Last month I shared my decision to begin a new weight loss program (the word diet is no longer allowed in this column). Here is my 1 month progress…
After a lot of research, I chose to follow the Trim Healthy Mama Plan and have never looked back. I decided to publicly announce my decision for two reasons; to help keep me accountable, and to hopefully encourage others to come on board with me. You know, there’s power in numbers and all…
While writing my first article about my weight loss journey, my Trim Healthy Mama (THM) Plan book and the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook had arrived in the mail from Amazon. I found a great price on the books through Amazon. You can order Trim Healthy Mama Plan here>>> and the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook here>>>. I clicked on the new and used links and was able to get both books new for around $21.
So with my books in hand, I began reading about this meal plan that was taking the world’s dieters by storm, with great weight loss success I might add. The reading part took a bit of doing since, like many of you, I operate with a busy schedule. But I was determined to follow through with my choice, so I began reading the book with every opportunity I had; while sitting at the dentist’s office, in the parking lot while waiting for my hubby Gary to get off work, in between client’s appointments, and at night before bed time.
Reading the book was actually not a grueling task at all. In fact, I found it rather interesting while educating myself on the basic meal requirements. It’s been quite a bit to absorb and understand, but as I read the book, everything that Pearl and Serene wrote made perfect sense to me.
I’m sure a lot of what is found in the book is information we likely learned in high school but, hey, we’re talking a long time ago. Time enough to have established some pretty bad eating habits that’s for sure. How else could I have found all of these extra pounds that had taken residence on my body?
In the book, I learned that our body has two types of fuel requirements; fats and carbohydrates. Now most other diets (cringe) would require you to cut out the carbs from your meals, or that fat-free was best for you. While reading THM I learned that depriving the body or over indulging in either one of these necessary fuels would create an imbalance in our body’s ability to sustain a healthy weight and good health in general.
So, wait a minute here… you mean fat-free isn’t necessary? I can eat the full on fats like butter, oil and bacon? Interesting… so I continued reading…
The Trim Healthy Mama Plan teaches that in order to keep our bodies functioning at optimum capability, meaning we’re burning the fuel we put into our bodies, we need to consume both of the primary fuel sources, fats and carbohydrates, separately.
Separately? Just what did that mean? Well, the THM plan teaches that while wanting to lose extra pounds we should eat either an “S” meal (S means Satisfying) consisting of fats, or an “E” meal (E means Energizing) consisting of carbs. The reason, they said, is to keep our metabolism guessing.
So, here’s the deal, my old method of eating consisted of both fats and carbohydrates; you know, a nice juicy steak and a baked potato with loads of butter and sour cream. Well, as a fuel source, the baked potato is a carb, and the steak, butter and sour cream are a fat. So I was consistently feeding my body a plethora of carbs and fats to choose from in each meal. The result? My body would look at both fuel sources, the fats and carbohydrates, and then say… ‘Hey, we can burn the carbs for immediate energy, and then let’s store the fats away for a rainy day.’ Boom, right on the hips it went! But, with eating a meal consisting of either the fats or carbs, it keeps the body guessing which fuel source it’s going to get during a particular meal and will burn it up immediately, therefore boosting the metabolism and burning off any excess pounds. So, I suppose, like me, my body loves surprises too.
Now, we all know that when we mention the word D – I – E – T (I didn’t say it that time) we immediately think of starvation. The idea is that cutting back on food, so that our body is getting less fuel, is supposed to cause it to start making use of all that fat it stored away for a rainy day, wouldn’t you think? Well, the truth is that when we do cut back on vital food fuels our body then begins to panic. It begins to become fearful of when the next meal will come and therefore it will store everything we eat, which explains why we would always feel hungry. The body wasn’t using that meager meal for fueling our metabolism, it was hoarding it, storing it away… for that rainy day.
With the Trim Healthy Mama plan we are encouraged to eat every 3-4 hours. Why is that, you wonder? It’s to keep your metabolism raring with energy so that your body continues to burn a fuel source, i.e. your stored fat. The higher your metabolism, the more fuel it burns in the body, the more weight loss you will experience. Makes so much sense to me.
Right away I had to face my biggest challenge; eating breakfast. Give me my cup of coffee and I’m good. No, coffee is not a food source, however, with a little half and half for creamer it does make it an E fuel. Learn something new every day! I had to muster up the energy to actually fix breakfast in the morning, but I did it. Amazing how much energy one gets just from eating a good hearty breakfast! My favorite breakfast consists of 2-3 eggs fried in butter, a couple slices of bacon and my cup of coffee, this time with a dab of heavy cream. A delicious and filling S (Satisfying) breakfast!
I love that in the book you have several samples of weekly menus. It’s really very helpful to plan out your menu for the week as it helps to keep you on schedule. Remember the rule to eat every 3-4 hours? I was so used to often going the entire day without eating because I would just be too busy to realize I was hungry, or was it because I was too lazy to go into the kitchen to fix something to eat? Either way, the practice of eating every few hours was a new one for me. Having a daily menu to rely on was perfect for me. No decisions to make in a hurry as to what I could eat, it was all spelled out right there pinned to my refrigerator; breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, yes, and even dessert. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
Once I was able to get the hang of what were S meals and which were E fueled meals I then began to branch out to create my own menus with the tantalizing recipes found in the THM Cookbook. I could not believe all of the countless meals we get to eat… every day!
Now I have to admit, and my husband will attest to this, I am not a cook! In fact, I hated cooking. The problem is I am not creative in the kitchen… at all. Our evening meals were the same old boring stuff; baked chicken, baked fish, spaghetti with ground turkey, get my drift… completely insipid! Then came my Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook. I was in Heaven and actually felt inspired to run to the kitchen and cook something! There were tempting breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes, including recipes for desserts, smoothies, ice cream, cookies, candy… wait, did I say candy? You bet I did! What kind of meal plan was this? I’ll tell you what kind! One that I can surely stick with each and every day… that is as long as I would lose the weight these sisters promised I would if I followed their meal plan. Well, I was willing to give it a go!
So my official first day on the Trim Healthy Mama Plan was the 14th of July. Last month I reported that my starting weight was 269 pounds. During my start, I was still reading the book and learning about the meal fuels so I wasn’t 100% on plan all the time. Plus, I still had some ‘off plan’ items in the kitchen that needed to be used up… couldn’t let the peanut butter ice cream go to waste. But, gradually, within a few days, I was ready to follow the plan in as much as I was able to understand at the time.
I created a weekly menu, available on the Trim Healthy Mama web site in the members only section, that even included a shopping list for the meals I had selected for the entire week! Talk about convenience! So my first week on plan was all set… I even purchased some of the products suggested on their web site; THM Baking Blend, Super Sweet, Gentle Sweet, a Troodle (a fun little gadget for making spaghetti spirals out of zucchini), Whey Protein Powder, Collagen, Glucomannan, to name just a few. Now mind you, you do not have to purchase their items from their web site, you can find many of the needed items at your local grocery store, Aldi’s, or a Health Food Store. Just pick up the items as you are able to afford them. There’s no rush. Each day is a new day and each meal is a new opportunity to start over.
This meal program is so easy to follow once you can wrap your brain around the fats verses carbs meals. I’m still learning the plan, and making mistakes along the way. The beautiful thing is if I do make a mistake, I get to start over the very next meal. It is a win-win situation.
In last month’s article I invited anyone who wanted to come on board with me in my weight loss journey. I was so excited to have several people to contact me wanting to join in. I created a Facebook Group, a place for us to gather to ask questions and offer support called Our Weight Loss Journey. If you would like to join along with us, just request to join and jump right in.
Some of those who joined with me in July are Rebecca Nidey, Christina Nelson, Susie Yerdon, and quite a few others who are still new and learning the ropes. Some of these ladies have agreed to share their information, to include their beginning photographs here in this column with me. There is no judgment in my world, we’re all here to support one another.
For those of you who are curious as to my progress in July, here is my before and after photographs. My starting weight was 269 pounds, and as of July 30th my weight is 257 pounds, a loss of 12 pounds over the past 2 ½ weeks. I’ve also recorded a total loss of 6 ¼ inches.
Now, I know it is difficult to see a big difference between my before and after photographs, but I could see, and feel, subtle changes. This program truly works! My husband, Gary, who has also followed the THM plan has lost 10 pounds, although he does have his ‘cheats’ throughout the week.
Each day I have learned more and more about the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating. The more I learn, the more ‘on plan’ I will become and my success will show not just in my weight loss, but also in my newfound way of healthy eating.