Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Bakers Dozen

Baking.... mmmm... warm cookies... chocolate.... mmmmmmmmmm..........

No, what I mean by Bakers dozen is that I have been on my New Direction Diet now for 13 days. 13 days of shakes and pudding and something called vegetarian sloppy joe, which I am pretty sure just shouldn't exist at all, cause really - what tortured person thought of such a thing? Vegetarian sloppy joe, please.

A couple of observations:

1. I feel much steader now in my daily energy - I just am. I have my morning caffeine cycle where I am crazed to do stuff, and then just down into a happy little homeostasis. I don't have that mad high and crash after my meals or sugar... just Eddy. Sitting here. Being. It's kind of nice.

2. Hunger is different. It isn't just thinking: "Oh, man, I could go for _______!" and then scrounging thru the kitchen to find the thing to satisfy the craving. It is a deep down viceral reaction. I sat, on Wednesday evening last week, in Sea-Tac Airport. My flight didn't leave until 8pm. I Had front loaded my day, and drank my last shake at 4pm. Usually around 3 hours after my last shake I start to notice I'm getting hungry -- so there I am, sitting, waiting for my plane. The gate, as it happens, is directly across from the food court. Food courts aren't usually my thing, but this was a nice one, with a sports bar, and some uppity Seattle foodie stuff... and people everywhere we eating. You know when you're pregnant it seems like everyone is pregnant? Well, when you are dieting, everyone is eating. And the smells..... OMG, I wanted to die. My stomach was rumbling and my nose was going and I pretty much wanted to cry.

But I didn't.

After I got on the airplane, 1 hour in, food service came around. Figures I went and picked the one airline that actually has hot food for purchase. Some guy in my aisle ordered a pulled pork BBQ sandwich. I looked at the meal options. I really was going to get something. I couldn't stand it anymore.

But I didn't. No peanuts. No diet soda. No pretzels. Nothing. I just shut up that voice my head. Shut up stomach! Shut up.

Got home and went to bed.

3. It gets easier. I can navigate the kitchen now. I can go to a restaurant with the family. I've traveled out of state. I've managed. I'm very aware that when I am feeding the kids, I just want to pop whatever I am plating for them in my mouth. I want to swallow that extra half of pita bread.. ravioli, pasta, ham & cheese, Nutella waffles.... you name it, into my mouth.

But I don't.

With each day that passes, I can deal better. I made a lovely spinach and cheese frittata last night for dinner. My kids stuck up their noses. Hubs ate it, but eggs aren't his favorite. But someday, that will be a healthy meal for me. Someday when I can manage to navigate food again with self control. Someday. Until then, I just follow directions and watch that scale go down.

Weigh in:

Weight lost to date: 15 lbs (in 13 days)
Weight til goal: 43 lbs to go (and then we re-assess. At this goal weight, I will be happily back towards the lower range of where I was in 2011 when I was training for a half marathon)

I'm older now, and maybe more realistic. I want to run again. I'm hoping by the fall. I get this weight off and start off slowly. I may not do another 13.1 but the least I can do is run a 5K or a fun run with my kids. That's a good goal for now.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

3 Things Thurs: Smells, Shakes & Mountains

The first week on a serious diet is tough. Your head, your stomach, your emotions, you nerves... everything seems be crying out: "Why God? Why?" and this strange thing happens...

Time passes.

The instant crisis. The panic of cravings. The moment of fear. It passes and next thing you know, it's another day and with each step away from old habits confidence grows in the new ones.

It's been a week. I've had nothing but my liquid diet meal replacements, water and black coffee. I'm not sure I'm a better person for it, but I am at a minimum committed. Ps. I can't WAIT for my weigh in tomorrow too!!

So, in a Throw Back Thursday kind of way... here's to the reintroducing 3 Things Thursday:


Not only is this Ivy's latest cute thing she does (holds her nose when I say "Pee You Stinky!"), but I feel like I have turned on this constant barage of smells with my diet. From the taxi cabs smelling of stale cigarette smoke and tumeric, to the garlic of a salmon appetizer, the BBQ of a pulled pork sandwich, the baking of bread (Subway, come on!), the strange metal taste in my own mouth, to the powdered broccoli cheddar soup I choked down last week... the smells are doing me in. My only combat in this diet war against the constant smells is essential oils and hoping the smells move on by... move on by...


Meet my new friend, Mr. New Direction Diet Chocolate Shake. Just when I think I'm going to chew my own arm off, I whip up one of these and poof! Back to the same old self. Doesn't smell fabulous but it does the trick. I'm totally just gonna Shake it Off! (the weight that is)

3. MOUNTAIN (Rainier to be exact)

There are some really lovely images of Mt. Rainier out there on the web, you should google it - it is something to behold. I'm no photographer but here's the pic from Window Seat 16A on Alaska Airlines yesterday....

There are a whole lot of cliche's about mountains and goals and dreams and perseverance. I'm usually not into all that daily affirmation stuff (although I do think there is power in positive thinking), but as I flew by Mt. Rainier it was hard to feel anything but inspired.

And small.

Aren't we just so self absorbed? Don't we make all our little problems so big? Feeling like we are constantly climbing our own personal Everest. Each little earthquake is all consuming but if we take a step back, a step outside of ourselves, we can see the mountain for something that it is really is: beautiful - and then just fly right on around.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

New Direction Diet

Today, I started....

I've been careening between excitement and fear since last Friday when I had my initial consultation at Arizona Health & Wellness to see if I was a candidate for their weight program - which utilizes the New Direction Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD). The time while the labs processed gave me an opportunity to search the web for information on the New Direction VLCD. I expected a wealth of commentary - results - frustrations - blog posts. To my chagrin, the web has very little to say about the New Direction VLCD. 

So, I will have my say and maybe it will help others out there deciding if this program is for them (of course, you'll have to follow my journey - cause it is only Day 1). 

A couple of disclaimers: If you know me or you have followed my blog, you know that I have life long weight issues. I documented prior success on this blog by simply getting back to basics, counting calories and exercise. Despite the success, I find myself back here again. This time it is going to be different. I choose the New Direction Diet for a number of reasons
  • Some very persuasive neighbors who were successful
  • Last time, my weight journey became all consuming and this time I don't want this to take over my life. 
  • I need a plan where I don't have to think, just follow directions. 
  • I need people to see me every week - people I feel accountable to - to keep me going. 
  • I needed a quick shot in the arm - to get this process moving quickly, see some loss and build some confidence. 
  • I wanted a doctor involved to make sure I am healthy.
So, with that said - this plan might not be for everybody. Here's what the published material states, and I will break that down in what it means for me. From Robard, the manufacturer:

Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD)

A Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD) program is a medically supervised, ketogenic weight loss program for patients who are moderately to morbidly obese. Candidates for the program have a BMI over 30 or over 27 with comorbidities, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and high cholesterol. In general, a VLCD is appropriate for women approximately 40 pounds or more overweight and men approximately 50 pounds or more overweight. Patients experience weight loss of 3-5 lbs per week. Meal replacements are utilized as the sole source of nutrition during active weight loss. Robard offers two comprehensive VLCD programs, the New Direction System® and the NutriMed®Weight Loss Program.

New Direction

The New Direction System gives medical professionals the ability to successfully treat obesity within their practice and hospitals by integrating individualized treatment services for new or existing obese patients.
  • Medically-supervised by a team of healthcare professionals led by a physician
  • A multidisciplinary program of behavior modification, nutrition education, physical activity and group support to reinforce lasting lifestyle changes
  • Nutritionally complete meal replacements replace grocery food intake for several weeks or months depending on patient’s goal
  • Health benefits typically include a reduction in comorbid conditions, including lower blood pressure, lower blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics, lower serum cholesterol and reduced pain in weight-bearing joints
  • Program includes medical, diabetic and bariatric protocols
  • Program includes medical, diabetic and bariatric surgery protocols
How does that translate into what Eddy is putting in her mouth? I am starting with full meal replacement. 4 "meals" a day that consists of a liquid diet - shakes for the most part. Each shake has 200 calories and a whole litany of vitamins and minerals. When you eat 4 meal replacements you get all of your daily nutrient needs (which is probably better than I was doing on real food!) in 800 calories. For my first week, I choose flavors such as chocolate, mocha, lemon pudding and cheddar & broccoli soup. I had my first shake this morning and found it so filling I had a hard time getting the whole drink down. I'm planning on putting myself on a shake schedule: 6am, 11am, 3pm, and 6pm. It's like the old slim fast plan but on steriods from what I can tell. 

What is the psychological effect of all that? Eating cannot be a crutch. It cannot be a comfort. You eat because you have to. Shocking my body back into it's caveman like design - instead of living in a world of constant feast, I will be in famine. I've got to find other sources of comfort - other things to do - rather than mindless eating. 

The program is partnered with a commitment to attend weekly educational / support meetings with a nutritionist, physical therapist and doctor. Even though I hadn't started officially, I attended my first meeting last night. I can already tell that the meetings are going to be such a huge part of this program. I feel like we're all coming back from war, some of us with bigger scars than others, and we're learning to walk again. I'm ready to strip back all the glossy hype of weight loss and get down to the basics. 

Last night's attendees were a mixed bunch - some having just started - others a month or two in - and some already in the maintenance phase. I was excited to meet a gal my age who is also just starting. I'm hoping that I found myself a diet partner! 

Yes, it seems a little drastic. 800 calories, WHAT? Yes, maybe I could do it the old fashioned way - like I have previously. But I know me. I know that when life gets a little crazy - which it seems to be constantly - I go into survival mode -   easy, quick, fast and usually involves restaurants. Or I am in celebration mode - date nights, wine, cakes, food is love - I mean YOLO right? If I am going to change how my family sees food - how my kids see food - it has to start with me. I am hoping that the New Direction diet gives me the boost that I need to make a healthy change. Balance. There's that darn word again...

Ok, when's my next shake?

Monday, June 1, 2015

Top 12 Reasons WHY

A couple years ago (I like to think it was last year, but it has been 4 years now) I documented a weight loss journey on this blog. The blog began to have a singular focus. Week in and week out, I documented, I logged, I counted, I lost.

I like that girl. I like her energy. Her spunk. Her excitement. Her dedication.

Now, I find I recall her like my old college days. Fun, adventurous, but not really me. But that was me and darn it, I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.

So, it's time to look in the mirror. It has been 4 years since I lost 100 lbs. I haven't gained it all back yet, but I've slowly and steadily started putting it back on... a missed half marathon, a baby, a disc profusion at my L4/L5 and voila! I am pretty much back in the starting gate.

I was in denial. I was hoping I'd get control. I didn't. So it is time to get a swift kick in the rather large buttocks and do something.

I start this week.

And this time it is different. As much as I'd like to just start counting calories and working out. I have learned over the past 4 years, I am getting older. I don't really trust my body anymore, and I don't trust my own judgment. This time, I've got a doctor. The doctor has a plan. The doctor has a contract. The doctor will prescribe the food and other than that, I've just got to follow directions and not lose myself somewhere. There is more to it - there is a program - it's almost crazy that I've decided to undertake, but I feel like crazy is pretty much what it has to be to get thru my thick skin that I need to be a better steward of the body that God gave me.

So, tomorrow I go in for my lab work. I had my full initial consultation on Friday - which included and EKG while I was on a treadmill (that was fun and unexpected) - and I've got 4 boxes of food that will comprise the first 7 days of food (I am using the word food loosely here... not sure whether this stuff qualifies yet). No wine. No soda. No coffee. Did you hear that?! NO COFFEE?! What am I doing?!

There is a binder full of information that I have been working thru, one of my assignments is to create goals and think about WHY I want to lose weight. Some of my reasons are the same, some are different from last time. Here is a countdown of sorts:

12.  Wear heels comfortably
11. Not see the eyes groan when someone has to sit down next to me on the plane
10. To cross my legs again

9. Shop in normal sizes
8. To rock my "skinny" jeans
7. Run... by myself and  with my girls
6. Horseback ride with my girls
5. Sit comfortably on a Disney ride
4. Allow my body to be a testament to my stewardship of the gifts God has given me.
3. To be healthy
2  To be fearless
1. To give myself a future for whatever it may bring

I can't say that this time will be different. It may not be. But I have have faith in the God that gives me new mercies every morning. It isn't all about me anymore. It is about giving Him the glory and it is about what I am giving back to Him by taking back control of me. That makes it different. Whether I succeed or not in reaching that magic number, I'm already forgiven for my failures. Now it is time to show myself some grace and try again. Trying to find some balance in this....