Confessions of an Ideal Protein Coach: First Weigh In and Cheating with Fat

Hi Everyone -

Let's start with the good… My first weigh-in last Wednesday showed me down 6 lbs!!!  Wahooooo!!!

Also good… I'm in Food Peace.  That's what we call the appetite suppressing effect of Ketosis.  It's distinctly different from how I usually feel about food.  It's a state of indifference and neutrality -- completely opposite to the obsessive thoughts and feelings I have when I'm eating too many carbs.  Food peace can be a double edged sword, in that I have to remember to eat, and I sometimes have to make myself eat because nothing even sounds good.  What's happening under the surface is that my body has gone into survival mode - believing itself to be in some kind of famine - and it's just quietly consuming itself until it gets a big infusion of food to signal that the famine has ended.  This is what causes weight loss, so it's a good thing!  My job while it's in survival mode is to give it the right protein so that it only burns my fat stores, not my muscles. But when you're not hungry even that can be a challenge. 

For me, I'd much rather make myself eat than be in constant food craving mode.  So I enjoy food peace even when it's a little difficult.

Here's the not so good…

Yesterday, I ate too much fat.  I ate bacon at breakfast, too much salad dressing at lunch, and butter in a "treat" I made for myself.

Butter and Bacon.jpg

Fat is my biggest downfall on Phase 1.  During my first stint in 2011,  I was religious about sticking to the fat limit for the first several months of the diet. But at about month 4, when I started to get lots of compliments on my weight loss and started feeling a little over-confident, my mind started playing tricks on me.  It reminded me that the Atkins diet allowed fat.  It suggested that I might know a little more about low-carbing than the doctors who designed this protocol.  It told me I might be able to get away with adding fat even if other people couldn't.  It told me fat wasn't a problem, only carbs were.  And I believed it.  I started adding fat to the protocol and my weight loss slowed waaaaay down.  But I was still losing so I had a false sense of justification.  I didn't know I was digging a pit into which I'd fall over and over again in the next several years. 

The pit was a gap in my personal integrity.  It made me feel tricky - like I was getting away with something. But it also made me feel dishonest.  I lied to my coach about why I was suddenly going so slowly.  I was silent about my own deviations while encouraging my clients to stick to the protocol exactly.  I walked around feeling alternately superior, tricky and fraudulent, but I was still losing so I told myself it was ok.

But it wasn't ok…  This integrity gap would soon widen -- becoming a slippery slope to other kinds of cheats.  Alcohol.  Bread.  Sugar.   Pretty soon cheats were happening every week.  I'd weigh in, then cheat later the same day, telling myself I had a whole week to "make up" for it.  Lying to my coach became a habit. I no longer saw her as support, but as a sort of policeman I was deceiving.  I started seeing this life-saving diet I'd begun as a prison I wanted out of.  My own mind became my worst enemy - telling me cheating was no big deal and there was always tomorrow. 

This went on for weeks before I was able to pull out of it and get back on track.  My weight loss slowed to a crawl and I felt bad about myself. I also know now that I'd halted all of the metabolic healing the protocol is designed to deliver because I'd interrupted ketosis and thus the reversal of my insulin resistance.

All of that started with a little extra oil, butter and fat.

I know now that there is no "small" cheat for me. Years of compulsive eating and food addition have left me unable to tolerate dishonesty -- with others, and especially with myself.  I'm only as sick as my secrets and I don't want to be sick anymore.  I don't think any of this makes me a bad person, but I do think it undermines the life I want for myself. So I refuse to hide this anymore.  I have to be honest, and I have to ask for accountability and help.  If I'm off track, I need to humble myself and tell the truth. It's the only way anyone else can help me. And I already have proven I can't do this under my own power. 

After a little reflecting, I see why I turned to food for comfort again.  I had a couple of stressful days, and fell off of my routine for self-care. I neglected my morning meditation and let myself get too busy.  It was also the first weekend my boyfriend's kiddos visited since I restarted.  In all the excitement, I had forgotten to do several of the things that protect me in my new, wonderful but chaotic "life." Because I wasn't being proactive with my self-nurturing, I turned to my old habit -- food. It wasn't and "end of the world" kind of deviation, but I see it for what it was -- the tip of the iceberg. The sign that I'm heading for a fall. A cry for help. 

Today, I'm taking some quiet time to write to you and to fortify my spiritual connection.  I want so much to be on track and get the full benefit from Ideal Protein. I want to be efficient and get Phase 1 over with as quickly as possible so I can go on to the delicious maintenance I know is waiting for me. I want to feel proud of myself and full of personal integrity. 

As usual, I feel nervous telling people about this slip.  My defensive impulse would be to hide it, hope my weigh-in shows progress, and if it does, pretend this never happened. But I'm only as sick as my secrets and I refuse to be sick any longer. Saying this out loud dissipates the shame that tends to grow in the darkness of my silence. Telling you helps, but I've realized that the most important honesty is the honesty I have within myself.  The things I do and think and feel when I'm alone and no one else knows are the things that stay with me… I always know the truth. And I want to become the most reliable person in my own life.  That has not always been the case, but it can be. I want it to be.  And every truth I share is a step closer to that goal.