The day that I stepped on the scale and saw that I had lost 53 pounds was a proud day. It had taken me six months to achieve my goal, and I had made a lot of sacrifices along the way. Birthdays were cakeless, cookouts were steakless, and my food was tasteless. But there I was! Thirty six inches smaller, ten pant sizes lower, and I was looking pretty darn good.
Within a year and a half, it was all back.
Battling my weight has been an issue since I had children. I’m not using that as an excuse, it’s just a fact. But I didn’t get at the weight I am because I hate to eat either. I enjoy all the things that are bad for me. Chocolate……oooooh….chocolate. It is my weakness.
So, how did I manage to lose 53 pounds? People always ask that question, and in all honesty, it wasn’t all that hard. I joined the well known weight loss group, LA Weight Loss, and monitored everything I ate.
I ate often; almost every two hours. My day consisted of :
2 servings of protein
3 servings of vegetables
2 servings of fruit
2 servings of starches
1 serving of fat
2 protein bars that I bought through L.A. Weight Loss (NOT CHEAP!)
That sounds like a lot of food, doesn’t it? Trust me, it’s not! Let me break it down for you. A serving of fruit, for example, was ten green grapes. OR half of a banana. OR half a grapefruit, etc. The servings were small. A serving of vegetables usually consisted of either ¬Ω cup or 1 cup of something green. And the fat…..ha! The fat was one tbsp of butter, or one tbsp of olive oil. And that was it! ALL DAY LONG. I weighed and measured everything I ate. Every meal was a production.
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On the L.A. Weight Loss program, there are A LOT of restrictions and many combinations of food that had to be avoided completely, such as:
You couldn’t eat red meat and a starch at the same time.
You couldn’t eat a potato more than twice a week.
You couldn’t eat red meat or pork two days in a row.
You couldn’t season your meat with anything than low-sodium salt.
You could only eat ONE starch at a time. (that meant that a sandwich could only have one piece of bread)
No red grapes.
No yellow onions.
No yogurt, and so on.
** Since the time that I was a member of L.A. Weight Loss, their diet plan has changed.
It was a very limited diet, and there was only a handful of foods I could actually eat. It was very repetitive and got boring pretty fast. Trying to mix up the few foods I was allowed to have into different recipes was a challenge. Of course L.A. Weight Loss sold a cookbook, which I bought at a price of $ 30.00. Needless to say, I was cooking two meals. One for me and one for the family. I’d sit eating my chicken and vegetables (for the fourth time that week), while they dined on spaghetti and meatballs. I tried not to get discouraged.
Oddly, exercise wasn’t required. If you did exercise, you had to eat more food. That scared me. I averaged a weight loss of about two pounds per week, and exercised very little. I lost it all by watching (very strictly) what I ate. I didn’t want to risk slowing my weight loss down, so I tried not to do too much physical activity. Of course I realize now that was a mistake.
One important factor that was stressed to me through my experience with L.A. Weight Loss, was the protein bars that I had to purchase. The bars were very expensive, roughly $ 14.00 a box. A box contained, I think, eight bars. But they were like candy bars, and they were delicious, and I NEVER minded eating them. They came in great flavors too! It was the only treat I was allowed, and I got two of them a day. It was costly, but I was told that it was imperative to my weight loss that I eat the bars. So like a brainwashed cult member, I did.
Once I had lost the weight, I was allowed to start incorporating more food into my diet. It started slowly. I was eating things like yogurt, red grapes, and two pieces of bread at once! WOO HOO! Low fat Peanut butter tasted so rich and decadent. And don’t even get me started on cheese. I had forgotten how good all the food tasted that I had been forbidden from eating. I tried to remind myself how far I’d come, and how hard I worked to get in the size eight jeans I was wearing.
Oprah Winfrey was on the cover of her January 2009 issue of O magazine, and she’s speaking about this very same issue. She asks, “How did I let this happen again?” And after twelve months from the day I had gotten on the scale, and seen my amazing weight loss, I was asking myself the same thing. HOW DID I LET THIS HAPPEN? I was fat again. I was eating too much again. And I didn’t like myself again.
I’m still overweight, and I am still very unhappy with myself. I desperately want to loose weight again, but am almost afraid to try. After successfully loosing all the weight with the L.A. Weight Loss program, I thought my battle was done. I just don’t know if I can go through the disappointment again. I trusted everything I was told, and realize now that the advice I was given, such as “no exercise necessary” just doesn’t make sense. How could something so important for your body not be included in any weight loss program? It boggles the mind.
And for the record, the L.A. Weight Loss that I used to lose my weight…….skipped town unexpectedly! By the time they disappeared, I was already heavy again and not using their services. However, I can’t help but think of all the hopeful souls that had handed over their hard earned money, with expectations of a slimmer body. Come to think of it, that’s exactly what happened to me.