Welcome to the post-covid world. Where your best laid plans are shot to hell.
Its been over a year since I posted and in the meantime there has been a lot of negative things impacting on me, that technically were mine to control, but in reality I’ve allowed to spiral out of control.
Since completing the Optifast program I’ve learned a number of things.
The first is that the Optifast program screws with your metabolism the same as every other rapid weight loss program. I thought I had my eatting patterns under control before I started the program where in reality I was simply so focused on trying to lose weight that the good days happened to outbalance the bad ones.
Once COVID-19 hit, as I’ve been essentially locked in my home for the past 15 months, the reality of how well I’ve been able to translate my knowledge to experience is sorely lacking.
When you live on your own its easier, I find, to control your eating tendencies because there are other people around to help keep you in check. Mealtime is based on the desires of everyone in the house as to when you are, collectively, ready to eat. When you are on your own, there are no checks. So if you are a stress eater like myself, you can quickly get out of control especially when you are in an area where everything can be delivered.
Second, restaurant food is more calorie rich than cooking at home. I don’t mean by a little, I mean by a lot. I always knew ordering in wasn’t necessarily best even when you try to order healthy, but it seems like even ordering a salad counts for 1800 calories which makes it near impossible to try to balance calories correctly based simply on ‘what is good for you’ even if you don’t order fries with that.
So, to be honest, I’m essentially back to where I was when I started this Optifast journey. While the program may make sense for people who need to lose a lot of weight quickly for medical purposes, I would be hard pressed at this point to recommend the program to others.
The key reason is that while these programs provide information and help you understand where your motivators / stressors are, they don’t provide experience.
You really need to learn how to eat before starting one of these programs. That means either working with a dietitian or going through and getting your daily calorie count under control before you start a program like this. As the real issue isn’t losing the weight. It is maintaining it.
So based on the last several years of trying and partially succeeding, here is where I’m at in terms of things that do work.
My article on the 7×7 Body Balance still seems to hold and most of which accounts for why I’m back to square one. Albeit, there are some things that need to change as part of this as I’ve discovered more missing pieces to the puzzle.
Sleep, nutrition, exercise, and recreation have all taken hits over the past 15 months. Since I’ve been working from home for the past 6 years, I can’t blame any of this on a sudden shift away from the office (although, the offices being effectively shut down hasn’t helped as at least I got out of the house every so often for meetings and such).
Having said that I have made a few positive changes and am now ready to start on a new plan that will hopefully be more sustainable. It will also take longer to achieve the same level of weight loss I achieves on Optifast. But if the changes are permanent, then this is a good thing.
So – on we go towards making sustainable changes.