Let's Talk: Getting Healthy Part Two, the FAQs and an Update!
*Note: In today's blog post I'll be detailing a bit of the food I eat on my doctor regulated diet but this is NOT to be taken as a meal plan if you're not following the Lucere Weight Loss program or a similar doctor supervised program. This program has me on a very low calorie diet which is only safe because of the injections and weekly check ins. This program is a short term accelerated weight loss program that works fabulously but without completing the whole program in person,(with the injections, weekly visits, maintenance plan and full information) following this low calorie diet is not safe! This program has been great for me but we've all got to do what's best for ourselves and do it safely! If you're interested in the program I'm doing reach out to Lucere Dermatology and Laser Clinic for more info! Don't take my rough food diary plan as a sample plan for your own weight loss! XO
Well it's been a few weeks now since I opened up and shared a bit about the start of my journey with Lucere Dermatology and Laser Clinic so I thought it was about time I posted a bit of an update. If you haven't read my first blog post, you'll want to head over here to give that a read and then pop back here to catch up ;)
I firstly want to say thank you so much to everyone who took the time to email and DM me about my post, the response was more than I could have expected and I'm so happy that the message I tried to share came across as I'd hoped it would. It's not easy to open up about not making yourself or your health a priority but I'm glad I did and that so many of you messaged me about your own struggles too. I feel like these days everyone is trying to manage so much and juggle so many things that it's easy to put our health on the back burner.
Since sharing my first post there have been a few questions that keep popping up so today I want to address those questions and take you through a bit of a breakdown on how the program has been going and where I'm at so far!!
First let's start with the questions....
Q #1: So what are you eating on the program?
So I've been trying to share a bit of what I'm eating and what I'm buying grocery shopping over on my Instagram Stories but basically, on this program the focus is eating real, whole and healthy foods. The program is a pretty low calorie diet however the food you are eating is definitely satisfying (thanks to your body burning fat and the injections, hunger and cravings are kept mostly at bay). A typical day for me usually looks something like this...
First thing AM: 1 cup hot water w/juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar (this stuff with 'the mother' is what you want) + a sprinkle of cayenne pepper
Morning: Around 9/10ish I usually have a cup of black coffee *you're only allowed 1tsp of skim milk per day on this program but thankfully I prefer black coffee anyways so swapping my daily lattes for black coffee has made a HUGE difference!
Lunch: Anywhere around 11:30-1:30 depending on when I get hungry I have my lunch. Most days my lunch is either 130g of ground chicken or ground extra lean ground beef sauteed with 1 cup of cherry tomatoes with spices (garlic, onion, salt, pepper + sometimes italian seasoning or chilli powder). I then take 2-3 romaine lettuce leaves and make 'tacos' that are delicious! (Detailed recipe post coming soooon!!)
Mid Afternoon: Around the mid afternoon in between lunch and dinner is usually when I have my first serving of fruit. I can choose between 1 apple (gala's are my fave!), 1/2 grapefruit or orange or 1 cup of strawberries
Dinner: Most nights I try to eat my dinner around 7:00/7:30ish. If I've had chicken or ground beef for lunch I'll usually either have 130(ish) grams of shrimp or a white fish like tilapia for dinner. I usually sautee them with water (no oil on this program!), lemon, spices (s&p, onion and garlic powder) and then season with this seasoning which has been LIFE CHANGING! With my shrimp or fish I then usually have either 2 cups of cabbage, broccoli or cucumber. If I'm having cucumber I usually slice it up with salt, pepper and apple cider vinegar or else I'll boil/steam/sautee my broccoli or cabbage in water and season with a bit of salt and pepper.
Evening Snack: I usually save another one of my fruit servings for after dinner for around 8/8:30ish. An important part of this program is making sure you're mixing up the food you eat throughout the day so if I have an apple earlier in the day, I'll have strawberries before bedtime.
Anything Else?: As I've gone through this program I've also had a few modifications offered to me for days I might find the low calorie diet a bit challenging. Anytime throughout the day I can have a salad with lots of greens and a few veggies. Since you can't have any oil for dressing you can have balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar or this stuff - which might seem weird but is surprisingly delicious! (Who knew?! lol) I can also have 2 pieces of melba toast throughout the day if needed, I can have a dill pickle as a crunchy snack and if I'm feeling a bit hungry one day, I can add an egg to the program (hard boiled or poached).
So there you go, a bit of a breakdown of what I've been eating. Now onto the most frequently asked question I've been getting.....
Q #2: Are you hungry?!
So I'll be getting a bit more into this question below as I break down how I've been feeling by the days/weeks but the short answer is 95% of the time ... no! I'm not going to lie, before I started this program and the ladies at Lucere Dermatology and Laser Clinic told me I wouldn't be hungry I TOTALLY thought they were lying to me! haha The truth is that once you've been on the injections for a while and you've gone through the worst of the detox and withdrawals, you won't often find yourself hungry. There have been a few occasional days or moments outside of the first two weeks that I've felt a bit hungry here and there but honestly, it doesn't happen very often. I think the biggest hurdle for me to get over wasn't being physically hungry but rather, just missing eating food! haha Does that make sense? It's more of a mental roadblock than a physical one but it's a hurdle that you get over fairly quickly in this program.
Q #3: You're doing this at Lucere Dermatology and Laser Clinic? Aren't they more about skincare rather than weight loss?
This is another frequent question I've been getting. Lucere Dermatology and Laser Clinic is most commonly known as just that.... a Dermatology and Laser Clinic, so I too was surprised at first to find out that they offered weight loss and management support. The conversation actually came about when I first went in for a tour and was getting the rundown on all of the services they offered.... In addition to the lasers, skincare, botox and fillers they also offer SculpSure - a non surgical body contouring treatment that is growing in popularity like crazy right now! I know quite a few people who have had this treatment so when it came up in conversation I expressed that I would be interested to learn more about it down the road, but that I knew that SculpSure is meant more for toning vs weight loss and that I had about 25lbs or so I'd like to lose before potentially heading down that road. It was at that time that this weight loss program was brought up. It was great to chat with a few people at Lucere Dermatology and Laser Clinic who had done the program themselves or who's family had done the program and had success with it. That for me was definitely one of the factors that made me comfortable in moving forward with the program.
Q #4: Why do you have to take the injections? And do they hurt?
Okay so the injections were the part of the program that made me the most nervous at first. Like, almost so nervous that I was hesitant to actually go through with the program (which now makes me laugh because truly, they're so easy!). The needles are SO TINY. Like seriously, so so small and although the IDEA of having to give yourself a needle every day seems a bit strange I promise that in REALITY, it's no big deal at all! You actually administer an injection at the clinic before you begin the program with your nurse supervisor and she explains everything to you and makes the whole experience so comfortable. I'm now so used to administering the injections every day that it's now just a part of my routine and it's no big deal at all (and I HATE needles so if I can do it I promise you can too!). The thing is that the injections are kind of the secret sauce to the whole program. The injections help keep your hunger and cravings at bay and they're also what causes your body to use energy from your fat reserves throughout the day as energy so they're a pretty integral part of the program that you get used to very quickly.
Q #5: How are you feeling on the program?
Again, I'll get into this a bit more below but the answer in short is I feel freaking amazing. Like if we're spilling some truth tea here: I've never felt better. I have a ton of energy, I feel very clear headed, I'm sleeping so well, I'm waking up earlier and my anxiety has decreased significantly. Overall, I've realized that some of the foods I was eating before and some of the life choices I was making were making me feel like garbage kind of all the time. And sometimes, you don't realize how crappy you've been feeling until you no longer feel that way anymore which is totally what's happened with me!
Q #6: Is the program hard?
Yes and no. haha As great as I feel and as incredible as it is to see that number on the scale continue to decrease almost daily the program is NOT without its struggles. Losing the weight is easy if you follow the program but successfully following the program takes a lot of willpower, determination and planning. One of the hardest parts of the program is totally reorganizing your life in terms of your food prep and planning and your social life. It's unbelievable how many social gatherings revolve around food and when you can no longer have that be the case, that can present a bit of a struggle. Family dinners, brunches and bbqs with friends all have to change a bit when you're on the program. I've become 'that girl' who brings her own food wherever she goes and my daily meal prepping is an absolute priority to me. I think if you plan to do this program it's important to make sure that you will make sticking to it a priority however if you do make the decision to do so, the results happen quickly and when you see that change happen quickly it's inspiring and motivating in itself which in turn helps to make sticking to the program a bit easier too.
Q #7: How long will you be on the program for?
As I write this now, I've been on the program for 28 days and have already lost nearly 20 lbs (and that's with a one week stall which I'll get more into below..) and I'm feeling amazing. As I mentioned in my first post, I'm not as concerned with the number on the scale as I am with how I'm feeling so truthfully, right now I'm flexible on how long I'll stick with the first part of the program. Most people do a 23 day, 30 day or 40 day run of the program but when you go in for your weekly check in with your nurse, you'll always be checking in on your goals, how you're feeling and discussing carrying on with the program or preparing for Phase 3 (the maintenance phase). I'm actually feeling so great that it's currently my plan to continue on this part of the program through the duration of the month of June but I'll continue to keep you guys posted!
Now that I've answered some of the questions I've been getting the most, let's get a bit into how the program has been going and how I've been feeling throughout the process...
Days 1-2: The Loading Days
The first two days of the program were the 'loading days'. On the first morning I woke up excited to get started and to get to eat ALL of my favourite foods! haha On the loading days you do give yourself the injections and then the idea is to eat a ton of food high in fat (ideally, healthy fats). So, I ate lots of steak, salmon, avocado <--- the healthy, as well as (the not so healthy!) --> sour cream, chips, pizza, cheese and all of my other favourite foods that I knew I wouldn't be able to eat for the next few months. Truth be told, as much as I was super excited for these days they were actually really hard! haha By day two I was SO FULL ALL THE TIME so I actually found it very difficult to eat as much as I was supposed to. Talk about taking the joy out of eating! lol
Week 1: Low Calorie Diet + Injections
For the next 4-5 days I went through some pretty serious detoxing/withdrawals. Truthfully, days 2 & 3 of the program I did feel a little bit nauseous in the mornings and up until day 5/6 I did experience headaches, body aches and some mental fogginess which is TOTALLY NORMAL when you're detoxing and going through major sugar withdrawals! These were a few rocky days but I was prepared for and expecting the first week to be a bit rough with the detoxing symptoms and getting used to the lower calorie diet.
Week 2: Low Calorie Diet + Injections
By the time I made it through the first full week (including the first two loading days) I was already feeling like a new woman! I had a few nights (2-3 nights) where I felt a bit hungry going to bed as I adjusted to spreading out my food throughout the day but for the most part I went through my days without too much hunger. It was during this week I kind of recognized the difference between being physically hungry vs mentally hungry. AKA I wasn't actually hungry but I just wanted to eat! lol Thankfully as it's so nice outside I found that getting outside and going for a walk after dinner was a great way to distract myself from wanting to eat. Also: bubble baths + audio books were another great distraction! It was also during week 2 that I started to notice a difference in myself physically. My clothes were fitting better, I didn't look as bloated, I was seeing a big drop in both lbs and inches and I started to feel more confident.
Week 3: Low Calorie Diet + Injections
By the time we were heading into week 3 I was feeling AMAZING. Like I mentioned a bit above I started to realize how great I was feeling compared to the general 'meh' I had kind of always been feeling before. I started to realize that I was no longer experiencing the mid afternoon crash. I was feeling great throughout the day with tons of energy and rather than the 3-6+ cups of coffee per day I'd been drinking, I was now drinking 1-2 cups of coffee. By week 3 I noticed a difference in my happiness, my clear headedness, my anxiety (waaaay down) and just my overall mood. Plus, by week 3 the number on the scale started dropping a lot more, I started being able to wear clothes I haven't been able to wear for almost 2 years and other people started noticing a change in my appearance too.
Week 4: Low Calorie Diet + Injections
Now when it came to week 4 I hit a bit of a roadblock that I knew was coming - aka, that time of the month. Ideally when you start this program you want to start right after the end of your period so going into this program with different timing I knew that my cycle would affect my progress temporarily. In chatting with my nurse I knew to expect a slight weight gain or weight loss stall but she gave me tips on getting through the week and getting back into things afterward so despite the small stall on the progress I fortunately didn't gain too much and I'm now heading into week 5 ready to get back to the regular program again ;)
Above Left: This is a photo taken right before I started the program. I felt so self conscious about how I was looking and although I'm smiling at the camera I was NOT feeling happy with how I looked or felt. Above Right: This was taken just last week. It's incredible the difference I've seen and felt in just over a month. I FEEL AMAZING. I feel more confident, happier and of course I'm noticing physical changes too!
From where I stand now I am so happy with my progress and mostly with how I'm FEELING on the program with Lucere Dermatology and Laser Clinic. I hope that this post answered most of your questions but if not, you know you can always email or DM me or of course ask away in the comments below! Again, I want to share a HUGE thank you to my friends at Lucere Dermatology and Laser Clinic here in Edmonton. This is a journey I've been struggling with for years and I know that without their help I wouldn't be anywhere near as close to the finish line as I am now! If you're in Edmonton or the surrounding area I highly recommend checking them out for any of your skincare/beauty related needs!