Thanks, everybody, for your encouragement! It means a lot!
Schelle, you asked if I felt my success comes from my new exercise regimen. Yes and no. I've been exercising religiously with the Firm tapes since November 1 (and on and off for years). So why am I seeing specific body changes NOW? Could it be coincidence? Maybe. But something I am doing differently now is 1) exercising at a MUCH lower heart rate (only 60% to 70% of my maximum heart rate), which helps your body burn more fat, sooner (at higher heart rates, you're burning more sugar and less fat), and 2) targeting specific
muscles, as opposed to muscle groups. One of the things I've learned, for example, if that if you do, say, lunges, you are working the quads, the shins, the glutes, and leg biceps. But the quads are by far the most powerful muscle of that group and in group muscle work, the strongest muscle simply takes over. So the quads get stimulated to grow. I don't need my quads to get bigger! I need my legs to get leaner and slimmer. So I'm not doing lunges anymore. But I am doing specific, isolated muscle work to tighten my derriere and try to "lift" it up again.
Also, they say that when you're doing this program, 70% of your success will come from your eating plan. But the workouts help you sculpt and mold your body, like an artist.
Has the plan been hard? Going no salt has been surprisingly hard for me, but I'm retraining my palate to taste food the way it really is. I never put salt on anything but eggs in the past. Now I'm discovering how much hidden salt there is in everything that changes the true flavor of food. The no sugar hasn't been hard - been through that before. The no added oil can be tough to cook with, but that's what no stick pans are for. I do miss dairy, though - skim milk, cheese - I miss those.
DDaniels, as for going off the plan at the end of the 6 weeks, I think I'll stay on until I get to 129. (Psychologically, 129 is so much less than 130 - but I'd be THRILLED OUTTA MY GOURD
with 130!!) Then I'll slowly start to reintroduce a little salt - not much - but I've got to have some on my eggs. Ugh. And I'll add a little dairy. I imagine I'll move more toward a South Beach style, which seems compatible with this, as does Protein Power. But I can never go back to being a sugarholic. That's what got me in trouble in the first place and I am NEVER
going to go through this process again. (I know, I know - from my mouth to God's ears, right?) The only thing I would really love to have (and will treat myself to at some point) is some Tutti-Fruitti Jelly Bellys. But otherwise, I don't have any cravings. At all. And I'm never hungry because I'm eating all the time.
That's enough. Don't mean to bore anyone. Thanks again for your interest! And foxgluvs, you're right - sometimes just switching stuff around is enough to get the weight loss going again. I hope you ALL find whichever plan works for YOU!