I have asked a few people to share their "success" stories for this blog. Julie has been coming to my class at church since the beginning in February. She has been faithful with the diet and exercise and has really seen great results. Her feelings on the diet almost mirror my own. This really has been the first time in my life that I have felt like a diet has worked and could be incorporated into a regular lifestyle. I really love how she has come around to wanting to be healthy and strong--not skinny. I believe this allows for a much healthier body image. Here's what she has to say:
"I have always considered myself an active person. Energetic, at times athletic and for the most part a healthy eater. That being said, I've struggled my entire life with my weight and physical appearance.
Never have quite felt "great" in my own skin. As far as diets go, I've done it all - low calorie, no fat (literally 10 grams a fat a day and less than 1000 calories), and Weight Watchers. They all worked in their own right, but nothing I could make a lifestyle out of. I've also done several fitness plans from growing up with dance lessons (although I was always the chubby one with big thighs - I hated tights!), cheerleading, sprinting in track, church softball, aerobics in the 80's, running, spinning, some weight training in college and pilates after my second child. Again, I found interest and results with all, but nothing that really stuck and worked EVERYTHING - all my trouble spots. Just when I was happy with one thing on my body - something else would pop up that would upset me and I would focus on that area - then back to the other problems once that fixed - a viscous cycle.
I realized that it has to be a balance of both. I can't just eat right and not work out and I can't work out and eat junk. That much is for sure. But what balance was the right one for me? Something that I could do in any situation, schedule, time of life and venue. I also realized my focus was changing on what I wanted and what I thought was a healthy look in women. I realized I wanted to be healthy from the inside out. Not just skinny. I wanted to be strong, focused, energized and happy with my choices - not holding a grudge with them. I didn't need to lose a ton of weight, maybe 5 -1 0 pounds, but I wanted to be slim and trim and not jiggle when I walked. I also wanted nice arms - something I have never had.
I watched Laura transform and really got interested in whatever she was doing. It looked like the kind of healthy I was looking for. After hearing all that she was doing - I wasn't intimidated with the work outs because I'm always looking for a challenge and I like the sense of competition (even if it is with myself), but the diet - no way. Cut carbs? I was born in the Bread Basket - are you kidding? I ate at least 2 forms of grains at each meal and for snacks. Even if they were low cal and fat free? Nothing? Well I thought I would give it a try for Lent at least. That is only 40 days and I should make a sacrifice, right? It was a sacrifice. A lot in my life changed. How I snacked, shopped, and prepared meals, but you know what - I didn't miss it. I really want you to understand - I didn't just eat grains - I LOVED them, craved them. Cereal was my absolute favorite food - anytime of day. So this was a BIG deal, but really after a couple of weeks of jumping right into it (I gave up all grains and anything that was on the undesirable list of the zone carbohydrate list) and went for the added protein, fat and carbs from veggies and limited fruits. I should say also I used to be a vegetarian until I got married, and still ate limited meat - no beef. I watched fat like a hawk and didn't usually eat more than 10- 15 grams and I ate a lot of fruit. All that changed. I added nuts to my diet - always thought it was a no-no, I eat protein at every meal - and snacks - and like it.
My family is also eating more veggies because of it - and that is great! I love my protein shakes in the morning and not that fruits are bad, but I've learned which ones are better and have made that switch also. I'm still working at not eating sugar as much. I do like some candy every now and then! With all that being said - I have to tell you I feel GREAT! I feel satisfied longer (not needing to snack as much- and when you take out grains, the typical snack items aren't an option, so it makes it easier to stay on the diet - I have sting cheese and almonds with some jerky or pnut butter with apples - I love snack time!), I have more energy, I feel stronger, but more importantly, I feel good about myself.
I feel like I accomplish goals with each workout - I really feel I get a workout and it changes everyday so I don't get bored with it - AND it takes no time at all - which is good for me because my schedule is varied and hard to get to a gym. I feel horrible when I miss a workout and so will make it up and do two the next day - I love it so much! I also feel very disciplined. Staying within the no grains thing is such an easy thing now, but I still feel good when I turn it down - knowing that it helps MY body to not have that. I will say - what I noticed first with the no grains thing is the immediate slimming and trimming in the muffin top area and abs. I have struggled with this area in later years and that zapped it. I feel comfortable in whatever I wear now. I feel very comfortable in my own skin, now and know that I am taking care of it for the long term - not the short fix - and that makes me feel GREAT!"