Far from a Beginner, Far from an Expert


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.”



10 responses »

  1. Even though I thoroughly enjoyed our dinner date last night, I vow not to ask you to go out again until after your 90 days. Instead of dinner, we’ll make plans to go shopping (since you’ll need to adjust your wardrobe) 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Kristen! I’m a huge fan of your blog, so I was really excited to see a comment from you! I’ll definitely be updating everyone on my progress. 🙂

  2. Just found your blog and I LOVE how motivated you are!

    You bring up a great point here… there is such a WIDE array of nutrition knowledge out there. Unfortunately, most of it comes from mass-marketed food loaded with artificial crap. I totally feel the same way you do… Greek yogurt, nutritional yeast, green smoothies (and green oatmeal too!!) have been in my diet forever… it’s hard to relate to people that eat a diet filled with diet coke and artificially flavored, colored and sweetened foods. I just don’t understand why people don’t get it 😦 This is a major point of contention between me and my boyfriend. Though, we HAVE somehow managed to live peacefully together haha

    Looking forward to reading more!!

    • So nice to meet you, Sarah–I’ll definitely be checking out your blog, as well. My fiance is awesome about eating all kinds of new, healthy recipes–but our point of contention is exercise. He totally refuses to go to the gym with me, and it sometimes hard to even convince him to go for a walk. He maintains his weight through diet alone. I guess every relationship has its compromises! 🙂 Thanks for reading.

  3. Pingback: Visalus Update and Overnight Oats Recipe « Lettuce Eat Cake

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