Category Archive : Medifast

Accepting the Inevitable

I have had a busy and not so great start to 2015.

I was feeling as if I was finally getting on top of everything on my must-do list:

  • I signed up for the MN Running Series and was ready to start training. 
  • Got my kids back to being healthy after a rocky December.
  • Chopped my email down to under 3,000 in my Inbox (believe me… even that was a stretch). 
  • Writing this blog. 

Then I got hit with the flu the beginning of January. Honestly folks, it is no joke. I didn’t physically leave my bed for 4 days. When you are a full-time working mom – it is detrimental to life as you know it. My husband quarantined me nearly the entire time which was lovely for about 2 hours and then all I wanted to do was to hug and kiss my babies. I was too sick to work – so saying I was “working from home” wasn’t an option. It hurt to move. I couldn’t breathe. I mean, honestly, after getting the flu, I can understand why people die from it. I am thankful for Tamiflu which got me back to the land of the living, but I was then plagued shortly after with my 2nd sinus infection of the season which subsequently NEVER went away. After a month of misery, I crawled back to the doctor and begged for something, ANYthing that would ease my aching sinuses. I now seem to be on the tail end of this illness season of horror. I might have even become one of those freaks that applies hand sanitizer to avoid getting hit with any of this nastiness again.

Of course, now that I am on the path back to wellness, my oldest decides that this should happen:

Yes, he broke his arm on the playground at school. The worst part isn’t even the pain of it for him- it is the fact that he broke his DOMINANT arm. I totally feel his pain with that struggle. If I didn’t have access to use my right hand as normal, I would flounder as well. To be 6 and struggling? My heart just breaks for him. We are doing our best to help him, but also need him to learn how to make the best of it. I told him his left hand/arm were going to have superhero powers once his cast comes off in 6 weeks.

Thankfully, my sassy 14 month old has been on a healthy streak. She even decided to start sleeping through the night again (thank god). Her other developmental concerns (particularly as it relates to standing and walking) are being tabled for a month while we bask in the glow of having a healthy, happy baby. Did I mention she is ridiculously adorable? Being the ultimate daddy’s girl, every once in awhile, she cuddles with me so I had to capture the moment. And to answer your question… yes, it drives me crazy that my baby wants nothing to do with her mama most of the time.

As for my wellness quest, I’ve succumbed to the Medifast life again. Only this time, I am back to weekly weigh ins at the center. I am not discounting anything I accomplished over the last year by any means. I lost 50 pounds without anybody asking or telling me to step on the scale, but I have been stuck at the same plateau for nearly 5 months now. I have half a closet of clothes that I can’t fit into since before I got preggers with Mackenzie and I want my wardrobe back. The program is definitely harder when you don’t have as much to lose. It’s also harder when life happens. Between weekly Monday team meeting scones, happy hours and travel for work not to mention a busy, active family it will be a challenge for me to lose 20 pounds in 10 weeks. However, as I learned the first time I successfully completed the program, 10 weeks is a small blip in time to have to make a few sacrifices. The first couple weeks of the program were a difficult transition for me – I only lost 4 pounds which is nothing to sneeze at, but I honestly thought I’d see better results from the start. I’m still on track, but it’s time to settle in. 16 pounds to go. No more excuses.

It’s also time to start training. My first race, the Hot Dash 5k is less than a month away and I haven’t ran in… a really long time. My running partner and I decided to do this first race in an effort to light a fire under our asses to start training again. It’s amazing how having to be away from it (illness… winter…) has absolutely killed my motivation. Pretty sure this first race will be a rude awakening to the work I have ahead of me to get back into race shape.

With all of this said, I have accepted the inevitable:

  • My entire family will get sick or injured every winter and it’s time I learn how to cope.
  • I never, ever want to do another weight lost program again once I am able to button my old pants. 
  • Starting over with running training sucks. 
Here’s to looking ahead to spring and a happier, healthier family! 

My Child Is Overweight? Really?

I knew it was coming. And even though I knew it was coming, I was still mad.

They told me my gorgeous rough and tumble little boy was overweight.

Does this look like the picture of childhood obesity to you?

I say that I knew it was coming because since about age 1 he has been in the 90th percentile for weight (which is a far cry from the tiny little being he was at months). He is 50% for height, so we can no longer blame the “overweight” thing on him being short. Thing is, as you look at this kid, the last thing I think is that he is overweight. He is rock solid. Six pack abs. So my question is? When are doctors going to start accounting for factors OTHER than BMI to determine obesity risk factors? We were lectured about his eating habits, despite the fact that his school serves a very balanced diet every day. He rarely eats candy. He told the doctor he hated chocolate. He rarely eats chips. Fruit juice gives him the runs. So, doc, go ahead and just TRY to tell us we are doing something wrong here. I dare you.

Our very athletic-built family will NEVER get out of the “overweight” range unless other factors are taken into account. As a pregnant woman, I’ve been getting DRILLED about being “overweight”. Yeah… my weight gain has exploded, but to be honest? I don’t know why. My eating habits are not all that different from where I was prior. Sure, I have had some aversions to my usual favorite vegetables, but I haven’t been THAT bad. Either the sins of my 1st trimester have caught up with me or gaining weight is just what my body does when its pregnant.

I have preached many times over why I loved Medifast so much. They looked at the big picture. Muscle Mass. Body Water. They looked at the body’s total composition before making their final assessment on my final “goal” weight. While BMI was factored in, it wasn’t the be all end all of my overall health. They readjusted my goals to a reasonable place that was RIGHT for my body. Weight Watchers certainly doesn’t do that. So I ask, why can’t a doctor’s office perform these assessments?? I don’t give them enough money already? They can’t afford this equipment? Tell me why?!!

Beyond the “overweight” analysis that I got for my son, they have verified that he is a healthy, vibrant 5 year old boy. His vision and hearing is perfect. He has already blown away 95% of the developmental and physical milestones that he should have reached (or will reach) during age 5. We only have to work on tying shoes 🙂 As anticipated, he had to get 3 vaccines which pretty much knocked him down for the night and earned him a little extra TV time and snuggles from mom.

As always, I feel beyond blessed that my son is healthy and happy. There could be SO many worse things to worry about than my son weighing “more than average”.

Stop Calling Weight Loss Simple!

I have read at least two blog posts in the last couple days from people who said something like the following:

“All I did were these simple techniques and the weight just came off.”

Well fucking lucky for you that you were able to apply “simple” techniques such as eating less and taking a walk around the block at night and magically lost weight.

Imagine for a second having issues with weight management YOUR ENTIRE LIFE. Being called “thunder thighs” in jr. high (true story). Having a guy dump you because you gained weight (yup. also a true story). Imagine for a moment someone who applied these oh so simple techniques with NO RESULTS. Frustrating, right? Welcome to my world. Welcome to the world of so many others that I know who have/are struggling too.

I truly believe there is not one all-encompassing weight loss tactic that works for all people. I am not a dietitian or a personal trainer, but in my many (MANY!) years of trying to lose weight, I believe that everyone is different. What works for you will not work for me and what worked for me is probably not going to work for someone else.

Every program out there needs to deal with the larger population as a whole (no pun intended). So how do you find the program that is going to work for you? You have to keep trying. You have to know when to walk away from something that isn’t working and try something different. A lot of people think Medifast is a fad diet. While that may be true in some ways, it was THE ONLY program that worked for me after a lot of years to lose a lot of weight. For me, it wasn’t a “finish the program and move on” thing for me. I will need to have ongoing tools and support for the rest of my life. While Weight Watchers did not work as a weight loss program for me, it has worked perfectly at helping me to maintain and for that reason alone, I will continue to pay for my monthly online access as long as it continues to keep me on track.

My point is… It’s just not SIMPLE. So, please PLEASE stop calling weight loss simple. If that were true, everyone would be skinny and there wouldn’t be such an obesity epidemic. I am happy that your weight loss was easy. I am jealous that all you had to do was eat less and go for a walk around the block.

All your easy journey does is make me feel sad and resentful. Why can’t this be easy for me? Why couldn’t I just lose the weight and have it stay off? Why does this forever have to feel like so much work? Why can’t it be SIMPLE for me, too?

For the most part, I have accepted that weight management will never be simple for me. I will always have to work hard against my genetics and against my anti-carb metabolism. Healthy living will have to be a part of my world forever if I want to remain a size 8. Will I screw up? Absolutely. Will I have to work double time make up for it? Yup. Welcome to my every single day.

So please, if you are one of those people who found your weight loss to be easy, can you just lie to me instead?


Motivation Monday: Moving On

No doubt, Medifast was an excellent weight loss catalyst for me. It helped me detox my body from sugar and carbs. I lost an insane amount of weight. It was an amazing experience that I would recommend to anyone. They do give you the tools you need for a lifetime of maintenance; however, there does come a time when they set you free.

While I am still struggling with a lingering 7 pounds, despite being back on 5 and 1, I’ve decided to just let it go. At 157, I am still at the lowest weight I have been at in years and frankly, it is quite an accomplishment. I find that the longer I stay on Medifast, the more psychotic I get about that number. It HAS to be more than that. My boss asked me the question, “Why do this to yourself? You look fantastic.” Sometimes rather than comb over and over about what I am eating and what I am doing to be stuck in this rut (and to be honest I am dumbfounded that at 1000 calories a day, I am not losing weight), I should really be looking in the mirror and asking myself, how do I FEEL. Like most women, that is a loaded question. Depending on the level of bloat on any given day you can range from feeling like a sexy goddess to Honey Boo Boo. So, during a little break today, I looked in the mirror. In my cute corporate outfit, consisting of my Banana Republic Shawl Collar Wrap top (and I’m including a link because it is the cutest most flattering and comfortable top ever), tie belt, black pencil skirt, black tights and Mary Janes- I feel pretty. I feel fit. I look healthy (don’t take into account my lingering sinus infection giving me my lovely red hued cheeks). You can’t tell I have extra skin or cellulite still clinging to my behind. My hair is done. My makeup is perfection. My clothes make me feel pretty and confident.

How I feel about myself is more than just a number on the scale. Why is that so hard for me to get through my skull??

Therefore, I have made the decision to end Medifast. I went through transition once and yes, I gained. In retrospect, I know what I did wrong. I understand why it happened. Now it is time to move on. I will never be “done” with weight management and it is an issue I will always struggle with. As part of my maintenance, I have decided to subscribe to Weight Watchers online. I always told you I’d go back to WW as a maintenance program!! What I have always liked about Weight Watchers is that it allowed me to be human. It allowed me to have indulgences without getting crazy. It helps to keep myself in check with portions and serves as a solid reminder how important it is to have a BALANCED diet. Let’s face it. There is nothing okay with 900 calories a day and the truth of the matter is, my body is probably putting on weight because it is starving and going into my fat reserves. Logging back into Weight Watchers, I am CLEARLY not eating enough. With 26 points, on my Medifast maintenance, I was only eating 15 of those points, plus tack on exercise? Yikes. Starving. No wonder I’ve been dealing with illness and exhaustion. I think a change will do me good and maybe I’ll even get rid of those stubborn, lingering pounds. I also believe that Weight Watchers is what you make of it. I found it was not effective for me for weight loss but extremely effective for maintenance

After spending the last two years of my life solely focused on nutrition, I am planning another change to my healthy living program. I want to shift my focus back to exercise and training which is why in November I will start myCoach at Life Time Fitness:

myCoach connects you to your own personal fitness coach, who will create your plan, check in with you and provide the support you need to succeed! You’ll get together (in-person) once a month to assess your progress, review and refresh your program. Then it’s up to you to do the work!

While myCoach won’t tell me to eat right, it will help me design a workout program that works for me and is fun for me. It will help me focus. Best of all, I only have to meet with my coach once a month. Other check-ins are electronic. Perfect! It has been very hard for me to maintain a weekly weight check at Medifast. The closest office isn’t that close and their hours pretty much suck. These weigh ins kill Saturday mornings for me. Time that I could be spending with my son. TIME is something I don’t have much of. The gym on the other hand is open 24 hours a day. No real excuses. I can go after the kiddo goes to bed. I can manage meeting with a trainer once a month. This is something I’ll actually be able to do and stick with.

One thing I have learned: maintenance is actually just as hard as losing weight.

Fabulous Fit Friday: A Fresh Start

Since I hit my goal back in June, I have gained about 10 pounds. Fuuuuuuu…

Here’s the thing… I don’t know why! I followed the stabilization plan. Even when I did stray (ahem… Disney World), my food was accounted for. I have stayed around 1300 – 1600 calories per day and continued to exercise moderately. By all measures of science and biology or whatever, I should actually be losing weight.

I have been beyond frustrated.

A few weeks again, I met with a wonderful counselor at Medifast who felt my pain. I saw her the day after I came back from my vacation and she chuckled a bit that I was so flabbergasted by my weight gain. Bloated and vacationized, she told me to give it another week before I hop back on Jump Start. One week later, no change. I saw a different counselor who seemed to be unsympathetic and actually made me feel pretty shitty about my situation. She basically said no way to going back on Jump Start (WTF people…. don’t you want my money??) because it would mean starting over with stabilization. Why this bothered her, I don’t know. If it should be bothering anyone, it should be ME, right? Who the hell wants to start over?? I was so frustrated and put off by this session that I got into my car and had myself a good cry. I paid these people to help me come up with solutions! All I got is negative back talk. No support. No options to try.

Fast forward one week later. Sitting in the Medifast lobby, I was PRAYING I wouldn’t get this same girl again. I was not in the mood to have to defend myself (despite working my ass off all week… I somehow still felt like I would have to justify everything in my journal). Thankfully, I got a different gal (and for the life of me, I don’t know any of their names except for the one I don’t get along with). She sat and LISTENED. I told her how frustrated I was and how I didn’t understand the weight gain. I all but begged her to let me go back on Jump Start to lose these stupid 10 pounds that wiggled back in. Thankfully, she agreed.

Why was this a big deal to me? Losing 10 pounds in my world is all but impossible. Eating regular food, I tried to implement some of my old Weight Watchers tactics, but with no luck. My weight had stabilized. I guess that is kind of the point, huh? Thing is… my clothes… my beautiful new clothes… were starting to get tight. Isn’t it weird that when my weight was at this weight on the way down, I felt awesome, but now that it jumped up to it I feel frumpy and gross?

Regardless, I am hoping to lose about 12-15 pounds over the next 4 weeks. I will then start the stabilization process over in which I will gain a little back (about 3-5 pounds is average) and that is where I should stabilize. We have discovered that I am likely lactose intolerant (a possibility for the bump in weight) and my re-start of birth control pills to control my endo is another reason. The stress of starting a new job (not to mention being surrounded by fabulous food) is yet another. Vacation. I could go on. Regardless of the reasons excuses, I am going to take care of it.

Look. I know it isn’t always about the number on the scale. A colleague told me she didn’t understand why I was fretting over 10 pounds and that I looked fantastic. Another colleague guessed me age- he thought I was under 30. Holy hell. He made my whole day! You would think the stupid 10 pounds wouldn’t be a big deal, but it is. Yes, my beautiful new clothes are getting tight; but, more importantly, there are bigger issues with food that I am struggling with. Being back on Jump Start exposes those issues and puts me in a place where I have to deal with them head on. I needed this.

This is my fresh start for autumn. I needed exercise motivation so I signed up for the Monster Dash 5K with a good friend of mine and am officially in training again. I am super stoked to have discovered a BEAUTIFUL park, just a quick 5 minute drive from my house: Cleary Lake Regional Park. It’s about 3.2 miles round trip around the trail so it is a perfect training location.

Be happy. Be healthy. Get out and enjoy the amazing fall weekend to come!

Medifast: A (Long) Testimonial

Before Pictures (notice most of these are from the waist up??):

That’s me on the right. Taken in summer 2010.
The photo that inspired my healthy journey. November 2010. 
From January 2009


I am still hoping to do more “official” after pictures but I couldn’t do a testimonial without some photo proof!

When I started my Medifast journey in January, I was skeptical. Let’s face it, I had been working another program on and off for 6+ years seeing varied levels of success and was basically ready to accept that a 188 pound Joanne is who I was supposed to be. Medifast promised results. I was skeptical.

I have always had issues with my weight dating all the way back to 10 years old when I “developed” faster than the other girls. The truth is that 10 year old boys don’t find curves sexy and the other girls don’t envy you for them. They call you fat. Enduring nicknames from the boys such as “thunder thighs”, I developed a thick skin. Involved in sports, I was able to keep my weight somewhat in check throughout middle school and high school; however, the college freshman 15 hit me hard. Fairly mortified, when I moved back home halfway through my freshman year, I took my health seriously. I took a tennis class and started working out regularly at the community center. When it got warm out, I started inline skating with a girlfriend nearly every day. I was a lean 135 pounds heading into my sophomore and junior years of college. I was grateful to have landed a job working at the front desk at Life Time Fitness my last couple years in college and to me, being fit was an important part of the health club image that I wanted to live up to.

I then entered the workforce and my first career job as an IT Recruiter required a LOT of lunches with clients and consultants on a nearly daily basis. Not taking into account the effect it would have on my body, I steadily gained weight throughout the year I was at that horrifically stressful job and found myself up from 135 in college to 179. Yikes. I even had a boyfriend dump me because of my weight gain. Back to fighting the weight battle. I was able to get down to about 165 and hung out at that weight for a good couple years and that was the weight I was at when I met my now husband. Low and behold… I gained what I like to refer to as “relationship weight.” You know, the weight you gain when you start dating someone because 1) You eat out all the time and 2) You don’t care as much anymore because you landed “the guy”. When we got engaged, my weight had soared to 185 lbs. I joined Weight Watchers but was afraid to lose weight in fear of not fitting into my dress and having to make costly alterations because of weight loss. So, I focused on toning up, doing pilates and making healthy choices and holding my weight steady.

Married and blissful, we wasted no time in starting a family. I got pregnant 5 months into trying and sadly miscarried. Devastated, I began a steady weight climb thanks to emotional eating mingled with fertility treatments. By 2007, I was at 211 pounds and SHOCKED at my weight and mortified at the pictures of me at my sister’s wedding. I rejoined Weight Watchers online and was able to lose around 15 pounds before I got the joyous news (after 2.5 years of zero luck): I was pregnant! Too sick to eat most of the time, I didn’t start gaining weight until well into my 20+ weeks of pregnancy where I put on a startling 30 pounds in the final half of my pregnancy. The day after I gave birth to Jackson, my weight was 240 pounds. Now, I know… you can’t really count the day after giving birth as I was pumped with IV fluids and medications. I was down 20 of those pounds within no more than 3 weeks. It was a slow go of weight loss after that. Exhausted and suffering from postpartum depression, I honestly didn’t care about my weight. I didn’t care what anyone thought. I kind of just wanted to sleep. All the time.

My brother got married in November 2010 and I had lost very little weight for his wedding. When I saw the pictures, I about died. Was that me? Those pictures are going to be on Facebook forever. Ugh. My weight still high at 211 pounds was a wakeup call. I rejoined Weight Watchers (do you see a pattern here??) but this time I got a Monthly Pass and started to attend meetings. You can read more about my initial inspiration here. It took 6 months, but I was able to lose 20 pounds on Weight Watchers. But 6 months after that… I had still only lost 20 pounds and to say I was frustrated is an understatement. I’m sure there were many reasons for my stall: lack of portion control, too many carbs, hormone therapy but most of them really just felt like excuses. I had been following a gal named Erica on Twitter and she had been losing a massive amount of weight on the Medifast plan. I was more than a little jealous of her success at first and of course, Weight Watchers blasts all of “those” programs. But, Weight Watchers was no longer working. Let’s face it, a 6 month plateau isn’t really a plateau is it?

Medifast promised results. I was skeptical, but willing to give it a solid try. Starting my Medifast journey at 188.3 pounds, I put down the money and made the commitment. The first week, I lost 7 pounds. 7 POUNDS! I knew that wouldn’t happen every week, but I also knew after just one week that this was a plan that was going to work. My losses slowed down to an average of 2 pounds a week (totally healthy weight loss by any program standards). Although I didn’t make my goal weight loss of 38 pounds by my  original goal date of April 11, I wasn’t far and for the first time EVER on a weight loss plan, I knew that I would make it. The last 10 pounds were a bear, they didn’t want to let go but I persisted and WON.

Throughout the program, as I kept getting smaller, it was kind of surreal. These little milestones like losing 15, 20 and 25 pounds went by so quickly that I didn’t even have a moment to celebrate them. My celebrations have been kind of ongoing: replacing my entire wardrobe, running 3 miles a pop without falling in a heap of sheer exhaustion, WANTING to have my picture taken and enjoying eating healthy (as in, grilled zucchini is the BEST THING EVER). Probably the craziest part of all of this? My husband has never seen me this small. I can tell he’s checking me out and I know he’s proud. My Medifast journey has inspired him as well. Even though he is not doing Medifast, he has committed to taking his own healthy journey and his habits will help carry me through my transition and maintenance. I am kind of hoping he’ll ask me to marry him again so we can renew our vows as the new and improved US. 

I will shout it from the rooftops: I LOVE MEDIFAST. I would love to tell you that it has been easy, but that is not true. I have been tempted. I have even fallen off the wagon. The support I get from my Medifast counselors on a weekly basis has been the key to getting me to my goal weight. Yes, they scolded me for my discretions but we moved on and worked on finding ways to helping me through those challenging moments rather than dwell on mistakes that were made. They never stopped believing it was possible for me.

I have received a lot of flak for joining this program.
* It’s not a “real” weight loss program and is unhealthy
* I’m just going to gain the weight back when I start eating real food again
* I did something similar once and gained the weight back. You will too.

It shocks me how unsupportive people can be but it is also eye opening- some of these comments came from people I know very well. They are basically saying that I will fall back into my usual patterns and gain weight again. They were simply calling my bluff.

I am counting on Medifast to be there for me through my transition and maintenance. Despite my desire to jump head first off the wagon into a juicy pile of hamburgers and french fries, I know that is no longer my reality. Part of my resolution, starting back in 2011, was to lose the weight and keep it off for good this time. Medifast is giving me the tools I need to succeed; however, it is up to me to make sure I use them.

I want to prove everyone wrong.

I am either donating or selling all of my “big” clothing so there won’t be anything to wear if I gain weight. My husband is embarking on this journey with me and I am counting on him to help me stay accountable. I will need to journal. I will need to continue eating healthy. Medifast was my catalyst to get me to the weight I need to be at and it is up to me to keep it there. I’m not a fool- I know it will take hard work and determination but I am ready for the challenge. I have no excuses to not lead a healthy lifestyle- I want to be around for my son for a long time to come and I will do anything to make that happen. Frankly, I don’t want to ever see 240 pounds again.

It’s not all about the weight. In November 2011, I went in for a general physical with my GP (my weight was around 190 at this time). Here were my numbers back then:
Cholesterol: 202
HDL: 36
LDL: 140
Triglycerides: 132

Here they are NOW:
Cholesterol 165
HDL: 46 (this is the good cholesterol- you want this number to be higher)
LDL: 99
Triglycerides: 97

To say I am thrilled with these numbers is an understatement. It is a total testimonial to the importance of weight loss and a healthy diet.

Need proof? It’s in my numbers.

Could I have really lost 90 pounds over the last 3.5 years? Yes, I did. While I did a great deal of it on my own and with the help of Weight Watchers to get me started, Medifast helped me get rid of the last 40 that I wasn’t sure would ever go away. I am so thankful that I found them and didn’t give up. I am thankful they weren’t the gimmick that everyone thought them to be.

I am no longer staring at a light at the end of the tunnel. I am outside in the light and it is bliss.

Motivation Monday: WHY?!!

I’ve already lost track how many weeks I have been in transition on Medifast. 4? 5? I do know that I got to add in grains last week. I may have gone overboard in my excitement for cereal, bread and pasta. I’m not talking the bad-for-you stuff, but the whole grain good choice kind.

My issue? Lack of tracking.

I always knew that reaching goal was going to pose these kinds of problems. I would get complacent in my journaling and pretend like I know what I’m doing. Granted I was told that I could gain a few pounds when grains come back in the mix as my body tries to figure out what the hell I’m doing to it, but FIVE pounds? 5.5 to be exact. I about died when I saw 157 on the scale this week. Then I began to freak out. I did NOT do all this work over the last 6 months to gain it back!

My counselor calmed me down (at least enough to get a normal blood pressure reading). She said the weight gain isn’t that surprising and that my, ahem, monthly friend is probably providing some extra water bloat as well.

Okay, great. My counselor says it’s okay so why am I freaking out still? The scale at home gave me another 3 pounds higher today. 160. I am in WTF mode right now. I haven’t been eating THAT much. Or have I? 9 pounds in a week? Is that even humanly possible? Second guessing my habits, I immediately pulled out the old MyFitnessPal website and app. I started to do some good ol’ tracking. Rather then telling the site that I am in maintenance, I put it back in weight loss mode. Hard core maintenance mode, as in how many calories can I eat to lose 2 pounds a week mode. Compared to the Medifast 900 that I had been doing, I can eat 1200 and be able to lose. Or so they say. So, I’m tracking and watching every last bite that goes into my mouth because I apparently cannot be trusted.

Regardless of what is causing my rapidly rising weight gain, the important thing is that I am conscious (very conscious) of it and plan to do something about it rather than just give up and let it get out of control. I will not fail. I also plan to get daily activity. The nights that are my nights to put the kid to bed are no longer an excuse to do nothing. Even if I run a simple mile, 12 minutes of hard core cardio is better than nothing.

Other than my weight gain freak out, I had a fantastic weekend celebrating my niece’s 1st birthday. I adore my husband’s family so it was a fun day had by all.

Not sure why he was wearing his cap this way but he is hilarious and cute.
Before leaving for the birthday party, I took advantage of some rainy morning snuggling .
My poor guy was sad that he couldn’t swim with the other kids. Stupid swimmer’s ear. 
Even his 96 year old Great Grandma couldn’t cheer him up.
Thankfully, I found a bat and some balls and we played some baseball. 
Of course, it wouldn’t be a first birthday party without the cake smash! 

Despite my failure on the scale, as you can see, it was still a pretty winner of a weekend!

Embracing a New Life

Me in my new cube. 

Yes, my blog has been neglected. Yes, I have a good excuse.

I started a new job on July 2nd. The first week was… interesting. I went from scared and miserable to feeling like everything was going to be okay. Fast forward three weeks later: everything is AWEsome. The first week jitters were short-lived as was the lack for work and projects. In just my 2nd week on the job, I was brought in to consult on a very visible corporate initiative. I’m excited for the opportunity but confess I feel like I’m sort of a lost puppy. I went from a small-company world where I had control to this large-company world with policies and procedures for everything. While daunting, I am determined to make a valuable impact.

I have also very much embraced the Downtown Minneapolis working world. I’ve discovered some yummy skyway eats and treats and I fell in love with Thursday’s Farmer’s Market. I also confess that I love taking the bus. The transit station is about 15 minutes from my house, and it cuts my total commute time by about half. The people who ride are about as normal as people come and it drops me off and picks me up just a block or two from my office. My bus and Downtown life annoyances are a post for another day.

One of the things I have loved the most about my new gig is the opportunity to “reinvent” myself. If I ever wore dresses or skirts at my last job it was an indication of a job interview or trying to “impress” someone. Here? It is the norm for most people (perhaps a large corporate office thing?). It has been hotter than the sun lately and it has been so nice to wear cute cotton dresses and fun skirts. I feel comfortable, pretty and important! Did I mention the Ann Taylor store in my building??

There are still many adjustments I am making. I start later and get home later. I am now in charge of dropping off the kidlet in the morning as opposed to picking him up which as most of you mommies (and daddies too) know is really the shitty part of the bargain. Is there anything worse than having to bolt from your sad child because they don’t want you to leave? Or is there anything worse than their being totally indifferent (doesn’t he MISS me??). Since I now get home later, we are also eating dinner later. We have started keeping the kiddo up an extra half hour so I can make sure to muster up all the quality time I can. Dishes stay undone until after his bedtime. DVR shows go unwatched. I worry that these “changes” will have a negative effect on him. He’s been sleeping like crap lately. Is it my fault? So, despite the awesomeness that is my new job, there is a significant level of guilt involved in accepting it. Guilt over choosing my career over my child. Guilt for putting the impetus of making dinner and childcare post-work on my husband. I’m sure this guilty feeling will get better in time. My new company is shockingly flexible and actually cares about work/life balance. It has taken some getting used to coming and going as I please and I still am afraid to push that envelope. It was such a point of contention at my last job- it’s hard to shake yourself of that brainwashing. I know in time, this will be our new way of life. It will just take some time to adjust.

Speaking of the new me… I am in my 3rd week of transition with Medifast and it is going well. I have been able to add vegetables, fruit and dairy back into my diet. Did I mention how happy I am about the fruit? Fruit has been a go-to healthy snack for me all my years on Weight Watchers, so getting the A-OK to start eating it again has been nice. I don’t feel compelled to grab other naughty snacks, because having a banana is truly a treat for me! I thought I’d be really pumped for dairy, but strangely haven’t been compelled to add that much of it back into my diet. So far, so good my weight has held steady fluctuating between 151 – 153. The great part about transition and maintenance? No more freaking out over the scale. No more beating myself up over the numbers. I’m not saying keeping the weight off will be easy, I just finally don’t feel so stressed out over it anymore. I’m in a good place. I’m happy. It’s weird to start this job in this body. Nobody here knows me any other way. While I enjoyed my former colleagues seeing my transition, it is nice to know that this is the way people expect me to be. By setting my healthy standard from the beginning, I know people don’t expect me to be any other way and I don’t feel guilty for saying no to treats. 

So yes, this is the new me. I am really proud of all that I have accomplished in 2012!!

Motivation Monday: The Finish Line

He’s my reason for everything. 

I know, I know… I have been absent lately. The last couple weeks have been very strange for me. Leaving a job that I have been at for 5 years was a huge thing. I think I held onto it for as long as I did because I didn’t think it was possible to “manage” my life starting over somewhere new. You know… full-time job, mom, family, self, etc. I had a good schedule down. I had things figured out. But, something was missing and I knew I was selling myself short professionally.

I have been able to take some time off between jobs. I am proud that I stood up for my need to have this week off, even though my new gig wanted me to start right away. My husband is away on a fishing trip with the “men” this week. While I’m sure I could have worked things out to manage a new job and my kid, I’m so glad I chose not to. As a matter of fact… I am loving my time at home. I feel relaxed and at peace. I don’t feel rushed. I am enjoying time with my boy, just the two of us. As I was getting dinner ready tonight, he ran up to me, threw his arms around my legs and said, “I forgot to give you a hug when you picked me up at school so I’ll give you one now.”

He’s my reason for everything. Especially my weight loss.

Yes, I have enjoyed the “benefits” of my weight loss. The size 8, the shopping for a new wardrobe, the two piece. I still kind of look at myself in the mirror, especially at group fitness classes and wonder if that could really be me. But it was about more than that for me. I wanted to lower my blood pressure (103/70 today… lowest in 4 years). My cholesterol was high. My BMI, a 32 when I started, was considered obese. I wanted to stop the spread of my endo. I wanted to do all these things for my health so I could be around for my little boy for a long, long time.

Today, I did it. I reached the finish line. Goal at Medifast is a little different. They take more into account than that elusive number on the scale. They look at your overall picture. At 151 lbs (just 1 pound from my original goal), they determined that I was ready to start my transition. With all the muscle weight I hav eput on, it wasn’t necessary to lose any more fat. It is possible I will continue to lose weight during transition; however, the goal is to get me back in the real world. This week, I get to add in an additional serving of veggies and I can choose from any of them (corn, potatoes and avocados for example are prohibited during the weight loss phase). Next week fruit. Then dairy. Then grains. Each week I will get to drop down the number of Medifast meals as they teach me how to eat going forward.

A pic of an outfit I tried on at Express.
I still can’t believe I fit in these clothes! 

While I reached the weight loss finish line, I know this isn’t the end of the journey for me. Maintenance will be a lifelong deal and I anticipate it being the hardest part. Let’s face it. I’ve got some food addictions. I’ve got some food issues. Maintaining this weight will not be easy for me.

For today, I am celebrating. I’ve lost 60 pounds over the last year and a half. I’ll be honest when I say that I never, EVER thought I would actually make goal. I struggled for so many years… I can’t even find the words to express what this means to me. I cannot thank Medifast enough for getting me to this milestone. I know there are many naysayers out there who are expecting me to gain all the weight back and all I have to say to them: thank you for the motivation to continue keeping it off. I will prove you wrong. 

My husband will be taking my official before & after photos which of course I will post for all of you to see. The question is… what to wear??? 

My Medifast Survival Guide

Now that I’ve talked some friends into joining Medifast, I think it is officially time to post some of my survival tips. Before I do, I want to say that the program really is a different program for everyone. The things I may like, the next person will hate. Importantly, I’ve learned a few things along the way.

1) When you start, everything will taste funny. Your taste buds will definitely adjust over time. Try a product you didn’t like a couple weeks later and you might find you like it after all.

2) Soups: Let them sit. Before & After. The longer they soak, the better they will taste.

3) Always eat every 2-2.5 hours. Eat within the first 30 minutes of waking up in the morning. I always start off with a full 20oz of water every morning as well. If you start work as early as I do, put your optional snack in between your first and 2nd meal along with an additional 20 oz of water- it helps with the time gap between meals. My day typically looks like this:
6:15a: 1st meal
8:30a: Optional snack
10:00a: 2nd meal
12:30p: 3rd meal
3:00p: 4th meal
5:30p: Lean & Green
8:00p: 5th meal

4) Check out this blog: Sandy’s Kitchen Adventures. She has tons of Lean & Green recipes as well as recipes for Medifast foods too!

5) Do not microwave the eggs. Stovetop only. Add some seasonings. Use a whisk to stir. Delish. They have become a breakfast staple for me.

6) Use a Magic Bullet or similar type blender as much as possible for your shakes. They turn into a more smoothie type drink and for some reason taste better (definitely less gritty).

7) Pudding: always use a whisk and super cold water to mix. I have made it in the morning, stored in tupperware and refrigerated it for several hours- nice and thick. Another trick is to freeze it for about an hour and top with sugar free chocolate syrup (count as a condiment). Totally cured my ice cream cravings.

8) Hot Cocoa: Mix with just a little bit of water to form a thick paste. Add hot coffee instead of water. Makes a delicious mocha!

9) Soft Serve: This one I loved but found their directions impossible so I make it like a shake. I use about 1/2-3/4 cup of water, add 4-5 ice cubes, soft serve packet and for the Coffee & Peanut Butter soft serves I add a little sugar free chocolate syrup. Switch off between blending & pulsing with the blender until you don’t hear the ice anymore. Makes a super thick shake. SUPER yummy.

10) Pancakes: I was obsessed with chocolate chip pancakes until I had to go soy free. I made them as a muffin in a coffee cup. Prepared as instructed, but instead of using a frying pan/stovetop, pour into a large coffee mug (can use a little Pam if you want, but I found I didn’t need it) and nuke it in the microwave for 1 minute. Pops out like a muffin- top it with the Medifast syrup (or any sugar free syrup).

11) Oatmeal: Sorry… I have no tips. Spackle? I tried making these as muffins as well. The blueberry ones work best for that. I did eat the maple brown sugar regularly in my pre-soy days. I also added a packet of Splenda (or Truvia) to these.

12) Love the crunch bars. Get yourself some bars every week. I found that when I am on the go they are easy to take with you anywhere, are delicious and best of all they are filling.

13) Extra water and a packet of Splenda in the brownies and soft bakes usually did the trick for me. But I’m a gooey brownie/cookie person anyway. Oh how I miss those ones in my new soy free world!

14) If you want to flavor your water, buy the Mio water enhancer over Crystal Light. It is more Medifast friendly.

15) Probably the most important tip I can give you is DON’T CHEAT. I have survived the last 6 months on Medifast because I didn’t stray and if I did, it was very minor in nature. Seriously. JUST a bite. A taste. Nothing more. I know that is hard to do but it fulfills cravings and frankly? The bites weren’t that great anyway. OH OH OH! One more tip. Sugarfree gum has been my lifeline. I know you’re only supposed to have one piece a day, but I have much more. It keeps me from eating when I don’t need to (shouldn’t) be.

Regardless of how tired I am of Medifast food, which I am, I step on the scale and realize how far I have come. You know what? IT WAS WORTH IT. So glad I chose Medifast.

Thinking of joining??? Let me know what questions you have and I’d be happy to answer them!!