My Weight Loss Journey

health weight loss Dec 29, 2016
Losing weight and keeping it off has been a struggle for me for years...especially with a few back-to-back pregnancies. After my fourth pregnancy, I discovered Optavia

 

Losing weight and keeping it off has been a struggle for me for years…especially with a few back-to-back pregnancies. That whole “the weight will just melt off while you’re nursing” thing never worked for me. I had to work really hard to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. After my fifth pregnancy, I discovered Optavia (formerly known as Take Shape for Life) thanks to my mom.

The results were amazing! The first time I did Optavia I lost 30 pounds in 7 weeks. I was so excited, but…I didn’t listen to the advice to transition back into a normal healthy diet. I took my 40th birthday “off” to enjoy my cake and tacos…and never went back on the plan. In fact, I decided to just eat whatever I wanted and jump back into all my old habits.

As I’m sure you can guess, the weight came back on and the scale jumped back up. To top it all off, I started writing and blogging more, which meant I was more sedentary than I’d ever really been before. My top weight was 185. I about fell over when I realized just how much I’d let myself go.

When my struggle began…

My struggle with weight began back in my senior year of high school when I was competing in the Miss California pageant. I was at a healthy weight but was told to lose more weight before the competition. That unnecessary stress combined with other emotional and self-esteem issues contributed to me developing an eating disorder.

I began to overeat compulsively. I couldn’t stop myself. If I was stressed out, sad, or “name a negative emotion,” I’d eat. It wasn’t until I was a junior in college that I realized I had a real problem. I remember sitting in a nutrition class and hearing bulimia defined. I hit every marker except for throwing up. I came to describe myself as being creatively bulimic. I didn’t want to feel guilty about throwing up, so I ran! A lot! I was a cross country runner, so I was averaging about six miles a day.

I was able to hide my problem for years since I burned off most of the calories I consumed. It wasn’t until after I graduated that I learned that there was such a thing as compulsive overeating. Unfortunately, I created some really horrible habits and set myself up for decades of struggle with my weight.

(I share more about my story in this video…)

 

Fast forward to the present day...

I’m back on my Optavia 5 &1 Plan™ and my goal is to not only get to my goal weight but to maintain it. I have too many sweet people in my life to take care of to allow myself to maintain an unhealthy lifestyle. {I’m a mom of five if you didn’t know that already.}

I’ve tried a lot of “diets” through the years. Optavia has been, by far, the best one for me. I’ve found it to be so much easier to do since the meals are all prepared for you (minus your one Lean and Green meal for the day). So, when I’m racing out the door, I just grab a bar or some other fueling choice versus having to slow down to prepare a complicated meal-to-go.

To explain that a bit better…

The Optavia program used to use Medifast meal replacement bars, shakes, soups, pasta, biscuits, and so much more. Now they've reformulated their meal replacements to have probiotics and more natural ingredients (no artificial sweeteners, colors, or ingredients). There are tons of “meals” to pick from I had limited it to just those items. Basically, you eat six meals each day about every 2 to 3 hours. Five of those meals are Medifast meal replacements, and one meal is called your Lean & Green Meal.” This is the only meal you have to think about making for your whole day (can I cue the choir?). You get between 5 – 7 oz. of lean meat. The leaner the meat, the more you get. You also add 3 servings of greens. They give you a handy-dandy guide to help you pick out the best lean meats and the best vegetables. You also get some healthy fat depending upon how lean your meat is.

So, here’s my plan…

I’m creating an ebook and getting started video series with all my best tips, tricks, and encouragement that I can pour out to you. I’m known for being very practical in my advice. So, you won’t hear me say something crazy like, “Just use some self-control and you can do it.” Nope. I’m doing that to you. I’m going to be laying out my exact plan for when you have hard days. My eBook should give you a “taste” of how I approach things to maximize your success with Optavia. That being said, I’d love to be your coach. I'm not going to be your typical coach, but I will give you everything you need for success. If you need a person to call you each week (or more), then I’m going to team you up with my mom, who is an amazing coach (and not a mom of five). However, I really feel like once we get you started with the videos — and our weekly “live” events — you are going to have all the support and resources you need.

I can’t wait to get you started on your way to optimal health by either helping you lose some unwanted weight or learning how to maintain your current weight. You have nothing to lose by trying it out…well, except for weight! 🙂

Learn how to place your first order here!

So you may be wondering…

What Makes “Optavia” So Different?

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve tried just about every diet out there. I’ve had some success with a few. I always seem to be able to lose some weight and stick with it for about a month, then I just give up. There are so many contributing factors to me throwing in the towel. The number one reason is usually a sense of deprivation. I just miss yummy food. I start going into a panic mode that I’ll never get to enjoy all my favorite foods again.

That’s usually when I decide to just splurge a bit…just one day. That one day turns into two, then three,…and eventually, I’ve completely blown my diet and gained back all my weight and more.

Sound familiar?

Well, one reason so many diets fail is that there is too much focus on food — and too much work involved in following them. You’re counting calories, planning out meals and snacks, trying all-new recipes, and jumping through lots of crazy hoops. It gets tiring.

So, what does makes “Optavia” different…

There are so many things that make finding success with Optavia (again, formerly called Take Shape for Life) a completely different experience. I wanted to share a few of them with you here.

(I talk through how the program works and the reasons I love Optavia (“Take Shape for Life”) in this video…and below)

Easy meals & almost no prep!

The last diet I followed had a ton of great advice for eating healthy. However, each and every meal had to be planned out — and the plan changed every two or three days. So, there was a lot of work just to find success with the diet. Was it effective? For the four weeks, I did it, yes. I lost eight pounds in 4 weeks. However, there was no long-term plan for maintaining my weight loss.

The #1 thing I love about Optavia is that five of my six meals of the day are no-brainers. I just grab a bar or make a shake and I’m done. It’s amazing! As a mom, I need that. I’m making meals all day long for my kids. It’s been so hard to have to double up on meal prep for each meal and snack when I’ve been on other diets. Sometimes I stop diets just because I’m so tired of all the extra work.

Not so with Optavia. When I lost all that weight two years ago with the plan, I was always telling my friends that this program was made for moms. One meal at night (or whenever you plan to have your Lean & Green meal) is nothing compared to six with other diets.

Tasty food & feeling less deprived!

I mentioned that I didn’t like feeling deprived when on diets. Well, being able to have chocolate on this plan is so great. There are so many different “meals” to pick from using the Optavia meals (and even the old Medifast Classic meals). I guess they call them “fuelings,” but I still refer to them as meals most of the time.

If I’m craving something salty, I grab a meal that fits that need like parmesan puffs or a popcorn snack bag. If I want something sweet (and chocolatey), then I reach for a cookie dough chewy bar, dark chocolate shake, or even just eat the “dough” of the cinnamon cream cheese swirl cake. I have friends who aren’t into chocolate. I still don’t understand that, however, there are plenty of non-chocolate sweet treats to pick from, too. (Just in case you’ve been blessed with that gene, too.)

This has made all the difference in the world for me on this plan. I don’t feel horribly deprived. There are things I can eat that taste great and feel like a treat.

I’m not focused on food all day long!

I feel like plans that require you to count calories or plan out meals always left me thinking about what I was going to eat next. I was always thinking about food. That was the exact opposite of what I was trying to accomplish. I was already obsessed with food. I was trying to get away from making food my idol.

When I noticed that I was actually needing to remind myself to eat on Optavia, I was so relieved. Believe it or not, having to eat every 2 to 3 hours became the challenge. As I’ll get into in one of the upcoming chapters, I planned out my food schedule in the morning. So, that was really the only time I was thinking about the food I was going to eat for the day. If my stomach rumbled, then I knew it was probably close to time to eat again. That was a healthy habit I wanted to keep.

The education is Incredible!

I cannot say enough good things about Dr. A’s Habits of Health book and his companion guide, Living a Longer, Healthier Life. A little more background on me that I haven’t mentioned yet is that I have a degree in sports medicine. I actually taught diabetic management classes and worked in hospital-based fitness facilities. I did personal training and stress tests. I also almost minored in nutrition. I’ve always loved learning about things related to health and wellness. Maybe that is partially why I’ve loved reading books on different diets and nutrition. It’s kinda my thing.

Habits of Health is so comprehensive! It’s not just about losing weight. It’s really about creating a lifelong habit of health. Losing weight is just one of the phases in the program. The book and companion guide help you to get to the bottom of what your goals are and why you are trying to get healthy. Knowing your “why” is so important! I say that all the time to homeschool moms, but it’s just as important with your health as well. When you are having a bad day and want to throw in the towel, you just have to remember your “why” and it is often all the motivation you need.

I will note here that the only thing that I disagree with Dr. A on is that I’m not a huge fan of soy for a variety of reasons. I love that Optavia is coming out with more non-soy options for me to use. There are not any non-soy options for the bars, so I do still have soy every day. But here’s the thing…having extra weight is so much worse for my body than any amount of soy that I’m eating right now. So, it’s easy for me to put aside my feelings on soy. Besides, the new Optavia meals are all non-GMO. So, that eliminates one big issue I have with soy right there.

I will also admit that I’m a young Earth gal, so I just put a little “six thousand” years every place he mentioned ten thousand. Ha! I know it’s close. But I’m compulsive, remember. I can’t help myself.

The resources are amazing!

Not only are there books and workbooks available, but you also have access to “virtual clinics” that consist of doctors, nurses, and nutritionists. I called in when I first started because I needed help with something. Okay, I’ll be honest. It was constipation. Do notice I have a chapter on that issue. If you are part of my team, then you get access to my incredibly motivating and helpful extras, too, like this book and my new videos that I’ll be rolling out soon.

I plan on doing some Facebook and YouTube Live videos where we can all “meet” and do some Q & A and encourage each other. It’s going to be great. See, I will be coaching you. You may find it easier to jump on and watch those videos when you are struggling versus trying to wait for me or my mom to call you. I’ve tried to design my team for the busy mom (or dad) in mind. I loved some of the coaching calls I had when I started, but most of the time I just didn’t have time to talk.

Our “live” meetups will be a great way to share our successes and struggles…and share our progress and have some accountability.

The results are so fast and awesome!

I’ve never lost weight so fast with a diet. People at church were in awe of how quickly my body was changing. I felt like the weight was literally melting off. The first two weeks are the most amazing. Then there are some weeks when you only lose one or two pounds. However, overall, it was just so inspiring to keep chugging along since I could see that what I was doing — all my hard work — was paying off. Now that is motivating!

One thing to note here is that the calorie intake is low. I’d NEVER recommend eating this little unless it is medically designed for weight loss — and Optavia is!

There is a long-term plan for maintaining your weight loss!

Like I mentioned before this is what I skipped last time. I meant to get back onto the plan, but I had jumped back into my bad habits so quickly…and didn’t follow the transition plan. I feel like other plans might help you get the weight off, but don’t really address how to maintain your weight loss other than to say, “Just keep doing this forever.” It felt like there was no end. That’s not the case with Optavia.

Optavia is all about training you to make habits for lifelong health. This is why I so highly recommend getting the Habits of Health book and companion guide with your first order. You will want to be reading through it as you go about this weight loss journey. And, it’s such an “easy read.” (Lots of pictures!)

Somehow knowing that there is a plan on how to transition to normal, healthy eating gives me a feeling of freedom and not fear.

It’s more affordable than you think!

Optavia is a very affordable plan when compared to other plans out there. Plus I noticed a major decrease in our grocery bill since I was shopping for one less person — and I’m not buying tons of unhealthy junk food while I’m at the store. I tend to stick to my shopping list and not be pulled into buying all the food that spoke to me on the shelves, “Buy me! I taste so good! I promise I’ll make you feel happy!” Ha! Those were the whispers I felt like I’d hear in the store.

Making an investment in your health adds an element of accountability to your weight loss goal. You also don’t need extra vitamins on this plan, since while you are doing your 5 &1 Plan™ you will be getting vitamins in all your meals. Each “fuel” is filled with great nutrition and vitamins. I will say that the convenience of pre-planned meals is worth its weight in gold. (No, it’s not anywhere close to the price of gold.) There are actually some great discounts that I’ll discuss in the next chapter when you join Optavia Premier.

I’ve never felt better!

When I lost all the weight the first time, I felt amazing. But I’m already feeling amazing now, and I’m just part of the way to my goal. As the weight comes off and I’m not eating foods that cause me to feel bloated, I have brand new confidence. My clothes fit better…in fact I had to go shopping for new clothes when I lost 30 pounds last time I did this. That was a “problem” I didn’t expect. A good problem.

I can’t tell you how absolutely free I feel on this program. I feel like I’m walking around with a big secret. I feel free from my obsession with food. I feel like gluttony no longer had a hold on me. I feel like I’m not serving two masters anymore (Matthew 6:24).

So there you have it…

Those are most of the reasons I really love Optavia. I’m so excited to get to my goal weight and help you get to yours, too. However, this journey is about so much more than just getting to your goal weight. This is a lifestyle change we are making. This program is so comprehensive…and I’m going to share all my tips on how I’m using it to achieve my health goals.

I share all the time that I like to “glean and tweak” things to help others find simpler ways of doing things. Well, that’s pretty much what I’m doing now. I’m going to be helping you “glean” from what I’ve learned on this program and help you to “tweak” it to help you meet your goals. So, let’s get started! Just click here to find out how to place your first order and get my eBook.

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