ipcoachz's Blog

A journey to health, wellness and gratitude


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Week 5 is Fantastic

I am so excited as I dropped another 3 lbs. Once you get over the sugar cravings, it just gets easier and easier for me to stick with the program, so to speak. I am now a total of 23 lbs down and, if you look at where I originally started on this journey, I am now 140 lbs down and still counting. The really exciting part is that it truly has been easier than I ever anticipated.

That being said, there are many things that impact our journey and for me right now, I need to make sure that I am eating enough. Being in Ketosis for me makes it too easy not to feel hungry because I have so much energy and feel awesome. This means that in order to take care of myself, I need to set reminders for my meals and snacks. Never really thought I’d see the day when I would not be interested in eating.  Now, I am still human and boy do the wings call out to me in a pub.  But I have such a short time left on this journey that I don’t want to mess it up. Like I tell others, it is short-term pain for long-term gain.  It also is important to know that even though we who have struggled our whole lives have heard this, I have really gotten to the point where nothing tastes as good as I feel and if there is too much sugar in it, I will feel horrible after eating it.

One of the other things that I have learned on this journey is that we need to be sure to not let the people around us sabotage our efforts.  I have gotten a lot of amazing support from my close friends and family and I love and thank each and every one of them for contributing to my success and being my “cheering” squad. What has been a surprise however, has been the comments by other people who are not that close to me.  Things like “haven’t you finished losing yet?  You are wasting away!”  “You need to stop losing weight or you are going to make yourself sick.” “You know, people like a woman with a little meat on her bones, you won’t meet anyone if you get too thin”.  “Oh, Honey, you look so tired and drawn out.  Really you need to stop this and start eating”.

I have to admit, these comments at first bothered me.  They bothered me a lot.  Then I started looking at where they were coming from.  My close friends were supportive.  My family was happy.  Yet this tiny group of people…with their comments and their ‘knowledge’ of how what I was doing was going to make me permanently sick.  You have all heard the “I know a friend who….” stories about something terrible. Some of these same people, surprisingly, are people who were telling me years ago that I needed to lose weight when I was 30 lbs lighter than I am now. Go figure.

These people are diet saboteurs and they are usually telling you these things not because they truly care about your health, but because they are uncomfortable with the fact that you are doing something that they desire, yet do not yet have the commitment to achieve. Below are some tips for eliciting support.

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/weight-loss-7-ways-to-get-your-familys-support?

Right now, I have another few percentage points in body fat to remove before I hit the “optimum healthy zone”. That’s what matters to me.  I don’t care about the number on the scale as it is not a reflection of my body composition.  I am already thrilled with my clothing size so that doesn’t make me excited anymore.  Right now, my goal is to reach that optimum state of a healthy body fat percentage and lean mass.  Once that is achieved, I am complete.

Losing body fat is not like losing weight.  This is because it is like a mortgage.  When you first start making mortgage payments, it looks like you are having zero impact on your actual mortgage balance it goes down so slowly.  As you continue to make the payments, eventually, more and more of the principle is taken away.  Body fat is just like that.  The closer I get to what I want, the faster the percentage disappears.

I am almost there.  I am hoping that I am only 1 month away from transitioning off.  When I am done, I will have lost 150 lbs which will equal almost half my starting body weight.  I am healthy, my test results show it. I will also, as a coach, never let a dieter lose too much weight.  I know the science and I can make decisions that are in the best interests of my health.  If you are upset about what I am doing, why don’t you join me and see if you can achieve what you desire instead of knocking someone else down.  Live and Let Live and be happy.

 

Healthy-vegetarian-diet


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Week 4 and I am down 20!

It’s amazing even for me that I am now down 20 lbs in 4 weeks.  I love how my body responds when I take care of it and let it heal itself.  As soon as I lose approximately 15 more lbs, I will consider phasing off, and if the pace keeps up, I will hopefully get there around New Year’s.  Measurements are another thing.  Just from a measurement perspective, I am down a total of 6.5 inches and it’s awesome.  How awesome does that make someone feel.  That being said, what is most important is my BMI or Body Composition.  I have dropped a whole percentage in body fat, which is fantastic considering that in the beginning, losing body fat seems to be a very slow process. I like to compare it to paying a mortgage. In the beginning it looks like you are not even touching the principle, and as you keep paying down, the principle starts to shrink faster and faster.  That is what losing body fat is like when compared to overall pounds lost. Many people get discouraged but this is one of the reasons I encourage people to stick to it.  The results to come. I know that I want to lose an additional 7 percent of my body fat in order to consider myself in an ideal, healthy zone and it’s getting closer and closer.

I am going to see my doctor for a full physical the first week in December.  It will be the first time I have seen him in over a year.  Back then he was major impressed and I wasn’t even this small.  I am excited about going to see him and seeing his reaction. What is so exciting for me is that I actually needed to use a belt on the weekend to keep my “skinny” jeans from falling off.  Someone commented recently and asked me why I wear dresses to work regularly.  Truth be told, they don’t “fall” down and it’s a lot easier for me to wear dresses than pants these days.  In fact, I grabbed a pair this morning along with my skirt to change into as I needed them and they were constantly coming down.  I almost lost them when I got out of my car.  Time to go shopping….but I don’t want to just yet because I know that I will need an even smaller size for after Christmas.  I will get by until then and Santa baby, if you are listening, some moola to go shopping with would be appreciated under the tree cause I am sure being a good girl.  Am I complaining or bragging…BOTH! I want everyone to experience the delight of this type of health transformation.  I have to say that I feel fabulous and for everyone who struggles with weight related illness, let me tell you that even a small amount like 20 lbs can make a huge difference in your health with reduced blood pressure and easing stress on your joints. In fact a minor 1 lb of weight loss can take 4 lbs of stress off your knees alone

http://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/news/20050629/small-weight-loss-takes-pressure-off-knee

That is more than enough for me.  There was a point in time where my knees hurt so bad that I had difficulty functioning without taking painkillers.  Fortunately, I didn’t do permanent damage and my knees feel awesome now.

If you are struggling and feel like you have tried everything but nothing has worked and nothing will work, please don’t give up.  Find Ideal Protein in your area.  They saved my life and the lives of thousands of other people.  They can help you. I promise as I am living proof of this.


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Week 3 Is Over

Wow, what a difficult week.  Everything seemed to be going well and then hit week three.  I am down 2.2 lbs for a total of 17 lbs thus far.  Nothing at all to sneeze about.  It was just a week that had me struggling to stay on track.  I was faced with a number of challenges, including that sneaky demon, mindlessness.

Mindlessness.  The dictionary defines “mindlessness” as: mind·less http://img.tfd.com/m/sound.swf (mndls) adj.

1.

a. Lacking intelligence or good sense; foolish.
b. Having no intelligent purpose, meaning, or direction: mindless violence.
2. Giving or showing little attention or care; heedless: mindless of the dangers.
It would have been so easy to slip into the mindless definition in number 2, if it were not for the screaming conscience in my head. I kept remembering the article I read below.
I was having a week of crazy running around, and there is nothing worse when trying to ensure that you stay on task and focused on healthy eating.  Our modern lives make for situations where it seems we are constantly scrambling to give ourselves healthy and nutritious foods that taste good and can be prepared and eaten in less time than it takes to go to a drive-thru window.  I am here to tell you that it can be done, it just takes a few minutes of planning ahead of time.  This week also taught me some real lessons that needed to be enforced.
Major lesson was the scout motto.  “Always be prepared”.  Thursday, I was not prepared, and ended up not eating for long stretches of the day.  I know better and I know that it is very unhealthy behaviour.  I tell my clients to be prepared, have something in the fridge that is quick and easy.  It really is not good for your body and your blood sugars to go more than 4 hours without eating.  It is important that our bodies can trust us to feed them and give them the nutrition they require when they require it, so that they don’t go into complete storage mode fearing the massive famine that is coming.  I had some major apologizing to myself for my errors.
Again with being prepared, this lesson was never more apparent than on Saturday.  Winter moved into the region with a vengeance.  I needed to be on the other side of the city and the roads were ugly.  In my haste to get out the door, all the best laid plans of mice and men went for naught.  Everything I needed to support my diet was left lying on a counter.  I remembered after I had gone some distance.  There was no way I was turning around.  I had to make do.  I was worried as I was headed first to a pub and pub food is not known for being diet friendly or even for having choices that one could adapt.  Fortunately, this was not the case as it was a bright, newly renovated pub with a menu that rocked.  Greek Salad, chicken and shrimp it was.  Yum.
Next stop, another club.  Now before it looks like all I do is party, this was an unusual weekend where I went to see some friends who have a band play, and then was meeting up with a girlfriend for dinner and some dancing.  It wasn’t often that I had an opportunity to do this so it was a fun day in spite of the roads and weather. I asked my friend if we could go eat at a restaurant before the club and sure enough, there was a steakhouse next door.  A small steak, some mushrooms and cauliflower, and there I was, ready to rock n roll…so to speak.
The rest of the evening passed uneventfully and we had a good time, but were good little Cinderellas, making sure we were home and tucked in by midnight.  There was Sunday to contend with.
Sunday was another day that at least, with the lessons of Saturday behind me, I had prepared in advance for.  I ended up packing my snacks and food and staying on track even though I was not in control of all the food choices set before me.  Sometimes that is a tough one when others are preparing the food and want us to “just have one bite because it won’t hurt you”.  More on that in another post.
Now getting back to lessons learned about making it easy to stay on track. One way of being able to eat well and have healthy food quickly is to have a properly stocked fridge.  Notice I did not include “pantry” in that statement.  One of the things I advocate is not eating food that does not rot.  What that means is that if it doesn’t rot, there is too much stuff in it that is not good for us.  Food should rot.  It is not made to last forever.  Have you ever had a loaf of bread on your counter that did not mold?  If it didn’t, did you not find that strange? Bread is supposed to go bad unless it is full of chemicals and preservatives.  Those same chemicals and preservatives are what go into our bodies and cause illness. You can learn more about healthy food rules here:
I won’t go into an entire list of recipes here, as there are numerous recipe sites on the web.  What I can share is that some things I always have in my fridge and/or freezer are things like:  chicken breasts, lean ground turkey and/or chicken, extra-lean ground beef, fish and eggs.  I also keep assorted vegetables like zucchini, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, onions and mushrooms.  Here was my quick and easy meal on Thursday that tasted awesome and left me enough for dinner the next night.
I scramble fried lean ground chicken in a non-stick frypan without adding any oil.  When it was cooked through I added at least 1-2 t of Indonesian spice (available from Epicure) along with a dash of curry powder, an ice-cube of home-made chicken broth (you can add and adjust your own seasonings for the flavors that you enjoy).  I then took red pepper and mushrooms that I had quickly cut into 1 inch pieces and threw them in on medium high heat until hot yet still crunchy.  Voila, dinner.  That took me a total of 15 minutes to prepare.  Now, is that not healthier and as quick as going through a drive thru?
Until next time, stay on track and BE PREPARED.


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Filling the Pit of Depression

How many of you relate to this scene. A woman has just experienced some tragedy (breakup, job loss, etc.). There she is, sitting in her pajamas, unwashed, hair disheveled, crying and eating Rocky Road Ice Cream straight out of a carton. Does this describe you? I know my “drug of choice” when sad or stressed is a heady combination of savory (usually bbq corn chips), sweet (dark chocolate with chili peppers), and red wine. I also know that there is always something to be sad and stressed about if I let life run me, rather than the other way around.

I had a real BFO moment the other week (blinding flash of the obvious). It was one of those self realization moments where you not only see what you are doing, you actually shift something inside of you. My mother passed away on October 4, 2014. She was 88 years old and spent the last 5 weeks of her life in a hospital. The last 24 hours of her life were the most difficult moments of mine as I stayed with her, holding her hand, seeing to her comfort, singing to her and just being there. I was on my eating plan, fully intending to stay on it. My daughter had packed some healthy snacks for me to keep me going. Finally, at 1:30 in the morning I lay down for a nap. I awoke at 3:30 am to find my mother had just slipped away. With 2 hours sleep under my belt, I packed up her things, called the funeral home, had security walk me to my car, and went home to tell my children and organize the funeral. At that point, the last thing on my mind was diet.

I then did what I have done for years to cope with difficult situations. It started with going out for breakfast and having whatever I wanted and just continued from there. This time, however, there was something different. I pulled out my calendar. I gave myself exactly 3 days after the funeral to get back on track. No excuses, no delays. I put it in my calendar to start again on October 14, the day after Thanksgiving.

The only problem with this is I gave myself permission to have a 2 week free for all. I would eat what I wanted, when I wanted, how I wanted, health be damned. By the third day in I was feeling sick and exhausted. Then on Thursday evening I had my BFO.

I was sitting on my bed, stuffing my face with BBQ corn chips, in my pajamas, when the huge wracking sobs came spilling out of my being like some type of emotional tsunami. I had lost so much in the last 3 years, my mother was the last straw…I was empty, spent and hollow. Corn chips spilled out of my mouth as I sobbed, messing my bed and my pajamas. I was probably the most ridiculously pathetic sight. Make up running, nose dripping, damp corn chips strewn about. Yet in that moment, something profound hit me. Something I always knew but never managed to truly connect between my mind and my heart.  I realized that I could eat all the corn chips, chocolate and wine the world would ever produce, and no matter how hard I tried, they were never going to fill the bottomless pit of my sadness.  My mother wasn’t coming back just because I stuffed my face.  My losses would never be replaced by my creating ill health and consuming a poor diet.  I would never feel good no matter the frequency, quantity or tastiness of the food I ingested.  Nothing I was doing in that moment was ever going to take away the hurt and pain of loss.  The only thing that was going to take that hurt and pain away was living, and I mean really living in the moments that make life beautiful.  The hug of my daughter, the beauty of a sunrise, the smile and kindness of a stranger and the love of family and friends. The way my dogs greet me when I come home, jumping and barking, vying for my attention. The smell of fall leaves and frost in the air. Gratitude and recognition of these things, little by little, fill what seems like a bottomless pit.  Food, alas, only digests and leaves the hole wanting more.

Studies have shown that women who are depressed are at risk of being obese.  I wonder how many women who are obese, are at risk of being depressed.  For me it is a chicken or egg thing.

I want to encourage anyone who uses food to cope with the trials of life to reach out.  Share with someone you trust, a friend, family member, coach.  Ask them to support you and help you find the resources you need to lift yourself up and find healthy and creative solutions to lifes’ stresses.

For more information on Eating Disorders and Emotional Eating, you can take the following test.

http://psychologytoday.tests.psychtests.com/take_test.php?idRegTest=3244

Once you have your results, feel free to share them with your family doctor and ask for the help you need to free yourself.

For more tips on Emotional Eating, see

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/emotional-eating

I wish I had all the answers.  Sadly I don’t. I just know what my journey is and how things are working out for me.  If by sharing my story, you can find that you are not alone and begin to take the steps you need to take care of yourself, then my sharing will be worth it.

Until next time, be healthy.  Like my coffee mug says:

Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work.  It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.


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Week 2 Conquered

My week 2 weigh in is behind me and I rocked it, almost.  I say almost because I lost 5 pounds…woot woot! I have also lost some major inches in my abdomen and hips, yippee. The not so good news is that I lost 3 lbs of my lean mass, which is the fat burning machine that I need to hold onto if I want to succeed on the rest of this diet and into the future.

Lean Mass is not just muscle, but organs, and the other parts of the body that are not fat. Fat is just that, fat.  We all need some essential fat to be healthy, but it is imperative that we retain lean mass when losing weight.  Most diets are designed to lose 50% fat and 50% lean mass. Now imagine going on numerous diets over the years.  As you do this, you deplete your fat and lean mass but when you regain the weight, most of what you gain is fat. You never really replace your lean mass without solid effort and strength training. This is why it is so crucial to hold onto your lean mass and not keep depleting it.  It is this aspect of the Ideal Protein Weight Loss Protocol that I really appreciate.  Otherwise, you end up with less lean mass and a reduced ability to burn those calories.  Now I don’t know about you but I want to eat more than chicken and lettuce in my old age.  A reduced metabolism and depleted lean mass create a situation where it becomes very difficult to keep the weight off.  Hence the “yo-yo” diet effect that so many dieters experience.

Now I have to admit that most days I am run off my feet with work and being busy.  What was not clear to me is that none of what I do is really physical so I was confused about still losing my lean mass.  I mean, as long as I wasn’t exercising vigorously while in ketosis, I should be only burning my fat and not touching my lean mass right? I learned today, that when I use my brain a lot and have much to tackle and think about, I am still using extra calories and if not careful, my body will resort to my lean mass to compensate.  The other factor that impacts my lean mass is that I travel from one place to the next, scarcely having any time to eat.  This leaves me with too much time in between meals leading to lean mass depletion. Thank God I have a Coach who monitors not only my weight loss but my body composition on a weekly basis.

Now really, I should know better.  I am always coaching people to be prepared, have food in your car, your bag, your desk. Healthy quick snacks so that you don’t go hours without eating.  Well, perhaps I need to sit down and take some of my own advice. It is so simple to take some quick and easy snacks with me.  With Ideal Protein, there are over 70 choices that are easily thrown into my bag and whipped up in less than 2 minutes with my shaker and cold water.  How easy is that?  Apparently in our instant gratification society, not easy enough.  At least judging by the excuses I and others have made.  Healthy eating, whether for weight loss or otherwise, requires that we plan our days in advance, ensuring that we give our bodies the fuel required to take care of everything.

The other challenge I had with week 2 is simply this, I am not hungry.  I have no cravings (except for when a house full of teenagers decides to cook up a few pounds of bacon but that’s another story) and I have to remind myself to eat.  That makes it all the more difficult to remember to have those healthy snacks and food available, as I no longer have a focus on food.  I also don’t experience those moments of needing to find something NOW.

I also learned about weekends, and was reminded of all the people I have coached who struggle on the weekends. I really get this. This weekend, I found myself struggling.  The routine was off, I didn’t have all my supplements with me, I was not at home or at work, places of staid and comfortable routine.  To make matters worse, I was taking a care package of food to a friend who was under the weather and without thinking, ate a mandarin orange section in the grocery store to make sure that they were tasty.   Now most of you are going “ya, big deal” but for me it is.  There is no fruit in the initial phase of my plan because fruit has sugar and I am trying to eliminate ALL sugar, including healthy ones, until I lose the weight.  This is not so much a weight loss tactic as a committed plan to let my pancreas and liver rest and heal from constantly having to produce large amounts of insulin.  I will reintroduce fruit once I am done my active weight loss, in a controlled and healthy manner. Also, just popping the orange section in my mouth without a second thought showed me that I am still susceptible to mindless eating, which is they type of eating we do that can really pack on the pounds.

I pulled out my weight loss diary and made a point of writing it down. Mandarin Orange, 1 section.  Small item, no impact, but important in ensuring that I go forward without mindlessly popping food in my mouth.  It is too easy to do this.  Orange section here, piece of candy there, a taste of cheesecake and before you know it, you have taken in another 500 calories and haven’t even realized it.  It is no different than drinking a latte and consuming 500 or more calories without realizing it. It is mindless and has huge impact over time.  Something like the sugar that is hidden in so much of our grocery store food.

Ah well, lesson learned.  I am looking forward to week 3.  I have now lost 15 lbs.  I am looking to lose at least double that and I know that I need to reduce my expectation of losing the next 15 in two weeks, even though that would be awesome.  Perhaps 2 lbs of fat for week three?  Hey universe, I am putting it out there, are you listening?