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Need_to_lose! 02-03-2010 01:59 PM

A Journey on Optifast
 
I am starting this journal for myself and for those who expressed an interest in hearing about the journey I am about to embark on doing Optifast. First of all, for those who don't know, Optifast is a low-calorie, doctor supervised program. It is usually an 18 week program on which you are taken completely off of food and can only consume 600 calories of special shakes, bars, and/or soups. You are then slowly weaned back onto food and then given support for several years afterwards. With the program I will be going to weekly group meetings in combination with weekly individual appointments with a doctor, nutritionist, and psychiatrist on a rotating basis. My initial appointment is tomorrow morning (02/04/2010) with the nutritionist and physician. I am not entirely sure of what this initial appointment consists of. I believe it is an initial assessment of body composition and weight loss goals, physical, to go over the program in detail with me, and to get the first week's worth of nutrition.

I am excited to be starting this journey.

I will update when I return from my appointment tomorrow.

Izzybeff 02-03-2010 04:58 PM

I'm rooting for you. I know like me, you've struggled with your weight for a long time.

sassy_red 02-04-2010 11:24 AM

Subscribed! I'll be checking in, this sounds like an interesting program (if a bit drastic for my needs). I really hope it works out for you!!

Need_to_lose! 02-04-2010 12:31 PM

Well back from my appointment this morning and am excited and ready to go. The appointment took about 2 hours total from when I got to the clinic to when I left. Saw the nutritionist and went over the program materials, consent forms, goals, and supplement choices. Was weighed, measured, and given a body composition analysis. The weigh, measure part was not at all fun. :cry: But, that is why I am doing this...

I then saw the physician and he went over my health history, goals, what I want out of the program, and asked some questions about what I thought would be hardest for me, easiest, and any questions. Explained we do the program then after the initial 12 weeks can either extend my time on Optifast or transition to another method. He estimates for me to lose an initial 60-80 pounds in the 12 weeks. He also talked with me about my vitamin D deficiency and about thyroid health. He said I am presenting with hypo symptoms and he ordered a TSH, free T3 and Free T4 repeat (had all of this done in Sept but he wants to analyze the last few times I've gotten these done). His belief is many people go undiagnosed for years while displaying symptoms and they should be on thyroid medications. He said if my numbers are not optimal he will be putting me on them next week. He also ordered a CMP and recheck of my D levels.

Had an EKG done, which was normal.

Then got my 'food' for the week. I am required to consume 5 shakes and 1 bar a day. I am also allowed 1 soup, but that is an option that I can use or not as I feel I need it. Also, the program allows that I can have lettuce (with waldenhouse dressing or wishbone spritzers), celery, onion, cucumber, and bell peppers in moderation. The vegetables are recommended only if feeling I am very hungry or feel like I am "needing something to chew" as she put it. I am to have my shakes/bar every 2-3 hours. I think that is going to be the hardest part for me, remembering to stay on that schedule and 'eat'. If I go past hungery i can easily go into a mode where I do not eat until I'm starved and then binge. :stars:

Also need to drink 64 oz of water daily. I am also allowed 2 drinks of any combo of black coffee, tea, diet soda, and crystal light/sugar-free drink mix. None of the 2 drinks can replace a water and any more has to be water.

Anyway, had a chocolate shake at 1pm and it tasted very good. I can have another here in 1/2 an hour or wait another hour for that. haven't decided yet. I need to figure how to space it out so I am comfortable. I get most hungry in the evening so will probably save the bar for then, and the soup for if I get cravings in the late evening, but do not plan to use the soup everyday, only when I really do feel I need it.

So, that's it so far. I go in for my meetings/doctor visit/weigh in every Thursday at 4-5pm. I'm going to adjust my stats to fit what happened today.

Here I go!...

Need_to_lose! 02-04-2010 06:40 PM

My verdict on the shakes:
They are all decent. Nice and smooth, no chunks when just using very cold water and the shaker cup given with the program. Flavors are all decent, nothing horrible. Chocolate was the best, Strawberry and Vanilla are average. Slight aftertaste the first drink or 2 but not after that. :dunno: Will be having a soup tonight as I am quite hungry and am definitely saving my bar for evening/night 'meals'.

Overall I'm feeling okay. Bit hungry, but was told the first week is hardest with headaches, maybe some fatigue or weakness, and hunger. Nothing horrible and I am just focusing on that it means I am burning this disgusting fat off my body. :up:

I can do this!

sassy_red 02-05-2010 05:28 PM

You can do it! Most shakes have an aftertaste whether it's because of the whey or soy (the most common types of powdered protein) or the vitamins they contain. Are you allowed to cut them with anything like some berries or are they eaten totally plain?

Wow though 60lbs in 12 weeks! Glad you're being doctor-supervised, any weightloss like that would be pretty drastic on the body! Good luck!!

Need_to_lose! 02-11-2010 04:47 PM

Day 8.

Got back from my first class/meeting. Was interesting. Have meetings with 3 other people. All very different in different stages of the program so neat to see and hear how it's been for them.

I'm still going strong. Not hungry all the time any more. Headaches and fatigue have passed and I feel fine now. Seems almost normal to just drink my shakes and eat my bar each day. I'm having no issue cooking for my family then sitting down and having a shake while they eat.

Down 9 pounds and it's TOM so know I'm retaining water. Bleh. There was a day or two in there while PMSing that got a bit rough. Was craving comfort food like a casserole and made the mistake to make tatertot hotdish for everyone. Boy was that tempting! Lesson learned is if I'm craving a food, don't cook it! :laugh: I pulled through though. :up:

Well, my goal for this week is to, of course stay on plan, and drink more water. I've been slacking on my water intake.

sassy_red 02-17-2010 10:02 AM

How's everything going?

sweetpoison 02-18-2010 04:23 PM

Was wondering that myself....

Need_to_lose! 02-19-2010 02:34 PM

Things are going well. All in all it's been a rather uneventful journey. I'm at the point right now where I do not feel hungry much anymore. I do have a moment now and then where something smells just wonderful, but I quickly talk myself out of it. Often I find brushing my teeth helps. I am allowed up to 6 pieces of SF gum a day, but have found chewing gum seems to bring on sugar cravings so I nixed that. I have had a few unpleasant side effects, these I was warned about so was expecting them. Mainly horrid breath. Was told it's because we go into ketosis and also the lack of chewing means the mouth isn't stimulated to do it's natural hygiene. I'm brushing my teeth at least 4 times a day now, if not more. I have a tooth brush, paste, floss, and mouth wash in every bathroom. :laugh: Also noticed this week my hair is starting to thin, again its expected.

I've lost a total of 12.5 pounds in 15 days. :up: The doctor is very happy with this. Somehow my labs were lost though so they had to retake blood this week. The doctor is suspecting he will be putting me on hypothyroid medications next week after seeing the lab results. He's highly suspicious it's an issue for me since I present with a heavy family history and many symptoms. He said he'll often treat someone who is symptomatic even if labs appear within range because he thinks many people go years suffering without treatment.

So far I am not on any appetite suppresants but he said he will write an prescription for me at a moments notice if I feel I need them. So far I'm not.

Today I am starving. Not sure why. I woke up hungry and have stayed hungry all day. This hasn't been an issue since maybe the 3rd or 4th day in. I suppose it's just how somedays you are hungier than others, it's just more noticable on this program.

So far I'm very happy with my decision and am looking forward to the coming weeks.

As far as the food, I've found I only really care for the chocolate shakes, adding peppermint extract makes a nice chocolate mint drink. I cannot add any berries or such just extracts and/or noncalorie-SF syrups and/or splenda-type sweeteners. I also am now allowed 1 soup as a replacement since it seems sodium doesn't have a bad effect on me, both the tomatoe and chicken soups are good and are a nice change from the shakes. It's nice to have a warm 'meal'. For the bars, I like the chocolate and berry yogurt... the peanut butter/chocolate isn't so good, but I'm not really into that combo anyway.

Meeting yesterday was on self esteem and body image. I obviously have a big issue with that. I see it more and more. I have to work on changing that not only physically but mentally as well.

wifey 02-19-2010 02:39 PM

Good luck! I'll be rooting for you girl!

Need_to_lose! 02-20-2010 11:53 PM

I am so proud of myself tonight! Hubby wanted to go out for supper as we normally would for my birthday. I agreed. Anyway went to Red Lobster. I took one of my soup packets and ordered a bowl of hot water and a small side salad with lemon juice. Got my hot water and mixed up my optifast soup. Ate that while DH feasted on their nachos. Which are OMG good. Then when his entree came I ate my lettuce. Ate about 1 cup lettuce and 2 cucumber slices and was full. I drank one glass dt coke and then water.

Ok. After all that my point is I had an opportunity and excuse to go off plan and I didn't. The food all smelled great but I kept thinking how my whole outlook on food has to change if I plan to get thin and stay that way.

sassy_red 02-23-2010 06:16 AM

Happy (belated now) birthday! Gratz on the progress, that's awesome! Soon you'll be posting those before/after pics. :D Keep up the good work!!!

Need_to_lose! 03-01-2010 09:08 AM

Well, was down another 1.5 pounds this past Thursday. The doctor said he could see on the body comp print out though that I was down 3 pounds of fat but retaining water. Which makes sense because I slacked on my water intake and reverted back to too much dt. Soda. So, have now cut out the soda entirely. Not buying any and tying my water bottle to my arm. :laugh: It's worked well so far this weekend. Still feel a dull hunger ache most days off and on but overall feeling good.

crystalgriffon 03-01-2010 12:18 PM

I'll be thinking of you! Good luck! =)

kristina 03-01-2010 02:11 PM

Just now saw this thread :)

good for you, it's DIFFICULT going out to eat and staying on plan, but you did it :kicking:

Need_to_lose! 03-09-2010 09:33 AM

Didn't have a great week last week. Had a lot of hunger and cravings. Doctor put me on 1/2 tab of phentermine to help with appetite suppression and kick me back into gear. No loss this week, but staying strong.

Have been on the Phen since Thursday and have lost a few pounds already. I'm looking forward to my Thursday appointment to weigh in and confirm that on the doctor's scale. I really need to ask DH to hide our scale at home because I'm clearly obsessed with weighing myself at least every morning, often several times a day... not healthy either.

TOM is coming up so we'll see how that effects things (oh goody). :laugh:

Not much else to report.

Need_to_lose! 03-11-2010 01:56 PM

Down 8.5 pounds this week!:kicking: I'm PMSing too right now expecting my period any moment so know I'm likely retaining a lil water. Officially down my first 20! :D

Need_to_lose! 03-19-2010 10:39 AM

Down another 2.5 this week. Can't wait to hop on the scale and be below 300! That'll be a day worth celebrating. :up:

I've been on this 6 weeks now. I'm still doing okay though fighting negative thoughts.

I keep thinking I am not losing enough. I know any loss is a good loss but I'm 1/2 way through the minimum time on the program (not counting the 6 weeks transition as have been told loss on that is very slow). If I lose the same amount in the next 6 weeks I will lose close to 50 pounds, which yes that is huge, but not enough to satisfy me. I'm going to ask to stay on the shakes for as long as they will let me (sounds like 20 weeks is the limit but maybe longer in a very special circumstance.) I can tell I've lost weight though I myself cannot see any difference. I'm going to list some just to help myself put things into perspective. DH says he can see it and a good friend of his had not seen me for 3 weeks and commented that this is working. But, he is one of the few people who know I am on this diet and he is really rooting for me to suceed so I'm not sure if he just said it to make me feel good or if it's honestly noticable.

Anyway, the things I've noticed:
1. Jeans are fitting comfortable right out of the dryer. Before I started Optifast I was having to lay on the floor and then struggle to zip them and dread washing them again because I knew they'd be tight and uncomfortable until they stretched out. Now I'm washing them just to shrink them down a bit. :up:
2. Shirts are fitting better. A cute shirt I bought that was a little too snug is now fitting a little loose. :up:
3. My bras are getting too big. Had 1 that was pretty snug on the largest hooks and is now a little loose on the smallest hooks. I think that's the area I've seen the most change in. Not sure if it's the band size or if I'm losing cup size too. :cry: I hope I don't deflate in the chest entirely.
4. My face MAY look a little thinner, but I'm not entirely sure. Sometimes I think it does but other times I think it's just lighting or my imagination. :dunno:
5. I do see some difference in my neck/collar bone area that is to the positive.
6. Noticing movements, bending, reaching, taking stairs, etc. is easier than before. :)

That's about it. Have to learn to focus on the positive and not be so negative with myself. I'm a bit freaked out about the changes in my skin right now. It seems almost doughy and wrinkly. :sick: But, that's bound to get worse before it gets better, right? There is always plastic surgery if I need it... really hoping I don't but leaving that possibility open.

Need_to_lose! 03-24-2010 05:54 PM

.

Need_to_lose! 03-24-2010 05:55 PM

Bought new bra today. I've gone from a 46DD to a 44C. :eek: Not sure how I feel about that yet.

Need_to_lose! 03-27-2010 07:46 PM

Down 2.5 fat, up 0.5 muscle. :up: Not sure how I gained muscle as they forbid me to work out. I'm chalking it up to hauling my 45 pound 2-1/2 year old boy around a lot last week.

Need_to_lose! 04-04-2010 10:21 AM

Late update this week. Anyway had a pretty good week. Had one small meal on my 10th Wedding Anniversary on the 31st, but still showed a loss of 7 pounds. I am UNDER 300! I have not been under 300 since having my first baby in 2004!!! I am thrilled. Weighed in at 297 this week. Talked with the doctor and he said I can stay on the liquid portion of the diet for the longest time period (18-20 weeks) and then have a slow 12-18 week transition back to food, since you still lose well during transition. :kicking: I am very, VERY happy I signed up for this program. It has been a great thing for me.

kristina 04-08-2010 04:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Need_to_lose! (Post 13330980)
Late update this week. Anyway had a pretty good week. Had one small meal on my 10th Wedding Anniversary on the 31st, but still showed a loss of 7 pounds. I am UNDER 300! I have not been under 300 since having my first baby in 2004!!! I am thrilled. Weighed in at 297 this week. Talked with the doctor and he said I can stay on the liquid portion of the diet for the longest time period (18-20 weeks) and then have a slow 12-18 week transition back to food, since you still lose well during transition. :kicking: I am very, VERY happy I signed up for this program. It has been a great thing for me.

:clap::clap::kicking::kicking:


Under 300...that's AWESOME!!

Need_to_lose! 04-09-2010 01:46 PM

Didn't go to my meeting this week. DH was home and it was the only day he had been all week and he left again this morning. Family time trumped my meeting/appointment this week. My scale at home says I'm down another 2 pounds, but I'll just keep on plan and update next week.

Need_to_lose! 07-09-2010 09:12 PM

Took a break and back on the liquid diet again.

I've gone from a tight size 32 in February to a falling-off size 28 now in June. Overall I'm happy with my progress. Wish it was coming off a bit faster, but the scale keeps going down so that's what matters. :)

sassy_red 07-10-2010 06:02 AM

Yay I was wondering how things were going for you! Glad to see you back on the front page of Journals!! :up:

kristina 07-14-2010 10:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Need_to_lose! (Post 13675337)
Took a break and back on the liquid diet again.

I've gone from a tight size 32 in February to a falling-off size 28 now in June. Overall I'm happy with my progress. Wish it was coming off a bit faster, but the scale keeps going down so that's what matters. :)

So glad to know that you're still doing this! Take care....

sweetpoison 07-29-2010 06:41 PM

Was just wondering how the program was coming along.... hope all is fine.

sassy_red 07-30-2010 08:14 AM

Ditto on the curiosity, hope all's well!


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