Michaela Week 1: 12 months to Total Transformation

Week 1 isn’t really the truth. It’s Week 1 on this cool site but Week 30 on my weight-loss/body/life transformation journey. I started this journey on January 4, 2012. Yep, that’s right, a New Year’s Resolution junkie.  Weighing in at a whopping 215 lbs., (even for 5’7 that’s a lot) I was using the ‘F’ word (fat) to describe myself.

From January to April I played the “oh, a little of this won’t hurt” and “one pint of beer won’t matter” game. You know the game. It’s a game that always ends up with me yo-yoing my way through another year of failed dreams and goals. Even though I was well into playing this game I still managed to lose 12 lbs.

In March I visited a friend in Florida who was on the Ideal Protein protocol (www.idealprotein.com) and she looked amazing. Do you have those friends in your life that make you think “if he/she can do ‘it’ (‘it’ being whatever) I can do it!” Plus, amazing is amazing and I want to look amazing. [Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with the Ideal Protein company either as a member of a medical group or an employee.]

After researching the heck out of the Ideal Protein program I was ready to commit. No more excuses, no more stealing nibbles and drinks and no more fear of being physical. I was making a move!

TIP #1:  Know what you’re getting yourself into. Select a program that fits YOU, your lifestyle, your social personality, and your budget. If it doesn’t fit, you won’t stick to it. Period.

Time to take myself seriously. In my ripe old age (I’m 56) I’ve developed the reputation among family and friends as a woman of my word, people can count on me through thick or thin to do what I say I’m going to do… except when it comes to my weight. My circle of folks are tired of hearing me make grandiose proclamations of weight-loss and healthy lifestyle changes. Just do it already!

In January I put pen to paper and wrote out a list of what losing weight and being healthy would mean to me. Here’s my list (written January 6th ). What I will gain by losing weight:

1. Able to wear trendy clothes (and shoes) and not look (and feel) old and frumphy. (It doesn’t matter that I AM old!)

2. Strength to journey on roads less traveled (wherever they are).

3. Able to get up from a sitting position without grunting and feeling stiff; walk up stairs without gasping for breath; stroll through museum or art gallery without pain in  my knees and joints.

4. Better, more relaxing sleep without sleep apnea.

5. More energy.

6. More self-confidence with men.

7. Able to enjoy organized sports again (tennis, walking, hiking, biking, etc.)

8. A renewed sense of physical and spiritual discipline.

9. Freedom to see myself as a beautiful and strong woman.

10. A realization that when I walk across a room all eyes will be on me.

Gee, I feel stronger just revisiting these 10 benefits and dreams!

TIP #2:  Knowing what you want to gain is just as important as knowing how much you want to lose. During those times when the thought of facing another helping of veggies or when you really want to skip that spin class, knowing what you want to gain from hanging in there will make the difference in winning the transformation gold (sorry can’t help it, the Olympics are on).

What I didn’t do in January was map out a plan of action; how was I going to achieve these benefits? What did success look like on a daily basis? January thru April, although I lost 12 lbs. I was winging it. My action plan started on May 18th with Ideal Protein.

TIP #3:  Behavioral change will go nowhere without a plan of action. Make a plan. Commit it to paper or tell an encouraging friend(s). How are you going to lose the weight you want to lose. Be specific — use a journal, a chart, photos on your frig whatever works for you… Map it out.

The Ideal Protein protocol is directed by a doctor and his staff. Tony is my cheerleader, monitor, and quickly becoming my friend. For some this protocol may seem restrictive. For me it’s ‘ideal’ (pun intended).

My May 18th- January 4th 2013  action plan:

● May 18th weigh-in:  203 lbs; BMI  31.2 (40.6% body fat)

● January 4th  goal:  135 lbs; BMI 21-22 (> 30% body fat)

May 18th 2012 – January 4th 2013 is 33 weeks and 68 pounds to lose in order to reach my goal weight of 135 lbs. Can I do it? To accomplish this I need to lose (on average) 2 lbs. a week. Very doable, not extreme and at a healthy loss rate; But wait! How will I handle those never ending (this is L.A. so they ARE never ending) pool parties and BBQs, late night movies and drinks, outdoor summer concerts and picnics? What about our annual treks to Carlsbad, Halloween parties, Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas and New Year’s gatherings? Augh!

TIP #4:  Take it one day at a time (or if you have weekly weigh-ins like I do, one week at a time). Don’t focus on the total amount you need to lose or the goal date. Focus only on your immediate weekly loss. I can say from experience that doing this will make the veggies go down easier and the water intake not so daunting. 

So, what is the Ideal Protein protocol? It’s nothing new to professional weight-loss yo-yo’ers. Simple: Phase I — No bad carbs, hydrolyzed protein (more on that later), some animal protein, lots of veggies and a ton of water, multivitamins, and controlled oil intake.

YES (daily):

● 3 Ideal Protein packets a day (drinks, soups, bars, soy nuts, pancakes, omelets, etc.) This runs me $83.70 a week.

● 4 cups of veggies (unlimited lettuce/spinach) 2 cups lunch/2 cups dinner.

● 5-8 oz of animal protein of choice. (I’m a pescatarian so I only eat fish and tofu for this part of the protocol).

● A pool size amount of water. Well, really only a minimum of 64oz but it feels like a pool size.

● Multi-vitamins, potassium tablets, and calcium/magnesium tablets.

● 2 tbls olive oil or grape seed oil.

NO (total Phase I):

● Potatoes, pasta, rice, beans, sugar, flour, alcohol. You know the drill. There’s more on the restricted list but these are the main things.

After I reach 95% of my goal weight the NO items are introduced back into my diet on a controlled basis. This is Phase II or maintenance. I don’t have much info on Phase II yet since I’m not even close to 95% of my goal weight.

This diet is not for everyone but it’s perfect for me and my personal lifestyle. It does present some challenges which I will write about as they come up but for the most part I am happy with and feel great on this program. Plus I’ve been able to stay on it for 11 weeks successfully.

Here is where I am today: Week 1 on this blog site. Week 11 on Ideal Protein. Week 30 on my transformation journey.

My weigh-ins are on Thursday evenings at 6PM. Thursday, August 2, 2012 I weighed 182 lbs. with a BMI of 28.5. Which means I’ve lost 21 lbs. (in 11 weeks-averaging 1.9 lbs. — almost 2 a week) A.W.E.S.O.M.E.!

My measurements:

May 18th                                       August 2nd                         Inches lost

Arms (R)          12 ¾ “                         11 “                                      (1 ¾ “)

Chest               43 ½”                         40 “                                      (3 ½ “)

Waist                39 ½ “                       33 ½ “                                    (6 “)

Hips                  49 “                           44 ¼ “                                  (4 ¾ “)

Thighs (R)          24 “                           20 ¾ “                                  (3 ¼ “)

BMI                   31.2                           28.5

TIP # 5: Give yourself periodic rewards. For me it’s every 10 lbs. I think of things that motivate ME and are within my budget. Here are some things on my reward list that I will be choosing from as my weight loss continues (notice there are no food related rewards!):

● Facial

● Massage/reflexology

● Mani-pedi

● New bathing suit

● Theater tickets

● New shoes

● An art class

● New decorative pillows for my bedroom

● Jewelry

● A tattoo

I’m sure I’ll come up with more as the months continue. I haven’t yet thought of what my goal weight reward will be. Maybe a trip somewhere? A new digital SLR camera? A new road bike?

Next week I’ll post about my action plan as it relates to exercise. Oh, you were thinking there was no exercise on my weight-loss journey? Wrong! Exercise is key.

This week’s inspirational quote: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”Aristotle

So, what are YOU doing this week to turn good eating choices into excellent habits?

About MichaelaB

I am a 'young' 56 yr. old adventurer in life. I am a single Christian woman living in Los Angeles County dedicated to working to strengthen the voice of those who have been marginalized by society. I have an artist's heart and eyes and enjoy making art around me. I have roots on both the East and West Coasts which fill my year with travel and seasonal changes.The Bible provides my direction in life and is at the core of my year of physical transformation.

14 Responses to Michaela Week 1: 12 months to Total Transformation

  1. Rosemary Wilson says:

    I like how you focus on rewards that don’t include food. I am dieting but still thinking of what I’ll eat when I reach goal which means, in my mind, that I haven’t figured out how to make this a lifestyle change. Have these rewards kept you from daydreaming about foods you want?

  2. MichaelaB says:

    Hi Rosemary! You’re so modest… you are almost at goal. Congratuations! I’m hoping that the maintenance part of the program will help me address the “pepperoni and extra cheese pizza” and the “buffalo wings” cravings I have periodically. I don’t know if those cravings will ever go away or if I can ever come up with a motivational reward that will trump the cravings. For me it’s the take-it-one-day-at-a-time or in our case, one-craving-at-a-time. When the cravings hit I also refer back to my GAIN list. Ususally it becomes crystal clear that my gains far outweigh the cravings. Do you have a GAIN list? Thanks for commenting and stay the course…. you look amazing! We should start a group: the Amazers.

  3. Ducia says:

    Hi Mic!! Way to go my friend – keep up the great work. Praying for you and your success in the weight loss area. You know I struggle with that as well. Proud of you for going for it!

  4. Pam Vonderohe says:

    Hi Michaela,
    I really enjoyed reading your blog. When I see you again I don’t think I’ll recognize you–way to go! I’m very proud of all your efforts, as you must be. Thanks for sharing your road to wellness and healthy eating. I am still on the ‘I can do just a little cheat’ plan, which always ends up to be a LOT! I shall try to journal my food intake to see what I really eat…looking forward to next week’s entry. Take care. pv

  5. ChuckB says:

    Hi, great ideas. What can you suggest for those who, all day long, sit at their computers? As a SQL Analyst, I tend to get up from my chair for lunch or when a meeting is called. Help!

    Thank you…Chuck

  6. John Carmon says:

    Michalea, Congratualtions on your blog! Great advice too. As you know, I lost 40 lbs on this Ideal Proteain method and do consider it excellent. My wife Linda ultimaleyl has lost almost 100 ponds and is incredible. The last 40 which she couldn’t shed any other way. I have seen miracles with over 5 members fo my family. My daughter-in-laws mom lost and was able to eliminate her diabetes and blood pressure medication completely at age 64. It is just about dicipline and a good healthy diet you know you can follow the rest of your life for the “health of it”. Now Michalea, you are an intelligent, wonderful, faith-filled woman who is a wonderful person and my blessing to you would be for this diet to be a life success that allows you to be all God desigend you to be. You will feel better and importantly have the confidence in your control of your diet and health that will make you feel and look just wonderful. You are gorgeous in all your friend’s eyes. We miss you!! JCC

  7. Brenda Hughes says:

    Hi Michaela, How nice to read the blog after hearing a little about it first-hand over the weekend. You inspire me, buddy! I seem to have some ability to control eating healthy, but need to do much better. Often I tell myself “tomorrow”, and we all know that sometimes tomorrows seldom come. So—I will journey with you by using a food journal and keeping only healthy food in my home and restricting choices and amounts of “social food”. Thanks for sharing and incouraging others to follow your lead. Love, Aunt Brenda

  8. Noreen says:

    Hi Michaela!! SO proud of what you are doing – AND for sharing it with all of us! Must be something in the genes with love for pizza! I tend to go in spurts…eat great during the week and then tend to go off track on the weekends…do you ever go through that? I am going to research the Ideal Protein and see if it is something that will work with my running….like you said if it doesn’t fit my lifestyle I won’t stick with it!! I will let you know what decide!! Keep up the great work you are doing!!

  9. catherine H says:

    Hi Michaela:

    Wonderful article and very inspiring! Your diet plan is very similar to what I am doing. I am also non gluten. I also live in LA County with all its glorious food temptations but like you say we look to what we can personally gain and that “outweighs” the temptations!!

    I look forward to following you week by week!!

    Many Blessings…CatherineH

  10. Karen Heldrich says:

    Michaela! Really enjoyed reading your blog. I look forward to following your progress. You motivate me. I’d like to lose 20-lbs before Dec. 2012. I may look into the protein shakes. I tend to workout daily but then I also tend to drink alcohol daily which…I’ll get nowhere with that schedule. I can relate when you mention living in Souther California….the parties never stop.

  11. MichaelaB says:

    Thanks everyone for your encouraging messages! Keep ‘em coming! Also, thanks for sending along topic suggestions. I’ll have to weave them into the blog.

  12. Pat Guilfoil says:

    Michaela ,
    You are amazing! Life style changes are so challenging but the payoff is great. Keep it up. I’m rooting for you. Your half way there, over the hump, heading toward the finish goal. I can’t imagine how good you’ll feel when you get there. You inspire so many. I’ll be following you and sending my prayers up from Barrington il. You are a strong woman!

  13. Clarice says:

    I was160lbs and I started my diet and exercise last September 3, 2012. That’s Monday last week. Yah, I’m just beginning. I have weighed myself this morning and found that I am 5lbs lighter. That’s great, right?

  14. Konstant Beeitchin says:

    What a great journey! You picked very useful strategies that seem to work well for you. I like that you are very specific through every step of the way. When I help people to lose weight, I focus on helping them to rewrite their relationship with food and they seem to find what they want to do. However, much of what you did is great source of ideas. Good journey.