Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I'm Not Alone

Starting what I guess is a "Day 2" of sorts (?), having had some off-program dinners over the weekend. Feeling AOK and really relieved for the most part. Haven't weighed yet, as the number might deflate me and I don't want that undermining my renewed efforts here.

I've got some feedback from some other Optifast "second time arounders" and they too had these starts/stops/start agains. But then something just clicked and compliance took hold. I sense I am following this path, that I had to go through that "hiccup" there. Due to the brutal winter this year, I just became so accustomed to spending my weekends in the kitchen whipping up fabulous feasts. Breaking the pattern of eating them has been very difficult.

Now, there is some slightly bad news: more snow is projected to come today and the temps have dropped again. Enough already. When will Spring get here so I can go walking?! I'm sick of this weather. But I've got my beloved hot tea and warm Optifast soups with my Indian spices. That keeps me content.

No big plans for today. Work part-time, do errands after work, clean house, etc. I'm not sure how I will be feeling physically regarding getting back into ketosis, but my history has been it only takes a few days for me. I really am relieved to go back to my products. I don't have any guilt or anxiety about what I eat. And it's so, so easy -- with the only exception being nighttime, when I have temptations and sometimes cravings. But I've managed this before and I can manage it again!

Well, off I go to get ready for work. Have a great day everyone and Happy Optifasting!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Strange Days

A picture says a thousand words!
Hello dear readers and apologies for my absence. I have just emerged from a very strange, unsettling past week, filled with work stress and stops and starts with my Optifast products. I know the program won't work if I don't stick to a full fast and my limited dinner out Wednesday nights. So I'm frustrated and confused and really understanding now how challenging this is Optifasting the second time around.

I do have all of my products in plain sight in the kitchen so I am constantly reminded about the cost of the program. That works to keep me compliant most of the time. But the problem crops up at dinnertime, when I find myself wanting to eat the wonderful things I cook every night for my husband. I have been giving in for the past two week-ends and subsequently my body won't kick back into ketosis.

So why don't I just throw in the towel and give up?

Well, hmm. Folks, I really do like the products and I like how I feel when I settle into my fasting routine. I love feeling "de-toxed" and having all of that "junk" out of my system. I like setting a goal and working towards it, step by step, until I reach the finish line. I believe patience is a virtue. All of this lends itself to successful compliance to the Optifast program.

Yet I am undermining myself -- consciously -- over and over again. I wish this would stop. Am I entering the world of yo-yo dieting? I sure hope not. Don't want to go there. I started the full fast anew today. Undoubtedly, I'm going to have a few rough days to come, but I am a pro at handling this. I have also opened up to my Optifast Facebook friends and they are giving wonderful support and encouragement. I'm definitely not alone -- some others fasting again are struggling too.

One foot in front of the other, Melissa. Never Give Up. Never Give Up. Never Give Up. And as always, One Day At A Time.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


You know, I never considered myself a perfectionist. I make mistakes all the time and I know I'm human. But there is one thing I do want to do perfectly: Full compliance to Optifast, with only one meal of "real food" on Wednesday evenings, consisting of 4 oz. chicken, small salad and small serving of vegetables. I was successful in following this routine when I Optifasted the first time around, and I expect myself to be fully capable of doing this again, on my second time around with the products.

But friends, I have learned my expectations this time were perhaps set too high.

As you know from my last post, yesterday I was in the kitchen cooking up a very elaborate Irish feast. I did not anticipate having any cravings, no temptation to actually eat what I was preparing. When I started cooking, I felt fine. But when the time came to plate everything, all of my self-control went out the window. The damage wasn't initially too bad -- I stuck to a small serving of corned beef and vegetables (no potatoes and no soda bread). But what happened next was, "What the hell -- I've already broken my fast" and into the fridge I went, pulling out the decadent chocolate mousse I made. And I don't have a sweet tooth.

I just wanted to attack everything.

I awoke this morning very, very angry at myself, berating myself for going off the rails. Sure, I'm back up on my horse, back on my products with no problem. But I can no longer be considered that "exemplary" Optifaster, fully compliant and fighting the good fight to get my gained weight back off in a timely fashion.

I know good and well I'm not the only one who has done something like this. I know full compliance to the Optifast program is very, very difficult and most cannot do it. But dammit, I wanted to be in that (supposedly) "elite" group of people that are capable of this feat. I wanted to show you and me that it was possible to be a...Super Woman.

And I'm not.

I weighed this morning and I have not gained anything -- still registering 185 lbs. But that didn't really give me any solace. I'm still deeply disappointed in myself. But I am slowly starting to wonder if I just need to give myself a break here. I mean, Melissa, you are on an extremely rigid and restrictive diet. What in the world were you expecting? Of course cooking all day and creating something fabulous is going to tempt you considerably. Who wouldn't be tempted, be tested in your situation?!

Perhaps yes, I am being too hard on myself. I'm going to the Optifast Support Facebook page to get feedback about my situation, and I've got some dear Optifast friends I'm going to send a message to. I'm being too hard on myself. I need to ease up a little bit. No, I'm not perfect. And for that matter, nobody else is either. Keep reminding yourself of that Melissa. Forgive. And move forward.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Holiday Cooking: Let The Challenge Begin

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Well, sigh. When your husband is Irish, and you're like me and love to cook elaborate holiday meals, upcoming St. Patrick's Day in two days means you're going to be logging some time in the kitchen. It's corned beef and braised cabbage time, Colcannon soup, and of course Irish soda bread.

My husband really isn't forcing me to cook. Folks, I want to cook. I get such pleasure from it. Just because I'm Optifasting doesn't mean I have to abandon what I love. I just can't eat it -- and that takes some will power. Or does it?

Actually, I'm settling into my "Live in the Now" mode. And what this means is I work hard to stay grounded in what I am feeling right now, in my day. I have completed my first week of Optifasting and lost 4 lbs. And I am so, so proud of myself and I don't want to do anything that might set me back. I'm in ketosis so I'm not hungry. It's sunny outside (but cool) and I am going to walk to the grocery store with two bags I can fill with groceries and carry back home in each hand -- like weights. To give you some perspective, the corned beef cut alone is 4 lbs. Heck, who needs a gym? (wink, wink!)

I'm also checking our Facebook Optifast Support board regularly and of course blogging here. I posted that I would be challenged by the cooking and my "electronic" friends are giving support. I really, really appreciate that. It reinforces that I don't have to be alone here in Columbus, struggling through potential cravings by myself.

It's Saturday so I need to do laundry and other household tasks. That should keep my hands busy while things simmer in the crock pot and bake in the oven. (Now, as for the smells that will start to waft out from the kitchen...I'm not looking forward to that!)

But right now, I'm strong and doing AOK. And I'm really happy about that. On with my second weekend Optifasting. And it's early but Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Week 1 Weigh-In: Down 4 Pounds!

Good morning dear readers! I'm thrilled to report I weighed myself today and I am down 4 lbs.! This might not sound like much, but to me this is quite a victory. I stepped on the scale cautiously, worried about what number would appear. To see I had dropped from 189 lbs. to 185 lbs. was so uplifting. Only 25 lbs. more to go!

Importantly, my commitment to the fast is reinforced even more. It's wonderful to see progress -- no matter how small -- when you have been working hard to stay compliant day after day. And it makes me want to keep going to reach my goal I achieved before: 160 lbs.

I'm glad I picked Fridays for my weigh-ins because I go into the weekend wanting to protect my weight loss and continue in the "down" direction. As you know, weekends can be very challenging, particularly for me because I don't have that structure I have from working Monday - Friday. Right now I say, "Bring it on!" I'm ready for it!

I have to get ready for work so I'll sign off now. I just wanted to share this exciting news. Onward we go!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Week One Almost Done!

Day Seven!
I don't want to jinx things, but it's looking like I am going to successfully make it through Week 1 of Optifasting! Today is Day 7 and I'm feeling great. Woke up early and I'm having my coffee before getting ready for work. Honestly, it feels like this week has flown by. I think this may be why I was able to stick to a 9 month mostly full fast the first time around: the days just melted one into another, and before I knew it I hit goal.

I've got my schedule down pat now: Shake at 8:30 a.m.; shake at 12:00 p.m.; shake at 3:00 p.m.; shake and soup at 7:00 p.m.; 1 cup sugar-free Jello at 9:00 p.m. I'm doing Vanilla powdered shakes with either almond or maple extract in them, and I alternate each night between the Chicken and Tomato soups. I add salt-free Indian spices to the soups. Found those at a specialty spice shop in one of our local markets.

Everything right now is "so far, so good." Ever the worrier though, I'm on guard for any temptations that might crop up today. I was also thinking about those times before when I started to get bored with my routine -- but I'm going to try to not jump into the future. That does me no good. Today I love my routine, it gives me great relief, and I feel wonderful!

No big plans today. Just going to work, then to the grocery to buy things for my husband's dinner, walk the Bassets, and settle in for the evening. Should be quite a peaceful day. Which is nice!

Monday, March 10, 2014

I Love Mondays!

It's Monday night and Day Six is almost to a close. There's a popular song called "I Hate Mondays" but me personally, I love them when I'm on Optifast! Because I work part-time Monday - Friday, there's structure to my day which makes the timing of having my products even easier. I am also very busy, so there's no time to dwell on food or have cravings.

Subsequently, today was a great day! I've got my product schedule down pat now, my hunger is gone, and I'm feeling really good. I'm going to start walking with a co-worker soon -- the weather looks to be holding in the 50s -- and I'm really looking forward to that.

I did feel a little worried when she came into the office kitchen and saw me having a shake. Would she ask me why I am having products again? But she didn't say anything, so I just finished it and we talked about office matters and whatnot. I know I shouldn't be ashamed or feel weird that I am using Optifast to lose weight. But I do sometimes wonder what people think about me, and I know there are plenty of "naysayers" who think Optifast is a waste of money and time. But to heck with them.

My husband told me tonight that I already look like I've lost weight. I just laughed and said I didn't believe him. The last time I Optifasted, I only lost 4 lbs. the first week, and ZERO lbs. the second week. Wanted to throw in the towel, but decided to stick with the program. And I'm so glad I did. I've got my first week weight loss expectation set very low. I know I'll be on product for awhile.

I'm thrilled that our "Optifast Support" Facebook page is starting to become more active. I could not do this without my Optifast Facebook friends. I also have family and friends cheering me on, and that helps too. This can be a very, very tough program because it's repetitive and restrictive. Having "cheerleaders" is key, I think.

I was thinking today that I really do like the Optifast products and I like being compliant. It makes me feel good about myself. Also, knowing that I put the brakes on my re-gain and I'm bringing my weight back down gives me extra strength and confidence. I'm glad and frankly, relieved that I'm walking the path I am. It's the right one for me.

So tomorrow will be the close of my first week Optifasting the second time around. Not looking ahead, just staying where I am right now: in another successful Optifast day. In a way, time has flown. It seems like just yesterday I was starting. Very, very proud of myself right now. I'm going to pat myself on my back. Way to go Melissa!