It has been ages since I’ve written a blog post! The past few weeks have just been really busy – I’ve had 2 days off in the past 16 days, plus school, plus Thanksgiving, plus life with a toddler, and so on and so on…..BUT, I have continued to stay on track, and this morning my weight was 145.4 pounds!!! The goal that I set two months ago was 145 pounds, so I’m calling it close enough – knowing that I will still probably lose a little more over the next few weeks, but I am going to go ahead and celebrate today! I feel like a completely different person. I have a ton more energy, more confidence, I sleep better, I’ve been off of my blood pressure medication for about two weeks now, and my blood pressure just now was 124/68, and overall I just feel happy. I feel so good about where I’m at, how I feel, and how I look, I just feel like I can do anything, Right now, with everything that is going on in my life, I could very easily be a miserable, stressed-out wreck but I just don’t feel that way. I feel like I can handle it all, and I really think that the physical well-being that I’ve gained over the past two months has everything to do with it.
So let’s take a look at some before and after photos – the top pics were taken on October 1st. I weighed 167.8 pounds and my body fat percentage was 31.5%. The bottom pics were taken today at 145.4 pounds with a body fat percentage of 20.6%:
I really don’t know if the dramatic difference that I see and feel comes through in these photos, but I look at the top pictures and I can’t believe that’s me. I notice details in the top photos, like my double chin and the complete lack of definition in my upper arms, not to mention that belly and it makes me so excited to be rid of all that now. I can honestly say that I will never go back to that, because more important than how it looks, I haven’t forgotten how it felt. It really sucked. I felt like crap. I felt old, unsexy and like my body was falling apart. Now, I feel like the person I was 10 or 15 years ago, and I am extremely proud to say in the pictures on the bottom, that I am 45 years old! All of these changes have not only been good for me and my physical and emotional well-being, but they have been really good for my relationship too – because when I feel sexy, I act sexy and when I act sexy, well, it just makes for a happy husband. 😉 (sorry if that’s TMI – but you know, these things are important!)
Here are the numbers from the past two months:
Sorry, it’s a bit blurry – I’m a terrible photographer. But what stands out for me from this is the total inches lost – since October 1, I have lost a total of 24.25 inches overall from my body. That’s over two feet!! So, sure, it comes from different areas overall, but the bottom line is I’ve lost over two feet of just MASS from my body. It’s no wonder I feel like I can fly when I run now!
So, here’s the question that I am asking myself today: could I have achieved results like this, on my own, without the Optavia program that I’ve been on since October 1st. And although it’s definitely not impossible for a person to achieve this on their own, for me, my honest answer is no. In the past two months, I have learned so much about the effect that my food choices have on my body, and whether those choices cause me to gain or lose weight. It really is quite a delicate balance. It is NOT as simple as just counting calories. That’s the thing that I think is really key for people to understand. It’s much more complex than that – because you have to consider how certain foods trigger insulin production. You have to think about the glycemic index of the food that you’re eating. If you want your body to burn fat, you have to balance things just right so that it will do that without holding onto the stores it has because it’s in starvation-mode. So, if I were trying to do this on my own, knowing myself, I would give up at a certain point due to the yo-yo-ing and plateaus that would result from my nutrition plan falling short of what’s required to get the effect that I can get with the Optavia plan. The single greatest thing about the Optavia plan is that is requires very little of the person on the plan. It’s really pretty much a no-brainer. The only thing that takes some planning is the lean and green meal – it’s got to be the right amounts of the right foods, or you could easily sabotage yourself. But still, its pretty simple – its just a matter of planning ahead and setting yourself up for success. But aside from that, you just eat a fueling every 2-3 hours for a total of 5 fuelings plus your lean and green meal, plus 3-4 liters of water, and if you do that, you will lose weight. Rapidly. And although its not always easy, its also not that hard. The other thing about it that’s really cool is that I know that, if I consciously choose to eat/drink things that are outside of the plan on a particular day, because of what’s going on that day, I can expect that I will either not lose or even gain a bit depending on what I do, but then I know FOR CERTAIN that, once I get back to the plan, I will regain any ground I may have lost, and start losing again within a few days. The results are fool-proof when you follow the plan to a T.
And finally, being on this plan, and carefully planning and preparing my lean and green meals, has made me really, really aware of the nutritional content of various foods, and just how much a tiny amount of the wrong thing can totally derail what I’m trying to do. For example – I can eat a salad that has shrimp, boiled egg, red pepper and romaine in it – the whole salad is 200 calories. But if I decide to put 2 tbsp. of ranch dressing on that salad, it will add 140 calories!! If I put salt and pepper with a squeeze of lemon instead of that ranch dressing, I could eat almost twice the amount of salad with the same amount of calories. These are the things that set us up to fail – even when we think we are making the effort to eat better. When I do decide to splurge a bit, I now know what foods are worth splurging on, verses the foods that will just kill everything I’m trying to accomplish.
So, that’s where I’m at as of now. Today is Sunday, so I did meal prep for the week today with my friends, Sarah and Lara. I’ll blog about the details of our meal prep in my next post, but Lara has been on this program for about a month and she has lost 13.8 pounds. The Sarah that did meal prep with us today is starting up on the program this week, so we will be cheering her on and excited to see her results. My BFF, whose name is also Sarah, has been on this program for 6 weeks and she has lost 20.6 pounds. Our friend Mariel has been on it for 4 weeks and she has lost 18 pounds. Our friend Josiah, who was the person who introduced us to this program, has been on it for about 3 months and has lost a remarkable 73 pounds!! So there is really no question as to the results that can be achieved with this particular program. I know it sounds like I’m pushing the program, and honestly, I am. But for one reason and one reason only – and that is because I know that it will work. If you are a person who needs to lose weight to feel better, to be healthier, to avoid a myriad of health problems, if you follow this, it will work. Plain and simple.
So this week, because I’m at my goal weight now, I’m going to start a 4&2 plan – which means 4 fuelings plus lean and greens for lunch and dinner. I’m also going to start preliminary training for a marathon in June so that means running, yoga, and strength training, which will escalate over the coming weeks. As the activity escalates, so will the nutritional intake. Next week, I will go to a 3&3 program, which is what I will stay with – its important to keep eating small meals every 2-3 hours, but my main meals will evolve as my activity level increases. Of course it will always consist of lean proteins and veggies primarily, but quantitites will increase along with some complex carbs in order to give my body the fuel it needs to prepare for a marathon. One thing I know for sure is that it feels amazingly different to run with a body that is 22 pounds lighter!!
Have a great week!