New Year’s Resolutions are something I always dreaded agreeing to. Every year I would make myself a promise I couldn’t keep and every year I would disappoint myself. In January of 2020, things changed. Things changed for both myself and my husband in such a huge way! We both agreed to a weight loss competition with 8 friends for a big cash amount! What happened? We lost a combined 58 pounds* and changed our lifestyles dramatically. I know what you’re thinking, she’s just trying to sell me something. Actually the opposite. I’m not selling you on anything, but I am here to explain my journey in hopes that it helps you with yours!
In January of 2019, my girlfriend Ashley Karlen started reaching out to me about a program called OPTAVIA. She gave me the run down and I just was not mentally ready for the commitment. During the year 2019, I watched my friend Ashley morph into a different person. She lost 50 pounds, she had a newfound confidence and looked amazing! So around November of 2019 I decided to look at things to do to change my life. I was officially one year postpartum and was the heaviest I had ever been. I was struggling physically but also mentally.
Postpartum weight loss is such a strange topic to talk about. A woman’s body changes in more ways than just the physical appearance, but physically all you could see of me was a little bit of weight. What my friends and family couldn’t see was how hard I was struggling with more than just my weight. I had become super depressed and food was my escape from reality. It was dangerous and out of control. I ate what I wanted with the mentality that it was okay, I was just a mom trying to survive. Not only was I gaining weight, but my body was hurting. I had no energy, my sleep patterns were awful, my brain was foggy and I just knew I had to make a change.
So when Sean’s work buddies made a dare that each person had to lose 25 pounds or hand over $500 cash to every other person in the challenge, we were determined. This was it, no going back!
Before starting OPTAVIA, I weighed in at 193 pounds. Even writing that down is embarrassing. I’m 5’7, 29 years old and had zero excuses to be that overweight. And before you come at me about “body positivity”, I loved my body, but I was not treating it the best and was, medically speaking, overweight. I ate the worst foods and was not concerned with fueling my body. I lived to eat when I needed to be eating to live. It was so unhealthy. My goal with OPTAVIA was to lose a total of 20 pounds and overall feel good in my own skin. When I tell you, I accomplished that plus some – I mean it. OPTAVIA truly changed my life.
Week One- Week one was rough, I won’t even sugar coat it. Going from eating whenever, I had to train my body to space my “meals” out. So I set my alarm for 7 am every morning to wake up and eat. On OPTAVIA you have 5 “Fuelings” which are small portioned meals that contain between 100-110 calories and about 24 vitamins and minerals in each. I would have my first Fueling, which was typically a shake, at 7 am and then I would eat every 2-3 hours. So, I had alarms set on my phone and I remember struggling on day one that I would literally count down the minutes to my next Fueling. We would eat our dinner (lean and green meal) at around 7:30 pm and have our one *OPTIONAL* snack around 8:30 and go to bed. I was scheduled to a freaking tee and I loved it. I think that was the thing I loved most about OPTAVIA was the ease of it all. There was no thinking, it was just grab and go and I loved it! Not once did I have to stop and question if what I was doing was right, it was all already done for me and all I had to do was stick with it!
Changes I noticed quickly: After being on OPTAVIA, I began to notice a few changes in my body. I felt incredible. Days 1-5 I was hungry and exhausted. My body was craving food and I wasn’t caving. But by day 7, fat burn had kicked in and it was like someone flipped a switch inside me. Suddenly I had this burst of energy that I can only describe as feeling incredibly excited for something that never actually comes. I was on another level of energy. I also noticed my hunger was gone and my cravings were slowly becoming easier to turn away. Sure I missed things my kids were eating, but I was listening to my body and realized how great I felt and how food was no longer holding me back.
After Month one I knew I had made the right choice. I was officially down 15 pounds* and I had never felt so incredible in my life. My cravings for sweets and bad carbs stopped after about 30 days on the program and I was no longer counting down the minutes to my next Fueling. My body was still in fat burn mode and I had taught myself how to listen to what it needed vs just giving it what I wanted to. The other thing I want to mention is how my sleep improved. I sound crazy I know, but when you struggle with sleep like I always have, good sleep is praise worthy!
Month 2 of OPTAVIA was even easier. By month 2 we were like clockwork and it became motion memory. Fueling every 2 hours, L&G at night and 64 ounces of water a day. By this month we were only weighing ourselves once a week because change slows down. But I managed to lose another 8 pounds and had officially met my weight loss goal of 20 pounds. I was down from 193 to 170. 170 pounds for me was such a huge victory. I had lost 23 pounds!* That was 23 pounds I carried around with me for 3 plus years after kids. 23 pounds of “I hate myself” and “my jeans never fit” that I no longer have. I felt and looked amazing. My friends and family noticed not only a difference in my physical look, but they could tell I was just all around a happier person. I no longer felt self-conscious and I loved myself. I literally changed my own life in 60 days and I will forever be thankful for what those days taught me.
Today, after being off plan since March 2020, I am still at 175 pounds. With a lot of “lose weight quick” programs, weight gain is real. But to gain only 5 pounds of 23 back is huge considering I survived “Quarantine 2020” without gaining it all. OPTAVIA taught me to look at food from a different perspective. For so long I just ate for taste and for pleasure. I would eat when I was bored and often when I wasn’t even hungry at all. OPTAVIA truly made me realize the value of food and how to properly fuel my body. I understood portion size, learning the difference between a good carb and a bad carb and realized how much better my body felt without foods that were sugary or full of dairy! Some would describe it as a weight loss program, but to me it was so much more. I learned more about my body in those 60 days than I ever have in all of my life. I could recognize the difference between when my body was hungry vs when I just needed water. I knew when my body needed carbs and I knew when it needed protein. I was (& still am) listening to my body and am now eating to live instead of living to eat! I will forever be thankful I took a chance on OPTAVIA!
If you want to learn more about OPTAVIA, visit here for more information.
*Average weight loss on the Optimal Weight 5 & 1 Plan® is 12 pounds. Clients are in weight loss, on average, for 12 weeks.