17 days past the challenge

I finished my 24 day challenge over two weeks ago. I struggled last week and re-gained up to 201. I had finished the challenge at 197. Today, after getting back on track, I weigh in at 193.8. I haven’t had my weight this low since graduate school in 2003.

free 24 day challenge tips, from me to you

I finished my 24 day challenge on Wednesday. I’m continuing on the Advocare system, maintaining my MSN-E and CATALYST at regular intervals. I did pretty much miss a whole day of the supplements yesterday, but I am still down 1.5 pounds since Thursday.  Got right back on the horse today.

If you’re worried about what you have to give up, or how you have to change to adapt to the challenge, once you start it, here’s my advice to you. I’m no expert by any stretch, like I’ve said I have only done this one more time than you at this point, and here’s what helped me out. Maybe it will help you out, too.

1. Cook as much as you can in advance. Grill chicken all day Sunday if you have to. Make salads in bulk and portion them out.

2. Get the 24 day challenge app. It is a cross between Lose-it/My fitnessPal and an organizer. You record your starting measurements and update along the way after day ten and 24. It can even be set for reminders to take your supplements or snacks on schedule, if you’re forgetful like me. It will help you build the habit. One other additional feature I didn’t utilize much is the “share” function. You can broadcast your progress to other members of your challenge group to keep everyone honest.

3. Mix your fiber pack during the firs ten days with your spark. I tried it straight out the first time and almost didn’t make it.

4. Utilize the “optional” catalyst and thermo-plus. I truly believe that maintaining the use of these two products during the different phases of my challenge were the secret to my success. You will have results, simply by virtue of changing your habits, but you have to ask yourself-how much different do I want to be at the end of the challenge?  Each of those “optional” items will add a greater return in the long run. They’re not optional for me, anymore.

5. Eat nuts for your snacks, at least in the morning. Raw, unsalted almonds and walnuts were my go to. Walnuts have a very high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. Eating them is basically like taking another dose of OmegaPlex. Their high fiber content will help keep you fuller, longer, in the morning as well, before lunch.

6. Be intentionally active. I confess that I didn’t actually exercise on purpose much during the plan. During the Max Phase my family went for a few walks during the evening, and my wife and I did one session of the 24 day exercise video, but we never got into a scheduled routine. I am firmly convinced that a consistent exercise routine would have launched me even further along in the pursuit of my results.

7. Don’t weigh yourself every day. Resist the temptation. Day 1. Day 10. Day 24. That’s it. I didn’t do that. It was  a daily challenge to NOT do it that I didn’t overcome. I did it about every five days.  That tingling feeling in your stomach in the morning is your body responding in a positive way to the challenge, and that’s all the confirmation I should have needed. Three times. Beginning, middle, and end.

8. The first ten days of the challenge is a cleanse. When it says cut it out, cut it out.  I was more restrictive on myself than I probably should have had to been. I had read somewhere there was no dairy for the whole 24 days, so I decided in advance that I would have no dairy. Cheese is my favorite thing in the universe, except for bacon. Bacon isn’t allowed. Or at least I thought it was. One of my coaches, after I had gone for a few days without cheese and passed up an amazing buffet spread at the MLB all-star weekend mentioned that cheese and dairy were okay, IN MODERATION.  This is where you have to know yourself. For me, based on how I don’t do well with soda and candy, knew that moderation for me is impossible.  I would have made a complete fool of myself in just cheese and cancelled all of my gains up to that point, or severely stunted the progress I had made. I wasn’t willing to do that. You have to be willing to give yourself a short term no, in exchange for a long-term yes.  I had to tell myself no for that food group for the entire 24 days. Your mileage may vary. If you have trouble with certain foods, and with impulse control, be brave enough to tell yourself no and cut it out completely. I had to do it, and I was better for it in the long run.

9. Don’t set a goal other than to finish the challenge. Once you finish, become more specific. Set a numerical goal after that. My next goal is to get down to 185, and start building muscle on that. I have not been under 200 pounds the entire time of my marriage, eleven years now. I was 185 in graduate school, or at least I said I was, I never really kept track. So now I will be able to say that for sure.  Eleven pounds to go.

Free advice from me to you. Take it to heart and learn from my stumbles when you take up the challenge yourself next week.

Overcame more than just a 24 day challenge

I finished my 24 Day Advocare challenge today. I plan to continue on to day 25 and beyond. I am hitting the gym tomorrow. I was very successful on my challenge, by all measures.  Lost 17 pounds. 13 inches. 2 pants sizes. Cut out fast food and dairy and soda and energy drinks. learned to eat veggies and eggs (scrambled and hard boiled, anyway).  I also learned that if I can do this, anyone can. You have to decide for yourself.  Every single day I had the choice to continue, or the choice to stop. I decided for myself that the choice to continue would reap far greater benefits in the long run than stopping temporary to feed a short term urge or craving. I learned that if I can do this, you can do this.  And I learned that I want to help other people reach the same level of success with their lifestyle choices that I did. Now you have a choice to make. Or a few choices. Taking on the Advocare 24 day challenge cost me something in the short term. There is a monetary investment. There is a time investment. You will have to invest in different foods. But any investment in positive changes will reap much better long term investments. I am living proof. I spent years reading about diets and never following through with any of them. My kindle/iPad are full of Paleo and ketogenic and other crazy diet plan books. I never followed any of them. It took Advocare to finally push me to where I always tried to claim I was all along. 50 days without any Soda or Energy drinks, from thousands of calories daily. No more junk food for lunch. And I am reaping the benefits.

I want you to reap those benefits too. It costs $196 for a 24 day challenge kit(I can explain how to get 20% or 40% off that, and free product as well, if you want). That $196 gets you a months worth of supplies, if you decide to sign up. It also gives you a plan to follow. You’ll still have to buy food enough for some of your meals, but the plan has meal suggestions. Basically, you’re committing to never eating anything that comes in a box for the next 24 days. If you plan ahead, and follow the plan, you will be a success. I can’t make any guarantees, because each person is different. Well, I guess I can guarantee a few things.

1. I guarantee that if you sign up for a challenge with me, you will have my support. OOOh, big deal, right? What do I know? I know what it’s like to succeed at this one more time than you have. But one is enough. I still have much more room to grow, and I know you do, too. We can grow together.  We will keep ourselves accountable. You will have my daily support over Facebook and via phone, whether you want it or not. Our July challenge group faced the plan together, and kept each other on track. Each person had some measure of success. And you will have success, too. You have to define what success will be for you, though. The 24 day challenge doesn’t really end on day 24. I didn’t set any goals other than to finish the challenge. I finished it, and I am surprised by the results. I want to continue to surprise myself.  I want to grow the financial aspect of Advocare into a full-time occupation that allows me the freedom I have always wanted and never found in teaching or a 9-5 job.  But I can’t get there without you. We can both reach that point together. Change our physical lifestyle first, then work together and change our financial lifestyle. I need you to join me to make us both successful.

2. My only other guarantee is that you will be different at the end of the challenge than you were at the beginning. Like I said, how you will change is up to you. I can’t make you change. Your changes will be the direct result of all the choices you made over the course of the 24 days.

Are you up to the challenge?  I was.  I want you to be up to the challenge, too. We start a new group August tenth. Order today at the link below.

http://www.advocare.com/150612594

Down the stretch

We are down into single digits on the days left in the Advocare 24 day challenge. I have  seen amazing changes in my wife and I since we started. The changes will continue, I am sure. Now comes the real challenging part for me. Turning my physical results into monetary outcome. Now we hustle and grow the business. On an Advocare page I follow they heavily promote one couple who kicked it in high gear and were making 5 figures a month before their first year was up. I want to be able to do the same thing. Guess I should get started.

Day 16/24. My biggest struggle, now

I attended my first Advocare product mixer on Saturday. It was a great experience. Now that I have seen it done, I know I can do it myself. Now I just need to line up prospects. I plan tp invite my teacher friends to start on a “back to school” challenge this week. They knew me before, and theyre seeing my results. I hope they choose to join me.
I should havr never snuck a peak at the scale early. My biggest temptation now is to get back on and see what progress I have made. I never cared, before. Honestly, I was probably just scared to see how far in the wrong direction I was going. Now, though, the temptation is to constantly check my progress and risk being disappointed by a lack of movement in the other direction. I never really said I wanted a definite number in a goal by the end of the challenge, but now I know a definite number is possible. I would like to get down to my married weight by the end of summer, and start turning that weight to muscle soon after. Married weight was 185. I think: like I said, I never really looked at the scale before. I’m at 203 now. It’s a very reachable target. Thanks to Advocare.

Forgotten success story 

My wife received 4 tickets to the all star festivities Sunday in Cincinatti. It included food from the diamond club buffet beforehand, and waiters would bring you food to your seats during the game. I was severely tempted by the cheese plate, but did not cave. I had heard no cheese at the beginning of the challenge. I was sticking to it. I took a small piece and told myself it would be a cheat item in a clean meal of sea bass, rice, and turkey. It was so salty I couldn’t eat more than one  bite. I took that as a sign that I shouldn’t have cheese. When we got to my seats, all the regular ballpark food was at my disposal. I had a single breaded chicken tender and about a dozen peanuts. And a ton of water. The games went from 3pm to 8 and it was hot. I didn’t blow a hole in my challenge. I traded a short term no for a long term yes. 
We DVR-ed the game. Here’s the family on the MLB network broadcast. Top left under the score. They were really good seats.

 

Final cleanse day in works

I started my final cleanse day today. This has been an amazing experience. I started at 214. I’m down to 206.2. I’m not going to weigh myself until I get to day 25. Today will probably be the second toughest day of my challenge. I will be filming a process in a production suite today. Won’t have ready access to my snacks at my usual interval, or my water. I work in a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant. No food in the rooms allowed. Can’t risk the product having cheetos mixed in with it. Speaking of pills, why doesn’t the fiber come in capsules? There are 200 people in my building that could turn that granulated powder into a capsule in no time. It can be done. Before we made pills, we made carnation instant breakfast. Think about it, Advocare corporate. I’m sure you’re reading this. Anyway, I am bringing my healthy snacks with me and will maintain as close as I can.