Join me in my weight loss journey! I am 46 years old, and I have decided it is my time now. My goal is to lose 100 lbs. I wasn’t overweight as a child, teen, or young adult. I was comfortable for the most part in my 5’7” body wearing a size 10 or size 12 clothes, and yes, there were times I wished I was a bit smaller. I got married at 28, started a position as an assistant principal in rather large middle school and was working on my doctorate degree. I was happy, challenged by new career, and put my heart, soul, and lots of time into my work. I remember going to the school cafeteria ladies telling them I was having a stressful day and I would like extra ala carte of mash potatoes or some other comfort food entrée. On the nights my husband worked the late shift, I stopped by fast food on my way home because I had had a busy and stressful day so I deserved it. That’s what I told myself : )
This why I am going to try Advocare
The pounds started to creep on little by little. After moving to another state for my husband’s job, taking another job as an administrator, adopting a child who was age 5, being a foster parent to several children, and then going through a variety of fertility treatments, having a son at 35, then a miscarriage, then another son at the 37, I had gained 70 lbs. I didn’t enjoy shopping for clothes, and I would talk myself out of buying many outfits because I would convince myself I would be losing weight soon and then I would buy more clothes in the new size.
After another move, becoming a stay at home mom, and then back to work as a private school and preschool director, I gained another 30 lbs. It wasn’t until I attended a Celebrate Recovery class at my church with a friend who was going through some tough times, that I came out of denial and realized I wasn’t eating simply because I love to eat and I enjoy the taste of food – no, the reality was I had a food addiction. While others struggled with other vices, I ran to food when I was stressed, as a reward, when I was tired, when I overwhelmed, etc. There’s nothing like the content feeling of a full tummy of one of the many comfort foods.
I tried a variety of diets – counting points, keeping track of calories, cutting out carbs, and trying to eat raw food vegan. I am sure there are some of you who can identify with the war that occurs in your head when you are headed to a restaurant or preparing your favorite food. It truly feels like there is a little devil and angel sitting on each of your shoulders. I can pretty much justify anything I put in my mouth, but if I am honest, I know I am only kidding myself.
Now my children are 19, 10, and 9 years old. I have recently stopped working, and I know this is my time now! I know God wants me to take better care of the body (ok, He calls it a temple)that He gave me. I want to be able to take my kids to the pool and actually wear a swimsuit and swim or ride roller coasters and not be concerned that I can’t breathe in the harness or fit in the wooden roller coaster seats. I want to be able to ride bikes with my kids, go to water parks, ice skate, ski, or roller skating – all the things I would do when I was younger, thinner, and not afraid of hurting myself. I want to try something a new outfit on and look in the mirror and like what I see.
I intend to focus on myself and my health and this is why I am going to try AdvoCare
I have taken my measurements, I have an initial weight, I have joined a gym (that’s a whole other story for another time : ), and I am going to take the 24 day Advocare challenge. The Spark energy drink has really helped me to have the energy to get through the first 20 minutes of shock, I mean cardio workout, in whatever crazy class is offered at 9:00 a.m. at the local gym : ) I have a friend who meets me at the gym – which I might add is a great thing to have that accountability. It’s easier to make yourself go when you know you will let your friend down if you don’t show up.
Join me in my journey to transform myself! It is truly my time now!
Before I started the Advocare 24 Day Challenge, I was given a couple packages of the Spark energy drink to sample. It’s a powder that you mix with water. I made it around noon that day and drank it right down. Yummy – watermelon! It had a very pleasant taste, was easy to mix, and I suddenly had a huge burst of energy that sustained for the rest of the afternoon and into the evening. I call this burst of energy – “Waaaaaa!” In fact, it was 1:00 a.m. before I was able to fall asleep that evening which wasn’t so great the next morning having less sleep.
I am sensitive to caffeine, and I don’t drink coffee or caffeinated drinks except on rare occasions for this very reason. Soooo, I told my thin friend who gave me the samples about my concern of not being able to go to sleep that night. She told me she sipped her Spark through the morning. I thought I would give that a try. I am sure the guzzler habit I have developed for eating and drinking has been one of the contributing factors for my weight problem.) That did the trick for me! I make it first thing in the morning in my water bottle, and I sip on it before I eat breakfast, on the way to the gym, during the workout, and am done sipping it before noon. I am also drinking glasses of water between sips of Spark.
I love the Spark! I truly think this has helped my body go through the shock of exercising and have the energy and endurance I needed. When you are lugging an extra 100lbs around much less trying to step, do lunges, and all that other crazy stuff they make you do in the exercise classes, I can do it. Not only does it give you exercise, but I feel more focused. I think my self-diagnosed ADD has greatly improved while drinking Spark. I can finish a task before I am distracted to do another one, and I can work faster and more efficiently.
In the Advocare 24 Day Challenge kit, I got the citrus and fruit punch flavors. I like both of them and have been alternating them each day. I know that after the 24 Day Challenge, I will still be using the Spark. It’s that good!
I’ve completed the Cleanse Phase of the Advocare 24 Day Challenge. I will have to admit I was initially concerned with the concept of “cleanse.” In other programs I had done, “cleanse” meant knowing where the restroom was wherever you were, frequent trips to it, and gastrointestinal issues. On the contrary, I had no issues with the Cleanse Phase!
My guzzling habit came in handy with the fiber drink : ) The fiber drink is a powder mixed with water. It has a “citrus” taste and the texture of saw dust, and if you take your time drinking it, it turns to a gel. I guzzled it right down, and I have to admit that I never had a problem with loose stool or frequent trips to the bathroom. I had no gastrointestinal issues AT ALL!
I like that there is a probiotic as part of the Cleanse Phase. I know there are many benefits to having good bacteria in the gut, and have read that a healthy gut affects many other areas of our body. Again, I had no issues during the Cleanse Phase which lasts 10 days. It’s very doable!
Update #4 It’s My Time Now! Excercise
A week or two before starting the Advocare 24 Day Challenge I started going to the local gym. To say my body was in shock was an understatement. I dreaded any of the cardio, dreaded any type of plank or core exercise, and what was all of the balancing they were asking us to do?! I am all over the place!
The great instructors we have at our local gym demonstrate how to do exercises for those on level 1, level 2, or those on level 3. More power to my classmates who can do level 3, and one day I will be there. For now, level 1 has my name on it! I am not ashamed that I do level 1, but rather glad that I am there doing something. I am not afraid to modify on my own if I can’t do something or if I can’t do it for as long. Our great instructors notice and nod, and if there is a better way to do it, they show me. I try to get to the class early enough to be in the back of the room.
My new norm is having some muscle soreness. Yes, if I’m not a little sore later in the day or the next day, then I know I didn’t work hard enough. Now I’m not saying I strive to be so sore I can barely move, and there have been a few of those days peppered in there when I worked muscles I never knew I had. I have come to appreciate the importance of having a strong core. As I am strengthening my core, I find my posture is improving, other exercises are easier to do or I can actually do them, and I have more endurance. The Advocare Spark energy drink is awesome and has really helped me have the energy to lug me, myself, and my extra weight to the exercise class and work through the class. For me sipping it through the morning works best and also helps me focus throughout the day.
Having a friend meet me at the gym has really helped me to stick with it. It’s a commitment thing knowing my friend will be there looking for me. Today, my friend wasn’t able to go, and I will have to admit that I seriously considered taking the morning off. I told myself I had been working hard, and it would be fine. Despite the negative thinking, I went. I got to the gym 20 minutes before my class started at 9:00, and the instructor teaching the 8:00 saw another lady and I chatting, and came out to ask us to join them for the ab work and the stretching. So, today I got two doses of ab work. I think I might do that again. Today in the second class, I actually did a couple level 2 moves. Yay me! I can do this!
I can’t emphasize enough to have variety in your exercise. Each day at 9:00 a.m. is a different type of class. My favorite and the one that I get the sorest from is Pilates. I enjoy the weight lifting class, and classes with the ball. There are some days when the weather is nice that my friend and I go walking instead. It’s that time we can talk about stuff, and those who know me know I love to talk.
I can do this, and you can too! Get your Advocare Spark, your exercise buddy, and go for it!!
It’s day 12 of the Advocate 24 Day Challenge, and I have to be honest. I’ve done well with exercise, done well with taking the supplements when I am supposed to, done well drinking water, but I have to admit it’s not been easy for me to stick strictly to the eating plan. While I have done well for 2/3 of the time, dinner time is hard. I have full control over what I prepare for my family, yet, I don’t always prepare the meals that will help me to stick to the plan.
I have lost 2 lbs and inches. I’ve gone down a size, can tighten my belt a little tighter, my bra is loose, and some of my favorite clothes are too big. That’s encouraging, and I know I am building muscle since I am exercising with weights. It wasn’t until I mentioned to my accountability friend that I had chicken tenders and mash potatoes with gravy while out with my son, and having her tell me that I wasn’t supposed to be eating fried chicken tenders. I began to justify, and she told me straight out – I was in denial and I wasn’t following the program as well as I should be. She was right. I needed to hear it. She’s thin, and while she’s doing the Advocare 24 Day Challenge to be in better health, I knew what she was saying was right. If I want to get the most from the Advocare 24 Day Challenge, then I need to follow the plan – all of it.
Some of the strategies she shared (which is easier to take from a thin person than someone my size) were to eat a salad first before eating my lunch and eat a salad first before eating dinner. It will fill you up some. She also emphasized to use olive oil and vinegar because it’s low in calories, and olive oil is good for you.
So I am going to implement the salads, and I’m going to email her what I eat each day. I might not like hearing about what I shouldn’t have eaten, but knowing that someone is going to be looking at what I’ve eaten will help me to make better choices. If I veer, I need to hear it. I know she’s not judging me, she wants me to be successful!
I can do this! You can too!
You can read Amee’s AdvoCare Spark Review
You can watch other people’s success stories at Advocare 24 day challenge
In case you are wondering what you can eat while on the challenge, check out our Advocare Menu plan.