6 Years Ago….

Face Before/AfterI’m a sucker for all those timehop/memory features things that social media has these days. It’s always fun to remember what was going on in my life in the past. Today is one of those days I don’t need a reminder of. You might already know my story in some aspect or maybe you read about it but I wanted to share it again for those who maybe don’t know. 6 years ago this very day, I made a decision that would change the entire course of my life. I decided enough was ENOUGH. I was tired of being overweight, tired of my knees aching, tired of being a slave to food, tired of using food as a means to soothe my emotions, tired of not being able to wear any cute clothes, tired of accepting that I was just “big-boned” and tired of being trapped within my own skin. I had gotten to a point where I was starting to accept that I was never going to be anything but overweight/obese. For my entire adult life I had been this way and it seemed impossible to be anything else. I had tried diets, workouts, but nothing ever stuck and often times after losing a little weight, I’d gain it all back and then some.

Before & After6 years ago I was 244 pounds and there were times before that when I was even heavier. Today I am about 85 pounds lighter but my weight still fluctuates, last year I was at my lowest weight and that brought my total lost to 108 pounds. Since then I’ve gained a little bit back because I was less active because of back pain and even fell back into some old habits, but what changed 6 years ago is still true. For me it was two BIG things and although they might sound a little obvious, I assure you, it’s not just that cookie cutter “Diet and Exercise” change. It’s a little bit simpler than that and less daunting! I tell everyone.. if I can do it, anyone can.

So here’s the two MAIN things that completely changed everything for me:

  • Learning more about nutrition and how to make BETTER choices but most importantly, KEEPING TRACK of everything you eat. That might seem tedious, and it definitely takes an adjustment but it was incredibly ground-breaking for me because a lot of my problem was the amount of food I was consuming without even realizing. The mindless snacking, the bites here and there, the handful of this and that, the going back for seconds and not paying attention to portions. Just being accountable to keeping track of everything that I ate, really helped me to see what I was doing to myself. Here’s the thing, you can STILL EAT the not-so-healthy stuff. Just try to make wiser choices majority of the time. You hear all the time “moderation is key” and it’s pretty true, but you also have to know yourself and your pitfalls. For me, I really have to be wise about eating anything with sugar, because I have a bad sweet tooth and a sugar addiction, but I don’t completely deprive myself either because then you want it even more and when you mess up (and you will!) then you spiral back out of control!
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  • Getting Active. Plain and simple.. I know, I know… *insert a collective groan here* No, seriously.. don’t groan, don’t roll your eyes. It’s not as bad as you think! It honestly doesn’t take much. When I first started, I didn’t join a gym, I didn’t dive right in to a hardcore workout. I slowly added activity. I looked at my daily routine and tried to pick out the periods of time where I was being a couch potato and I simply replaced that with activity. You don’t have to give up Netflix to lose weight. I watched the same amount of TV and movies, I just eliminated the part about being glued to the couch. I stood up and marched in place while I watched tv. That’s it. That’s all I did to start. After that I added more and more. When I had lost most of my weight I was then fast-paced walking around 3 miles per day plus doing a 30 minute workout of my choice. I notice Fitbit added this new goal where they encourage you to have 250 steps for at least 9 hours of your day. It’s the same concept. The more active you are, the more calories you burn! Get active! Any way that is easy for you!
  • Beyond that.. a lot of it is a perspective change. Believe you can do it. Tell yourself you’re going to do it. And remember that you will have bad days, you will fall off track, you will still gain weight here and there… but don’t let it defeat you. A weight loss journey isn’t about watching the scale go down EVERY DAY or EVERY WEEK (it’s going to go up and down). It’s remembering where you started and your OVERALL progress and the downward trend.

    16-04-12-11-46-55-689_decoSo it’s been 6 years of ups and downs on the scale and ups and downs of life. Yes, I lost a lot of weight and my appearance has changed but if you ask me what changed most through this process, it wouldn’t be my appearance or my health. Making that decisions 6 years ago ended up being far more than just a healthy change. It was a life change. My personality evolved. My confidence boomed. It empowered me to believe I can truly do ANYTHING I put my mind to. Since then I have been more brave, I have been more social, I have been more able to step out of my comfort zone. I still can’t even believe myself sometimes. I used to be a very different person 6 years ago. So if I look back, one of the main reasons I am thankful for making that initial decision is because it gave me LIFE! It’s enabled me to actively pursue finding my purpose in life. It’s enabled me to do and try things I never would have tried 6 years ago. It’s unlocked a passion for health and fitness and encouraging others through their own journeys.

    Recently, even I have forgotten about that passion and today and right now as I’m remembering where I was 6 years ago, what I was facing 10 years ago. I’ve decided to get back on track. To find my will power again and to remember again, that I am stronger. I am stronger than that craving. I am stronger than that desire to be lazy. I am stronger than using food to soothe my emotions. For that matter… SO ARE YOU! So if you find yourself in that place that I was (and currently am), please don’t feel defeated. YOU ARE CAPABLE! And YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

    It’s very much a battle and a war with yourself that you are fighting, but you have to also be doing it for the right reasons. Do it for your health! Do it out of gratitude for being alive and having a body. Do it to stop taking your health and life for granted. Do it to extend your life. Do it so you can be a blessing and an inspiration to others. You’ll find if you have the right reasons, you will do far more than you ever expected or imagined!

    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

    Philippians 4:13

    What’s all this about Shakeology?

    If you know me at all you know that I’m not exactly the loudest or most talkative person on the planet. However, when there’s something that I’m really passionate about, I pretty much won’t shut up about it. When I think about the things I won’t shut up or just look at my twitter, the main things I don’t shut up about are:

  • God/Jesus/My Church
  • Health/Fitness/Weight Loss
  • Crochet
  • Shakeology
  • I’m sure I annoy people when I get to be a broken record on some topics and I’m sure I’ve lost a few followers/friends here and there because they’re tired of hearing me talk about the same things over and over. The truth is, when I’m a broken record about something, it’s probably because deep down I want everyone else to be on my level and see why I’m so fired up about it to begin with.

    This is definitely true about Shakeology! I love it so much that I think everyone should hop on the bandwagon. I get a lot of people asking me about Shakeology because I’m always talking about it. I’ve convinced some people to try it, some are still drinking it on a regular basis, some drink it occasionally, some just decided it wasn’t worth the cost, some didn’t have time to make them, etc. I’ve heard a lot of success stories and heard a lot of “not for me” stories so I wanted to make a post about what Shakeology has done for me, why I still drink it, why I enjoy it and why I have made it a priority in my budget (despite it being very pricey) and why I think everyone should try it!


    What Is Shakeology?

    It’d be easier to link you to the website because there is a TON of information there but here’s a brief explanation: A lot of people think Shakeology is just another protein shake on the market with too big of a price tag. While it definitely DOES have some protein it is SO much more than a protein shake. It’s a protein shake, a meal replacement shake, an antioxidant drink, and a probiotic drink all in one. It’s JAM-PACKED full of superfood nutrition AND it tastes delicious to boot.

    Why I Drink Shakeology

    When I started my healthy lifestyle, I learned the value of breakfast. I was skipping breakfast nearly EVERY day when I was obese and the first thing I changed was I started eating decent breakfasts. For me, this is not always easy. I like my sleep and don’t really have time to make a substantial healthy breakfast unless I wake up early. So that’s what first appealed to me about drinking a meal replacement shake. I had a friend let me try a sample and I was pretty much sold after first trying that and the main reason was that it gave me a HUGE energy boost. I felt a whole lot better overall too. I’m already eating better and exercising and it definitely is a great addition to a healthy regimen. I know it helped me get over a LONG plateau and really boosted (and continues to boost) the results of my weight loss. I had a shake EVERY single day while I was following the 21 Day Fix program, have you SEEN those results?

    So to summarize, here’s why I drink it:

  • It’s A Quick & Healthy Breakfast
  • It Gives Me A Boost of Energy
  • Keep Me Regular (TMI, Sorry!)
  • Aids In My Weight Loss/Fitness Goals
  • It Tastes Delicious!!
  • How It’s Helped People I Know

    It seems a lot of people have had different experiences with the shakes. Some notice a boost in their energy, some don’t. Some find that it keeps them fuller longer and that they don’t get as many cravings. I think it definitely varies by the individual. My Mom is pre-diabetic, has extreme asthma and other underlying health issues. She was complaining about fatigue and so I recommended that she try one of my shakes. Since that first shake, she’s had one every single weekday morning. She’s lost 50 pounds since starting to drink Shakeology and she is NOT following a workout routine, just eating somewhat healthy in addition. Not only that, she SWEARS it helps her breathing issues and it even keeps her blood sugar regulated.

    On The Taste

    It’s available in SIX different flavors and I have tried almost all of them: Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, Greenberry, Chocolate Vegan and Tropical Strawberry Vegan. Chocolate is my favorite and the main reason is because it’s so versatile and because it makes me feel like I’m indulging and cheating on a healthy eating plan. One of my favorite things about Shakeology is that you can always change it up. When you order Shakeology it comes with a double-sided recipe calendar with two month’s worth of different Shakeology concoctions to try.

    Strawberry ShakeologyI’ve had a few people tell me they don’t really like the taste. Personally, I’ve tried other shakes before that have tasted like nothing they were supposed to taste like, maybe had a chalky texture and a disgusting after-taste. I personally find none of those to be true with Shakeology (NOTE: I haven’t tried Vegan Chocolate but I did find the Tropical Strawberry Vegan to be a bit chalky tasting when I tried it, however they have since improved the taste so it might taste better now). But I do believe if you don’t like drinking them straight up that there is a recipe out there for you that would make it more to your liking. The only flavor I enjoy as is would be Vanilla. Reason being is that the vanilla flavor is pretty overpowering and so far I haven’t really found anything that is worth adding in the extra calories. I do plan to try Vanilla Chai soon, though and mixing the vanilla with a cup of coffee = AMAZING! Right now I’m obsessed with Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana and Chocolate Spice or Chocolate Chai!

    Greenberry probably sounds/looks gross to a lot of people but before there was Tropical Strawberry Vegan or Strawberry flavors that was the only “fruit” flavor so I wanted to try it. It actually was my second favorite flavor until the regular strawberry flavor was released just recently. Sometimes you just want a fruit smoothie right? That’s why I enjoyed Greenberry and I especially enjoy it mixed with banana and mango! I’ve only JUST tried out the new Strawberry flavor and it is pretty delicious and quickly rose to my SECOND favorite flavor. I’m a little obsessed with strawberries and strawberry flavors (candy, milk, icecream, etc.) so I was really excited about getting a straight up Strawberry flavor and I was not disappointed. Right now my favorite way to have Strawberry Shakeology is a concoction I like to call Peanut Butter Banana & Strawberry Jam AND it’s 21 Day Fix friendly! I’ll share that recipe soon!

    On The Price Tag

    The most common reason I hear for people not drinking Shakeology is because of the hefty price tag. Look, I get it. We live in scary time where money is concerned. We’re worrying about getting jobs, keeping jobs and supporting our families and probably paying off all those loans. Life isn’t cheap. Do I like the chunk of money Shakeology sucks out of my account every month? Nope. Yet, I’ve been getting a monthly shipment of Shakeology for nearly two years now. A single-serving of Shakeology equals around $4.00. Do you know what other drink costs that much that a lot of people drink EVERY day? Starbucks Coffee. I guarantee you that if you chose to spend that money on Shakeology instead of your daily cup of joe, you’d rather spend it towards Shakeology too! I’m not saying to replace coffee (I still drink it and often drink it mixed WITH Shakeology) but I just use that as an example. All things considered, it’s not really as expensive as you think. I think this video is a good example of what you’re getting in Shakeology and shows that you’re actually getting a lot more for your money than you think.

    Can I Sample It?

    I used to give samples away for people to try thinking they would absolutely get hooked like me and order their own but I probably lost about $40.00 doing that. So now I sell them separately or just encourage people to order a Sample Pack. But also, there is a Money-Back Guarantee that they have if you really wanted to give it a try and hated it. You can even get your money back after drinking an entire month’s supply. That’s a pretty sweet guarantee! Anyway, I’ll stop being an infomercial now. I’m sure there are a bunch of skeptics out there saying that I’m only trying to earn some commission. Sure, commission is nice, but if you really think that’s the only reason I talk so much about Shakeology then don’t order it from my site, go order it directly from the website and thank me later for giving you all the information and convincing you to try it! I just want people to benefit from it like I have!

    Where Can I Buy It?

    If you just want to take the plunge instead of trying a Sample Pack first, you can get a ton more info on Shakeology and order it here!

    So I think that about covers it. If you have any specific questions about Shakeology, how I drink it, recipes or ANYTHING please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email! I LOVE Shakeology and I love talking about it! Also, please do let me know if you order/plan to try it! I would LOVE to hear your thoughts, share recipes, etc. Also, I plan to post any recipe inventions here in the future, so keep an eye out for those!