Why I chose Lindora to lose weight.

Is this true or what???? : ) I recently discovered Pinterest.com where I found this and many other inspirational images and quotes... check it out.

Now that the Thanksgiving holiday has passed, I’m working on getting my focus back on my weight loss goals and remembering why I chose Lindora to help me succeed.

The most important thing about choosing a weight loss plan is finding what works for you. There are so many options out there—some totally stupid and crazy, some healthy, some much more effective than others. Here’s what attracted me to Lindora.

Lindora works. I chose Lindora because, in my experience, it’s the only program where I’ve been able to lose a significant amount of weight. When you carefully follow the guidelines, it really works. You will drop the pounds. A + B = C.  It’s a no brainer. It’s not easy, but you can have the confidence that you will get results if you follow the rules.

Lindora is simple. Lindora provides a list of authorized foods that reflect a “low fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrate nutritional plan.” The boundaries of a limited food list are extremely helpful to me. I get overwhelmed with too many choices. The list is posted on my fridge. You can’t go wrong with fruits, vegetables and protein.

Lindora recommends exercise that is doable and sustainable. I like that Lindora doesn’t push strenuous exercise. They simply exhort you to “move more.” And that means lots of walking. When I lost 60 pounds back in 2002, I walked almost every morning for 30-45 minutes.  This time around, I’m working on getting stronger and being much more fit with lots of cardio and weight lifting. I also want to have more muscle to increase my metabolism. Muscles are so productive. I love that they are burning fat even when I’m not using them.

Lindora provides accountability. When you purchase the 12-week program, you go into the clinic every single day to report what you’ve eaten the day before, receive a B-12 shot, and weigh in. I recommend this program for any first-timers. It’s pretty costly (I spent about $1,200 in 2002), but if you’re someone who has tried many, many times to lose weight, it’s worth every penny. The daily accountability forces you to change your habits.

I completed the 12-week program back in 2002. I lost 60 pounds. But then I got completely off track after injuring my lower back. I couldn’t exercise, and for some bizarre reason, I started eating like I used to. Soon after that, we became parents to our 11-year-old nephew. Life turned completely upside down for the next 8 years. I’m not blaming my weight gain on a child. His arrival into our lives was, however, a mitigating factor as I slid back into my old habits. I gained all the weight back, plus another 20 pounds.

This time around I purchased the 4-week program. I know how to do Lindora; I just needed a kick-start and a month’s worth of accountability. Isn’t it crazy how we all know exactly how to lose weight? We just have to DO IT.

Lindora preaches lifelong change. Indeed, the guidebook is called “Lean for Life.” It’s not just a diet; it’s a transformation. It’s about rewiring your brain, creating new patterns and adopting new habits.

“With Lean for Life, the focus is on learning to become lean. The process of learning creates new neural connections within your brain. These new connections create actual structural changes in your brain. With reinforcement (practice), the changes (connections) can become permanent, and before long, you’ll find that making healthy choices about what you eat seems like second nature. And it will be! Your process for decision making will have been permanently changed.”

Just because I lost the weight and gained it all back ten years ago is no reflection of the viability of the Lindora program. I didn’t stick with the program. I didn’t follow their Lifetime Maintenance guidelines. If I had, I would have arrived and stayed at my goal weight all these years.

Here are some other weight loss programs I’ve tried in the past:

NutriSystem – I joined this program with my mom way back in 1989, the summer before my junior year of college. That’s when they used to have clinics; now they just sell the food online. I lost weight that summer, but it was extremely expensive. I was spending $70 to $80 per week on freeze dried, cardboard food. It was kinda fun, though, to go back to school about 15 pounds lighter. Gained it all back in a few months though!

Weight Watchers – I’ve joined WW several times over the years and could never stick with it.  It is too lenient. There are too many choices. Too much moderation.  I kept using all my points up before dinner.  The most I ever lost with WW was about 8-10 pounds.

SlimFast – Even though it was convenient and relatively inexpensive, constant hunger made this a short-lived diet. Shakes are not food. The most weight I lost? Probably 2-3 pounds before I gave up.

Herbalife – Who doesn’t like drinking fruit shakes for each meal? I liked them very much. But again, I was hungry all the time. And the supplements were just way too expensive. I lost about 2-3 pounds before giving up.

Why did you choose your particular method for losing weight?

My name is Jennifer. I am a recovering foodaholic.

“Food is the most inexpensive, readily available, socially acceptable drug in the world.”
—Dr. Marshall Stamper, Lean for Life

Recently I’ve had a hard time feeling satisfied after a meal. Before I finish eating, I’m already looking forward to the next snack or meal. On the drive home from work, I’m thinking about what I can eat for dinner.

Or if tonight, maybe we can have a cheat meal, off program. For the third time in a week. My drug of choice lately: pizza. Perhaps I’m stressed. Or bored. Or sad. Or angry. Or just lazy.

Some days, eating is the only thing I look forward to. I just love how I feel when I eat. I feel warm. Sometimes I can feel the energy spreading to my fingertips and my toes. I feel either energized, or completely relaxed and calm. Unless I go overboard. Then I just feel sick and mad at myself.

If that ain’t a drug, I don’t know what is.

I need to replace that feeling with something else. Hmm… Like going to the gym. I get a fantastic buzz at the gym. And afterwards, I get to have time in the steam room. Then I take a long, hot shower. I am warm. Relaxed. Calm.

I heard in a recent Lindora webinar that, “It’s okay to get comfort from food — just as long as you’re eating the right things.” Most of the time I feel great after eating a meal on program: a salad with veggies, a protein, and a fruit. But sometimes… well, nothing but a big bowl of buttery parmesan popcorn will do. The key is not to make it a daily thing. It needs to be the exception, not the rule.

My overwhelming love for food is a battle I will fight my entire life. I mean, ya gotta eat, right? My goal is to turn that struggle into a lovely balancing act, full of moderation, temperance, and a clean conscience. To know I will often fail, but to pick myself up and continue to fight on…

Realizing that I’m a food addict certainly makes me less judgmental of those who struggle with drugs, alcohol, prescription meds, etc… Who am I to judge? My drug just happens to be socially acceptable and takes a lot longer to ruin my life or kill me. Basically I’m leaning on the wrong thing, or taking the easy way out instead of dealing with emotions.

I need God’s help in this battle, that’s for certain. I just need to allow Him to help me.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

The Freedom of Boundaries & Limited Choices

There is something utterly liberating about being on a diet. About having limited choices. About planning ahead.

You can drive past a plethora of restaurants and not even really see them. It’s not an option to visit them.

At lunchtime in the middle of your workday, you don’t have to ask yourself, “What do I feel like having today?” You don’t have to make any decisions. You just go to the fridge and pull out the lunch that you prepared last night. It’s a no brainer.

After work, you can go to the grocery store and make a beeline for the fresh produce, dairy and meat departments, skipping past everything else.

Impulse purchases are no longer a temptation, because your impulses are in check. You’re not going to buy a candy bar while waiting in line because you don’t want to blow your diet.

With the Lindora program, food choices are limited, but it makes food preparation so much easier. Choosing items from the Menu Selection list in the Lean for Life book and working from that is easier than having every ingredient in the world available.

Food tastes better because you have to work within your choices. In the old days, I would never choose a bowl of strawberries for dessert; I’d have two or three scoops of vanilla ice cream with strawberries on top – and perhaps some Hershey’s chocolate syrup, too.  Now, those plain old strawberries are like ambrosia.

It reminds me of something my husband said some time ago. I told him about a conversation with a Lindora consultant before I started the program. She asked me, “When you go out to a restaurant, what do you choose to eat?”

“Whatever I want,” I replied.

She seemed taken aback by my honest answer. When I told my husband about it, I whined that I won’t be able to eat whatever I want anymore.

He said, “Sure you will. You’ll still be eating whatever you want. You’re just choosing different things.

What an empowering thing to tell me.  I choose the good stuff, from now on.

What is your favorite food choice? Both now and then?


Days 1-3: Getting into the Lindora Zone

This past weekend, to get into the Lindora zone, I pored through Lindora’s recipes on their website, my old Lindora Recipe Collection book I received in 2002, and the approved food choices in the Lean for Life book. I made a grocery list and got everything I needed at Costco and Stater Bros.

As I tackle my weight loss goals, I want to achieve variety in my food choices. Variety is the spice of life, so they say. In the past, my marathon weight loss attempts have failed in part because I would get lazy. I’d pick the same foods over and over again and get completely sick of them.

Following are my first three days of food choices. The goal with Lindora is to stay under 100 carbs a day. I didn’t add up my carbs until the middle of Day 3. Wow – I had no idea I was going so far over 100 carbs each day.

Day 1: Monday, July 25, 2011
Exercise: None 

  • 8am  Coffee (0) with Coffee-mate Vanilla creamer (5), 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c milk (12), 2 MulitVites Gummy Vitamins for Adults (3), 1 tsp Sugar Free Metamucil (5)
  • 10:30am Atkins Caramel Nut Chew Bar (17) (Extremely yummy, but not an approved Lindora product. I have a box of these that I want to use up before “officially” starting on the Lindora program on August 4.)
  • 1pm  3.5 oz shrimp (0), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1/2 c carrots (8), 1 Tbsp fat free Italian dressing (3), 1 apple (17)
  • 3:30pm Zone Perfect protein bar (14)
  • 4:30pm  2 egg whites (1)
  • 7pm  2.5 oz. chicken (0), 1 tsp olive oil (0), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), carrots, celery, cucumber (a tiny bit of each; approx 6 carbs), peach (10)
  • Total carbs: 119
    (Yikes. I thought I was doing really well my first day! I didn’t add the carbs up as I went; otherwise, I could have made adjustments toward the end of the day. I definitely should not have 2 protein bars in one day.  Lesson learned!)

Day 2: Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Exercise: 30 minute walk with my Beagle 

  • 9:30am Coffee (0) with 2 Coffee-mate Vanilla creamers (6), 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c milk (12)
  • Apple Celery Salad1pm  Apple Celery Salad – Very yummy. Includes 1 apple (17), 1/2 c Dannon nonfat vanilla yogurt (9), 1/2 c celery (3) and a dash of cinnamon (0); 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1/4 c cucumber (1), Crystal Light sugar free orange drink (0)
  • 2:45pm Atkins Caramel Nut Chew Bar (17)
  • Deviled Eggs a la Lindora4:30pm Deviled Eggs a la Lindora (1), Coffee (0) with 2 Coffee-mate Vanilla creamers (6), 2 MulitVites Gummy Vitamins for Adults (3)
  • 7pm  3 oz Top Sirloin Steak (0), 1/4 c cottage cheese (2), 1/2 c mandarin oranges (14),  2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1/4 c carrots (4)
  • 10pm Lindora Chocolate Pudding (7)
  • Total carbs: 120
    I went way over 100 again. I’m figuring this is a good way to ease in to this new food thing! Prep days before my 3 protein days next week!

Day 3: Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Exercise: None 

  • 8am  Coffee (0) with 1 Tbsp sugar free Coffee-mate Vanilla creamer (3), 3/4 c Cheerios (12), 1 c milk (12), 1 tsp Sugar Free Metamucil (5)
  • 10:30am  Lindora BBQ Soy Puffs (8), 2 MulitVites Gummy Vitamins for Adults (3)
  • 1pm  2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1/4 c carrots (4), 1/4 c cucumber (1), 1/2 c. sugar free cherry Jello (0), 1/2 c Dannon nonfat vanilla yogurt (9), 1 c strawberries (11) – Very nice. I mixed the yogurt and strawberries together
  • 3pm Atkins Caramel Nut Chew Bar (17)
  • 4:30pm Deviled Eggs a la Lindora (1)
  • 6:30pm Crab Salad: 2.5 oz imitation crab (1), 2 c Romaine lettuce (3), 1/2 c. celery (3), 1 tsp balsamic vinegar (1), orange (14)
  • 9pm Lindora Hot Cocoa (6) – so satisfying, especially as hunger pangs are making their presence known this time of night…
  • Total carbs: 117

Getting Started on Lindora’s Four-Week Program

My husband helped get me started back on Lindora—a medical weight control clinic—by purchasing a 4-week program for $179 from Groupon.com. It includes:

  • Lab work ($151 value)
  • Physical exam ($75 value)
  • Lean for Life Workbook ($19 value)
  • Check in 2 times a week with a nurse ($260 value)

Yesterday, I called my local Lindora clinic to let them know I’d received the four-week program as a gift. Georgene, who has consistently followed up with me via phone since my false start in 2009, enthusiastically welcomed me and asked when I wanted to get started.

“Immediately,” I said.

She asked me to come first thing in the morning to get my blood drawn. She reminded me to fast for ten hours prior to that but to drink lots of water. “We want your veins nice and plump.”

I left the house early this morning to make it to my appointment at the clinic, which is  close to my workplace. A nurse practitioner welcomed me and asked me to complete two pages of forms—similar to forms you would fill out at your doctor’s office.

Next, I was taken to Georgene’s office where she went over what was included in my 4-week membership. She asked me to follow her to a Body Composition Analysis machine. I stood on a platform and with both hands, grasped metallic handles while the machine did its work. Moments later, she printed out the report and talked it over with me. Here’s what it said:

  • Weight: 224.7
  • Total Body Fat: 45.6% (normal range is 19-26%), or 102.5 lbs.
  • Fat Free Mass: 54.4%, or 122.2 lbs
  • Total Body Water: 42% (normal range is 50% and greater)

None of it is a surprise. Not really. But to see that almost 103 lbs of my body is straight fat? It’s hard to grasp. It’s also quite motivating.

We made appointments for my physical exam (over a week away—after the lab reports come in), my protein day informational session, and my carbohydrate informational session. She scheduled my three prep days, where I am to basically eat foods that include moderate protein, high fat and low carbohydrates.

She then scheduled my three protein days. These are days I dread as I’ll basically be going cold turkey from all sugar and bread—two of my most favorite things in the world. I am only supposed to eat approved meat or dairy products, or Lindora’s delicious protein supplements (a great perk to the program!). I was excited when she told me I could eat low fat string cheese as a protein. It would only count as 1 carb.

I didn’t tell her that I already started the weight loss menu yesterday. I don’t want to wait another week. I know what to do as I’ve done this before. I think it will make those three protein days a bit easier this time. It won’t be such a shock to my system.

She asked if I wanted to purchase any protein supplements. Yes. She handed me a list of product—almost 100 options. Over $50 later, I took home:

  • Lindora Hot Cocoa (perfect low carb snack before bedtime)
  • Double Chocolate Protein Bars (deadly good!)
  • Oatmeal Cinnamon Raisin Bar (perfect with a black cup of coffee)
  • Strawberry Kiwi Protein Drink (Georgene recommended having this on hand for high carb days)

The nurse practitioner was now ready to take my blood. She was chatty which helped to distract me from the needle. Her comments stuck with me.

“The Lindora program is great. As a nurse, it’s so gratifying to see people’s blood work go from bad to good. After just twelve weeks, it comes back clean and healthy. Some people even get to go off their high blood pressure meds. It’s so exciting.”

I’m already feeling lighter—buoyant even—just knowing that I’m taking steps toward better health in all areas: spiritually, emotionally, physically, mentally.

How about you? Have you ever started a program with Lindora? What was your first experience like at the clinic?