The Blow-By-Blow

{ Saturday, March 6, 2010 }
The day before I begin (aka, "The Day I Receive The Shipments"):
I open the boxes of boxes of foods. I read the overview. Everything looks good and then I have a slight panic attack. I really signed up for this?

After a few hours, my panic and worry shift from overall dread to pinpointing my frustration on the whole, "have to make one meal a day yourself" thing.

I have a long talk with Ish, the best husband in the universe, and he offers to be in charge of making dinner for a while. He's a good cook, and he wants to support me in any and every way possible. And he gets the added bonus of eating super healthily for dinner, too. (Even if he does get to finish his dinner off with pudding and whipped cream.)

Day One
I sign up for the "MyMedifast" thing on their website. I can track my meals and tick things off all day long, which I love. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment. (It honestly also helps me remember what I've eaten. Harder than it sounds.)

My 5 items, for example: a ready-to-drink shake; chicken-noodle soup; lemon meringue crunch bar; ready-to-drink shake; and then I have another chicken (with wild rice) soup to eat with dinner, which is plain chicken breast with steamed broccoli (with a tiny bit of olive oil a little garlic).

I feel fine. Hungry, but not starving. Not sluggish. Dinner felt especially satisfying after a day of eating so little.

As for my thoughts on the ready-made food? The obvious downside is that ready-made food is never going to taste like the real thing. I get this and know it and whatever. Fine.

The upside is: I've had a LOT of these kinds of foods in my life, and I am very surprised at how comparatively good these taste. The chicken noodle soup was especially surprising. Where your standard boxed soup tastes mostly like salt, this actually tasted like chicken.

Day Two
Proceeds much like day one. By dinner time, Ish is asking me all kinds of questions about what I can eat for dinner, and I realize I don't actually know and have to go digging around on the Medifast site.

If you don't mind me babbling a little about the site itself, I will summarize my experiences. The "MyMedifast" part of the site is fantastic. The UI is great and intuitive and very easy to use and friendly to look at.

The site is another story. It's not bad, it's just not especially easy to use. And I personally HATE having to download PDFs. I understand their overall utility, but I don't want to have to download stuff to my computer -- I would rather do everything online. I find having to reference PDFs clunky and cumbersome.

I especially don't like that most of the PDFs say, "for more information, go to" So you end up in this cycle of hunting around the site, downloading documents that aren't searchable (so you have to guess if they're what you want), and then needing to go back to the site to get more information.

Lastly -- and then I'll stop harping on this -- I found it very surprising and frustrating that there are almost no actual "recipes" for your make-it-yourself meals. Given that this is, for me, the hardest part of the whole deal, I feel like it's a giant oversight on Medifast's part.

There ARE recipes within the community discussion boards and on the Facebook fan page, which is fantastic, but that's totally not the same thing as Medifast itself saying: here, make this. The user-submitted recipes should be supplemental.

Note: the good folks at Medifast have told me that there is a recipe book coming out.

Day Three
Starts out the same as the first two, but by dinner I am sluggish, cranky and really hungry. I know this is all part of the plan and part of my body's adjustments, which helps. We start watching something on the Food Network (habit) and then have to turn it off.

Day Four
The hardest day yet. I wake up hungry and feel hungry all day long. I have to make a concerted effort not to eat my small meals like a vacuum cleaner. By the end of the day, as I'm going to bed, I realize I actually feel sad.

Not sad about anything in particular, though. Sad about sort of nothing and sort of everything all at once. Which is a dead giveaway that my sadness is hormonal/chemical and will go away.

Day Five
That's today. I woke up in a fine mood, and though I'm still hungry, it's not as pronounced as yesterday.

The big hurdle will be tonight. I'm going out to dinner.

As I said before, I am not going to go the "abstain from ordering anything on the menu and drink a Medifast shake" route, because that's crazy. I'm also not going to go the "I'll have a plate of wilted greens" route, either, because frankly? I'd rather the shake.

Tonight's challenge for me is simply going to be about going out to eat and not using it as an excuse to eat anything and everything I want, simply because I'm "out." Instead, I'm trying to think of "splurging" on a relative scale.

Splurging before meant ordering anything I wanted and eating it all, from pre-dinner cocktails to fries with that, to wine wine wine, to dessert with a night cap.

Splurging now means something like ordering a (reasonably) healthy salad and not getting the dressing on the side. Crazy!

And yes, I realize that's how "normal" people eat every day, but I'm not like that. I've never been like that. So sure. You could look at my dinner tonight as though I'm already going "off plan" only five days in.

But that's not how I see it at all.

I see it like this: If after only five days of this new plan I can go to a restaurant and order a salad and a glass of wine and actually feel like that's splurging? Then something is definitely working.


Swistle said...

I AM SO INTERESTED. And I can't believe you're DOING it.