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Monday, December 7, 2015

Finally Back to ME {Thank you Advocare!}

They say it gets harder to lose the baby weight with each baby you have as well as with the older you get. Third kid, just turned 30. Yup. I can confidently say that both of those statements are true! This weight loss was no joke for me!

I am going to say this now so if the time comes that I'm nursing and am heavier than I want to be and am frustrated by that I can look back and be reminded: QUIT STRESSING IT. 

I put a LOT more pressure on myself this time around and what for? I should have just enjoyed nursing (which I did fully enjoy it but I shouldn't have let my weight bother me so much) and trusted that once I was done nursing Advocare products would work and I'd lose the weight. I think it's just one of those things that it's hard to trust it'll work out. I always worry "what if THIS is the time that it doesn't work for me?!?" Advocare works. Period! I gotta trust it more and quit stressing during the time period when I can't use the full weight loss line (I DO have success with Advocare products while nursing and I'm SUPER thankful that there are so many that are safe while breastfeeding...I just am one of those people who hold onto weight until I fully wean my babies!). 

I took before and after pictures from my 24 Day Challenge but when I started editing pics for the blog recently I decided I wanted to use more "real life" pics instead of ones that I took specifically for comparisons. I was just pretty blown away by the huge difference I could see and especially by how I remember feeling when this before pic was taken!

This was taken at our breakfast at Cape May over Labor Day Weekend (Sept 6th)

I'm in a size large shirt and a size 10 shorts for reference


We started our 24 Day Challenge on the Monday after my Disney trip with my friends...so we started on Monday Sept 28th. I didn't lose any weight prior to starting (if anything, I think I gained a couple pounds? You know how it is...when you know you are about to diet you PIG OUT on junk food b/c you totally need to "get rid of the temptations" right? Ha!). 

As I mentioned in this post, I added a LOT of extras to my challenge this time around. I wanted to be hardcore. I nursed Tess longer than any of my other babies and I still was stuck at 15 lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight. I was still in a size 8 jeans, in size 10 for several shorts. In a large shirt. And my weight? Oh it was 151.4. Which I know that may not sound very high for TALL women. But me? I'm 5'1" and I've NEVER seen the scale in the 150s other than when I'm pregnant. I've NEVER owned a size 10 of anything. Even the size 8s I own are always packed up with my maternity clothes. Basically I felt gross. Even looking at that pic of me at Cape May makes me feel icky. I was OVER IT and ready to be DONE with the bigger sizes, DONE with the 150's and DONE with my lack of confidence!

I'm a very visual person and need detailed instructions so I went through all the products I purchased and wrote out my plan for the cleanse phase of the challenge (first 10 days of the full 24): 


In case you can't read my awful handwriting (you know they link people with terrible handwriting to higher level of intelligence? Just sayin'!) here's it in detail (and I'm linking up to all the products so you can click on them to learn more if you want):

1. Wake up in the morning and squeeze half a fresh lemon into hot water, while drinking that take the probiotic pack (included in herbal cleanse box for challenge), 1 Crave Check, 3 Catalyst. I had never tried the lemon water until now...if you've never heard of all the benefits of it just look it up on Pinterest! It'll become a morning ritual for you too!

Wait 20 Minutes

2. Meal replacement shake with fiber mixed in (they changed the fiber drink! Whoop Whoop! So no more OJ needed!)

Wait 2 Hours

3. Eat a Snack (I ate a hard boiled egg)

4. 45 min prior to lunch take 1 Leptilean

5. 15 min prior to lunch take 3 Fibotrim

6. At lunch I drank another meal replacement shake. But this time I blended in some spinach, blueberries (I've read they help attack that belly fat!), ½ banana and a spoonful of peanut butter (or PB2)

Wait 2 Hours

7. I took 1 Crave Check and 3 Catalyst along with drinking my Spark/Rehydrate mix

Wait 20 min

8. I ate carrot sticks, sometimes with peanut butter as my snack

9. 45 min before dinner take 1 Leptilean

10. Eat a healthy dinner with the family (This was our first time getting SERIOUS about what I cooked...lots of chicken and NO bread/rice! We also started eating broccoli, squash, and cucumbers none of which I'd ever cooked before!) and take 2 Omegaplex

11. Before bed take Cleanse Packet (included in the Herbal Cleanse as part of 24 Day Challenge)

If I needed a snack in the evening I'd either make a Muscle Gain shake or eat a Snack Bar (I actually LOVE the DB9 bars with a little peanut butter on them!)

I also made it a goal to drink AT LEAST 75 oz of water a day!

Does it sound intense? Because it was haha! However I was THE most hardcore I've EVER been about it. Legit, never cheated during the entire challenge. Which is pretty huge for me! I wasn't even tempted to cheat which I think is such a testament to the products. The Crave Check is the real deal. I didn't have cravings like I normally do and I could sit at dinner and have a basket of free bread in front of me and not touch it. Huge deal for me as I'm a CARB LOVER. I even started eating Zalad's at Zaxbys. And I like them. I mean who am I?!?!

It paid off and it paid off fast. At the end of the Cleanse Phase I was already down 6.8 lbs. In past challenges I've never lost much weight during the Cleanse. Usually I get bloated even! Not this time! I think blasting my body with all the healthy products and healthy eating just really made a difference!!! I felt AMAZING and seeing the scale showing results was very motivating!

Again I wrote out my routine for the Max Phase of the challenge (final 14 days)


It's very similar to the Cleanse portion except I added in the MNS packets (included in the 24 day challenge). I also added in Slim as well as Thermoplus. I always drank the Slim as my first thing and then did the lemon water after. I preferred to chug the Slim like I do my Spark and sip on the lemon water while getting ready for the day. 

The two products that I don't think people talk about enough with Advocare are Crave Check and Slim. If I had to recommend three things to add to the 24 Day Challenge it'd be Catalyst (keeps the skin tight while losing the fat...helps big time with inches/pants sizes!), Crave Check (seriously STOPS cravings!) and Slim (helps control appetite while also boosting energy). 

I stayed hardcore, although we did add in some wheat bread and such during the Max Phase. It was VERY motivating to have Zach there beside me being focused as well. We really help motivate each other :) 

I continued to feel great and by the end of the Challenge I lost another 2 lbs. I was a little frustrated that I lost SO MUCH during the Cleanse and then so little during the Max Phase but I didn't let that discourage me. 

At the end of my 24 Day Challenge I lost: 8.8 lbs and 12.25 overall inches!

I felt good but I was still off from where I wanted to be. When I started the challenge I weighed 151.4. At the end of it I weighed 142.6. My pre-pregnancy weight was 136 with all three pregnancies (in an ideal world I'd LOVE to be 132 though!). 

I ordered another round of MNS packets (yes, you CAN order ALL parts of the 24 Day Challenge separately!) as well as all the same products I had been using during the Max Phase. I basically did another 14 days of the Max Phase. By the end of that? I was down another 2 lbs bringing me to 140.6. 

More than just the number on the scale...I'm ALL about the clothes and how they fit. I was in a size 10 shorts over the summer and those are completely falling off of me at this point. My large shirt I was wearing in the "before pic"? It looks like pajamas. My size 8 jeans were so saggy that I legit had to go buy new ones. When I went shopping for the new jeans I tried on the size 6 and liked them but then got them home and they were too baggy too! I hadn't even thought to try on a size 4!!!! I ended up exchanging them and was shocked that the SIZE 4 FIT! Whoop Whoop!

It made me excited to go back through my closet and pull out some of my pre-pregnancy clothes (I mean Tess is dang 16 months old now...I haven't gotten to wear this stuff in 25 months!

Hello old friends! Size MEDIUM shirt and size 4 Jeans!


Since finishing up my second Max Phase I've maintained that weight loss and with the holidays and all my goal is to enjoy my current size, maintain what I've worked hard to lose, and stick to our eating schedule. Jordan has lost a good bit of weight (and toned up!) from following an eating routine laid out in a book he read called The 4 Hour Body. I'm not saying I recommend this book as I myself haven't read it and I kind give Jordan a hard time about it b/c the author sounds a tad looney to me? But the eating routine has worked for Jordan big time and Zach and I are incorporating some elements of it into our daily eating. The BIG thing that has helped us is having a cheat day once a week. On that day I won't take any products and we just eat and eat whatever we want. To the point where we feel a little sick by the end of it. It sounds crazy but it's worked for us and makes it SO MUCH easier to be hardcore the rest of the week :)

We plan to hit the ground running with another 24 Day Challenge in Jan and during that time I plan to lose the rest of the weight!

But for now I feel AMAZING. I knew I had lost my confidence, but I didn't realize how much I'd lost it until it was back. It's so awesome to put on clothes and have them FEEL good. It's even more amazing to look in the mirror and LIKE what I see! It may sound vain, but it carries over into so many aspects of life. I'm more outgoing and friendly to others when I feel confident. I'm more adventurous with my husband in the bedroom. I smile more. I'm truly happier because I simply feel better. Casey said recently that she can tell I have my "confident Emily swag" back and it's a real thing. I feel like MYSELF and that's such a freeing feeling. 

Sidenote but I've talked about goal jeans in the past...I bought a pair of jeans while pregnant and wanted to be able to wear them. Um. I'm SO TICKED at these dang jeans! They are a size 6. I had to BUY a size 4 for my current size. But those jeans?!? Still don't fit well enough to where I'd wear them. I think they might have been mis-sized or something. Which is SO ANNOYING!!! I'm still hanging onto them but I'm not stressing about "fitting into them" anymore!

This is a sneak peak spoiler of our pics we just took this past Tuesday (Dec 1st) with Captured by Colson! 

I'm in a size medium shirt and a size SMALL pants!

This photo shoot was my FAVORITE ever because I felt SO GREAT about how I looked. I wasn't worried about how my clothes hugged my body or what angle I needed to be standing in to look thinner. I didn't have to worry about how I looked at all. I was just able to let loose, have fun, and enjoy the moments. And I LOVE the way our pics turned out. My confidence shines through!!!


Just in case you like a side-by-side comparison :)


As y'all know I love some Advocare! You can read ALL about my past successes with the products as well as learn more about it from a business perspective here!

I tell people all the time that I've represented quite a few companies with an MLM business model. I've done a jewelry one, a makeup one, as well as an oil one. I can BY FAR say that Advocare as a business FAR surpasses all the others! If you are in a situation where you'd like to earn some extra income (who doesn't?) then Advocare is where it's at! 

Even if you aren't looking to grow a business, Advocare offers a wonderful membership program that does NOT require any sort of minimums nor any selling to keep your discount! You can join the membership here and for signing up you receive a 20% off discount off anything you order (which I'm such an Advo fan that I'm at the 40% discount level!) as well as a few boxes of Spark! It's really a no-brainer to join and I always say I regretted not joining the membership before I purchased my first challenge three years ago!

If you aren't interested in Advocare as a business plan and you don't want to sign up for the membership you can still purchase products directly (Which I also love about Advocare...who wants to deal with getting ahold of someone who has your stuff?!?! Advocare ships to YOU!) through this link: https://www.advocare.com/12089414/Store/default.aspx

I'm super happy with my results so far and can't wait to see what the New Year will bring!  If you have any questions you can contact me at journeyofphood@gmail.com or via my Facebook Page! 

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