It's no secret that I've gained a lot of weight over the past few years. I've always struggled with my weight, but I really consider a huge turning point of weight gain my honeymoon. I had dieted before my wedding, and right after, we were in the Bahamas and we were on cloud nine. Not to mention there was food everywhere around us. We ate about 5 or 6 times a day because we could. It was the best vacation ever. Buuuuuuuut, I never really slowed down on the eating after that. I think we had expanded our stomachs the week that we were there, and we just kept filling them when we got home. Our honeymoon was in October 2009, and in April 2010 I got pregnant. So long story short, I basically never slowed down or changed my eating habits over the past 2 1/2 years. Until March 18, 2012.
My cousin had been trying to get us to try Advocare for a while, and we had just sort of ignored her (Sorry, Whit!), because we didn't really have the time to look into it. She sent us a few emails about the 24 Day Challenge and we just glanced over them, and paid little attention (Again, sorry Whit!). Finally, my mom said that we should all try it together. So... as a group, we did. My mom, aunt, aunt's sister in law, my husband, and my sister in law all did the 24 day challenge together. The day before we started the challenge, my husband and I hesitantly took our before photos and our measurements. My before picture made me sick, and it still makes me cringe to look at it. My neck and face are so big and my belly button looks like a freaking bagel under my shirt.
The next day we followed all of the rules perfectly. It wasn't bad at all. In fact, it kind of made me feel giddy, like I had something great to look forward to.
Now, fast forward 24 days later. We took our measurements and weighed again. My husband lost 17 pounds and 8 & 1/2 inches, and I lost 11 & 1/2 pounds and 7 inches. I won't give details on the others in our group because their story is not mine to tell, but I will tell you that everyone in the group lost pounds and inches. (And my sister in law looks like a swimsuit model after the challenge! And she's gonna kill me for saying that!) But the best part is that everyone in our group feels better and more energetic than we have in a long time. Our before and after photos speak for themselves. I mean, look at Hooper's belly!! My bagel is still there, but it's more like a bagel bite now.
Here are the reasons why I was hesitant:
1. I am a hungry, hungry person. No diet has ever worked for me because I am hungry, and I love food.
2. I was very reluctant because sometimes products can be money driven instead of the real deal.
3. I'm not the best at taking pills. My prenatal vitamins would get stuck in my throat and I'd taste fish oil all day long.
4. Everyone kept saying it's a "lifestyle change", and I liked my lifestyle just fine. We eat out a lot, and I didn't want that to change.
5. I was scared that I'd be the one person that wouldn't lose weight, and then I would feel like there was absolutely no future hope for me to EVER lose it.
And here are the reasons why I'm so happy I gave in:
1. I feel well. Really well.
2. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Meal Replacement Shake. I never, in a million years, would have thought that I could get by with just a drink as my meal and feel satisfied. But, this is amazing! And I definitely feel satisfied after drinking it.
3. My husband and I sit down and have breakfast together every morning now. Before, we only saw each other for a split second in passing in the mornings.
4. I am in love with the Fruit Punch Spark. It has totally taken place of any caffeine that I had going on in my life. (I wasn't huge on caffeine in the first place, but I did enjoy a cup of coffee every morning at work.)
5. I have learned a lot about what I was doing wrong with my eating habits, and I have become a lot healthier in the choices that I make.
6. My husband and I take Finley on a 1.5 mile walk almost every evening. He has to tell me to slow down sometimes! It's all of this energy I guess! (Nobody has EVER had to tell me to slow down, unless it was regarding me talking!)
I really enjoyed doing the challenge as a group because it kept us all accountable. Tomorrow is day 37 since this all started and our group is going to check in again to see how much more we've progressed since the challenge ended. I know that Hooper and I have lost even more since the challenge ended, so I'm anxious to hear from everyone else.
**Little note about the difference in me on day 1 of the challenge, and now. Scrambled eggs are a great breakfast choice for the challenge, and my cousin had let us know that. I love eggs, so we scrambled up 6 eggs total. 3 for my husband, and 3 for me. I thought, "Hey, I'm not gonna go hungry on day 1, and besides, this is allowed." As the challenge went on, we were scrambling fewer and fewer eggs. Now we scramble TWO eggs, one for each of us. I cannot believe that I can be satisfied by eating one egg for breakfast. I'm telling you, if I can do this, anyone can.
If you would like to know more about the challenge, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . If you'd like to start the challenge, go to www.advocarehooper.com and what we did was the 24 Day Challenge with MNS Max C and also a bottle of Catalyst. I know that seeing is believing, so here are our before and afters. (We hope to have updated afters to post soon.)