May 15 Editorial

This week marked the end of my Advocare 24 day challenge, where I basically gave up everything that has ever brought me joy in a quest for not just weight loss, but a long term healthy lifestyle. I have to say that the results were quite shocking.
As you may have read earlier this month, the first week of this journey was full of ups and downs including sugar withdrawals, caffeine (or lack thereof) headaches, and mood swings that almost lead me to commit murder on more than one occasion. I stayed powerfully hungry for the first ten days, and longed for days past where I lounged in sweatpants in my recliner stuffing my face with pies and Doritos while letting my gut spill out from under my once fitted t-shirt.
When these thoughts almost brought me to my breaking point, I looked down and reminded myself that once upon a time, I could see my feet without sucking in. I also had already taken the liberty of throwing away all the junk food from the cabinets as a last ditch effort in case of an emergency “fall off of the wagon”. But I stayed strong.
On day ten, I stepped on to the scale and realized it hadn’t budged a pound even though my commitment had never faltered. My husband clapped like a little girl when he weighed in screeching, “I lost 11 pounds.” Those feelings of murder were bubbling up inside me again. Instead they manifested themselves as tears.
“Why are you crying,” he asked. “Because I’ve done everything right and I haven’t lost a pound. I have even been running 3 miles extra a day,” I whined. He just kept telling me to stick with it and results would come, but all I kept thinking was, “Who died and made you a weight loss expert? All you did was cut out sodas and lost 11 pounds.” I was frustrated and angry but decided that the best way to tackle my anger was to push my body even harder. I vowed to stay off the scale and focus my attention more on success rather than failure.
My 3 mile runs turned into 4 mile runs. My hunger pains turned into determination. My little black dress that I haven’t worn in years became my muse.
Today, day 24 finally arrived. I stepped on to the scale once again, and to my surprise I had lost 9 pounds and 8 ½ inches from my entire body. I slipped the little black dress over my head and even though I have a ways to go, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Low and behold…..eating right and exercise works.
No more diet pills. No more starving myself. No more gimmicks promising the world. This was as simple as it was ever going to get. Stop eating crap, pound the pavement, and get results. Why has this taken me so long to understand? Because I wanted a quick fix with instant results.
Although 9 pounds in 24 days seems like a lot, I did it by eating clean and good old fashioned exercise. The most shocking thing that I’ve found is my new habits. I used to hate running more than the Kardashian’s hate white boys, but now have found that I wake up longing to run. It helps me start my day. It allows me to center myself in the silence while taking in the morning. Whoa…..never thought I say those words.
And for my grand finale of shocking changed behavior…..I no longer want to drink alcohol. After 24 days without so much as a sip of wine, I feel better than I ever have and I intend on keeping it that way. No more poison in this body people! There may now be a huge overstock of wine grapes that throw off our entire ecosystem on earth. In that case, I may have to change my mind. I’ll keep you posted.
Even though my 24 day challenge is over, for me the real challenge has just begun. I intend on continuing my journey until I reach my ultimate goal. Then, who knows? I did think about starting training for a triathlon today. Can someone check the weather, because I think somewhere really hot just froze over!