What does a fish say when it hits a brick wall?
Well folks, dam. I hit a wall. A big, giant, seemingly immovable brick wall. I had fought so hard to lose 10 pounds and then gained all of it back over about six weeks of eating ALL.THE.FOOD. I don’t even know why. To go all psychobabble on myself I would guess it was something to do with fear of failure and being overwhelmed with how challenging it was going to be to lose more with my current method of starvation and tears.
As the weeks went by, and every Fat Buster Friday came and went, I couldn’t bring myself to post to my blog. I felt ashamed that I had fallen off the Fat Buster wagon so hard. I could feel myself gaining weight as I ate DQ Blizzards, plate after plate of spaghetti, fast-food hamburgers, and cheesecakes (new recipes HAVE to be tested over and over!). I refused to step on the scale, not wanting to put a number on my shame. But the thought of going back to obsessing over every single bite of food and struggling to keep the right kinds of food in the house was just too much. I knew I would never be able to lose the amount of weight I need to lose that way.
Right about the time I fell off the Fat Buster wagon, an old high school boyfriend posted before and after pictures of himself on Facebook. In the same amount of time that I had struggled so hard to lose 10 pounds, he had lost 40 pounds. In the comments many people asked him how he did it. He said Healthy to the Core. A woman named Meredith would reply and offer to PM information to the person that asked. I assumed that was the person he was working with. I have never been a big fan of “diet plans” because they fail as soon as you go off of it so even though I was intrigued, I congratulated him and moved on.
But…I couldn’t get it out of my head. How had he lost weight so fast? What was the Healthy to the Core thing. I couldn’t find any info on it anywhere. Knowing I had to do something, I tracked down that before and after picture of my friend. I PM’d this Meredith person.
She got back to me right away, asking if she could call me. Turns out, Meredith is a Health Coach for a program called Take Shape for Life…which after looking a little closer I figured out is Medifast (which I’ve heard of — which is also called Take Shape for Life — probably rebranding to be more hip). Meredith told me how it works: You eat six times a day…five of them are what she calls “fuelings” (you know…food is fuel for your body) and one is a Lean and Green meal that you are responsible for choosing and cooking. The fuelings are meal replacements consisting of shakes, bars, soups, pastas, oatmeal, and a few snacky things. There’s accompanying books and workbooks called Habits of Health written by a doctor dude to teach new ways of life and turn them into permanent changes. After reaching goal weight on the 5&1 plan, you transition into 3&3 to learn how to maintain your weight loss. On the 3&3 you are still replacing three of your meals with fuelings while learning how to eat properly for the other three. Throughout it all you have the support of a Facebook community and your Health Coach.
I told Meredith I would think about it but was disappointed. I wanted to eat real food. I’m so picky that I knew I would hate the meal replacements. I don’t like diet plans. To me they seem like a recipe for failure. Go off the plan and end up gaining all those pounds back and probably some extra for good measure. But, I also know that I tend to get obsessed with counting calories and all of my mental energy goes toward dieting if I try to do it on my own. When I did manage to lose 10 pounds, I burned myself out so much that I couldn’t even process the thought of trying again in that way. The idea that most of what I would eat in a day would be something that would take basically no thought at all was incredibly intriguing. That would free me up to really learn how to cook differently since I would only be in charge of one meal. Then once I learned how to fuel my body properly for one meal, I could move on to learning other healthier ways of eating and really making these things a habit. Then, once I hit my goal weight, I would learn how to eat real, healthy food as fuel to maintain the weight loss.
I wrestled with myself for an entire day when deciding if I should try this Take Shape for Life Thing. I changed my mind about 52 times. I kept coming back to not having to think about food except for one meal. Also, I need to lose 80 pounds, and I had the realization that a person just does not lose that kind of weight without being on some sort of diet plan. Finally, I decided to commit to a month. I’ll see how it goes. One month at a time.
Live life trying, right?