9.24.2014

12 Week Challenge Results and Stories.



First off - I REALLY would like to thank all the sponsors for supporting my 12 Week Challenge group! Such generosity from all of you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Please take a minute to do a little retail therapy. It's stress reducing and fun :)

1. Colly Wobbles Boutique - Y'all know I love me a good hat!
2. BooJay Knits - adorable unique handcrafted jewelry - knitted metal!
3. Brady Bands - my favorite nonslip workout headband plus it helps a great cause!
4. A Tad Monroe - some fun and funky jewelry - trunk shows every Tuesday at 8!
5. Sugar Love Boutique - one of my absolute favorite places to shop - I'm dying over that dress!!
6. Sweet Thoughts Boutique - so much monogrammed goodness!
7. Team Muzzy for the jump ropes! Cory Muzzy was one of seven soldiers from 18th Fires Brigade with the 82nd Airborne injured on February 21, 2014 in a training accident on Fort Bragg. He has sustained many life-changing injuries including amputations and blindness in both eyes. He and his wife Michelle plus their support system have a long, difficult road ahead of them. While the Army will assist with some cost there are others the family can use assistance with including quality of life improvements to their home. Cory's parents have graciously offered to move from New Mexico to North Carolina to assist with his care and transition once released from the hospital. Cory also has a 3 year old son who will need his travel expenses covered. This fund was created to help the family offset cost as needed for as long as possible. Any amount helps and don't forget prayers cost you nothing! You can donate here.
8. A MaryKay gift pack - who doesn't love to try new product!?!
9. A  L'BRI travel set. It will consist of travel sized bottles of our skin care trio as well as samples of our most popular products. I tried some of this out and it's really great, no funky smells and was smooth and creamy on my skin. Loved!

The Grand Prize winner is.................
Kadie  who lost 15.2% of her body weight!


I would like to thank the Academy, my lovely daughter for waking me up all hours of the night, insomnia for keeping me awake and encouraging me to do random middle of the night work outs, and again, my lovely daughter for having an intolerance to everything under the sun therefore limiting my diet to nuts, meat, and fruit/veggies. ::princess wave, princess wave:: But in all seriousness, thank you so much for hosting this Megan and all the fabulous Admins (looking at you, Brittany!). I was in such a slump after having my daughter and the weight just wasn't coming off. I learned SO much from all of you and have been inspired to keep going. Y'all rock and I really hope we'll keep challenging one another to kick some serious ass!



I thought I would share a few of the stories that have come from the group.

Jen.


After years of being a cardio bunny and being on the "chicken/broccoli" meal plan, I was ready for a change.  While I was successful with that for awhile, I just hit a brick wall.  I wasn't happy.  I wanted food.  Good food.  And chocolate.  And doughnuts.  And....well, you get the idea.  But more than that, I wanted to change my body not just be a smaller version of what I was before.  So about a month before the #smchallenge started, I changed up how I approached my workouts.  I started lifting and backed off cardio.  I didn't stop cardio altogether, but I started doing the Jamie Eason's LiveFit program along with 2-3 HIIT sessions per week.  I was making good progress, but my food wasn't where I wanted it to be.  

I had heard about IIFYM before, but didn't pay too much attention to it as I remember what my mother always told me - "If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is..."  Then Megan started to post about IIFYM and blogged about her progress.  She broke it down in simple terms that was easy to understand for me.  And about the same time, she started the #smchallenge.  I had my macros calculated, and I started IIFYM and the #smchallenge on June 30.  

I love challenge groups like this because they help keep you focused.  Plus, it is great to have a place to chat with like-minded women all wanting to improve upon themselves.  And Megan was great throughout by sprinkling in smaller challenges (booty challenge, running challenges, food tracking challenges, etc.) throughout to change things up and keep us focused throughout.  

So, it's been about three months.  I've lost shy of 13 lbs and several inches.  I'm lifting heavy.  And I'm integrating a little more cardio in to my weekly exercise schedule with running 2-3 times/week just so I don't lose what endurance I've built up.  I'm still tracking macros, and I'm still loving the process.  I love that I can truly eat what I want so long as I make it fit.  And if you think it sounds too good to be true, well, you're wrong.  It isn't.  IIFYM is a GAME CHANGER, people!  It has seriously changed my life and with each pound I lift, it is changing my body, too.
Allison.
 
Thank you so much for hosting this challenge. My goal going into the challenge was not necessarily to lose weight but more to hold myself accountable and stick to a plan for 12 weeks. During the challenge I lost 6.4 lbs (134.8 starting to 128.4 ending I'm 5ft7), but I gained so much in knowledge and confidence. I have attached my progress photos, beginning is on the left ending on the right. While I don't see drastic differences, excepting for my arms :), I am very happy with the changes I've made the last 12 weeks.

I started following IIFYM one week into the challenge and never looked back. Previous to this challenge, I was counting calories and doing primarily cardio or Jillian workouts from home. Since then, I have been relying on weight lifting and IIFYM. I feel so much more confident about my appearance and my self control as it relates to food. I have tried lots of different eating programs, but IIFYM works best for me. This allows me to indulge in moderation without feeling guilty. Before, I was so restrictive that when an opportunity presented itself, I would take it WAY TOO FAR! Now I eat sweets after dinner each night, and I am maintaining my weight. I can have rice and pasta and bread and not feel guilty about it! I don't think my before and after photos are earth shattering, but I just wanted to take a minute to say thank you for introducing me to this lifestyle because I think I may have found something that is maintainable for the long term, which is what I really was looking for at the start of the challenge. Thank you for your continued inspiration!


Laura.


 I went from 196.8lbs to 178.4lbs (18.4lbs GONE!) and have had to buy new pants AND new bras! :) I started following IIFYM after the first couple weeks of the challenge "just to see what would happen" and the weight has been falling off! It's more protein than I ever imagined I would need, but not only is it working- my husband now wants me to help him figure out his macros! :) 
I went from attending exercise classes 2x a week at best to lifting 4x a week and running 1-1.5 miles before lifting as a "warm up" and jogging another half mile to cool down afterward. Last weekend I even decided on a whim to see if I could run a 5k and not only did I run 3.1 miles, but I did it 5 minutes faster than when I actually did c25k and TRAINED for it! #musclesFTW 
Thanks so much for heading up this challenge- it was just the kick in the pants I needed and there's no stopping me now! :)

Amanda.

My life has been full Of Yo YO dieting, losing and gaining the same 20lbs over and over again. Dec 2013 I was the heaviest Id ever been. So I decided to take a hold of it.  NO More YO-YO dieting, didn't want to lose just 20lbs, wanted to gain a HEALTHY life style. I found the 24 day Challenge from Advocare, and lost 20lbs, by the end of this I was inspired to lose more. I started to search on IG for others in the same boat as me to help me keep going and keep me motivated. I started this Challenge with you to change it up a little bit since I hit a minor Plateau in July, my goal was to lose another 20 by then end of the summer-Which It took  me until the end of September and I did!! I still have far to go- but I KNOW I can do it. I am trying to follow IIFYM, but I cant seem to just get it right. So for now I am just counting calories and TRYING to follow IIFYM as much as I can. I will be going on a Cruise in April and PLAN on being in a BIKINI by then!!!!! I  WILL do whatever it takes to get there :)IG || Manda_Nicole86

 Heather.







Hi there! My name is Heather! I lost six pounds during the twelve week challenge 
but I gained SO much more, muscles being most important. I also cut ELEVEN minutes 
off my original 5K time and I pushed passed a plateau. The best part of all, I 
exchanged numbers with a fellow challenger and now we are best accountability 
buddies. We check in every day to make sure our meals and workouts are on track 
and we lift each other up when we're struggling. Thank you, Megan, for putting 
this whole shebang together! 
 
I'm currently doing my own challenge to lose twenty-eight pounds by my 
twenty-eighth birthday. If you'd like to follow along, visit me at 
Liftwritelove.com or @liftwritelove on Instagram! 
 

Nikka.


I'm 25, an asthmatic, junk food-aholic, and getting married in may! I've always "tried" (not even gonna lie maybe gave 60%, but never changed my diet) to lose weight, I never had results I wanted and always stopped when I didn't see what I wanted, finally after hearing you say that you can't out train a bad diet I got it, I tracked my food and was able to eat A LOT and lose weight, I've always had a mental battle and never wanted to eat dieting, my answer was to just eat one meal a day (stupid I know!) And "I'm bound to lose something" But it never worked,  I could never get out of the 180s, I started this challenge as a way to push myself and i did! I accomplished alot, I've quit drinking pop for 3 months now, Monday I ran a 12:17 mile, I've started eating better..including breakfast!  I love the feeling of getting stronger, and have finally found the addiction of lifting weights. My fiance and i were in the gym last week working out, out of no where I decided to try to dead left and see how much I could do after not doing any since 2006 (my sophomore year in high school) and lifted 135 twice! I've learned to quit criticizing everything on my body and just do it.  I've learned a cheat day has to happen once and a while but isnt an excuse to 
Derail my hard work. I haven't lost as much as I'd hoped but I'm still moving forward! My next challenge is increasing my miles on the elliptical and to do blooms day in Spokane,wa next year! I'm hoping to be at 145 by January!  My starting weight was 172.6 at the beginning of this challenge, today I weighed in at 167.4. I lost 8.8 pounds which I'm not thrilled about it but I can see a huge change in my body! Thanks so much for this challenge and the push to do what I've needed to do for so long! 



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