On Thursday next week, a friend of mine is coming to my house to help me go through my closet. I need someone there to work with me to try on all my clothes and objectively tell me what I just can’t wear anymore. Why? Because there is so much in my closet that is just way too big now. And a lot of it “fits” but isn’t flattering because it droops or hangs poorly.
I’m sort of excited to pare my closet down significantly, but I’m also a little sad because my journey as a Shaklee Blogger is officially over after today. This is my last update on my progress, and if you can’t guess, I’ve definitely made progress. I’m not 100% there yet, but I’m really, really close.
In fact, I’m closer to my goal of being able to wear a bikini (though I’m not sure I have the confidence to pull it off regardless) than I have been in years, and that includes having gone out of town four times during my Shaklee journey, two of those weeks being in Puerto Rico and on a cruise. Without Shaklee there to support me while on vacation, I can only imagine what would have happened. My mom gained five pounds on that two week jaunt, and my husband gained six. I gained nothing.
The official results?
I still have a couple stubborn pounds to go, but I’m really, really close. I think there’s no question that when you have 10, 15 or 20 pounds to lose, it’s much harder to lose weight consistently each week than it is when you have more weight to lose. My body especially just seems to be afraid to let go of those last few pockets of chub in case famine suddenly hits. Tempting as it was sometimes to give up when I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted now, I stuck with it, and I’m glad I did. I learned not to focus on what I was doing wrong or what wasn’t working but on all the things that I was doing that were moving me in the right direction, and that helped keep me motivated.
Ready to take the next step and learn more about Shaklee? I am a Shaklee independent distributor, so you can start your own Shaklee 180™ Turnaround or learn about all the other Shaklee products from green cleaning to vitamins and more through me. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have about my experience.
I started my journey to become more fit at the beginning of this year. Initially that was my goal, and honestly, that’s the most important thing you can do for yourself. If you’re strong and in shape, you may not be your ideal body weight, but you’re making a huge step in staying healthy long-term. When I become a Shaklee Blogger, I admitted that maybe somewhere deep inside, I have a larger goal, something more than just wanting to be fit.
Of course, I started the program out with a sprained foot, literally within days of the launch of the Shaklee blogger program that made it difficult for me to push as hard as I wanted to with the fitness classes I was taking. I still attended the circuit training and cardio kickboxing classes, but it wasn’t quite the same intensity or effect. It did prove to me that just because you have an injury, you don’t have an excuse to sit around and do nothing. There’s always some effort you can make. If only I’d kept up with that theory for the entire time I was a Shaklee blogger!
Even that sentence pains me to write a little. We so often focus on the negative – what we did wrong, what we’d change about ourselves, how we could improve – and celebrating our successes is pushed by the wayside. But you know what? There are things I like about myself, and part of the Shaklee program helped me remember that. I like parts of my body, and I like who I am. Whether or not I manage to look exactly as I want to as fast as I want to isn’t where I need to focus. It’s not a fourteen day change, and sometimes six months seemed like a long time as I had to fight to keep from turning my focus to negativity.
Persistence really is the key to any goal, and weight loss is no different. When I went to Blissdom in March, it was tempting to leave my Shaklee products at home and just eat and drink and enjoy myself like everyone around me. That would have put me back so far, however, and instead I found a solution that worked for me that allowed me to stay on my diet while I was on vacation.
Part of what makes the Shaklee program easy to stick to is that I actually enjoy the product. I have no issue with drinking two smoothies every day, which I do during the weight loss portion of the Shaklee program. I used my Vitamix to blend up all sorts of treats that I enjoyed, which also kept a variety in what I was eating so I didn’t feel like I was stuck in some monotonous loop where I got tired of my food. I made shakes with flavors ranging from peach cobbler (my all time favorite) to Nutella to choco-cherry and more. It was fun to create Shaklee smoothie recipes.
In just about every smoothie, I add a big handful of spinach, so in addition to the protein, vitamins, and minerals in the nonGMO shake I’m drinking, I also get a couple servings of fruits and veggies, which is always my challenge. That’s one of the big learnings I had from Shaklee, and even after I’m no longer an official Shaklee blogger, I plan to continue to have a smoothie a day simply because I enjoy them.
So after six months of sticking to the program, I sometimes felt like I wasn’t accomplishing my goals. By mid-May, a little over two months into the program, I had lost eleven pounds and was feeling stuck and frustrated. Things just weren’t moving, but so much of that is because I look at myself every day, and I focus on one thing – the scale. When I actually took a look at what my friends were saying to me about how I was changing and looked in the mirror, I was amazed and so proud of what I saw. Sometimes we need that reminder to step back and change our perspective, and that makes all the difference in the world.
One day, that just clicked with me. I realized that I hadn’t gained this weight in a matter of two or three weeks or even two or three years. Why I expected to have it all just melt away in a short time period, I’m not quite sure. No, it won’t take me anywhere near as long to lose the weight as it did to gain it, but it’s still a process not some fairy godmother coming to wave a wand in my direction. Every time I got frustrated, that was the mental reminder I gave myself, and it helped a lot.
And I’ll admit that as much as I followed the Shakee program, I know there is more that I can and could do to help increase my fitness, lose more weight, and stay healthy. One of my biggest challenges is sleep. I know how much sleep impacts metabolism and more, but even last night, I was up until after 2am unable to fall asleep. When I get only five or six hours of sleep a night, it’s rough. My body is already not operating efficiently. I’m tired so I don’t want to work as hard when I’m exercising.
The worst part though is that, no, I’m not always making the smartest choices when I’m sleep deprived. That’s something I need to continue to work on, but being aware of it helps. And those bad choices? It helps when I don’t push my willpower all day long. I only have so much of it, and I need to continue to be smart in how I use that limited resource. But when I do make bad choices in what I eat or how I exercise, I can’t let that define me. It doesn’t make me a bad person; I simply need to learn from the experience and move forward, making better choices.
One thing that was really hard for me during the program was dealing with the reaction of other people over the course of the six months. Interestingly, there were two diametrically opposed perspectives that I heard from friends. Either they would compliment me on how great I looked and how they could tell I lost a lot of weight or they would express concern that I was developing an eating disorder by following the Shaklee plan (I’m not). I didn’t deal well with compliments for a long time, and I’m still working on simply smiling and saying thank you, explaining a little about the Shaklee program and how it’s worked for me.
The eating disorder part is what really got me though. I’m not depriving myself, and I’m not cutting calories to a dangerous level – I ingest about 1,300 each day. We all make choices about what we will and won’t eat every day. If I know I’m going to be having a celebratory dinner, I’m definitely going to skip a big, calorie laden lunch. That’s making smart choices and something we all need to do every day, not a sign that I’m developing an eating disorder. That isn’t to minimize the dangers of focusing completely on dieting and weight loss where people can develop eating disorders, but part of Shaklee is being smart about what you eat and retraining yourself via both the Turnaround Kit to lose weight and the Lean and Healthy Kit to maintain the weight loss for three months so that you continue to make smart choices when you move away from Shaklee. I’ve really learned to listen to my body over the past six months, and that’s a skill that will serve me well for years to come.
Did I feel like in the six months there was an amazing change? Nope. But when I started looking at my before and after photos side by side, I just sat there staring. There really is a difference. A significant difference. No wonder I need that friend to come over next week to figure out what works and what needs to get out of my closet!
One thing that may stick around next week? I bought a dress back in March that I really liked. I just didn’t like me in it because it was a bit too lumpy. This is me in it now without any special support. The vast majority of those nasty lumps and bumps are gone. Give me a little Spanx, and I think I have a great new dress!
I’ve linked throughout this post to various articles I’ve written over the past six months that share my experience on this amazing journey. I can’t believe it’s over, but I’m so proud not just of myself and what I’ve accomplished but of all the Shaklee bloggers. There are some amazing stories out there. You can also read about my Shaklee experience in one place rather than clicking each link.