About Me

Summer 2011…185 LBS and hiding it well

About me…wow, where to start…I’m 27 years old and never thought of myself as “Fat”.  I was “Athletic” in high school, somewhat “Voluptuous” in college, “Comfortable” in my early 20’s, and in complete denial by the age of 22.  I’ve joined Weight Watchers, lost 20 pounds and regained it all, and then some (don’t we all), I’ve tried counting calories on a daily basis, and as someone who loves math, let me tell you, if I never have to count to 1200 again it will be too soon.  I’ve walked until my feet had blisters and watched exercise videos (watched, mind you, not participated in) until I thought my eyes would bleed.  Nothing took the weight off, and it continued creeping, ever upward, steadily, like the rings of a tree as it grows.

That’s what I was, a tree.  I was a tree with rings of fat growing around me as I stood firm in my belief if I wanted to be thin, I would be.  It was as simple as that.  So, I started Ideal Protein after finding a co-worker as well as my in-laws having fabulous success with it.

Let me tell you that the first week made me want to quit, kill someone and bury their body in a shallow grave, rob a Krispy Kreme and go to prison just so I could have 3 square meals a day.  Headache, light headedness, irritability, and let’s not forget the joy of being hungry ALL THE FREAKING TIME!  I swore, slept, pouted and even cried through that first week.

Now I look back and think “I was such a baby”.  The amount of energy I gained after the first two weeks was insane, with fewer mood swings, no “crashing” at 2:00 in the afternoon because I felt like I needed a nap, and never hungry, like, ever.

Below is what I “did’ from April 2012 through August 2nd, 2012, during which time I went from 196 pounds (omg) to 161.2 pounds (The above has been updated as I am no longer on Ideal Protein, but am working on other alternative weight losses.  Below is my original success story).

Am I doing Ideal Protein?  Yes and No.  Yes because I am taking vitamins like it’s no body’s business, eating 4 cups of vegetables, 7-8 ounces lean meat, 1/2 tsp salt and some olive oil every day, and No because I don’t buy the Ideal Protein Products.  They are freakishly expensive.  Did I mention freakishly?  $28 for a box of 7 servings.  You need 3 servings/day so you’re looking at 3 boxes/week ($94 for non mathletes out there) plus the consultation fee (initial fee of $100-$200 depending on the clinic), additional cost to weigh in every week on a “fancy” scale (about $15/week) and before you know it you’re looking at $110+/week to live out of little foil packets.  Oh, plus the cost of 4 cups/day vegetables (that’s 28 cups in a week in case you’re curious) and the 6-8 ounces of lean meat a night (42 ounces up to about 54 ounces in a week).  So here is what I’m doing instead.

My personal journey is using GNC’s AMP Wheybolic Extreme 60 dietary supplement instead of the Ideal Protein shakes for two of my three “protein packet” choices of the day.  This is significantly cheaper than Ideal Protein (I pay $72/jug which has 17 “servings” in it, one serving is 60g of protein so I break it into 3, so 51 “my” servings per jug, and if I buy it during Gold Card week it’s only $57/jug, so $1/serving instead of $4/serving)., and from what I can read, healthier.

So that is the nitty gritty and extremely verbose story about how I found Ideal Protein and made it my own.  This blog is dedicated to finding out everything I can about this diet, and putting it out there for the world to see.  Low Carb isn’t a secret.  Hell it’s been done so many times it’s ridiculous.  Anything that is on my blog is available on the Web, I simply moved it to a place to make it easier to find.

Regarding me as a person?  I’m a corporate communication specialist, love my job, am married with 2 dogs and 2 cats, 0 kids, and I play MMO video games.  The means Massive Mulitplayer Online, and the current one is Guild Wars 2, woot woot!  I’m a convert from World of Warcraft, and played that since the beginning, until about 5 years ago when I decided it was not that fun anymore, so I took a break. Now that I’m into Guild Wars 2, we’ll see how it works out.

To contact me directly, feel free to comment on this post or any of my blogs, or e-mail me directly at pandoraeternity[at]hotmail.com

48 comments on “About Me

    • Well…I didn’t maintain, and this is a pitiful excuse but after sturgis and a cruise I gave up, I’ve regained 12 pounds from August 2nd until this Monday, most of which happened in oct/nov

  1. While you were sticking with it, were you seeing similar results as IP? My husband and I started IP 3 weeks ago, and have seen the results, but are wondering if we could “mimic” it cheaper…i just bout an awesome Ninja blender too…so could make the shakes with no problem. IP is sooo expensive and i feel like we are camping (eating out of little pouches) but don’t get to be in nature or go fishing, lol.

    • Britt:

      Yeah I noticed on average 2-4 lbs per week and was able to eat decent most of the time. Wonderslim offers low carb pasta meals and chili so u could use that in a moment of weakness.

  2. That’s awesome–my hubby is having a real hard time with the IP food—it makes him physically sick–so I am wondering if maybe this might be a better route—and cheaper—lord knows IP will run you dry real quick—do you get tired of the shakes though?

    • I don’t mind the shakes an honestly I do the meal replacement bars way more, they also have some amazing fruit juices you can make into slushies etc. also cereal to snack on and then the standard pudding/shake combo things. I normally made mine into pudding, but use the soups for lunch because I couldn’t stomach the shakes every day for lunch. The vegetable cream soup is amazing and wins for getting veggies down if you make it thicker you can use it as a cream sauce.

      Sent from my iPhone

  3. Hey Kara! My name is Holly and I am on IP and used to see you on 3fc all the time. I was going through old posts and wondering how you were. Miss seeing your posts. 🙂

  4. hello ms kara!!! i’m glad that i finally started to follow this blog… i saw when you started it up and we were both starting ip… you have done a fantastic job!! after losing 65lbs (1 year) on ip and gaing appx 15 back since being off the program (just under 4months now), i know i need something similar to the program but without the price!!!

  5. My husband wants to start an alternative IP this week, so I’ve been staring at blogs for 2 days. Yours is wonderful, thanks for all the info!

    • I can completely relate, getting started on a diet is like information overload, inconsistent, and many times just is so jumbled it’s hard to follow. I highly recommend getting involved on the 3fatchicks Idealprotein pages, there is a guy’s specific thread as well so your husband doesn’t feel ostracized.

  6. My sister & friends would like to get started on IP, however, after reading your blog I now have an alternate plan. LOL, yours, of course.
    Do you know what is the nutritional difference between IP & GNC product?

    • I’m sure I posted about them at some point, I’ll see if I can find it. Basically they come out almost identical, with AMP being slightly lower in fat I believe.

      Ideal Protein Chocolate Shake Ready To Drink:
      Calories: 100
      Fat: 4G
      Carbs: 4G
      Fiber: 3G
      Protein: 15G

      GNC Amp Wheybolic 60 (which is stated to not be used as weight reduction, but was told to me by the nutrition person at GNC that they’ve seen many Ideal Protein people use this)
      One “scoop” (1/3 a serving size)
      Calories: 70
      Fat: 0.3G
      Carbs: 2.33G
      Fiber: 0.3G
      Protein: 20G

      If you’re wondering the rest of the nutritional information, the link on my main page to GNC will take you to the AMP page, click the “Supplemental” info button to see the rest of the nutritional info. And here’s a link to the nutritional info page about various Ideal Protein items.

  7. I like Wonderslim’s Meal Replacement Bars, specifically cinnamon or fudge graham. Otherwise I like Proti-Diet’s Chocolate Dream Bar, which is very much like a candybar in consistency and milk-chocolateish

  8. Ok, so I’ve been going to the IP clinic & lost 16lbs in 1month. I tried the Atkins Advantage shake the other day & fell in love with them. I’m wondering how they fare against some of the other shakes you suggest? I posted how wonderful your site was, but thought to start out it would be easier to go to a clinic & get on the program to understand what the plan was all about. I’m hoping that soon I can taper down my IP foods & use alternate foods. If you need any forms or anything let me know & I’ll send them to you. I actually made up an awesome excel daily food chart that seems to work out wonderfully. Wish you all well in your weight journey!

  9. Hello Kara,
    What Vitamins are you taking? I went on Diet Direct and ordered (thank you) and I just wondering about the Vitamins. IP suggests certain ones and like the rest of their products are so expensive.
    Thank you

  10. After 16lbs lost on IP I have decided I’ve spent waaay too much money at the clinic & the DietDirect site is such a wonderful tool that I’m sure using the WS Diary, shopping lists & meal plans I can accomplish what I need to do. I’ve found I crave a piece of “forbidden fruit” or cheese & the WS meal plan is sooo similar to IP yet allows to eat a bit more normal. If it weren’t for you Kara I’d of given up by now!! Thanks for all of your useful resources!

    • Krissie:

      I’m so glad my resources were able to help you in your weight loss journey! Yes, I completely agree that a somewhat “normal” meal plan makes it much easier to maintain. Keep me updated with your success!

  11. I too have been on IP and find it very expensive. This Thursday will be 4 weeks for me and I have lost 12 lbs. I am happy with the loss but feel that maybe there is an alternative to the high cost products but am afraid to interupt my weight loss at this point. How are you doing with the alternative products? Have you continued to lose?

    • Valerie:

      I have been off protocol since August, after losing 34 pounds from April 24-August 2nd. I completely jumped off the bandwagon with total abandon and have regained 20 of those pounds. My alternative products that I was using did work very well however, and Wonderslim has an easy to follow protocol if you choose to do strictly their protocol instead of the hybrid like I was on.

  12. What flavour does it come in and do you use fruit at all, so you do t get bored with the flavour as ideal as many chooses

    • Roxanne:

      The AMP Wheybolic 60 comes in like 5 flavors? Chocolate, Vanilla, Cookies and Cream (don’t do it, just trust me on this one 😉 ), strawberry and one other one I believe. You’re not supposed to eat any fruit because of the glycemic index / carbohydrate quantity. I think learning to use vegetables in various ways is kind of challenging, but extremely rewarding, so I’d recommend ways to use the vegetables and Wonderslim products to create a variety of different dishes. I’ve used Wonderslim shake mix to make cookies, things like that.

  13. Kara…

    I was wondering if you had any advice on using the AMP Wheybolic 60 shake…. i.e. a friend of mine uses a spoon of penut butter and a few ice cubes and the shake. Did you know any tips on making the shake taste better? It gets a bit boaring after a few weeks!

    • For me, this is what I’ve done:

      Freeze coffee in an ice tray, and throw a few cubes in with the shake to make a “frappuccino” style shake. You can also add the Splenda flavored sweeteners, they make Hazelnut (hard to find), Mocha and also French Vanilla. I’ve used some milk in my shakes as well to add flavor. Depending on how anti-fruit you are, you could add some strawberries or bananas to add some depth as well.

      • How much water do you add with a 1/3 serving of the shake? And as for fruits I love them but on IP they tell you to avoid them :$ so I haven’t had any in a while. but I don’t mind using them at all.

      • I used 8-12 ounces of water, all just depending on how watered down I wanted it. Fruits are too high in carbohydrates to be allowed in phases 1 or 2

  14. I also had another question, on the IP diet they tell you not to lift weights or do any exercise that will get your heart rate going… Will I be able to workout if I switched from IP to the GNC AMP Shake?

    • Technically, IP doesn’t say no exercise EVER , they say no exercise for the first few weeks while your body is adjusting to the lower calorie intake. Once your body has normalized to the IP lifestyle you can go back to exercising. This is also true for the AMP version of the diet. Typically, if you think you are going to be exerting yourself for any significant period of time (ie going to work out), you should be taking in an extra packet or a shake to give your body something to lean on for fast energy sources.

  15. Hi Kara, just wanted to say glad I found your site> My daughter is doing the IP program and it has worked wonders for her but I just cannot afford and was looking for an alternative. My husband is a candidate for diabetes and needs to lose a lot of weight and have found a diabetic alternative for IP also. We are starting the diet on Monday and can’t wait. It is the first time I have been excited about starting a diet. I do have one question though, I drink a lot of coffee and noticed that it says I can have 1 cup a day. Will it screw things up if I have more?

    • Diane:

      The reason they only want you to have a cup a day is because coffee is a diuretic (I suck at spelling) and it can make you dehydrate. Personally, I found having a cup of coffee with my morning shake, a bit later in the morning and in the afternoon helped me with hunger pangs the first few weeks. So I’d say for every 1 cup of coffee you drink, drink at least an additional cup of water a day. You may be more prone to having jitters as your stomach will have significantly less in it to absorb said coffee.

  16. Hi Kara,
    Just wanted to update you all on how we have faired so far. it has been week one of this diet and going real good. I have lost 3.5 pounds and my lucky husband has lost 7 pounds (he is on the diabetic version and lucky chap gets to eat toast and fruit lol) Thanks for all the info you have put on this site, it is extremely helpful.

  17. I find your blog two months after I have been through every protein shake on earth w stevia and after two months of researsh found the wheybolic 60 at GNC. Bought two tubs of chocolate and started ideal protein for the second time. I was scared I made a bad choice but after having two shakes today and veggies I finally found your blog. Feel much better ! My husband and I spent to money and did the ideal proton so I know it works! I lost 10 but couldn’t afford it any longer! I’m 200 and need to be 140 wish me luck!

  18. What great information. I’ve just started IP and will look these alternatives. Always good to know there are more cost effective alternatives. I really appreciate all the research you have done.
    Seems like it’s been a while since you last blogged. How is journey going?

    • As they say, life happened. I’ve regained about 50% of the weight I lost during my Ideal Protein Alternative. I attribute all failure to my inability to control portions once I went back on “normal” food. With that being said, I am enjoying a more active lifestyle with my husband as we go biking on 20+ mile rides frequently during the summer. Winter months are a bit more challenging but I find ways to get up and move frequently at my job. Thanks for checking on me, stay fabulous!

  19. I have been on the IP program since the end of November 2014 and have lost 34 lbs so far. I will admit that holidays are my biggest problem and find that I stray but only slightly during this time. I am thinking of trying your alternative style and see if this will be better for me. I find it can be difficult due to my work schedule – (I work 4 on 4 off 12 hr shifts with 2 days and 2 nights) – to get all my food in especially breakfast. If use a shake instead of the IP package then I may be able to get everything in. I have also gone a little outside the lines by using Pure Protein Bars and Premier Protein drinks. They are the closest I have found to compare with the IP product. With this being said I find that I can lose 1-2 lbs a week when I follow the program and usually stay the same weight even when I stray. I know that this is not the best way to go but I am still pluggin away and enjoying getting new clothes.

  20. What format does IP entail? IE..
    And what would you eat for each of the aforementioned? Please use your “less-expensive” products to describe a day in the life of someone on IP please and thank you!!!😄

    • Here’s the link to Ideal Protein: http://www.idealprotein.com/
      Basically it breaks down into your 3 main meals + 1 snack.
      Breakfast = shake
      Snack = 1 cup vegetables (unless I got them mixed with my shake)
      Lunch = 1 cup vegetables + meal replacement bar (dessert? 12g protein)
      Dinner = 1 lean meat 6oz
      Snack = shake

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