Ruth's Medifast Update: April 18, 2014 -- Field Trip
One of the great things about trying out a different location for the Medifast Weight Control Center, is learning something new. Recently, I switched from the Mission Valley location to the store on Carmel Mountain Road. Among their professionally, trained counselors, they have a Registered Dietician on staff named Cara.
Once a month, Cara takes clients on a field trip to a Ralph's Supermarket just a few doors away from their office on Carmel Mountain Road. She helps simplify grocery shopping, so it doesn't have to be a minefield for those of us looking for healthy choices.
Her first tip is to shop the perimeter of the store. That's where you find the lean protein and veggies. The majority of the high calorie, processed foods are mostly in the middle aisles of the store. Next, always make a list and never go when you're hungry.
If you aren't reading labels on every product you buy, it's time to start! There's so much helpful information included and in fact the FDA is making some changes to better reflect what's in the products we buy. I try to buy items which have no trans fats, are low in fat, low sodium and low carbs.
Cara says to watch for the sticker from the American Heart Association, since they're very picky about which heart healthy foods they give their stamp of approval.
Other healthy choices can include: organic, non-GMO and gluten free. Cara talks about each one. Look for these food labels and ask questions.
I've never noticed the labels that distinguished between whole grain and 100% whole grain. Cara explained the difference and said to stick with 100% whole grain as the healthier option. Unless of course you want gluten free.
Eating healthy and learning how to make the healthiest choices isn't difficult if you have the knowledge and information. This is merely a brief summary of what took place on the tour I experienced. Cara is happy to answer all of your questions, no matter how specific they are. They are here to help us lose weight and keep it off!
Cara would like to offer this free tour as a service to any current client of the Medifast Weight Control Centers, so give her a call at (858) 613-9497 to find when the next tour happens. The Medifast Weight Control Center where Cara works is located at: 11835 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego, CA 92128.
Ruth's Medifast Update: March 2014
"To get different results, you need to do something different." I have no idea who said that, but I know it's a true statement. That's why I decided to start working with a trainer. Please meet the newest member of "Team Ruth," Nanette.
The newest member of "Team Ruth," Nanette
Nanette is a professional Medifast counselor at the Carmel Mountain location. To get the address, phone number and pics of that Medifast Center, please click here. She has promised to go slow and steady with me so I don't injure myself. I told her about the bad experiences I've had in the past with other trainers, where they worked me so hard the first visit, I could barely walk the next day. That never encouraged me to want to keep going.
Nanette met me at my gym, Chuze in La Mesa, for an assessment and our first workout. I've been intending to work with a trainer ever since I joined this gym when it first opened. They have a membership plan where you can bring a friend for free! Take a look here.
Until last week, I had never even heard of something called a Foam Roller.
Here are the type of exercises we did on it.
I'm officially calling this thing, my "weapon of fat destruction!" Holy and moly my body ached in places that hadn't been worked in years! It felt like I had worked out with weights. Some of the stretches were very intense and a few of them even felt kinda good hahaha! Okay. I'll admit it. Nanette is very encouraging and supportive. Just like Sam.
My long time counselor Sam recently got a promotion and relocated to the Carmel Mountain location, so I decided to follow him there from Mission Valley. (I think he's the only male counselor among a bevy of female MF counselors.) Please meet Sam.
My long time Medifast counselor, Sam
Sam is, in a word, awesome! He has a lot of valuable, useful, practical information that keeps me going day after day, week after week, month after month. Even when I have a "bad" week, Sam encourages me to show up for my weigh in anyway and we talk about it. He never judges me. He never talks down to me like I do to myself. Showing up to see Sam once a week is definitely one of the major components that makes the Medifast Weight Control Center's plan work so well for me. Being accountable seriously helps me. I know some folks order the Medifast meals through the mail and get online support from untrained "coaches." But statistics prove, people who go to The MF Centers are five times more likely to be successful than those who do it on their own.
As it turns out, one of the Medifast counselors at the Carmel Mountain store is a super DSC fan! Please meet Lisa.
Medifast counselor and DSC fan, Lisa
I insisted she allow me to take her photo for this blog post. She's always happy to see me and greets me with a smile. I'm just getting to know her. If you live or work near the Carmel Mountain Road Medifast Center, please ask to meet with Lisa.
The Carmel Mountain store also has a registered dietician, Cara, who is taking us on a grocery store shopping trip this weekend. I hope to get lots of helpful information to make that process more beneficial to maintaining my weight loss and helping me through the ordeal so it isn't such a complicated, mine field. I'll tell you all about it in my next update. Thanks for reading this far! - Ruthie xoxo
Ruth's Medifast Update: February 2014
Happy New Year! It's that time again where a lot of us set new goals and intentions for 2014. Studies show, losing weight is the number one new year's resolution. I wonder if it's also the resolution broken first and maybe given up on altogether. I know it was for me... until I signed up at the Medifast Weight Control Center of San Diego. (619) 297-0703
I had so much weight to lose, I knew it would take longer than one year and in fact, it did. But I'm realizing it's not just a goal for the year, but something I choose to do every day. Each day I wake up is another chance to make healthy choices for myself.
This is what I looked like when I started. I weighed 299 pounds. But what the heck, I call it 300 for good measure. Can you see how red my eyes are? I started crying during my initial evaluation meeting. I told them how defeated I felt from giving up on ever losing weight again. I lost hope a long time ago and as a result, I gained more weight every year. I hadn't owned a scale or dared to weigh myself in years - except at the doctor's office. My doctor would look at my number and tell me I *had* to lose some weight. But they never really told me how exactly to do that.
This is what I look like now with listener Karra. She lost 45 pounds and says, "If Ruthie can lose 130, I can lose 45!" And she did!
Here's listener Maggie and me at the Mission Valley Medifast Center. She also lost about 45-50 pounds and has kept it off for some time.
When I reached my goal of losing 130 pounds in June of 2013, I was thrilled beyond belief at my success! I really didn't know it was possible to stick with anything long enough to reach my goal. I'm very proud of my ability to stay with Medifast and really happy with my new smaller size. I haven't been this size in about 25 years! Shopping for clothes is actually enjoyable now. There are a lot more choices at this size than there were when I was 130 pounds heavier. I had the pleasure of stopping my blood pressure and cholesterol medicines, since they dropped to normal levels.
But then something big happened. Slowly but surely, I started to eat some of foods I'd missed out on during the weight loss portion of the program. I started to eat the foods that made me fat! And guess what? I gained weight. For some reason, I found this hard to believe. I had (have) a fantasy, where I could eat anything I wanted without ever gaining any weight from my less than healthy choices. That is not my reality. I suffered the consequence of gaining weight because of what I put in my mouth. Shocking, I know, right?!
My trained, educated, Medifast Weight Control Center counselor, Sam, told me that it's totally normal to gain back a little weight once you reach your goal. Whew! It's good to know I'm normal. But instead of buckling down and getting back to basics, which is doing everything they taught me, something different happened. My depression came back. I couldn't understand why I was having such a tough time resisting high calorie, high fat, high carb foods. I got into the cookie butter from Trader Joe's and cinnamon rolls at Starbucks. I stopped for Mexican food at Sombrero's and even lasagna at DiMille's. I could no longer say no.
At first it seemed as if I lost the ability to say no and walk on by these temptations. I was no longer focused on making healthy food choices and I stopped exercising. I could NOT talk myself into going for a walk or even show up at the gym for 15 minutes. It seemed like a very old pattern of eating to comfort myself. But I felt NO comfort. The more unhealthy food I ate - and I always ate a large portion - the worst I felt. Then it hit me. I'm depressed. Damn … it had been about three years since the last time I was on anti-depression medication. So I made a doctor's appointment, got back on some meds and eventually I emerged from the darkness. Now it makes me wonder if eating the "bad" food created my depression. I can't be sure, but it's thought provoking.
Here I am before my Medifast journey.
I lost all that weight - 130 pounds - by staying committed and focused on what Medifast was teaching me. They taught me how to change my thinking about food and exercise. That is a very important detail for continued success in losing weight and keeping it off. The great thing about the Medifast program is the one inclusion of one year of maintenance. They want to make sure we know how to keep from gaining it back again. After all my hard work, I refuse to live that way anymore.
There are a few primary reasons the Medifast Weight Control Center of San Diego works for me, unlike any diet ever has. I love getting to eat six times a day, plus a snack - which includes real food. I love my lean protein and fresh veggies. I eat salad almost every day or else steamed or grilled veggies to accompany my lean protein. I enjoy turkey burgers, all kinds of fish, grass fed beef, chicken and eggs. Having real food in addition to my Medifast meals (shakes, bars, oatmeal, soup, smoothies, coffee drinks, cereal and more) really keep me going.
A before and after Medifast comparison of me and Davielle in art classes
Being accountable to my counselor once a week is another reason this program works so well for me. We always talk about any challenge I might face in the week ahead with helpful tips to make the best of it. Things like holiday dinners, parties, food pushers, food at work, etc. They have a lot of experience dealing with these situations and are full of useful information to make this work for me.
When I'm following the Medifast Weight Control Center program, even my skin looks clearer and brighter. I don't get bloated or have stomachaches anymore. I have lots of energy and generally feel wonderful. I'm happy to be back on track and doing well again!
If you think diets don't work - you should try the Medifast Center! Please know that this is different than getting the boxes of food in the mail every week and otherwise fending for yourself. The support of The Center and the excellent counselors make all the difference. I could never stick with any diet on my own for more than a few weeks. It was too easy to give up. But having people on my side to cheer me on with enthusiasm and information is very powerful. It really works for me and I know it will work for you too, so please stop struggling and call them today.
Ruth's Medifast Update: March 2013
This is what I looked like before I started Medifast.
I know it's hard to believe, but I've lost 125 pounds thanks to the Medifast Weight Control Centers!!
I seriously never thought it was possible to lose this much weight without the invasive stomach surgery. I know the doctors make you go on a diet *before* you get that surgery, so what the heck! Why not try Medifast first and see how great it works for you!!
I've developed so many great habits and learned a lot about myself during this process; all good things that will help me keep the weight off for good.
I now exercise regularly - mostly cardio - nothing heavy duty; but having a gym membership is very empowering. I also love to walk in some of our beautiful parks when it's gorgeous outside. I got a bike for Christmas, so I've added that to my repertoire as well.
Losing so much weight sure makes it a lot easier to exercise. Heck, it makes everything easier! Just walking around is no longer a chore for me like it was when I weighed 300 lbs. My knees and feet no longer hurt either.
Some of the other benefits I've gained from losing weight on Medifast include: getting off medications for high blood pressure and cholesterol; being able to shop for clothes in any store, instead of the big girl stores; learning to manage eating when I go out with friends; how to plan my week, how to make healthy selections and portions and that everything I put in my mouth has consequences!!
If you're still struggling with weight loss and doing it on your own, please do what I did and call the Medifast Weight Loss Centers of San Diego today at: 1-TRIPLE EIGHT 9 MEDIFAST. Or go to SanDiegoMedifast.com!
Tell 'em Ruthie sent you!
Ruth's Medifast Update: Aug. 2012
In case you haven't heard by now, I've reached my goal of
losing 100 lbs!
Here I am minus 101.2 pounds!!
Here's what I looked like when I began in June 2011.
I wanted to reach that goal before the end of June, but I didn't actually do it until July. Better late than never, right? I was very disappointed in not reaching my goal in the allotted time, but realized I put too much pressure on myself to hit a certain number by a certain date, instead of letting it happen the way it did. Because of that, I've lost the least amount of weight per month since I started on Medifast! I was definitely living in fear and not trusting myself. But hey, trusting me in a weight loss program is still new, despite doing the Medifast Program for one year now!
Not sure why I did that to myself, so I called a friend for help. He also lost 100 lbs. on Medifast, but reminded me -- it took him two years to do it. He told me to stop being so hard on myself and focus on a small number, like losing 2 pounds a week, instead of focusing on losing 100 pounds. So I applied what I've learned all these years in 12 Step programs and went back to one day at a time.
Just to show you a comparison, I've lost as much weight as our cute, little Mexican Leprechaun, Elaina, weighs in total! Here we are together and I'm trying to lift her (101 lbs)!!!
Here we are waving goodbye to that 101 pounds!!
Yes, the jeans I'm wearing there are a bit too big for me. I'm between sizes right now and the next smallest one doesn't quite fit - yet!! (Usually that's what gets me to exercise!)
Just to compare, here's what I looked like at 299 pounds in June of 2011 on my first day at the Medifast Center in Mission Valley, San Diego, CA.
Pretty remarkable, right? Nothing has ever worked for me long enough to make a difference. I always felt way too hungry and just couldn't tolerate it longer than 2 or 3 months. At 299 pounds, I had given up hope of ever being thin again.
Please don't wait as long as I did to lose weight. Medifast seriously works!! These folks have it all figured out, so I just follow their directions and do the best I can every day. Can't ask for more than that, right?
I still love getting to eat 6 times a day, plus a snack. That's one of the biggest reasons I've been able to be successful on Medifast. And check out the great new food items they put on the shelves this week: 2 kinds of cereal, mocha shakes and new pretzels and cheese puffs!
Yes, I cried when I stepped on the scale and saw my number began with a 1 instead of a 2. It was the first time that happened since the early 90s. Medifast seriously helps you lose 2-5 pounds a week!
The other reason Medifast works for me is having my own counselor. All of the Medifast counselors are educated and trained nutritionists. My girl, Colleen, has helped me over every plateau I've encountered. Every time she would tell me to do a specific thing to get past that particular plateau, I'd lose weight the following week. These counselors are well trained and know their stuff! If I had simply ordered the Medifast food online and not gone in to one of the Medifast Weight Loss Centers in San Diego every week to meet privately, one-on-one with my counselor – I would've given up long ago. Left to my own devices, I would've quit if I was on my own. I wouldn't have a clue how to get past a plateau, but fortunately my counselor is very experienced at helping deal with this.
This is me in June 2009
The counselor's at the Medifast Centers in San Diego are also great at making suggestions to help me with my weekly challenges; like going out to dinner with a friend, attending a work party or the celebratory cake at work. These life events take a bit more planning and preparation now, but aren't impossible.
One area that's still giving me trouble … I keep resisting exercising. I actually lost 50 pounds without doing any at all, but hit a plateau where I was told to begin walking. I've walked a few times a week since then (most weeks, but not all of them). I probably "should" do other things, but I keep resisting. I ask other folks what they do when they're resistant and have heard some helpful suggestions so far. I know it's progress and not perfection, so I plan to live the Medifast way until I lose a total of 140 pounds, which should (hopefully) happen by the end of 2012. Then I will begin to add more real food back into my diet until I can do so without gaining weight. Then I'll be in the final phase, maintenance, for one year.
My co-worker Chris Boyer lost 25 pounds last fall on Medifast and faithfully shows up for his weekly maintenance appointment. Lo and behold – he hasn't gained any of that weight back! There's something to be said for being accountable. I keep a food diary and write down everything I drink and eat, plus the amount – every day – no matter what.
Look at our group shot from (2010) two years ago when we first started at Jack-FM, compared to July of 2012.
So far, I've lost more than 90-pounds, thanks to the Medifast Centers of San Diego!
Today, June 1, 2012, the scale matches the number on my CA driver's license! That was a big milestone for me, since it's been a lie for many, many years! I probably weighed more than 50 pounds over what I wrote on my DMV form, sheesh!
Another big milestone: I'm now shopping for the smallest clothing size at the big girl store! Before my success on Medifast, I wore the largest size they sold and at the end, even that was too tight on me. Today, I am wearing the smallest size they offer!! I've gone from a 28 to a 14.
Today, I eat lean protein and fresh veggies everyday, along with 5 Medifast meals, plus a snack! Getting to eat every 2-3 hours makes ALL the difference in the world to me. I am NOT hungry all the time like I was on every other diet I've ever tried.
I'm planning to reach 100-pounds gone by my one-year-anniversary since I started my journey on Medifast last June 25th. I should hit my goal weight (160) by the end of this year - 50 more to go in total. I am SO committed to this, because the Medifast Center in San Diego is showing me a different way to live. I couldn't have done it without them! If you've been putting off losing weight, do yourself a favor and call them for a free consultation.
Beginning of this weight loss journey at 299 lbs
How on earth did I get here?! It all started on March 3, 2011 when I quit smoking (for the fifth time). I immediately substituted food for cigs and started eating - a lot. My MD says it's normal to gain 12 pounds when you quit smoking, but I gained more like 25.
I was already extremely overweight, so I was worried about my health and finally ready to find a new diet. I wanted someone to tell me exactly what to eat and when to eat it. Enter the Medifast Centers of San Diego! They told me how they could help me and I signed up during my free consultation. I became a paid spokesperson three months later after losing 30 pounds.
My journey on the Medifast Program started in June 2011, so it's been 11 months of eating six times a day, every 2-3 hours. So far, I've lost 85 pounds!! When I started in June of 2011, I weighed 299 lbs. Today, May 1, 2012, I weigh 215! My next exciting goal post is: 208. That's the lie on my drivers license! It was some random number I plucked out of thin air that sounded like a good weight to me. I'm pretty sure I weighed more than 250 at the time.
My goal on the Medifast Program is to lose 140 pounds, making my goal weight 160. I'm hoping to get to my goal weight by the end of 2012. I haven't been at that weight since I got sober in 1987! When I gave up drugs and booze, I went for the food. Now it's all in the past.
Here I am after losing 35 lbs
The Medifast Program has taught me portion control, healthy eating and how to take extremely good care of my health. I've have learned to enjoy eating small meals which are high in protein and low in calories, fat and carbs.
Yay! Here I lost 50 lbs
I check in once a week at The Medifast Center in Mission Valley with my personal counselor, Colleen. Without her help, I would not have lasted this long. I would've given up at the least little bump in the road. She's helped me through every plateau I've had - meaning the few times where I stayed the same weight. Each time she gave me suggestions that changed my course of action to ensure more weight loss the following week. Colleen keeps me focused on the positive changes I've made and keeps me going. Having a counselor means I'm not doing this alone, trying to figure it out by myself. Her help has been invaluable.
Tada! Down 75 lbs...I'm getting closer to my goal!
My life has completely changed
Before and After Medifast:
Before: I used to be tired ALL the time with no energy at all.
After: Now I have more energy than I know what to do with! Here's a shot of Chainsaw and I getting our dance on!
Before: I couldn't walk to my car without getting out of breath.
After: Now, I walk 2 to 3 times a week for 15 to 30 min. I'm also planning to walk a 5K this summer!
Before : I took medicine for my high blood pressure.
After: My blood pressure has returned to normal and I no longer need to take the meds!
Before: My knees and feet hurt almost all day, every day.
After: They rarely, if ever, hurt now!
Before: I hate to admit this, but I couldn't even stand up for more than 5 min at a time.
After: Last week I stood up for almost an hour folding laundry.
Before: I use to crave a lot of unhealthy, fattening foods. Even worse, I use to give into those cravings.
After: ALL of my food cravings went away after 2-3 months on MF! I miss a few things now, but don't physically crave them anymore. That never happened to me on any diet before MF.
Before: Use to eat carne asada fries and pizza fully loaded - weekly! After: Now, I eat delicious steamed veggies, fresh veggie salads and lean protein every day. Now I love turkey burgers, chicken breasts, all kinds of fish, shrimp, lean hamburgers, filet and salmon. I grill everything on my Foreman Grill and add various spices and seasonings for added taste.
I eat Medifast food 5 times a day and lean protein with veggies once a day. Check out my favorite Medifast foods.
It's SO GOOD!
Sugar Free Fudgesicle
Peanut Butter Bars
Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Medifast have 8 locations in San Diego:
Carmel Mt Ranch - 858-314-8660
El Cajon - 619-345-1551
Mission Valley - 619-377-9924
San Marcos - 760-687-9259
Chula Vista - 619-202-5208
Encinitas - 760-453-0802
Carlsbad / Oceanside - 760-417-5035
Temecula - 951-297-9602
Do you have a Medifast success story you would like to share?? Leave your name and I'll mention it on air. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org