I've gotten down to the mid-140's and have decided I've gone as far as I want to on HCG. I'm sure I could stand to lose another ten pounds or so, and maybe I will, but quite possibly not on HCG.
It is a HARD diet, you guys. Yes, there are dramatic results, because it is a dramatic diet. And because it's so dramatic, it is hard. The key, if you decide to do it yourself, is to remind yourself that it is super temporary. 3 weeks on Phase 2, if I can do it, anyone can.
It gets really hard when you're getting closer to your goal weight and the pounds aren't dripping off anymore. It gets even harder when you're close enough to your goal weight that you start thinking things like, "eh, what's another 10 pounds, anyway? This is close enough."
I'd love to tell you to just muscle through these thoughts, but since I can't do it, I'm certainly not expecting anyone else to.
So the rest of my life...what shall I do?
One of the things that I love about the HCG protocol is that I cut out all the really bad stuff in my diet, overnight. After a couple brief days of detox, I felt amazingly wonderful. Light, and happy, and energized. Without exception, every time I finished a round, and started going back slowly to bread, rice, crackers, etc, I started to feel sluggish, bloated, moody, and well...more like my "regular" self.
This past round, in fact, I cheated one evening with a donut while I was on Phase 2. Within 20 minutes or so of eating the donut, my mood plummeted, my stomach was bloated and distended, and I had stomach cramping. I was so uncomfortable. And I know that this is how I was mostly living before. I never realized it wasn't normal, for example, to feel bloated after eating.
But here's the deal, it's not. After eating, we should feel energized! We just ate ENERGY! Quick aside, did you know that in Europe, calories aren't listed as "calories" in nutritional information? They're listed as "energy." Food is energy!
If you're not eating foods that energize you, I posit that you are eating the wrong foods. Like I've been doing for a good long time.
Being on HCG showed me what it really feels like to eat foods the work with my body for optimal wellness. It also showed me what it really feels like to eat foods that work against my body. And I don't like that.
So, somewhere over the last couple rounds, I started wondering with some of my friends, what are we going to do next? When we get to the end of our weight loss with HCG, how will we eat? Almost all of us said that we don't think we ever want to go back to sugar and nearly the same amount have decided to do without wheat.
While we were in the middle of these discussions, one of my friends mentioned Mark's Daily Apple, which is a site dedicated to "Primal Blueprint" living. Mark's a cool guy, he lays it out as it is. He's done his research and he knows his stuff.
The Primal Blueprint way of life is basically approximating our lives to being as close to those of our ancestors, the cavemen. He uses "Grok" as an example of such a person, and gives us really easy ways we, too, can "party like a Grokstar."
When we first got our dog, his trainer mentioned giving him a biologically appropriate diet, instead of buying kibble at the grocery store. We researched it, and decided that we didn't like the idea of commercial dog food, and went in the direction suggested by his trainer. Baxter has been eating foods that his canine body has been designed to digest.
In similar fashion, I think humans should be enjoying foods that our bodies were designed to digest. That includes meat, vegetables and fruit. A little dairy. But no grains.
Yep, NO GRAINS.
As it turns out (and if you want to read all the research, I highly recommend Mark's book, although you can also find a ton of information on his website), humans weren't exactly designed to digest grains. This has played out in my own life, as I've explained, with the vast differences in how I feel on HCG and off HCG.
Here's the really amazing thing about this. When I shared a lot of the body of evidence that Mark sets forth in Primal Blueprint, against grains, my husband agreed. He said it made a lot of sense. Guess who else is grain free, now? We're working on the kids.
I don't want to give you the idea that if you stop eating grains you'll be living a primal lifestyle. I mean, that's a nice start, but there are other things involved. Take a good look at Mark's website for a ton of information.
I also don't want to give you the idea that Mark is the grand high guru of primal living (although he did "write the book"so to speak). There are other books out there, there are other websites. There are TONS of people who are doing this, who are writing about, who are advocating it. It just so happens that I find Mark's information to be the most accessible. He thoroughly researches, then reports back everything in a humorous and easy to read way that makes me look forward to reading about all these boring reports he's slogged through.
So this is where we are for now. We're finding it not as hard to be grain free as we'd thought. We're working out some kinks (if we're friends on facebook, I'm sure you read my status update about thickening gravy without flour!) and we're finding some new stuff that we love. (Coconut bread, for example, is like a yummy morning muffin, without all the ick and bloating that goes along with regular morning muffins.)
This is working for our family right now. We feel great, we're losing weight (I'm still losing weight, even off protocol and without really trying at all!--The kids, I should mention, are not losing weight. LOL They definitely don't need to!), and we're excited about this way of life. It's not a diet, or even just a dietary change. It really is a way of life, and we're looking forward to this journey together.