Journey Trilogy Part 3: Lifestyle change and weight loss

Back in our old stomping grounds, things were looking good in San Diego. Although we loved Okinawa, we were really excited to be back! San Diego is where we met and fell in love and we reunited with our best friends. I got a job almost immediately doing what I had been doing in Okinawa- I was a Family Readiness Officer (FRO) for a Marine Corps unit. It's a high demand job, but I loved it and worked with some of the best people in the Marine Corps.  

Jan 2011- I'm wearing the same shirt as I am in the photo below. (Don't ask me what I was talking about, but my very-Italian-hand-talking-genes were obviously in over drive.)

Jan 2011- I'm wearing the same shirt as I am in the photo below. (Don't ask me what I was talking about, but my very-Italian-hand-talking-genes were obviously in over drive.)

While working there, my bestie was working with our supporting organization, MCCS, and they were about to start this competition regarding health. As she was filling out the paperwork, she asked me to be her accountability partner. I said yes, but hearing there was a competition, I had to be a part of it! I contacted the man running the program for them and asked if we could join in. He told me I would have to be in charge of my own group because it was too many people for him to handle. Creating my own group is exactly what I did. About 8 women signed up and we became a team of fierce competitors. We were committed to the changes, and even more so I was committed to winning! Similar to my Waist Wars program, we began tracking healthy habits. We had to drink enough water, eat some fruits and veggies, and move 30 minutes a day in order to gain points. The more we followed the habits, the more points we received, which meant the more likely it was to win. This was easy enough, I could get on board with those habits because they all made sense to me. Plus, I was always a believer that the American diet is, in part, so unhealthy because of what we weren't getting as much as what we were getting. It was a perfect fit for me to get moving in to a healthier direction. I was focusing on accomplishing healthy habits so I could win. Weight loss was a side effect of what I was doing in the competition. There was no part of my mind that thought this program or my new habits could help me lose weight. Maybe a few pounds, but I knew I was destined to be over 180 pounds the rest of my life.

After a month of following 3 simple habits and focusing on the habits, I had lost 3 pounds in a month (and won the competition). The real difference, though, was in the way I looked and felt. I dropped a pants size and I felt great. I had more energy, I slept better, my mind was clear and I just felt "lighter" and not in the weight sense. Since I was seeing results that I hadn't expected to ever happen again, I continued to follow and track the habits after the competition ended. The same outcome resulted: I kept losing 1/2lb a week, I felt amazing, and my clothes just kept getting too big.  (Side story: I even had a friend grab my pants by the crotch once, pull at them and tell me "You need to buy new jeans!" It was a little shocking because I didn't think they looked as big as they felt, and it was shocking because she grabbed my pants by the crotch.)

A few weeks after the competition ended, my step dad came to visit. I played soccer on Wednesdays, so he flew out on a Wednesday and left the following Thursday, in order to see me play twice. The first game, I felt like a million bucks. After playing a 50 minute game without a sub, I felt like I could run for another hour! My energy level was soaring! We went through the week long visit and I still followed my habits. The only difference is that my step dad loves to eat out, so we ate out a few times in the week. I ate foods I hadn't eaten in almost 2 months and I felt every bit of it! The following Wednesday, I played soccer again and I felt like crap! I thought I was going to feel like a soccer star running to and fro, and instead, I felt like a lethargic turtle (in case turtles aren't slow enough, I was a lethargic one.) After the game I was trying to figure out why I felt so tired and then the "ah-ha" moment came! I didn't fuel my body properly. From that point on, I kept as close to my habits as possible and kept from eating out. I had no problems maintaining that until several months later (which I'll get into another blog the reasons why). 

Sept 2011 with my two favorite people in the world!

Sept 2011 with my two favorite people in the world!

Within 6 months time, I had lost 23 pounds and completely changed my shaped. Even though I weighed less than I ever thought was possible again, I kept at the habits. I was 165 pounds in a size 8- that's a lot of muscle, folks! I didn't stop the habits because there was no finish line. When I get to 170 pounds I didn't think to myself, "I've made it!" I thought, "I feel amazing and the weight is just falling off. I don't want to stop!" It was the right kind of addiction until it truly became an addiction, but that's for another day. So there I sat after 6 months of being consistent, 23 pounds less than I started, feeling amazing, and in a body I didn't know I could even attain. My thoughts were about how to stay active and how to get more fruits and veggies into my body. I didn't think about calories or not eating anything I wanted, I just thought about being healthy. That's why I became a trainer. It's possible to do and I want you to feel amazing too. Don't worry about the weight, it will take care of itself. 

Shameless plug: If you can relate to any of the last 3 blogs, please check out my Waist Wars program. It could just be the steps you need to be successful in your own health journey. Also, don't hesitate to comment or reach out for advice! Thanks for listening! I'll be back soon! -LJ