Eight Weeks

Posted on May 28, 2012

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It wasn’t twelve hours after my last post that I met with the nutritionist at my gym, Pulse Fitness.  She was a petite blonde with a fit body.  How could you not listen to her advice?  She was one of my first trainers at this gym.  She had seen my successes, and she knows all too well, my weaknesses.  “You can’t go vegan”, she said as she in the chair across the desk, her feet dangling.

I explained to her my plan, my blog, my goals.  She stood firm on her statement.  “If you want to meet your goal, Lori”, she explained while shuffling through the stack of papers she would shortly be sending me home with, “you cannot go vegan, you’re going to gain weight”.  She was a certified trainer for eight years, a nutrition expert, and historically has lent me a book or two on the subject, I know she knows her material, so I continued to listen to her with an open mind.

She explained to me the different body types and what they need.  She explained that the dynamics of my physical routine require high protein. The amount of food, carbs, and grains I would have to consume to achieve such protein amounts was a guarantee to weight gain.

I sat through her lecture, which was something about how I eat too much and too much of the wrong things.  I subconsciously rolled my eyes as I sipped on my Dark Star smoothie from Whole Foods.  It was delicious, and since I skipped my breakfast due to scheduling conflicts of this meeting, it was filling my empty and starving tummy.

“What is that you’re drinking?”, she questioned as she glanced at it.  It seemed she was ready to continue what she had to say without really listening to my response.

“It’s kale, banana, berries, coconut water…”, I tried to continue with the few additional ingredients, but she curtly cut me off.

“Enjoy it”, she said, “it’s your last one. No more beans, no more bread, none of it.  And do NOT eat between meals. Even if you think you’re hungry, you’re not.”

She asked for 8 weeks.  “Eight weeks, you will reach your goal.”  I felt movement in my stomach… was it hunger?  Was I already starving just thinking about the lack of food I was about to not get? No.  It wasn’t hunger.  It was the feeling of anticipation.  This was simple.  I could do this for 8 weeks.  I want to reach my goal which has seemed so unattainable most of my life.  I could do anything for 8 weeks.  I know this because I easily achieved my most recent ½ marathon goal via a 12-week plan.  One week at a time.  Anything is achievable when I take it in small chunks.

I left the gym energized and deflated at the same time.  How would this 8-week meal plan interfere with my self proclaimed human experiment?  One thing at a time.  She had asked me to try her prescribed diet for 3 days.  We would discuss how I feel and alter it if I was feeling weak.  A feeling she expected from me, along with slight dizziness. In other words, DO NOT try this diet unless you are supervised by a professional.

I spent three days on the diet.  I lost a few pounds, but it felt like ten.  I am absolutely convinced at this point that I want to do this.  On the final day of the, I received a phone call from my doctor.  The results I had been waiting for had arrived.  I felt my palms start to sweat as my head warmed from the nerves and adrenalin.  I was scared.  Were my results going to be disappointing?  Would the end of this call result in a follow up visit and prescription?  “Normal, Normal, Normal”, the nurse continued down the list, “cholesterol, normal, trig..”, I impolitely interrupted, “what did you just say was normal?”, I asked as if I didn’t clearly understand her.

“Your cholesterol is normal.”

I could hardly believe it. Here are my results, year over year, for the past 4 years.  Taken at the same time of year, with 12+ hours of fasting.

Cholesterol 2009 2010 2011 2012
Total 251 234 215 195
HDL * 53 45 56
LDL * 151 143 123
Triglycerides * 151 105 81

*Data not available

I believe this chart is enough prove that diet and exercise, without the use of medication, can absolutely reduce cholesterol amongst a plethora of other benefits.

The timing of the conversation at the gym, paired with the results from my blood work triggered yet another change of course.  Though initially I had planned to try a 12-week vegan diet to help me reach my physical goals, I have decided to shelf that experiment and instead focus on one whose sole responsibility will be to carve my body into a lean mass of muscle that’s hiding behind my final layer of fluff.

The challenge starts tomorrow and ends July 22nd.  With a three-day trial under my belt, followed by a quick trip to California, which included a feast of Italian indulgence and delectable wine, I am ready.  Follow me on my journey of resisting temptation and pushing my body and mind just a little bit further than it’s already gone.

The following diet will be followed 99%, with allowance for equal substitutions (i.e, 6 oz of halibut for the 4 oz of salmon).  The plan also allows for a one day a week (as needed) “cheat day”.  I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want, as long as it does not go over the daily allowance.  In other words, I can have a piece of pizza for breakfast, but if it equals my daily limit, that’s it.  I don’t get to eat for the rest of the day.

5:00 am ¼ c – oatmeal w/ water
8:00 am 1 egg, 3 egg whites, veggies (unlimited), 1 small apple (if needed)
11:00 am 4 oz salmon, 1-3 c- veggies
12:30 pm Vemma Bod-e
2:00 pm 6 oz Fage 0%, ¼ c – nuts, ¾ c – berries
5:00 pm 6 oz halibut, 1-3 c – veggies, ½ – sweet potato (if needed)
8:00 pm ¾ c – blueberries

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Posted in: The Experiment