I have been wanting to write this post for awhile. There are lots of happenings that take place with rapid weight loss with a program like Optifast; some are common to all and some are very individual. Here are some things I have noticed (in no particular order):
You can lose weight VERY fast. I lost about 45 lbs in 2.5 months.
Losing weight rapidly is VERY motivating! Seeing yourself change rapidly, fitting into smaller clothing, and feeling lighter on your feet makes you want to keep going!
Losing just 10% of your body weight (if you are overweight) has tons of health benefits – it helps regulate your blood sugar, reduces blood pressure, risk for heart disease and a tons of other good stuff!
I feel more beautiful and confident. I feel like I have shed some of the layers that were hiding my beauty. I was holding onto the fat like a security blanket, and there is no freedom in that. I was entrapped in my fat. Now, I feel more free!
Energy and gracefulness: I just feel it. I feel more in control of my body, less awkward as I move. I feel I can move faster, and my endurance has improved. I play more too!
Sex drive: Whoooo Hooo! My sex drive was already pretty high, but now it’s off the charts! … not sure if that is a good thing for everyone, but it is for me. With the hormonal shift, I am having increased signs of fertility. If you follow the Fertility Awareness Method, you know what I am talking about. I can definitely feel when I am ovulating.
Fasting allows you the break from food – the space – to assess addictions and dependency on food and cleanse your palate of all unrighteousness. I think this has been especially helpful for me. And, although I am not considering it right now, I do think I will try to incorporate periods of fasting/cleansing into my future for this very reason.
It’s spiritual. Whenever you fast, you’re require to tap into some resources to sustain yourself. Exercising spiritual practice and relying on a Source greater than yourself always results in growth, increased intimacy with your Creator, greater dependence on Love to get you through – instead of fleeting comforts (like a food addiction). Without shifting focus, addictions are just placed on hold and progress isn’t being made toward freedom.
A bit of selfishness goes a long way. Doing a program like this requires a vacation from taking care of everyone else and has forced me to put my life in priority – with me at the top! I don’t intend to change this; I like this new way of living.
Support: You find out who the quality people in your life are: those that love and support you, encourage you, and are genuinely happy for your successes. You’ll also know who is real in your life when you still have this love and support even during times of failures and set-backs.
Aaaaaaand, I *almost* forgot: NEW CLOTHES. Yeah, baby! That has been fun!
People don’t like change. It’s hard for other to be happy for you because we are ultimately mirrors – we magnify the flaws of others when they see us. That’s okay because I still have love for those who can’t stand I lost weight.
People want to see you fail so that they don’t feel so bad for not trying. Again, that’s okay. I still have love for those naysayers!
All of the people watching and waiting for you to fail can wear out your enthusiasm and increase self-doubt. BUT, no, I am not going to allow that ugliness into my spirit.
Some people don’t like my new way of prioritizing my life. Those who really love me want me to put myself first. If they don’t, too bad for them!
Losing weight through a fasting diet causes your metabolism to slow down. That’s okay, it’s not forever. It does go back up! The best way to minimize the adverse effects of a slower metabolism is to exercise. I am on that! This is also the purpose of gradually increasing caloric intake after the fast has concluded.
Fear: fear of failure, relapsing into old ways, relying on addictions, and letting laziness and complacency set in. If I am honest, I have my moments of fear. However, I also look it straight in the eye and say in my most assertive voice, “Thank you for reminding me that I am human, but you are not welcome here. Okay, bye-bye now!”
So, losing weight through fasting can make your intestines all jacked up! First, there is nothing in your system to make poop. So, you add fiber supplements to help make poop. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes you get bloated and gassy and constipated. It’s ugly. Trust me. However, I did eventually find the magic combination of fiber supplements and Calm Magnesium (also good for stress). Since the fast has ended, my intestines are still not working like they used to; I think my body is still adjusting to the new diet.
I feel like I look older. Having all my skin stretched out to the maximum with plumpness made me look younger. Now, I am starting to look more my age. Boo. I am not being self-critical. It is just is what it is.
Sagging skin – this goes with the above ugliness. My skin has not bounced back since the weight loss. The clinic says in can take at least 6-9 months, so I am not freaking out yet. I am hoping some of it goes back. However, right now, the area around my triceps are is very wiggly, I have loose neck skin, and my thighs are not very taut. My tummy has a tiny bit of ripple-y skin too, but it’s much less than expected, so I am not too unhappy with that area. Working out helps tons!
Breasts: Breasts are fat (and glandular tissue). Losing fat, means smaller breasts. I now have really small ones. However, they served me well, at many different sizes. Their ultimate purpose is lactation, and I’ve done that. So, they are faithful boobs, I won’t criticize.
Hormonal shift: The awesome hormonal shift that can cause your sex drive to go through the roof can also cause you to have insane PMS. I have also been the unfortunate recipient of cystic acne and some lovely incapacitating migraines. I actually had to take a course of antibiotics to help my face. I actually have a few lovely scars to commemorate the lovely experience. Oh well. Time heals.
All has been worthwhile, an experience I don’t regret a thing. I know this isn’t the end. This is the beginning. And, I am someone who actually likes a good challenge, doing this type of emotional/spiritual work. I hope you stay with me. I will be posting new photos soon.