ipcoachz's Blog

A journey to health, wellness and gratitude

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Trick or Treat?

Ahh yes ready for Halloween. A last minute change of plans had me needing a costume and I found myself scrambling late Thursday evening as I need to work all day Friday.

Everything worked out well and my costume is ready to go. Middle aged Candy Corn Witch it is.  I borrowed most of it (not the shorty dress however) from my 19 yr old daughter. I have to admit I found it amusing and uplifting, considering that 2 years ago I was too large to even walk my youngest around the neighborhood and now here I am wearing parts of my kids old costume and going out. What a fabulous feeling.

I also thought about the saying trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat. What an unusual rhyme. I mean really, if I smelled someone’s feet nothing would taste good to eat and certainly  my appetite would be gone!  Food is certainly something that hits so many of our senses and with sugar added to it, makes it almost impossible to resist and have “just one bite”.  Food needs to be attractive, it needs to taste good, the texture is important and if it smells bad, it usually will taste bad (we won’t get into a discussion about Durian here).

Halloween is once a year, a chance for kids to have fun, dress up as something else, and get candy.  What an innocent thing until you look around and realize how many children are overweight.  It’s not fat, it’s sugar and it’s a real struggle for me to hand out treats like candy now that I know what sugar does to our bodies and how it interacts with the addictive center of our brain. I mean I certainly would not hand out illegal drugs so why am I handing out candy?  For more information on sugar addiction you can check it out at


The article has good information about sugar addiction.  The only part I disagree with is the statement that you can portion control your dessert and have it daily.  Studies show that it is much more harmful to dole out a little bit of dessert daily than to have a treat on one set day of the week.  More on that in another post.

Getting back to the struggle, I have read that even dentists would prefer that children not get these sugary chocolates and candies for the harm it does to their teeth and that they would prefer that they eat all their candy at once, then brush their teeth, as it minimizes the damage.  I agree that it also minimizes the damage with respect to having their insulin levels constantly elevated for the next month.  That being said, I don’t feel like being the Halloween Scrooge, so I have set out  a couple of rules at our house.

First, my youngest daughter (the 19 year old being too old) does not need to go to 100 houses.  We will go around our block and maybe the next one and enjoy trick or treating, but I have told her that it is not about getting 10 pillowcases full of candy but about having fun.

Second, I will let her eat this candy this weekend if only to get rid of it and minimize the damage. I do not want her to be eating this for the next month.  Not only is it a temptation for me to have it lying around, it is not good for her to be constantly introducing the sugar into her body and having the requisite insulin spikes.

I am still struggling with this, but Halloween, it’s only once a year right?




So I have survived my first week and am 10 lbs down. Of course I know that this is mostly from the depletion of my glycogen storage and the water grams attached to those stores, but it still leaves me feeling pumped. The struggle of the first week is behind me and that makes it all worth it.

Glycogen is a polysaccharide that is the principal storage form of glucose (Glc) in animal and human cells. In less fancy terms, it is a by-product of insulin that is stored in our liver and cells when we need a quick burst of energy to draw off. As long as we have stored glycogen, our bodies will always reach for it as an energy source before it even looks at converting stored fat for energy.  Since I am not a scientist, I think that’s enough for a basic class and if you want to know more, you can research it.

Since I am not hungry and have lots of energy, I know that I am now in the metabolic state of ketosis not to be confused with ketoacidosis!. The first three days were tough but not as tough as the last time I went on thank goodness. The last time I was so hungry I took public transit home and it was like the scene from the Madagascar movie where Alex the Lion looks at Marty the Zebra and all he can see is “steak”.  Yep, that was a rough time but it passed and no one got eaten. This time on day one I felt that gnawing hunger but I knew this was normal and to compensate, I ate some extra “mini” cucumbers throughout the day as snacks. I decided to take it easy on myself and when I got home from work I was really thrilled to find out that my daughter wanted to take me to dinner.

This could be a difficult thing on the first day of a weight loss program but we went to a restaurant that I knew would help me stay on track. I had chicken breast with broccoli and since I was so hungry, it tasted really good. When I got home I decided I needed to be gentle with myself. I had a bag of allowed BBQ crisps with some cucumber slices and went to bed early wondering if the next day would be tough.

The next day was pretty easy, except that it was really late when I got home to make supper and that left me feeling hungry and cranky. As usual, it is the third day for me that is a bag of mixed feelings, tossed with a bit of headache and seasoned  with a dash of lack of focus. I was headachy and had a bit of a tough time staying on task. I embraced this however, as I knew that it would pass and that it meant I was in my final stage of transition into ketosis. I had a bit of Ideal salt with some water to counteract the loss of sodium causing my headache and felt better in about 30 minutes. I was exhausted and went home and straight to sleep.

Day 4, 5, and 6 were amazing. I could tell that I was now burning my fat stores for energy because I had lots and lots of energy. I was moving around, feeling really good and really could not sleep.  It never fails to surprise me how well I feel on this plan.  It also never ceases to surprise me about how ill I feel when I am not eating properly and ingesting way too much sugar.  I have to admit, since losing all my weight and learning everything that I am learning (and still continue to learn) I am becoming a bit of an anti-sugar evangelist.  The more I know, the more I am disgusted by what the food industry is doing to our bodies and our children by putting sugar in everything, and I mean everything including those innocent chicken strips you buy for your wraps.  I encourage you to watch the Fifth Estate Program on You-tube entitled “The Secrets of Sugar – Documentary” which you can find at

In 1905, obesity was for the wealthy because they could afford expensive luxury items like sugar.  The average person only ingested about 5 lbs of sugar in a year and wasn’t overweight.  Now, we are fighting to stay healthy, dieting, eating low fat and low calorie foods and obesity has become epidemic along with the related diseases of Type II Diabetes and heart disease,  not to mention cirrhosis of the liver caused by fatty liver disease. That is because today, in 2014, the average person is consuming approximately 150 + lbs of sugar per year, most of it unknowingly or under the guise of using “healthy” products.

Want to check out your sugar smarts?  Take the Sugar Quiz at


My goal is to share my journey, bring you some information, and raise your nutritional awareness. Until next time…


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The Journey of a thousand miles begins with the First Step

Hi there. My name is Zenovia, and I am an Ideal Protein Weight Loss Coach with Fort Saskatchewan Weight Loss at Zimmerman Chiropractic and Castledowns Chiropractic in Edmonton. .  This is the start of what is going to be the first of many posts that I hope you will enjoy about my journey on the Ideal Protein Weight Loss Protocol.  I have uploaded my before and now photographs so you can see the difference.


This is my “BEFORE” photo


This is me 125lbs lighter

My journey began well over a year ago.  I weighed over 300 lbs.  I was in peri-menopause and gaining weight. I suffered from severe sleep apnea and was constantly exhausted.  I had trouble walking, bending over to tie my shoes and just doing daily tasks.  My blood sugars were high and the Type II Diabetes writing was on the wall.  I suffered from hypothyroid and was constantly cold and tired. My hips, knees and feet  hurt all the time and I had GERD (a  medical term for Acid Reflux) along with a host of other issues not the least of which was depression for which the medication I was on caused….you guessed it, weight gain.  I also had undergone a lumpectomy for early stage suspected breast cancer, one of the risks associated with excess weight. My family doctor told me I had no self control and he was making a referral for bariatric surgery.

I tried many diets over my lifetime and became a “chronic” dieter. I managed to achieve lifetime membership in one program; paid well over $800.00 initial sign up fees to be a lifetime member on another where I still needed to spend $200 per week on food; tried another program that had food delivered to me in packages that when opened smelled and tasted like dog food; went on another program that promised me weight loss if I ate sensibly and took all their herbs and supplements; went on cleanses; joined 3 gyms; went on a weight loss challenge promoted by one of the gyms; used over the counter “protein” meal replacements from drugstores, pharmacies and health food stores; went to a naturopath; tried acupuncture and other holistic treatments; hired a personal trainer at $700 a month and followed their exercise and food regime for 6 months; tried another prepackaged food system…you see the pattern.  Each time, I either lost and regained quickly or as time went on, I gave up as I would barely lose any weight and it was too hard to stay motivated.  I kept a food diary for awhile and I was barely eating some days.  A doctor actually told me I was lying because if I really was eating as little as I was writing down, I would lose weight.  He was wrong and it was completely demoralizing.

In desperation I made an appointment with a doctor my friend had recommended. I sat in his office sobbing.  I told him I didn’t want to get up in the morning but my kids needed me too and that if it weren’t for my kids, I had zero reason to continue living. At that moment for me, life held absolutely no appeal.  I expressed the frustration of living with pain and fatigue.  I will never forget his compassion.  He looked at me kindly and told me that he could and would help me and that in a few months I would not recognize myself.  That was the beginning of my journey to wellness.

He recommended Ideal Protein.  I recall struggling with the financial commitment because I was a single mother who had just started working full time after the end of a marriage and our family needed every penny I made.  I decided that my health was more important and I could always find ways to economize and if I got healthier, there were things I could do to make more money.  I signed up in April then promptly did nothing! I waited to start.  My family doctor told me it would be a waste of my time and money and that he would continue with the referral for bariatric surgery.  It would be another 2 months before I stopped making excuses for why I couldn’t start and finally, at the end of June, I woke up and thought “today is the day!” I had made the decision to go for it.

My first week was amazing as I lost 16 lbs.  Thereafter, I averaged a loss of 5 lbs a week (due to the fact I was so large).  For reference purposes, the average weight loss for women on Ideal Protein is 2 lbs a week,  so my progress was amazing to me.

Around this time I was blessed to be asked to accompany a family member to France in October, all expenses paid. I was excited to see where I would be weight wise.  I began to transition off the diet in September so that I would not be on the program in France (even though travelling with the protocol is very easy).  By October 1, I had lost a total of 65 lbs.  You can imagine my excitement when I got on the plane and didn’t need a seatbelt extender!  I literally cried from sheer happiness. I was still well over 200 lbs but I felt like the slimmest person. I had dropped 65 lbs in 3 months!  It was phenomenal.  I had loads of energy, no pain, and was off of my anti-depressants.  When I saw my family doctor before leaving on the trip, he looked at my lab results, then looked at me and told me to keep doing whatever I was doing.

I returned from France and after spending 3 weeks eating and drinking whatever I wanted (ooo la la French food and wine mmmmm), I was leery of stepping on a scale.  Turns out that resting and healing my pancreas meant that it handled the vacation well.  I only gained 1 lb and still lost body fat.  I was so pumped.  I started back on the protocol in November.

By March, I was down 125 lbs and feeling incredible. I cleaned out my closet, bought new clothes and then became a fanatic about telling people about Ideal Protein.  After a bit of a prolonged sales pitch, I managed to convince the clinic where I was being coached to let me start weight loss coaching the program part time as I am passionate about helping people get healthy.  I now coach full time for Fort Saskatchewan Weight Loss and have never enjoyed something more.

I have also decided to start the program again as I have new goals I want to reach and am ready for the next step.

Over the coming days and weeks, I will be blogging to you about my journey the second time around.  Needless to say, it has been incredible so far and I am excited to share with you my journey and my progress

Until next time…Cheers