Nikki’s Story

24-Day Challenge.

Hi, my name is Nichole and  I’m here to tell you a secret. Size matters.  People will tell you it doesn’t,  but as a woman I know the truth.  Size matters!  Inches to be exact.  It’s not about the number on the scale,  but the inches around my waist, bust, hips and thighs. That’s what you thought I was talking about, right!? 😉

nikki1

That being said,  people come in all different shapes and sizes. I am not, nor will I ever  be,  a size 2 and I’m ok with that. Really!  I just want to be the best and healthiest version of me.   I am 33 years old and I started with Crossfit Lakás in June of this year.

I’m not training for a marathon or trying to fit into “the dress”.  I’m doing this for purely selfish reasons. Just for me.
Dave and Chantel asked me to participate in the “Advocare 24- Day Challenge”.  It is a regimen of vitamin supplements, energy drinks and meal replacements. Starting with a 10 day cleanse (yikes! Lol) to help me jump start and maintain healthy weight loss and energy levels. It also includes an equation for the recommended amount of water I should consume daily. Body weight (pounds) divided by 2 = Ounces of water/per day. I did the math.. o_O Do you know how much water that is for me!?!?  Well you don’t, but I do and it’s A LOT.  I don’t drink anything but water, however the #, in ounces, this equation implies is going to be the real challenge.
So, I start my day with a Spark energy drink. I can definitely feel the energy boost. I have only had one in the morning.  I haven’t tried the afternoon drink yet, which is optional.  I’m afraid it will wake me too jittery.  The first 3 days and last 3 days of the cleanse phase involve drinking a fiber drink 30 minutes before breakfast. The only thing I can say about this is- drink it fast!! Do not stop to ponder on the fact that it tastes like grass. Literally. Take my word for it, pour it in the water, shake it, drink it. If you stop to make ugly “this is gross faces” it will get thicker. And thicker. And thicker still. Until it’s the consistency of grass flavored applesauce. *shutters in fear that it might be like that slimy pink stuff in Ghostbusters and jump out of the cup!*  It didn’t and I survived, but it was close. The fiber drink is followed by, what else, 8 ounces of water.  At least I can count that towards my daily goal.
The majority of this challenge consists of making  healthy, common sense food choices. The choices that require thought and preparation.  That include well balanced and timely meals and snacks.  Following the designed meal plan of protein, complex carb, and fruit or vegetable (depending on the time of day) for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The hardest part about eating healthy is preparation. Taking the time to cut up carrots and celery or even just measure out almonds and raisins for the next day.  After being at work all day dealing with people. Then CrossFit or some other physical activity tries to kill me.  The last thing I want to do is prepare for the next day.  Though that is where the commitment and motivation for change comes in.  That little voice in my head that says “Hey chubby! Get off your ass and go for a run/ make your lunch/ put the Pringles down!” (My little voice talks a lot)
I read somewhere once that 70% of weight loss starts in the kitchen.  “By changing your diet you can change your life.”  Now, I must confess, that always seemed like a dramatic statement to me.  However, the older and (ha ha) wiser me definitely sees the truth behind those words.  By not eating fast food and making a conscious effort to eat healthier, I feel better.  By choosing an apple instead of a cookie or celery instead of potato chips. (I really miss potato chips! Lol)  I feel better.
So at the end of 5 days, I have more energy.  I’m making better food choices.  I have yet to make it through my entire recommended daily water (torture) consumption, but I’m making progress. I’m working out 5 days a week,  2 of which I spend at CrossFit Lakás.

I’m really looking forward to seeing and feeling the changes my body is going to make on this road to a healthier me.
                                 “It takes 4 weeks for you to see your body changing,
                                                It takes 8 weeks for friends and family,
                                                 And 12 weeks for the rest of the world.
                                                                          KEEP GOING”
Days 6-10 of the cleanse
             Someone asked me what goal I was trying to reach with my weight loss. Do I have a target weight? Honestly, no.  My thinking when I started changing my habits and working out, was simply to be healthier.  Long term healthy.  I didn’t set an actual “goal” to work towards, for a few reasons.  First, I don’t want to limit myself by only checking the number on a scale.  Second,  I don’t want to be so “goal” focused that I miss the, seemingly, little accomplishments I make.  I have a few injuries to overcome so, when I can run the entire 400m warmup without stopping to walk. (Which I did yesterday! Thanks so much to a couple of the guys running with me and cheering me on.  Yay!)  I want to take the time to enjoy the mini parade I had in my head without thinking, “that wasn’t really a big deal, because I’m still “x” amount of pounds away from my goal.”  Or, when my jeans aren’t as tight however, my butt still looks great.  I want to savor that feeling, at least for a few minutes, without the thought of “ok, but I’m still 4 sizes bigger than I want to be” running through my head.  (That little voice in my head is a jerk! Hahaha)  Nothing wrong with setting a goal,  but I want to have the presence of mind to enjoy my journey as well.  Thirdly, I do not want to think “ok I’ve reached my goal, I can stop now.”  I’m trying to change my life permanently.  Not just for the summer.
                     I have an ever changing list of challenges I would like to be able to say I’ve beaten.  Like, Run 400m without stopping to walk – check.  Now, that’s changed to run 800m without dying! 😉  Complete 10 medicine ball squat cleans, without falling over.  Do unassisted pull ups. Or just be able to do pull ups.  Feel confident enough to attempt a handstand push up.  Don’t have an asthma attack during a session. (Well this one is more so I stop freaking people out Lol).  I’m sure I will add to this list as my confidence and strength grow.  One of the most important challenges I’ve set for myself might be the hardest to overcome: “Don’t compare your progress someone else’s”   Wise words to live by.  Whatever I have going on isn’t the same as the next person. The struggles, frustrations and triumphs I have with my body are mine alone. They can not and should not be compared to anyone else.  Easier said than actually lived through.  When I’m in the box standing next to another woman who’s killing an AMRAP or lifting 10 more pounds than I am.  While I’m sweating and wheezing through my first rep. Of still only using the bar without added weight.  I  can’t help but think, “ugh!”  in complete frustration with my limitations.  This is a constant struggle for me.  Not because I want to beat everyone, but because I want to do things without modification.  I want to be better.  I realize logically, if I’m trying to change my life, that moving forward, even with baby steps I’m on the right track.  I’m making progress.  However, logic is not part of my thinking when I want to run faster, jump higher, and lift more.  Ahhhhh, the female brain at work, crazy right!? Lol
                    Another frustration is not getting enough sleep.  The most pressing consequence of my insomnia, currently, is waking up late every morning. Which means that I never get to eat a full breakfast (protein, complex carb, vegetable) on a week day.  That is why I am so grateful for the Advocare meal replacement shake.  I have the berry flavor and it is so good.  It tastes like the milk left over after you’ve had a bowl of Cap’n Crunch Berries. Which, as we all know, is the best part of eating a bowl of cereal.  Nom nom nom nom nom.  On another note, I have an update on the Spark energy drink.  I still haven’t attempted to  drink one in the afternoon.  I will very soon.  I have the fruit punch and mandarin orange flavored drinks. They are both tasty. However, do not drink either of them after you’ve brushed your teeth. -_- It’s like brushing your teeth then drinking orange juice. You will die,  plain and simple,  just death.  Glad I could save your life.
                    Trying to eat healthy and exercise is hard.   Life gets in the way.  Job, school, family, whatever.  Right now I’m having a hard time sticking to the eating schedule.  I’m an Ultrasound Tech and my company is contracted with an emergency room.  While I have a set schedule, the ER does not.  So trying to stick to the meal plan of breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack is difficult.  It too often becomes breakfast (meal replacement shake), crap I missed snack, went to lunch late and now I’m shaking from low blood sugar, snack while driving home, workout (crossfit or cardio), then dinner.  Too tired for nighttime snack, which also means I’m starving in the morning.   It’s a vicious cycle that continues to plague me and my metabolism. Ugh! I have yet to find a solution to this problem.   I’m going to try setting an alarm for each meal or snack.  We’ll see if that helps.
                       The cleanse phase has been challenging and enlightening.  I read that if you’re not drinking enough water your stomach may growl like you’re hungry.  When in actuality you’re not hungry at all, you’re dehydrated.  Whoa! Completely mind blown. The water equation isn’t trying to drown me, but help me? Could this be true?  I’m still struggling with finishing it all, but I’m not giving up.
                        I am very pleased to report that, in this 10 days of cleansing, I’ve lost *drum roll please* a total of 10.5 inches, combined all over my body, and 6 pounds!! 😀 Woohoo! Time to celebrate with more cardio. 😉
nikki2
“Be confident
Too many days are wasted comparing ourselves to others and wishing to be something we aren’t.  Everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses, and it is only when you accept everything you are – and aren’t that you will truly succeed.”