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Operation: Look Good, Feel Good

One of the many benefits of working at Microsoft is the relatively little-known weight management benefit. Essentially, the benefit pays for a large majority of a diet/weight loss/exercise program administered by the Pro Club, the semi-official Microsoft sports club. I found out about it fairly soon after I started, and I knew I wanted to get involved, but I didn’t have the time. Finally, about a month ago, I took the plunge and got things going.

I’ve been overweight for as long as I can remember, and though I’ve been relatively static the past few years in terms of weight gain, I’ve known for awhile that I need to do something about it. Since I’m making use of all the other Microsoft benefits (getting my teeth fixed, medical check-ups, etc) I figured I might as well do everything.

Anyway, I officially started on the diet last Thursday and the exercise the previous day. This week I’ve lost 13.6 pounds. That’s a lot, I know, but I should put this in perspective. I work out 90 minutes 3 days a week with a personal trainer, and 60 minutes 3 more days a week by myself. I bought a heart rate monitor and with the help of Jeremiah, my trainer, am learning how to do heart-rate-focused work-outs. But the big thing last week was the diet…

Basically I ate nothing but chicken, protein shakes, and a little peanut butter. The dietitian called it ‘detox’ and she was right. I had withdrawal symptoms including severe headaches and numbness in my hands and feet for the first 4-5 days. It seems like most of it has passed though, and fortunately this week I get to add veggies back into my diet. I went out for a salad at lunch and it was quite possibly the best thing I’ve ever had in my entire life after 7 days of chicken and protein shakes. I also talked about my aversion to the protein shakes (I had to drink 5 per day, so I was getting pretty sick of them) with the dietician and she moved me to another diet without the shakes.

I was having a lot of trouble keeping my calories up. I’m supposed to eat between 1500 and 1600 a day, but last week I averaged ~1300. I was sluggish and mentally challenged the whole week, so I am eager to get my count back up so I can feel better while still losing the weight and eating better. I think I’ll be a little happier now with the variety. Plus, with the veggies back and yogurt coming back next week, I should be good to go.

I am pleased with the progress so far, but I do miss the freedom I exercised previously when it came to food. As things go on, I’ll be adding more food groups back in, so I should be OK. The weirdest thing about the whole program is the counseling stuff. The counselor is awesome, and I only meet with here once a month or so, but she gave me a business card that just said Sara S—–, Psychotherapy. That word just seems scary to me, especially since I don’t consider myself psychotic or even ‘troubled’ but whatever.

Anyway, 1 week down, 19 left to go.