Somewhere between 125 and 205 pounds is where I have lived my life for the last 20 years. Sadly, more on the upper end than the lower end. I don’t know if you experience what I call the numbers game, but it’s exhausting. You are either fighting to get to a number, maintain a number, and for some of you gain a number. And it’s constant. You are never free of the number.
I will be 40 next year, in 325 days to be exact, and I refuse to keep playing the numbers game. I recently said to a friend that I refuse to be “40 and fat.” Fat of course is relative… and harsh. I am not fat, there is just more of me to love right now. See how I did that? Reality is I want to be healthy, feeling good, in shape and happy with myself when I reach 40. So how do I make that happen? How do I make permanent, effective change so I can live successfully without being controlled by numbers?
I, in partnership with my husband, have decided to go all-in with the OPTAVIA program (formerly Take Shape for Life/Medifast). The concept is great: 5 fuelings a day plus 1 lean and green meal. You eat every 2.5 – 3 hours so your body is burning fat all day long – perfect! And you purchase the fuelings from OPTAVIA so there is no thinking. People have seen incredible success on the program and have kept the weight off, because ultimately they change their lifestyle and habits. We are talking 40-50 pounds in 4-5 months. Heck yeah!
It sounds ideal until you factor in significant food allergies. What is typically an easy program for many becomes extremely complicated and very stressful for me. I have cried mucho tears the last week in anticipation of starting the program. Even the stuff I shouldn’t be allergic to I never really know until I take that bite or sip. But I am determined to make this work. I can no longer let my fear or my lack of desire to try affect my success. To quote Og Mandino’s scroll #3, “I will persist until I succeed!” And the bigger truth is I need to ask God for help EVERY DAY to not only succeed on this program but to also conquer my fears.
I am asked often, “What are you allergic to?” and my usual response is, “It would be easier to tell you what I am NOT allergic to!” I created a list for family, friends and doctors because it was easier. I was tempted to list out everything for y’all for pure shock and awe, but decided against it. No sense focusing on the limitations, right?
So today is day 2 on the program. In all honestly, I am not feeling great. I’m exhausted. My head is pounding. My stomach feels like a track meet is going on. Because of the amount of water we are supposed to drink I have been to the bathroom A LOT! My body doesn’t know what to do with all the protein it is getting, not to mention the caffeine withdrawal is a little intense. You can have caffeine on the program, I am just not supposed to have caffeine at all so back off I go. Our health coach – yep, when you sign up you get a health coach – informed us the first few days would be rough but before we know it we will start to feel much better. I hope so. I’ll let you know. The good part of the first couple of weeks is no exercise… oh bummer!
Normally, and there is nothing normal about any of this for me, I wouldn’t put out into the blog world that I was starting a new weight loss/health program. Why would I want to make myself accountable to all of you, especially if I fall off the wagon? Two reasons: first is that I don’t want to fall of the wagon and so the accountability is key for me. So please feel free to ask me how it is going. Secondly, many times we hear about someone’s weight loss success AFTER they have gone through it. Why not share about the success – and let’s be honest the struggle – while GOING THROUGH it. So that’s what I am doing. I plan to blog each month to let you know where I am at, how I am feeling, etc. And I promise to share it all – no holding back here!
Pray for my husband and I as we are traveling to Baltimore next week. Staying on program will be VERY HARD but we are going to do are level best to make good choices and not cheat!