4 piecesI’ve tried many times before, but I’ve never been able to work in all the elements of making a long-term physique transformation a reality.  After 47 years of living with myself, I’ve managed to put together the knowledge that I need 4 elements present in order to make a real transformation happen.

losing weight through Exercise

Well, duh, Lisa!  We all know that! We all know that we need exercise to be healthy, or maintain our health, but how many of us actually do it?  The real key to sticking with exercise is making the whole process fun and, if your kids hate going to the baby locker at the neighborhood gym, that can make it a whole lot of not fun.  ymcaIt took me a while, but I finally found the Braundera Family YMCA here in San Antonio.  It’s a bit of a drive for us but it is totally worth it.  Since work-at-home moms don’t make a pile of money, they made the family membership fee manageable for us.  More than $817,000 in financial assistance for membership has provided access to the YMCA to more than 16,000 individuals and families.  Our membership has given us access to excellent training facilities, the Kids Clubs (for free childcare while I work out), homeschool physical education classes, and Parents’ Night Out (which is a major social event for the kids).  Dealing with my kids’ whining about how they hated going to previous gyms’ kids clubs had been a major downer in the past.  Now we have a gym that we all love.  It also helps that my darling companion goes to the gym religiously so I have the ultimate training partner.  (I don’t train the same way he does, but his dedication gets me in the door of the gym.  That’s half the battle.)

Rest and weight loss

bedI really do need eight hours of quality sleep every night.  Some people get along on 5 or 6, but I need all 8.  I’ve always been that way.  If I don’t get enough sleep, my mind and body both perform at sub-par levels and, if I’m exercising, I need that recovery time to burn fat and build muscle while I sleep.  A major issue in the past few years has been mattress quality.  For real!  I slept on a thin memory foam mattress (on the floor) for a couple years but when I bought my first house, my parents splurged and bought me a very nice bed.  Well, they liked it.  I slept on it for a year before finally saying “enough is enough!”  I know it’s a wonderful gesture to have someone buy you a new bed, but there comes a time when you have to set aside your concerns about hurting their feelings and get the mattress that will give YOU a good night’s sleep.  Last month I got an 8’ memory foam mattress from WalMart.  It was under $200 and worth every bit of interest the purchase is accruing on my credit card!  I finally sleep well at night (and even have the occasional blissful power nap during the day).  Rest: it does a body good.

proper Nutrition and weight loss

For decades, I simply could not understand why I couldn’t eat a normal diet without gaining weight.  Whether it was the 4-4-3-2 food guide or the pyramid that tells you to eat 11 servings of carbohydrates as your nutrition base, I gained weight.  Conscientious weighing and measuring of serving sizes did nothing but help me gain weight.  I’ve finally come to realize that I had an undiagnosed thyroid issue that caused me to have reactive hypoglycemia.  Though I am currently on thyroid medication (Synthroid .5mg) I still suffer from nearly all the identified side effects of under-medication of hypothyroidism.  I’ve come to realize that what military doctors believe is within normal limits just is not within MY normal limits. starchSince this can’t be fully treated with my current medication, it is my job to find a way to adapt, improvise and overcome.  So I have.  The reactive hypoglycemia is triggered by starch so I’ve adapted by switching over to Ezekiel Bread exclusively and taking a carb blocker before consuming any starch/grain.  I have worked with an Ezekiel bread recipe I’ve found for bread machines and tweaked it a bit so it would have even more fiber and protein.  My darling companion and my kids all love it, so I make a few loaves/batches a week and we have all we need for sandwiches, pizza crusts, and even English Muffins for breakfast. We also eat very few processed foods.  I buy meats in bulk and grill or otherwise prepare them once a week for all our meals.  Stocking the refrigerator and freezer with what we call “training table foods” helps to provide fewer temptations and keep my diet on track. bikeSo I’m exercising regularly (biking on a stationary recumbent bike for 10 miles about 4 times a week), sleeping well and enough, and eating all the right foods.  Those three things have made maintaining my weight pretty easy.  I needed to find the missing element to get me past maintenance and into a fat burning/muscle building mode.  That’s where supplementation comes in.

losing weight with the right supplements

suppsI’ve been putting together a hodgepodge of vitamins and minerals plus my prescription medication in hopes that it would all work for me.  Unfortunately, this gets expensive after a while.  Recently, after thinking back to the last time I was within a breath of my goal weight.  What was I doing differently back then that I’m not now? That’s when it hit me.  I was taking Advocare supplements. Why did I stop?  I thought it was too expensive. Looking at the cupboard full of supplements I’m taking now, I realized that the cost would probably work out to be the same whether I had poor quality vitamin cocktails put together with vitamins and minerals from several different companies or signed up as a distributor for the discount and took the scientifically designed supplements made by Advocare. 24dcSo I made a commitment.  I took the plunge.  I decided to start off with the Advocare 24 Day Challenge and see where it would get me.  The 24 Day Challenge Guide makes the eating and supplementation a no-brainer and, since it only takes 21 days to create a habit, this might just be the perfect vehicle to get me on track and establish the healthy lifestyle I want with all four elements finally dialed in. In order to give myself the best possible chance at success, I decided to go beyond the journal and blog this journey.  I’ll document my progress here on my blog and be completely transparent about the exercise I’m doing, sleep I’m getting, foods I’m eating, and supplements I’m using.

instagramIf I can finally dial in all four factors and get myself on track to achieving the physique and healthy lifestyle I’ve always wanted at the age of 47, then the shame of posting the “Before” photos will be worth it.

Look for those coming next!