Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Joe's Solo Challenge, Day 1

I love the smell of Fruit Punch Spark in the morning. Smells like victory... and birthday parties in the 90s.

Day 1 of the Challenge went like this:

5 AM (I KNOW  {>_<} )
Wake up - Take Catalyst. (this is an add on to the standard challenge, click the link for sciencey info)

5:30 AM
Mix, really really mix, then CHUG the Citrus Fiber Drink (which comes in the Herbal Cleanse box). Joe said it really wasn't that bad. Texture was thick and gritty (because... fiber. duh) but tasted fine and was manageable.

Mix, sit and enjoy a Chocolate Meal Replacement Shake. Joe is up EARLY and I'm not a morning person, even when I'm not pregnant and dealing with morning sickness, so we've opted to use the shakes throughout the entire challenge, not just the Max Phase - which means we're purchasing an additional box of shakes. Joe said the shake was good. Joe describes things very simply for me early in the morning. This is good.

5:45 AM
Mix up a Fruit Punch Spark which Joe enjoyed on his drive into work.

6 AM - 4 PM
Text Joe every now and then to see how he's doing. As I said yesterday he took a banana and almonds with him for his mid morning and afternoon snack, and steak and homemade coleslaw for lunch. He took Catalyst again 30 minutes before lunch and had another Spark (Pink Lemonade this time) in the afternoon.

He did mention he felt like he might gnaw off his arm by the time lunch came. The man is not used to eating at normal times. He usually just drank alot of water, had a quick lunch (if he made time for it and didn't end up putting that off till the drive home) and then came home in the evenings and binged.
No disturbing side effects.

5:30 PM
Joe offers to make dinner, as I'm not feeling super great.
On the menu was Salmon (no skin) seasoned with lemon juice, orange zest and dill with a side of broccoli. Simple. Delicious. Totally doable.

8 PM
Another snack - Almonds

Catalyst, Herbal Cleanse Caplets.

Throughout the day Joe also drank a total of at least 150 oz of water. The Daily Guide suggests taking your body weight, dividing that in half and drinking that many oz of water each day, so he's on target there.

We'll call Day 1 a success. No deviations from the plan. No unforeseen hurdles.Win/Win

Joe's First Challenge Prep

I'm a little late posting this, as Joe is now on day 2 of his 24 Day Challenge, it took some time to find those pictures of him from highschool for the last post (#sorrynotsorry).

For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about yet, go watch this short video for a quick intro on AdvoCare's 24 Day Challenge.

Joe's going to be going this one alone, as I am 10 weeks, 3 days pregnant with a lovely case of Hyperemsis Gravidarium (read: fancy words for puking all the time and almost constantly on the verge of dehydration). 

Since he started on Monday morning we spent Sunday afternoon shopping for the first week. In addition to the list of proteins, fruits and veggies we also purchased a blender bottle to use for Meal Replacement Shakes, Fiber Drinks and the like, along with a shiny scale and measurement tape to keep track of his progress.

Joe is very much a creature of habit (he once went an entire year eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. Every. Day.), so our list is not extremely varied. You can find a more extensive list of what to eat and what to avoid while on the Challenge in the Daily Guide that comes with each Challenge Bundle.

Proteins / Meats:
~Skinless, boneless chicken
~Lean, thin cut steak
~Shredded Cabbage
~ Miscellaneous:
~Natural Peanut Butter
~Whole, dry roasted Almonds (no salt)

Upon a suggestion from our mentor, Joe's skipping the Complex Carbs during the 10 Day Cleanse, but that's not a hard and fast rule for everyone. The best rule during the cleanse is if God didn't make it, don't eat it. The goal is to eat very lean and clean, seeking first to fuel your body with just what it needs and nothing more.

The second part of prep was to take "Before" measurements and pictures. We're going to hold on to the pictures for now, but here are the stats.

Chest: 50"
Waist: 49"
Hips: 48.5"
Thigh: 26"
Weight: 301.5 lbs

To finish off the day Joe went ahead and made his lunch for the next day. Nothing too crazy, just a 5 oz piece of steak and he made his own coleslaw which I'll have to get the recipe for because it looked pretty stinkin' good. We bagged up some almonds and a banana for him to take along as his between meal snacks and went to bed to rest up before the big day. Be on the lookout for the next post about Day 1!

Duffey 101

Once upon a time I was 18 years old and I ran 7 miles almost every single day because I thought things like that were fun. I ate all the foods I wanted to eat, whenever I wanted to eat them. In fact, I pretty much ate ALL OF THE FOODS, ALL OF THE TIME with NONE OF THE CONSEQUENCES... it was wonderful. I looked like this...

Once upon a time Joe played football at Briarwood Christian School so he basically NEEDED to eat ALL OF THE FOODS, ALL OF THE TIME because he was burning ALL OF THE CALORIES. He looked like this...

And like this...
You can be upset about the overkill with highschool pictures later Joe. It's not my fault you're so cute.

And then Joe graduated and stopped playing football. And he happened to work at the most fantastic dispensary of delicious fried chicken on the entire planet (ChickFilA, duh) for about 11 years. Somewhere in there Joe and I started dating, and we looked like this...

Not long after that we got married, and we looked like this...

And we had a baby girl, and then a year later a baby boy, and our family looks like this...
She's 3 1/2 , He's 2 1/2 , we're .. older than that

It looks really nice in the pictures. But the pictures don't show the years of struggle we had in between those last two pictures. They show a really hard working man and mama who stays at home with two toddlers, but they don't show all those times there was too much month at the end of the money. They don't show just how tired I was and how we did enough to survive, but not enough to thrive. They don't show all the bad eating habits we got into - how I often wouldn't end up eating an actual meal until the end of the day because I was too busy focusing on the kids food actually getting into their mouths or how Joe would work from early in the morning, skip breakfast and often lunch too and basically just binge on dinner and snacks in the evening. There's a lot of missing information between those pictures.

And then there's this picture...

This is a picture from this August when Joe and I packed up a couple suitcases and drove from Birmingham, AL to Dallas, TX and brought my friend Beth with us all because of an energy drink. Ok, so it wasn't just because of the drink, but it is the thing that started everything. Let me explain...

Some friends of ours invited us to a meeting where we sampled Spark (the aforementioned road trip inspiring energy drink) and listened to a group of people tell us how Spark and AdvoCare had radically changed their lives. After four years of thinking the best there was for our family was just surviving, I heard hope for more than that. I heard people talk about how they went from having a house in foreclosure and being too tired to keep up with their son they made one decision and soon found themselves out of the red and feeling better than they had in years.
While I was listening I realized how late it was and how alert I was. Most nights for the last four years I could hardly wait to get to bed or curl up on the couch as soon as the kids were in bed and here we were almost an hour past their bedtime and I was wide awake. On the ride home, I was so pumped up that I sang the entirety of the Frozen soundtrack with my daughter. ALL OF IT. BY CHOICE.

The next morning I was genuinely disappointed that I didn't have another one of those ridiculous Spark drinks. I reluctantly hopped back into my routine of about 5-6 Cokes throughout the day to stay functioning. It was miserable.
Joe and I talked and made the decision to do whatever it took to get those products and that hope into our lives. We ordered our distributor kit and from the moment I had Spark in my house I stopped drinking all that Coke  -- and in 19 days I lost 9 pounds. NINE POUNDS, PEOPLE! With results like that from just one product, how could we not pack up the car and drive to Texas to be around these wonderful people, and learn everything we could about making some more life changing decisions?

We used to see survival and need. Now we have the chance for dreams fulfilled. We saw ourselves becoming people we didn't really recognize. Now we see a path to the us we knew before life happened and even better versions of those people. We used to see a lot of people stuck in their own version of our situation. Now we see people we get to share this hope with.

And this is what we look like...

At least, for now.