I intend to do a weekly series on Wellness. This may take many forms. Right now, my wellness is focused on weight loss. However, there are many more facets to wellness than weight. We will explore topics from sleep to meal planning to flexibility.
As you can see from the gallery below, my weight has been all over the map.
I remember the first time I realized I was fat. It was when I was living in South Africa (SA) in 2003. The people were so small, and so honest over there. I embarked on my first real diet of my life the following Spring while finishing my studies at Missouri State. I don't remember the exact numbers. . .but I know I lost over a hundred pounds. My flatmate in SA used to look at my pictures and tell me I had lost a Back Street Boy. The weight stayed off, and more came off. I didn't have to think about my weight for one second when I was over there. This was due to a combination of the culture/food there, and the life I was living. I remember my South African mom used to say, "you can see your shit through your ribs". . .which was a rough translation of an Afrikaans saying that meant I was too skinny. It may have been crude, but she wasn't wrong.
mThe When I returned to the states in 2006, my weight almost immediately began to change. I was depressed, in culture shock, surrounded by the SAD (standard American diet), and very quickly swept into a stressful corporate job. This perfect storm led to me putting on 100+ pounds in short order. I lost most of it a couple of times, but continued to struggle. In 2010, I did Jenny Craig. I got down to 175#. I was running, eating right and feeling great. Then, of course, life came along and derailed me. When I adopted Judd, quit my job, got married, acquired Rose, and moved to the woods. . . well, that was a bit much even for a change master like me. I gained back all that weight in the 3 years I was married. In 2014 I discovered HCG, and it was going very well. . .until. . . Judd broke her leg the day before I had my shoulder surgery. With the two of us being incapacitated at hospitals on opposite sides of the city, I couldn't very well get my food prepared. So, that round of HCG succumbed to life.
2014 would prove to have other challenges that kept me derailed the rest of the year. Not limited to having my arm tied to my body. . . having a teen in a wheelchair. . .and getting fired for no reason.
In 2015 I was back at it again. My ex was finally gone forever. I was reclaiming me. I did two rounds of HCG in the first half of the year and lost over 60#. Things were going well. . .and then, I got fired. I ended up gaining about 20 of those pounds back before I got back on track. I have maintained at 244# for most of 2016. Though, I have made notable body composition progress from all of the working out I have been doing. Trying to lose weight, eating right and working out are all good things. . .and I honestly enjoy them most of the time. But it just got exhausting. I decided I was ready to lose some serious weight. So, I started my (4th?) HCG protocol on July 15th. Today is day 11 of Phase 2 and I have lost 16 pounds.
The HCG protocol is not for the faint of heart. This is what my menu looks like:
We will delve more into the workings of HCG protocol on a later post. It is controversial, intense and often misunderstood. For now I will just say this, it is not a diet. It is a protocol. You really can't cheat on this. At all. So, if you are considering it, prepare yourself to be committed to follow through.
Why the weight yo-yo? At some point that becomes the issue, not the actual weight. I remember when I first started that original diet way back in 2004. My closest friends were not supportive: "it'll never work", "you'll never keep it off". I came to realize that my efforts and progress made them uncomfortable with their own health and they didn't like the feelings or want to deal with them, so they lashed out. And that's only the beginning of the mine field that is weight loss/body image/health/sexuality/gender roles/social expectations that impact weight loss.
It's not easy. You have got to want it bad. You have to be willing to be different. Work hard. Make sacrifices. Stick with it. It's no wonder that most of us (Americans) are over weight.
My secret agent is planning and cooking ahead. I would never make it if I had to come home from work and cook healthy choices (protocol choices) every day. So, I batch cook. Last weekend I prepared 38 servings of chicken, and my veggies for the week. I seal them all up in serving packs or jars and can just grab and go. In fact, I smuggled my protocol dinner into a concert just last night. Yes, surrounded by a crowd of beer drinking, pizza eating concert goers, I ate chicken breast and refrigerator pickles with my overpriced water.
What is your experience with weight loss? I would love to hear what as and hasn't worked for you. . .and, more imporantly, what you learned along the way.
Have a blessed and beautiful week.
Jules Warner - Author
Thanks for reading my ramblings.