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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Courtney's 24 Day Challenge

When I first did my challenge I did it 100% for myself. I never once even thought that my story would be inspiring to others. It SHOCKED me when I finally broke down and told the family I was doing it that so many people wanted to do it too. Hearing how much they have all loved it and seeing their amazing results has made me so happy. It feels good to know that I helped bring about a positive change in those I love!!! Courtney's story is especially touching to me. It breaks my heart to see her hurting on a daily basis and I'm so thankful that Advocare has helped to bring her a healthier lifestyle, help her meet her weight loss goals, but more than that...it's helped her to FEEL GOOD. And that is the most amazing part to me!!! 

Here's Courtney's story in her own words:

I’ve never been someone who’s super comfortable with my body. I have always been tall and “big boned” (but my Big Daddy always called me "gorgeously beautiful"). Shopping has never been very fun, and I hated always having to shop in the "big girl aisle". As a senior in high school, I had enough. I lost a TON of weight by basically not eating…which I know is not healthy at all, but at the time it seemed like a plausible idea. I'm right at 6 foot tall and I got down to 135 pounds, it was not a healthy weight for my body type nor was it maintainable without pretty much starving myself.

After high school, I was fortunate enough to play college basketball for the Valdosta State Lady Blazers where I met the love of my life, Brad…but I also spent hours in the weight room lifting, making my body stronger. There’s a funny thing about muscles: when you stop using them, they turn to straight blubber! ;) So as I graduated and got married I got up to around 180 pounds. While it isn't my ideal weight…it's not huge either. I continued to climb the weight scale, and although I never gave up exercise completely, I was still overweight when I became pregnant with our first child. I’ll never forget when I climbed onto that scale at the doctor’s office and it read 193…I was flabbergasted! I thought that I would NEVER be over 200 pounds, but I knew with an impending pregnancy, that was all but a certainty. 

I LOVED being pregnant. Once I got over the morning sickness, I ate a LOT of Zaxby’s. There was one period that my husband swore off chicken…but he recovered. ;) As the pregnancy wore on I started to feel weird. I was fatigued (more than the average pregnant lady) and my joints were swollen. I had been diagnosed with Rheumatoid at an early age (21), but had been off my medication since Brad and I got married and never had a major problem. My mom (who also has Progressive Rheumatoid) demanded that I go to the doctor. The tests came back positive for Lupus, and I IMMEDIATELY went on medication. For anyone out there who has ever been on Prednisone in high doses, you know what it does to your body. It makes you swell and get puffy and makes you feel hungry all the time. Needless to say, I was HUGE!!!! The medicine combined with the pregnancy reduced me to a blimp. I couldn’t tell my calves from my ankles! It was awful (and yes, at this point my Big Daddy still called me "gorgeously beautiful"). 

Our son Colt came very early… at 32 weeks and we were thrilled…but I was still a large land mammal! We got pregnant with our daughter Payton immediately (they are 11 months apart) and I had a hysterectomy soon after she was born. After the birth of our second child, I weighed around 220 pounds (shocker…I can’t believe I just posted that stat on the internet.) I was still on trials of different medications, but the prednisone was always a constant. I had to have it just to MOVE! I was miserable with my weight, and decided to get serious about exercise. 

I began working out with some friends after school during this past school year, and doing a version of Weight Watchers. I dropped about 20-25 pounds! I was so proud of myself…but still felt chunky! I continued working out tirelessly over the summer, but gained 5 pounds. Right before I went back to school, I weighed in at 198 pounds…still the big girl in class. I am positive though that I will NEVER see that number on a scale again!!! Goodbye 190's!

While on a girls’ weekend at the beach, I noticed my sister in law Emily taking many more vitamins than usual…I questioned her endlessly (really only for like 5 minutes) and she finally gave in. She told us she was doing a version of the Advocare 24 day Challenge for nursing moms and that so far she was having great results. I told her I would love some more information. I was really ready for a change. My weight was obviously getting back up there (even with the exercise), I was tired all the time, and I was in pain! When she said her headaches had practically disappeared from using the products...I knew it could be a huge help to me! The light bulb really came one when one night while trying to get Colt to sleep, he asked me the question that made me realize something had to give, “Mama, when I grow up, will I be as sick as you?”  My heart stopped and I was crushed. I called my mom the next day and asked her if she thought the challenge was a good idea. We called Emily (our resident Guru) and set up a night to meet. We all bought our challenges together, and during the 2nd week of August we all began our journey. 

I honestly will tell you I LOVED the whole entire challenge process. For me it wasn’t really that difficult…maybe it was the competition with the rest of my family, but I enjoyed making my body healthier. It was interesting eating so many times a day. The snacks were great, but the Spark was a game changer for me. I have NEVER had so much energy. I also have what they call "suicide migraines" where I have even had to be hospitalized for them on occasion. The combination of the products and plan made a huge difference in my life as I felt amazing and didn't have a single migraine the entire 24 days!!!

The best part is…drumroll please…I have been able to cut my prednisone in HALF!!!!! I feel wonderful (which is so amazing to actually be able to say!!!). My body not only looks better but I truly feel like a new woman. My kids and husband are the true beneficiaries…I can be a Mama again! Overall, I lost 14 pounds and over 8 inches. I look like a different person…and it’s nice not to have to shop in the big girl department! I am fitting back in clothes that I haven’t even seen in 5 plus years.  

After completing The 24 Day Challenge I stopped using products for a few days and I could tell such a difference. I got my first migraine in a month, had so much less energy, and just hurt more than I had been while using products. It was clear to me that these supplements really do make a huge impact! I am continuing my weight loss journey by using the MNS Max 3, Catalyst (I love that it helps tighten up the skin as I lose the weight!), and I'm adding in Thermoplus for even better results. I'm also a big fan of the meal replacement shakes because I will FORGET to eat breakfast and these are so filling and easy when I'm trying to get out the door with two preschoolers each morning. The omegas are a lot of what I think is helping me to feel so good so I'm going to for sure stick with using those and of course Spark is a MUST!

By doing this for myself,  I realized I was making everyone in my little world happier! Thank you so much Emily for introducing me to this product that has made such a huge difference in my life!

Courtney also joined the membership prior to placing her first order (everyone learned from my mistake of waiting haha)...She loved the Spark so much that she drank it twice a day while on her challenge and it worked out great b/c joining the membership you get $50 worth of free products and a lot of that is Spark! It was enough to give her an extra one for each day during her challenge so she didn't have to buy any extras plus she saved that 20% on her first order and will continue to get that discount for life. You can join the membership here:
https://www.advocare.com/12089459/BecomeMember.aspx

And if you're interested in giving the 24 day challenge a try for yourself, you can do so here:
https://www.advocare.com/12089459/Store/ItemDetail.aspx?itemCode=99050&id=A&flavor=b
 
Courtney's Before and After pics BLOW MY MIND!!!!
I'm a clavicle girl (I know random) and check out the difference!!!
You can click on all of them to make them bigger:

While I LOVE that everyone had such great results...it makes me the MOST happy to see Courtney feeling so amazing and being able to lower her amounts of medication. Prednisone is a blessing because it has allowed Courtney to function day to day while dealing with her lupus and rheumatoid but it's also a curse as it has so many bad side effects (you can see here). Her being able to lower her dosage on this medication is so huge. Not just because it means she's able to function while taking less...but also because it lowers her changes of having those negative side effects from it.

I'm, of course, thankful that I finally took the plunge and tried Advocare for myself as I've loved my own results...but I'm just so, so thankful that Courtney has found something that has allowed her to have an overall better quality of LIFE!!!

3 comments:

  1. Yay Courtney! So happy that you're feeling better and able to do what you want as a momma. Great blog!

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  2. So I SERIOUSLY teared up hearing Colt ask if he would be sick like her. OMG breaks my heart. Haha typing that made me tear up again. SHE. LOOKS. AMAZING. SO jealous. haha

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  3. I am so proud of Courtney!!! LOVED talking to her and hearing her story in person....absolutely INCREDIBLE!!!! She really does look AWESOME!

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Reading your comments makes my day!



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