Two weeks ago, I walked into a local weightloss office and filled out paperwork on my health history. I gave my FSA card to the receptionist, who entered in the card numbers into the system, locking in my $400 per month payment for this program that guarantees to help you lose 5-10lbs per month. Then I spent an hour with the clinicians learning about the program and proper portions. I was given a shot of amino acids and sent on my way to a new, thinner me.
When people see me and I say I need to lose weight, they roll their eyes. I’m not morbidly obese, but I am medically overweight. I have a body fat percentage of 39%. Obese is 32%+(!) I’m at an age now where I can no longer ignore this. While some people can just exercise their weight off, I have a few larger problems to deal with first. One is that my insulin regulation is messed up. I know this because I have PCOS and also unless I remove most carbs from my diet I will not get my period naturally. I want to fix this because I’d like to have children in the next five years, and I want to at least set myself up for the best odds to procreate. Infertility treatments will be much more expensive and if I can avoid them by getting myself to a healthy weight, then all the better.
$400 per month still seems rather expensive, but I purposely put $2500 in my FSA this year so I would force myself to focus on my health. I’d like to also see a psychologist this year, but I felt that my weight was a more pressing concern. I’ve tried for years to lose weight and like many Americans it’s been a complete roller coaster battle. Six years ago I weighed 120lbs. Six months ago I weighed 178lbs. One week into the program (which I started around 163lbs) I am down to 157.
The program is probably a rip off, but if it works, it’s worth it. The concept behind the program is a healthy low carb, low fat, low calorie diet using only all natural, whole foods. Other than the low calorie bit (you average 800-1200 calories per day if you are strict on the diet) I think it’s quite healthy. The program really focuses on fixing your liver by removing sugars and starches from your diet (even carrots are banned), while teaching you proper portion sizes so you don’t overeat. I tend to binge eat so this program is really good for me.
On the program, you’re supposed to eat about 100 grams of protein and under 50 grams of carbohydrates per day and drink lots of water. Lean meats are preferable to high-fat and you have a limited amount, so it’s not unhealthy like Atkins. There are additional allowed foods such as 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 2 tablespoons of hummus per day. If you eat all the extras that are allowed you could hit 1200 calories per day, but usually it’s more like 800-1000. The good thing is they allow a limited about of carbohydrates (two servings of fruit and two of non starchy veggies) so you get enough minerals and there’s a vitamin as well to make up for any missed by a limited diet. The diet then puts you into a state of mild ketosis, so your body uses fat instead of carbs for energy, and you lose weight. It apparently works really well.
I’m not sure how long I’ll stay on the program (in terms of paying for it anyway) but already it has taught me a bit about control, healthy eating and portions. I’ve already been cooking more (figuring out ways to make chicken without a lot of unhealthy extras is fun) and the weight at this point is falling off. I’m not drinking enough water still so that’s my focus for this coming week. My goal weight is 135 right now though I’d really like to get back to 120 for my 2014 wedding. If I can hit 135 in 2013, though, that will give me time to put the monthly fees towards personal training versus diet help to get me in tip-top shape for my wedding day and beyond.
I wonder if it makes sense to stay on this program since I seem to have the basics down, but I’ll stick to it for 3 months ($1200.) If I can get down 20lbs from where I am today for that price, and it comes out of my FSA (so it’s really only a bit more than half of that), then it’s worth it. I’d rather spend on my health than a new pair of shoes – though come to think of it, I really need a new pair of shoes…