I recently started a medically supervised weight loss program. I have about 40 pounds to lose, and it wasn’t coming off any other way. I’m also an extremely emotional eater, so for me, being on a program with prescribed meal replacements and one high-protein, low carb meal per day is a necessary vacation from food. Don’t get me wrong – I love food. Love it. My love for food is deep and it’s real. But that’s the problem. I’m hoping that not having much choice in what I eat will help me to develop other coping skills than, “I’ve had a bad day, here, let me eat a pizza.”
Rather than document each day separately, I’ve left this post as a draft on the WordPress iPhone app and noted some important thoughts from my first week.
April 13 – Intake Appointment: Weighed in at 183.4 lbs, which is officially the heaviest I have ever been. They ran a body composition scan, and I learned that I am, as my doctor said, “a strong woman”. Most women have between 28% and 37% muscle mass. I have 57%, which translates to 106 pounds of muscle. Crazytown! Because of that, my basal metabolic rate – the number of calories my body burns just to carry out the processes it needs to exist – is 1550 calories. No wonder I wasn’t losing any weight! I was only eating about 1500 calories. My body thought I was trying to starve it. Sorry, friend. Because my muscle mass is so high, the doctor says I should be between 135 and 145 pounds; otherwise, my body will start eating the muscle mass, which nobody wants. That means I need to lose about eight pounds per month to fit into my wedding dress by fitting time. Seems doable. Got my meal replacements for the week – I chose the “chocolate beverage” (which is essentially a chocolate protein shake with added fiber), the tomato soup, and the chocolate pudding (which I hear you can mix with extra water to make a thicker, more substantial shake).
April 14 – Day 1: Surprisingly, not terrible. My breakfast shake and my pudding snack were pretty yummy. The soup, though…it was interesting. I ate most of it, because I had to, but I don’t know if I’ll do that week after week. I’m going to try to add some garlic and Italian seasoning to it tomorrow to kind of mask the very protein-y taste. Still, it wasn’t a bad day. I wasn’t much hungrier than I typically am in a day. Around 10, I got a little lightheaded, which I think was from caffeine withdrawal – I get to work at 7:30 AM, so by 10, I’ve usually had two cups of very sugary tea. I popped down to the vending machine and got a Coke Zero, which is allowed and which totally hit the spot. After three sips and about 15 minutes, my headache was gone. I also packed about two cups of Romaine with fat-free salad dressing and ate that around 11. Pleased to report that I’m not really tired, as I was warned is often the case in the beginning. In fact, I was less foggy today and had more energy than I normally do, which I am attributing to the lack of carbs today. So far, this is okay. Ask me how I feel about it in a month, though.
April 15 – Day 2: And now I see why they say you may feel fatigued. It’s 9:30 AM and I’m ready for a nap. Then again, that’s about par for the course for me. Either way, I think today is going to be a Friday nap day for me. (Update: ha! It wasn’t. I woke up and made it through, but I was in bed by 11.) Also, this soup is not gettin’ any better, just putting that out there.
April 16 – Day 3: I woke up at 7 and felt like I could get up for the day, but decided it was Saturday and getting up at 7 when you don’t have to is stupid. Went back to sleep and got up at 9:40 instead. Made “brownies” out of my breakfast shake. Verdict? Okay. Not as sweet or as fudgy as I’d like. Basically, not real brownies. But not terrible. The tomato basil soup though? So not good. No one should eat reconstituted powdered soup, guys. The recipe book they gave us has a way to convert the chicken noodle soup into biscuits, so I tried it with the tomato. Easier to choke down, but not enjoyable by any stretch. Still, I horked them down because I had a riding lesson today and I didn’t want to work that hard on only 200 calories. Felt pretty awesome when I got to the barn, and Cinnamon and I had one of our best rides ever. Put one in the win column for today!
April 17 – Day 4: Show day! Not for me, but a couple of the girls at the barn had their first outing of the season, so I went to watch. Gah the horse show food – all fried and fattening and greasy and delicious – smelled AMAZING. I locked my wallet in my trunk so I wouldn’t be tempted. I actually stayed longer than I should have, and by the time I got home, I was decently sunburnt and starving. I ate a whole garlic dill in two minutes flat, down a shake like it was my job, and settled in for what turned out to be a long nap. The sun had just fried me, I guess. Tried to mix the tomato soup in with my chili. Hahahaha that was a poor life choice. I have now tried three things with this soup and it sucks no matter what. No soup for me on this plan anymore. I did pretty much eat my weight in sugar-free Jell-O today.
April 18 – Day 5: Woke up to make the Tomato Suck Muffins. The plan was to take them to work and crumble them in my “salad” (lettuce with low-fat, sugar-free salad dressing) as “croutons”. Good lord, the smell of that stuff is nauseating in the morning. Dutifully packed up the Suck Muffins, made my shake, and went to work. Wasn’t hungry today! Or at least, no more than usual. Also didn’t really need caffeine. I got a Coke Zero to wash down the Suck Muffins, but I didn’t crave the kick. I’m so effing sick of chicken for dinner though. Not sure how this is going to work out for five-plus months. I had dinner at my parents’ tonight, and my mom made me chicken and green beans. They had mac and cheese, though. I couldn’t have any. My plate felt so sad compared to theirs, with their yummy, life-giving carbs.
April 19 – Day 6: Another day, another batch of Suck Muffins. They’re getting marginally easier to eat, and I can’t decide if I’m better at making them or if I’m acquiring a taste for them. That said, at some point today I was overcome with how much less I enjoy my life without food of my choosing (and how sad that realization made me), and there’s a good chance I quiet-cried for my entire 20-minute drive home from work.
April 20 – Day 7: Last batch of Suck Muffins! I was able to eat three of those suckers without a chaser, so I think I’ve just acquired a taste for them – and by “taste,” I mean, “I can eat this without dry-heaving.” Energy levels are still good, although I need to lay off the Jell-O. That stuff totally does not agree with me. My chocolate yogurt whip though? Delicious. Clinic and weigh-in tonight – dun-dun-duuuunnn….
Final Weigh In, Week 1: 182 (one effing pound down)
End-of-Week Thoughts: I’m doing okay, but this is hard. I mean Really Fucking Hard. I think about food pretty much all the time. I’m hungrier more often than I expected. I miss eating things that taste good. Nothing I can eat – low-fat yogurt or sugar-free Jell-O or a couple of slices of deli ham – are anything I would ever reach for as a first, second, or even third choice if I wasn’t on a weight loss plan. That concerns me for the stability of this whole thing. The minute they let me eat real food again, I feel like I’m going to be like a wild dog let out of a cage, which means I’m going to pig out and balloon up again. I’d like to schedule some time with the nutritionist so we can talk about how I can avoid that and still enjoy eating. Also? IF I WAS ONLY GOING TO LOSE ONE POUND, I COULD TOTALLY HAVE HAD A PIZZA.