Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Thriving in Health

I knew when the word Thrive came to me that a huge part of thriving this year would have to do with my health. This is something that I’ve really struggled with for most of my life…being overweight, having IBS, and dealing with the effects of PCOS. I needed to take back control! So Chris and I started our weight loss journey in May of last year. I shared the beginning of this whole thing back in July in a post. Looking back I’m still blown away by the before and after (really, “during”) pictures. Pretty powerful, especially on days when you don’t feel like you’re doing anything right.

We have been on the HCG program, where you take drops of HCG (a synthetic hormone which pulls fat from your stored fat cells to power your body, but leaves the important fat, like around your heart and organs) in combination with a very low calorie diet for 40 days. After that is a period of 21 days with no sugar or carbs, and then 6 weeks of maintenance before you can start the cycle all over again. Its very strict, and can be hard mentally more than physically, but the results are staggering, and if done correctly, lasting.

Here is where I was at the beginning. My very first “before” shot in May 2013. Notice my little baby puppy. So tiny!


I was so thoroughly embarrassed by these pictures. I don’t look happy and they were a real wake-up call. We did 2 rounds of HCG last year and I lost 60lbs! I was feeling incredible, like my old self again and really strong. I started doing Crossfit workouts and pushing my body in ways I never had before and it kept up. October was the beginning of maintenance after this round and my weight was down to 182lbs from 245lbs.

And then life got a little crazy. I’ve shared a bit of the struggles with Chris’ parents moving in, but the worst way that we were effected is that this upheaval threw us out of our schedule and new habits and ways of eating. Chris’ mom finally had a kitchen again, and she started making all of Chris’ old favorite foods and we just ate it. We ate and ate some more and didn’t stand up for ourselves in our own house. Mentally, this has been a really hard hole to crawl back out of…again. I became surrounded by so much that was out of my control that I gave up control of this too.

I think I ate my body weight in Red Vines. No joke… I just couldn’t stop eating them!

And we had planned on starting another round of HCG in January, but our drops got held at the border (we order from Canada) and so we didn’t get them when we planned and things went from bad to worse. In the end, I put 20lbs back on.

But now I am taking back control and I thought that the best way to be accountable would be to share on my blog. It’s a very personal thing, especially sharing these very raw pictures of myself.  But I just think forward to my final “after” pictures and how amazing the contrast is going to be and I know I’ll be glad that I shared…

We started HCG protocol on Saturday January 25th and I wanted new “before” pictures for this round and this year.


And I plan on sharing throughout the rest of this journey. I want to inspire others to take back control of their health and the things they feed their bodies. And I want to be a success story for HCG and whatever else is to come.

So here are my beginning again stats: after 2 days of loading at the beginning of the protocol I topped out at 210lbs. This morning I weighted in at 202.8lbs. We will be doing the drops and the very low calorie diet until March 5th and my goal is to average a pound a day.

We have found some amazing protocol friendly recipes that I’ll see if I can convince Chris to cook and let me take pictures of to share. Let me just say: cabbage steaks! You wouldn’t believe how delicious they are. And I’ve found some very helpful resources for those on the HCG protocol. Some great videos and tips.

I know that I’m the only one who can make the changes necessary to be true to who I know I am and be happy. I need to stop handing over control of things. I have learned so much already, but I know I have a big journey ahead of me. I hope that sharing and staying accountable on my blog will help me. And that I will really thrive in health this year.


Have you ever embarked on a health journey?
What were the most important lessons you learned?


  1. Congrats Shaina! I'm so proud of you and so excited for you! I can't wait to see where this year takes you. To a happy and healthy year!

  2. I am so proud of you! I have lost multiple 100's of pounds...I've learned that you MUST plan, you must plan workouts, you must plan menus and meals....I've been most successful when I have a plan. But also the most important thing I have learned is that you must have accountability, whether it's a cheerleader, someone who's working with you etc.

    Good Luck!

  3. Wow, Shaina, already the progress from the "before" pictures in May to the pictures from January are amazing. Your diet sounds brutal, but you sure are determined. Can't wait to hear more about your journey!

  4. You are such a beautiful, brave, inspirational woman.

    I am using my OLW for health this year too. I'm going to be deliberate about getting good things into my body, and toxic and negative things out. I look forward to seeing you progress even further this year.

  5. Awesome job. You're looking great! And most importantly, it's amazing that you're FEELING better. :) That makes all the difference, right there. Motivation comes much easier when your body feels physically stronger. I also love that you're doing this the healthy way. Slow & steady! Congratulations on your progress!