The Difference a USANA Lifestyle Can Make
You know when you’re driving a familiar route – perhaps home from work after a long day – and you slip into auto-pilot; You pull into your driveway and can hardly remember the drive itself. Have you ever paused, looked around at your life and wondered “how did I end up here?”
I had that moment in 2011. I saw this photo of me sitting smack in the middle of my friends and thought to myself “Whoa! When and how did I get here?”
Except I knew EXACTLY how I got myself to that point, in that situation. I was choosing to blissfully ignore those facts, until they weren’t so blissful anymore.
My current mission for this year is to now live Life Outside My Comfort Zone; to feel the fear, and do the things that scare me anyway. Sharing my weight-loss story with the world is definitely scary, but it’s my hope that at least one person might be able to identify with my struggles and find hope in knowing that it is possible.
Bad Habits in 2010 & 2011.
At this point I was in my second year of my teaching career. I had a gym membership, and went most mornings before work. I occasionally went for runs. So because I considered myself to be fairly active and eating fairly healthy, I felt that entitled me to the extra treat very now and then. It’s embarrassing to admit now, but I was known to eat an ice cream bar on the way home from work several times a week in my first year of teaching.
It’s safe to admit to myself now, although I wouldn’t likely have at the time, alcohol was my security blanket. I had a glass of wine or two to unwind & ease the stress from work, most nights with my dinner. Weekends were commonly spent socializing, with beer, wine or spirits acting as a catalyst to my confidence. I’d been a proud party girl for years at that point – all through out my university career; it had become a part of my identity.
I realized I was living proof that you can’t out-exercise a bad diet & habits. Something had to change.
Around this time, I’d also started on the Depro-Provera birth control injection and thought nothing of it. I was doing a women’s bootcamp, then a gut-buster challenge at the gym with some of my co-workers. I ate clean, exercised the most and still lost the least. To say I was frustrated was an understatement.
As time went on, the doctors noticed that my blood pressure was getting higher and higher. 160/100 is not healthy for a 25/26 year old young woman. The doctor told me it was time to lose weight. I was frustrated with that because, duh! What did he think I’d been doing!? The highest I remember being was about 85 kilograms (187 pounds).
Making Changes in 2012
I opted to eliminate all sources of hormone altering birth control from body, and had a copper IUD put in in December 2011. My body was hoarding body fat like no other, and I whole heartedly believe that much of my weight gain and struggle to lose, as well as my high blood pressure was attributed to this, although that is just my own opinion.
Although I had quit the gym at the end of 2011, as I left my job in town, I invested in my own equipment at home. In May of 2012 I went to the gym for a consultation to have my body fat percentage measured, and the girl who was doing it talked diet with me.
She recommended I try going Paleo for 30 days, which I did for all of June, and I did feel great. But then I went to Thailand for two weeks, and I struggled to jump back on track when I got home.
I saw an ad for a program called “Back to School, Back to You” being run by my friend Stephanie Packer floating around on Facebook in August. Steph was back home in Nova Scotia, and I was in New Zealand, but I soon learned that the program was still available, it was available in 19 different markets. While I was already in the middle of the school year in New Zealand, the RESET sounded like just what I needed.
You can read my recap of those 5 days here from an old blog of mine.
I distinctly remember feeling more confidence in my own body than I had in a long time. So much so, that I not only wore tights, but I took what we now call a ‘selfie’ in the mirror – something I never would have done previously (I’m fairly certain this type of photo did not have that official name back then though).
I was finally starting to be proud of the noticeable changes I was making in my body.
The RESET was by no means a quick fix, as some people like to think or hope. It did, however, arm me with another piece of my weight-loss puzzle. I kept making healthier and healthier choices. I wanted to eat to feel good. By this point I was drinking substantially less alcohol, and less often, and I do think that alone was making a huge difference, too.
Some people are quick to judge that programs like the RESET are an ‘easy out’ or suggest that you should just be eating real clean food. I completely agree that a wholefood diet is the best approach and it is certainly one that I take; but when you’re in that space of feeling like you’ve tried everything or you’re not seeing the results that you want and just want a little help, the 5-Day Jumpstart can provide that. It’s not the answer though. You can’t do a RESET then go back to your old bad habits.
A Healthier Lifestyle on the Road in 2013
I left teaching and New Zealand to road-trip across Canada with my boyfriend in May of 2013. I hadn’t been home in 4 years, and really wanted to see and show Thom the whole of Canada. We bought a Ford Explorer in Vancouver and camped in the back of it for 3 months, as we visited friends and family across the country. We had a cooler and a wee barbeque that allowed us the freedom to make healthy choices on a budget.
I had developed lots of healthy habits. But I still wasn’t satisfied with my waistline and my health, especially as the holidays approached, and knowing all the temptations that were about to come with them. I knew it was time to kick it up another notch.
Cue the 30-Day Beach Bum program: Holiday Edition. Steph and her awesome team were offering up another program that intrigued me and I convinced my mother to join me as an accountability buddy in a healthy holiday effort for my last month at home before I travelled, The Beach Bum program focused on acts of self-love and nourishment, rather than deprivation, which was exactly what I needed. Heck, isn’t that what we ALL need?
I re-committed to my health and making consistent changes on December 1st 2013. I developed a new understanding of health on a cellular level. I started taking a multivitamin and anti-oxidant twice daily, regularly. I haven’t looked back since.
I hit the road with Thom again, this time crossing Canada overland on the VIA Rail, taking 3 weeks in 7 different cities between Halifax and Vancouver. We visited Hawaii for a week, and Fiji for 8 days, and I felt even more alive. I’d started my own global wellness business, and was now getting my mind as healthy as my body with heaps of personal development. Even though I was travelling, I was armed with so much to keep me healthy and seeing results.
These days, my life looks a whole lot different. I value cellular health and because of that, I have an abundant mindset in that my health is worth every penny I invest it in. I have a solid understanding of what it takes to not only lose weight, as many people are fixated on, but to truly change your lifestyle.
It’s not easy. There is no quick fix. But programs like the RESET, which is only a jumpstart to get you back on-track, can help. The 30-Day Beach Bum program is a great way to become a part of a virtual community, especially when you might be in an area or time in your life where you lack that support network.
It truly is a lifestyle, and one that I love living. This journey isn’t just about the food that you put in or your mouth (or don’t) it is completely a holistic journey that requires healthy loving thoughts and actions.
I am truly grateful for this journey and the lessons that I’ve learned along the way, not only about health, weight-loss and nutrition, but about myself as well. I learned from experience that I am capable of change and very much in control of my own destiny. I wholeheartedly trust my health in the hands of USANA and won’t go a day without my vitamins & optimizers.
Don’t Give Up
If you do the 5 day Jump Start and don’t see the results you want, don’t get discouraged, keep going. If you do the 30 Day Beach Bum program, and truly 100% commit to it (and not just kinda sorta half-ass it, because you can’t expect half-ass efforts to get full-blown results) and still want more, keep going.
My journey has taken me the better part of 4 years, and I’m still working towards improving certain habits and features. I’ve accepted that it’s a process and that practice makes improvement, not perfection.
That’s me now; my weight sits around about 72 kgs (158 pounds). I don’t own a scale at home, but I visited the doctor last week, and they updated my file, so that’s how I know.
It’s quite a big deal for me to not only show photos of then and now, but to also announce the actual number. But this journey has been about so much more than any number – the way my clothes fit, the comfort I have in my own body, being able to push myself to do more burpees faster than I did the last time. Those are the things that make me feel good; better than any number can.
I’m embracing the journey and owning it, to show you that it is possible, although not overnight or as quick as any of us might like.
I’m still doing work, but making sure that I do ALL the work – practicing healthy loving thoughts, providing my body with nourishing foods & supplements, moving my body regularly, setting goals and working towads them.
I’m easier on myself now. I know that one unhealthy meal won’t make me gain it all back; just like one gym session won’t make me lose it all again.
I don’t beat myself up when I don’t see changes straight away, because I know that it can take a long time to see results.
I’d love to hear from you!
Can you relate to my journey or parts of it? Do you think you’d benefit from a community of like-minded women & men like we have in our Beach Bum group?
I would love to hear from you and help you take a step in the right direction, If you’re interested in how USANA and Luscious Life Design can help you on your journey, please get in touch, you can send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or head over to Facebook and join me and my community of feeling the fear and doing what scares you anyway at Life Outside My Comfort Zone.