Ideal Protein Diet - Week 5 - You Can Teach an Old Broad New Tricks

Don't Worry, Be Healthy

I finally bought a scale

When I was going to Weight Watchers I would have weighed in naked if I could. Who knows how much my cotton briefs and underwire bra weigh? The strategy was to get weighed in the first week with your jacket and shoes and then the next week barefoot and pared down to the lightest clothes in your closet. I’m not kidding. I would stand in my closet and take each item off the hanger getting a feel for the weight and like a balance scale I’d put something else in my other hand until I found the article of clothing that weighed the least. After that, I would wear the same thing every week. You might think if you were a visitor from another planet that all the people at Weight Watchers only owned one set of clothes like pioneers on the prairie or prisoners at Alcatraz. As a person got closer to their goal weight they would literally strip down to stretchy shorts and a tank top that does not require undergarments. This was not always pretty to the eye or to the higher self that knows this is a form of self-abuse. We all judged our self-worth by the number on the scale. We all felt like failures when the scale said we did not lose or, horror of horrors, we gained 2 ounces. I’ve had food stuck in my teeth that weighed more than 2 ounces.

If you’re squeamish you may want to skip this paragraph. According to Wiki Answers your colon can hold 6 – 8 pounds of waste if you do not have an optimal diet. If your diet is better; i.e. high fiber and lots of water it can still be 2 – 3 pounds. In addition, a quart of water weighs two pounds. Incredulous, I checked this data with a highly unscientific method of putting a quart of water on my Weight Watcher’s food scale and the little arrow went past the 16 ounce mark and stopped at 8 ounces on the other side. However, it could have gone further if it was designed to weigh more than 16 ounces…which it’s not. This is proof enough for me that Wiki Answers got it right.

This week I weighed myself on my own personal scale before my meeting with Dr. Rick. It was first thing in the morning before my space food cereal breakfast while I was still in my light cotton nightgown. I had lost 2 pounds from last week. However, when I got to Dr. Rick’s office I tried to wheedle out of the weigh-in. His scale had been recalibrated and I was filled with the old scale fear. I took off my shoes and got on the scale that showed a loss of ½ pound. I am not going to let this get to me. The scale is not the same as last time and I know how much thinner I feel. This is a blip and an anomaly.

With that being said, I went over the events of the past week to see how I may have slipped up. There is a place my mind goes when I am developing any new good habits. I go into rationalization mode. The first thing I realized was that I had not been taking the vitamins regularly. I took the morning and afternoon but often forget about the evening. Or I’d leave them at home and forget to take them at all. I am the type to take all my vitamins at one time and call it a day. The diet mandates that you take the supplements three times per day. I know this diet is based on some balancing things in my body and I swore that I would follow it correctly. However, as I’ve learned through a lifetime of trial and error, it is WAY easier to develop a bad habit than it is to maintain a good one.

The next thing that was different was that I ate out twice. I went to Orlando to visit my sisters and attend a memorial service for my mother who passed away in November. I’ve been avoiding the trip because the drive there and back is really hard on my back and hip. There were times I was crippled from the trip when I went up to visit my mom. While I was there we went out to eat twice. I have to say, I was proud of myself for sticking to the program. I brought my space food packets and used them appropriately; however, two cups of vegetables were not available for the meals. At the first restaurant I ordered broiled Haddock with a side salad, oil and vinegar on the side and a side of summer squash. The fish had butter on it and the squash was soaking in a butter sauce as well. The second meal was at Applebee’s and I ordered the Bourbon Street Chicken and Shrimp. I told them to hold the potatoes and give me vegetables instead. I’m not 100% sure what the chicken and shrimp were cooked in but it was satisfying in a way that lead me to believe I should not be eating it. Of course I did and it was delicious.

What I didn’t do was sit at the table in the restaurant and rationalize by saying, “I deserve this,” about carbohydrates or dessert. This is because what I DO deserve is to be a healthy weight, I deserve to be able to walk without a cane and not be in unbearable pain, I deserve to be attractive, I deserve to be able to sit on the floor and play with my granddaughters, I deserve to be able to feed my body good food so it functions properly, I deserve to walk into an interview and have the employer take me seriously, and I deserve to be vital for this last part of my life. What does it even mean to say, “I deserve to eat this?” That reasoning is so off kilter and could only mean that there is nothing more important in my life than food. It’s like saying, “I have suffered with the good healthful food I have been eating for so long that in order to relieve my suffering from what is good for me I must indulge in something that is not good for me.” WTF?

The last thing was that I was not keeping up with my water intake. I was drinking water but not the half gallon a day that is required. When I told my nurse friend Patty that I was going on a diet that would involve putting me into ketosis she warned me to make sure I drank lots of water. She explained that the function of the liver is to convert stored body fat into energy. This puts stress on the liver and you need to keep your water intake up to flush it out. The kidneys are also under pressure because calcium is being leached out of your body and without the correct amount of water you can develop kidney stones. This is also why my daily dose of calcium is so important and I must remember to take the vitamins.

This is not a diet that is meant to be a lifestyle. It is ONLY a diet which is why I like it. Once I lose the weight I can choose my own lifestyle and eat the balanced diet I know I can from my years of experience with nutrition. Right now, I just need to take off weight. I can maintain it once I’m there by careful observance of my scale and portion control. I don’t expect to keep the weight off by eating like food is going out of style. I plan to eat small portions several times a day. I also plan to consult a dietician or a practitioner of Ayurvedic medicine and carefully reincorporate foods into my diet.

Now that my food addictions are under control I notice how other people eat. The same thing happened when I stopped drinking and it resulted in having to find a new group of friends who were not abusing alcohol. The problem with food is that no one really thinks of it as a vice. I guess it is an even more benign version of the alcohol vs. drug mindset. Alcohol IS a drug but it is a legal drug, therefore, it is socially acceptable. The same person who denounces the use of marijuana will offer you a lethal dose of alcohol in the form of a Long Island Ice Tea; 1 part Gin, 1 part Rum, 1 part Tequila, 1 part Triple Sec, 1 part Vodka, 1 ½ parts Sour mix, and a little Coca-Cola for color – make mine DIET cola. People are hardly aware that the reason alcohol gets you drunk is because it is poisoning you. A little poison…a little impaired but a lot of poison can kill you. The same is true of food except dying from an overdose of cake isn’t as quick. The problem is even my thin friends want me to socialize with food. “Let’s go out to dinner. How about getting an ice cream cone? There’s a Starbucks on the corner I’m dying for a cup of coffee and a cookie.” I hope this time I can keep my friends and simply change my bad impulses.

Last night at the Miami Heat game I sat next to a guy who ate his way through the game like a starving animal. I lived through his popcorn, sausage on a roll with peppers, and extra-large order of nachos with cheese. I learned that I can satisfy a craving with the smell alone if my stomach is already full. I must admit…this is a pure act of will but it turns out even popcorn, a particular favorite of mine, can be enjoyed by aroma alone if I’m not actually hungry. There was also a family in front of us with an obese father and two sons that downed hot dogs like they were the last ones available on the planet. I was afraid that either Mr. Hotdog or Mr. Sausage would explode right there in the arena. If human skin did not expand and there was a chance we might break maybe we’d use our common sense to stop eating before the big bang. I watch these people and realize that I know something they don’t know. I want to shake them and make them see how harmful it is to load their bodies up with unhealthful foods. However, what I don’t know is if I can keep up this clear thinking for the rest of my life or if I will fall back into the same food coma once I stop Ideal Protein and try to go back to regular food.

It has occurred to me that high carb or sugar foods spoil your body into expecting a fresh supply of easy to access energy. I would get the Big Hungry when my body had whipped through the last piece of cheesecake and got the jitters that it MIGHT have to draw on stored fat for its next energy surge. That is difficult and more tedious than pulling it out of usable food in my stomach. Tapping into my own stores of fat takes more work. It says, “Give me some more of that cheese cake…I’ll run off that…don’t make me do all the work of mining energy out of the fat stores….that is work.” My body, as it turns out, is a lazy slob. It would rather have me serve it than to do some work of its own. I think that I once was married to a person exactly like that and I dumped him. Time to whip this body into shape so it gets up and gets its own beverage! Once I’ve lost all the excess fat I can eat the foods my body wants for nourishment and it won’t have to work so hard. By that time it will be retrained to appreciate the good food I give it and not jones for sugar…it will be a lean, mean, fighting machine with a healthy metabolism.

I also have new ideas about foods that are, in the strict sense of the word, good for you. I observed an overweight woman sitting in her car waiting for someone to let her out of a driveway. She was eating an apple. In the days before Ideal Protein I may have thought she was attempting to eat more healthful foods to lose weight. Now I want to slam my car into park and knock on her window and say, “Did you know that if you eat enough carbs to fuel your body…even if you are eating less…your body cannot tap into your fat stores? Put down the apple and grab some turkey jerky or celery.” I don’t suppose that kind of helpful information could lead to anything but a rude gesture with her middle finger. I try to keep my new found information to myself unless someone asks me how I lost the weight.

Personally, I always had dried fruit available in my car as a snack. My glove compartment was loaded with things I thought I could have in a pinch so I wouldn’t drive through MacDonald’s for a fish sandwich…Serving Size: 1 sandwich (5.1 oz.) Calories: 380 Total Fat: 18g Carbs: 38g Protein: 15g – and this BEFORE dinner. My hunger level, even after a full day of eating healthful foods like steel cut oats with fruit and soy milk, a large salad with chicken or turkey with oil and vinegar or lite dressing, a handful of raw almonds or walnuts, etc., was ravenous. I was out of control and lying to myself about the junk food I consumed in private. Everyone at work would comment on how healthful my food choices were and yet I was gaining weight and feeling hopeless. Now I have a solid idea about how and why this diet works and I put on my clothes and feel fabulous. You can teach an old broad new tricks…that is, if she opens up her mind to the possibilities.

I want to share the contact information for Dr. Rick in the event that you want to give Ideal Protein a try. You can contact Dr. Rick Buchalter at drrickbuchalter@bellsouth.net or 954-748-7455. He is located at 10123 W. Oakland Park Blvd. in Sunrise, FL 33351. You can check out his website at www.southfloridahealthcenter.com or www.sunriseidealweightloss.com where you will find information about the diet plan. Dr. Rick graciously offered that anyone who mentions the blog can get 25% off the first 9 days of food, first month’s supply of vitamins, and weight loss coaching until your goal is reached.

I have to mention another improvement in health that I’ve noticed since the beginning of my diet. I have not been experiencing reflux. I know I mentioned this before but the new development is that I am weaning myself off the Omeprazole tablets. I am down to once every other day now. I have never had to take anything on a daily basis before but I was diagnosed with esophageal ulcers several years ago and was told to take this every day. I’ve been a little worried about it because there is something about limiting stomach acid that leeches calcium from your bones. I’m at an age where bone density becomes an issue so I’m going to see if I can do without it now that my food intake has changed. So far, so good on the every other day schedule. In a couple weeks I’ll cut back to every three days and see what happens. In the past, even missing one dose was a nightmare.

I spend a lot of time these days wondering where the next lump of fat will come off. Some of this fat has been here for 20 years. One would think that after a certain length of time the fat would turn into something else just like wood becomes petrified over time. Will it take longer to access the old fat than it does the new fat? I suppose if I was starving to death after the apocalypse my thighs would eventually get thin. My thighs have been fat since I was 8 years old. Does old fat look different from new fat? Yuck…I’m even grossing myself out here even though I am making all this up.

Once I lose a few more pounds I’m going to have to go shopping. Shopping for those of you without a weight problem must be a delightful activity. You get a bunch of stuff off the rack and take it into the dressing room. Some things look darling and go with your skin tone and eye color so you buy them. Others are not flattering so you put them on the hook with the rejects. Under no circumstances do you look “disturbing” in anything that you put on. Obese people need to be very careful that they do not scare small children with their wardrobe choices. We cannot wear clothing that shows off our body shape when the shape is indecipherable from, let’s say, a walrus in stretch pants. However, the clothes are not the only problem. The fitting room itself is a little piece of hell. The lights are harsh and there is a mirror that allows us to see what the outfit looks like from behind. I don’t know about anyone else out there but I am a big fan of denial. It’s what has kept me from jumping off a cliff for years now. In my mind, if I can’t see it, it doesn’t exist…therefore, my butt it does not exist. The dread dressing room not only SHOWS me my back side it does so with harsh and unnecessary fluorescent lighting. This is bad enough when I’m checking out the outfit but when I am standing there in my underwear it throws me into the kind of reality where a weaker woman would have an immediate breakdown. Let me just tell all you retailers out there. If you want to keep us in your fitting rooms long enough to actually purchase an item you need to reconsider the lighting and the overall ambiance. How about some soft pink bulbs and a little soothing spa music? Let’s put a nice Vaseline glaze on that back-view mirror to take the edge off. I simply do not look THAT bad at home…although that might be my denial kicking in again. I’m safe for now. My slacks are only lose and not too big. However, that first shopping trip will be with the help of a sedative and a pair of sunglasses.

I’m ready for the challenges of week 6 – I’m hoping I don’t weaken and dive head first into the cheese dip at the next big party. And there will be parties now that Greg and I have decided to move back home to Buffalo, NY. We’ll pick it up there next week.


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Comments 2 comments

vicky 3 years ago

:) YOU ARE AMAZING. I love your insight and thoughts on the body and how it wants easy food and not to work for it. Giving me some new thoughts. I do not care what any scale says. You are much much smaller. And healthy looking. There is a glow, there is shape, and you seem to emit this "Ohm" thing. haha, you know I know nothing about yoga, even though you keep trying to teach me. but you are becoming one with the universe or food or something! You WILL not slip and go back to bad habits. You are too smart and once you go and are able to buy any outfit you want, you will maintain the loss. i once told you i think of food as the enemy. In a way, some of your logic jives with that. Well some foods, carbs. I did not know that about the water and how important it is. I must drink more water. The fact that you know you are thinner, and feel better, and feel it in your clothes tells you that you are succeeding regardless of the scale. Seriously, you are so much smaller , I comment on it to you.

On a jovial note, I love your depiction of the fitting room. it is true! Those damn lights and mirrors.

I don't know if anything I say helps or keeps you motivated, but I am proud of you every single day. You are someone I respect on so many levels, and admire as well. For so many reasons independent of this food journey. Now, add this space food adventure and reading your mental adventure in this new found land, you can't imagine the level of respect and admiration I have for you.

Rock on my friend. :)


Mikejo28 8 months ago

Your photo here is nice, you're hot !

Nice job on the diet- and tnx for the interesting life story.

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