Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Health Program I'm Using

Several weeks ago, I shared the following on Instagram and Facebook:

"I may jinx myself by sharing this publicly, but I've been consistently exercising 15-90 minutes a day, 5-6 days a week, for the last 4 1/2 weeks. By choice. And loving it. I've lost 2 pounds and 7 inches. It's slow-going, but that's the point! I want this to last. I want these habits I'm learning to become just that-- habits. I'm not ready to share the health program I'm using, but it's the best program I've ever seen, hands down. There's nothing else like it, really! (It's not an MLM, it's not a product, it's not a diet, it's not at a gym...) I might have to write a blog post about it in the future. The reason I don't feel the need to share quite yet is because it's a year-long commitment. There's no rush. I'm feeling patient. And I'm feeling really good about not feeling the pressure to make it public. I've never felt like this before-- I usually over share! But for now, I'm going to keep it to myself. For at least a few more days. 😜 If you can't wait that long, I guess you can PM me. 😊 Photos: I don't watch videos. I do Pinterest finds! And walk the killer hills with my stroller buddy."  
And now, here is the blog post I wrote about it!

Glossing over everything (i.e. the short story):

I have started using a program called Precision Nutrition. I have a personal coach (who happens to also be a real-life friend). It's a year-long commitment. It's all based on behavior change, psychological change, being okay making mistakes, creating habits, and making those small changes bit by bit. It's based on science. It's based on logic. It's not an MLM. It's private. It's daily. It is self-compassionate. It works.

Not glossing over everything (i.e. the long story):

I have had a love/hate relationship with my body for a long time. I think most women do. Having kids meant my weight has fluctuated up and down and in and out... this is also common. I've been on diets before. In fact, I have done the following:
*Weight Watchers
*Green Smoothie diet/Veganism/clean eating (I was a "nutritarian leaning towards raw veganism")
*Intermittent fasting (just skipping meals)
*Absolutely nothing

I've also just given up a number of times. WW was too hard to maintain because I kept having babies. Nursing made me voraciously hungry! Veganism wasn't for me. Green Smoothies got ridiculously expensive. Depression also played a huge (pun intended) role, too. In fact, I would say that Depression was the biggest factor in how I viewed my body and, thereby, myself.

If you know about my journey, you will know that I have worked really, really hard to love my body the way it is.

And I do.

Let me repeat that: I love my body! Just how it is! I do! I do love my body. I honor it for what it has done for me. I have written extensively over the years about coming to love every little part of me. You can read some of it here and here.

Part of loving my body, though, is this innate desire to take care of it. But I was so emotionally and mentally unhealthy (for so many years) that I wasn't able to really do that. I would try --and usually fail. I was frustrated because the idea that all I have to do is eat sensibly and exercise daily felt too hard and too stupid and... too easy. But honestly, my brain and heart couldn't muster up enough longevity or commitment to help my body reach its potential. Gratefully, though, I got help for my brain, and for my heart, and it's been so much better this past year.

Once I reached some good emotional and mental health, I knew it was time to start focusing on the physical aspect. It also helped that I understand how interconnected everything is --physical, spiritual, mental, emotional... each one affects the other! So, I decided to start searching for something that would truly help me for life. Not for a quick fix. Not so I could drop 50 pounds in a few months. Just something that would help me change my habits and the way I look at physical health.

I truly wanted something that would allow for my nutritional knowledge and experience over the years --something that wouldn't make me overhaul every single thing I eat --and something that would make sense. Something moderate. Something logical! Something that would work long-term. Something that wouldn't set me up for massive failure.

I couldn't find anything that fit this idea.

I saw lots of MLM products, I saw several get-thin-quick ideas, and I knew WW was still an option. I prayed for several months this summer, asking God to help me find something that would work. I got really frustrated because I was starting to lose the love I had for my body while I searched for help. I also gained more weight. I was quite afraid I would delve back into all the old habits and not get out this time.

Then one day, I gave up looking and decided I just had to do something! I looked up the WW information for my area, but I felt so wrong about going to a meeting. So, I ended up not going to the meeting. (Btw, if WW is your thing and works for you? Awesome! Keep doing it! I don't want to make it sound like it's a horrible program --it's not. I just needed something different this time.)

The next day or so, I was online, and I had remembered that a local friend was a health and nutrition expert. I had seen a few things she had posted on her Facebook page and I thought that it might be a good idea to see what she does for herself (or at least recommended). Lo and behold, there on her page was a link to Precision Nutrition, where she had recently become a certified coach. I clicked the link, learned as much as I could about the program, downloaded the quick-start guide, and then messaged her. I had found what I was looking for! I asked her about the program and the next day, I signed up.

That was about 7 (?) weeks ago.

It has been absolutely transforming. It's been vulnerable, personal, private, and thrilling. It has been oh-so-slow. And oh-so-great!

And very, very quiet.

Everything I do is online, everything is personal, everything is quietly for me.

The whole premise of this program is for long-term change. In fact, up until week 7 (that would be this week) they didn't say a thing about what to eat! The first 6 weeks was about learning to do small daily habits that build up to lasting change.
And they don't have a diet. For example, they aren't vegan, or vegetarian, or paleo, or south beach, or green smoothies, or raw, or whatever --they teach nutrition with every diet. So, if you are vegan, this program will work for you. If you are paleo, this program will work for you.

Friends, I've only lost 2 pounds and 7 inches. For 5 weeks (because I weigh and measure myself every 2 weeks, and the next weigh-in is this weekend, so I could have lost more --who knows?) that's all I lost. But I don't care. Because I am changing!

I exercise 5-6 days a week and I love it. I learned:
*What I like to do as exercise
*That I can do it when I want to --I don't have to have a strict schedule
*That I love to sweat
*That I feel so much better!

I've learned about portions and eating less without changing what I eat. (Yet!)

I'm reading my scriptures every single day (that was a habit I chose at the beginning, which might sound odd, but I knew it would also make a huge difference in my life and it has).

I'm focused on long-term health and not obsessed with short-term numbers.

But let's talk numbers, anyway. For whatever reason, it helps me to see progress in a tangible way...

I am nearly 5' 10". At my smallest (as an adult), I was 168 lbs. I was 27 years old. That was after WW. And four children!

I thought, 9 months earlier, that 215 pounds was enormous.

I didn't realize, at that point, that it wasn't so bad! It's like how you look at your high school/college photos and you want to smack yourself upside the head because you listen to the stupid people and satan and those voices telling you that you are ugly and fat, when the truth is, you're neither! In any way!

[And you know what --I want to point out something. Ugly and Fat are not synonymous, anyway! Fat just means fat. Ugly is something entirely different, and dear reader, I have never been ugly in my life. Ever. And neither have you. So stop thinking you are, you gorgeous person, you!]

At my biggest, I was 255 lbs. I was 35 years old. That was around the time I got pregnant with my seventh child. I was miserable, but this was at the peak of Depression. Getting pregnant was a miracle from God and baby girl was a healing catalyst for me in so many ways.

After her birth, I weighed 218 lbs.

By the time we moved to Kansas, I was 230 lbs.

In June, I was 240 lbs.

I slowly lost a little bit before I started Precision Nutrition.

As of right now, I'm 228 lbs. And 38 years old. I'm hoping, by the time I'm 40, that the number will be much lower. Along with all my inches! I want to be strong, again.

(No full body shot because I don't have a recent one! I got my hair cut, today, though. :) ) 

The only reason I'm recording this is so that I can look back at it and remember. No, the numbers are not important. How I feel inside is what matters the most! But I like to see the numbers to track progress, too. I'm recording measurements, as well! I'll have to share those numbers in a few months when I can see significant progress. 7 inches overall may not seem like much, but man, I can feel a difference!

Oh, and btw, my ultimate goal is to weigh anywhere between 175 and 185. Even 190 would be fine by me! And I don't know how long that will take --I don't really care. It could take 2 years. Big deal. It could take 5 years! So, what?

The biggest reason I'm doing this is so that I will take care of myself and love myself in a way that honors God's gift (my body) and gives me the energy to take care of my family.

Anyway, so there you go! This is what I'm doing. And it's awesome.

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