Deja Vu All Over Again

So I just took a few minutes to update the About Me page of this blog because I had not done so in well over a year, and boy was it ever outdated in many respects. What was helpful for me to see right now, getting myself through this first week of being back on all meal replacements, was again seeing the extremes of the “before” and “after” photos I have on there.  Now, I am not as thin as the after picture there – I took that one at the zenith of my diet, when I was down 11o pounds and weighed “only” 195 (hey that’s like a feather to me!), but even with some weight gain, I do not look even remotely like my old self, and that, seeing it, feeling it, that was good for the soul.

Yes I still need to lose weight but I am not that woman any more. Not even close.

Otherwise, not too much excitement to report because I am working like 14 hours a day right now. But I am down 5 pounds in the first 2 days and thankfully, have had a very minimal headache. In general I feel pretty darn good for day 3 actually. I usually feel pretty crappy the first 5 days, so glad to be ahead of schedule! Also helpful my family is out of town this first few days so I can completely avoid food. My husband took the kidlets to Yosemite. Thank you honey, even though you will never see this because you don’t read my blog. ;-)

I did forget how much you pee when you are doing all diet shakes plus drinking a ton of water plus losing a lot of water weight. I’m like Old Faithful only pointing downward!

That was possibly one of my infamous TMIs. :-)

Which reminds me, I have an opportunity to embarrass my family and they aren’t here to stop me!

Turn your speakers up and click to play. ;-)




Day Two Complete? Check!

Crazy busy (and will be for the next 10 days) but I wanted to at least check in and say I made it through day 2 completely on plan. It’s mighty nice to be losing again, though I’ll be making up lost ground for awhile. Oh well!

Back tomorrow!

Today Is The First Day Of The Rest Of My Life….

Yes I’ve said that before, but it makes it no less true. Today is a big day! Last night I met the 20 other people that are starting the next 82 week weight loss journey with me, and then today I started back on all meal replacement products. I have regained some (a lot!) of weight in the last few weeks but whatever! I am feeling totally motivated and really excited to be doing this. And I know that after the next 5-7 days, once I am back in the groove of all Optifast and looking ahead at completing “Phase 1″, I will find it as gratifying and easy as I did the last time.

It’s also personally gratifying to find that I was one of the least heavy people in my new group (aka Cohort 22).  After being one of the heaviest in the prior one, that’s something that feels like a really meaningful difference.

That said, I still have a big old chunk of weight to lose. I want to look back at what I did right and well last time, and do that again, but also look at where I had challenges and maybe try something different (I knew this blog would come in handy). One thing I am going to do this time, I am going to plan my reward schedule not based on pounds lost, but rather weeks I stick to the program.

So next week, as long as I have stayed on plan, I am going to get myself a massage on April 25. That’s kind of a big reward for only one week, but it’s also my birthday and my busy time at work will have just ended on the 24th, so a great time to pamper myself.

Then I am going to plan out a new reward for each week I stick to program, with bigger treats happening at 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks, and then a really great one at week 17 (the end of Phase 1).

Then, weekly for sure as I start the slow transition back to food (aka the really hard part).

So I will be Setting Goals, Monitoring, Arranging my world for success, Recruiting a support team (that’s YOU!) and then Treating myself. And then each day, focusing on these priorities…

  • Stay on my eating plan 100%   – 6 meal replacements and nothing else, religiously ingested every 2 1/2 to 3 hours to avoid hunger.
  • Drink water, and then more water, lots of water
  • Exercise (after day 3) 60 minutes a day/5-6 days a week. Walk, bike, gym… anything as long as I am moving!
  • Tracking all of the above!

It’s not rocket science and I did it before very successfully. They say there is a very high failure rate of people trying to do this again; I will be the exception to that rule thank you very much.

And now, I need to find a tape measure and take all my current measurements AND then I need to take a new photo tomorrow or the day after for my current “before” picture!!! And in between those, I’ll be thinking about what I want some of my rewards to be after that massage. :-)

Until tomorrow!

Welcome to

Okay bad news first, I lost my shit and ate like a pig for 4 days straight. Gained 9 pounds back (because hey, it’s me – surprised it wasn’t 15!). Good news is, I had my medical assessment yesterday for my Do Again, love the doctor I was assigned, and passed the necessary requirements to start the program. Was there a question about that? Yes, there is always a chance they will turn you down.

In any case, I am cleared for take off to join Cohort 22!  I was excited it’s #22. I’m oddly superstitious. Thirteen is my favorite number and I was Cohort 13 last time, and 22 is my birthday, so that feels like another good sign.  I got my official “welcome to the program” email last night after all the labs were reviewed and I am feeling super excited!

Dear Allison,

Welcome back to the Medical Weight Management Program. We are happy you have made this decision to return to Phase 1 and Phase 2 of our program and encourage your open communication with us. Please email us if you have questions.

  • Check blood pressure daily and at least weekly at weekly bp checks.
  • Bring your binder to all meetings.
  • Wear similar clothing to all visits so there is not a great variation in weight.
  • Drink 3-5 quarts of water daily.
  • Avoid caffeine, stimulants including sudafed in OTC cough/cold remedies.
  • NO alcohol
  • Do not take any new medication without letting us know.
  • Keep all your appointments with your providers, and do your blood work in a timely fashion.
  • DO NOT TAKE OVER THE COUNTER NSAIDS- Aleve, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Aspirin etc.
  • Occasional Tylenol is OK.
  • Report any changes in your health condition related to weight management to us ASAP.
  • Your BMI is less than 40 so you will be on 6 products daily (I was on 9 when I started last time because my BMI was so high).

Consume product every 3-4 hours apart so as to not feel hungry. You may consume only one soup per day and YOU MUST CONSUME AT LEAST 6 PRODUCTS PER DAY to get your daily required nutrients. Bring your medication list to every appointment.

You may experience the following side effects:

  • Dry skin and cold intolerance – moisturize skin and avoid very hot showers.
  • Headache — drink plenty of water.
  • Bad breath — due to soy protein; chew sugar free gum without SORBITOL.
  • Possible gall stones — this may need surgical intervention. If you develop abdominal pain please see us or your primary doctor.
  • Constipation: drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, take fiber supplements (e.g., Benefiber), stool softeners (e.g., Colace), or laxative (e.g., Miralax) if needed. If you are still constipated contact the providers.
  • Diarrhea — seen early in the program due to reduced fiber and increased water intake. This will subside.
  • Do not get into a hot tub, spa, or sauna while actively losing weight. It can rapidly decrease your blood pressure.

Program Course-

  • Week 1: Check in and sign paper work, instructions.
  • Week 2-16: complete meal replacement – total of 15 weeks.
  • Week 17-20: transition to food, gradually reducing number of products.
  • Week 20- 30: regular diet with the option to purchase up to 3 products per day.
  • Week 30 to end of program: weekly check-ins with option to purchase 3 products per day.

Follow up with primary doctor after completing active weight loss phase and completing final lab sets. If any medical issues not related to weight management, please contact primary doctor.

Okay, in the meanwhile, I am now getting myself back on track! :-)


The Crepe Escape

Life is good for those of us trying to regain the 100 pound weight loss for the umpteenth time. Oh wait, that’s just me.

I continue to be completely on plan for staying low calorie each day and am already just 2.5 pounds away from the 100# marker (again). Considering that was my main goal, to be back at the 100 pound loss (weigh 205 pounds), by April 15 when I re-start the Optifast… well with 3 1/2 weeks left, I am feeling mighty confident. I might even make the stretch goal of 199 by then, BUT what I do not want to be doing right now is depriving myself. I will be on all meal replacements for 17 weeks and mainly meal replacements for a lot longer than that. So now is not the time to sabotage myself by trying to be super restrictive in advance.

Along those lines, I have been finding ways to enjoy food without derailing my weight loss efforts. It’s not easy, I really do prefer to just have a shake or bar and skip trying to moderate, but I’ve had some nice successes. For example, I took my kids to the movies last night and I love-love-love movie theatre popcorn (without butter thank goodness). And we all know I can eat a lot. So… I simply had a low cal shake in the morning, some lean protein in the afternoon, and then let myself enjoy a large popcorn for around 1200 calories. Not only did I enjoy it greatly, I still lost .4 of a pound this morning.

Likewise, my husband made these amazing vegetable crepes. The recipe is from the current issue of Cooking Light and they are so filling and so delicious – for only 315 calories for 2 crepes! I just had 2 for my dinner and I feel genuinely full right now. That’s not something I say often. :-)

Here’s the recipe for anyone else looking for a crepe escape!

Enjoy your weekend. I’ll check in next week after my doctor’s appointment (having to retake the physical to do the program again).

Being Average

As I am waiting for my Do Again to start I am focusing on getting back down to at least 205 by the first meeting on April 15. This would return me to my 100 pound loss. Under 200, even 199.9, would be sublime, but hey, 205 is great! With 4 weeks left to lose 6.2 pounds, you would think (hope) that would be a no-brainer and anything beyond that is just fat-free, zero calorie gravy.

As I was recording today’s weight in Fitbit and Beeminder, I started wondering what my average weight for the last year has been, as well as how often and for how long had I been a visitor in the magical world of Onederland?

You’ll be able to view the graph better if you click it, but here’s the gist. Interestingly my average weight for the last year has been 211 pounds – which by coincidence is my weight right now.  And then where the purple dips below the green line shows when I have been under 200… which is not very often and not for very long!


I am looking forward to changing that. I want to be an average weight all right, but 211 is not that average!

And While I’m Waiting…

So while we’re waiting for my Do Again to start on April 15, I am of course focusing on continuing to lose weight. I will not be sitting around eating pizza and bon bons the next month! I have a couple of short-term things happening to help keep me focused and having fun instead of eating delicious salty, sweet, fatty goodness all day.

First, don’t think for a minute I have given up on my dream bike! Oh no, not at all. If you did not know, the very-coolest-bike-people-in-the-whole-world aka Ibis Cycles, agreed to act as the “rabbit” to my greyhound (hmmm…. least apt analogy ever mayhaps? Rabbit to my St. Bernard?) and the final qualifier for that sexy beast of a bike is to weigh 145 by September 1, 2014.

Now, however utterly improbable it may be at this point, there is still a remote statistical possibility I could make it. So, there’s that.

Seriously. It could happen, and thus I will be focused on willing it to happen. Along with burning a bajillion calories.

Then also the comedic mastermind and celebrity cyclist blogger known as the FatCyclist (who is so NOT fat), is holding his mostly annual weight loss challenge. Now I am not in this one to win, just to place, but it’s still a lot of fun and helps keep me tracking every day. Tracking good. That challenge started last week and ends on June 21. I made that goal to try to get to 172 pounds by June 21, which would be a 50# loss from what I weighed last week (I was near the top of one of my infamous poundage bounces).

You can track my progress for that via the cool Beeminder widget show below. What I really like about this challenge, our $20 entry fees were donated to World Bicycle Relief and if we have any penalties for going off track during the challenge, half the penalty fee also goes to WBR.  Win-win-win. Or is it lose-win-win? Or gain-win-lose… oh never mind!

Anyhoo – I had briefly gotten up to 223, but I am already back down to 211.6 and  feeling pretty damn #awesomesauce (that’s for you Fatty). Looking forward to being at or under 200 pounds again when my Do Again commences. Happy Friday!

Click on the “Beeminder Test” graphic below to see the widget (technical workaround for WordPress not liking iframe embeds!)