LA VALLEUR COMMUNICATES: Musings By Barbara La Valleur — Defining Moments

A note to Fish readers: On Jan. 2, I began a nutrition plan complete with a certified nutritionist coach. After learning that I’m a journalist and blogger, she invited me to blog about my experiences. The following, written Jan. 12, is the first of two month’s of weekly blogs that first appeared on the international Metabolic Balance® website.  Unheralded.fish will run the first eight blogs in the next two weeks to “catch up.”

Defining moments are few and far between in life. When you have one, you know it. I just had one.

I’m on Day 10 ― Phase 2 ― of a new nutritional plan called Metabolic Balance®. “Backed by over 25 years of scientific study and managed by dedicated physicians and nutrition scientists”, it’s 100 percent natural and was founded by Dr. Wolf Funfack in 2001. I love the fact that it was started in Germany, where I lived for more than 18 years. I fell in love with the country, its people and its food!  I’ve been back in the U.S. for more than 20 years.

My defining moment came when my husband, whom I love dearly and who is my (normally) biggest supporter in life, pulled a 2.58-pound pork loin from the freezer and said he would be roasting it tomorrow. Great😞.

Pork is not one of the meats on my plan, which is designed specifically for me based on my blood test results.

Hunkering down to read my new nutrition plan designed specifically for me using my blood test results.
Hunkering down to read my new nutrition plan designed specifically for me using my blood test results.

The conversation in my head was, “Gee, I just told him yesterday that it will only be a week until I’ll be through with the Strict Conversion Stage and will have more flexibility with my plan. I’ll be able to have a ‘treat meal’ once a week and can eat whatever I want for that one meal. So I could have roast pork, which I love. Even the smell of it roasting is wonderful. Why would he do that? He expects to eat a 2½-pound roast by himself?! ” I realized he has no clue what I’m going through emotionally and physically.

The defining moment came when I retreated to the bathroom, got in the shower to muffle my tears of frustration and disappointment and realized that I, and I alone, am responsible for my success or failure with this plan. Like anything in life. No one else but I can do this. Sure, it’s great to have support, understanding, heck, even indulgence from others. But the bottom line is I am the only one who can do this for me. It’s called responsibility.

I actually felt better when I understood that. It gave me a sense of power and freedom.

Those who know me, know that when I take something on, whether it’s a nutritional plan, chairing an arts program or even a small activity like reading a book, I do it with resolve, fortitude and intention.

And I succeed more often than I fail. I’m also very competitive.

A somewhat snarky smile with one of the seven bottles of water I now drink daily.
A somewhat snarky smile with one of the seven bottles of water I now drink daily.

I’m a 70-year-old retired award-winning international photojournalist living in my home state of Minnesota. I’ve had an amazing life filled with a wonderful accepting and loving family, many crazy fun friends and international adventures most people only dream about.

And, over the past 20 years, I’ve gotten fat.

To add insult to injury so to speak, in the last four years, I’ve had one serious mishap: I got bucked off a horse in the Hollywood hills and had a concussion, three cracked ribs, four cracked vertebra and a punctured lung. I also twice have missed steps while photographing sculptures and fallen on black ice ― ice that is almost invisible and is found frequently during Minnesota winters. Each time, I fell HARD on my arthritic knees. I was in bed for a month after the horse incident. These misfortunes have seriously hampered my mobility and ability to exercise.

A year ago at this time, my older sister, Sharon, who lives 2.5 hours away in rural Evansville, Minn., started Metabolic Balance® and asked me if I’d like to do it with her. I took one cursory look at her personal nutrition plan and said, “That’s way too complicated for me.” While I’ve never been on a diet, I was on WeightWatchers at the time and had lost 35 pounds over the previous 18 months. I felt I was in action about my weight.

Months past and by October, Sharon had shed 80 pounds. I was “very” impressed. I started asking her questions. I read her entire Personal Nutrition Plan. I began thinking to myself, “I can do this. I was getting tired of the yo-yo of losing several pounds, gaining them back and truth be told, I wasn’t following the WW plan 100 percent. My biggest challenge was a love of wine. Chardonnay to be specific.

In the Metabolic Balance® Strict Conversion Phase (2 weeks), alcohol, soft drinks and fruit juices are not allowed. I haven’t had soft drinks for more than 40 years, so that wasn’t an issue for me, and I rarely drank fruit juices. Chardonnay, now that was another matter.

Still, after thinking and praying about the Metabolic Balance® plan for about three weeks, I knew it was an answer to my personal goal of becoming healthy and living a longer life. I’ve always wanted to live to be a healthy 100-year-old!

In mid-November, I quit WW and called Sharon’s nutrition coach, Christine Lindell Detweiler, in south Minneapolis. Helpfully, she lives only 25 minutes away. I made an appointment and after meeting, we agreed that with Thanksgiving, a family trip to Washington D.C., Christmas and New Year’s coming in the next six weeks, it would be better for me to start at the beginning of the new year.

So Jan. 2, I began the two-day Preparation Phase, which involves a cleanse ― for details, check end of this blog ― and light meals.

After losing 11.5 pounds in the first week of the plan, and discovering that I’m a journalist and blogger, my coach suggested I blog about my experience.  It didn’t take much encouragement for me to agree.

I will share my experiences with you as I go on this new life’s journey with the intention of making a difference for those who face similar challenges and want to create their own powerful defining moments.

At the end of each blog, I will note a result and a tip that I hope will be valuable for you.

Results: I began a lifestyle change by choosing the Metabolic Balance® nutrition plan inside my commitment to live a long, healthy life and lost 10 pounds the first week.

Tip: Take 100 percent responsibility for your results with this plan as with life. It is empowering and freeing.

Here is the short and sweet of Phase 1:

From my plan: “During the two-day Preparation Phase I, your body is being gently prepared for its nutritional conversion. It is important that the intestines are fully evacuated during this time to avoid hunger and cravings later on.

The first day of your Metabolic Balance® plan, you drink a bottle of this “down the hatch."
The first day of your Metabolic Balance® plan, you drink a bottle of this “down the hatch.”

Consequently, only light meals are advised for the first two days of the Metabolic Balance® program.”

My coach recommended a bottle of magnesium citrate saline laxative oral solution, 10 ounces. It’s available at most drugstores. The first day, you will want to stay home and close to the bathroom for obvious reasons! The goal is to relax the metabolism and prepare the body for the nutritional conversion and avoid food cravings. It only lasts two days and you eat light meals and experience a thorough intentional evacuation. That’s the nice way of stating it.

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