Saturday, July 16, 2011

Take Shape For Life

I have a cool story to share with you guys, one that most of you probably already know (let's be honest, my only dedicated readers happen to be blood related...)

My mom's journey to a healthy lifestyle :) it's always inspiring to hear someone share their weight loss story, but this one happens to be ultra-inspirational because I got to see her go through the whole process!  We talk everyday, which meant that I heard about her "good days," her inevitable bad days, and her daily thoughts about what she was going through. 

This is her story from a daughter's point of view!

Growing up, we were a pretty active family.  We were always doing fun, outdoor activities, like roller blading, biking, hiking, sports... So, my mom definitely had to cook enough to keep three kids full and satisfied :) Over the years, as our appetites grew and her work schedule got crazy, she continued cooking for us, but started to neglect things like daily exercise and weekend adventures.  We were by no means an unhealthy family, but I wouldn't categorize our household as extremely health conscious, because none of us needed to be dieting or watching our calorie intake, yaaa know? 

By the time my sister graduated high school, in 2007, my mom had hit her highest weight! We're talking around the two hundred mark.  Of course, none of us (her kids) thought she looked anything less than beautiful, but she didn't feel gorgeous and she definitely didn't feel like she was living a happy and healthy lifestyle.  Looking back, she always talks about how she was always drained of energy.  How she managed to keep up with three trouble makers for children, I'll never know!!

She started to eat healthier, cook healthier meals,  and watch what she ate when she was traveling (which was a lottttt!).  She also started working out with a trainer, focusing on strength training and adding in cardio outside of her training sessions.  The weight started to come off, but it was always a yo-yo thing.  Like most diets, people get excited about weight loss, but begin to feel restricted and unhappy and eventually go back to their usual habits.  This results in weight gain... duh.

Fast forward a little to this past year.  My mom finally decided to take hold of her health and start following the Medifast diet and participating in Take Shape For Life.  This diet isn't a diet at all, it's a lifestyle.  Similar to weight watchers, Medifast focuses on portion control.  It consists of 5, 100-calorie, high-protein, low-fat and low-sugar meals/snacks with one "regular" meal of your choice that has to be lean and green (think lean protein like fish and chicken paired with yummy veggies!!).  It was created by doctors who loaded up the mini-meals with every nutrient you need, the only thing you have to be careful of is working out, because of the low calorie intake. 

NOW THE WEIGHT STARTED TO FALL OFF.  Before long, my mom was literally swimming in her clothes.  She was really determined to lose the weight before my sister's college graduation, as a big surprise and semi-graduation present for her.  But really, this was all done for herself and for her own health.  I honestly couldn't be more proud of her.  I literally carry around a before and after picture of her in my wallet and whip it out if the topic of Medifast and my mom's journey ever comes up :)  forget "proud momma" I'm a proud daughtaaa!

I would love my mom if she was 100 pounds or 500 pounds.. anything more is a little excesive (you better watch it, Mom!)... but more importantly, she loves herself.  She has more energy than anyone I know!  My favorite part about her journey, besides all the yummy lean and green meals she cooks for me, is the change that I've seen in her self-confidence.  My mom is by no means a self-conscious or soft-spoken individual... but her self-image has sky rocketed.  She never used to shop, she was never excited to try on new clothes and splurge on a cute sale item, but now she's proud to show off her new curves :)  And I'm proud to SHARE all of her new clothes purchases with her!! WOOHOO.

I actually steal her Lululemon apparel when I'm at home :)
how cool is that??

I know the idea of "dieting" sounds unappealing to almost any human being...  but Medifast isn't a diet.  It's a life style change.  And if you can't tell from the numerous pictures of us with food, there is still plenty of room to enjoy yourself. 

My mom is still "taking shape for life" and she actually became a certified health coach, through the program, to help others who need some extra support!  Check out her site!  and be inspired!

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