I have been on the Medifast healthy eating plan since July 18, 2011. On that day, I was 183 pounds. I was desperate and ready for a change. I wanted something that worked and that was healthy. There were multiple things that happened that showed me this was the plan God had for me.
Medifast works on the principle of the 5 and 1 plan. Five times a day, you eat a Medifast meal. It could be oatmeal, a "granola" bar, a shake, cookies, brownies, soup, eggs, pancakes, or sloppy Joe. Everything has around 100 calories and is made of primarily soy protein. Each meal has 20% of your needed vitamins and calcium. Then, once a day, you eat a meal that you cook at home or eat at a restaurant. The meal is made up of lean protein and low carbohydrate vegetables. This meal has from 400-500 calories. You cut all sugar and only eat a small amount of healthy fats, such as olive oil or low carb salad dressing. This program is effective and works quickly. Although you are only consuming around 900 calories a day, after four days, you kick into the fat burning zone, where you lose 2-5 pounds a week and at least 10 pounds a month. When you are in fat burning, you aren't hungry and have lots of energy.
The program also has lots of flexibility. You will miss eating certain things, but you can make almost anything out of the meal options. Like burgers? Eat Boca or Morningstar soy burgers. Like pizza? Make a version out of cauliflower, low fat cheese, and vegetables for toppings? Like spaghetti? Make spaghetti squash and vegetarian meatballs. Like Reese cups? Make a dark chocolate shake with peanut butter. You can find a recipe for anything, so there are options.
I worked the 5-and-1 plan straight with no cheating until Thanksgiving Day. I weighed around 145 pounds. I had lost around 40 pounds. Thanksgiving Day, I decided to eat off plan and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with dessert and other things I had been avoiding. The holiday season started, and I ate off plan for several events, but I had planned this all out and made the choice myself. The plan at that time was to go back to strict adherence on January 1st, 2012 to reach my goal, which was 130 pounds.
A family tragedy happened, and I did not go back to strict adherence. Instead, the plan was to go back on the 5-and-1 plan when I returned back to my home state. After returning home, I got back on the Medifast plan and was feeling good. I lost another 5 pounds and was only 10 pounds from my goal. This is when it started to get hard.
Being only 10 pounds away from your goal, it is hard to finish that last little bit of the race. Why is that? You have done so well. But the desire to keep going fades. You think: "I have done so well. Why do I have to keep doing this?" You start self-sabotating yourself and working against yourself.
My body is also rebelling at losing anymore. The top half of my body is a beautiful thing. I have hardly any fat on that half at all. My bottom half--the birthin' half--as someone said, is not so great. I really do want to lose the rest of my extra fat and get down to the ideal 22% body fat ratio. Two week ago, I went back to the 5 and 1 plan, but I was hungry, dangit. It is hard to keep adherence to this diet which forbids you to eat carrots. Yes, it works, but my body is weak. I have lived so long in these habits of mine where I use food to cope with stress or loneliness. The monster still dwells within.
There is now a battle for my heart and mind. Luckily, I have a captain, Yahweh God, who speaks to me, and even when I rebel and try to do my own thing, he calls me back gently. Ten days ago, I decided I was ready to transition, even though I had not met my goal. I wasn't going out to pig out, but I was going to add extra vegetables. But then I ate a cupcake, and a burger, and another burger, and yogurt, and I don't feel good. I am not strong enough to control my desires for good. The old Lindsey is still in there saying, It's okay, you'll be fine. Just a little.
This past weekend, I made a yearly plan for spiritual growth. One of the aspects of my identity God spoke to me about is my health. He said that I am healthy and make good decisions about my health, therefore, I eat well, get enough sleep, and exercise. As much as I don't want to, I know that God is calling me to go back on the 5-and-1 and finish what I started. I know this. He isn't judgmental about it. He just says, "Okay, you tried it your way, and now you got to see the result. What is your choice? Are you going to do it your way or my way?" Either way, He's still going to love me, but I won't be able to fully be who He is calling me to be without doing this. I am surrendered to His will.
I am going back on the 5 and 1 until I make it to 130 pounds. If I need extra fuel, I am going to eat extra vegetables, but no more ice cream or burgers or any of that stuff. Even when I have reached my goal, I will have to decide what the new Lindsey is going to be. I can't ever go back to what I used to do. It would be against my new nature. That doesn't mean I can't ever have a burger or ice cream, but I don't need to do them now, when I am so close to finishing. It will just take longer.
I am continuing to grow and learn. I need people to help me stay the course. If you think you can be one of those people, please let me know.