16 Week Recap

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I can hardly believe it’s been 16 weeks since I embarked on my Kaiser weight-loss journey. 16 weeks of complete meal replacement, only consuming the OptiFast 800 products through Kaiser. While I cannot claim perfection, I was extremely successful with my 16 week break-up with food.

The Results – I started the week before Christmas and weighed 273 lbs. Yesterday, I weighed in at 219 lbs, bringing my program weight loss to 54 lbs.

I was able to accomplish this feat by working through my bad habits and diving into my food triggers. I wish I could say I’m over the hump, but I know that I have a long way to go.

Working out wasn’t necessary during the first 16 weeks of this program; but it is necessary in order to achieve and maintain long-term weight loss success. I have busted my butt and found a genuine passion for working out. I have some amazing group trainers and have to thank VSP (my employer) for having so many opportunities, here at work.

Starting today, I introduce 1 – 250 calorie meal into my daily routine. Next week I will introduce 2 – 250 calorie meals, and the week after, 3. I will be learning how to eat all over again during this phase.

I am also very thankful, as I have said in earlier posts that my family and friends have been huge supporters. I am extremely thankful for every single compliment I have received. I may not always say it, but THANK you. This journey is only getting started and I’ll be relying on those closest to me for their continued support.

Here’s to the next 16 weeks 🙂

PS: My overall weight-loss journey puts me at 72 lbs lost, since October 2014.

Accept the Challenge

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I’m sure by now you are sick of that old saying, “The first step is always the hardest.” It is simplistic in thought but incredibly difficult to apply. Doubts, uncertainty, lack of will and desire, and habits are the obstacles to our happiness. We have evolved into a society that takes the path of least resistance. We have let our insecurities lead the way but at some point it is time to take a stand against OURSELVES.

Here are some tools you can use to do this:

  • Get your mind right – no one can do this for you, and before you can do anything you have to be in the right state of mind
    • Figure out why you want to make a change
    • What are your motivators?
    • What are your hindrances?
  • Prune your rose bush (Necessary Endings, Dr. Henry Cloud) – get rid of all the buds that are not flourishing in your life. More simply put: get rid of the negative Nancy’s in your life
  • Set high expectations for yourself with reasonable and achievable goals
  • Recruit a support system
  • Take calculated risks
  • BELIEVE in yourself and know that you can achieve anything you set your mind to
  • Lastly, write it down. It doesn’t become an actionable item unless you solidify it in writing

This is not a checklist. This is something I have to revisit often in order to reinvest in myself. When I occasionally lose track of why I’m putting myself through so many extreme situations, I simply take a breath and make sure I have all my “tools” in order.

The title of this is: Accept the Challenge. My challenge to you is take that first step, and figure out what you really want. It doesn’t have to be weight related. You can work towards a new position, towards getting your degree, or even saving money. Find something that will fill your soul with passion and purpose. Life is short and it is what we make it.

What’s in a number?

What’s in a number?

Why does measuring yourself or tracking your results matter so much? A number can possess more than just a few digits; it possesses the power to show you results and how your determination pays off. It can show you that when cutting corners or taking shortcuts, you can be sent down a negative path. A number keeps you accountable.

There is nothing more encouraging than seeing the scale move and your weight loss number increase. Other numbers that are encouraging signs of positive changes are smaller measurements, smaller pants sizes, smaller shirt sizes, and the bigger changes like lower heart rate, better blood pressure numbers, etc. Don’t forget how long you work out, how many steps you take, and how many ounces of water you drink — everything is in a number. The truth lies in the numbers; how healthy you are, how successful you are, and how on track you are can be determined by your continuous results.

When you feel the number no longer reflects the amount of work you are putting in, it is time to sit back and re-examine the reasons why. Maybe you’ve worn out a routine. Maybe your body is no longer responding to the foods you are eating. Maybe you are burnt out and simply need a break. This is why we must pay attention to the number and respect the reality it tells us.

Today I want to share with you a special number. The number 50. “The purpose of the number 50 is to promote fusion between body and soul, mind and spirit.” When I read that this morning, it made me feel even more excited to share the news that in a little over 3 months I have lost 50 lbs. This is the most I have collectively lost at one time and in the shortest duration of time. It has required sacrifice,  grit, strength and willpower but more importantly, it has allowed me the opportunity to learn from my slip-ups and mistakes.

The most important advice I can give anyone is to not get discouraged when you make a mistake. Simon Sinek says it best: “We learn most not from all of the things that go right. We learn most when everything goes wrong.” Words to live by.

Progress 2-3-15

Where there is a will…

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Something clicked this morning. Something different than when I started my weight loss journey back in October. I can see the future and it looks pretty amazing. The idea of getting down to a healthy weight is one of my biggest motivators yet. I have the potential to lose around 130 lbs by the end of May 2015.

I haven’t wanted to focus too much on the end result because I felt smaller milestones would be easier to achieve; however, now I am looking at both. I have a date in mind of where I would like to be and I will work my butt off (literally) to get there. Every week I will have a small weight-loss goal and it will require dedicated workouts and a very strict diet.  If I get to a point where my weight starts to plateau I will be smart enough to change up the plan by working out harder, longer, faster. Where there is a will there is a way (insert willpower).

Knowing where I could be 5 months from now is all the motivation I need to continue along this journey. To think about weighing 291 lbs just 3 months ago is absolutely insane. How was I functioning at all with an extra 45 lbs on my body? Luckily, I never had to endure any medical ailments due to my excessive weight. The world has opened back up to me. Now I can run 3 miles again, I can chase the boys around without thinking my lungs are going to collapse, and I can do 100 push ups.

I can look ahead to our recently booked cruise in Feb 2016, and look at excursions like para sailing, horseback riding, hiking and zip lining without the fear of being too heavy to keep up or meeting the weight requirements. I am excited about all the physical activities that I will want to participate in because my weight and self-confidence won’t be holding me back. What a feeling it is to see the Julie I see a year from now…nothing will be able to stop me, but me.

This week’s mission is to dig even deeper and see how much I can push myself physically. Instead of doing a modification try doing it a slightly harder way (i.e. a regular push up versus a girl push up). Also, to not just be satisfied with one workout. There is no reason not to get up and walk on a break or take the stairs. There are always chances to get up and move, even if it is doing squats at my desk.

I also want to challenge you. Whoever you are reading this. I challenge you to do something out of your comfort zone this week. Try making a new healthy meal, take a workout class, run/walk a mile. Just get out there and try to make you better…because after-all, if I can do it so can you!

The Support

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I am blessed. I have all the support anyone could ever want or need, and in every area of my life. There are so many people who are genuinely on board with my ambitious weight-loss goals, and are willing to do whatever they can to help me along the way.

Family –My husband Jason is a huge motivator for me. He may not always hear me say it (and we can all probably be a little better at this) but THANK YOU for having the courage to express your concern for my health. It takes a lot of guts to have such a difficult conversation with someone you love, but when your heart is in the right place there is never a bad time. Through all the “I hate you’s” (because he gets to eat food) I am really thankful to have this guy in my life. The twins are only 2 but they seem to get what I’m trying to do. They like to say “mama’s shakes, soup, bar, or water.” They are a BIG reason why I keep pushing through and will never quit. My parents, sister, in-laws, aunts, grandpa, sister-in-law & brother-in-law are fantastic. Almost every person in our families struggle with their weight and they can appreciate and respect what I am trying to accomplish. They also get why this is important to me. My mom and sister agreed to help with the twins on Monday’s while I go to my class, and my in-laws come up whenever they are able to help out. It is simply amazing to have these people in my life and have them willing to help in any way they can. Part of my motivation is to make you all proud because I am proud to be apart of both of these families (Dreier’s & Darling’s)!!!

Friends – There are so many good people in my life, and I’m proud of myself for always gravitating towards people who are positive, motivated, and inspirational in their own right. Hopefully you all know who you are, and whether we are working out together, talking about all our successes and struggles, or just having a good time, you mean the world to me. I don’t think words can express how much a friend can impact your life for good or bad. It is so important to surround yourself with those that are going to make you better, challenge you, or listen to you. I have them all and they are everywhere: far away, at work, in my neighborhood, 10 mins away, and most importantly every single person I consider my friend is special to me. Thank you to you all for your continued support 🙂

SuperFit – No good weight-loss success stories come without discipline, effort, sweat, and hard-work. There have been some influential fitness instructions in my life, but I don’t think I’ve ever connected with exercise as much as I have after joining the SuperFit family with Vince TheBeast Singletary and Val Fujii. I’m not sure exactly how you can make push-ups, squats, walking lunges, planks, burpies or ab work fun but they manage to do it for me. More recently, Vince has taken on our SuperFit workouts and under his lead I am seeing my body transform. I feel better, I walk taller, my muscles are stronger, my body hurts less (other than from the brutal workouts) and my confidence is soaring. Thank you guys for getting me back to a good place and I look forward to sharing this journey with you guys as I move towards the new me.

Work – Quick shout out to VSP for allowing programs like SuperFit, boot camp, and yoga. I work for an amazing company that provides me with the opportunity to be fit.

If you are reading and wondering if you are included in this blog today, you should probably assume you are. Every person in my life brings something a little different to the table, and I value each thing big or small. Thank you again for your all your support!

Is it only day 10?

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It’s day 10 of 112. 112 days of OptiFast shakes (vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry), bars (cinnamon, berry, fudge, peppermint and peanut butter), and soups (tomato or chicken). That’s it for 16 weeks, 6-8 products a day depending on my activity level.

Nothing in my life has ever been as hard as this program. I LOVE food so much and for the entire first week I was feeling very resentful towards everyone I interacted with, because they could eat and I couldn’t. This week my perspective flipped. I have began to realize that it isn’t about what everyone else is eating, it is about me paying attention to my relationship with food.

Triggers? Let’s go ahead and throw social interaction out there. As soon as I am around family and friends my immediate thought is what are we going to eat? Going on a trip…I think what drive-thru are we going to? The kids are eating dinner…boy their food looks pretty good. These are only a few but they are big ones and these are situations I find myself in frequently.

What am I doing to be successful? I’m taking small steps. Each time I get hungry and want to sabotage myself I have a debate in my head. Will it really hurt me this one time? What if I just have one bit? Then it goes to the other argument. Why would you eat that when you are spending all this money? What are you really going to get out of eating that? Logic ends up winning in the end and I sing that song on the cigarette commercial, “I just want to celebrate…” Every time I don’t give in is a small victory.

Fears? You betcha. I’m afraid I’m going to cave in and binge eat. Everyday I think about running through a drive-thru or having a slice of pizza. EVERY single day, and multiple times a day. I am afraid my emotions are going to get the better of me. Do others struggle with this? Wanting something so bad that you have to practically beg yourself not to give in? I hope it gets easier, and I think it will, but it’s only day 10.

What am I learning about myself? I can resist the temptation, peer pressure, and subliminal messaging I am bombarded with everyday. I can find myself in a social situation and not give in and have that big juicy delicious hamburger with mushrooms and swiss cheese, or the nachos my friends are eating. I can pass up on the food my family eats at our weekly lunch dates. I’m learning that I have the strength and willpower to make it the next 102 days (and beyond) because I want the end result bad enough. I now know that I can do this.

Thanks for reading along and all the continued support!

Perception

It seems like there is always a huge disparity between people who believe they are prefect just the way they are, and people who feel the only acceptable body type is what you see on TV or in magazines. I don’t find myself on either side of the spectrum. I am not happy nor satisfied being overweight and I know it is because I’m not healthy. If you can find happiness being overweight than more power to you, but I truly believe you cannot be completely happy unless you are healthy.

Let me backtrack here a bit. I love my life, I love the people in my life, and I love the things that I have accomplished; but, for 21 years I have had a piece of me hidden away, deep deep down. The side of me that has always been ashamed and lacking the confidence to do a lot of things. I have never felt comfortable in my own skin. I have felt embarrassed in my clothes. I have made up fake lives where I was skinny, super popular, and pretty.

I’ve done all the fad diets and exercise plans…and I’ve played Division 1 softball which had some pretty strenuous workouts. While I have had success here and there, it seems to always get to a breaking point and I stop. This is why I think writing this blog is so helpful. Most of us struggle with this…finding out what our “demons” are and figuring out a way to break them down to nothing.

I don’t want to be a supermodel but I think my eventual goal will be to teach a class, or become a trainer. If I can find my triggers and fix myself, nothing would make me happier than to help someone else find theirs. While we can love our life and things in it, it really wont’ feel complete unless you have peace and happiness with yourself.

Words of the day for me: Find the true happiness in your life and be the best person you can be in all facets of your life.