Month: June 2012

Motivation Monday: The Finish Line

He’s my reason for everything. 

I know, I know… I have been absent lately. The last couple weeks have been very strange for me. Leaving a job that I have been at for 5 years was a huge thing. I think I held onto it for as long as I did because I didn’t think it was possible to “manage” my life starting over somewhere new. You know… full-time job, mom, family, self, etc. I had a good schedule down. I had things figured out. But, something was missing and I knew I was selling myself short professionally.

I have been able to take some time off between jobs. I am proud that I stood up for my need to have this week off, even though my new gig wanted me to start right away. My husband is away on a fishing trip with the “men” this week. While I’m sure I could have worked things out to manage a new job and my kid, I’m so glad I chose not to. As a matter of fact… I am loving my time at home. I feel relaxed and at peace. I don’t feel rushed. I am enjoying time with my boy, just the two of us. As I was getting dinner ready tonight, he ran up to me, threw his arms around my legs and said, “I forgot to give you a hug when you picked me up at school so I’ll give you one now.”

He’s my reason for everything. Especially my weight loss.

Yes, I have enjoyed the “benefits” of my weight loss. The size 8, the shopping for a new wardrobe, the two piece. I still kind of look at myself in the mirror, especially at group fitness classes and wonder if that could really be me. But it was about more than that for me. I wanted to lower my blood pressure (103/70 today… lowest in 4 years). My cholesterol was high. My BMI, a 32 when I started, was considered obese. I wanted to stop the spread of my endo. I wanted to do all these things for my health so I could be around for my little boy for a long, long time.

Today, I did it. I reached the finish line. Goal at Medifast is a little different. They take more into account than that elusive number on the scale. They look at your overall picture. At 151 lbs (just 1 pound from my original goal), they determined that I was ready to start my transition. With all the muscle weight I hav eput on, it wasn’t necessary to lose any more fat. It is possible I will continue to lose weight during transition; however, the goal is to get me back in the real world. This week, I get to add in an additional serving of veggies and I can choose from any of them (corn, potatoes and avocados for example are prohibited during the weight loss phase). Next week fruit. Then dairy. Then grains. Each week I will get to drop down the number of Medifast meals as they teach me how to eat going forward.

A pic of an outfit I tried on at Express.
I still can’t believe I fit in these clothes! 

While I reached the weight loss finish line, I know this isn’t the end of the journey for me. Maintenance will be a lifelong deal and I anticipate it being the hardest part. Let’s face it. I’ve got some food addictions. I’ve got some food issues. Maintaining this weight will not be easy for me.

For today, I am celebrating. I’ve lost 60 pounds over the last year and a half. I’ll be honest when I say that I never, EVER thought I would actually make goal. I struggled for so many years… I can’t even find the words to express what this means to me. I cannot thank Medifast enough for getting me to this milestone. I know there are many naysayers out there who are expecting me to gain all the weight back and all I have to say to them: thank you for the motivation to continue keeping it off. I will prove you wrong. 

My husband will be taking my official before & after photos which of course I will post for all of you to see. The question is… what to wear??? 

A Whole Different Person

I have made some major decisions in my life over the last week. Of course the main one being the start of a new job. For maybe the first time ever, and possibly the only time (and I hope he enjoyed it), I asked my husband to play devil’s advocate when it came to accepting, countering or declining a job offer. For the first time ever, my changing jobs impacts more than just me. It impacts this whole little family we have created. He asked some typical questions such as how much is the offer for, what future opportunities exist, will I have flexible hours, can I start at the beginning of July and will I still be able to take our Disney vacation in August. All questions that were answered at some point during the interview process. It came down to the commute. Savage to Minneapolis is no easy task (for those out of state or country just plug Savage, MN into Google Maps and get directions to Downtown Minneapolis). If that was THE only thing that was holding you back, would you let it? My answer to that was a resounding NO. It is a great opportunity with a great company and I am BOUNCING off the walls with excitement.

Announcing my departure at my current company is what really calmed my nerves over my decision. I think anyone who has spent 5 solid, loyal years with a company would wonder if they are making the right choice in walking away, but it wasn’t a big deal around here and frankly it seems as though everyone was expecting it. As with any job, there were things that I couldn’t stand (drama, no flexibility) but there were also things I loved (location, the people). The one thing they couldn’t offer is career advancement and for me, that is a deal breaker. Of course it would have been easy to keep the same job and do the same thing year after year, but that just isn’t in me. I am driven and need to have change in my environment to keep my mind and my skills fresh. I was ready for a change. I’m proud of the work I have done and the relationships I have cultivated. I am happy to say I can walk away with my head held high.

It’s weird cleaning out 5 years of work. Old memos and projects that you wonder how they ever got signed off on because they look so terrible. Old e-mails with friends. Ultrasound pictures. Jack’s birth announcement. The last 5 years have been a massive life change for me. This job has seen me through infertility, building and moving to a new home, the miracle of my child, the miracle of my dear friend’s child and two of my bestest friends getting married. That girl who started here 5 years ago? I don’t even recognize her. After my resignation was announced today, a colleague came in to give me a hug and said, “Wow. You are really like a whole different person.” I even look entirely different than I did when I started here.

May 2008 (I was 4.5 months preggo here…)
Me in the cream sweater- November 2007. Eating. Shocking.
That is me on the lower left. November 2008- 2 months postpartum.

Is change kind of scary? It sure is. I know I’m not going to like being the new kid on the block all over again. It has been 5 years since I’ve worked in large, matrix environment and I’m nervous I won’t remember how to maneuver. I’m scared of mass transit (almost as much as I’m afraid of Wal Mart).

But you know what? I am definitely more excited than I am scared. I’m excited to work in the big city. I’m excited to go to the Farmer’s Market on Nicollet Mall. I’m excited to take on a new challenge and knock it out of the park. I’m excited to start new relationships. I’m excited to have a clean slate. I’m excited to work for an employer that isn’t requiring me to “punch a time clock” but simply expect me to do my job. I am… EXCITED.

I am also happy that I am taking some time out for me. I will have a glorious week and a half off between jobs and am looking forward to having some true ME time. Pretty sure I earned it!

My Medifast Survival Guide

Now that I’ve talked some friends into joining Medifast, I think it is officially time to post some of my survival tips. Before I do, I want to say that the program really is a different program for everyone. The things I may like, the next person will hate. Importantly, I’ve learned a few things along the way.

1) When you start, everything will taste funny. Your taste buds will definitely adjust over time. Try a product you didn’t like a couple weeks later and you might find you like it after all.

2) Soups: Let them sit. Before & After. The longer they soak, the better they will taste.

3) Always eat every 2-2.5 hours. Eat within the first 30 minutes of waking up in the morning. I always start off with a full 20oz of water every morning as well. If you start work as early as I do, put your optional snack in between your first and 2nd meal along with an additional 20 oz of water- it helps with the time gap between meals. My day typically looks like this:
6:15a: 1st meal
8:30a: Optional snack
10:00a: 2nd meal
12:30p: 3rd meal
3:00p: 4th meal
5:30p: Lean & Green
8:00p: 5th meal

4) Check out this blog: Sandy’s Kitchen Adventures. She has tons of Lean & Green recipes as well as recipes for Medifast foods too!

5) Do not microwave the eggs. Stovetop only. Add some seasonings. Use a whisk to stir. Delish. They have become a breakfast staple for me.

6) Use a Magic Bullet or similar type blender as much as possible for your shakes. They turn into a more smoothie type drink and for some reason taste better (definitely less gritty).

7) Pudding: always use a whisk and super cold water to mix. I have made it in the morning, stored in tupperware and refrigerated it for several hours- nice and thick. Another trick is to freeze it for about an hour and top with sugar free chocolate syrup (count as a condiment). Totally cured my ice cream cravings.

8) Hot Cocoa: Mix with just a little bit of water to form a thick paste. Add hot coffee instead of water. Makes a delicious mocha!

9) Soft Serve: This one I loved but found their directions impossible so I make it like a shake. I use about 1/2-3/4 cup of water, add 4-5 ice cubes, soft serve packet and for the Coffee & Peanut Butter soft serves I add a little sugar free chocolate syrup. Switch off between blending & pulsing with the blender until you don’t hear the ice anymore. Makes a super thick shake. SUPER yummy.

10) Pancakes: I was obsessed with chocolate chip pancakes until I had to go soy free. I made them as a muffin in a coffee cup. Prepared as instructed, but instead of using a frying pan/stovetop, pour into a large coffee mug (can use a little Pam if you want, but I found I didn’t need it) and nuke it in the microwave for 1 minute. Pops out like a muffin- top it with the Medifast syrup (or any sugar free syrup).

11) Oatmeal: Sorry… I have no tips. Spackle? I tried making these as muffins as well. The blueberry ones work best for that. I did eat the maple brown sugar regularly in my pre-soy days. I also added a packet of Splenda (or Truvia) to these.

12) Love the crunch bars. Get yourself some bars every week. I found that when I am on the go they are easy to take with you anywhere, are delicious and best of all they are filling.

13) Extra water and a packet of Splenda in the brownies and soft bakes usually did the trick for me. But I’m a gooey brownie/cookie person anyway. Oh how I miss those ones in my new soy free world!

14) If you want to flavor your water, buy the Mio water enhancer over Crystal Light. It is more Medifast friendly.

15) Probably the most important tip I can give you is DON’T CHEAT. I have survived the last 6 months on Medifast because I didn’t stray and if I did, it was very minor in nature. Seriously. JUST a bite. A taste. Nothing more. I know that is hard to do but it fulfills cravings and frankly? The bites weren’t that great anyway. OH OH OH! One more tip. Sugarfree gum has been my lifeline. I know you’re only supposed to have one piece a day, but I have much more. It keeps me from eating when I don’t need to (shouldn’t) be.

Regardless of how tired I am of Medifast food, which I am, I step on the scale and realize how far I have come. You know what? IT WAS WORTH IT. So glad I chose Medifast.

Thinking of joining??? Let me know what questions you have and I’d be happy to answer them!!

Motivation Monday: Introducing, Me

Riding the Dino Train

My weekend was insane. Between getting up way too early on a Saturday to see some dinosaurs (which Jack LOVED by the way) and going to a little league game that same afternoon followed by a Sunday of sprinklers and swimming, I need a weekend from my weekend! If you are in Minnesota you MUST check out the dinosaur exhibit at the MN Zoo. It is absolutely awesome. We signed up for their Dinos & Donuts preview (paid to go to the exhibit before the Zoo opened to the public). It was so worth it- the line was insane when we left around 10am. Jack got a dinosaur claw necklace and a wristband which he thought were both super cool. We also got free snacks and drinks in the dino village. It was pretty fun and worth the money to see it without the crowds.

I am also beyond stressed out. Awhile ago, I had talked about making the decision to find a new job or become a SAHM. Since finding out that I would be unable to have more kids, I decided that I would continue to pursue my marketing career. While I have seriously enjoyed my current position for the last 5 years, it was time for me to move on. Working for a small company has its advantages, but career advancement is not typically one of them. I have verbally accepted a new job offer and what stresses me out is the limbo- the time between getting the offer, putting in your notice and getting the super official OK from the new company. I’m having those moments of “What if the offer falls through” moments and just trying to take a lot of deep breaths. Changing jobs is both exciting and scary. All you can do is trust your instincts and have faith that everything will work out for the best. More to come as I wait for the A-OK from my new company. Meanwhile, as I clean out my files, I have discovered I am closet hoarder. Why did I keep all this stuff??

I digress. Let’s talk healthiness journey.

Over the weekend, there was no way I was going to be outside in the summer heat without a swimsuit on. I had bought a bikini a couple weeks ago on clearance (thinking if I absolutely hated it, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I never wore it). I put it on to go to the backyard and play in the kiddie pool with my kiddo, yet I covered up with shorts and a tank. I pulled off my tank and asked my husband, “Are all the neighbors going to think I’m icky wearing this bikini top?” He looked at me as if I were nuts and said, “You’re kidding right? You look fantastic.” So, I did my best to “own” my bikini. I kept my shorts on most of the time but I couldn’t get it out of my head how self-conscious I still am. Regardless of how much weight I have lost or what size I am now wearing, that fat girl on the inside just will not leave me alone. I’m not sure if she ever will. Maybe, that is exactly what I need to keep the weight off for good this time.

This was a big week gang. After last week’s epic 3.5 pound gain, I worked my BUTT off (literally). I lost FIVE POUNDS this week! I am at 152.5 with just 2.5 pounds to my goal of 150!!! I am of course beyond elated and proves that when you work the program, it’ll work for you.

My goals this week:
– Daily workouts with 15 minutes of cardio per day and strength workouts 3x this week (Mon/Wed/Fri).
– STICK TO THE PROGRAM. 2.5 pounds left to lose? I got this.

I’m so excited for all of the exciting new things coming up in my life from my new career opportunity to my crazy skinny new body. So, hello, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Joanne and this is the new me.

What are you doing to stay motivated this week? 

P.S. This is the OLD me from Dec 2011. Found this picture cleaning out my electronic files. Yikes.

I’m in the white shirt on the bottom left.
Thought I should put up a current pic of me.

Fabulous Fit Friday: Sum Sum Summertime!

Today is the last day of school for many kiddos. It is the last day of preschool 1 for mine! He moves into the next level up Preschool 2 room on Monday and we are of course oh so proud that he is transitioning rooms so quickly.

This week has been a challenge both mentally and physically. I rarely blog about work but it has really taken it’s toll on me this week. There has been more drama in the workplace than I care for and I cannot even tell you how grateful I am that it is Friday. I will NEVER understand how some people can be so inept at handling conflict resolution. I know not everyone is like me and can move on quickly from issues, but acting like a petulant child is never the professional thing to do. I have been trying to act like I don’t care abd blow it off, but deep down this person is causing me loads of anxiety. I keep hoping this person will just move on, but it isn’t looking that way. I just don’t get it. Grow up and act professional. We aren’t in high school anymore. Being called out on your mistakes is part of being in a professional job. How you handle them are what makes you a professional.

Physically, while there was no way on God’s green earth I was going to be able to workout twice a day, I have worked out every day. I think my body is finally feeling the wrath of it too. I’m quite sore today and physically just feeling exhausted and burnt out. The mental stress isn’t helping this situation either. I’m just feeling down and defeated after this long week.

On the other hand, I’m feeling GREAT because SUMMER IS HERE. I love that I can go running at night after the kiddo goes to bed without feeling that I’m going to get run over or attacked because it is too dark out. I love driving with all the windows open and my hair blowing everywhere. I love being able to sit outside on my lounge chair while the kiddo entertains himself in his pool, sprinkler, swingset (etc.) I realized the other day for the first time in, oh, YEARS that I had no qualms about putting a pair of short shorts on. I am getting much more comfortable with having less of me covered up. It’s a huge victory! 

Dinos at the Zoo?? Cool! 

This weekend is going to be a fun one. We are going to the special Dinos and Donuts day at the MN Zoo to see the dinosaur exhibit before the Zoo opens for the day. It’s hella early in the morning (we want to be there by 7:30a) but there will be a small amount of people compared to seeing the exhibit with the general public. I can’t wait to share our adventure! We will also be going to my 10 year old nephew’s final baseball game of the year on Saturday afternoon followed by some dinner at the Galaxy Drive In where I really have no idea what I will eat to stay on plan. A Diet Coke? Ugh. What to do??

My Handsome Nephew

Sunday will be all about enjoying the summer heat and letting the kiddo relax and play in the pool while mommy works on her tan.

I received some pretty rockin’ news today and my adrenaline is still coursing through my body over it. I can’t share yet, but I promise I will soon!

In the words of Rihanna…
Cheers to the freaking weekend
I drink to that.
Oh let the Jameson sink in
I drink to that.
Don’t let the bastards get you down
Turn it around with another round.

Have a great weekend!

A Touchy Subject: Let’s Agree To Disagree

So, reports are brewing that Gisele is pregnant again. I made a comment of my distaste for her on Twitter and got a reply by someone who didn’t like my remark, saying that she thinks Gisele is a great mom.

I feel the urge to clarify. 

I never said she isn’t a good mom. Like every other mom in the world, she does what she needs to do. What is right for her. What makes sense for the world she lives in. It’s her condescending comments that I don’t care for. These ones: She didn’t “treat her body like a garbage can” in pregnancy, we all know she thinks everything other than breastfeeding should be illegal and she had her baby potty trained at 6 months. Well, we should all be so lucky to be such fucking perfect mothers.

I appreciate parenting advice. I do. When I was pregnant, I sought it out. I was clueless and needed to know anything and everything. I had no idea who was right or wrong, which opinion I should listen to. Then I became a Mom and it mattered. Is it advice or is it just someone on their high horse?

Advice is one thing, but  I still don’t appreciate feeling judged. Inadequate. A failure. That is how Gisele’s comments made me feel (and really… the entire modeling industry as a whole makes normal everyday women feel like total shit). As the victim of shitty overweight genetics, I was already predisposed to becoming a total fat ass after having a baby. Ask any woman in my family. Seriously. I didn’t treat my body like a garbage can (as a matter of fact, I was sick as hell for 25 weeks) but I still gained 35 pounds. As far as her not needing any pain medication during labor? Again, good for her. There wasn’t a moment after my epidural that I wasn’t thanking my lucky stars for it. But, I guess to some (like Gisele) that makes me weak. Oh, and let’s see… I’m a full-time working mom which meant my boobs (or bottle in my pathetic case) weren’t available to my son 24/7 so I couldn’t hold him over the toilet after all of his feedings to ensure he was potty trained before he turns 1. I have already beaten the breastfeeding subject to a pulp so I’m not even going to go there other than to say my inability to do so was one of the greatest causes of my PPD. I already feel guilty enough so PLEASE stop making it worse.

GOOD FOR GISELE for having the time, money and availability to do all she has done for her child. I just don’t want to hear it anymore. Does her having another baby subject us to more of her painful, self-righteous opinions?

After nearly 4 years, I am FINALLY at a place where I KNOW that I am a GREAT mom. My son is smart, growing, thriving and he LOVES me. He really does. I don’t need to justify any of the decisions I made in his earliest days because he is doing amazing. I don’t know how it took so long, 36 years to be exact, to be able to brush aside small-minded opinions and learn to just love myself. Flaws and all. I’ll never be perfect and thank god, because that is a lot to live up to. 

For the record, let this be the last time I have to justify my disdain for Gisele and her comments. You do it your way and I’ll do it mine. We’ll agree to disagree. But we’ll ALL agree that what we’re really trying to be at the end of the day is a good mom and there is no right answer for how to do that. It is what is in your heart.

Motivation Monday: Dare I Say, It’s Working?

On Fit Friday, I talked about commitment. Making a commitment to something isn’t always easy when it requires a massive lifestyle change overhaul. Determining what your key motivator is will lead to success.

One of my top motivations for a healthy lifestyle was to try and treat my endometriosis holistically meaning no hormone treatment and no more surgeries. Estrogen is known to stimulate the growth of endometrial tissue, so reducing estrogen levels is the key. I was told that reducing BMI and getting regular exercise will naturally lower estrogen levels which in turn will help alleviate pain. I have been on hormone replacement therapy (HRT) since my laparoscopy/oophorectomy last August and it has not been fun, so the only way to really know if my weight loss has helped my condition was to stop therapy. Upon discovering that Medifast’s heavy reliance on soy protein in their meals was worsening my endo, my first cycle test was a failure and I was in a world of pain. Being stubborn and persistent, I decided to stay off the hormones for another month to see what would happen. I started seeing my chiropractor and added an antioxidant powder and progesterone cream to my daily vitamin regimen. I continued working out 3-5 days a week and started limiting my Medifast meals to their soy-free products (and there aren’t many to choose from). My TOM was wicked late (day 35… if I was TTC I would’ve taken about 100 pregnancy tests by this point), but shockingly… it hasn’t been horrible. Dare I say… normal? Sure the normal bloating and headaches have been present but the cramping has been normal and not “endo” cramping (if you have endo… you know what I mean). This makes me hopeful. I had been seriously considering a hysterectomy next year and the thought of it, at age 36, makes me sad. A hysterectomy to me means losing my womanhood and intensifying the fact that I am indeed infertile. I don’t want to give in. So, being relatively endo pain free this cycle is a huge victory.

I am so freaking proud of myself for what I have accomplished. There isn’t a single part of this journey that has been easy or fun, but knowing that I may have won the battle over controlling my endo pain through diet and exercise is worth every bit of struggle.

Sadly though, I have reached my Medifast exhaustion. I was supposed to be at goal 2 months ago. Yes, I have made extreme changes to my body (most especially by dropping HRT) and I’m trying to work through it. The truth is, I’ve had small cheats. Nothing big, but a couple beers, a couple cookies, a bun with my hamburger… all of those things throw you out of the fat burning stage of Medifast. You can’t do it on the program, but somehow I have talked myself into believing I can which is what got me here in the first place, so WHY am I doing it??? Ugh. Stupid brain.

My weigh in today… *sigh*. I’m back up 3 pounds this time up to 157.5. WTF. I confess I had some cheats. A bit of alcohol. A bite of chocolate chip banana muffin. But 3.5 pounds worth of cheats??? My counselor kind of shrugged it off. Let’s face it, TOM = water retention = bloat. I wasn’t going to win that epic battle. I’m trying not to let it bother me, but it does. I’m frustrated.

I know I have said it in previous weeks, but my goal this week is to be 100% on plan. NO cheats. No little bites or tastes. No alcohol *cries*. I will drink 80+oz of water a day. This goal is lofty, but I was challenged to get two 15 minute bursts of exercise EVERY day and 3 days of strength training in this week. Surely I can manage two 15 minute bursts of exercise, yes? Perhaps if I actually get up when my alarm goes off…

Based on my stress level on this lovely Monday (yes, sense my sarcasm), these bursts of exercise will probably do me some good in that department.

What are your goals for the week?

Fabulous Fit Friday: Commitment

I took Thursday and Friday off from work last week (which was attached to an automatic Memorial Day holiday day off on Monday). I would recommend to everyone to take time off- especially when you have nothing going on. On Thursday, I went to see my chiropractor (ahhhhh massage and back cracking) and then got a pedicure in the afternoon. The rest of the rainy/stormy day was spent curled up in my recliner catching up on DVR and finishing the ridiculous, poorly written trilogy that is Fifty Shades of Grey.

My Friday was busy. I decided to check out a rare daytime Group Fitness class at Life Time Fitness. I usually take The Mixx class (mix of hi/lo, kickboxing and funk) every other Wednesday night so I figured it was a sure bet that I would enjoy it and get a good workout. It was AWFUL. I am all for instructors motivating their class, but this bitch was a drill sergeant. She was in people’s faces yelling at them to work harder. The music was the loudest I have ever heard at a Group Fitness class and my ears were ringing worse than they did following the Nickelback concert just 36 hours prior. Considering it was a holiday weekend, there were a lot of women like me who showed up on a rare day off and the class was packed. No biggie. If you are an instructor teaching folks you don’t normally teach and not sure of fitness levels, they MUST provide low impact alternatives. She did not do this. I am in fairly good shape now and I could not do half of the drills she was teaching. I left early. I NEVER leave early. I was NOT happy. The rest of the day was better thank god! I got an oil change for my car (which really just meant sitting at Starbucks enjoying a light Mocha Frapp and reading my dirty porn book). I stopped at Target and then the hubs and I went to Cal’s Garden Center to get some new plants for our landscaping project. I was fairly unattached to my technology all weekend and I can’t say I missed it much.

Despite going out to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner TWO nights in a row and admittedly not making the best choices, I was happy to see a 2 pound loss at my weigh in on Tuesday. Granted it was only 2 of the 2.5 that I had gained the week prior… *sigh*. Here’s the deal though. Now that I am within 4.5 pounds of my goal, I am really feeling like it is just a number. I am starting to feel like, what is the big diff? 4.5 pounds won’t lose me another size. It won’t increase my 5K speed. A part of me feels as though I have already succeeded. Talking with my dad the other day about my success, he asked, “So, you must be around 120 lbs then?” Which of course I LOL’d. He was stunned that I was 154.5 lbs and agreed with Medifast that I do not need to go lower than 150. Hey, if my 150 looks like 120 then I’m not complaining!

One of THE BEST parts of my success is inspiring others to choose a healthy lifestyle. No matter which program, from SparkPeople to WeightWatchers, it equates to healthy CHANGE. I have had several people approach me about Medifast and ask me if I like it and if it works. Look at me! It works! Do I think it is for everyone? Nope. I had a colleague say he just wanted to “do it for a month to drop a few pounds before Cancun”. Whereas I shook my head in agony. Medifast is NOT, I repeat, NOT NOT NOT a lose pounds quick plan. It has taken me 5 MONTHS to lose 34 pounds. Granted everyone is different, but sheesh, if you are going to commit to losing weight, do it all the way. I told him not to bother going to a Medfast Center because they will make you commit to the whole journey (which takes 1+ years to complete), not to mention flushing tons of $$$$$ down the drain if you only want to do “a month”. It just doesn’t work that way.

Look, I have been there. I get it. Over the last decade, but more importantly over the last 3 years, I “re-committed” to weight loss a thousand times over. I look at it similarly to smoking- you’ll never be able to quit until you’re truly committed. Thankfully, an ultimatum from my husband (just a mere boyfriend at the time) told me it was cigarettes or him. Well… we can all guess what happened (pssst… I chose him). It was a good incentive. Just like my endo and my son are my main incentives for my weight loss. But is it enough? What is YOUR incentive? There is no wrong answer here, but the bottom line is: you really have to be committed and ready to change your life. Yes, people, that means forever. That means passing up french fries and chips and opting for fruits and veggies instead. It means putting the Totinos pizza aside and spending the time to make a healthy dinner at night. After 5 months on Medifast, this strange thing happened: I am happy to make the smarter choices when I am out because despite what my head is telling me (have the french fries, they are delicious), my tummy is saying something different (WoW! Those grilled vegetables were awesome). Plus, I get to walk away from dinner with zero regrets. 

My weight loss wasn’t magic. I had to work hard for it and make many sacrifices to my lifestyle. I had to get regular exercise AND change my eating habits. I had to recognize that I do not have the ability to eat whatever I want. I had to make real and lasting changes. I wish I could tell you that it was easy. It’s not. You’re going to struggle. You’ll cheat at some point. If you are committed, you’ll get yourself back up. You’ll make food tracking/journaling a daily habit. You’ll workout a minimum of 3 days a week. I hate to tell you that you will hate a lot of this. I still do. There is a light at the end of the tunnel of hard work. You’ll be able to shop wherever you want. Feel confident. Have more energy. Not worry about fitting into the seats at Target Field. Your significant other will take more notice. Random strangers will take notice (so weird…) and a million other things that make the hard work worth it.  

I freaking love the new me and I am NEVER giving her up. I am committed for a lifetime.