So, What, Exactly, Have I Been Doing to Lose Weight?

Since I’ve started this blog, which has been entirely for the purpose of recording my weight loss journey up to this point, I have found that I really like doing it.  Even though I know I said at first that I would do it every day, and in reality I only do it a couple times a week – or sometimes just once a week – I do like to do it.  I think that, down the road, it will be a cool thing to look back on, and if, along the way, I can help someone else out somehow, or just provide a bit of entertainment as I talk about my crazy life, GREAT!  So, I’m going to try to really stick to writing a post 3 times a week – on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  And, I’m going to expand my horizons a bit and talk about other stuff in addition to my weight loss/fitness/marathon training interests.  Lord knows, I have plenty of other stuff going on that I feel like unloading about sometimes.

But – on the weight loss side of things – for the moment, I seem to have kind of stalled at 152-153 pounds over the past few days.  Last week was epic – I lost something like 6 pounds just in that one week, but for whatever reason, this week has been slower going.  And that’s ok – I have lost a total of 15 pounds in 5 weeks, which is AWESOME – I’m also increasing my running distance and intensity, so I know that is going to cause some inflammation and stuff, plus maybe some lean body mass increase, AND, I’m also ovulating at the moment (sorry if that’s TMI) – but you know those pesky hormones mess with stuff in all kinds of ways.  So, I’m not stressing about it at all, but my goal really is still 145lbs, and I am feeling a bit impatient to get there.  I’m going to see how it goes for the rest of this week, but if I continue to stick where I’m at, I’m considering abandoning my 3 meals/3 Optavia fuelings plan for now and go back to the strictly 5 Optavia fuelings/1 lean and green meal plan until I get to my goal weight.  We shall see.

What is Optavia, you might ask?  Well, it’s a nutrition plan that is designed to put your body into a mild state of ketosis, and I can tell you from personal experience and from the experiences of many people close to me that it is wildly successful.  It is completely food-based, which I like a lot.  I’m not good with pills and potions – nothing against them, I just don’t personally like them.  This is just food that is specifically portioned and balanced to provide high protein, low carb, low glycemic index nutrition that will naturally put your body into a gentle fat-burning state.  The proportions of macro-nutrients and calories that are present in the pre-packaged foods that you purchase through Optavia can be mimicked in real food, so you can get exactly the same effect from properly preparing your meals with what you get from the grocery store, but Optavia makes a process that can be really complicated, time-consuming and fraught with potential error very, very simple.  So, you buy a month’s worth of “fuelings” at a time, and its a variety of different foods – bars, shakes, cookies, brownies, oatmeal, cereal, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, crunchy snacks, etc – but they all have basically the same calorie count and balance of nutrients, so you can choose from all these different things and eat whatever you feel like at the moment.  Initially, the plan is to eat 5 of these fuelings a day and in addition, you eat one meal that consists of a lean protein and about a cup and a half of veggies every day that you prepare yourself, with guidance from your coach, if needed.  Invariably, on that plan, people will lose 5-6 pounds in the first week and then 1-2 pounds a week after that, sometimes more – it varies depending on…..well depending on a thousand different things.  Everybody’s a little different.

The beauty of it though, is just the simplicity of it.  In the process however, there is a lot of education – at first about how to prepare your lean and green meals in the right proportions to allow your weight loss to continue, and then as time goes on, you just naturally develop new habits. You have a coach that supports you through the process, encourages you and helps you to learn what you need to know to change the patterns in your eating that haven’t been working.   You become aware of all of the hidden calories that exist in stuff that you come to realize that you really can easily do without.  You develop an appreciation for the natural flavors or real food and lose your need or desire for high-empty-calorie condiments, dressings, sauces, gravy’s, etc. You learn about portion control, and you come to realize that you can actually be nicely satisfied on a much smaller meal portion than you would normally eat.  I know that, personally, I was probably eating at least triple of what I really needed to not be hungry in every meal – and that has been a huge factor in my inability to lose weight over the past few years.  After you reach your goal weight, your coach helps you to transition into 3 meals per day of “regular” food and the fuelings become snacks in between so that you continue on the 6 small meals per day formula that seems to work best.  So, basically, without getting on too much of a soapbox – the end result of this experience is not only the initial weight loss, but it’s also the development of new habits that will support a person in sustaining that weight loss.

So that, in a nutshell, is what Optavia is.  And let me just say, the purpose of this blog is not to push Optavia – I’m just talking about it because it’s what I’ve been doing and because it’s been working for me.  As I said, this blog is about to be about much more than this, but I haven’t been really clear in past posts about what exactly I’ve been doing to lose the weight I’ve lost, so I figured, before I move on to other topics, I would lay it out.  If you’re reading this and want to try it, let me know and I can help you get in touch with someone that can get you going on it.

And NOW – I’m going to go back to studying for my pharmacology exam, which is what today is supposed to be mainly dedicated to – and I will write another blog post on Friday.

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