Tuesday, April 8, 2014

First Year Complete

I started this journey officially on April 8th with my wife when I started with my first 24 Day Challenge by Advocare and she started a nutrition plan. The Challenge kicked off my lifestyle change where in those first 24 days I lost 30lbs with my advisor Jennie's help. Before that, on April 6th, I started my first Crossfit class with one of my trainers Jo at Minnesota Top Team. One year ago, I never would have thought I would have ever come this far. I think realistically I would not have made it through my 24 day challenge, yet I did. I did not even know I would make it through my first week of Crossfit classes without giving up or passing out, yet I have made it a year thanks to trainers Jo and Jeff! I am sure I am not the only one that had these doubts. The last year has been amazing; has it been easy? Heck no! I have been tempted by many different foods; have I been a 100% perfect on my current eating plans? No, I am human.
      (Now)    I have a neck now    (Before)

My first 24 day challenge I was a 100% perfect and that got the ball rolling. I did a lot of research on different ways of eating when the AdvoCare eating plan plateaued for me. I started mixing up a lot of things up over the months. I added some cheese back, organic from grass-fed cows, and when that did not work well, I took it back out and did that with many things to see how I reacted to them. For instance, I still stay away from sweet potatoes and other certain carbs. I find it's okay if I really limit the carbs, but the sweet potatoes just have too many carbs. What does seem to work is sprouted bread (7 grams of carbs per serving) from Trader Joe's or rice bread (5 grams of carbs) from Whole Foods. I like to use these to make almond butter sandwiches every once in awhile. I have found different recipes for homemade coconut chocolate that are awesome too and healthy in moderation, but if you eat the whole batch, not so much.  Also raw nuts are great snack for me too, but can add up to a lot of carbs as well - look out. The key is not to feel deprived, but not to lose control. If you are eating a lot of good quality fats and other good quality foods that are low processed, you will not feel deprived. Without feeling deprived, you will not fail. You might have some issues, but you will succeed.

You also need a great support team as I have mentioned in other posts. When things get old and you get side tracked, you need them! I have my family and many other people that have helped keep me going on the journey when I was frustrated that the weight was not coming off as fast as I hoped it would. I needed those people to help get me going again after my surgery in December. You have to realize life happens and things do not always go perfectly. You will have setbacks, you will have life changing events that will hit you when you least expect it, like I did with my father dying and mother years before him. You have to pick yourself up when things get tough and do for those who cannot. I had to stop waiting for something to happen, I had to make it happen! This may be cliché,  but this is not a television show - this is real life; if you want to live a long, healthy life, just do it.
(Before)                                  (Now)

To keep me going, I have set a new goal: I would like to hit 150 down by the end of summer. I am currently getting close to 130 down and I can't wait to get past it.
My life has already changed in so many ways and it is getting better every day, for my wife and family too who are on this ride with me.  From trying on new clothes in smaller sizes to riding on rides with my daughter that I have not 'fit' in for years. I weigh less now than when I got married over 13 years ago! That is crazy to me and this has only been one year. I cannot imagine where this next year will take me and my family. The overall goal of getting healthier and more fit and feeling great is important for so many people - it can be done and it will change your life too.

There have been several 'experts' I have found doing research that I have would like to tell you about. I have listened to their podcasts - check them out (links below). They are inspirational too! I have contacted some of them and gotten real responses. They are willing to help you, and so am I. (Some of these experts promote their own products. I am not affiliated or sponsored by any of them.) Again, if you have any questions or someone to vent to, please contact me! More to come...

Gary Roberts, Crossfit Killing the fat man YouTube videos 
Jimmy Moore, Living la vida low carb, Website and podcasts
Abel James, The fat burning man podcast and website
Dave Asprey The Bulletproof Executive podcast and website
Andreas Eenfeldt, MD., The Diet Doctor podcast and website
Dietitian Cassie, website and real Dietitian 
Minnesota Top Team
Do for those who cannot!