Tuesday, January 22, 2013

LLU Post Wrap Up

I have been  putting this post together in my had for quite some time and with a deadline approaching, I am diving right in.  
It is yet another post regarding my weight loss...and it is long. 
 Please read only if you are interested...I understand if you don't.  :-)

 Let me explain a couple things first...The "BootCamp" I did last year was  under the umbrella of Leanness Lifestyle University.  
The Bootcamp has been renamed "Lifestyle 180", which is a perfect moniker...it truly did change my life 180 degrees.  
Now, the Lifestyle 180 is made up of Coach Dave Greenwalt, his great supporting staff of coaches and fellow participants who all want the same thing...to be more fit, healthier, look and feel better. 
The Lifestyle 180 is a 20 week program and sign ups are on Monday, January 28. Once the allotted spaces are filled, no more will be accepted. 
This allows the coaches to give each participant individualized attention.  
At the end of the 20 weeks, there will be monetary prizes awarded.  
If you are wavering about signing up for this, I wanted to share my experience with you and give you an idea of what to expect and why I succeeded last year.
Each week, Coach Dave gives a live class over the phone.  You will call a toll free number at a specified time and day, listen, take notes and at the end of the call, you will be given the opportunity to ask questions. 
Participating in the classes is one factor that is used in determining the winners as is overall weight loss, essays, assignments, quiz and test scores etc.
This, for me, was a challenge. 
Numerous times, I was at Shaggy's baseball game listening to the call and taking notes from behind a school building.  
(The class will also be available to listen to online later.

I truly learned so much from these classes as well as the audio clips that are posted each week. You will  discover for yourself if you are a food addict or food abuser.  
You will learn the proper balance between proteins and carbs. 
You will learn how your body reacts to different foods. 
This really was eye opening to me.
There are also assignments to read specific chapters of Dave's book.  You will be able to download it for free, but I purchased it for my Kindle so I could highlight things of importance to me and locate them later.
Weekly quizzes are available for a couple days and then disappear. 
Having them disappear is to avoid  procrastinating. 
The quizzes ask things from the live calls, the audio clips and some from Dave's book. 
I made it a habit to rise early on Sundays and listen to the audio and take the quiz before anyone was up.  
Worked for me.
Daily, you will be asked to log your weight, your activities for the day as well as answering questions on the NFL (Nutritionally-Fit Lifestyle) page.  
Those are strictly honor based... things like "did you drink 8 glasses of water...did you eat at least 3 cups of vegetables"...etc.  This is super simple and quick...it just acts as a reminder to do the proper things nutritionally speaking. 
You will also be responsible for planning your daily menus and they will be reviewed by the coaches.  This was extremely time consuming for me in the beginning as I learned the proper food balance as well as the website.  
Now it is a piece of cake...errrr chicken.
Carving out time to exercise was another obstacle I had to maneuver.  
I always made time for volunteering at school or 4-H or band...you know the drill. 
 I was there for everyone but myself or my family.
That had to change. 
I whittled my commitments and learned to say "No"...another hard thing for me.
I made it a point to walk EVERY day after I took the kids to school and before I did ANYTHING else.  
At first, I felt guilty that I was doing something for just me. 
 I also felt embarrassed to go outside for fear someone would see what I looked like.  
Yeah, well... I was fooling no one.  
I learned to create A LOT of positive self talk in my heard.  
I pictured the dress in my closet that I wanted to wear after 12 years. 

I wanted to be complimented. 

 I wanted to ride a roller coaster. 
I just wanted to be happy.  

In the beginning, I literally spoke those things aloud to myself as I tied my shoes and began walking. The resistance training was miserable (still not my favorite thing), but I did it. 
 There were days that I wanted to do nothing more than crawl back into bed.  
The first 20 -30 pounds was the most difficult because I knew I was eating properly and working out and yet nobody said anything to me.  
In reality, it just didn't show yet. 
That would change and then it was easier.

You will be asked to participate in an online message board only open to the fellow Lifestylers and the coaches.  
I did find this very helpful and encouraging.  
Everyone was in the same boat as I and I felt very safe and comfortable in sharing my fears, struggles and accomplishments.
Jayme, Janie, Melissa and Wanda were especially wonderful and I made new friends.
You will have to take before photos and have your beginning, ending and possibly midway weight verified by someone outside your household. 

Just sending and picking up my before pictures was mortifying...truly.  
More positive self talk was needed that day.
Then halfway through. we were asked to take the same photos as before...just for ourselves. 
It was at this time that I really believed this was working and that I WOULD be successful.

 Before the challenge was over, we were asked to video tape ourselves doing a resistance training session...I detested this, but did learn how to set up the tripod and upload a video.
We were also asked to write an essay at the end as well as another video...both are here for your perusal.

I am Jen… a 46 year old wife and mother to three children.  I am a former globetrotting travel agent who is now a stay at home mom, still with a passion for travel. As a teenager, I thought I was heavy, but looking at photos, I was wrong.  I believe that the media is very damaging to youth.  I never thought I measured up and am taking that lesson to heart with my own girls now. That was the beginning of my negative self-talk.

After I had my first child, the weight seemingly appeared overnight.  Of course that wasn’t the case.  Sitting on my tush and comforting myself with food did it.  I used food to mask my feelings of inadequacy as a mother, to host pity parties because I was at home, celebrated with food when I was happy.  You get the picture.  Being the only adult at home I turned to food for everything.
I knew my weight was out of control two years later and joined Jenny Craig.  It worked, but even then I knew as soon as I stopped eating their food, I would gain it all back, but I didn’t care…I bought into the quick fix mentality with no lifestyle changes. Duh…didn’t work.
Various fad diets and 14 years later, I found Jayme.  I followed her LLU story and something spoke to me.  She struggled. She wasn’t a 20 something that could lose weight by skipping a meal.  But, my life seemed too full of “stuff” to do this.  I was a mother and wife after all.  That should come first, shouldn’t it?  After much praying, it finally dawned on me that if I did not start taking care of myself properly, I would die when my children still needed me most.  I e-mailed Jayme with my questions and she answered them eagerly.  I hit the “sign me up” button. Then I cried.  I felt scared and guilty, but most of all I felt relief. Relief that this program was going to work. I would learn how to eat properly and how to use food strictly as fuel.
The first 20 pounds or so was frustrating because it didn't show…even to me.  But then I felt my collarbone and discovered I had a jawline!  From that moment, I knew I was succeeding.  Learning that the Beast is talking me into the candy bar was huge for me! No more negative self-talk toward myself!  The physical changes are more than awesome, but the change of perception and thinking in my mind is truly life altering.
Any money I win will be donated to my high school band.  They took me to Europe and I want other youth to know there is a big world outside this small town.  We will also be taking a cruise next summer with my sister’s family and a bit of the money will help with that.
Next?  I keep paddling, baby! There’s no stopping me now!

If you are seriously thinking about taking this step, I hope I have helped one way or the other. 
This is tough.  
I had to make the commitment 110% to myself.  
I had to make myself come first and work hard EVERY day.
This is not a quick fix, but with the things I learned and the support system that I have surrounded myself with today, I know that I will continue to be a success and happy in my own skin.  
My weight no longer dictates to me what I can or can not do.
 It is freeing and awesome.
Over and out.


retired9941 said...

That is so awesome Jennifer!! You look amazing and I know you feel a whole lot better. Great job.

Cheltz said...

This is a great post to read! You must be so proud of yourself, and have so many great things to teach your daughters! Congrats!

Country Gal said...

You are looking great! Congratulations!

Jayme, The Coop Keeper said...

Awesomeness...I so hope someone will decide to make the life change that we have from you sharing so openly!

Sandy Addison said...

Well done Jen - so exciting to read about you doing something for yourself. Keep up the great work!