Last week, I was at Fix ‘ n B****, and the friend hosting hadn’t planned lunch for us and instead was going to have her mom pick up Chipotle. I had brought along my Shaklee bar, planning to eat that and maybe munch on a little bit of veggies and hummus or something else that my friend usually has out.
With Shaklee, I am eating two Shaklee meals a day while losing weight (and I’m losing!) plus a snack and a sensible third meal – which varies by person based on their weight and other factors. Because I am doing a lot of heavy cardio with the dance classes, I’m supplementing a little at each meal to ensure that I’m ingesting enough calories to prevent my body from freaking out and holding on, which is has a tendency to do.
Depending on my plans for the day, I may eat my non Shaklee meal at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It isn’t prescribed, and I roll with what my plans are. I enjoy the smoothies especially, and I look forward to them. It isn’t a deprivation to me, and I listen to my body a lot to figure out when I’m hungry and how hungry I am.
Friday happened to be my ten year wedding anniversary, and my husband and I were planning to go to a steakhouse for dinner. I knew that meant a lot of meat and probably my husband pushing some appetizer on me and possibly dessert, as well. I don’t like to eat two large meals in a day simply because it doesn’t feel good to me. And that’s not a Shaklee thing – that’s been the case for a long time with me. If I go to the local brunch place, I definitely don’t eat lunch and may not eat dinner, depending on how full I still am – which I know isn’t a good thing to have eaten enough that one meal does me in.
So when I told my friend that I was going to pass on Chipotle – for me, that’s a big meal with a lot of food – and instead just eat my bar and maybe a bite or two of what they order just because it tastes good, my other friend turned to her and said, “You know, we need to do something or pretty soon, this is going to be a major eating disorder.”
I laughed, thinking it was a joke. And yet, it wasn’t. She was serious that she had concerns that my following the Shaklee program had me focusing far too much on what I’m depriving myself of. I stared at her, open-mouthed, because that isn’t what it’s about at all. I’m not focusing on what I can’t have because there really aren’t things I “can’t have.” I can’t have them to excess, but if I feel like having dessert of a few waffle cut pretzels dipped into Nutella, I’m going to have them. More than four or five and I’ve had plenty. I simply don’t want any more.
I explained to my friend that I chose not to have Chipotle because eating that for lunch would mean that I wouldn’t be hungry for dinner, and I wanted to go out and enjoy my steak dinner. It had nothing to do with being on the Shaklee program. I simply know my body, and I wouldn’t have had Chipotle for lunch regardless – or at best I would have eaten half my portion and saved the other half for another day.
It really shocked me to think that my friends think that I could develop an eating disorder. While I love food, my well-being doesn’t focus around it. I don’t sit and obsess about food, whether I can or can’t eat something. As I talked more to my friend, I think her concern lies more in the fact that Shaklee is working, and she sees me shrinking away and is concerned that it isn’t going to stop at a healthful level.
And that, I think, is the crux of the matter. While I look in the mirror every day and don’t see much change, the people around me are. They’re noticing that I’ve lost weight – and they comment on it regularly now. I’m nearly three months into the program, and I’ve lost twelve pounds, with another 7-8 to go. That doesn’t count the 6 inches I’ve lost, as well, and with all the exercise I’ve done, I’ve gained muscle that’s displaced fat so it’s become more noticeable to others.
It feels pretty nice, even though the scale itself may not be moving as fast as I wish it were. Shaklee is working, and the fact that I’m evaluating what I want to eat and when based on what I know my body will tell me is a healthy thing, I think. It’s putting me on the right track for one day soon when I’ll have reached my goal weight and will work on the maintenance portion with one Shaklee meal and two “regular” meals plus a snack.
For me, it isn’t about what I can’t have, and that’s definitely not the way I think about it. And I’m not fantasizing about becoming sticks and bones – I like my curves and want to keep some of them. I can see where that could become a problem for some people, but it isn’t something caused by Shaklee, and it definitely isn’t anything that relates to me and my eating habits.
Just wait… next month, I might even be ready for that little cocktail number I picked up as a “I want to be able to wear this” goal! And for the record? I had a salad, half my 12 ounce Parmesan crusted filet, some sweet potato fries, and a few bites of the “special dessert” our server brought us before I decided I was full. And I enjoyed every bite, not thinking a whit about the “deprivation” of not having Chipotle for lunch.