Thursday, February 20, 2014

My Weightloss Journey {Advocare 24 Day Challenge}

A champion. I've never really thought of myself as a champion in anything, really. When I was first introduced to Advocare, I really had no clue what it was or anything. Just another one of those fad diets, except that this one is with direct sales.

"Advocates who care." Hmm. After seeing personal testimonies through people in my small little town, I decided to look more into it and seek some answers about just what Advocare was. After attending my first mixer in town one Friday night, I was s.o.l.d. More energy? Waking up before your alarm? Nutritional health? People coming off of their back pain medication & blood pressure pills? Plus weightloss!? Advocare took ahold my mind and my heart. Forever, my goal has been "I just want to fit in size 8 jeans." After this challenge and after seeing what changes I have already made in a month's time, my goal is to get healthy, stay healthy & let the weight fall off on its own.

I've done Weight Watchers off and on for years and while I'm not knocking their program (it did help me lose 15 lbs previously), something was just not working for me.

It all started with a 24 day challenge.

The 24 day challenge is made up of two parts. The first 10 days is called the Cleanse Phase. You basically drink some awful fiber drink (seriously, thought I was gonna die) and pop some pills at bedtime.  Oh, and you drink enough water so that if God was ever to flood the earth again, He would do it with the amount of water you just drank. In the last hour.

The next 11-24 days are made up of the Max Phase, in my case, I chose MNS3, but Advocare also offers MNSC & MNSE--you can search them to learn more about each of the nutritional systems. In the Max phase, you continue your clean eating all while providing your body with the nutrition it needs through supplements. Never has my skin & hair felt so good. Ever.

Through these two main parts, there are also some other great products in the 24 day challenge bundle such as Spark *amazeballs* & products like Omegaplex and meal replacement shakes.

The first two days of the cleanse phase were rough. They were definitely not my favorite. But, that's what I get for treating my body like crap and letting it have whatever it wants. Can you say, "detox"!?

During the cleanse alone, I dropped 10 lbs. That's 10 lbs in 10 days, people. CRAZY! Just goes to show how important a quarterly cleanse is for your system. There are so many other great facts and values that I have no clue about but I'm just telling you what worked for me and what my noticeable differences were. Remember the whole energy thing I was telling you about? Umm, yeah. This girl used to be a regular napper. You mention a nap, I was there. I have yet to take a real nap since starting Advocare and I blame it on Spark *nectar of the gods* and just how good I feel.

My typical day during the Max phase of the challenge/and now post plan goes a little something like this:

Wake up, do a little dance, mix my Spark, take the first pills in the MNS3 pack.
Breakfast: usually 2 scrambled eggs, (no salt, just pepper) with 2 slices of turkey bacon (don't judge--it's good)
 photo 1184803_10153849199940438_1058139514_n_zps007a0c69.jpg 1st Snack: my favorite snack these days is low fat Greek yogurt with a little bit of granola and the occasional raisin
 photo 1779964_10153856973550438_978981139_n_zpsd9e697a2.jpg Lunch: These days my go-to lunch is sliced turkey off the bone on whole wheat bread with mustard (a little boring, I know) with either some cherry tomatoes or carrots & hummus.
2nd Snack: I usually try to grab some fruit & protein like a banana with all natural peanut butter
Dinner: On the challenge, I ate a loooot of chicken. Picture below is boneless chicken breast, topped with all natural salsa, some brown rice, peppers, and cherry tomatoes. Chicken was easy. Mrs. Dash is the seasoning I used the most but ground turkey meat was also awesome too. If you're on the cleanse, I'd mainly stick with turkey off the bone, chicken or fish.
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Portion control is important and I only ate my meals off of small plates, it works, trust me. There are SO many different options when it comes to meals that I found myself and still find myself being creative and actually getting excited about cooking. Never in my life have I been excited about cooking.

They say it takes real results to get you motivated in the right direction and to light the fire under your butt. For me, this is true. I was kinda bummed that after 24 days, I had only lost 10.8 lbs on the 24 day challenge. And then I slapped myself. Whitney, you did not put weight on over night and you will not lose it over night. Plus, then I got my measurements back. I had lost 17.25 inches overall!!!! 17.25!!! CRAY. Forreal. The 4 inches straight off my shoulders, 6.5 off my chest and 1.75 from my waist alone were pretty awesome. I was pumped. Heck, I still am pumped. Lol! All you need is a little belief. That you CAN do this. I worked out 3 to 4 days a week mixing it up with cardio on the elliptical and arms/back and leg days. This is what works for me.
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People ask me what my plan is right now and it is to keep on keepin' on. I am currently down 13 lbs and today marks a month since starting Advocare. I'm staying on the MNS3 and still drink my daily Spark. I sooo cannot wait to see my progress in the next month, 6 months and where I'll be a year from now. A champion. The goal is not to focus on where I need to be, but how far I've come.



Monday, August 12, 2013

Marrissa {Senior c/o 2014}

Photographing Seniors is one of my favorite things to document. Something about that time in their lives is just so special. A time that will come & go, faster than you think. The photos scream fun, color & youthfulness. I had the honor of photographing Marrissa Greenwell, an upcoming Senior with the class of 2014. Holla! Originally a Bradford High School cheerleader, she moved to the great state of Missouri to be with her family & now is rocking that purple, black & gold :) We had a BLAST taking her senior pictures in Palatka, Florida and as you can tell, she really made my job a piece of cake :) This girl is gorgeous inside and out--honestly. Her love for the Lord, for her family, her friends & for everyone she comes in contact with shines so brightly in everything she does. Marrissa, I wish you the best of luck with your Senior year! Live it up, make new friends and make each moment last & count.
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xoxo, Whitney

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Mr. & Mrs. Kyle Parrish

I've known Kyle for several years now & met Taylor in my first college English class. These two go together like peas & carrots and I could not be happier for them! Their one month anniversary is coming up on Tuesday, August 13th so in honor of that, I figured I would post a blog before I deliver their final images. Congratulations you two, once again! Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to capture your big day, I loved every minute of it! Enjoy...
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Kyle & Taylor were married at First Baptist Church in Lake Butler, FL. on a rainy July afternoon
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You gotta just LOVE a sweet first look!
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Sweet little flower girls!
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Their crew was definitely a fun & welcoming bunch to work with :)
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An absolutely gorgeous bride!
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Visiting a sweet relative who wasn't able to attend their ceremony, love documenting special memories like these! They made her day!
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Their reception was a blast! Of course, I loved all of the pretty flowers & rustic decor. It was PACKED with family & friends who were there to celebrate them as husband & wife :)
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Once again, congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Kyle Parrish! xoxo, Whitney