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Day 3

Well, day one was a good day. The personal training session was fun but challenging. For the first two weeks, I will do an upper body workout one day and a lower body the other, and an abdominal workout every time. Each session begins with 20 minutes of cardio for a warmup.

Yesterday I had my first massage. The therapist focused on my shoulders, neck, and back, and I have to say, I had no idea just how sore and tense I was until she went to work on my muscles! The massage ranged from pleasant to downright painful at times, but afterward, I felt great. I am looking forward to next weeks massage!

So today is day three, and I am scheduled to get an adjustment and then my second training session. Today we do lower body and abs. My abs are quite sore from the first time already!

These workouts are mostly things I can do at home, too. They provided me with a set of resistance bands for home use, and most of the exercises use either the bands or your own body weight. I was very skeptical of what kind of workout you could really get from a glorified rubber band, but it turns out, those bands are just as much effort to use as traditional weights!

The worst part for me, is that right now I can’t eat carbs. My energy level was so low at the end of the first day, that on day two, I ate a small snack of Kashi cereal mid morning, and that helped my energy level tremendously. I have also gone to mixing the ultra meal shakes with skim milk, instead of water, which gives me a little carbs. Yes, I know I’m not following the diet strictly by doing this, but then, I also am not all that concerned about the weight loss. If I only lose a pound a week, I will be fine with that. I am far more concerned with getting healthy, improving my strength and fitness.

Day 1

Well, day one has been good so far. I started my day with a tasty breakfast (eggs, lean ham, low fat cheese) baked in muffin cups. I baked it last night and it made enough to last me pretty much all week. The worst part for me was having to skip my usual orange juice. They do allow coffee, for folks who drink it, I am starting to think I may have to learn to drink coffee to replace my orange juice!

I had an ultra meal shake mid morning, then I went in for the chiro adjustment and for my first workout. The shake was not really all that good, but it also was not all that bad, if you can drink slim fast you can drink this. Mine is strawberry but they have a bunch of flavors, like vanilla, chocolate, banana, etc. After week one is over I will be able to use frozen fruit and blend it into a smoothie, and I think it might actually be quite good that way. I also thought it would be improved by the addition of milk instead of water, but I need to quiz their dietitian on that one, I’m not really sure how that would fit into the diet plan.

The workout was challenging but not torturous. Warmup with 20 minutes of cardio, then we did an upper body strength training workout, and finally an abdominal workout. The trainer was very friendly and encouraging. She told me that my next training session would be the same except we would do lower body instead of upper. Every session will include a cardio warmup and the ab exercises.

Lunch for me today was actually a meal I already ate on occasion, just with minor tweaks. I had a spinach salad with homemade vinaigrette dressing and grilled chicken. Ordinarily I would have added some toasted pecans, and sweetened the dressing with sugar. I used stevia sweetener instead of sugar and it tasted fine. I left out the pecans, but I think I may be able to have the pecans, I need to talk to the dietitian about that.

So I guess the rest of my day will be another shake for an afternoon snack, then I am making another recipe I was already fond of, Jerk Chicken. I typically use boneless skinless chicken breasts, and I do a wet marinade, then grill. I don’t have to change a thing for it to work for my diet plan. Along with the chicken we will grill fresh zucchini we just picked from our garden yesterday, and some mushrooms, and maybe a bit of broccoli. I love grilled vegetables, that’s also something I eat regularly anyway. Now that our garden is producing, I will have lots of fresh veggies!

I need to plan out the rest of the week. I think we will do some grilled venison loin from a deer my husband shot earlier in the year, which is quite tasty and super lean. Probably a baked chicken, and then at some point we will broil shrimp. All things we eat anyway! The tough part for me will be the no carbs this week, and being limited to only very low glycemic Index veggies. I only like a few veggies that are low GI. Spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, celery, and asparagus are about it. There are a lot more but I don’t like them! I don’t really like the asparagus but I can tolerate it occasionally… I had parents who turned green beans into a battle, so now as an adult, I simply don’t eat foods I don’t like. I am not going to ever force myself to choke down another green bean! I gladly try new foods, but if I don’t like it, I don’t force myself to eat it!

So anyway,I have my first massage tomorrow afternoon, which I am really looking forward to! Then my second training session and chiro adjustment wednesday. Then I’m on my own until Monday.

Right now I feel good. I feel very positive about my ability to stick with the program.

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What do you get for the money?

So, what do you get for the money? That was my first question, and it’s an important question!

My understanding is that you will get, over the course of the 8 weeks, the following:

A duffel bag containing a book that explains the program, as well as a few odds and ends such as resistance bands, a mixer bottle, etc…
8weeks worth of UltraMeal shakes and fish oil supplements
Twice weekly chiropractic adjustments (16 total)
Twice weekly session with a personal trainer (16 total)
Once weekly full body massage (8 total)
Consultation with and guidance from a nutritionist
Bloodwork before beginning and after completion of the 8 weeks
Possibly before and after X-rays although I am not sure if that is part of the program, or something I am getting due to my ongoing treatment of my spinal injury.

There may be things I missed but those are the biggies. When you consider what you would pay just for the chiropractic care, personal training, and massages, its not actually a bad deal, especially if your insurance pays some.

I read the book already, and while I won’t say exactly what it says, since I am sure it is proprietary, the general gist is that the program aims to teach you how to make healthy choices on your own, so that you have the knowledge necessary not just to know you should, but also WHY you should.

The program puts you on a healthy meal regimen. I wouldn’t call it a “diet” because from what I can see, I certainly won’t ever go hungry! You eat three healthy meals and two UltraMeal shakes a day, and its not actually a very low calorie diet. With the diet alone you would probably lose a little weight, but the program puts a lot of emphasis on exercise, which is where the real benefits are.

Basically, you eat a healthy and nutritionally complete diet, and you exercise. Oh, and of course you get a massage every week (how great is that!) and regular chiropractic care, and you are also taught to meditate and deal with stress in a constructive manner.

My 8WW journey begins

Hi! For the sake of this blog, you can call me “Jane”. I recently learned about the 8 Weeks to Wellness program from my chiropractor, and decided to give it a try.

When I did a web search for info, all I got was the official website for the program, and a bunch of testimonials. Not much real info about what it’s really like. So I decided to chronicle my experience in a bit more detail. Good or bad, I plan to tell it like I see it.

I decided not to use my real name simply because a lady doesn’t discuss her health in public. So I will be Jane. Please respect my privacy. I am putting this out there so that other people like me can get a better idea of what the 8WW program is all about. It’s a big commitment, physically, emotionally, and financially!

Now, on to my motivation to participate in the program.

I am in my early thirties, have a young child, a full time plus job, a side business, and not a lot of time to spare. I am relatively healthy- my weight is in the upper end of what is considered healthy by current medical standards. I have no major medical problems. I continue to struggle with post-partum depression more than a year after my child was born. I had an accident a couple years ago that knocked my back out of whack, then I got pregnant, gained over 60 lbs while pregnant, had another accident while pregnant, and then a c-section delivery that it took months to even begin recovering from.

So now I find myself weak, out of shape, heavier than pre-pregnancy with a lot less muscle mass and tone. I went to the chiropractor about the back pain that had been a chronic issue since the first accident in 2010. He has worked wonders on my back, and expects me to recover 100% with no lasting effects, which is wonderful. He told me about the 8ww program, and I was interested, so I attended an orientation meeting to learn more about it. After the meeting I decided to sign up.

My goals for the 8 weeks are to regain my lost muscle mass, tone, and fitness, to lose the last of my baby weight, and to get off the depression meds and kick the depression completely.

The program is expensive- I do not know what it costs with no insurance but I would guess somewhere around $2500. I have excellent insurance, so I did not have to pay nearly that much! I am also able to incorporate my current course of chiropractic treatment into the program, so that is money I was spending already.

I have my initial appointment tomorrow, then bloodwork Monday. I will actually begin the program on May 7.

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