Monday, October 1, 2012

Weekly weigh in and plan modifications

I had my weekly weigh in and class tonight at the Optifast clinic.  I lost another 1.5 pounds, which I'm definitely grateful for.  That gives me a total of 184.5 pounds lost since I started this little adventure back on February 6th. 

Usually the process is that you purchase your products, weigh in, go the nurse's station to have your blood pressure checked and lab work done and then, if you need to, go to the medical office for consultation.  Since I have a history of diabetes, I go to the medical office now every other week so that I can report how my blood sugars are going.  I decided that I was going to talk to them about perhaps modifying my Optifast 70 product a little bit.  I have daily boughts of lightheadedness since I first started.  I was hoping drinking more water would help, but it hasn't.  Actually, that's not true ... it helps but I'm still lightheaded.  I also have been feeling very weak in my legs.  When I climb stairs or major hills, I feel like I have to take a break even after a few.  It's not that I'm winded, but my legs feel like they weigh 200 pounds  each.  I'm also starting to swell around my ankles and my blood sugar is pretty low all of the time, which makes exercise difficult.  Those were all good reasons for me to get advice from the medical office on what to do and be willing to switch products if necessary.  Ultimately, I'm compliant with the program, so whatever they told me I was going to have to do was what I was going to do.  If you're reading this and wondering if Optifast is, in fact, safe to do given the medical issues I have been having, rest assured that it is.  There is medical science and 30+ years of experience behind it, but I'm special given the fact that I'm diabetic.  Besides, that's precisely why there is a clinic we each go through as we progress on the program - to make adjustments along the way.

The nurse practitioner was reviewing everything and she agreed that I do need to make a change.  First, she does want to run some labs to ensure the problem doesn't go deeper.  While I was wanting to change to Optifast 800, which is a better-tasting, more calorie-rich product, she told me I couldn't because of the history of diabetes.  She then turned to me and told me, "We'll, we're just going to have to add food to your program."

Say what, lady??  That was something I was definitely not prepared for in the slightest.  I was willing to change products but to re-introduce food this early was something I didn't even think was a possibility.  I have been 100% compliant on the full fast, so it was weird for her to say it's okay for me to eat food now.  When she saw the look on my face, she asked me if I was okay, wondering if I was up for it.  I looked at her, thought about it and said what I was honestly feeling:  while I have some fears with having food again given I wasn't mentally there yet, I'm ready.

I thought about how I felt about it inside.  Was I really ready or was I just saying that to her?   Did I really believe whole-heartedly that I could handle this?  The truth is that while there is some fear around this, I am strong in my program.  Sure, I worry about lousing it up and having a binge of some sort, but just like they had a plan for the full fast, I'm sure they have a plan for the modified fast as well.  Then, when I'm about 20 pounds from goal, I will be transitioning to complete food with no more shakes.  I can add them back in the future if I want, but the goal is to ultimately get us back to eating again.  And, truthfully, I look forward to being able to chew something besides ice cubes!

Since I do have the history of diabetes, I actually have six shakes a day instead of the five that everyone else has and now I will be adding in one meal a day that is 3 ounces of a lean protein, two and a half cups of salad and a half cup of veggies.  I'm glad that I'll be having more calories because that means I can exercise more, which I really like.  They give you a list of what is allowed in each category, so there's no guessing.  It does seem like a lot of food, but I guess anything would be compared to just having shakes every day!

I stopped by the store on my way home from my class tonight.  Might as well start it tonight so I can get used to it.  It was a weird experience shopping, thinking people with cameras were watching me pick up food.  I know, talk about paranoid.  What is she doing buying food?  Isn't she supposed to be on Optifast?  I just feel so weird buying food again.  It's been nearly eight months on the full fast, so this is a different experience for me.  I ended up buying lean ground turkey, baby spinach, mushrooms, cucumbers, fat-free honey dijon salad dressing and green beans.  Here's what I came up with for my first meal back.

Seems like a lot of food to me!
Throughout the class, as I was thinking about what I would be eating, I was worried that I would just go crazy and overindulge, even on healthy food.  Yet, I heard the counselor loud and clear when he told me that it is what is in my attitude that will dictate my success.  If I truly believe that I will follow their guidelines and that I will be successful at doing that, then I will.  As I was slicing and dicing, that very thing was in my head.  I'm going to weigh and measure it all to ensure I'm doing everything to the letter.  This won't be my life forever.  There will come a time when I can do this without having to weigh and measure everything, but I'm very willing to do what I need to so that I can be healthy.  In time, things will normalize.  I did end up putting some hot sauce on the turkey, which I am allowed to do.  It was a little bland, even though I used allowable spices.  For the first meal, I didn't want to mess anything up so erring on the side of caution is okay by me.  I was able to really savor every bite and enjoy the crunch in my mouth.  There is a certain safety in doing just the shakes, but I also did enjoy the texture in my mouth.

So anyway, food is now back in my life, at least for one meal a day.  And it doesn't always have to be dinner.  It can be a great omelet stuffed with lots of veggies.  I'm just going to take this a day at a time, but I feel good about my first adventure.  I will have to work on experimenting with my meals to work on the flavor without adding in fat or extra sodium.  I think they sell sodium-free salt substitute, so I'll be sure to check that out.  But, wow, back to food!!


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