I have been wanting to post about some health and wellness lifestyle changes for weeks now but my cup runneth over with excuses and the fear of putting myself out there in this way prevented me from getting it down in writing. I thought about posting before I “started”, two weeks in, every 5 pounds, a month in, two months in… you get the picture. Well my friends, TODAY is the day. I like to think that I am as transparent and open as they come, so why should talking about my weight loss journey be any different?
Today marks 70 days since I decided to go “ALL IN” on my health and wellness. The funny thing about prioritizing your health is that it has a way of positively infiltrating all facets of your life. I have a tendency to ramble and ping pong all over the map when trying to explain “what I’ve been doing” so I am going to break things down into a few categories for organization purposes/so that you can bounce around and skip as you please!
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO GO “ALL IN”??
My fellow Bravo Super Fans #AndyCohenforPresident can skip this part because if you’ve seen the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, you likely know about the program that one of the housewives, Teddi Mellencamp (yes, as in daughter of John Mellencamp 😉 ) started a few years ago called ALL IN by Teddi.
The website does an excellent job of breaking down the purpose and premise of the program, but in my own words its an accountability program designed to help clients establish the mindset, habits and tools necessary to create and maintain a healthy lifestyle. You register on the website through an intake form and then a staff member will reach out to you with some follow up questions and additional information. Once you make it official and submit payment, you are matched up with an Accountability Coach who will become your new texting BFF (Hi Marcy!!!! <3) and your partner through the program. Your coach sends you a breakdown of what the first two weeks (the “jumpstart” part of the program) will look like in terms of eating, drinking, exercise and communication. Since this is all via text message, you send picture evidence of pretty much everything you do on a daily basis from morning to night! The Jumpstart menu is dairy free, vegetarian and alcohol free. Once you complete the Jumpstart, you can opt into the “Monthly” program plan that provides a more flexible menu which includes meat and alcohol. The menu is comprised of completely normal and nutritious foods that you can find anywhere and everywhere! Another key component of the lifestyle is carving out 60 minutes every day to get your body moving! You photo proof of that as well – poor Marcy has had to see this sweaty head day in and day out ???!!! You also send photo proof of the scale every morning as an indication of what is and isn’t working for you! The idea is that in the moments where you would be making excuses or veering off the path that you started down, your coach is there as your back up conscious to keep you on track to accomplishing your goal.
WHY DID I SIGN UP?
It’s hard for me to pinpoint EXACTLY why I signed up. I guess we can follow the trail back to my love for Bravo which led me to follow Teddi on Instagram which led me to seeing her stories and posts which led me to checking out the program Instagram page and other coaches’ profiles which led me to taking a leap of faith and SIGNING UP!! Like many Americans, I am a sucker for a good before and after, but I normally view them with a degree of skepticism and keep on scrolling my way through the gram… but something about Teddi’s story rang true and resonated with me. Her honesty about her own journey encouraged me (and thousands of others) to shake it up and go ALL IN!
I had been exercising pretty consistently since the fall of 2018 and had developed a new habit of waking up and going to 6 am workout classes (see my post about TMF!!) about 4 times a week. I majorly eased back into the fitness scene from fall to spring and started the summer feeling pretty strong and on my fitness game.
My eating habits were another story. While I wasn’t going crazy and regularly hitting the Mickey D’s drive-thru, I was indulging in high-calorie food more than I realized. I joke with people that my life is just too much fun and filled with too many “special occasions” where I could “justify” eating something that ultimately prevented me from shedding some weight that I needed to lose. I was stuck within a few pound range for months despite feeling like I was working out and eating “well-enough” to be losing weight. I like to think that I can be pretty convincing, but that trait backfires when I am talking myself into having that piece of cake at a work lunch or finishing the kids dinner so that is doesn’t go to waste… you see where I am going with this. After making a change I have also realized the power that the weekend mindset has on my eating. My mentality and cravings on a weekend are so much more extreme than during the week when I am in a routine and that was absolutely slowing me down. I have never been the skinny girl – and I never will be – BUT I also can accept that there is a healthy in-between that is attainable if I am willing to put forth the effort!
SO I wanted to lose some weight… the way I was doing things on my own was not working… and the thought of trying ALL IN kept nagging at me (thank god!!!). I saw some professional pictures of myself taken at a friend’s proposal and I think the feeling I had looking at those photos tipped the scales (pun intended) and gave me the final push I needed to sign up. I told Miller my plan and we talked through my reservations/excuses… Was this just another fad diet? How would I navigate social events? What would I do when I traveled? What would I tell people? What if the accountability was too rigid for my wild schedule? What if I failed? Like always, he helped me work through each fear, encouraged me to give it a try if I felt ready to commit AND he agreed to eat the same foods as the plan allowed so that he wouldn’t be enjoying a spicy chicken sandwich from Chick-Fil-A while I was sticking to clean foods only ?. He is a gem of a human being and plays a huge part in all my successes.
One thing I want to say… so many of the stories I read alongside a “before and after” post start with the person in the picture talking about deep unhappiness/discomfort/isolation/embarrassment and more. I FULLY understand that those feelings are very real, but I want to be honest and share that I felt very few of those negative emotions in relation to my weight. I of COURSE have moments where I fly through multiple items in my closet because nothing looks or feels good, but most of the time I am able to dress for my figure and feel pretty okay! I have always been comfortable in my skin and I am good about reminding myself that a number on a scale does not define me. My perception of myself is usually as skinnier version of where I truly am LOL! I think my optimistic nature leads me to being a little delusional about certain things, like my weight, in the opposite way of some other women. I’m not sure if that makes sense, but I felt like it could be worth mentioning that you don’t have to feel in a completely dark and desperate place to want to clean up your act and get FIT and FABULOUS!!! For me, feeling IN CONTROL is one of the best parts of the lifestyle! I knew that my weight wasn’t healthy. There is nothing like going to the doctor and talking about your BMI as obese! So it was time to address a facet of life where I had significant room for improvement.
WHAT HAS WORKED?
SO. MANY. THINGS. I have been rambling more than I wanted to, so I will try to keep these short… the **accountability factor is a game changer. I needed the added eyes on what I was doing to keep me honest and on the strait and narrow. The menu simplicity takes the guesswork out of what to eat. You know exactly what you are eating and when you are eating it and if you forget, your coach will gently remind you! **Committing to 60 minutes of exercise EVERY DAY is life changing. It helps keep you operating at an elevated level both mentally and physically. I will say that our Peloton purchase has been instrumental in my fitness commitment. If Miller is traveling and I can’t get out to an early class, I can set my alarm to wake up and hop on the bike. I am OBSESSED with some of the instructors and feel like the experience of taking their classes is as good for my brain as it is for my body! **The community that All In provides is SO top notch. You get access to a private Instagram account for only clients and between that account, @goallinbyteddi and all of the coaches I follow, you realize that you are part of a movement of women who are committed to making their health and wellness a priority! I think because I grew up playing sports, I am a sucker for feeling like I am a PART of something — and this feels like a winning team of women. Truly, there is something magical about it! If you are ready to commit, this program WILL WORK.
WHAT HAS BEEN CHALLENGING?
**Getting started – naturally. Breaking old habits and creating new ones. BELIEVING IN MYSELF. I was so scared to tell my friends and family that I was embarking on a new normal because if I failed they would know and it would feel that much more disappointing. With each new set of ears that listened to my explanation of what I was doing and why I was doing it, the accountability increased which drove me forward that much faster. Its also WILD when you stop to realize that if everyone else believes that you can do something you put your mind to, its probably TRUE!!! And it’s contagious and you start to believe it too! **Being honest, I am tired of some of the menu choices. I am real about those moments with my coach and that’s the point of the program! Having a sounding board to bounce your struggles off of is so helpful.**Another challenge is feeling frustrated with myself that I have to PAY for help to get myself moving in the right direction… I wish I could do this on my own but I am also strongly enough to admit that I need the extra help. AND in those moments I remind myself that there is NO better investment than in your health!!! AND seeing results and feeling better than ever makes it worth it to me. OH and in typical Kitty Mills fashion, I am always **running behind on things, and that also applies to the designated timing for when breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks should be consumed! And I am an overachiever who hates missing the mark! Still working on my timing!
TAKEAWAYS AND NEXT STEPS
- LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE!!! The only thing holding you back is YOU. You can be happy while also recognizing that there is nothing wrong with making your fitness and wellness a top priority.
- WHO YOU SURROUND YOURSELF WITH MATTERS. SO MUCH. Oh my GOSH has this been a major realization for me over the last few months. What and who you consume – both in person, digitally, mentally, etc – plays a HUGE role in the way you feel/look/act/think. I know for a fact I have THE BEST friends and family out there, and their support and understanding throughout the ups and downs for me has been incredible. Add the ALL IN family to that list and my commitment and motivation elevated. Add my favorite fitness instructors to that list, and we are on another level again!
- DON’T OVER COMPLICATE THINGS. We all know that the formula for losing weight is to create a caloric deficit. You can decide how to make that happen. For me, the structure of ALL IN is working and I feel happy and in control. For you, it might be this or it might be something else. You find what works and you remember that consistency is key and builds character.
- COMMITMENT > MOTIVATION. Teddi says this all the time and I have finally internalized it. Motivation comes and goes but commitment is a choice that we make! Do I ALWAYS feel motivated to make smart food choices or build in time to exercise? HECK NO!!! But am I committed to feeling my best and making a change? HECK YES!!! I remind myself often that making a change is not easy… and its not supposed to be easy!!! You have to embrace the discomfort and recognize that it’s part of the process.
If you made it this far, BLESS YOU!!! If sharing my journey helps even one person, it’s worth it! FOR ALL OF MY AMAZING BEST FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS who encourage me, support me, build me up and help me shine – I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!! To Teddi, Marcy, Meg, and Allison – you are changing lives (including mine) for the better. THANK YOU!!! If you have ANY additional questions of want to chat more – you know you can find me on Instagram @kittymills 🙂 🙂 🙂 CHEERS!!!