Confessions of an Ideal Protein Coach - Back to Sweet Freedom

I'm Baaaaa-aaaaack!  Today is Day 1 of my weight loss phase. I can't technically call it Phase 1 since I've had to made a couple of tweaks (in concert with my medical team).  I won't go into detail on the changes since I'm not advocating non-Ideal Protein alternatives.  Making the wrong choices in this area can be dangerous (leading to muscle loss and electrolyte imbalances).  But I feel safe having adapted under the guidance of my doctors.  My plan is as close to Phase 1 as I could make it while still accommodating my unique biology.

Beginning Phase 1 (whether alternative or regular) is always a challenge. However, this time, as daunting as it feels, I'm super relieved. 

For the privacy of all involved, I won't go into details about what's been going on in my personal life for the last 5-6 weeks, but suffice to say it has been **rough.** I've been dealing with some life-altering events which have thrown me for a loop or two since I last blogged.  I even had my first and hopefully LAST panic attack! (How do those of you with panic disorder deal with that?!?  I have new empathy and respect, I'll tell you that much!)

I admit, during one of the most frightening days, I turned to food. Not just food, but sugar. Hard Core Sugar. It started with an afternoon of anxiety and an incidental stash of candy I was saving for the kids for Easter.  It didn’t end there. I had about 2 weeks of out of control 'Fu*k-It' eating. I didn't care.  I could feel my body packing on extra pounds - which it does very quickly with my abnormally high insulin levels.  Mostly in my thighs and butt and hips.  I could feel my body puffing and beginning to stretch - I knew my face was showing it.  I didn't care. I just kept telling myself that I needed chocolate to get through the worst part and then I'd go back off sugar.  I guess that is the nature of addiction.  It's a hole we dive into seeking relief, and then pretty soon we need relief from that, too.   

So I'm relieved to have reached a point where I feel ready to not only set myself free of "sweets" again, but to dive into weight loss mode as well.  We're through the hardest part of my ordeal, and while we still have a lot to sort out, I know it will all be easier if I'm clean.  This restart catches me 10 lbs heavier than I was the last time I restarted.  That extra 10 lbs happened in about 6 weeks. It's ridiculous how fast my body stores fat when I'm eating carbs. Utterly ridiculous.  But it is what it is. 

I'm hoping my sweet-free alternative Phase 1 will work as rapidly as regular Phase 1 and that I can be done with my loss by the end of August or mid-September.  I'll Phase Off just like IP taught us and hopefully be able to re-condition my pancreas to handle a small amount of carb intake at that point. For me it will still need to be things like unsweetened oatmeal, low glycemic fruit or root veggies, not candy or bread. But by then, I'm sure those will taste like heaven to me.  When I was maintaining without sweets, it was amazing to me what started to taste sweet -- walnuts and lettuce and unsweetened almond milk…

And the best part of all is that the sweet-free version of low carb dieting gives me the DEEPEST food peace I've ever, ever experienced!

I'm not just able to resist things I used to crave, but I actually have to make myself eat pretty much all the time. My appetite is totally gone and my mind is utterly uninterested in food if it's not going to get yummy feel-good brain chemicals in the bargain.  That may sound bleak - and it did feel that way for the first couple of weeks as I adjusted. But after I got used to it, my lack of focus on food gave me a level of freedom unlike anything I've ever felt!  Initially, I joked about this being a 'joy-free' diet, but lately I've been thinking of it as Sweet Freedom instead:)

I'm dying to be back to Sweet Freedom.  I am totally willing to suffer a few days of discomfort and longing and feeling sorry for myself to get back there.  This is Day 1 and it's gone well so far.  Wish me luck and I'll check in more often now that I've cleared a few personal hurdles… Thanks for listening.

-- Sherene