Lessons Learned from Ideal Protein

When I started this blog last summer, I was following the Ideal Protein Protocol. I’m very thankful for that season of my life. It was intense, hard and it revealed more about myself than I thought it would.

I followed the Ideal Protein Protocol (I’m using the term “follow” loosely. I did really well in the beginning and waned off over time) for about 4-5 months. When following the program/directions, I lost weight really quickly. I lost around 40lbs in that time span.

I had never lost weight before. Correction. I had never tried to lose weight before. This was the first time where I really took a good look at myself and knew that drastic changes needed to be made. You can read more about that here.

Restricting certain food groups was a brand new experience for me. I’d never passed on the bread or cheese before. I’d skipped dessert occasionally, but really making the effort to avoid carbs, dairy, and sugar was a much needed shock to my system.

When Luke and I examined our budget for 2016, I realized that Ideal Protein didn’t really fit in. We made some BIG purchases in fall 2015, our house and car, and came home from Christmas with a 100+ pound dog (who we love very much and couldn’t dream of life without him). Although, I didn’t lose as much as I would’ve liked or stuck to it as long as I would’ve liked, I’m looking forward to branching out and doing something new.

I want to share things I’m thankful for about my time on Ideal Protein:

  • I CAN exercise self control. Probably the main take away from IP was knowing that I could say no to certain food groups, that I would be okay without them. Again, prior to last year I had never restricted food groups. I can say NO. That was really good to learn.
  • I CAN lose weight. It’s happened. I’ve done it. I succeeded. Prior to last year, I thought I was a hopeless cause. Now, I know that it’s possible for me to lose and that I’m not too far gone.
  • I can trust people. I’ve never been this open about my life or my feelings. The way that everyone has rallied around and encouraged me is unbelievable. I totally didn’t expect it to this degree.
  • I need a new normal. The month of December was when I officially quit Ideal Protein. I stopped weighing in and using the products. Even before that I stopped applying all of the good stuff I’d learned. I regularly indulged in foods that I knew I should’ve savored sparingly. I was kind of lost. I didn’t know what I should eat. All I knew was that I wanted to eat every cookie, pie, cake, side dish, and candy that was sitting in front of me.
  • The faster is comes off, the quicker it can come back on. This was tough. For some odd reason I thought that I would continue to lose or maintain, when I was indulging a little more every day. Crazy, right? Because I didn’t follow through with phasing off the products like you’re supposed to, I didn’t enter back into a no rules situation the best way. Actually, it was the worst way. It was December, party month, and I didn’t want to miss out on all of the special food. 20 pounds came back on faster than I realized. It seemed as if each pound gained, a valuable lesson or truth I learned was lost. It was a nasty balancing act. That goes to show there is always loss and gain. For me it was loss of motivation, self control, and knowledge and a gain of 20 pounds. (I didn’t gain all 20 pounds back in December. The gains started happening mid to late October up til now).

Those are my main takeaways from my time with Ideal Protein. I know now, more than ever, that I can’t just be on a diet or a program. I had my first shot at maintenance and I flopped. This is one of the major things I’m going to work on this year: Healthy Habits. I want to give myself time to let these good decisions sink in.


I’m also thankful that I didn’t put all the weight back on. I can officially say I lost weight in 2015! The left is Thanksgiving 2014. The right is Thanksgiving 2015.

Do I regret doing Ideal Protein? Not at all! It was the right decision for me at the time.
Do I still recommend Ideal Protein? YES! Just do it correctly and phase off properly.
Would I ever do Ideal Protein again? I want to say yes, but I also don’t want to give myself an out for when I can afford Ideal Protein again. I want to lose this weight in a healthy and sustainable way.

Let’s get to work! – JJ




Round 2: My 1st Week

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

I shared last week that I’m starting over with a blank slate and I’m calling it Round 2. I went into the week trying to remember what I did in my original first week and let me tell you something. It was WAY harder this time around. Why? I’m not sure.

Part of me thought it would be a little easier to jump back into the strict train because I did it really well the first time. Unfortunately, that was not the case. I did decent. There were some moments where I walked past the snack cabinet at work with no problems. There was one big time where I grabbed 4 snacks out of the cabinet and ate them at once.

But, I can honestly say that I made progress. I cooked in my kitchen more this past week than I have in the past month (moving probs) and it felt good. It felt good to spend time making my own food. I appreciated it more. I have a new Turkey Chili that I’m literally obsessed with and I made a modified Jambalaya recipe with “riced” cauliflower. I plan to share both soon! I also made a huge amount of vegetables and chicken to last us through the weekend. I ate out twice and ordered salads both times.


Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset

Here’s to my first week officially back!
R2 Week 1:
-31lbs total — I’m going to continue using the overall total number.

These pictures were taken fresh out of the salon. I got my hair cut and colored! I love a good afternoon spent at the salon. I think this big change will help me make changes and progress towards not being lazy in my food life. I have a theory. Let’s see if it works.

I don’t know if you know this about me or not, but I’m a nail biter. I’ve been biting my nails for as long as I can remember. I read this article and decided that it was probably time that I stop the nail biting madness. As of right now, I’ve gone 2 days without biting! That’s more progress to celebrate!

Round 2

Let me share a little snapshot of what my life has looked like these past few months:

  • House Closing
  • Packing
  • Crochet
  • Packing / Moving
  • Major Deep Cleaning
  • An overwhelming need to organize, but not knowing how or where to start
  • Crochet
  • Birthdays
  • Moving
  • Unpacking / Can’t find what I’m looking for
  • Crochet
  • Big work events
  • Family Time
  • Booked up weekends
  • Oversleeping
  • Staying Up Late
  • Crochet Markets


All of those things listed are good things. Nothing on that list is a tragedy or was a traumatic event. Everything was good and necessary for the time. Amidst all of that busyness, I lost focus, took my eyes off the prize, and honestly quit trying to make healthy decisions. I quit.

I let my circumstances take control and tried to fit my life in between them instead of recognizing that I had complete control the whole time. In my mind busyness is not a bad thing. I like having things going on, events to look forward to, and a list of things to do. I never want to be bored, but sometimes in the midst of the busyness I have the tendency to crumble under the pressure. It’s not my favorite character trait.

IMG_7743 IMG_7726

To supplement my caving in feelings, I typically stop focusing on myself. Instead of becoming laser focuses on my health goals, I put them off telling myself (and others) that “I just need to get through moving…” or “I just need to get past this conference…” or “once my crochet market is behind me…”  then I’ll get back on track. I just kept putting it off instead of figuring out how to be healthy and stay on plan when I was stressed.

Looking back, I know that I could’ve been stronger, both mentally and physically. I could’ve been prepared. I could’ve stayed away from the candy. It doesn’t help to dwell on what I could’ve / should’ve done differently, but I can totally learn from it. That’s what I’m going to do. I am starting over with perspective.

The truth is that there is always going to be something. Something going on, something good, something bad, something busy. It’s naive of me think that the world would give me a break because I’m trying to only focus on one thing. I MUST learn that just because I’m busy and overwhelmed, my health cannot suffer. It actually made everything worse because I felt sick and had less energy.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

I’m not proud of the decisions that I made, the weight that I gained back, or the nights where I binged on everything terrible because I couldn’t deal with my emotions, but it happened. Now, I have to learn and move on.

Some of you have asked why I haven’t been posting regularly or if you’ve missed a post (always SO flattered when people talk to me in person about my journey and this blog – thank you times a million!). That’s where I’ve been. I’ve been out of the game and too ashamed to admit it.

I think it will mentally help me if I completely start over. I’m counting this week as Week 0 – Round 2. Here we go! Next Tuesday, you’re going to read a blog about how I fought temptations, officially broke off my relationship with dairy, carbs, and sugar, and how good it feels to write about progress. I’m calling it!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I hope that my sharing details of how I quit or pressed the pause button doesn’t discourage you, but encourages you to evaluate where you are, look at your circumstances, and tell them that they don’t have power over you. -JJ

4 Reasons why I chose Ideal Protein

Today I wanted to share some reasons why I decided to follow the Ideal Protein (IP) Method. A few people have asked why I chose Ideal Protein and I thought it would be fun to give you the behind the scenes information.


Over the past year I watched a couple of friends follow the IP Method and have great success. Digging a little deeper, I went to the Ideal Protein website and read story after story of other people’s successes. I read testimony upon testimony about how committing to the effort of being healthy dramatically changed those peoples lives.

I decided that it was time for me to stop watching other people succeed. It was time to stop standing by the starting line and actually jump in and join the race.

I first heard about Ideal Protein a few years ago on a routine trip to the doctor. I wasn’t wise enough to listen to my doctor’s counsel as we walked through the information pamphlet. I was too arrogant to admit that I needed help. I thought I had my diet and lifestyle under control, but in reality it was the opposite. Food controlled me.

Timing is Everything

That little statement is so true. For years I talked the talk of, “wow, I’ve got to start making changes” then the next day tear up a Chick-fil-a Sandwich and fries. Nothing stuck. No conviction or motivation was present after a week or two. I’d just fall back into old habits. 

I hate to admit this, but I just didn’t care enough. I didn’t care enough about my body to actually take care of it, treat it like a temple, and put in healthy fuel. I lived in the moment and was more concerned with how the ice cream and french fries would taste instead of going up a pants size. Thankfully, things are different now. I can look ahead. I can see past right now. The timing is right and I am committed to keeping it up.

The Plan Makes Sense

When my dietician went over the guidelines to the program it totally made sense for me. I need the guidelines and black and whites. Left up to my own decisions, I’ll indulge too much and too often tell myself it’s not a big deal. That’s one of the reasons why Weight Watchers didn’t really work for me (it’s a great program and people have been successful at losing the weight and keeping it off, it’s just not the best plan of action for me personally.) I don’t need the option to eat what I want even if it’s allowed in my points allowance. I need the gutter guards.

I know what I can eat at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack time. Nothing is left up to chance and nothing is up in the air. I can’t have the option to track as I go because I’ll leave things off. I’ve done it too many times with tracking apps and food journals. I’ll skip writing down that piece of cake because “I don’t know how many calories that is” or any other excuse I could come up with. I know myself and I know where I struggle. Free will to eat anything in moderation is not my strength. It’s my kryptonite. 

Weekly Accountability

This is another major factor of why I chose Ideal Protein. Once a week I go to my doctor’s office to talk with my dietician, weigh in, and get IP products for the week. Just knowing that someone is going to look at the number on the scale, make eye contact with me, and talk to me about my week is enough to keep me motivated and on track.

Phasing Off and Education

There are 4 phases to IP. You stay in Phase 1 until you’re almost at your goal weight, then phase off to 2, then 3, then 4. I’ll be living in Phase 1 for a while, but I know that when the time comes for the next steps I’ll be educated on how to maintain and keep the weight off without using the IP products.

I like knowing that people will be with me along the way. Helping me and educating me as I back all the way up to learning how to eat in moderation. 

Those are the major reasons why I chose this particular program. I would LOVE to talk with anyone who has done Ideal Protein or knows anyone currently on the plan. – JJ