Tag Archives: ideal protein

Finding my ideal weight: Moving on

Ten days ago, I moved to the second phase of the Ideal Protein diet after losing my goal of 38 pounds.  As I’ve talked about in several blog posts before, this diet is very restrictive.  While I’m thankful to have used the diet to drop nearly 40 pounds, it’s not exactly mysterious why it works.  I can’t help but be nervous that all of this weight will come right back as soon as I resume a regular diet.

Yes, I know I can’t go back to my old ways of gluten- and dairy-heavy meals.  But I always knew that.  It’s not as if I was mystified as to why I was gaining weight.  At least for me, it’s always been mind over matter.  I know I should have a nice salad for dinner and have the best intentions when I take salmon out of the freezer before I head to work in the morning.  But by the time I get off work, run whatever errands and get home, a chicken quesadilla or better yet – a pizza conveniently delivered to my door – sounds much better. 

How do I transition back to life after Ideal Protein?  Enter Phase 2.  I appreciate that this diet requires a phased approach to returning to everyday life.  Now, instead of using three Ideal Protein packets per day, I’m down to two and have replaced one with protein of my choosing.  When I complained to my Ideal Protein coach about how tired I am of eating vegetables, protein and Ideal Protein packets exclusively, she suggested using the “modified” version of the diet which allows very limited fruit, dairy and starch.  It doesn’t seem to be hurting me weight-wise, and it definitely helps my sanity. 

Next week, I’m meeting with one of Wyoming Medical Center’s dietitians to learn more about Phase 3 and will be completely off of the diet within weeks.  I know that weight will always be a struggle for me, but I am hopeful that all of the lessons I’ve relearned over the last three months will help me maintain a healthier weight for life and not just for a year or two. 

Meanwhile, if I’m the same weight on Jan. 1 as I am today, that’s a huge win in my book.     

If you are interested in finding your ideal weight using Ideal Protein, call the WMC Weight Management Program at (307) 577-2158.

My Ideal Tracker – Week 13-16

Pounds lost these weeks: 9

Pounds lost so far: 38

Pounds to go: 0

Power tip: Stay sane and indulge – sometimes!

Finding my ideal weight

Mandy Cepeda is the senior manager of community development at Wyoming Medical Center and contributor to The Pulse.  After graduating from the University of Wyoming, she started her career as a copy editor at the Casper Star-Tribune over 10 years ago.  While she decided journalism was not for her, she married one of the photographers, Dan, in 2006. They enjoy a lovely life together with their pound-puppy mutt, Maddie.  

Finding my ideal weight: Downhill slide

You haven’t seen my weight blog in three weeks now. My last entry was followed by a weeklong trip to Chicago.  I got home and came down with the nasty cold.  The only thing as bad as vacation for weight loss is illness.  Fortunately, I didn’t have much of an appetite, but when I’m sick, I want real chicken noodle soup, which doesn’t fall within the confines of the Ideal Protein plan.

In three weeks, I’m down a pound.  Under the circumstances, it’s OK with me.  I know that if I had kept my head down and stuck with it through the trip and a cold, I might have lost this last 10 pounds by now, or at least close.  But I also went through two things that can easily lead to weight gain, and I’m still down a pound.

I’m officially on the downhill slide to my goal, and I’ve started to think about how I’m going to maintain my weight.  I am excited about where I’ve gotten with the help of Ideal Protein, but after three months, I’m getting to the point where I’m ready to start applying what I’ve learned to my regular life not on a diet.  I’m trying to keep my eye on the ball.  That’s a lot easier now that my pants fit!

What do you do to stay motivated?  How do you maintain your weight?

If you are interested in finding your ideal weight using Ideal Protein call the WMC Weight Management Program at (307) 577-2158.

My Ideal Tracker – Week 10-12

Pounds lost this week: 1

Pounds lost so far: 29

Pounds to go: 9

Power tip: It’s not a race!

Finding my ideal weight

Mandy Cepeda is the senior manager of community development at Wyoming Medical Center and contributor to The Pulse.  After graduating from the University of Wyoming, she started her career as a copy editor at the Casper Star-Tribune over 10 years ago.  While she decided journalism was not for her, she married one of the photographers, Dan, in 2006. They enjoy a lovely life together with their pound-puppy mutt, Maddie.  

Finding my ideal weight: Shopping

I was invited to a murder mystery birthday dinner party last weekend.  My invitation informed me that the dinner took place in 1940s Paris and my character, Barbra, was a rich, beautiful perfume heiress.  Costumes required.

Anyone who knows me knows that my closet isn’t exactly filled with anything that an heiress from any era would wear.  They also know that I’m not much of a shopper, at least not for clothing.  I sometimes wish my hospital marketing job required I wear scrubs.  Fashionable, I am not.

I ventured off to the thrift stores to search for something inexpensive and heiress-worthy.  I didn’t know what I was looking for, but hoped I’d know it when I saw it.  No luck.  I headed to the mall while cataloging my closet in my head, figuring I might just need to doctor up something I had lying around.  This was for a costume, after all, so I wasn’t willing to spend much money on something I’d literally wear one time.   Cheap, I am.

mandy
Modeling my new dress – in a smaller size than expected.

As I swept hangers across the dress rack in my size, I wasn’t seeing much.  I kept going and found a shimmery gold dress that seemed fashionable enough for Barbra.  Problem: Not my size.  I looked at the dress and its $14 price tag and decided it might work and tried it on.  Low and behold, it fit!

What a great feeling.  After losing nearly 30 pounds on the Ideal Protein diet, my clothes fit looser and some are just plain too big.  There’s also nothing better than discovering a new wardrobe in your own closet, especially when you’re a cheap non-fashionista like me.

I’m still looking to lose 10 more pounds, and this week was evidence that they aren’t going to come easy.  But I feel great and don’t look at pictures of myself and cringe.  And thanks to my little impromptu shopping trip, I saw firsthand evidence of how much smaller I am.  I needed that.

If you are interested in finding your ideal weight using Ideal Protein call the WMC Weight Management Program at (307) 577-2158.

 My Ideal Tracker – Week 9

Pounds lost this week: 0

Pounds lost so far: 28

Pounds to go: 10

Power tip: Cliché tip of the week – it’s not just about the weight, go by how you feel.

 

Finding my ideal weight

Mandy Cepeda is the senior manager of community development at Wyoming Medical Center and contributor to The Pulse.  After graduating from the University of Wyoming, she started her career as a copy editor at the Casper Star-Tribune over 10 years ago.  While she decided journalism was not for her, she married one of the photographers, Dan, in 2006. They enjoy a lovely life together with their pound-puppy mutt, Maddie.  

Finding my ideal weight: Guilt

Two friends and I pile our plates with steak and plenty of vegetables for dinner Sunday night.
Two friends and I pile our plates with steak and plenty of vegetables for dinner Sunday night.

My husband and I had friends over on Sunday for the first time since I started the Ideal Protein diet eight weeks ago.  This might not seem like a big deal, but when we have people over, we are accustomed to preparing food that falls well outside the guidelines of the diet.  Bread, potatoes, rice and cheese are common ingredients found in meals when you dine at the Cepeda home.  Oh, and don’t forget dessert.

We went to the grocery store and decided we’d make steaks, salad and roasted asparagus.  As we walked through the store, I saw potatoes and wondered if I should bake, mash, or scallop some for our guests.  So what if I can’t eat them, I shouldn’t make my guests suffer, right?  Then I passed the bakery section and looked at the dinner rolls.  My husband nixed both.  Everyone would be fine, he assured me.

When our friends arrived, I made several jokes about the meal and the diet.  “If you’re wondering what’s for dessert, it’s nothing,” I said.  When we sat down for our meal, I apologized.  They laughed that I would be sorry for something so silly.  Steak, after all, is hardly suffering, and everyone had seconds on the veggie-heavy salad.

I have no idea why I would have guilt over serving people I care about a healthy meal.  Shouldn’t I feel guilty when I make lasagna filled with red meat, Italian sausage, extra mozzarella and, of course, bread?  I don’t have any desire to contribute to my friends’ cholesterol in any way!  But for whatever reason, I felt embarrassed for not contributing to anyone’s waistline that night.

In no way do I think that this means that every meal I serve in my home will be of the utmost healthfulness, but I also won’t be filled with guilt when I do.

If you are interested in finding your ideal weight using Ideal Protein call the WMC Weight Management Program at (307) 577-2158.

My Ideal Tracker – Week 8

Pounds lost this week: 2

Pounds lost so far: 28

Pounds to go: 10

Power tip: Seek out a new, healthy recipe to push through cravings for unhealthy food.

Finding my ideal weight

Mandy Cepeda is the senior manager of community development at Wyoming Medical Center and contributor to The Pulse.  After graduating from the University of Wyoming, she started her career as a copy editor at the Casper Star-Tribune over 10 years ago.  While she decided journalism was not for her, she married one of the photographers, Dan, in 2006. They enjoy a lovely life together with their pound-puppy mutt, Maddie.  

Finding my ideal weight: Back on track

I fell off the wagon.  My husband and I took a long weekend road trip over Labor Day weekend, and while I had the best intentions, things just didn’t pan out quite like I envisioned.  I wasn’t quite off the rails, but I definitely didn’t watch my food as closely as the Ideal Protein plan requires.  I do like that the plan is restrictive because it’s easy to figure out what you can and can’t eat and there’s no calorie counting.  But flexible, this plan is not.

: This divine meal at a downtown Omaha restaurant surely contributed to my moderate weight gain two weeks ago.  See those potatoes?  They were sooo good.
This divine meal at a downtown Omaha restaurant surely contributed to my moderate weight gain two weeks ago. See those potatoes? They were sooo good.

When I arrived back at work last Tuesday morning, I seriously considered canceling my standing 5:15 p.m. appointment.  I’d just get back on track and weigh in again this week.  I was afraid of what the scale was going to show me, but I was also afraid that one week would lead to two, and then I might never go back and never reach my goal.  Even worse, the 20-plus pounds I’ve worked hard to lose would make their way back.  I knew I had to go and own up to my weekend.

Not surprisingly, I had gained weight.  I was confident that the weight that went on quickly would come off quickly, though, and was proud of myself for getting right back on the diet.  Meanwhile, I struggled with how I could blog about my failure.  So … I didn’t.

I didn’t think anyone would notice, but in the last several days, a handful of people asked me how I did this week and wondered if they missed my blog.  It’s nice to know that people are rooting for me, but I also knew that meant that I had to come clean this week.

Fortunately, I’ve fully recovered from my weekend of sin.  Not only did I lose the weight I gained last week, but I lost a few more just for good measure.  Despite one off week, I’m still averaging just over 3.5 pounds of weight loss per week.  And the best news of all is that after just seven weeks, I’m on the downhill slide to my goal!

I don’t condone “cheating” on a diet like this, but I do think that there’s something to be said for giving in to your cravings every now and again.  Life is all about balance, after all.  Falling off the wagon is a valuable lesson I’ll put in my weight-loss toolbox.

If you are interested in finding your ideal weight using Ideal Protein call the WMC Weight Management Program at (307) 577-2158.

My Ideal Tracker – Week 6-7

Pounds lost this week: 4

Pounds lost so far: 26

Pounds to go: 12

Power tip: It’s OK to fall off the wagon – just get back on!

Finding my ideal weight

Mandy Cepeda is the senior manager of community development at Wyoming Medical Center and contributor to The Pulse.  After graduating from the University of Wyoming, she started her career as a copy editor at the Casper Star-Tribune over 10 years ago.  While she decided journalism was not for her, she married one of the photographers, Dan, in 2006. They enjoy a lovely life together with their pound-puppy mutt, Maddie.  

Finding my ideal weight: Weekends

Many people have asked me what the hardest part of being on the Ideal Protein diet is.  Is it when people bring donuts in the office?  Is it the crazy cravings for pizza?  How about being invited to a barbecue?  All of the above, really, but I think the hardest part of this or almost any diet is this: Weekends.  Weekends have always been my downfall when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet, and they’ve proven to be a significant challenge on Ideal Protein as well.  My “weekends” start Friday and continue through Sunday.  Unfortunately, three days equates to nearly half of the week, so my weight gain isn’t exactly mysterious.

Me measuring out the water to prepare my vanilla drink mix at Castle Gardens.
Me measuring out the water to prepare my vanilla drink mix at Castle Gardens.

I’ve focused on staying very busy the past several weekends, and summertime in Wyoming is great for road trips.  My husband and I headed out for a few day trips and some overnights too.  A few weekends ago, we took the hourlong trek to Castle Gardens in the wee hours of a Sunday morning (my husband the photographer insisted on getting the best light).  I packed my vanilla drink mix and we hit the road.  While the packets do present easy options for taking the diet on the road, the McDonald’s drive-through is far more appealing.

The weekend after, we met my parents in the Bighorns.  Camping proved to be a challenge, but my extraordinarily supportive family made it easy enough to push through the weekend.  We rode four-wheelers, played cribbage and barbecued.  But believe me, the lack of s’mores around the campfire did not go unnoticed.

We stopped along Highway 14A in the northern Bighorns to enjoy the sweeping Wyoming vista below.
We stopped along Highway 14A in the northern Bighorns to enjoy the sweeping Wyoming vista below.

Last weekend we ventured off to Cody and Powell.  I had never been to Powell, and was able to focus my energy on the excitement of seeing a new place.  On the way home, we headed over Highway 14A and enjoyed a new section of the Bighorns neither of us had seen.  Being born and raised in Wyoming, there aren’t many highways I’ve never been on, but that was one of them.  My Ideal Protein packets were along for the ride.

After just five weeks on Ideal Protein, I’ve officially reached and passed the halfway point to my goal of losing 38 pounds.  In some ways, I feel like I’ve been doing this for months, but when I think about just a month ago, I can’t believe that I’m already more than 20 pounds lighter.  Yay me!

If you are interested in finding your ideal weight using Ideal Protein, call the WMC Weight Management Program at (307) 577-2158.

My Ideal Tracker – Week 5

Pounds lost this week: 5

Pounds lost so far: 22

Pounds to go: 16

Power tip: Focus on what you can control – you can control what you eat!

Finding my ideal weight

Finding my ideal weight: By the numbers

This week marks four weeks since I started Ideal Protein.  As of my weigh-in Tuesday, I’ve lost 17 pounds.  Last week I blogged about “only” losing 2 pounds, but after that post, I started receiving compliments on my clear weight loss.  I also couldn’t ignore the fact that my pants fit like they’re supposed to — the metal tangs of the zippers aren’t hanging on for dear life.  It’s great when the scale shows you a nice number, but you can’t beat feeling like you’ve lost weight.

Week 4 at Ideal Protein triggers measurements.  I’ve lost 2 inches from my chest, 3 from my waist, 3 from my hips, 1 from my thigh and a half-inch from my arm.  My body mass index (BMI) is also down nearly three points from just four weeks ago.

Aside from all the numbers, I just feel better.  My body is now used to the low-calorie, high-protein diet, so I don’t feel hungry very often, and when I do, I can usually peg it to boredom over hunger.  I sleep well at night and getting out of bed in the morning is easier.

Lumping all of these pounds and inches together gives me the motivation to push forward.  The Ideal Protein plan is not easy, but in some ways, the hefty restrictions make it more doable.  I don’t have to worry about counting calories; I just have to know what I can and can’t eat.

As I approach the halfway point, I’ve already started thinking about how I’m going to maintain my weight once I reach my goal.  Any suggestions?  I’ve lost weight before, but slowly but surely, the weight comes back on.  I have to figure out how to break this cycle!

More on that later.  For now, I’m just happy to be carrying around nearly 20 pounds less of me every day.

My Ideal Tracker – Week 4

Pounds lost this week: 1

Pounds lost so far: 17

Pounds to go: 21

Power tip: Check yourself – are you bored or hungry?

If you are interested in finding your ideal weight using Ideal Protein call the WMC Weight Management Program at (307) 577-2158.

Finding my ideal weight

Mandy Cepeda is the senior manager of community development at Wyoming Medical Center and contributor to The Pulse.  After graduating from the University of Wyoming, she started her career as a copy editor at the Casper Star-Tribune over 10 years ago.  While she decided journalism was not for her, she married one of the photographers, Dan, in 2006. They enjoy a lovely life together with their pound-puppy mutt, Maddie. 

Finding my ideal weight: Measuring success

The weight-loss rollercoaster has many ups and downs. I lost 2 pounds this week.  Not bad, right?  Why am I so disappointed?

fitnesspalFor the last several months, I’ve been tracking my food and weight in the My Fitness Pal app on my phone.  An image of my progress – if that’s what you want to call it – is here. The actual weight has been erased to protect the innocent!  You’ll see that while there were some losses, the weight always came back.  I’m not mystified as to why this happened, I’m only pointing out that while 2 pounds isn’t much compared to my two previous weigh-ins, if this weight is really gone, I should be happy.

I know this in my logical brain.  But why do I struggle to call this loss a success?  I would rather lose 2 pounds and keep it off for good than lose 10 pounds and go through the defeat of gaining 8 back.  Sixteen pounds in three weeks is hardly defeat.

In just three weeks, I’m nearing halfway to my ultimate goal of losing 38 pounds.  I’ve been out to eat, I’ve struggled through weekends wanting to bake cookies and order pizza, but ultimately, I do see the light at the end of the tunnel.  If I can lose 14 pounds in just two weeks, keep it off and lose 2 more, that’s a win.

I’m trying every day.  That’s half the battle.

My Ideal Tracker – Week 3

Pounds lost this week: 2

Pounds lost so far: 16

Pounds to go: 22

Power tip: Every pound counts – keep moving forward!

If you are interested in finding your ideal weight using Ideal Protein call the WMC Weight Management Program at (307) 577-2158.

Finding my ideal weight

Mandy Cepeda is the senior manager of community development at Wyoming Medical Center and contributor to The Pulse.  After graduating from the University of Wyoming, she started her career as a copy editor at the Casper Star-Tribune over 10 years ago.  While she decided journalism was not for her, she married one of the photographers, Dan, in 2006. They enjoy a lovely life together with their pound-puppy mutt, Maddie.  

Finding my ideal weight: Traveling on a diet

My husband and I hit the road for Denver at about 2 p.m. Friday.  The anxiety of being gone for two-and-a-half days and staying on the strict Ideal Protein diet was already stressing me out.  Fortunately, I had leftover excitement from the 10 pounds I lost the previous week to help me push through the weekend.   I packed my shaker and several drink mixes to get me through the next two days.

It was our anniversary, and we wanted to go to a nice dinner to celebrate.  I scoped out the menu on the restaurant’s website before we left.  I’ve learned that steakhouses are probably the best places to eat out while on Ideal Protein, or any diet for that matter.  It’s pretty easy to order a piece of meat and veggies.  Easy because they have it, not necessarily because that’s what you want.

When we arrived, the appetizers, potatoes, bread and wine all called my name.

I didn’t have a perfect evening, but I’m proud to say I kept it in check.  I ordered buffalo medallions with vegetables.  We ordered a bottle of wine.

That’s right, people, I had just one tiny bite of this divine pumpkin bread at our anniversary dinner.
That’s right, people, I had just one tiny bite of this divine pumpkin bread at our anniversary dinner.

When our server brought a basket of various breads, we stared at it quietly for a few moments.  I love bread.  My husband loves bread.  While he’s incredibly supportive of the diet overall, he was not giving up bread on my account, nor did I expect him to.  He told me I just HAD to try one of the pumpkin breads in the basket.  I did – but just ONE bite (see photo!).

I also had one bite of potatoes and a glass of wine.

At the end of the night, our server informed us that dessert was free for anniversary guests.  Free?!  We ordered crème brulee.  I had one bite.

Yes, I cheated, but I think I learned a valuable lesson.  Even though I could have easily taken many more bites, just getting the taste was satisfying.  I tasted it, it was good, but I didn’t derail my weight-loss goals.

It was worth it.  I was down another 4 pounds this week.

My Ideal Tracker – Week 2

Pounds lost this week: 4

Pounds lost so far: 14

Pounds to go: 24

Power tip: Sometimes one bite of the thing you crave is enough.

If you are interested in finding your ideal weight using Ideal Protein call the WMC Weight Management Program at (307) 577-2158.

Finding my ideal weight

Mandy Cepeda is the senior manager of community development at Wyoming Medical Center and contributor to The Pulse.  After graduating from the University of Wyoming, she started her career as a copy editor at the Casper Star-Tribune over 10 years ago.  While she decided journalism was not for her, she married one of the photographers, Dan, in 2006. They enjoy a lovely life together with their pound-puppy mutt, Maddie.  

Finding my ideal weight: Ten pounds down!

TEN POUNDS!

Yes, this is what the scale showed me at my Ideal Protein weigh-in on Tuesday.  Wow!  This was a much-needed boost, and has given me newfound energy to push through and make this work.  Fortunately, my body must be getting used to the lower calories, because I don’t feel starving all of the time.

According to my Ideal Protein coach, the first two weeks are traditionally the best because much of it is water weight.  It probably helped that in the days before I started the diet, I gained a few pounds and was probably just about as heavy as I could be.  Pizza, Thai food, Coldstone, I had to get all of the good stuff out of the way.

The biggest struggle for me this week is the social aspect of being on a very restricted diet.  I’ve been on diets where I completely avoided any social interaction.  The trouble is I often get so frustrated that when I do go out, I go off the rails. Worse, I often don’t get back on.  It is difficult to find balance, but I’m trying to maintain my social life while keeping the diet in check.

Here’s another wild card this week: My husband and I are going out of town for our anniversary this weekend.  I’ll tell you how that goes next week.

My Ideal Tracker – Week 1

Pounds lost this week: 10

Pounds lost so far: 10

Pounds to go: 28

Power tip: Push through the first week – it gets much better!

If you are interested in finding your ideal weight using Ideal Protein call the WMC Weight Management Program at (307) 577-2158.

Finding my ideal weight

Mandy Cepeda is the senior manager of community development at Wyoming Medical Center and contributor to The Pulse.  After graduating from the University of Wyoming, she started her career as a copy editor at the Casper Star-Tribune over 10 years ago.  While she decided journalism was not for her, she married one of the photographers, Dan, in 2006. They enjoy a lovely life together with their pound-puppy mutt, Maddie.