Weekly Photo Challenge and Advocare Diet Review

This weeks photo challenge is “lunchtime”, which connects well to another post I had planned on sharing today. So that works out great!

Today for lunch I had Panda Express, because today is my cheat day after completing the 24 day Advocare challenge.

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I lost 6 pounds and 4 inches on the challenge (the average weight loss for women is 10 lbs., so I think I did a decent job).

I thought I would write a review of my experience, what I learned, what I liked, what I didn’t like, etc.

First off, I found it very hard to stick too. Mostly when it came to eating out. Jeremy and I normally go out with friends 2x a week, wether that be a BBQ at someones house or just meeting up for dinner. We also eat out together 2-3x a week, breakfast on Sundays, dinner on Friday, etc.

The diet basically boils down to fruit, vegetables, lean protein (chicken, turkey, fish, etc.) and limited whole wheats, like brown rice, whole grain past and whole grain bread. (for a more exact description of the diet you can explore the Advocare website)

That doesn’t give a ton of options when you go to a BBQ at a friends house and they are providing the food.

So I did not stick to the diet 100%. I would say my average was about 80%

However, what I did learn, and will take a way from the experience, is that there are ways to eat the above mentioned foods in tasty ways. A few of my favorite recipes were turkey tacos (whole wheat tortilla topped with salsa), pineapple turkey burger (on a whole wheat bun) and sweet potato fries.

My two biggest problems with sticking to any kind of diet like this is 1) I have no willpower, and 2) I LIKE yummy-bad-for-me-food

I don’t think I will ever be one of those people who gets excited for a turkey burger, I would much rather eat Panda Express. And if you put both of those options in front of me, I will probably grab the Panda Express, I don’t have willpower.

So how do I lose the weight that I want to lose? Figure out something that works for my lifestyle and stick with it long term.

I will not be able to stick with a strict diet, I was amazed I made it at 80% for 24 days.

My plan now is to use what I learned as far as healthy eating habits, incorporate it into my daily life, give myself room to cheat a little, and make it a long-term lifestyle change.

When Jeremy and I go out to eat I don’t have to order the french toast with hash browns, I can have oatmeal and eggs. Every once in a while I can have a cheat day and order the pizza and Panda Express, but for the most part I have learned that there are healthier options at most restaurants that still taste pretty good.

And there are healthier options for me to cook at home, where my lack of willpower isn’t such an obstacle. I only buy healthy foods and try to cook at home most of the week, eliminating the temptation of bad foods.

The word “diet” is so negative. Just saying it makes me miserable. I want to live a healthier lifestyle, a lifestyle that I can actually accomplish and stick too long term, not just for 24 days or a few months. I recently found a FB page that I love called “This is not a diet – this is your life”, and I think her message is great!

I have 11 lbs to go until I reach my first goal weight and obtain a “healthy” BMI. Using what I learned from Advocare, I think that is a realistic possibility for me in the next 2-3 months.

I’m down 10 lbs. since I started this journey in January, it’s slow progress, but at least it’s in the right direction!

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Weight Loss Motivation Cycle

I vacillate between two opinions when it comes to weight loss.

#1: the “if other people can do it I can do it” phase where I am inspired to other people weight loss and tell myself that with dedication, eating healthy, working out and staying motivated I too could be an inspirational ‘before and after’

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#2: I like to call this phase the “Marilyn Monroe”, where I should learn to love my body the way it is.

What’s wrong with being a size 12? I have never been a skinny girl, I should start to accept my body the way it is instead of trying to meld it into what is socially acceptable.

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I normally go through these phase in 2-4 month cycles. I decide to motivate myself to lose weight, I keep it up for 2-3 months, then I get tired of missing out on all the foods that I love and go back to my old ways, telling myself that I am just fine the way I am.

Today I went through both of these phases in one day.

Jeremy and I have been eating healthy and working out for the last 3 weeks and I’ve lost 3 lbs. I was depressed about the lack of progress after giving up all the foods that I like…and I was majorly craving Girl Scout cookies lol.

But then Jeremy was amazingly supportive and helped me brainstorm ideas to keep on track. He is very disciplined (something I am not) and is in very good shape (another thing I am not) lol.

After a long discussion we finally decided that I will be started the Advocare 24 Day Challenge, in the hopes that losing weight and seeing results right away will keep me motivated in working towards the healthy lifestyle we are trying to live.

I think one of my challenges in losing weight and staying motivated is that I’m not really that unhappy with my body. I always tell my clients, that people only change if they are uncomfortable enough with the way they are now. If your okay with your life, then you have no motivation for change.

Would I like to look hot in a bikini when I go to the beach? Yes. But since I don’t go to the beach that often and I think I look good in clothes, it’s not a huge motivating factor for me.

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But I’m hoping with Jeremy supporting me and investing my hard earned money, I will be able to break my cycle and make it more than 3 months of being healthy. My goal is 6 months, then a year and ultimately a lifestyle.

“It took more than a day to gain it, it will take more than a day to lose it”

My Weight Loss Journey

Well, I guess I can add another item under my list of “what you will find in this blog”…my weight loss journey. 

I’ve always struggled with my weight, ever since High School. I’m not obese or anything, but I’m on the high side of “normal” and occasionally my BMI will tip over to the “overweight” range. I normally wear between a 10-12 in women’s, fairly average, but certainly no bikini body. 

I hate working out and I hate eating healthy, which is probably why I struggle with my weight lol. Honestly, if I could have a metabolism that would allow me to eat what I want, never work out and maintain a socially acceptable weight, I would do it. I hate girls like that lol.

When Jeremy left for this deployment my goal was to lose 25lbs. I managed to lose 15 during the first 3 months, but then I got lazy and busy with school and work and probably put back on the 15 by the time he came home.

Jeremy, on the other hand, got into amazing shape on this deployment. He has always been slender, the man eats 3x the amount of food I do and never seems to put on a pound, damn him! lol. But over the last 6 months he has mostly been lifting weights at the gym and is now sexy buff…like, I can count all 6 abs 😉

He wants to do a triathlon soon, so we decided to get into shape together. I certainly won’t be attempting the triathlon, but I’m still going to get into my own version of “shape”. Pear is a shape, right? lol

On the Saturday after he got home we started by shopping for healthy food. We don’t eat extremely unhealthy, not like fried chicken and McDonalds every night, but normally a lot of pasta, red meat and no vegetables. 

We were going to go really healthy, but neither of us like vegetables, so we got kinda stuck lol. Plus, I think it’s important to have realistic goals, we aren’t going to be able to maintain eating nothing but steamed vegetables and grilled chicken. 

Today was the next step, gym membership! There is a gym walking distance from our apartment and today we walked over and signed up (and worked out, of course). Our plan is to go together 4 nights a week and take a spin class on Saturday and Sunday morning. 

I’m hoping that by going together we will motivate each other and it will be a good husband/wife activity for us, since most of the things we like to do together don’t involve much physical activity (e.g. going to the movies and watching TV) lol. 

So we will see how the next few months go! I’m hoping I can keep it up and start to see some small changes in my body which will motivate me to keep it up! I know the best way to get in shape is to make a lifestyle change, rather than crazy fad diets and exercise regimes. Hopefully making the change as a couple will make it stick for me this time 🙂