Week 1: Ideal Protein


I have had enough. I am kicking “the slightly overweight, but still beautiful, older sister” (true story, Christmas 2009) version of Karen out of the door for good. She loves food too much, eats when she’s bored or stressed, and just can’t seem to say no to anything that smells good. While she’s full of good intentions, she’s completely bankrupt on self control. We’re breaking up, and she’s getting out of Dodge. For good.

Challenge Accepted!

I’ve consistently struggled with my weight since my junior year of university. It started with back to back deaths over the holidays in the winter of 1999-2000, both cancer related. In order to get my grades up, I started studying overtime, but the stress of staying in school was fueled by frustration and lots of campus fast food. When I graduated in 2001, I was over 180 pounds. When I moved to Japan, the changes in lifestyle, especially eating habits, menu options, and living a more bicycle-friendly existence, made 40 of those pounds melt off. However, when I moved back to the USA in January 2009, the pounds rapidly returned with a blood vengeance.

Prior to becoming a flight attendant, I worked in a boarding school, where I had access to my own private kitchen, making programs like Weight Watchers, The 17 Day Diet, and The P.I.N.K. Method extremely feasible (and easily accomplished). However, once I started flying, I found every last one of the plans I previously enjoyed, far too difficult with the irregular schedule I fly. To be perfectly honest, the idea of a pre-packaged meal plan was disconcerting, pricey, and a bit intimidating. Yet, after a review of my spending on food and beverages in airports and on layovers, I starting whistling a different tune.

I was fortunate to be introduced to Ideal Protein at the request of a family member who wanted to start the program. What better way to start a new program than with a loved one. Our local coach is Dr. Kate at HealthPoint Acupuncture & Natural Medicine in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and she is the first health coach I’ve had that hasn’t been preachy or too pushy with the sales of products. Her office and staff are comforting, welcoming, and quickly becoming family.

Starting Line

My first visit with Dr. Kate included a counseling session in which we discussed reasons for wanting to join the program and motivation for changing my approach to food. The nerve racking part is swallowing my pride for the initial body analysis and measurements. Looking over the list of forbidden foods (not just the apple, folks), I felt my heart crumble a little. No alcohol, no sugar, no carbohydrates, no dessert! How am I going to live?! I realized then, how skewed by eating habits had become. Thinking back to my layovers over the last year, the majority of the items I ate were every last thing on that list. It felt like Red Forman (That 70s Show; see below) just shoved in his foot, proclaiming what a spectacular dumb ass I am.


It chilled me to the bone how irresponsible I had been with my eating habits, and more so what I let become common place. As the tape measure tightened, and the numbers were committed to paper, I was given a visual of where I was. Stepping on the InBody230 scanner, the zipping of ink to printer paper spelled out the undeniable truth– I need to make some severe changes in my lifestyle, if I am going to continue flying happily (and ever fit into my red dress again.)

Body Composition

  • Total Body Water: 72.1 Lbs
  • Dry Lean Mass: 26.6 Lbs
  • Lean Body Mass: 98.7 Lbs
  • Body Fat Mass: 60.7 Lbs
  • Weight: 159.4 Lbs

Body Composition Analysis

  • Weight: 159.4 Lbs
  • Skeletal Muscle Mass: 54.0 Lbs
  • Body Fat Mass: 60.7 Lbs

Obesity Analysis – Normal range is between 18 to 24

  • Body Mass Index (BMI): 27.3 [Over]
  • Percentage Body Fat (PBF): 38.00 [Over]
  • Body Fat: – 31.1 Lbs
  • Lean Body Mass: ± 0.0
  • Basal Metabolic Rate: 1338 kcal

Segmental Lean Analysis

  • Torso: 46.0 Lbs [Normal]
  • Right Arm: 5.3 Lbs [Over]
  • Left Arm: 5.2 Lbs [Normal]
  • Right Thigh: 14.9 Lbs [Normal]
  • Left Thigh: 15.0 Lbs [Normal]


  • Chest: 39.00″
  • Waist: 26.35″
  • Hips: 43.00″
  • Right Arm: 12.00″
  • Left Arm: 12.00″
  • Right Thigh: 24.50″
  • Left Thigh: 24.50″


When I was asked what my ideal weight was, I simply threw out the number “125”. When I was in college, I loved the way I looked at that weight (a size six; D-cup). Then reality set in. My metabolism certainly isn’t what it was when I was 19. Heck, in a few months, 19 will be 15 years ago! With a base line weight of 159.4, and a suggested fat loss of 31.1, we came up with 128.3 pounds. Looking at the number, it feels so far away, but also attainable. Unless I amp up my running and training, trying to go much lower without maintaining muscle mass, may result in my looking sickly. So, bottom line… 128.3 pounds. Here I come!

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