Weight Loss Journey
Olivia and I have gotten to know each other very well in the past 12 weeks through her weight loss journey. I am her health coach and she is my new friend. What I want you to know about Olivia is that without her occasional promptings, Revolve60, or the original program Revolve90, would not exist. Being a mom, wife, small business owner, daughter, friend and all of the other titles, Olivia slipped to the bottom of her priority list. Much like most moms, our hormones shift after kids, weight stays on our tummy and fast forward 5+ years and we feel overweight and sluggish. Olivia finally said enough and decided to make a big change to her life. With gratitude and so much appreciation, I will share Olivia’s very entertaining encounter on her weight loss journey with me, Wellthy Soul.
Take it away, Olivia…
Olivia Schmidt: I grew up in the Midwest in the 1980s where every meal consisted of meat and potatoes and some sort of cheesy casserole and, quite frequently, lots and lots of amazing Kansas City barbecue. Over the years the Midwestern menu has evolved yet my palate had not. At nearly forty years old my diet more closely resembled that of my three year old than a grown woman who knew what to put in her body to stay healthy and fit.
And most of that was simply because I didn’t know what to put in my body. I had a college degree, owned two successful businesses, a working knowledge of the Internet, nearly 40 years of life experience and I still didn’t know a lick about nutrition. Everything I read would later be discounted by other things I read or saw on the news, so I kind of gave up on the idea of getting back in shape.
Fuel for change
But strange things kept happening to my body. Like I woke up one day about six months ago to a swollen knee that I couldn’t fully bend or extend and there was absolutely no reason why. I hadn’t done anything the day before that would explain the injury. In fact, I hadn’t done anything at all the day before unless you count binge watching Supernatural from the comfort of my bed as something – which, maybe you should because it’s a pretty awesome show (team Dean).
I was also tired. Not just a little tired, but exhausted. All. The. Time. My first thought upon waking up in the morning was “will I be able to nap today?” And all that tiredness made me cranky toward my kids, which they (mostly) didn’t deserve and made them cranky right back at me.
My husband suggested in the gentlest possible way a husband can when discussing weight loss and exercise with his wife that I give Layne a call. He’s a (devastatingly handsome) photographer and has taken Layne’s photos for several years. He had actually been telling me for years that I should meet Layne because he thought we’d get along. Next thing I knew I had committed to a 90-day program that would completely rock my world.
Things I really like about the program:
- By far my favorite thing about the program is that all I have to do is follow directions. I don’t have to know about nutrition or what exercises I should be doing because Layne has all that information in that big ol’ brain of hers. She tells me what to do and I (for the most part) do it. It’s actually refreshing to just be told what to do since, in every other aspect of my life, I’m in charge.
- Following the food plan was easier than I expected. I’m not down for counting calories or fat or sugar. Ain’t nobody got time for that, right? Layne made it really easy: shop in the produce and meat sections. I can actually follow that.
- Workouts are tailored to our strengths and interests. Layne’s background is in dance while mine is in team sports. I can’t dance worth a lick and she can’t shoot a basketball, but she wants to make sure I’m not only exercising but somewhat enjoying it, too. Sometimes we’ll ride our bikes on trails, sometimes we’ll do an aerobic workout in the pool, sometimes we’ll lift weights in her ridiculously organized garage. I don’t expect to love every workout, but I enjoy a majority of them.
- Layne can smell excuses via text so there’s no getting out of a workout. I still need that accountability but am needing it less as the program continues.
- I like that I can see myself continuing what I’ve learned. Probably not as religiously as I am now, but I’ve worked my butt off (literally and figuratively) so I don’t want to lose the muscle and energy and all the other gains I’ve made.
How my life and my body have changed:
- I don’t dread everyday. I still find myself wondering if I’ll get a nap some days and I’m still no morning person, but I wake up happier and more rested.
- Mucho energy. This didn’t start until about week five for me but I’m feeling it in a big way.
- My attitude toward workouts has changed. I look forward to them when I used to dread them. In fact, my body kind of craves them. I recently did several days of cardio and noticed that my muscles were aching for a good weight workout.
- My skin is clearer although sadly it hasn’t done a thing for my wrinkles.
- The effect these changes have had on my kids has been exceptional. They’re trying new foods and are significantly more active. But the most rewarding change is the way they perceive me. I think they used to see me as a bit lazy and they frequently (albeit kindly) joked about my “jelly belly.” Now I’m a much better example to them. There’s pride in their eyes when they ask me if I’m going to work out. They like seeing me active instead of napping.
- I’m learning how different foods make me feel. I love carbohydrates. In fact, I puffy heart love them! If I could I would eat them for every meal. And I did for a very long time. After several weeks on the program I went to a friend’s birthday party and ate ALL THE CARBS! It was amazing! Then I went home and napped. I didn’t gain any weight from my carb fest but I could feel the effects in my belly fat. So now I know that if I want to carb out I’m going to see it in my belly for a bit.
- My food cravings have changed. Cheese has long been my favorite food and being able to nix that from my diet was one of my biggest concerns at the start. Surprisingly it wasn’t that hard to eliminate and I have very few cheese-related cravings. But I could still do some serious damage to a bag of Cheetos.
- My willpower is stronger than I ever imagined. I impress myself when I pass on bread or dessert when I’m out with friends and they’re all eating it.
- It’s also reinforced for me the importance of ensuring my children are active. I was a very athletic kid, which has really helped my body bounce back.
The hard parts
It’s not all rainbows and lollipops, though. I suspect for many people a program such as this would involve some diet tweaks and additional workouts. For me it required a complete lifestyle transformation.
The first few weeks were really tough. I went from never working out to working out five times a week, and the workouts were intense. Plus my body was detoxing so I was tired and sluggish and had wicked headaches. I suspect that my detox symptoms were longer lasting since I started at such a bad nutritional place.
It’s also been a challenge to reorganize my life to make this a priority. Other parts of my life have had to take a back seat. My house is a disaster, I’m behind on work and my car is germinating untold number of science experiments, but I’m slowly beginning to get it all together.
As hard as it’s been it’s definitely the best thing I’ve done for myself since having children. It’s been important for them to see me make this change, to take care of myself. But mostly it was important for me. I needed to be happier with myself and all that started with rethinking my health.
Although come Thanksgiving I’m giving myself a pass to eat all the cheesy casseroles I want.
Note from Wellthy Soul
Olivia is still losing weight but as of today, she has lost 19 pounds and 27.25 inches. She committed to the nutrition, workouts, and stepped outside of her comfort zone with soulful practices that can make a big difference in our happiness. She is fiercely kind and loving and I am blessed to have been coaching her on the weight loss and healthy living journey.