The one-sentence summary is this. I started in the 170's and a month later I'm in the 150's. Read on for more info.
On Wednesday 1/6/13, a big box arrived on my front doorstep. Inside that box were 20 or so little boxes. Reminds me of an old Jack In The Box commercial where they sang, "Little boxes, little boxes, there's a blue one and a pink one and a yellow one and they all look just the same." A fast food parody of Janice Joplin, I believe.
Anyway, the boxes came, and I had the "intro" call with my health coach, Candy. We went through the highlights of the getting started booklet - 5 of the little boxed meals (shakes, bars, pancakes, eggs, soups, puddings, chili, faux cheese puffs) per day and one "lean and green" meal. OK, I can do this.
On Thursday, I ate my first bar. Chocolate mint. So far, so good. And I got on the scale for my starting weight. Ahem. Apparently the Christmas season was more merry than I thought. 171.4. I hadn't weighed this much since pregnant.
The good news.
1) The weight loss happens, quickly.
Week one weigh-in - 166.4 - down 5 pounds
Week two weigh-in - 164.2 - down 2.2 pounds, 7.2 total
Week three weigh-in - 161.6 - down 2.6 pounds, 9.8 total
Week four weigh-in - 159.2 - down 2.4 pounds, 12.2 total
Week five weigh-in - ???? tomorrow! But I did cheat a little this week, so we'll see how it goes! When I weight in midweek I was down 13 total, so we will see what the Valentine hearts did to me. They say you don't have to be perfect, so tomorrow morning I will find out!
Woo hoo! 12.2 pounds!
2) The weight lost has been primarily fat, not muscle. This was one of my biggest problems with fad diets, and it hasn't been a problem with this eating plan. A lot of crazy diets will produce quick weight loss at the expense of lean muscle tissue and the water it stores. But I've been pinched, Bod Podded and tape-measured. I'm losing fat. Part of this is because I'm eating low glycemic and healthy. Part of this is because I'm weight training and have been drinking a booster of amino acids right after working out (by Dot Fit, ask me for more info) to recover quickly and repair muscle.
3) The coaching process has been good. Helpful, available, but not overly intrusive or micromanaging. No one solves my problems but me. Candy is more the person who bounces questions at me, "So, how are you going to handle that? What could you do to make that taste better? What will you do next time that happens?" Treating me respectfully as if I'm intelligent enough to make my own decisions, which I am, and trusting that I can over-ride the emotional component to my eating, which I'm doing so far.
It's not been easy.
First, I had to plan better. Eating every 2 hours to keep my blood sugar steady took a little planning ahead so I would have something in my purse or my car or a clean shaker jar and a package of shake mix for meals away from home not involving a microwave or stove. I'm getting a lot better at that.
Second, the first week SUCKED. I'm caffeine free for the most part, but getting sugar-free was rough. Day 2, I had NO energy. None. And I had to teach 3 fitness classes. 22 years of experience and the sheer force of my stubborn will got me through that day. Days 4 and 5, something was still rebalancing hormonally because I was a raving b*tch. Seriously cranky. Just ask one of my best friends, Amy A. She is still talking to me, thank God. I figured out that the TSFL oatmeal gives me the most energy and I eat that first thing in the morning; sometimes I also eat 2 boiled eggwhites with that if I'm teaching back to back classes (Monday morning, Friday morning).
Third, although I'm not physically hungry hardly ever, there are psychological cravings. They're still there. I don't care how pretty the TSFL brownie on the little box looks, it ain't no Dessert Tray chocolate fudge torte. Not even close! And the "healthy" snacks, dill pickle spears, celery stalks, sugar-free jello, and 10 almonds, they're all well and good but they're not exactly what the old sugar-crazed me has in mind. I don't know if this is normal or not (Candy has been very diplomatic about not telling me I'm abnormal - thanks Candy!) but I would have nightmares about eating huge portions of sugary, chocolaty, rich, tasty foods. They seemed so real, I'd have to count pillows to make sure I hadn't eaten one.
Fourth, the jury is still out on whether the habits will change. The underlying habits - depression and stress related eating - have to be retrained in order for the weight loss to stay off.
Fifth - my family isn't totally in line with this yet. Emotional support, yes. Ready to clean the kitchen of potato chips, ice cream, and other tasty treats, not so much. But when I'm cooking, they're eating what I fix or fixing it themselves. At this point, that's all I can ask of anyone except the five year old. :D
So at this point, I would give TSFL a good review. I will consider becoming a coach. I would recommend that the skeptical ask questions of a coach they trust, whether that's me or someone else. I can point you to some.
See less of me later!