General Diet Plans and Questions - Optifast???

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04-28-2001, 02:21 PM

I just wondered, if anyone here is doing the Optifast program?

Just like most of you here, I have tried many things in the past. So far this is working for me. I started 6 weeks ago and have lost 20 pounds (I've got about 60 more to loose). I like most, that it is a medical monitored program and it includes an arobic class once a week. (that way I get at least some work out).


05-01-2001, 06:41 PM
I've been superbusy both at home and work so haven't had a chance to post as much as usual...

Many of you 'regulars' know that I did the Optifast program in 1990, via an 18-month study on maintaining weight loss done by Stanford University involving hundreds of women. Without sounding overly religious, I really feel that my prayers were answered - I could have never afforded the thousands of $$ the program normally costs. Participants in the study were required to pay $500 up front - half of which was refunded at the conclusion of the study.

At least once weekly, I was required to go to Stanford for medical tests, usually involving bloodwork but also resting EKGs, blood pressure, etc. Once a week we also had our group meeting (there were about 30 women in my group at the beginning of the program but before the 12 week fast was over, I'd say about 5 or 10 dropped out for various reasons). In the group meeting we talked about how the program was going for us, learned about proper eating and exercise, etc.

During the 12 week fasting period, I went down from 265 to 207 1/2 pounds. By the end of the 18 month study, I was around 175 - 180 pounds. During my final checkup, the researcher informed me that I was one of 3% of total study participants who kept off the original weight lost during the fast (yes, that's right - three percent!) at the conclusion of the study.

So - why was I so different from the majority of women in the study? IMHO, first off I was DESPERATE. Never before or since do I recall being as utterly depressed and forlorn as I was the year before I was accepted into the study. In a bad marriage to a husband who was frequently unemployed and verbally abusive; estranged from my family; and just generally hating myself, the only pleasure I had was derived from eating incredibly vast amounts of food!

During 1988-1989, I started reading the 'Big is Beautiful' books and magazines out there (BBW, Radiance, etc) and tried to tell myself that being fat was okay. At the same time, I was unable to walk up a flight of stairs without feeling exhausted...just a miserable existence, altogether.

Anyway, when I was accepted for the study, I really felt it was my LAST CHANCE to do something about my weight, so basically I just threw my heart and soul into the program! I had already joined a large-sized women's exercise class which met weekly. I included walking around the neighborhood and working out to a large-size women's video ("Idrea Says 'Yes You Can!'") before summoning up the courage to go to an actual low-impact aerobics class at the local rec center, and from there to Jazzercise and beyond...

So what am I trying to say here?!? Optifast CAN and DOES work - but it's not for everyone. If you're thinking about doing the program, make sure that you will be working with a medical and support staff that is knowlegable and truly supportive. I was fortunate to have an incredible support counselor in charge of our group - she was great!

Sorry, didn't mean to make this a novel!!!