Now that I’ve been in the “medal” program for a few weeks (that’s for people who have made it through the whole Optifast program and are trying to “maintain”), I have some final thoughts on this whole process. (A friend of mine thought it was spelled “mettle,” since that’s what is required to keep doing well once you are allowed to eat food again.)
First of all, it’s a lot harder to stay on track when you don’t have someone laying out exactly what you get to eat and when–and you have to make your own choices. Secondly, it’s also a lot easier, in some ways, than I feared. I’m not, for example, real eager to give up the past four months of work in favor of a chocolate sundae, so temptation is not the problem. What’s hard is the amount of careful planning that is required in order to stay on program.
Thirdly, I feel as if, at 70 pounds down, I am gradually emerging from a cocoon that I’ve had around me for the past several years–a protective layer of fat that I didn’t even know I had. A friend said she noticed that even my hand gestures are different now–that I’m more openly expressive. I don’t know how true that is–or if I was just strutting my stuff in front of her because she hadn’t seen me since the beginning of the program–but I do know that I was shy in certain circumstances before, such as trying on clothes, being in a bathing suit, wearing pants–where I’m less shy now.
I’ve had a lot of positive reinforcement lately, and that’s wonderful–but also disconcerting, since I feel like the same old me inside this 50- something body, just with a different presentation to the outside world.
All this has made me realize how much people notice our outside appearance, on the one hand, but also, on the other, how little they really notice it. What I have found, even if I didn’t really need confirmation, is that the people who truly love you, love you through thick and thin (literally). It’s good to know that. It sure does help to keep me from putting the weight back on! Why would you when there is nothing to prove and no one to rebel against? That’s a good feeling.