Battle of the Bulge, Part 2

I had no intention to reignite my battle with my middle age bulge, but the universe had other intentions as I wake up on the first full day of a new attempt to strip off the pounds.  How I got here is a blur, but it started just over a week ago in Saskatchewan.

My buddy from back home had always been bigger than me, going way back to grade five when his family moved to the area from Alberta.  We do our best to spend time together when I get back home and had arranged an afternoon of fun on the lake that would be followed by dinner and a visit.

"You are looking incredibly fit," I said.  "What's the secret?"

He was in the best shape of his life, and as he told me about his Ideal Protein journey and losing 25 pounds in just over three weeks I felt the universe tapping me on the back.

"I don't think of it as a diet, it's more of a food plan," he said.  "I've made some simple changes to how I eat and it's remarkable how I feel."

As we left and began our long trip home, I kept thinking about his story and how an eating regime would be so much easier for me that the exercise path I went down the first time.  In fact, as soon as we were plugged into the Internet I looked up Ideal Protein and whether we had any suppliers in Fort McMurray.  We had several.

Getting back home to piles of mail, unpacking, grass cutting and all the other tasks that build up after two full weeks of being away, the thought of starting a food program slid from the front to the back of my brain.  I had no idea that it would be my boss that would coax it back.

"My goodness," I said.  "You've lost quite a bit of weight."

"Why yes I have," she said, smiling broadly.  "I'm on a program called Ideal Protein."

I almost fell on the floor.  Twice in the same week this previously unheard of program had been heartily endorsed by people that I trust completely, to be followed by a third the following day.

Facebook hit me the same way back in 2007.  I had never heard of it until it came up in conversation at a Theatre Alberta meeting in Calgary.  They made it sound transformative, compelling me to sign up right away. It was and it is.  And from that day forward, Facebook became ubiquitous in my world.  The way Ideal Protein popped into my life feels very similar.

I had my appointment with Barb Henning (Back on Track with Barb), one of the local purveyors of Ideal Protein located in the River City Centre (formerly the Plaza II), yesterday.  I began the program as soon as I got home.

The Ideal Protein eating program has four phases.  I'm ensconced in the first leg of this journey, striving to achieve 90 percent of my weight loss goal.  The two-week long second phase slowly increases calories while the  third phase continues to increase calories and begins to reintroduce carbohydrates.  By the time you reach the fourth and final phase, you're at your target weight and are ready to manage how you eat with minimal reliance on supplements.

The Program is not only about weight loss, it's about managing blood sugar levels and resetting the pancreas.  The result is that ketosis starts to come into play, your body's process of burning fat as a first line of fuel.  It also facilitates the production of ketones, an organic compound that suppresses appetite.

After a 45-minute detailed introduction to the science, a quick weigh-in, body measurements, and the purchase of a program starter pack (just over $340) I was off.

Remarkably, after 24 hours I feel great.  I'm drinking water up the wazoo and sticking completely to the plan and have not had any hunger pangs at all, which surprises me.  They say that the first couple of days are the hardest, but so far it's been easy as pie, though I can't eat any for the foreseeable future.


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