Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New "Support My Blog" Gadget

The newest addition to the blog is a donation gadget.  I of course do not want any of you to feel obligated by any means, but if I have helped you or inspired you and you feel so inclined, I would very much appreciate any amount you'd like to contribute.  Times are hard right now and every little bit helps.

Thank you so much!


Summer's On the Way! + Follower Q & A

I would like to begin my getting back to all you lovely folks! Sorry for the delay!

Sunny said...
Woohoo! That's awesome! Congrats on the reward for all your hard work and good luck with the photoshoot, you will be beautiful! :)

B: Thanks so much Sunny!

Deb said...
Wow!!! That is so awesome - CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Can't wait to hear when it will be in stores. And go for the swim suit girl - YOU'VE EARNED IT NOW ROCK THAT BODY!

B: Thanks Deb. I'm not so sure what they'll be doing now, but I'm excited regardless :)

Kathi said..
Can't wait to see the magazine ... you need to post me one please! but I'll bet you gonna buy quite a lot of them :-)

B: I may very well indeed buy several. I'll try to mail you one if you want Kathi! :D

Anonymous said...
Hello, I came across your blog by viewing Dukan's website. I am struggling with losing 25 pounds. I have tried a lot of diets out there and have found them to not work. I'm very leary of trying Dukans diet....How exactly does it work??? I purchased the book today-now I'm just waiting for it in the mail...please advise...

B: Hi Anon. I have tried many diets too. I lost 70 lbs on Atkins and gained it all back. The Dukan Diet is different though. It's changed my life entirely. If you stick with it, you are guaranteed to lose weight. He comes out and says it in the book that as long as you do as he prescribes, you will lose weight no matter what!

Lauren said...
Congratulations! It is proof that hard work and commitment breeds good things. And what girl wouldn;t love her own photoshoot! Can't wait to read about it.

I have been lurking on your blog and actually used it as a reference when I decided to start the Dukan Diet myself. I started a week and a half ago and it is going pretty well. I ended up starting my own blog to help track my progress and keep me accountable.

Thanks for the inspiration and congratulations on all of your success, it is more than deserved.

B: That's great Lauren! I'm glad my story has inspired you to begin writing your own! Remember, you get to choose what the rest of your life holds. It doesn't matter what has happened thus far. All that matters is the story you've yet to write! I'm sure you'll do splendidly. Keep me updated. :)
Girl Friday... I mean Foody. said...
Congratulations. I'm excited and thrilled for you!

B: Thanks so much Girl Friday! :D

hope said...
How wonderful for you! You deserve it girl so enjoy every moment! I can't wait to see it!

B: Thanks Hope! :)

Elizabeth said...
just discovered your blog while looking through the Ducan website. I don't even know you, but I am sooo proud of you!
I am planning to buy the book as soon as I get a chance, and start the diet.

B: That is wonderful Elizabeth. What a sweet comment. Means a lot to me. Let me know how it goes for you. You can do it. Be strong, and you'll do great!
Healersmoon said...
As many others, I have found your blog through the Dukan US website. I've bought the book and I'm about 1/2 way through reading it. I want to make sure I completely understand it before I begin so that I don't sabotage myself.

I have to tell you, I'm thoroughly scared. Scared of failure, scared that I just don't have the willpower. I have medical issues from a car accident that require medications (which caused a lot of my weight gain) and I'm afraid this will hamper my progress significantly. I've read so much about diets, this and that site, this book and that book. They all sound perfectly reasonable. But again and again I fail at them. Food is my completely comfort from the physical pain I am in every hour of every day. It's my escape. I know that with less weight (I need to lose 100lbs), I WILL feel better and probably won't need nearly as much medication. I also know I have no willpower when it comes to my comfort foods - sweets.

I really really want to try - for now I will finish the book while I psyche myself up for this and learn to believe that I can do it. Thanks so much for all your postings. I hope I can contact you and write you along my journey - I really don't have any friends close by, just my kids.

Warmly, Debra

B: Hi Debra,
I think it's quite clever of you to finish the book before beginning. The better you know the tenets of the diet, the better prepared you'll be for the journey ahead. As for being scared of failure, don't be! This time is not like the other times. This time is different. This time you have the motivation and the proper tools to achieve your goals. You can do anything you set your mind to. Believe me, if I can do it, so can you! This diet is unlike anything else. It teaches you how to eat well instead of how to diet. Once you get into the swing of things you'll see what I mean, and you'll be so grateful you began doing something so wonderful for yourself. I would be more than happy to correspond with you. Feel free to add me on FB. :)

Dukandoittoo said...
I love this quote! Who wrote it?

B: I'll have to get back to you on that one. It should be able to be found by googling!

Anonymous said...
You are an inspiration! I just started the DD two days ago and I'm not feeling my best and I am having MAJOR cravings. But reading your blog has motivated me to keep on trucking!

B: Hi Anon. I hope I am inspirational to those of you who doubt what you're capable of. It was looking to another Dukan-er for inspiration that got me off on the right foot. :) I only hope to pay it forward. I've been given my life back, and I am eternally grateful. As for your cravings, if you're wanting something sweet try some popsicles made with crystal light in a popsicle tray. Or if you're craving something that feels like junk food use lean deli ham, fat free mozzarella, and a dill pickle to have a Dukan ham and cheese breadless-sub. Or make yourself a crustless pizza with veggies, meat, and fat free cheese! :)
Anne said...
Hi! You know, I think you need to go to your comfort level and let your body tell you when it's done losing. If you stick with the cruise phase and continue to lose, then go for it. But, if you find yourself doing extremely restrictive eating to budge the scale, you're done.

B: Very good advice Anne. As of right now, I've been slacking quite a bit. I monitor my weight and try to behave a little more if the scale budges upward, but thus far I've maintained my weight for a month straight with very little effort. I may try to lose a bit more, but I'm really relatively quite happy the size I am now. :)

Veerukka said...
My impression from reading the book was that Dukan discouraged going lower than the "ideal weight" because dieters would be more likely to burn out from the excessive length of time in the cruise phase. If you are satisfied with continuing the cruise phase further, I'd continue. HOWEVER, if you up your exercise in the consolidation phase, that might be another option. That would mean you'd have a longer consolidation phase. You would probably have to do a true "consolidation" phase when you reach your goal (lower than ideal) weight. This preliminary consolidation phase would just enable better exercise results. Does that make sense?

B: I understand Veerukka. I agree as well. That is definitely what Dr. Dukan prescribes. For the time being I'm giving the consolidation phase a trial run and seeing how I like it. So far, I've been maintaining my weight while eating a grand variety of things. It's working quite well :)
Anonymous said...
So, as many here, I am about to start this journey as well. I came online to research, etc and found your blog. Congrats to you for your success, you look fabulous! Here’s my question as I’m reading the book and coming up with a shopping list to make sure I’m completely ready to this without any excuses of not having the right kind of foods in the house… oat bran! Can you tell me what oat bran you used/use? I know it sounds like a silly question, but I do not want to assume that the oat bran I have in the pantry is OK, since they say that the “brand” the writer talks about is not available in the US yet. Thanks in advance and again, keep up the great job and thanks for the inspiration! Deb

B: Hi Deb!  To be perfectly honest the oat bran portion of the diet is something I modified personally. I'm sure that my rate of weight loss and ease of weight loss suffered because of this and I would not recommend doing as I did unless you simply find that it works better for you. I know that oat bran can be bought at harris teeter and kroger here in the states. Other than that I can't help you too much more. I apologize. Thanks for your kind words. Good luck on your journey!

Cheryl said...
You know how to lose the weight. You have proved that very well. What you need to prove to yourself is that you can maintain.... This will be hard but stick with it for a few months and see how you do. If you are unable to maintain in that bracket, then get back on for a month and try again...Enjoy this space you are in right now, you worked hard for it, but never never reward yourself with food. Your food is only for body sustinance, we know it can NOT be "Good Girl B, you have been good, here eat a box of cookies"....Keep the Faith.....

B: Wise words as always coming from you my lovely friend! So far, so good. I'm quite comfortable now. Eating plenty of good things and maintaining. It's hard to go back to weight loss mode, but I still very well might :)

Karen said...
Congrats on your awesome accomplishment! I have just purchased the book and am doing some research like the commenter above I'm curious about the brand of oat bran you use/where to purchase!
Thanks so much and keep up the great work.

B: Hi Karen! As stated above, I'm a little naïve about that area of the diet, but it should be easily found at a Kroger or Harris Teeter in your area. Thank you for your kind words. Good luck!

Anonymous said...
Hi there,
I'm Karina, British but living in Belgium. I was happy to stumble upon your site. I have a question, do you or anyone else who follows this site have any problems with loose skin given the amount of weight that you have lost. AND more importantly, what do you do or have you done to minimize the problem?
Thanks so much for your answers and thanks for a great and very informative site.
Karina xxx

B: Hi Karina! As for the loose skin issue, to be perfectly honest yes I do have lose skin. Going from 300 lbs to 175 made that an inevitability for me. However, I must admit that I did not adhere to the exercises exactly as prescribed and if this concerns you I would suggest doing the opposite of me and following them to a T. Dr. Dukan gives descriptions of simple exercises meant to tone all the problem areas in order to tighten skin up. I intend to try harder with the exercise aspect of the diet to possibly remedy my problem. Hope that helps!

Sam said...
It is amazing what you achieved. You can stay where you are as long as you feel great (you look amazing so no worry about that:)). Congrats again!

B:  Thank you so much Sam! What lovely and comforting words. :)

Suzi said...
Just started the diet today! :)

Hi Brianna,

I'm on my second day of the dd diet and wanted to know if I could have protein shakes on this diet? (btw, you look fabulous)

B: Hi Suzi! It's great you're beginning. Away you go towards your new happy ending! Protein shakes are probably not acceptable. In the attack phase especially not. You want to more or less eat minimal carbs and minimal fat, and as far as I'm aware protein shakes are very high in carbohydrates. It is possible that you could incorporate them in later as a personal modification to the program however. During this crucial phase of the diet though, I would definitely say not to. Thanks for the compliments! Good luck :)

Anonymous said...
Wow, your story is so inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing! I recently began reading the Dukan Diet book, and am on day 7 of the program. I have a question for you that I was unable to clarify...when you choose an alternating rhythm as you go into the "Cruise" phase, do you have to stick to the same rhythm throughout the phase, or can you keep one rhythm ie 5/5 as long as you can and then change to the 1/1 when you feel like it would be easier and simpler? Nancy

B:  Hi Nancy,
Great question! You can most certainly switch rhythms later. In fact, I would recommend doing it just as you've suggested. In the beginning when your willpower is the strongest and weight loss is the most rapid, you can easily speed it along by doing a 5/5 rhythm. I would eventually progress to a 3/3, and finally a 1/1 as you near consolidation. Hope that helps. :) Mixing and matching is yet another one of the beauties of this plan!

Great news! My photoshoot has been confirmed for Friday, May 27th. The details are a bit sketchy for the time being, but the date is set which means it's really happening. I'm thrilled and anxious! Also, I'll be moving in the next couple of weeks so if I don't get back to you all in a courteously timely manner, I apologize in advance! Thanks to all of you who have told me my story has inspired you. The fact that all of you are finding the strength to begin your own journeys through me is a beautiful reward and a motivational tool that helps me as well. May you all have a beautiful Memorial Day. Remember, even if you are just beginning the diet and summer holds negative connotations for you, the work you're doing now will ensure that next summer is the best one ever! As for me, the girl who spent her whole life fearful of being seen in a bathing suit is facing the prospect of being photographed in one for a national magazine. If I can come that far in less than a year, then you certainly can as well!
Best wishes and thanks for following!

“Summer is where the girls go barefoot and their hearts are just as free as their toes!”

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Photo Shoot In the Works!

Well the magazine contacted me today and said the photoshoot will be within the next 12 days. I'll have a wardrobe stylist, hair and makeup stylist, and professional photographer. I'm so excited I can scarcely stand it! They are hoping to take some shots in bathing suits. I'm a little leery, but also willing to give it a go. This is quite the reward for my efforts, and I am very grateful!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

To Consolidate or Not To Consolidate? That is the question...

At this point in my dieting journey I have surpassed by True Weight goal. The book is quite clear about how important it is to stop at this point, and to not keep going. I feel that I can be healthier though, and every little bit of additional weight I lose dramatically increases my energy level as well as the stamina I have when it comes to exercising. Because of these contradicting circumstances, I'm struggling with the decision of whether to maintain my weight here or to keep going. I've been experimenting this week with various foods and monitoring my weight. I've been eating significantly more, and I've been eating things like watermelon, apples, pineapple, whole wheat bread, the list goes on. I've been enjoying myself immensely. Sandwiches on whole wheat bread are quite the treat after going so long without such things. So far, my weight has fluctuated within a 3 lb range from the lowest number I've reached to just below my true weight. I've been rather impressed with the things I've gotten away with eating. As of today, I'm .4 lbs heavier than the lowest weight I've reached thus far putting me at 178.2. So for now, I'm going to keep this routine. I'm hoping to continue losing weight eventhough it will be much more gradually. I am also hoping that introducing these other foods will have the same imperative effect that Dr. Dukan touts in his book concerning the consolidation phase. It is very encouraging me to see the variety of foods I've enjoyed this week while doing no harm to my progress. I hope this acts as reassurance to those of you concerned with keeping the weight off once you reach your goal. My body seems to be working quite healthfully and seems to be efficiently handling the more diverse menu I am now permitted to enjoy.

Feel free to ask me anything. Your interest is as motivational to me as my posts are to you!

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cover Girl?

I was contacted this morning by a writer from FIRST magazine. If you are unfamiliar with this title, it is very much like Woman's World magazine. Anyhow, they chose me to profile, and they will be setting up a photoshoot for me soon. Typically they put women who have lost weight on their cover, so I'm rather girlishly leaping to the conclusion that's that where I'll be. Fingers crossed I'm not getting my hopes up too high! It's very exciting and emotional for me. Seeing magazines with women who had lost weight was once a very bittersweet experience for me. I viewed them as both an inspiration and a reminder of just how large and unhappy I was. Now I get to be that smiling face. :)

Here's some Q & A for you to peruse. Hopefully you will find it helpful. Also, I will answer all your questions soon. Today is just especially busy, so I am unable to.

- Were there any stages of the plan that you found more challenging than others?
The most challenging stage of the plan was most certainly the initial attack phase in which you eat only lean protein and fatfree dairy. Because the foods you are allowed to eat are rather limited it makes the diet a much more cognitive effort. It requires planning ahead when you're out and about as well as strategic grocery shopping. It also makes dining out quite challenging, but fortunately it does not last very long. Also, you see very rapid weight loss in this stage, so the reward soon outweighs the challenge.

- How did you overcome them?
The way I overcame the challenges that the attack phase brings with it was to be proactive. I made certain my pantries were stocked with foods I could eat. I made certain to eat before I became so hungry that my resolve would weaken. I chose to eat at home instead of dining out to avoid temptations. I also relied on my creativity to think outside of the box and create dishes that were diet friendly as well as satisfying. It is not terribly difficult to fool one's mind if you really try! Low fat deli ham and fatfree mozzarella cheese with a dill pickle on the side and served with mustard can easily be perceived as a very tasty hot ham and cheese sub if you get in that mindset. It did require willpower, but, consequently, successfully completing this stage was very empowering. It acts as an impetus and catalyst for the rest of the diet.

- Did you encounter any troubles when you first began? Or any troubles along the way?
During the first few days of the attack phase there is a brief period where your body is trying to adjust to this new way of eating, and it affects your energy level significantly. This period lasts only a couple of days, but during that time you feel quite lazy. The amazing thing is, however, that immediately following these couple of days you begin feeling the full force of all the diet has to offer. You feel like you have a surplus of energy, and like you are fully prepared for the journey ahead. Dr. Dukan discusses the lethargic period in his book, so it is a common occurrence. It is nothing to worry too much about though.

Also, plateaus are inevitable, but more importantly, they are temporary. Every plateau I hit along the way, where my weight would stop dropping for a few days, I would panic thinking my progress had stopped. It took me a long time to realize that these are unavoidable, and that with patience and perseverance I'd be back on track in no time at all!

- Did you have any tips/tricks that helped you succeed along the way?
Do all you can to self-motivate. Occupy yourself with positive thinking in the form of a blog or a journal or a fitness smartphone app.
Track your progress. Seeing the change in yourself is the greatest reward, so weigh daily and keep measurements, also, take photos frequently.
Enlist others to hold you accountable. Tell your closest friends and family about your journey, and do not be scared to tell them that their interest and encouragement is of great value to you.
Add in an exercise routine gradually, especially if you are very overweight to begin with. If you try to do too much early on you will only discourage yourself. Add in a little at a time and as you become fitter exercise will become easier.
Monitor your salt intake. When you eat too much sodium it is not only bad for your body, but the water retention it causes can camouflage your weight loss.
Drink lots of water and green tea. Dr. Dukan explains in his book that even if you follow the diet plan perfectly and neglect to drink enough water you can hinder your progress. Also, green tea counts as part of your daily water intake, but it is also a natural diuretic. It is a great aid during plateaus.
Protein only days are a tool in your arsenal that you can call upon whenever it is necessary. If you do transgress and eat something you shouldn't, you can compensate for bad behavior by having a day or two of only protein. Which means you are entirely in control!
Set short-term and long-term goals but make certain they are attainable. They represent milestones along the way, and reaching them is very motivational. If you set them too high , however, they can work in the opposite way so be reasonable! No goal is out of reach, but patience must be employed as well.

To conclude, here is a photo of me from May 3rd. :)

Can't wait to get to know all of you. I look forward to being here for the happy endings to the fairy tales you're beginning to write!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Hi All!

I want to apologize for my neglect of this blog. It is through no fault of my own. Over a week ago my home was in the line of one of the many tornadoes that came through the southern states. Consequently, I've been without internet since then. When all is back to normal you can count on replies to your comments as well as updates, photos, and recipes. Please stay tuned!

Thanks for your interest and best of luck to you all :)