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!