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)
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?