It’s Day three and let’s just say that the Advocare 24 day challenge has kicked into full gear. As excited
as I was to begin this challenge I don’t think I was particularly prepared for day 1. While nothing
catastrophic happened per say I found myself a bit uninformed, unsure and unaware of just how
meticulous I was going to have to be. As I dumped my first packet of herbal cleanse powder into a
glass of fruit juice I was suddenly aware that this stuff was pretty heavy duty. I was caught off guard
as to how quickly I would feel full; no longer hungry for my usual breakfast of sausage, egg and cheese
croissant or corn dog (yes, corndogs…don’t judge). I had been drinking fruit smoothies for a little
over a week prior to starting the 24 day challenge to prepare myself for healthier living. I stumbled
through day 1 with considerable success. I suggest reading all the information before you start unlike
me; I started and then read everything. Day two was much more enjoyable as I was prepared and had
created a schedule for myself. I’m a list girl and making a list of what to eat when was easy to follow,
especially since I spend my day in a classroom filled with three year olds. As day three comes to a close
here are my thoughts so far.
• Even though the fiber drink mix (Herbal cleanse) is not the most pleasant thing I’ve ever
consumed, it’s not terrible and I know it is good for me.
• It is possible to drink 8 (yes 8) bottles of water in a day. Soda is not necessary.
• Butter and cheese are not required when eating broccoli. Garlic and a sprinkle of olive oil are
just as good and even better for your body.
• One scoop of potatoes cooked in sodium free chicken broth with rosemary, thyme and garlic are
• Advocare Spark drink mix can double as a slushy drink if you throw it in the Magic Bullet (or
blender) with ice. It is quite delightful actually.
• I don’t have to have a snack before bed; I slept fine without one.
Follow me as I journey onto day 4 and beyond. I’ve accepted the Advocare 24 day challenge….won’t
Prior to the challenge
Taking the AdvoCare Challenge and Taking Back My Life….
Nearly two years ago I wrote an article for Lifetime Moms titled “My Secret Food Addiction” hoping that by sharing my deep rooted secret I would somehow cure myself and lose weight. I think in the back of my mind I thought that sharing my story would somehow make the pounds disappear. That did not happen. Having struggled with my weight for most of my life, especially after having two children and a miscarriage I often felt that this was just my lot in life and that I would never be skinny.
I have tried all kinds of diet plans, programs, pills and potions. My first attempt at weight loss was in 1991 when I joined a program that required me to attend meetings and weigh in several times a week. I felt intimidated and ashamed but somehow managed to lose 80 pounds. A year later I found myself pregnant with my daughter and at the end of the nine months I delivered an 8 pound baby and had regained the entire 80 pounds. My focus shifted to being the best mommy I could be and for a while that is all that mattered. In 1996 I suffered a miscarriage in the fourth month of my pregnancy and found solace in food; lots and lots of food. It was then I believe that food became my “drug” of choice allowing me to mask the pain. The cycle continued and escalated. I turned to food to drown my sorrows, celebrate the happy times or to simply pass the time. I gave birth to my son in 1998. Having gained just 18 pounds with that pregnancy I felt a glimmer of hope. We moved out of state and my husband started to travel for his job. I was home with my children for days at a time which allowed me to be free to eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. After putting my children to bed each night I would reward myself with food because I felt I deserved it; after all I was the one taking care of two kids and a home while my husband was out of town working. Night time snacks were my reward for making it to the end of the day. After four years we moved our family back to Virginia and I returned to the workforce full time. I packed my lunch every day making sure that I always had something extra “just in case” and every day I emptied my lunch box only to fill it back up the next day and do it all over again.
I began to hide food because I did not want my family to know just how much I was eating. Then one day after a pretty rough day at work I went home and found myself outside on the deck with the deep fryer and a pound of French fries. I cooked the entire bag. I ate the entire bag. I cleaned up the mess, tucked the deep fryer back in its spot in the cabinet grabbed my keys and the trash and headed for the grocery store. You see, in my mind if I threw the trash away somewhere other than my home nobody would know what I had done. I purchased a replacement bag of fries put them in the freezer and nobody was the wiser; except me. That was my breaking point. I sought group therapy and for a while it worked; I had a safe place to share my struggles and find support. I realized after a while that my secrets were not really secrets anymore; my safe place was no longer safe. I cried myself to sleep that night only after I ate an entire bag of cookies.
Over the next two years I found myself starting and stopping more diets than I can count. I’d go along for a while and then would convince myself that it was okay to indulge “just this once” only to indulge and never go back to the plan. Now with the support of my husband and children I believe that I am ready for the challenge. I’ve been going to the gym several times a week for a few months focusing on low impact exercises because of the arthritis in my knees. I have worked my way to about 45 minutes on the treadmill or bike, which for me is a pretty big accomplishment.
What are my goals? My main goal is to become healthier. I just celebrated my 46th birthday in October and I believe in my heart that I am finally ready to take the challenge and take back my life. I would like to lose 80 pounds. I would be happy if I lost more than that but believe in being realistic. My husband and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary in September 2014. We have decided to celebrate this significant milestone in our lives by renewing our wedding vows in a second wedding ceremony. And although he has never complained about my weight and has always supported me I want to give him a healthier, thinner, better me than I have been for quite a while. He loves me without condition (as do my children) and it is because of them I believe I can find success in the AdvoCare system. I want to be around for a long while. I want to grow old with my husband and become a grandmother. I am ready.
I invite you to join me in the journey as I take each day step by step toward a healthier way of life. I am excited to take the Advocare 24 day challenge and look forward to sharing my results with you.
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DAY 3 UPDATE!
It’s Day three and let’s just say that the Advocare 24 day challenge has kicked into full gear. As excited as I was to begin this challenge I don’t think I was particularly prepared for day 1. While nothing catastrophic happened per say I found myself a bit uninformed, unsure and unaware of just how meticulous I was going to have to be. As I dumped my first packet of herbal cleanse powder into a glass of fruit juice I was suddenly aware that this stuff was pretty heavy duty. I was caught off guard as to how quickly I would feel full; no longer hungry for my usual breakfast of sausage, egg and cheese croissant or corn dog (yes, corndogs…don’t judge). I had been drinking fruit smoothies for a little over a week prior to starting the 24 day challenge to prepare myself for healthier living. I stumbled through day 1 with considerable success. I suggest reading all the information before you start unlike me; I started and then read everything. Day two was much more enjoyable as I was prepared and had created a schedule for myself. I’m a list girl and making a list of what to eat when was easy to follow, especially since I spend my day in a classroom filled with three year olds. As day three comes to a close here are my thoughts so far.
Even though the fiber drink mix (Herbal cleanse) is not the most pleasant thing I’ve ever consumed, it’s not terrible and I know it is good for me.
It is possible to drink 8 (yes 8) bottles of water in a day. Soda is not necessary.
Butter and cheese are not required when eating broccoli. Garlic and a sprinkle of olive oil are just as good and even better for your body.
One scoop of potatoes cooked in sodium free chicken broth with rosemary, thyme and garlic are quite tasty.
Advocare Spark drink mix can double as a slushy drink if you throw it in the Magic Bullet (or blender) with ice. It is quite delightful actually.
I don’t have to have a snack before bed; I slept fine without one.
Follow me as I journey onto day 4 and beyond. I’ve accepted the Advocare 24 day challenge….won’t you?
Advocare 24 day Challenge….Day 6 Update
It’s the end of day 6 and I am pleasantly surprised at just how great this week has gone. My least favorite part so far has been the fiber drink. I am thankful for my ability to chug the thick concoction quickly and that that part of the challenge is over. I am surprised at just how good I feel at the end of six days. I am learning to make wise food choices that are not only healthy but ones that allows me to learn new tastes and cooking techniques. At first I think my body was in shock with all of the fresh and raw food I was putting into it. I’ve consumed more fruits, vegetables and water than I have in quite some time and have actually enjoyed it. With this challenge I am creating a new healthier way of life for me and my family. My body is reacting positively not only by functioning more efficiently but I am sleeping better and feeling more rested than before. I fall asleep easier and stay asleep longer. I am learning to use spices for flavor instead of heavy creams, sauces and oils. Baked salmon is really good without butter sauce, baked potatoes are just as good with steamed broccoli instead of sour cream and it is possible to eat only the lean part of a steak and a clean plate is not required. I have the ability to stop eating when I am full even if there is still food on my plate. The Spark energy drink is refreshing and provides the benefits of an energy drink without giving me the jitters or fuzzy brained feeling. The Advocare 24 day Challenge is the beginning of a new way of life for me. I encourage you to take the challenge and join me on the journey.
DAY 8 Photo
Day 10 Update…
At the end of Day 10 of AdvoCare I am feeling incredible and have lost 6 pounds! I have successfully detoxed my body and am ready to begin the second phase. I chose the dark chocolate meal replacement shakes; I’m a little excited about the fact that it’s chocolate. Since starting the Advocare 24 day challenge I have found my energy level to be higher and more consistent throughout the day and my 2 p.m. lull has all but gone. I believe the Spark energy drink is helping maintain a constant level of energy along with the healthy fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats that are now fueling my body instead of the junk I had been eating before. I started taking pictures (selfies if you will) on day 3 and posting them to my Facebook. I thought it would be fun to do and would somehow keep me accountable; it’s working. A friend made the comment that they could see a different from the first picture to one taken just a few days later. It wasn’t until day 10 that I could really see a difference in my pictures. I have also increased my physical activity at the gym; I spent an hour on the treadmill on day 9 and walked a total of 3 miles. I am feeling empowered and energized and ready to tackle the next 14 days with a positive outlook. Give the Advocare 24 day challenge a try…I did and I love it.
Day 16 Update…
It’s been 16 days. I am super excited about my progress and am ready to shout it from the mountain tops! I am down 11.5 pounds and feel physically great. The Advocare 24 day challenge has given me the boost I need to finally get on track toward a healthier lifestyle. The past 16 days have been a whirlwind to say the least. There have been days that have zipped by without incidence while other days have caused distress and anxiety. This is not an easy task. Taking the challenge to eliminate bad habits that have caused me to gain weight and become unhealthy is a big undertaking. When I realized and openly admitted that I have a severe food addiction four years ago I was both relieved and overwhelmingly distressed. Had my addiction been another substance I believe I would have been able to work on eliminating it from my life completely; it would have been hard work but somehow I think this is more difficult for me. Food is a necessary element of life. I cannot just give up food because I’m addicted to it. Somehow I have to figure out how to incorporate a healthy diet and exercise program into my life in order to achieve the weight loss and health goals I have for myself. I am making the necessary changes; I am achieving success!
As I write this update today it is 32 degrees outside, rain and sleet are falling from the dreary darkened sky, and I am tired. For me this is a recipe for disaster; or it used to be. Today I am keenly aware that going home alone after work is not an option. The opportunity to binge eat is great and I refuse to cave into that impulse. At this point in my transformation I need to avoid being home alone during stressful times. Focusing on the positives in my life and working to make healthy choices is a necessary challenge that I must face. Today instead of choosing cookies, chips and soda, I am choosing the gym. As difficult as some days are I welcome the challenge and am beyond grateful for the opportunity to take the Advocare 24 day challenge. In life there will be days filled with sunshine and rainbows and others will be filled with clouds and dreariness. It’s in those darker days that I must be able to embrace and conquer. I am grateful for the special people in my life who encourage me daily with emails, texts, and phone calls. Surrounding myself with a strong supportive network of family and friends has given me the boost I need when things get a bit tough and to celebrate the victories along the way.
With Thanksgiving just a few days away I know that I will enjoy sharing a special meal with my family but now am equipped to manage my portions and continue on in a healthy manner. As the days tick by toward the end of my first 24 day challenge I am excited to continue living a healthier lifestyle. I have set small goals for myself and look forward to working toward those goals each day. I have already exceeded my first goal of losing ten pounds by Thanksgiving; yay me!
I have removed the mask I had been hiding behind for so many years and as a result share with you my latest photo of me at the end of a long day…no make-up, messy hair and a heart beginning to fill with peace and joy for who I am at this very moment.
Day 24 Update: The Journey Continues….
So here I sit. It’s Day 24 of the Advocare challenge. I am at the end of the program. I have followed the program to the letter. Not once did I cheat. Not once did I deviate from the rules of the game. I knew exactly what I had to do each and every day for 24 days. I did it and as a result I have shed 15 pounds of weight; something I did not think would happen. Now what?
In the past 24 days I have learned to cook and eat foods that I never ate before. I have learned that I can cook without butter, sugar, sauces, gravies and grease (yes, I said grease). I have discovered that green beans don’t have to have bacon in them to taste good. I have eaten fish, chicken, turkey and lean beef along with fresh vegetables, including brussel sprouts, fruit and whole grains and I survived. I have consumed at least eight bottles of water a day and have not had even a sip of diet soda; something I consumed every day from morning to night before the challenge. I even faced my fear of the gym and have been almost every day for nearly two weeks.
I am beyond thankful for the Advocare challenge and for the opportunity to kick start myself into a new healthier lifestyle, but at the end of these 24 days but now, it’s up to me to keep it going. Yesterday, day 23 I began to feel a bit anxious knowing that the program was coming to an end. What now? For the past 24 days I have had this schedule that pretty much controlled me. Starting tomorrow, Day 25 I am completely on my own. How will it feel to get up in the morning and not have the supplements waiting on the counter for me? How will it feel to make the decision as to what to eat for breakfast? The meal replacement shakes are gone, the boxes are empty and here I am 15 pounds lighter as a result of it all. Now it’s my turn to be in charge and make it work. I am ready. I can do it.
Does the program work? Yes it does. Do I feel better as a result of the program? Yes, I do. Tomorrow I will crawl out of bed and begin a new routine one similar to the routine of the past 24 days; only tomorrow my day will be filled with my own choices; choices that will be made with thought and purpose. I no longer have the desire to eat frozen breakfast sandwiches and corndogs for breakfast and my cravings for junk has been replaced with that feeling you get when you step off of the treadmill after walking three miles in an hour. I choose good health over poor choices and bad habits.
I have taken a picture of myself every day for the past 24 days and posted them on my Facebook page. I won’t do that tomorrow. It is time for me to focus solely on my physical and emotional self without a lot of hype. The press, my press cannot define or control me. It is now time for me to begin the rest of the journey without the flashy pictures and updates that say “hey look at me!” It is time for me to focus on living life with purpose, thought and passion that will allow me to be free from the addiction that has kept me pinned down for far too long. It’s time for me to live my life and be noticed for who I am without the hype of social media and daily pictures. I have proven to myself that I am worth the effort and that it is possible to change. Not only has my physical body changed but my spirit has changed; there is a deep sense of peace resting within me that gives me strength and a desire to be a better person.
I am grateful for the opportunity to take the Advocare 24 day challenge; it’s a great program. For me, I believe the program was a great stepping stone for me to begin the process of changing from unhealthy Karla to a healthier happier Karla or as a friend put it Karla 2.0.
The journey continues…
Update: As of April 21, 2014
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Topic: AdvoCare Challenge