Forgive me for how long this is, I seem to struggle with making a long story short. It's difficult to understand the significance of my results without getting a little background as well. I'm a 44 year old female, I've struggled with my weight for more than 20 years. I've tried everything, from just plain old exercise, to diets, to juice fasts, to crazy calorie restriction diets and more. I've taken some of the strangest supplements trying to lose weight, I cut out dairy, gluten, sugar and more.
Some of what I did was on the right track, for instance, I saw some major health improvements with juicing vegetables, and STILL drink fresh veggie juice as one of my snacks (I either add protein powder to it or eat some protein to make it an accelerator snack). I gained some serious strength with weight lifting (was doing shoulder presses with 20 pound weights at one point, and did NOT look like a man!) When I would eat ANY wheat or dairy before, my stomach would swell up visibly and all "progress" in my intestines would come to a screeching halt, so a year ago I gave it up, along with sugar.
Although I have Reactive Hypoglycemia, sugar attacks were rare before. I was convinced that regular exercise, avoiding dairy, gluten and sugar was what I needed to do. I had gone from 225 pounds to 169.5 pounds, so I figured almost 60 pounds lost was a sign that I was doing something right. I STILL think I was on the right track.
However, I lead a VERY busy life, I work 51 hours a week, I go to college 12 hours (this semester, next semester will be 19 hours), and when you add in sleeping 7 hours a night, drive times, 12 hours a week studying and 4 hours a week exercising, I have exactly 24 hours free time a week. That's not much. Because of my long work hours, I have worked to incorporate exercise into my day. At school I do a lot of walking, etc. Again, I did see SOME health improvements, but I was stuck at 169 pounds, and my waist & hips were growing.
I bought the FLFLS for my parents, my mother is trying to lose weight, and struggles with finding foods that her husband will eat without having to make one meal for him and one for herself. I thought this might be a great solution, but after receiving it, there wasn't too much interest from either of them. It IS rather intimidating to open that big box and see all that stuff. So I set the stuff back in the box with the intentions on sending it back for a refund.
Months later, (I'm not sure exactly how long) I was cleaning my room, moving things around and came across the box. That's when I remembered that I'd wanted to send it back. I thought I already had, but clearly not. So I called, and they said that I waited too long to send it back. I was stuck. I set it on my desk and walked away from it in frustration.
In truth, I wasn't REALLY frustrated with FLFLS, rather I was angry with this plateau I'd been on for over a year. I felt a little better, but still had no energy, I was ALWAYS tired, spent all my free time sleeping, and ate 2-3 meals a day. I didn't seem to have TIME to eat more, and when I did, I GAINED weight, so I tried not to eat any more than I needed to. I gradually stopped exercising, because I wasn't seing any benefit from it either.
It was a few days later, I got up, went to the bathroom and stepped on the scale to see I'd gone up from 155 to 169.5 AGAIN. Something inside me snapped. THAT was the last straw. I had HAD it with feeling like crap and seeing the same fat person staring back at me day after day. (Although I'd already lost 60 pounds, I still tended to see that same 225 pound person in the mirror.)
I went back to the bedroom and hauled out the box. I broke everything out, laid it out and got started. I spent some time figuring out what went where and when to use what. I took my pictures, did the measurements and figured out my body fat percentage, fat weight and lean body mass weight. I filled out the rapid results worksheet, and started doing the 21 day makeover. I started out exercising every other day or every day, I began working the 12 and 24 minute DVD's into my mornings. I MADE time for it.
I must stress, I did this makeover because I was mad, mad because I was not losing weight, mad because I bought this as a gift for someone who then didn't want it, and mad because I was stuck with it. I didn't BELIEVE it was going to work. In fact, I was convinced it wasn't going to work and set out to prove “them” wrong. I committed to following the 21 Day Makeover program to the T (with the exception of regular exercise from the beginning. I followed the 'fast results' suggestion from inside the DVD jacket). Within 24 hours of starting this system, I was waking up VERY hungry, and having to eat every few hours because I was starving. I wake up hungry now, which is also amazing to me. And there's no way I'm going to miss my times, I HAVE to eat now.
I eat sandwiches now. With bread. Real honest-to-goodness sandwiches with real, honest to goodness bread (whole wheat, and none of the 'enemies') Not only do I love them, but they no longer negatively affect me. In fact, I had one today for lunch. Low sodium, oven roasted turkey with lettuce, tomato, a slice of pepper jack cheese, and a LITTLE bit of honey mustard. I am not sure I'll ever get tired of enjoying those sandwiches. I get pretty fancy with them now, I love it. I did each of these things that the 21 Day Makeover told me to do, my step dad, (the picky eater that was partially responsible for me purchasing this system in the first place) LOVED the baked macaroni and cheese from the classic comfort foods recipe card. He even went back for seconds (and leftovers the next day).
Some things have been hard to get used to, I've had to unlearn some things, and go against what I was SURE was true. (I'm a geek, and have done a LOT of research.) But I stuck with it, all to get to this point today, JUST to prove “them” wrong.
Today was day 21. I was SOOO excited this morning. I got up and flew to the bathroom to hop on the scale, imagining the incredible success I was going to see on the scale. 10 pounds? 20 pounds? Oh maybe MORE!
When I saw the numbers, I almost cried. 2.3 pounds lost. That's IT. What happened? Where did I go wrong? I was SOOO disappointed, and almost threw the whole thing in the trash. But I figured in for a penny, in for a pound. I went back and began taking measurements, and went through the math to figure my body fat percentage, fat weight and lean body mass.
What I found stunned me. Plain and simple. I learned a whole new type of math, the FLFLS math!
Let me show you....
2 pounds on a scale (for me) equals:
- 7 ½ inches lost (total body). Of that, 3 inches off my hips and 2 inches off my waist.
- 3% Body Fat LOST!
- 5 ½ pounds of Fat Weight lost. As in GONE!
- AND a whopping 3.31 gain in Lean Body Mass!
So, if I understand this correctly, I lost 5.5 pounds of fat and gained 3.31 pounds of Lean Body Mass. That's pretty doggone amazing to me. It's certainly something I never thought I'd see and I DEFINITELY didn't expect to see it as the result of eating foods I love (and thought I'd never be able to eat again.) I feel SO much better, I sleep better, I have tons of energy now. I'm getting into clothes I didn't think I'd ever wear again.
Not only did I fail in my attempt to prove them wrong, but I've learned a very valuable lesson about that scale that I love to hate. It was SO hard to stay off of it for 21 days, but I'm glad I did. Had I stepped on that scale and found that I wasn't losing weight, I might have given up before my body had a chance to reset it's metabolism. I might have thrown away something that very clearly works for me.
I'm not blindly reaching in the dark, trying 'this' and 'that' to see if it helps. I'm not piecing things together from here and there, trying to create a new wheel. I'm not trying to convince myself that I don't really miss “those” foods. I don't HAVE to do without. I have a good foundation now, I can go to any restaurant, find myself in just about any situation and STILL be able to eat without sabotaging my weight loss or my health.
Had I given up, I really WOULD have failed. Instead, I stuck with it, doggedly, determinedly. Now I begin the next phase, and I'm truly looking forward to it. I wish I could talk to the people from the call center that refused me. I wish I could tell them “Thank You.” Even though they were just following the policy, it was the best refusal that ever happened to me.
Now I'm a believer! I KNOW I can do this! I am truly looking forward to going through the FLFL book, and seeing my results in the weeks and months to come!