This is one of those posts that I have thought awhile about sharing, but because of its personal nature I have hesitated. This week my friend Jennifer Lovin, who must have been reading my mind, texted me, encouraging me to share. She said I had done the work so it was time to show the results. Since she is the person that inspired me to get on this path to health and wellness, it seemed like the perfect time to share.
Since April I have been participating in a online fitness program, FASTer Way To Fat Loss. Yes, an online fitness and exercise program. Since then, I have lost 12 pounds, 5 inches in my waist and gained muscle tone, strength and more confidence than I have had in a long time. I sleep great, I feel strong, and I am wearing things that I have not fit me in a long time. My closet has become a new world to me.
I am a fashion writer and I love stylish things. I have been following trends and writing about fashion for the past five years, but have been a lifetime lover of style. But, I have struggled with both health problems (IBS--yay) and the inability to figure out what to eat and how to exercise to get back to being me again. I learned to disguise my issues through how I dressed, but the basic problems never went away. I felt trapped. In a world of beautiful clothes, there were many things I couldn't wear and more importantly I often didn't feel well. It was like looking in from the outside. At 55 I am already at somewhat of a disadvantage in the world of youth and fashion. Or at least that is what I thought. No longer.
Being the busy mother to two teenagers and working part time gave me plenty of reasons to use the excuse that walking the dog was a form of exercise. I bought a FitBit. I rejoined the gym. I am a talented home cook and we have always eaten mostly whole foods and I cook healthy family dinners probably five days a week, but still I struggled. It was time to think differently, to try something new and to be open to seeing health and nutrition in a new light. I decided I wasn't going to take mid life lying down, I wasn't going to accept that "that's what happens when you get older". Nope. It was time to take control.
Back in April when my family and I were in Hawaii, I wasn't feeling great or confident or myself. There is nothing like swimwear to make you face reality. Once I had read Jennifer's post, I texted her and after we talked and I was in. And I haven't looked back. The FASTer Way To Fat Loss six week program uses intermittent fasting and carb cycling to works with your body, coordinating workouts that go with each day's "theme" so to speak. There are low carb days, typically the most difficult for me because it is more restrictive, regular calorie days, low calorie days and all of it is combined with workouts. Each program is tailored to you and your needs, tracking your food on the MyFitnessPal app. At first, I was NOT thrilled about tracking food and now I can't imagine not doing it, it is second nature. Knowledge is power, my friend, and it is really a great tool.
The program, by Amanda Tress, uses private Facebook groups to group clients going through the same program at the same time. Through Facebook, Amanda provides weekly exercise plans with corresponding dietary guidelines. The private members only as a significant motivator and you are expected to check-in daily to maintain accountability. The support and intimacy of the group, including Amanda and her couches checking in daily, solidifies the program and its strength both for individuals and as a collective group. The groups include women for all over the country, from fitness buffs, to new moms, to people like me.
The benefits for me, now in my second round of this program (I did back to back sessions to solidify my knowledge) is that my IBS has all but disappeared, I feel healthy and strong and I am me again. It isn't just the weight loss, although I am not going to lie, that has been incredible for me, but also the way I now understand nutrition and how to eat well all the time. And I love my bubbly and rose and believe me, I have not given them up. This program works seamlessly into a real life, and that is why it works. As Amanda says, "Progress, not perfection", and that is truly the premise behind this whole thing.
There is nothing better than being your best self, and knowing that you made the decision to make things better and did the work to get there.
Have a great week, my friends, and feel free to message me with any questions. Cheers to health and happiness.