What I have done right is far more important and lasting than the few things I don't do so well these days: I've changed my lifestyle.
How do I know this? Before OPTIFAST, had I been faced with the major life changes I've experienced (and caused) over the past 1 1/2 years, I would have 'soothed' my stress with food and vegging out in front of the T.V. Just thinking about taking a walk stressed me out. When I say 'soothe' my stress with food, I mean a typical food day would have looked like this:
1. Breakfast: McDonald's Egg n' Bacon biscuit "value" meal, including the hash rounds
2. Snack: honey bun from the vending machine
3. Lunch: McDonald's Quarter pounder "value" meal
4. Snack: Snickers bar from the vending machine
5. Dinner: 1-2 cups of grits or rice or pasta, cheese, bread - anything starchy and easy.
And if it were a particularly bad day, I would have also 'rewarded' myself with a pint of Cherry Garcia.
Exercise? Only to and from the car, at a snail's pace.
What's stressful eating day look like now?
1. Breakfast: home-made yogurt, frozen blueberries, Kashi GoLean and slivered almonds
2. Lunch: leftovers - usually a leanish protein, green vegetable and baked plain sweet potato and if I feel the need, I walk all the way to the other side of the building for 1-2 pieces of bite sized candy a co-worker keeps on her desk. I DO NOT go to the vending machine.
3. Snack: 1/2 an apple with 1 TBSP of peanut butter
4. Dinner: leanish protein, starch, green veggie, bread & butter and a half a beer. (Yeah, dinner needs some tweaking)
6. After dinner clean-up and next day prep: I'm putting this to be honest - I sneak extra bites while I'm cleaning up and prepping for the next day. This is one area where I need to make a boundary and stick to it. And it's one behavior I practice that does not facilitate weight loss/maintenance. The good news is that what I'm sneaking is healthy - not spoonfuls of ice cream or handfuls of chips.
Exercise: At a minimum - 30 minutes of brisk walking. Typically - 45-60 minutes of cardio or weight training.
The differences are astounding. I would eat more calories before lunch than I typically eat all day now. And the idea of vegging in front of mindless TV makes me cringe.
Today, I spend a lot of time preparing my foods and being ready. I make my own yogurt. It takes time. My partner and I eat real food - it takes time to prepare. Thankfully, he does much of the cooking. A lot of time is also spent exercising. I do these things without thinking most of the time. Even when I'm stressed and just want to sit down.
And because these healthy behaviors are so much part of my life now, I have weathered the major life changes without gaining a ton of weight. A few pounds, yes. But not what the old me would have gained.
I'm grateful to all the people who have helped me get here and who help me stick it out. And I'm also very proud of myself.