As I mentioned in my Advocare story I tried and tried to get Zach to do the challenge with me. I knew if we did it together that I'd be even more successful as it's tough to stick to a new way of eating if your spouse is still grubbing out on junk food. Zach was hesitant and told me (exact quote) if my lazy butt saw results from it then he'd give a try. About two weeks into my challenge Zach could see my results and started eating healthier along with me. He decided he wanted to give the 24 Day Challenge a go and agreed to join the membership so we could start getting that 20% discount and have the $50 in free products! Finally! Haha :)
A group of 8 people all decided to do their 24 Day Challenge together. I'm SO mega jealous that I couldn't join in with them as I'm sure it helped stay motivated when you knew other people were doing it at the same time!!! We had a "biggest loser" style competition where whoever lost the most weight based on percentages would win $100! Pretty awesome incentive huh?!?!
On Day 1 everyone sent me a text with their start weight. We decided I'd keep track of everyone's weight loss since I wasn't doing the challenge (although I was still sticking with the plan...more on that later!). Here is Zach's start weight:
Zach is almost 6'6" (I know, he's a GIANT and I'm a shrimp at only 5'1" haha). He has already been losing a good bit of weight and to be honest, I didn't expect him to have super big results while on the challenge. I mean he was already looking GREAT to me...how much could a guy his size really have left to lose?!?! Like me, he would LOVE to be his wedding day weight (215 lbs) so he did have a goal in mind!
Zach has a super busy, hectic lifestyle with his job. He's in the car constantly and typically would drive through for lunch on the go. Following the plan he had to get up a few minutes earlier each morning to pack snacks and lunch to be prepared for his day ahead. He did GREAT with it. Chicken is SUCH a great protein and Zach bought a bunch of it and just grilled a lot at one time with different spices and such and used it to pack his lunches. He was nervous about how tough it would be to stick with it all while being so busy with work but it wasn't too difficult for him! It took a little extra thinking and planning but it was totally do-able.
While he struggled with the fiber drink (he ended up mixing it with Kye's v8 Fushion and liked it much better that way) everything else was easy for him to adjust to. He enjoyed the Spark although Zach is SO high energy I doubt he needed the extra boost ;) He did say he could tell a big difference in his motivation levels though. Usually after work he had gotten into the routine of crashing on the couch from the time the kids went to bed until we went to bed. He started feeling more motivated to DO stuff and I enjoyed seeing things around the house finally get done (yay for stone around the dang storage shed haha).
On results day Zach sent me his end weight (sorry for the glare...we were using our old scale so often that it finally quit on us and we had to buy a new one!!!). He lost 12.8 pounds!!! He also lost 8 inches overall!!! It shocked me as I didn't expect for him to see such a big amount of weight loss, he just didn't seem like he even needed to lose weight to start with!!!
Zach is the type of person who gains and loses in his face first. I could tell a HUGE difference in his face. Also in these pictures you can really see a big difference in his chest!!! His goal is to work more on his stomach. He hoped to work out some and get back doing p90X while on the challenge but never got around to it. It's tough with such a demanding job (he's a manager now too over 7 people so that's some added stress) plus two kids! But even just using the products made a big difference in his stomach already!!!
Here's Zach's Before and Afters (you can click on them to make them bigger)
As soon as we both saw his "after" pic of him facing forward we BOTH thought the same thing. He is starting to look similar to the "UOT picture" (UOT stands for Ultimate Outlet Team...back when we first started dating we'd go outlet shopping and were pros at finding the deals haha we're lame, I know). Sure this picture was taken 9 years ago when he was working out daily on a strict football regimen but STILL...he's def the closest to this as he's been in a long time!!! Great goal picture right? :) (I'm down for the body but not that hair cut ok???)
I am SO proud of Zach and SO excited that he's made such an overall lifestyle change. It's wonderful that we are able to have these changes together and I know they will create an impact on our little family. I like that we're being good examples for our children and that we are getting healthier so we can be here on this earth longer with them ;)
After my 24 Day Nursing Mom's Challenge I decided to continue using products and stay with the same plan. Here's what a typical day in my life looks like (you know I'm the QUEEN of scheduling!)
- Get up and drink some water and take my Probiotic Restore Ultra
- After nursing Britt and fixing the kids breakfast (roughly 20-30 min after getting up) I make my meal replacement shake for my breakfast and take 2 omegaplexes and 1 coreplex with iron
- 2 hours later I have a snack (usually 1 cup of apple slices)
- At lunch I make my whole wheat bagel with peanut butter and typically have 1 cup of grapes. I also take two more coreplexes with iron and drink water
- 20-30 min later I have a snack. I was eating a refried bean quesdilla on whole wheat tortillas but now I'm just not hungry at ALL so I may nibble on a couple apple slices or just not have a snack at all
- Dinner we eat as a family and I've been cooking healthier meals and focusing on eating more of the vegetables on my plate (I eat all the veggies FIRST so I will fill up on those!). I also take two omegaplexes with dinner
- Usually at 8:00 I treat myself to a little snack. I have missed my "something sweet" and am IN LOVE with the snack bars. They make my sweet tooth happy and satisfied!
I decided to take some "after after" pictures when Zach did his after ones just to see if I had any changes from when I finished up with my challenge. I also weighed in and did my measurements. I maintained my same weight which is my pre-pregnancy weight (and I'm totally fine with staying here until I'm done nursing). But I lost ANOTHER 5.75 INCHES!!! What?!?!? I was SHOCKED. That means I've lost a total of 6 lbs and 11.50 inches in under 2 months! Isn't that insane?!?! Like I seriously measured again just to make sure. I was in disbelief!
For me inches are REALLY where it matters. Prior to doing my challenge I was wearing a size 8 comfortably and my size 4s and 6s were too tight. After the challenge the size 8s were too big and baggy, the size 6s fit comfortably and I could button the size 4s but they weren't really comfortable yet. After continuing on the products and sticking with my eating plan now my 8s aren't even wearble, my 6s are getting to be too baggy and the 4s are starting to fit comfortably!!!
Here's a comparison for you...I didn't bother even trying on my bigger outfit, I just went for the goal clothes! I'm pumped about getting some clavicle definition haha
The side shot is where I can tell the biggest difference
I typically hatttte wearing my hair up but that morning we had Britt's 9 Month Photo shoot (posts to come!) and my hair got wavy so I tossed it up real quick for the pics. And when I looked in the mirror I actually LIKED IT UP!!! My face is finally thin enough where I think I can actually pull off the casual pony tail...what do you think??? :)
I seriously am super in love with all of the products. I love knowing that I'm also giving Brittlynn such wonderful nutrition through my breastmilk! The probiotic restore ultra helps build up our immune systems, the omegaplex has more DHA than my prior prenatals had (plus it's the #1 supplement recommended by Dr Oz for overall health!), and the coreplex with iron has lots of folic acid (as well as, duh, plenty of iron). I didn't take the catalyst while doing my challenge, but did decide to add it in. Zach also took it during his challenge. It is why I think I continued to lose so many inches!!! As you lose weight your skin gets flabbier and catalyst helps to tighten all of that up...goodbye baby belly pooch :)
In my post-challenge life I continued my regular work out plan of not working out. Haha. I know, I know...I NEED to get in the routine of breaking a sweat!!! Imagine what results I'd be having if I actually BURNED the calories I eat!!! I'm hoping someday I'll get the motivation for it. Someday :)
One thing that did change was my water intake. During my challenge I drank SO MUCH water. I got in a good routine of drinking around a gallon a day. But I've mega slacked in this area since then. I need to get back to doing that but by not doing it I also can say that it was NOT my water intake that took away my constant headaches. I know now that it's for sure the products and plan because even with only probably drinking 32 or so oz a day this past month I STILL only had ONE headache the whole time. That's a grand total of only two headaches in less than two months. SO awesome!!!
On September 8th we decided to have a "cheat day." We had both done so good sticking to the plan during Zach's challenge that we decided we'd just have a day to eat whatever we wanted. For dinner Zach picked up some Little Cesar's bread sticks for me (and I treated myself to a root beer!) and his favorite meal for himself (the Parmesan Crusted Chicken Sandwich from Longhorn's). Back in the day I'd eat an entire bag of bread sticks and still want my huge bowl of ice cream later that night. Um...I still ate a whole bag of them for my dinner that night but I felt DISGUSTING. Like so super gross.
During our "cheat day" we didn't eat on schedule or use products. I felt hungry then I'd over-eat and feel that disgusting bloated feeling. I also CRAVED my apple slices and grapes. And I couldn't skip my Spark! I still drank that junk at 2:30. :)
Cheat Day Meals!
Typically when Zach and I diet we end up cheating at some point. The hard thing for us has always been getting back to the diet after the cheating. It becomes easy to just have one more "cheat meal" or "cheat snack" or something and before we know it we're completely off the diet. I truly 100% believe that with Advocare it's not a diet, it's a way of life! On Sunday (the day after our "cheat day") Zach said he couldn't get over how EASY it was to get back into our routine. That he had MISSED eating healthy the day before and felt content with just having that one day off the plan then going right back on it. It was so simple for us both! It's awesome that we have zero temptation to stray from the Advocare lifestyle ;)
I have also noticed a HUGE difference in our monthly shopping. I went at the beginning of September for our monthly groceries (someday I'll post more on how I do our shopping) and thought it was so neat how just by following the 24 Day Challenge eating plan that our grocery shopping has naturally, without me even trying, turned into buying more from the outer edges of the store (where the "good for you" foods are) and less in the center aisles (where they store the "bad for you" junk). My buggy was overflowing with healthy choices instead of processed junk AND my bill was cheaper!!! For us, the cost of Advocare products has fit into our budget with no issues. We spend WAY less eating out (especially now that Zach is doing it with me!!!) and spend way less at the grocery store. Like I'm talking we saved $150 on our last grocery bill!!! That's legit :)
While we were both doing our own thing I had my stuff stored in a low cabinet and Zach had his in a high cabinet...after we just placed our latest order I decided to reorganize things and give Advocare products their own cabinet space!!! We are officially able to say it's a LIFESTYLE for us!!! Yay!!!
I am continuing to stay on all of the same products and routine as I mentioned earlier until I stop nursing Brittlynn. Zach is continuing to use the products from the Max Phase of the Challenge. He's wanting to continue to meet his weight loss goals so he's using: MNS Max 3, Catalyst, Omegaplex, Meal Replacement Shakes (I also got him the Meal Replacement Bars for times when he's in a rush for work), and Spark. He plans to stick with these products until he either meets his goal of 215 lbs or until I stop nursing Brittlynn when we will do the full 24 day challenge together!!! I can't WAIT!
I'm SUPER proud of everyone who participated in the recent 24 Day Challenge together. You can read Casey and Jordan's story here (Casey lost 6.8 lbs and 8.25 inches and Jordan lost 13 lbs!) and Courtney's story here (get out the tissues for hers...she lost a total of 14 lbs and over 8 inches!). Robyn also blogged about Matt's story and you can read that here (SO excited for him, he lost 10 lbs and over 10 inches!!! And also for her to start her challenge soon!) Mr. Rusty and my mom both also had amazing results...they are both over 50 years old yet still enjoyed the Challenge and lost a lot of weight and inches. Over 10 lbs and 10 inches EACH!!! Total with 8 people doing the Challenge together they all lost 80 lbs!!! In just 24 days!!! (how many exclamation points can I manage to fit in one paragraph? haha!) It's SO neat seeing ALL of our different perspectives and goals and how, through Advocare, we've all been able to meet them or be on our way to meeting them!!!
If you're interested in purchasing a challenge I recommend to totally sign up for the membership first. I wish we'd done it and I encourage everyone to do it now b/c why not start saving money from Day 1??? And get enough free Spark to drink 2 a day for your challenge if you want??? It's a flat $79 fee to become a member and then you get 20% off for life and they send you $50 worth of free product! Once you sign up you get your own website and can start ordering from there right away!!! You can sign up for a membership here: https://www.advocare.com/12089414/BecomeMember.aspx
I also recommend doing the Challenge TOGETHER! Got a husband? A friend? A family member? Get a group together like we did and help motivate and encourage each other!!! It was awesome at our Parker Family Pictures hearing everyone talk about how confident they felt and to see the pictures and see how great everyone looked!!!
If you'd like to purchase a challenge without joining the membership you can do that here (I recommend picking the chocolate shake flavor!): https://www.advocare.com/12089414/Store/ItemDetail.aspx?itemCode=99050&id=A&flavor=b
Since I did the challenge for nursing moms Advocare doesn't sell a bundle package of that like they do for the legit challenge so I figured out how to bundle it myself! If you're wanting to get your body baby ready while trying to conceive, are pregnant, or are nursing you can purchase your version of the 24 Day Challenge here: https://www.advocare.com/12089414/Store/ViewBundle.aspx?bundleID=450907&type=B
Obviously if anyone has ANY questions feel free to contact me! After helping everyone get through their challenges I feel like a pro ;) My email is still the super mega lame one: firstname.lastname@example.org. Honestly though Facebook is the best way to contact me if possible! I tend to respond quicker b/c I don't have to shift through a ton of spam!!!
I can't wait to see what our next "after" pictures are gonna look like! :)