Last week during a particularly brutal leg session, my trainer, Antonio, asked me what I’m doing nutritionally to get this weight off. He said I’ve been doing really well in my training–even “turning a corner,” as he put it–but he wanted to remind me that diet accounts for 70 percent of weight loss, or more. Truthfully, I hadn’t weighed myself since I started training a month ago. I think I’ve been terrified I haven’t lost any weight, and I didn’t want to confirm my suspicious and lose all this amazing new-found workout mojo.
I confessed I suspected that between our trip to California and numerous large dinners, not to mention countless drinks, I hadn’t lost any weight in the last month. Antonio told me he recently started a diet support group and wanted me to come to a meeting. At first I didn’t think I was interested–I have a ton of knowledge and all the tools I need to succeed at losing weight on my own. But then I had a powerful thought: So why haven’t I succeeded on my own? That thought alone, combined with Antonio reaching out to me, convinced me to go to the meeting.
I showed up and found a group of women from early 20s to late 50s, all different races and backgrounds. Everyone was sipping on smoothie concoctions Antonio was busy whipping up in the kitchen. I immediately realized it wasn’t just a support group–it was sponsored by a meal-replacement program called Visalus. Antonio asked several clients to attend the meeting to tell us about their experiences with the plan. Their stories blew me away. Several had lost over 70 pounds on the plan and said it worked for them like nothing else. Antonio invited us join together for a 90-day transformation challenge, in which we’d follow the Visalus program for 90 day, meeting once a week to share tips and advice and check in on our progress. The prize for the winner? 10 free training sessions! That’s a $400 value. I started to seriously consider the challenge. I mean, the wedding is in 75 days. The timing is pretty perfect.
During a break in the meeting, people were discussing different food options on the plan. Several things I overheard reminded me of experiences I’ve had at Weight Watchers meetings. I felt WAY overeducated on nutrition compared to the other attendees:
Woman A: “Have you ever tried Greek yogurt? It’s actually pretty good!”
Woman B: “No, I don’t like the taste, but the Light and Fit yogurts are really good.”
Woman A: “I even use greek yogurt as a sour cream replacement.”
Woman B: “Really? That is crazy! I never would have thought to do that.”
Woman A: “I’ve also tried putting some raw oatmeal in my smoothies.”
Woman C: “I’ve found fiber really helps me feel full. I eat at least one Fiber One bar a day.”
It’s really hard for me to relate to these conversations. I’ve been eating greek yogurt for countless years; I use it on everything; I can tell you its exact nutritional profile. I bet I would blow their minds with talk of green smoothies, chia seeds, coconut oil, nutritional yeast and millet. Not to mention the HFC and chemicals in their beloved processed foods.
So many weight loss programs hinge on the idea that all people are missing is knowledge. If only people knew about better options, they would have all the tools they need to lose weight. Sure, that’s probably true, but I think that logic is significantly flawed. Most people know what they need to do to lose weight; it’s just so freaking hard to do it sometimes.
I decided to embark on the 90 day challenge and give the Visalus products a try because I don’t feel I have very much to lose right now. I haven’t lost a pound despite working out more consistently than I have in years. I know dinners out and alcohol are holding me back. Quite frankly, I just can’t get married at this weight. The day just wouldn’t be as special if I still felt like total crap about myself. I’ll be sure to keep everyone posted on my progress.
Here’s a pic of me modeling a new yoga top I bought. Consider this something of a “before.”