A dear friend walked up to me last night at church and held up 3 fingers with a smile. It took a minute for me to understand, and then I realized… She has lost 3 pounds on my health plan. I walked away struggling with the lump in my throat.
You see, she is one of 30 members of our secret group who has already started seeing results after just one week. The reason it is so emotional for me is because I didn’t plan this “health plan” to help anyone except me. I had tried all the other diets and they didn’t work for me for one reason or another. I am a researcher by nature and by nurture (thanks, Mama) and I knew there had to be answers out there that would work for MY weight problem. After tweaking my plan over the process of a year and charting my weight to see what I could and couldn’t do and still lose weight- I finally pieced together the plan that worked for my body.
MY body. It didn’t occur to me three years ago that this plan could or would ever help anyone else. Even when I decided to help K. and encourage her in her journey to health, I was so nervous that it wouldn’t work for her. When I opened it up publicly on this blog to anyone who wanted to try it, I was overwhelmed by the response… and I felt fear that hopes would be raised and then dashed and I would be the cause.
I have prayed myself to sleep at night for these members by name and asked the Lord to honor their efforts to become healthy. And He has.
I kept telling myself that there is no charge to do this with me and if it doesn’t work for someone (and surely there will be someone it doesn’t work for), it won’t be a great loss for them. The problem is that I know this isn’t true.
I know firsthand what it is like to want to be the skinny girl who eats whatever she wants and still looks fabulous. And I know what it is like to get your hopes up that you might actually get to be the skinny girl again, only to find out that the plan is too complicated, too expensive, the recipes too gourmet, too strict, and not sustainable over the long term. I have bought into more diet plans and subsequently thrown in the towel more times than I can count or would want to admit.
I just could hardly bear the thought of causing someone else to feel discouraged…. again. This is a lot of weight to carry.
So, as the numbers of pounds lost are beginning to roll in (and off!) for the first members of my health plan, I am feeling excitement, gratitude, shock.
I am shocked because, of any area where I might have considered myself to be the most nominal expert… where I might have felt even a wee bit of pride and thought the Lord might be able to use me one day to help people in that area… yeah, this wasn’t it.
It is just like my God to use my weakness (in an area where I have failed repeatedly) to bless others, and in doing so, to show His strength and bring glory to His Name!
Having said this, please know I am well aware that I have had nothing to do with this if it works for you. I am as surprised as you are. Bless His Name!
This brings me, finally, to the point of my post. I have come up with a new name for “Corrie’s Health Plan” because, well, that just wasn’t very creative. I began thinking about what makes my plan different than all the other ones, and the “splurge” of Saturday night through Sunday lunch is the most defining factor. (Every other diet plan I have tried had an “all or nothing” approach where you had to give up your favorite foods forever.)
So, we will now call it The Splurge Effect.
And speaking of, I asked a few of the members of the group who completed their first week on the plan…
“For those who started the plan last week and had your first splurge meals Saturday night and Sunday… How did it make you feel? Did you notice a difference in your body when you added back in those processed foods? Was it hard to start back on the plan on Sunday night? Tell me your experience, and then I will share mine…”
These were their answers:
1) [My husband] and I both commented Sunday afternoon that we could tell a huge difference and just felt kind of yucky. Last week when eating on the plan, after a meal we felt full and satisfied. After eating our splurge meals we felt stuffed and like we ate too much. We didn’t eat healthy but we did try to still watch our portion control. It wasn’t too hard for me to start back on the plan because I was ready for something healthy and to not feel that way. I can definitely tell a difference in our thinking about food.
2) I felt so bloated after my bad weekend, no fun!
3) I wasn’t completely on the plan but splurged while out of town. I was so sick by Sunday night. I literally had to go to bed early from the sugar racing through my body. I know it sounds weird but I’ve become so sensitive to an excess of sugar over the years. I regretted it and wondered how I will feel this weekend when splurge time comes. Will I even want to??
4) I was very happy to start back on the plan. I felt extremely tired and sluggish after my splurge.
K. has also told me how bad she feels on splurge day. I find it interesting because, since I designed this plan for me, I had no way of knowing if everyone would react the same way to the splurge. I have been known to say out loud after splurging…
“I can hear my cells crying.”
When you give your body the perfect fuel of real food and do just a few minutes of strength training for several days, it starts running optimally and feeling incredible. All of your organs start working better and the brain fog lifts. Then, suddenly, we splurge on processed foods and refined sugars and everything comes to a screeching halt. You WILL feel the difference in your body.
Which brings me to the big question everyone is thinking…
“So why splurge??!!”
You may think that because you are losing weight on the plan, you should skip the splurge and you will lose even more weight. You are more than welcome to give it a try. However, if you are like me, you are doing this plan because you are not the most disciplined person in the world who never ate processed foods anyway and only crave healthy, whole foods. Let’s face it- you wouldn’t be interested in what I have to say if you were that way.
The Splurge Effect, in my experience, does the following:
1) Allows you to shock your body with excess food which helps keep you from a weight plateau where you seem to hit a brick wall and just can’t lose past it.
2) It allows you to eat the foods you have been craving and helps you have a short-term relief plan for those days when the emotional cravings for foods gets a little out of control. If you know that in three or four days you can have the food that your mind is obsessing about, it is easier to get through the craving without giving in… but if you had to tell yourself that you could NEVER have that food, you might not make it.
3) It makes you feel miserable, which is great! It is great because you have such a stark contrast that shows you what the processed foods and sugars are doing to your body. It makes you actually WANT to go back on the plan after Sunday lunch because you will be bloated, sluggish, and in a brain stupor. (Every other diet plan I have ever done made me feel deprived and made me want to eat anything and everything that wasn’t on the plan. And if I ever gave in and fell off the diet wagon, nothing made me want to get on it again.)
Over time, you may begin to modify what you eat on the splurge. These are splurge-related questions I have gotten in the past couple of weeks:
1) Do I have to splurge? I don’t want to eat sugar and processed foods!
No, you don’t have to eat sugar and lots of processed foods, but yes, you need to splurge. You can simply eat MORE food. Eat double the brown rice serving you usually have, eat pasta, eat white potatoes and corn. If you make your own yeast rolls or biscuits with white flour, eat them. (I know white flour is processed, but these are just ideas.) If you’re like me, though, you will have a Krispy Kreme doughnut. Just saying.
2) I want to split my three splurge meals up because I am going out with friends in the middle of the week. I want to eat one splurge then and save the other two meals for Sunday. Is that okay?
Unfortunately, no. I have tested this thoroughly and it doesn’t work. If you must move your splurge, you have to move the full three splurge meals. It is a 24 hour splurge of an increase in food that shocks your body into releasing more fat. It isn’t a shock if you spread the meals out, and your body will likely just store that mid-week meal as fat.
3) Do I have to eat like this forever? Once I reach my goal weight, I don’t have to splurge on the weekends and follow the rules during the week anymore, right?
Sorry, but you [mostly] have to eat this way forever. But, really, is it that hard? Yes, you will be able to have an extra splurge meal occasionally during the week as long as you watch the scale closely. (I have found, however, that once you start taking extra splurges it is easy to keep rationalizing more and more of them until you are no longer on the plan at all.) The weight will come back if you go back to eating like you used to- which is pretty logical and goes without saying, I think.
I hope this helps deepen your understanding of The Splurge Effect and encourages you to take the challenge with us! If you have further questions, send me a message and I will do my best to help you find the answers.
The Joy Dare continues…
127. 128. 129. Three Gifts White… SweetHeart’s first-thing-in-the-morning smile when she sees me; soft clean sheets on my bed; the brightest, clearest stars that go on for miles over our farm.
130. The 11! third and fourth graders I taught last night at church.
131. Hand-me-down clothes painstakingly sorted and stored by Cowboy’s Mama which bless us over and over again as SweetHeart and BraveHeart move into the-next-bigger sizes. I can’t remember the last time I bought clothes for either of them.
132. The new church outfits Mama surprised me with for BraveHeart and SweetHeart. They are precious.
133. TenderHeart’s birthday plans finalized and his good friends who are coming to join him. I cannot believe he will be ten years old tomorrow!