About a Blogger Who Remembered How to Laugh

About a Blogger Who Remembered How to Laugh

I’m on a “real” diet and it’s actually working

If we’re friends – IRL and/or on any form of social media whatsoever – you know I have been at war with the fat on my body for at least six years.* I say “at least six years” because my first blog about how much I hated my weight was posted in 2010 but it’s been longer. Trust me.

This was in 2009. I thought I was fat at the time, which is why I held a beer at waist-level. WTF was wrong with me?!?
This was in 2009. I thought I was fat at the time, which is why I held a beer at waist-level. WTF was wrong with me?!?

By this point I know what works. And I definitely know what does not work.

If I were being all Pinterest-y about life, I would look at my many failures in weight loss like this:

Yeah no one thinks like this when they're actually failing over and over and over again.
Yeah no one thinks like this when they’re actually failing over and over and over again.

But I don’t go around life feeling all Pinterest-y. In fact, because of my weight, I go around feeling like this:

  • Bitter when I wake up and see the scale in the bathroom that I either ignore or stand on for self punishment.
  • Depressed when I get out of the shower and see a reflection of flab in the mirror where there shouldn’t be any.
  • Stressed when I pick out clothing for the day that doesn’t fit like I imagine it would, or I have nothing to wear because I’ve already worn all my ‘flowy’ shirts that week.
  • Resentful when I have to pack a gym bag and can’t forget any of the 20 items that I require to work out.
  • Exhausted when I leave work, knowing I can’t go home and enjoy Vince, or my comfy couch, or see friends because I have to slave on a cardio machine for at least an hour.
  • Tired as I drag my body home to make a dinner that is healthy – or just skip dinner for a protein shake.
  • Crushed when I crash into bed, barely able to move, realizing that was only one day and I have to live like this for at least 4 months (if not 6 months), if I want to make a difference.
  • Devastated to see photos of myself that show how little of a dent I was actually able to make in time for an event or vacation, or despite how hard I worked in advance.

News flash: This is NO way to live life. 

And after having tried – and failed – so many times, I was ready to just quit. I busted my ass before JamCruise and when I saw a professional photo taken of me from behind,… I literally wanted to crawl into a hole and die. I had every intention of coming back from the cruise and continuing my gym-drive, but… I just couldn’t.

I think I was finally more tired of failing than I was tired of being overweight.

Me on JamCruise. This isn't even the worst one.
Me on JamCruise. This isn’t even the worst one and this was after two months of slaving my ass at the gym.

But then… my friend at work started losing weight and looking amazing. She was about my size in October, and then in January she was the size I am supposed/want to be. I was like “how?” And that’s how I learned about my current diet that is actually working – Ideal Protein (IP).

At first I was super skeptical of a regimented diet. I call this a “real” diet because:

  • I have to buy pre-made, protein-heavy food from IP.
  • I’m going in every Monday to be weighed and measured – BMI, weight, hydration, inches everywhere.
  • I have to log everything I eat and I have to stick to a strict plan: IP food for breakfast, IP food + 2cups of veggies for lunch, IP food for snack, and 8oz of protein + 2cups of veggies for dinner.
  • I’m basically living in Ketosis until I get to my goal weight, which could be as few as 6 weeks, or as many as 12, depending on how my body decides to respond.

But – and there is a big BUT:  The most success I have ever had with losing fat and weight and fitting in my clothing and feeling confident was a few years back when I hit the gym, counted my calories on CalorieCounty.About.com, and aimed for less than 35g of net carbs and over 60g of protein each day.

And that’s what Ideal Protein is: Low carb, low fat, no sugar, and super high protein.  Think Atkins, but without fat and even more protein.

It’s extreme – I’m eating less than 1000 calories a day, usually in the 700-900 range, and I have to take a lot of vitamins to off-set the deficiencies in my diet like… calcium, magnesium, antioxidants, and so much more. And there are no cheat days at all, btw. Their mentality is “Would someone going to AA have a cheat day? No? Well neither do you as you detox your body and shed fat.”

But the Ideal Protein food is really good. This was breakfast this morning:

Chocolate Chip Pancake (with 15g of protein packed into it), black coffee (with artificial sweetener), vitamins, and a shit ton of water.
Chocolate Chip Pancake with maple syrup (with 15g of protein packed into it), black coffee (with artificial sweetener), vitamins, and a shit ton of water.

I started this diet on Friday, February 26th. Today is Saturday, March 26th. I have lost almost 14lbs and it has been all fat.

Fat in my face, my shoulders, my thighs, my arms – the places I would usually shed weight first when I hit the gym super hard for a few months – came first.

In the last two weeks I’ve lost fat in my waist and my hips – the places I couldn’t EVER seem to shed weight no matter how hard I worked.

The crazy-part is that I actually can’t work out while on this diet. I can make my step goal and do light weight-lifting but I can’t be both catabolic and anabolic, so I have to take a (very welcome) break from the gym while this weight just… melts off…

I’m not done losing weight yet. I have about 6 to 10 more pounds to go before I can move into the 2nd phase of this diet and start balancing out my carb/fat/protein intake (and working out in ways that I enjoy, not resent) but I wanted to jot this down now – now that I’ve actually made progress after YEARS of slaving myself away and seeing little-to-no-change.

Because now that the fat is off – particularly around my stomach and hips – I don’t ever, ever ever ever EVER, want it back.

I’ve tasted every food I love, I’ve stuffed myself, I’ve ordered and eaten and indulged. Nothing, no momentary meal, is worth the long days, months, and years of unhappiness about my weight.

I will always love you, 2am Chicken Caesar Pita with extra dressing, cheese, black olives, and pineapple.
I will always love you, 2am Chicken Caesar Pita with extra dressing, cheese, black olives, and pineapple.

Who knows if it will stay off after I finish with IP – I certainly don’t.

But now I know that I CAN actually lose weight – specifically fat. I have finally stopped failing. I actually, legitimately have hope.

The one thing I never learned despite all my weight-failures over the years is just how critical diet is for weight loss. You would think I would have figured it out but I never did, and now I know. So even if I gain 5lbs back after finishing IP, whatever.  This diet is teaching me to really evaluate everything I consume and that, in the end, may be the most valuable thing I get from being on a “real” diet.

*disclaimer: I know most people wouldn’t consider me “fat,” or even “overweight.” But for some perspective, I was 122lbs when I met Vince in 2004 and 11 years later I am/was 149lbs. I know I’m not obese. I know 149lbs is a number a lot of people would be happy to see on the scale. But 149lbs is – for me – very overweight and very, very, uncomfortable. I’m not naive enough to believe I’ll be 120lbs again, but I will be thrilled to be a lean, healthy, 130lbs.

12 thoughts on “I’m on a “real” diet and it’s actually working”

  • We all our own own worst critics, dude. It sucks. I’ve dieted all my life so I get it. I was 153 at my lowest on Weight Watchers, 157 when I got married, and 168 now. (And 173 when I started WW). I wonder how I stayed in the 150s for 3 years, cuz that seems crazy to me now. I do think weight lifting/crossfit has helped my body look completely different at 168 than it was without so at least there’s that. But it’s always a struggle.

    Congrats on the 14lbs! That’s a lot of weight for a little thing like you. I’m glad this diet doesn’t last forever cuz it doesn’t sound like the healthiest but hopefully it will be a good kickstart for you to maintain your weight.

  • That’s amazing you found something that works for you! I totally get the frustration of nothing working well.

    I just want to super duper caution you on how you transition out of the IP lifestyle. My cousin lost a ton of weight on it in 2012, and had some serious medical issues because of the IP food… it basically blocked her intestines up, and when she started eating normally again (and some bad foods), it really messed with her digestion. So just a caution to be careful when you transition into regular eating again 🙂 I don’t know a ton about the actual diet and their transition plan, I just know up and returning to regular food was really bad for her.

  • Hey lady!! Thank you for sharing this!! I researched IP a lot before I started and saw some similar concerns. I’m a bit less concerned since my total weightloss will only be 20-25lbs. It seemed like people who experienced issues were losing 50-70+lbs. So far I’ve ‘cheated’ to have a margarita and balsalmic dressing on my salad, and so far so good. I am mostly worried that I won’t be able to keep the weight off and that it will slowly creep back on TBH. Did your cousin keep it off? Or at least, keep most of it off?

  • It’s true that we are our own worst critics. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen an eCard that says “I wish I were as skinny as the first time I thought I was fat.” And yeah THAT. Alla dat.

    And yeah the same weight with muscle can look so different. That’s another thing I noticed as I dug out old photos. 128lbs back in 2006 was kinddda flabby. 130lbs today? With the way I work out? It will be legit.

    I know you’re slowing down on the running but are you still keeping up with crossfit? I feel like I haven’t cringed at one of your By the Numbers crossfit posts in awhile… haha!!

  • Yep! Still doing Crossfit 3x a week. I know when you do Crossfit, you’re supposed to tell everyone each time you do Crossfit, but I got bored talking about it. Still love doing it tho!

    BTW, you know you need to post before/after pics when you reach your goal weight, right? You may have even inspired me to stop shoving all the cake, cookies, and Peeps in my face for a month or so. 🙂

  • 1000 calories sounds scary, but I trust that you know what you’re doing. I’ve been reading up a lot on the whole30 diet. I’m interested in making some permanent healthy changes to my diet. It’s just so hard because I HATE cooking and Aaron mostly cooks comfort food which I have zero willpower to resist. I have taken up walking a lot. I have a walking buddy who goes on 3-4 mile walks with me 3-4 times a week…. we’ve been doing that for most of the last year… basically since I lost the fit bit.

  • Thank you for trusting me with my diet choice – that actually means a lot and I love that statement for real. This is def. a permanent healthy change to my diet, though it certainly won’t be this extreme for very much longer. Met with my doctor yesterday and I’m going to be entering Phase 2 and 3 at the end of April. If you’re interested in cutting weigh, shift to low-carb, high-protein (you don’t have to do it as extreme as I have) and keep walking. It will happen.

    I’ve almost purchased a fitbit and had it mailed to your house like 5 times already. I think I will do that later tonight…..

  • You just confirmed my deepest suspicions about Crossfit. That makes so much sense. 😉

    I’m considering that JamCruise photo my ‘before’ pic and there will def be ‘after’s’ happening – maybe even this weekend with Cody, and if not than absolutely by Memorial Day.

    I miss peeps. 🙁

  • I’m so happy that you’re feeling better about your body. I know exactly what it feels like to be so discouraged with your appearance and have nothing that looks “right”. And, yes, we are our own biggest critics.

    I’ve been doing 21 Day Fix and I’ve seen some awesome results. I absolutely love this program and NEVER feel deprived. I even became a Beachbody coach to keep myself accountable and help others. I feel fantastic! Starting to love my body again. And I really don’t care about the number on the scale anymore. I just focus on how I look and feel. Buuuuut, for someone who doesn’t love to cook and meal prep, this type of plan (pre-made food) is probably the better way to go. Everyone has something that works for their body and lifestyle! Glad you found something that works for you! <3

    Girl, you are gorgeous at ANY weight! But, the most important thing is that you love your body and feel good about yourself. If you have to be super strict to get there, then so be it. I really hope that you see long-term results. Just don't go too extreme and stay healthy! Love you!!

  • Girrrrl I thought about doing the 21 Day Fix after this diet is over because I am honestly terrified of leaving such a structured plan. I feel so amazing, and am SO happy with my body, I literally could cry tears of joy every morning when I get dressed. It’s absolutely insane how much of a difference it makes to just feel good in your own skin.

    I love to cook and meal planning can be fun. I may ping you about it in June when I’m ready to switch out.

  • Just noticed you responded to my comment here – My cousin gained back quite a bit, but not all of her weight. I think a lot of that is because she’s no longer eating with a structure and started eating poorly again. Best of luck with a transition to Phase 2. A lot of these diets WILL work if you follow the program through… the problem is, people get comfortable with getting close to their goal, and then just go back to a lifestyle they used to have instead of the final phases of whatever diet they’re doing.

    PS I agree with someone on your newest post – Before and afters!

  • Awww that sucks that your cousin gained it back. I will say that the habits are a forever-change. It’s not like I will finish this diet and then be like “ALL THE BANANAS FOSTER CAKE” again. It’s crazy to drive by Starbucks and Chipotle and other places where I legitimately tried to eat healthy/good (low fat, skinny vanilla, grilled chicken, light dressing, blah blah blah) and realize how many carbs and sugars were disguised in those “healthy” options. This has been, more than anything, extremely educational. Now that I’m back to my ideal weight, I don’t ever want to go back to being over weight.

    Before and after pics will come… when I’m a smidge more comfortable and, apparently, technically savvy. 🙂

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