Sunday, March 24, 2013

Starting Week 3

I've been slow to post another entry since my last. One of the main reasons was that weight loss during the first week of a program isn't really something to crow about. Most people will lose a pretty heft chunk of weight during that first week and it definitely isn't indicative of the typical results one will experience the rest of the time on the program. Sure enough, that was the case this time as well. Even though it shouldn't have been, I found my second week a tiny bit disappointing; not so much that I'd say it out loud, but a blog isn't "out loud". Right? So looking at the overall picture, I've lost about 16 lbs. but the majority of that was in the first week. This week was only about 4.5 lbs. That's nothing to sneeze at of course, but despite knowing that the first week wasn't the start of a pattern, it's still a little rough coming off those large losses back into normalcy.

This week was also the first time that I really craved normal foods. I don't even want to write too much about it here because if I do, I'll just think about it more. It's not that I'm hungry, but the pleasure and wonderful taste of some items, even some healthy ones, is something I miss. A lot. The beverages (soups and puddings included) are getting old fast. Still... I did hit a nice milestone today and I'm think (hope) I can stick with it long enough to get me over a few humps that exist from my previous weight loss attempts. These are mental humps I'm talking about. Numbers that once I reach them I'll feel like I'm entering new territory. I think getting to and past these levels will be a good motivator.

I've made a couple of bad choices in my beverage selections. A few things were fine when I tried them once, but then having them a few days in a row make them almost gag-worthy. Uggg. Luckily, I started the program a little off of the weekly schedule and therefore have extra beverages available to me which allows me to spread out the not so awesome stuff over a longer time. The winners for me so far have been Chocolate, Chocolate Pudding, Lemon Pudding, and Strawberry. The worst options have been the soups (Broccoli Cheese and Cream of Chicken) and for some reason, the Vanilla Pudding, although the Vanilla Pudding may just have been because I prepared it wrong once (forgot it was pudding and prepared it like a beverage and it was way to creamy). I've tried it again since then and it wasn't so bad.

The weekly clinics and meetings continue to be good for the most part. The actual topic of last weeks meeting wasn't terribly useful at this stage of our program, but the lady leading it seemed intelligent and well versed in the field (she was a nutritionist). I don't know if they alternate each week between the behavioral lady and the nutritionist, but it's a nice change of pace having two very different ways of looking at the issues people face with weight. Both views are valid and important for just about everyone, of course.

I'me very curious as to how this third week will go. I am now well ensconced in ketosis and past the "initial heavy loss" phase. This week may be a good indicator of what to expect on a regular basis. In the meantime, I'll enjoy my dreams of carne guisada tacos and Papa Murphy's take and back thin crust pizza. Oh mercy...

Friday, March 15, 2013

Day 4 - My first Regular Meeting

So two things today. I went to my first weekly meeting and I played a bit of tennis. The meeting was good. The person running the behavior analysis and training in Sugar Land was completely different in personality from the lady who did my original behavioral assessment. In our one-on-one meeting she struck me as a little stern. Not mean, or terse, but well... stern is the best word I can think of. Later though, in our group meeting I got a better picture of her and I think my first impression may have been too harsh. Time will tell.

The overall experience takes about two hours. The first hour is a bunch of waiting punctuated by a stint with the nurse to weigh in talk about any medical issues, a one-on-one with the therapist, and the same with the nutritionist. I think my nurse was nervous. I don't know why, but I got a  deer-in-the-headlights feeling from her the whole time. Maybe it was her first day. Since it had been a month since the labs for my physical, she gave me a form and told me I could call the company on the form and set up an appointment to go in and have them draw some blood. Our meetings are in a medical building that's part of hospital and there no place in THAT building or the hospital to have the labs done? I'm not sure what that's about but whatever. The nutritionist and the therapist, who I've already mentioned, we're good. It was pretty much the same questions I had already answered and the same information that had already been given to me, but there was a few new things like how even breath mints or gum have a carb or two and using more than a few a day can throw me out of ketosis, which is bad because getting into ketosis and staying there is what the first stage is all about.

The second hour was the group meeting but there were only four of us; five if you count the therapist. Today the subject was all about emotional meeting. I'm not a huge fan of group meetings, as anyone who knows me will attest, but this was not too bad. It was clear that the therapist knew a heck of a lot more than your typical Weigh Watchers group leader. I didn't talk much but I'll try to contribute more next time... perhaps.

I've been on the beverages four days. The first day was a little tough, but since then, it hasn't been to bad. Other than my breath (which they warned me about). It's AWFUL. It's so bad, even I can smell it. Uggg. I've gotten better about finding good mixtures of ice and the amount of time to let the puddings sit in the fridge to cool. They told me that after a few days I really wouldn't feel too hungry, but I was pretty darn hungry today. My stomach was making all kinds of mean noises at me. Drinking some water helps when I feel this way.

I also played a little tennis with Rob. I was actually kind of nervous as this was the first meaningful activity I had tried. It was fine. We didn't play too long and I definitely took it a little easier than I normally would have. By the end, though, I was beginning to feel it and when I got home I was pretty wiped out. Considering we only played one set, that's not all that promising. Oh well, this stage won't last forever. Around six weeks, I think.

Speaking of Rob. It's odd. I am really tremendously good friends with Rob and Kirstin and the kids. They really are family to me, just like my parents and my sisters, but our relationship has never been very touchy-feely. I never know how much about these kinds of personal things to talk about with them. I don't know. I spend almost all day every Saturday with them  and I don't want them to feel weird on constrained about what they can do with me around. I've tried to tell them that, but I'm not sure I'm getting through. We'll see

Monday, March 11, 2013

Behavioral Analysis

Behavioral Analysis; that what they called the session I had today with the therapist. I'm not complaining though. It was quite a nice step in right direction compared to the Startup Orientation I attended last week. I spoke with Kate for about an hour. We talked about all the things you might expect: why I was doing this, what my goals are, what emotions were associate with my eating, and then just some general conversation that I'm sure was more than that from her perspective. I don't know if it's because she was actually a professional therapist or what, but the whole thing was very comfortable and she not only had lots of good questions, but provided lots of detailed information about the program that I had been missing. This kind of experience is what I was hoping for and expecting from this hospital administered and quite expensive program, so I was glad to finally have it.

I started on the beverages yesterday. It's a really simple program. I space four of the beverages out over the course of the day and drown myself in water. Lots and lots of water. Soooo much water. The beverages are nothing special but they're not terrible either. I bought a magic bullet to make mixing them a little easier and more thorough. I'm experimenting with blending ice in and how much water to use in the pudding based packets. Living alone and working from home does make me somewhat of a hermit but id definitely makes sticking to this program a lot easier. There are few temptations and no explanations to co-workers or the like.

There is one unexpected problem. This came up during the Startup Orientation but I forgot to mention it in my last post. The very low carbohydrate and calorie diet that I'm on means that they ask me to actually avoid any kind of strenuous exercise. This makes total sense, of course, but it still threw me for a loop. I love to play tennis and over the past three months with my FitBit, I had really gotten in the groove with walking. They said that since I'm mostly playing double that I could try to play tennis and just see how it works, but to be careful and listen to what my body might be telling me about fatigue. These weren't encouraging words.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Start Up Orientation!

I'm backdating a few posts in order to keep a better timeline.

So "today" (not really, but let's pretend) I went to the Start Up Orientation for the weight loss program I've decided to participate in. It was a little dissapointing. I don't know what I was expecting but the first informational meeting was packed with so few real details that I kind of expected this to be the "next step" but no, we just jumped right in with weighing in, ordering and receiving the beverage mixes, and a very brief discussion about what to expect. I left feeling like maybe I had missed a meeting somewhere in-between, but I guess not.

The program has three stages. The first is about losing weight fast, but to do this safely you need pretty frequent monitoring. This starts with a complete physical and some lab work (more on that later) and during the program, especially the first stage, you spend time with a nutritionist and a therapist (at my location the lady happens to be a psychologist) every week, and a doctor every four weeks. You also have new lab work done every four weeks. So. yeah, pretty closely monitored.

The beverages don't strike me as too exciting. but we'll see. I guess it's not about excitement. Even though I will be going to the Sugar Land Methodist facility, I have an appointment with the Katy therapist next Monday.

As I mentioned above, I had to get a physical before starting the program. My doctor is just absolutely painful to get in to see, and frankly I haven't been terribly thrilled with some of my visits. I called his office to set up the physical. They said they could see me in April. Keep in mind, it was the middle of February when I called. APRIL. So I found a new doctor. I did a little searching on Angie's List and a few other reviewing sites. The information was thin, but there were some good things said about the doctor's at Sugar Lake Family Practice and especially about a Dr. Pozzi. I called to see if he was accepting new patients (he was) and set an appointment for that same week. He was nice and the Physical went fine. My cholesterol was a little high but he wanted to hold off on any medication or other treatment until we saw how the weight loss program was working. All in all, the experience was uneventful and I have a better feeling moving forward with Dr. Pozzi than I did with my previous doctor. We'll see.