my lack of impulse-control and my need for instant gratification over to buying stuff.

Well, I plan to take this time of reflection to really work on the tough stuff. To really make this a permanent change. Because that is what it is about, atleast for me. Only the development of consistent and persistent self-control and discipline in my life will give me the results that I desire.

And we know that....

"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."

Hebrews 12:11.

What is WRONG with our culture!?

The one thing I notice, especially around the holidays, is that our culture is completely, COMPLETELY screwed up when it comes to food and appropriate portions etc.

We view food as an event in itself, and especially during the holidays can go to 2 or 3 or even 4 "functions" in ONE DAY that completely revolve around food!

As fat and previously fat people, one of the things that got us where we are today (fat) is that we have always taken the opportunity to dive in to each one of those events with gusto, and enjoy it while we can.

But take a step back and wonder....WHO NEEDS THAT MUCH FRICKIN' FOOD IN ONE DAY???

For heavens sakes, lets be sane and rational! Let's not try to be joiners in the food madness all the time at these functions. Let's try sitting back and taking a break from the madness, enjoying the company and the conversation. It's OK! It is liberating, actually! To go to an open house and NOT partake in the food, and when someone notices you don't have a plate, to quietly say "Well it all does look so beautiful but I'm not hungry right now, thank you!" or "Yes, it is all so gorgeous and thank you so much for offering, but I just came from _________ (dinner, lunch, breakfast, a friend's house, coffee, etc) and just don't have room for anything right now."

When normal people say things like this, it is no big deal. But we, as fat or previously fat people think that it is the biggest taboo in the world to not be joiners in the food part!

Yeah. It's insane. I'm still processing all of it. It drives me nuts, can you tell?

Separating "hopelessness" feelings from "deprivation" feelings

I am to a point in my program where I see old habits and old patterns trying to re-emerge, patterns that ultimately lead to failure and giving up and gaining weight.

These patterns begin with a mindset, and I am trying to battle those creeping feelings of hopelessness.

It is especially hard during the holidays, because there IS an underlying feeling of deprivation that overshadows my days, and in my head it is hard to distinguish this deprivation feeling from the feelings of hopelessness that usually ends up derailing my efforts.

But I am recognizing this and am trying to combat it in my head and in my heart, to take the sting out of the deprivation feelings and to turn them around to a positive so that I won't mistake it for hopelessness.

When I look at the facts of my journey this time around, they DON'T point to failure and hopelessness and "well I might as well throw the towel in" as a given.

No. I have been successful. I have done well. I have had my slip ups but this is a journey and a process, and the minute we TRULY give up and throw the towel in, it becomes extremely hard to turn that around to go the "right" direction again.

So I will not succumb to my feelings. I will examine the facts, and I will take each day one day at a time. I've had my coffee. I've had my first MF meal. If I continue like this I will have yet another successful day on Medifast, no matter how I FEEL about it.

Here's to another successful day. Rinse and Repeat.

Those biggest losers...and a thouht about inspiration

For anyone who things sagging skin is a problem, did you SEE MARK on the finale? Dude lost 213 lbs in 7 months, and he does NOT look like a "previously fat" person! His arms were so toned and he looked fit and trim! Oh my goodness! Good for him. So, the factors that effect skin are age (effects elasticity) and exercise. The rate of loss almost doesn't matter, that's the conclusion I came to after watching the finale.

I'm up scouring ITunes for good running music, just downloaded "Dynamite" by Dynamite. Can't wait to strap on my shoes in the morning and give it a try! I'm on week 4 of C25K. I have a 5K to run on February 5th, then a 10K on March 19th, then a Half Marathon on June 5th in San Diego. I LOVE RUNNING!!!!!!

I also bought my plane tickets in July for a dear friend's wedding near Sacramento. The last time I saw him was when I was near goal, so I am extremely motivated to be close to where I was when I saw him last! I have quite a bit of work to do between now and then.

“You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” -Jack London

I got me my club. And I'm running with it, chasing inspiration.

Good motivations, all!

40 pounds makes a difference

The attached picture in the pink (not smiling) is my highest weight of 268.5 taken summer of 2009. The one of me smiling, my Avatar, was taken in October 2010, about 35-40 lbs lighter and as you can see MUCH happier, after being on the program for about 3-4 months.

So that is what some dramatic lighting, some make-up, and a whole lot of happy looks like! I am pleased so far, but have a LONG way to go!

Happy Medifasting y'all!

Attachment: Before.jpg

Diary of a Shrinking Woman

It should not surprise, me, I've been down this road before, but it is still just as exciting to drop a size! This morning I noticed that my size 16 Gloria Vanderbilt Stretchy jeans didn't stretch anymore when I buttoned and zipped them, so I felt it was time to attempt my 14's and to see if they were at a "decent" stage, meaning I could wear them out of the house instead of just get them buttoned and zipped, gasping for air and having a huge muffin top like I did just last week....

And I sit here...I SIT HERE (THAT is an accomplishment in itself!) in my Gloria Vanderbilt size 14 Stretchy jeans. I am taking these on the cruise, and only these. No wiggle room for me!

I remember when I went on a goal-jeans buying spree at Costco a month or two ago. I was currently in the size 18's, and I noticed that Costco got a new shipment of the same jeans, which I LOVED, in recently. So, I got the 16's, the 14's, the 12's, the 10's, the 8's and the 6's. When I'm using goal jeans as a measurement tool, they all have to be in the same style/cut/brand because there is so much deviation between brands! (For example, I have a pair of Mossimo Capri's in a size 18 that are STILL tight!)

I go nuts and get depressed/confused with that kind of inconsistency, I need something solid and consistent. So I bought 'em all. And I am now in the 14's. Tight, but wearable, and if I don't wash them for a week they'll be even more comfortable! Ha ha!

The rest is just math....

Yeah. Really. That's it. The only thing that matters is how badly we want this. There are no insurmountable obstacles except those that we create ourselves. And if we feel it is truly insurmountable, well that means we just don't want it badly enough.

Thanksgiving? No problem. Christmas? No sweat. The time in between? Solved. Office Christmas Party? No biggie. Cruise next week? Bring it on. New Year's Eve? Yeah, so what? Is it THAT easy? It is, once you've DECIDED. I made a decision. I decided it was I who was in control of me. No one else. It's not my husband's fault if I eat off program because he hasn't chosen to live like me and still brings goodies into the house. It's not my health coaches fault if I fall off the wagon because she just didn't want it bad enough for me. It isn't Jesus' fault for being born and us celebrating His birth once a year.

I own it. I own my decisions. And I've decided.

I CHOSE to NOT waddle anymore. I CHOSE to NOT feel like I'm suffocating in my own prison of fat. I CHOSE to be able to get down on the floor and play with my son before he didn't want to do that anymore. I CHOSE to be able to strap my running shoes on if I wanted to and not look like a fool out there. I CHOSE to not need a seat-belt extender on the airplane anymore. I CHOSE to not have my inner-thigh be the first part of my pants to develop a hole. All of that has been accomplished with the first 50 lb loss.

And with the next 50 pounds;

I CHOOSE to not be the fattest mom dropping off my child to Kindergarten. I CHOOSE to have salespeople not avoid me like the plague. I CHOOSE to have random people in check-out lines strike up conversations with me, instead of avoiding eye contact for fear my obesity might be catching. I CHOOSE to have people scrutinize my basket at Costco to figure out what I am eating to look so fit and healthy, instead of scrutinizing it to figure out why I'm so fat. I CHOOSE to run a 5K, a 10K, and a Half Marathon between now and June 5th.

These are things I want, and I want them badly. These are things that I will obtain, because I don't SEE obstacles. I see HURDLES. And with every hurdle I sail over and past, I gain new strength for the next one.

Ever try to get your momentum back after tripping over a hurdle? It is almost, but not quite, impossible. I have had 3 hurdles on this journey that I tripped over. I thank the Lord that I have my stride back, and ain't no hurdle gonna trip me up again, because I CHOOSE THIS.

I don't feel sorry for myself because I "can't" indulge my inner-brat. I don't feel sorry for myself because I "can't" eat 'normal' food. I WON'T indulge my inner-brat and I WON'T eat normal food. My choice. My pleasure to comply. And it will be my pleasure to get to my goal weight of 118 and be a size 4 again. Because I can. Because I stopped telling myself I "couldn't" a few months ago.

The math part? It's 5&1. Simple. Simple, but not easy.

Happy Medifasting! Rinse and Repeat.

Medifast and the 5 Stages of Grief

When I am off for a week or more, and eating what I used to consider "normally" (I'm not a binge eater, I don't consume thousands of calories at a time), I can gain up to a pound a day. It is super scary. If I go off ONE MEAL I am usually up 3-4 lbs the next day.

I will never be able to eat "normally" or "take a break" because I can't take a break from my body, until I'm dead, (and I don't plan on that any time soon) it is impossible. And it is what it is.

I've examined the 5 stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Resignation. Us medifasters are usually cycling through the first four interchangeably on our journey, but we all have to reach the last stage which is Resignation. Those who don't become "Chronic Medifasters" so to speak, always gaining and losing, gaining and losing, sometimes for a lifetime. I am the classic "Yo-Yo Dieter."

I think it is important to know we can never go back to the old ways.

And we are grieving that. If I never reach resignation (also called acceptance) to and of the new limitations WILL continue to gain our weight back time and time again until I accept that my body is just different, and to have my goal of being fit and healthy I HAVE to surrender and accept this.

Denial is I don't have a problem, or I can do it my way.
Anger is I'm so mad that I even have to do this. I'll take my anger out on myself and/or others (we see this on the boards quite a bit).
Bargaining is I'll just go off for the holidays, or the wedding, or because I'm having a rough day or because I deserve it.
Depression is the weigh day afterwards, after gaining weight back over a day, a week, or a year.
Resignation/Acceptance is working the plan, getting to goal, transitioning and maintaining because we know it is the only way we will reach our goal of being fit and healthy for the rest of our lives.

When I think of the last stage, I think of Lealonni and JustPraisin'. Read their blogs and you see a quiet acceptance, a peace about the process.

I have decided to stop the cycling, and to stay in the Resignation/Acceptance phase. I do that by working the program day in and day out, and there IS such a peace about that. Knowing that I am doing everything I can, every day, to reach my goal.

Happy Medifasting!

Gaining Weight by Osmosis...and other myths...

I know the fear. I've felt it before. It is the fear that no matter what we do, we will gain weight simply by being IN a room that has so many YUMMY things in it. That, somehow, just by being there and LOOKING at it, we will gain weight.

I have learned by experience that this is a MYTH. I have learned that the only calories that matter to YOUR BODY and to MY BODY are those that we ingest. That is, eat.

So, we can all go into Thanksgiving with confidence, that if we do not let anything pass through our lips that is off-plan, we will sail through the Holiday unscathed. Just because there is more food in your dining room than could feed 50 hungry Army Rangers, does NOT mean that your body will somehow absorb these calories simply by you being in close proximity to them.

So enjoy Thanksgiving with the quiet confidence that the only calories that matter to YOU are the ones you choose to EAT. And relax, because YOU are in control of that, no matter what Aunt Hilda may say to the contrary.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Oh no you just didn't!

I knew the day would come! I knew it. I felt discouraged today about having actually gained 1/4 lb from yesterday to today, which is the plight of a daily weigher. But I have to take the good with the bad and not get bent out of shape because I KNOW I'm doing everything to the best of my abilities and I KNOW it's working.

SO I took my own advice. I went and tried on my size 14 jeans (I'm in 16's right now), knowing they wouldn't fit because, well, they didn't fit YESTERDAY, could not even get the buttons to touch YESTERDAY.

Folks, I got them buttoned and I got them zipped. The difference ONE DAY can make on this program is AMAZING. I'm almost speechless.

Now, the muffin-top renders them unwearable outside my house, but not for long. NOT FOR LONG. I hope to take them on my cruise on Dec 4th, that is 11 days away, and I hope to leave my 16's behind!

Why water is so important

The first thing that goes for me on any diet is the water. It's like there is a little urge in me to NOT drink it, and I don't know if it is because I don't like feeling full afterwards, or what it is. But when I'm not drinking the water I know I have to pause for a moment and get my focus back. The next step after not drinking the water, for ME, is utter mayhem.

I stumbled on an article once that explained WHY water was so important to weight loss, and I have to admit it has been easier to force it down since I understand the mechanism behind it. I'd heard the "flush the fat etc etc" before, but when I finally saw what the actual nuts and bolts of it was, I began drinking 2 L before lunch! It really changed it from something I "had" to do to something that I KNEW would dramatically impact the level of my success on the program. And that made all the difference for me in terms of compliance.

Basically, if your body needs energy and it knows it has fat reserves available because not enough NEW calories are coming in to meet it's daily needs (think Medifast, think Ketosis), there is a hormone called glucagon that sends signals to the fat cells to release fat into the blood stream. Well, this is all well and good, but in order for the body to take the fat from the blood stream and turn it into usable energy it needs to break it down and WATER is a necessary component of this first step. It actually takes water in this metabolic process of turning fatty acids into energy. If we are light on our water, the fat will just keep circulating, with the body unable to really optimally utilize it, and eventually will just get put right back into the cells because the body can't break it down like it should for energy.

THAT is why we tend to get more hungry (and therefore want to snack more), and have less energy, when we aren't drinking our water...our bodies are saying "yeah, I've got this fat to use but I can't use it so feed me carbs instead!" Either that or your metabolism will slow down so your body doesn't NEED as many new calories. Your body is amazing and it will adapt. I DO know that when I am drinking plenty of water, those are the days I'm not hungry at all! (Because my body is happily able to use the fat it is releasing from my fat cells for energy all day long!)

So, bottom line, is drink your water or you will
#1) Feel hungry all the time
#2) Have much less energy
#3) Not lose as much weight as you could have, had you been drinking your water
#4) Slow your metabolism

And that is the physiology in a nutshell behind WHY we need our water!

PS, the sooner we can get 1 liter of water into our bodies in the morning, the better our fat-burning capabilities for the morning will be and it will set us up for a good day of burning that fat! I usually have 500 ml on my nightstand and drink it before I get out of bed, (I'm a guzzler because I just want to get it over and done with), and then I'll have another 500 ml with breakfast, no later than 7:30 am, and with every meal thereafter.

Nothing inspires like success

We all really just want to know we can do this. Right? We want to believe in ourselves and KNOW deep down that this will work for us. Until we know that, we never fully commit.

I look at it like a new and budding relationship. If your significant other is not committed to you, then you hold back your heart. You play around the edges of commitment and love, so to speak, not really wanting to risk your heart when that other person may not feel the same way, or may just walk out of your life some day.

But true love? True commitment? Once demonstrated, tried and tested, we will stick with that person through thick and thin. We are confident, glowing, we KNOW that person loves us and is as committed to us as we are to them.

Medifast is similar. I put my full faith in Medifast from the very beginning, I risked my heart and soul with it, knowing that it was as committed to me as I was to it, and that it WORKED.

But why did I put my faith in it from the beginning? Two reasons. Firstly, I was ready. Secondly, I saw a full-page ad of Nnedi Uzowihe in a "People Who Lost Half Their Size" issue of People Magazine in January of 2006. 6 months later, I was ready and desperate for anything to just work. She lost 170 lbs in 9 months on Medifast. I figured if she could do that, I could at the very least lose 120 pounds in a year. And I did. Here's the link to her story:

Medifast WORKS, people. It works for EVERYONE. Medifast is extending a hand of hope out to each and every person who is seeking an ANSWER to their lifetime of obesity. To their weight-related sadness and sense of failure. MEDIFAST WORKS.

So I am committed to Medifast. And it is committed to me. I am committed to following the tenets, recommendations and guidelines of Medifast. I am honoring my commitment to Medifast knowing it will give me results, that it will come through for me without fail.

Logic would say that since I gained the weight back and am doing this a second time it means Medifast failed to deliver. Wrong. I failed to transition to maintenance. Period. I will not be making THAT mistake again.

So if I seem like a fanatic, well, I suppose I am. I am a fanatic insomuch as I view this as a commitment and I am going to hold up my end of the bargain so that Medifast can be free to hold up it's end. A mutually beneficial relationship!

Well hello collarbones

It is so nice to see you in the mirror this morning! I would ask where you've been for the last 3 years, but I have to admit I already know the answer to that. You've been buried under layers and layers of excess fat.

But you are here now and that is all that matters. Looking forward to seeing more of you soon, and spending years and years in your company.

Doing Great

Yes, I cannot wait until weigh in next Friday! If I was 216.5 today, I will be atmost 214.5, and very possibly 213.5 by next Friday.

If I had decided to eat off plan for Thanksgiving, I probably would have (knowing me) decided to pitch it for the entire week, why not enjoy myself, right? I would be weighing in next Friday at 224.5 instead of 214.5. Yes. I can easily gain 8 pounds in 2 days, let alone 7.

So I'll consider my "loss" next week to be 10 pounds in ONE WEEK! Because that's the difference of what I WOULD have weighed had I decided to go off plan, and what I WILL weigh because I have made the decision to stay ON PLAN.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Words we will never hear on January 1st...

Here are some words we will never hear on January 1st:

"Dang, I SO wish I hadn't lost 10 pounds last month."

"I really regret staying on my Medifast Plan during the Holidays. Now look what I've done to myself, I can get into that smaller pair of jeans now. Bummer."

"That piece of pie would have tasted so good, I sure regret not having that 7 days ago...."

"I feel so awful and fit and trim, not bloated or gassy, and shoot, I'm not retaining water. What have I done?"

"Why oh why did I NOT find my emotional fulfillment in the stuffing and gravy this year? Those mashed potatoes missed me I am sure. I feel so rotten because I just enjoyed being with my family instead of the food."

"Now look what I've done, I'll get to my weight loss goal a whole month or two early. I was really hoping to drag this out a little more."

There are no regrets when we do the right thing. And it is never too late to do what is right. So for anyone out there who is contemplating eating off plan for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas, I urge you to rethink your plan. It isn't too late to do that.

The reason it is so important to stay on plan through the holidays is that our motivation and our resolve is such a precious gift. I know this by experience. I am trying to share my experience with you so you don't have to learn it the hard way. You SAY you have a plan to go off on Thanksgiving and/or Christmas, and that you can and will get right back on after those days are done. I say it's not that easy. I say carbs and sugar are a drug that leave us with wrong thinking after we indulge. I say that planning an off-plan encounter is like playing Russian Roulette with your life/diet. You never know if THIS off-plan episode will be THE off-plan episode that derails you entirely. Honestly, it is that important.

I've seen time and time again the posts of "I had such and so back then and ever since I can't seem to stick to the plan for even one full day".....
But, many off-plan-planners will say "no, it won't happen to me...."

We all think it won't happen to us. We all think it will be "someone else" that is derailed, that is thrown off kilter. We all think we can handle it. We've got ourselves fooled.

So my prayer is that everyone who has committed to losing weight on Medifast will guard their resolve and treat it as a precious gift. And those who do not, I pray will be able to learn from their experience whatever it is they are meant to learn. Hopefully it will not be the hardest lesson of their life.

The boards are going to get crowded!

It happens every year, the boards get crowded on January 1st. Most of the traffic will be from new people seeking to change their lives, and some will be those who went off plan for Thanksgiving, disappearing until New Years Day, having re-gained 5-20 lbs in a month.

Then there be 6 weeks until...Valentine's Day. Then another 5 or 6 week until...Easter. Then Graduation, Memorial Day, Fourth of July Picnics, and then August.

Yes. August is the ideal time to start because there are 12 weeks until Halloween. Best chance to succeed.

Xept I plan on being at my goal next Halloween, and I've got just less than 100 lbs to lose to do it. Time to wait is something I just don't have.

Comfortable in my own skin

Today a rather handsome (and much younger!) yuppy professional man struck up a conversation with me in the check-out line of a swanky gourmet food grocery store. This is the first time this has happened in years. He knew I was married, from my wedding ring, so of course there was nothing to it, but it did give me a great NSV story to tell tonight!

50 pounds ago no man would even meet my gaze let alone strike up a random conversation with me just because he was in line behind me at the grocery store.

And I'm not afraid of the attention this time around. It is part of the process of being comfortable in my own skin.

Let me tell you what eating what you want at night will get you...

My husband eats Medifast during the day, and whatever he wants at night for dinner. He has not lost a pound in 4 months since he has been doing this. So the conclusion to his little experiment is if you want to lose weight utilizing Medifast, you can't do by following Medifast 5/6ths of the time. It's that last "Sixth" of noncompliance that will get you a big ZERO in the weight loss department. Hopefully someone can learn from his FREAKING WASTE OF $1,100!!!! Love ya, honey! Smooch!

I love the feeling of shrinking me! - November 15th 2010

Yes, I do have to say I love the feeling of me shrinking in a pair of jeans. A few weeks ago I could tell my 18's were getting loose, so I went on a mass jeans-buying spree at Costco, purchasing the 16's, the 14's, the 12's, the 10's, the 8's and the 6's of a certain color/style of jeans. Well, I'm in the 16's now and it seems like every few days they are fitting differently, getting looser. A little less tugging on the button, a little less sucking in on the zipping, a few more "wrinkles" of excess fabric showing up in the legs, yeah, I'm officially shrinking. Considering I started at my highest in a size 26, I'm pretty darn proud of myself.

When body image and my brain get discouraged, my jeans are a daily reminder that I AM doing this. I WILL continue to be successful. Lining up each day, one after the next. Lining up the Medifast meals one after the next. Drinking my water.

Because I know that one day I will wake up at goal.