It's exactly 12:00 midnight and this moments marks the end of an 8 week journey. Me, Melesa, Brett, Heidi, Austin, Aimee, and Austin's brother and wife joined together for a challenge called Feel Great in Eight, (a.k.a. FG8.) I wanted to write down a few words about how the last 8 weeks has effected my life.
10 days before this all began I picked up a book called The 4-Hour Body and I read through only about half of the book but I was intrigued by some of the concepts that the author, Tim Ferris, shared about weight loss and shortcuts he had found to getting the body you want. After reading a few chapters I decided to try his diet plan, altered by me since I was and still am nursing Mason. The diet was mostly lean protein and lots of veggies. No fruit or other sugars are allowed on his diet but everyday I allowed myself a green smoothie sweetened with fruit. Also on this diet Saturdays were free days so I could eat anything I wanted, which I took full advantage of. Oreos? yes please!
After about 10 days I had lost 3- 4 pounds and I had removed all processed foods, including sugar, from my diet 6 days a week. Quitting the sweet stuff was by far the hardest part. Once the FG8 challenge started I was to the point that I didn't crave sugar anymore and I found that fruit was plenty sweet for my taste buds.
Once FT8 started I found that even though the diet guidelines were a lot easier that what I had been following, I had a harder time sticking to it. I realized that I was much more motivated when I was telling myself what to do, instead of a piece of paper on my fridge bossing me around. But I stuck through it because I wanted to be in control of myself. Soon I found myself really enjoying the endless options of foods! I had fun taking old recipes and making them more healthy. Since Jeremiah wasn't doing the challenge with me I still kept some of the bad food in the house but I found it easier every day to say no to the temptations. I was finally mastering self-control over food!
By the last few weeks I didn't even have to think about what I shouldn't be eating. I just gravitated toward the healthier foods and shunned the ones that I shouldn't be eating. And when I did cheat and have a cookie, or soda, I could feel the full effects that sugar has on my body. It makes me woozy, makes my mind feel cloudy, and gives me headaches and stomachaches. No bueno.
That makes it a million times easier to pass on the donuts, or candy, or Oreos. But I was thankful for the occasional cheats.
We were also asked to pinpoint an addiction we earned points for every day that we abstained from it. Mine was soda. I have been addicted to caffeine since my college days when I lived in the dorms and ate in the cafeteria where we could have free soda for breakfast lunch and dinner. My poison of choice was Pepsi and I drank was more than my fair share. I don't drink it nearly as often since college but I still love it and crave it. In the entire 8 weeks I had soda 4 times. Not bad for a caffeine addict. And now that FG8 is over I am determined to limit soda to only a few times a year on special occasions.
The biggest change in myself came through adding new exercises to my daily routine. I love to run and I love to exercise but I was stuck in a post-partum rut. I was weak and didn't have the energy to make it through my fitness dvds. I felt like I would never get my body back again. This sounds overly dramatic but it's true! Mason was only 8 months old but I felt like I should have been back in my size 3s already. With FG8 I started making myself workout for at least 30 minutes a day. My favorite workout was turning on my Kinect and dancing with Dance Central or Just Dance 3. When I felt a little more brave I would turn on Your Shape 2012 and kick my booty with their 12 minute Boot Camp. Soon I worked my way up the the hardest 18 minute Boot Camp and it was HARD! I would also make sure to walk or run to Simon's school daily and ride my bike where ever I could. I started to see a difference when I looked in the mirror. My arms were more toned, my legs felt strong, my back didn't hurt as bad, and one day I noticed I could actually see my abs! Best day ever!
I lost a total of 8 pounds, and I really am back in my skinny pants now!
Not only did we fix our physical habits but the challenge included daily prayer and reading uplifting books, such as scriptures. I have never made scripture study a daily habit but I did my best during these 8 weeks to read daily. Me and my boys would read Book of Mormon stories over breakfast in the mornings and I learned so much! This is definitely a habit I need to keep going. Daily scriptures and prayer brighten my day and make me feel much more productive and happy.
I really loved that this was a whole-life habit forming challenge. And it has formed habits for my whole family that I want to keep in place for good. I would love to do this again sometime and invite some of my favorite people that just need a little motivation to be healthier and master their own self-control!