Saturday, May 12, 2018

FMD: An Eating Adventure

So this blog has normally been about writing, which is why I've been so scarce. I haven't really been writing. But I am beginning an adventure Monday (yes, that is a euphemism, but I AM motivated). It's about eating. And exercise. And hopefully about overhauling my metabolism. And I am hoping by blogging my progress that I can ALSO get in the habit of writing regularly. But I DID want to warn readers that the majority of my newly active blogging activity will be related to that. So that you don't feel you need to rush over here only to find I'm talking about that if it doesn't interest you, I will title all of them starting with FMD (Fast Metabolism Diet).

If you ARE interested though, my plan is THIS introductory post, then a REVIEW of each phase the first week (there are 3), then a weekly progress report and maybe a few extra things I learn or experience.

So why am I doing this?

I have ended up grossly overweight. I have always battled it and for decades was able to follow Weight Watchers to bring it back in check. I had four big rounds of success with Weight Watchers:

1984: lost 29 pounds and almost came within 10 pounds of goal. (maintained briefly)

(through college I managed healthy weight with exercise and sugar limit—nothing more necessary)

1990: lost 38 pounds and actually went 10 pounds BELOW goal at the time. (gained back to goal, but then held for a few years before starting to gain again)

1999: (post babies) lost 57 pounds and achieved goal.

(moved across country and gained a significant portion back in the shake up)

2002: Lost 45 pounds and ended up 20 pounds below goal—mostly maintained 2 years until job change, then the gain started.

And as of my 40th birthday (2006) Weight Watchers has mostly stopped working. And since 2002 I've ended up about 100 pounds overweight... It's horrible! And I feel totally helpless. Nothing works. I've found a system to slow the gain, but that's as good as it's been.

My gorgeous daughter and I: Halloween (I'm a gypsy)

This picture is mortifying. I am clearly seriously overweight and desperately want to do something about it. Even my face--my eyes have disappeared.

Jump clear forward...

One of my writer friends posted a pic... she'd successfully lost 32 pounds on the Fast Metabolism Diet. I decided to investigate. And the premise is that through diet cycles over time we slow our metabolism more and more. Our body is panicked that we are facing starvation because we keep denying it stuff. The science behind this looks pretty solid to me with a goal of metabolism recovery.

How it works:

Banned food list: Sugar, wheat (except sprouted), corn and all corn byproducts, dairy, soy, regular potatoes (turnips, rutabagas and sweet potatoes okay), high sugar fruits (bananas, grapes), alcohol, caffeine

Now it's not totally that simple. Different fruits and veggies and proteins are allowed at different phases. It is a rough one for full vegetarians, as phase 2 doesn't allow bean and similar proteins... for me it will be a lot of fish and turkey, as those are the only meats I eat.

The other big challenge: I am to divide my weight in half and drink THAT MANY ounces of water every day. At first this is going to be hugely challenging. I confess it is more than the 64 ounces of water most diets require.

Phase 1 (Monday, Tuesday) Calm the adrenals with easy to process healthy carbs

Breakfast (grain and fruit)
Snack (fruit)
Lunch (Protein, grain, fruit)
Snack (fruit)
Dinner (Protein, grain, fruit)

At least once in this phase there needs to be a cardio workout

Phase 2 (Wednesday, Thursday) Start the fat grabber... the first two days tells the body it will give it what it needs, then this phase denies it fat and carbs, so it feels free to grab fat from the body stores.

Breakfast (vegetable, protein)
Snack (protein, (veggie optional))
Lunch (vegetable, protein)
Snack (protein, (veggie optional))
Dinner (vegetable, protein)

At least once in this phase there needs to be a strengthening workout

Phase 3 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) Pre-emptively stop the panic about no fat by adding in healthy fats. This apparently turns up the metabolism as it calms that panic down enough that the body thinks it is safe from starvation once and for all. It also does a lot of hormone repair.

Breakfast (protein, healthy fat, veggie, fruit)
Snack (healthy fat/protein, veggie)
Lunch (healthy fat, protein, fruit, veggie)
Snack (healthy fat/protein, veggie)
Dinner (Grain, healthy fat, protein, vegetable)

At least once during this phase there needs to be a relaxation activity

The groceries...
A bit more:

I've read enough that I intend every day that allows fruit to include a citrus, every day to have at least one dark leafy green veggie. I'm trying to have it easy. I have a turkey chili recipe I can eat all but phase 2 that I plan to mega jump the veggies in... totally easy for one dinner and a couple lunches. I also have a fish stew that is just fish, vegetables, spices and broth for that difficult Phase 2.

And I had my first ever yoga class yesterday. At my work they are offering a Friday class and it is a lot cheaper than club yoga, as the U subsidizes it, plus they take it straight out of my check, so I won't miss it. So it started yesterday (went in even though it was a day off).

And I did my shopping for the week today. I had to go to three stores to find tortillas with no wheat or corn... but I found them. I think I will look for a recipe, though I hear Trader Joe's normally has brown rice tortillas (I ended up with some grain I've never heard of, but we will see).

Anybody ever tried this thing before? I'd love some advice. And I sincerely don't intend to bore you. That's why I am titling to warn you. Just skip it if you aren't interested. I'm trying to document for a few friends who HAVE expressed interest and get in a regular writing habit again. Hopefully it will take and I will get back to writing posts, too.

If anyone is MORE interested, the book was published long enough ago that I got the copy from my library, and TONS of info about it is available just by googling.


Jan Morrison said...

First of all I'm not remotely bored. This is an accountability practice and they work! Second - yes, I've been on something sort of similar a couple of times with good results, One of those times is Dr. Joey Schulman plan on City TV (a Toronto station). I found sugar the hardest at first BUT overall it is a killer to give up wheat. Oatmeal saves my day. If I start a day with oatmeal I have no desire to eat until lunch, but if I start with bread I'm toast! More later...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hart, good for you for taking the initiative and making changes.
Trader Joe's does have some of those hard to find items.
You lost before. You can do it again. And keep it off.

Jan Morrison said...

...I think the hardest part is sticking with it and I'm glad you're making this an open process. It looks varied enough so you will be distracted in a good way! I'll be here cheering you on. And yoga at work! Fabulous!

Hart Johnson said...

I've been following a sort of rotation eating system for a little over a year and I find it helps a ton with temptation, as most things I can have, just not today... This is stricter, but I need it. That other slowed the gain, but did not help lose. I really hope this one helps lose. Thank you to both of you for the support!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

We're the same age.

Sometimes it takes a drastic step to get the weight loss started. As a vegan, that one wouldn't work for me. When I start to edge up, I flip to 1000-1200 calories a day with extra exercise for about a month and that will drop me back to under target. (And then of course, I have to not slip back into the bad habits that messed me up in the first place.)

Good luck, Hart!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Good for you taking control of this thing. I've struggled with my weight for years, too, and also had some success with WW in the past (but not this time around.) I've never heard of this diet, but I'll be checking in here to see how it's working for you. Wishing you all the best, Hart!

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I know you don't like that photo, but you are beautiful in it, even as a gypsy. However, it's all about how we feel about ourselves.

I'm cheering you on!! But pleeeease keep writing. This worries me.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Hart - it sounds like a good plan and others support you ... so good luck and I'm sure it'll work - it just takes work ... yet you'll feel so much better soon ... take care and enjoy your meals - Hilary

Helena said...

Hart my dear, you are gorgeous and brilliant! Of course this regimen will work for you, not only because you can be so disciplined but because it really sounds sensible. And I'll be following closely not only because I care so much but because I know someone who also seems to have a metabolism problem.

In his case, I believe he did a few too many serious and long fasts. Talk about starving his body! Sure, he lost weight and felt great for a while, but his body seems to have gone into starvation mode and needs to be completely readjusted, because now he's got serious weight AND related health problems.

You are an inspiration, Hart.