When I started this blog last summer, I was following the Ideal Protein Protocol. I'm very thankful for that season of my life. It was intense, hard and it revealed more about myself than I thought it would. I followed the Ideal Protein Protocol (I'm using the term "follow" loosely. I did really well in the beginning and waned off over time) for about 4-5 months. When following the program/directions, I lost weight really quickly. I lost around 40lbs in that time span.
I had never lost weight before. Correction. I had never tried to lose weight before. This was the first time where I really took a good look at myself and knew that drastic changes needed to be made. You can read more about that here.
Restricting certain food groups was a brand new experience for me. I'd never passed on the bread or cheese before. I'd skipped dessert occasionally, but really making the effort to avoid carbs, dairy, and sugar was a much needed shock to my system.
When Luke and I examined our budget for 2016, I realized that Ideal Protein didn't really fit in. We made some BIG purchases in fall 2015, our house and car, and came home from Christmas with a 100+ pound dog (who we love very much and couldn't dream of life without him). Although, I didn't lose as much as I would've liked or stuck to it as long as I would've liked, I'm looking forward to branching out and doing something new.
I want to share things I'm thankful for about my time on Ideal Protein:
- I CAN exercise self control. Probably the main take away from IP was knowing that I could say no to certain food groups, that I would be okay without them. Again, prior to last year I had never restricted food groups. I can say NO. That was really good to learn.
- I CAN lose weight. It's happened. I've done it. I succeeded. Prior to last year, I thought I was a hopeless cause. Now, I know that it's possible for me to lose and that I'm not too far gone.
- I can trust people. I've never been this open about my life or my feelings. The way that everyone has rallied around and encouraged me is unbelievable. I totally didn't expect it to this degree.
- I need a new normal. The month of December was when I officially quit Ideal Protein. I stopped weighing in and using the products. Even before that I stopped applying all of the good stuff I'd learned. I regularly indulged in foods that I knew I should've savored sparingly. I was kind of lost. I didn't know what I should eat. All I knew was that I wanted to eat every cookie, pie, cake, side dish, and candy that was sitting in front of me.
- The faster is comes off, the quicker it can come back on. This was tough. For some odd reason I thought that I would continue to lose or maintain, when I was indulging a little more every day. Crazy, right? Because I didn't follow through with phasing off the products like you're supposed to, I didn't enter back into a no rules situation the best way. Actually, it was the worst way. It was December, party month, and I didn't want to miss out on all of the special food. 20 pounds came back on faster than I realized. It seemed as if each pound gained, a valuable lesson or truth I learned was lost. It was a nasty balancing act. That goes to show there is always loss and gain. For me it was loss of motivation, self control, and knowledge and a gain of 20 pounds. (I didn't gain all 20 pounds back in December. The gains started happening mid to late October up til now).
Those are my main takeaways from my time with Ideal Protein. I know now, more than ever, that I can't just be on a diet or a program. I had my first shot at maintenance and I flopped. This is one of the major things I'm going to work on this year: Healthy Habits. I want to give myself time to let these good decisions sink in.
I'm also thankful that I didn't put all the weight back on. I can officially say I lost weight in 2015! The left is Thanksgiving 2014. The right is Thanksgiving 2015.
Do I regret doing Ideal Protein? Not at all! It was the right decision for me at the time. Do I still recommend Ideal Protein? YES! Just do it correctly and phase off properly. Would I ever do Ideal Protein again? I want to say yes, but I also don't want to give myself an out for when I can afford Ideal Protein again. I want to lose this weight in a healthy and sustainable way.
Let's get to work! - JJ