10 days in

I'm 10 days into the Ideal Protein program.  Pants are starting to feel less tight, shirt collars fit better, and suit jackets are a bit roomier.  You see I purchased and/or altered most of my wardrobe when I was down around 180 pounds, which I am within 5 pounds of now.  It was an investment, but it also was an early warning system.  Filed somewhere in my mind was this commitment that if my clothes got too tight, it would be time to once again focus on my middle age bulge.

Summer has proven to be an excellent time of year to tackle this program as special events and lunches are rare.  I had my first test yesterday when I joined the Arts Council's Constance Scarlett in a lunch visit with Culture Minister Heather Klimchuck and MLAs Don Scott and Mike Allen.  Thankfully we were at the Sawridge and I was able to hand pick my "rabbit food" from the buffet.

"When I was on the program last time around, restaurants were incredibly helpful," I said to Constance before our special guests arrived.  "All I had to do was say I was on a very strict diet and they went out of their way to help."

The only cheat that I've engaged in - if you could call it a cheat at all - is seaweed snacks.  Heather introduced me to them earlier this week, super thin sheets of dried seaweed with just enough crunch and taste to make them interesting.  I now have a tray of them stashed in my desk for when I get a little peaked.  I also satisfy any late evening cravings with these ├╝ber healthy wisps of sea salty goodness.

I went for my weekly weigh-in and measurement on Monday.  After the first 7 days I was down 6.8 pounds and 4.5 inches.  That pace seems to be continuing into week two, although I seem to recall that the rate of loss slows down as the weeks go along.

Have I noticed any visible differences yet?  Not really.  When I look in the mirror, I appear the same.  But I feel different: less full, more comfortable in my skin and in my clothes.

The only downside has been waves of light headedness or weakness.  That said, I wonder how much of that has been brought on by the heat, humidity, and a reduction in the amount of sleep I get in the summer months?  As an example, I tried to do some painting in the shop last night, but found that the humidity was overwhelming and I just couldn't tap into the energy required. So, I put away the brushes and spent the evening enjoying a second run through Terry Fallis's The Best Laid Plans, one of my all-time favourite summer reading choices.

At the end of the day, the Ideal Protein protocol helped me change my relationship with food back in 2011.  That healthy change sustained, and has had a positive impact on our whole family, with the types of food we have around the house, and what we naturally gravitate to in terms of snacks.  But being a middle age male, one too many larger servings, or the odd cheat of French Fries or pizza can have a dramatic expanding effect.  This is why I have returned to the program, not because I/we had gone back to our old eating way.  I don't think that is ever going to happen.


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