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[personal profile] yourgravity
This time last year I was a little ways into what would become another attempt in a long line of failed diets.  This time, I'd  chosen Take Shape For Life/Medifast, and initially I was really excited to be on the plan.  A friend of mine had amazing results on the plan, and I read all the testimonials on it.

It was so exciting when I chose my first month's food, and the huge box filled with all my little boxes of food arrived.  I was excited the first day as I packed my meals into my lunch bag for work.  And when I weighed for the first time a week and a half later and had lost almost 12 pounds, I was still excited.

About three months into the plan though, I was SO unhappy.  I couldn't have fruit.  I was severely limited in what vegetables I could have.  I couldn't have milk or cheese or any of the dairy I was used to - even in moderation.  When I went out to dinner with friends, I had to sift through my salad for things I COULD eat, and discard the things I couldn't.  I couldn't drink juice, or regular soda EVER.  I couldn't have a splurge day, EVER.

I had no energy to work out AT ALL.  I didn't feel full EVER, or satisfied by what I was eating.  I couldn't stop craving "bad" foods.

I was miserable.

One day about two and a half-three months on the plan, I was managing a concession stand for the local youth football league and I barely had a chance to eat ALL day.  That night I was so hungry that I gave in and ordered pizza.  And it was AMAZING.  And the next day, and the day after that?  I was so so so sick.  Sicker than I'd ever been in my life.

But it also showed me how unhappy I was.  The plan was so restrictive.  Instead of filling my body with natural things, I was eating prepackaged, tasteless meals.  I wasn't getting any GOOD carbs, natural fiber, etc.  And I wasn't getting healthier, or stronger.  I was getting skinnier (used as a broad term, I was still overweight, even having lost almost 30 pounds.)  I couldn't run or lift weights, and I was ALWAYS starving.

About a month later, I went off the plan.  The holidays happened, and I ate.  New Year's and Valentine's Day, then a vacation happened, and I ate.  I gained most of those 30 pounds back.  Then slowly I started going to the gym again, and thinking about the way I was eating - all of which led me to my recent huge change in my lifestyle and my foods.

Last year was an incredibly weird and challenging year - some good things happened, and some of the worst things I've ever endured happened.  I won't lie and say I didn't eat for comfort, but what I learned was that commercial weight loss plans aren't for me.  I won't be trying Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, etc.

I'm happy with where I'm at - eating good foods that benefit me, like fruits, vegetables, and lean meats.  Making up my own recipes as I go along.  I'm losing slowly, and that's absolutely okay, because this time?  I'm happy.  I had to go through all that to get HERE.  And "here" is a very good place. 
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