2 years later I rejoined Protective diet. See Julie’s vibrance and love of life was infectious and I thought about it all the time. I wanted wanted Protective diet offered but convinced myself it would not work. I tried Paleo, McDougall Starch Solution, Maximum Weight Loss, Calorie Density and felt like a failure because I wanted spaghetti, brownies, muffins, and other things. I had even fooled myself into believing I was losing weight with all these start and stop plans that I could never even manage for a week. Honestly I failed day 2 on almost every “diet”. Saying a week is being generous. The day I joined I ripped through my pants. Literally. I cried in the dressing room having to buy the biggest size and it was still very tight. I had a hard time going up stairs without my knees hurting. Exercise seems overwhelming. If I had the energy, which I didn’t, I could not go far because everything hurt. I had restless leg and sciatic nerve pain in my leg. I have no gall bladder and higher fat days sent me running to the rest room. I had the worst gas. It was incredibly embracing. Worst of all I lost my hope and dreaded every minute of life. I had no joy and I couldn’t do anything and I felt like a terrible parent because of it all.
Before I even realized it I had done Protective Diet for a week. I skipped all the “see” foods because I knew that my 4-5 tbsp of sugar in my oatmeal would not be close to Protective Diet food. After about two weeks I began to try the PD French Onion Dip and Chorizo tacos and Breakfast Brownies. Then I realized I did not have cravings and my leg pain was gone. Suddenly I was not sending my kids upstairs for something I could do it. I had no embarrassing gas and began to smile for real. Not a fake smile for everyone, but a real one. I had hope. The first time I had the garlic toast I ate 4 whole pieces myself. It was amazing to eat bread and it be on plan. I had popcorn shrimp and lived for the cookie dough bites. The skinny frappe was my daily treat to myself. I learned new things too. Like I never had a pear before. I could never eat fresh strawberries before. I found them bitter. Suddenly they were juicy but never bitter. My old friend oatmeal came back. I looked forward to my meals and planned them on the fly. I did not plan my meals weeks in advance or daydream about food and cheating. It felt like I was cheating overtime I ate something full of flavor that was completely on plan. That is the thing that makes Protective Diet sustainable. Everything is delicious. It really was the food additives and sugar that kept me tied down all this time.
To feel the joy Julie and Jerry feel daily was something I thought was unobtainable for me. I was depressed and felt alone in a crowded room all the time. I joined telling myself I was doing this for 30 days and then we will see what happens. The change was subtle and yet quick. I felt attractive again and I found joy in my life. I went hiking up hills for 3 miles. I was excited about life. I had my life back. Protective diet was more than a diet for me. It taught me how to deal with stress, emotional eating, and even motivated me to overcome self doubt. I learned to cook and found cooking enjoyable and fun. I now have this place in my life that used to be filled with food that I get to fill with a hobby. I never had time for one before. My life was consumed with this or that diet. Now I get to discover what I like. I can draw, try painting, color, use the new gym membership I got, whatever! I can figure out what hobbies I like and take my time enjoying my new life. I can not wait to find out what the next 30 days, 90 days, or year brings. It sounds incredible to think I feel so different in 30 days. But I feel so different than the depressed, hopeless person that started day 1. I lose 18 lbs in my first 30 days and I have much more to go. But if eating baked mac and cheese, and bolognese, and bbq chicken pizzas are the way to do then I am fine with that!