Life Updates

How I Lost 18 Pounds and Gained Back My Confidence

Hi babes! I’m in the process of a huge blog re-design right now, so I’ve been trying to hold off on posting, but I have just been itching to share my weight loss and my journey with you all! This post is pretty personal to me and it’s going to be long so bear with me!

For some context, I have weighed around 140 lbs (fluctuating depending on if there is rosé involved in my day haha) for the past 10 years or so and usually work out at least 4-5 times a week. A little over two years ago, my dad got really sick and passed away after his battle with cancer. My dad was my absolute best friend in the world and his passing has affected me acutely. I lived in the hospital for week, and only showered when my mom forced me to – I didn’t want to leave his side and wanted to be there with him at the end. I won’t get into as much in this post (I have so much I could say about him!), but his passing was the biggest moment of my life and was what caused everything to change. During the time he was sick and afterwards I was just living in a hole of stress and grief and ended up putting on 5 lbs that would not come off no matter what I did. It didn’t affect me too much (I mean, it’s only 5 lbs) and I threw myself into doing Pure Barre 5-6 times a week to help me through it.

Fast forward a few months, I decided to take my current job and started working a rotating shift schedule. We switch from day shift to night shift and vice versa every few weeks. I know shiftwork can take a toll on your body and I was determined to eat healthy and not let it affect me. I’ve been in the job for almost a year and a half and realized I gained 10 more lbs and my clothes weren’t fitting very well. I was up to around 156-157. All of this weight gain happened while I was eating what you would consider “healthy” and “clean”, calorie counting, and working out anytime my schedule would allow. I tried SO MANY things to try and get this extra weight off and nothing worked (and I didn’t want to do a “fad” diet that would cause me to lose weight and then gain it all back afterwards). My confidence started to slip and I felt terrible all time – tired, lethargic, constantly bloated, and stressed out pretty much 24/7.

After a recommendation from a friend, I decided to check out NAVA Health in June. They are a DC-based health and wellness center and they offer many different services, including weight loss, acupuncture, massage, hyperbaric oxygen chamber treatments, and much more. I got some blood tests done (they took about 14 vials of blood, it was crazy!) to see if there was anything going on medically or hormonally to explain why I was feeling terrible and gaining weight. They found that I am very healthy and don’t have any thyroid or hormone issues (thank goodness!), but they found that my “stress” levels are 13 times higher than normal and that I have TONS of food intolerances and sensitivities. Clearly shiftwork and the grief process has taken its toll on my stress levels!

My food sensitivities and intolerances were VERY revealing. The doctor at NAVA asked me to give up all dairy, eggs, coffee, cane sugar, blueberries, and clams for 6 months as those foods were causing so many of my symptoms. I am STILL mourning the loss of my beloved coffee and egg white omelets after 3 months 🙁 I also never realized how many things have cane sugar in them! I’ll talk more about going dairy & egg free in a later post.

Now on to what you REALLY want to know about – the NAVA RX diet plan. It is very similar to the HCG diet and I researched a lot about the HCG diet during the process. You get 23 days of pills that dissolve under your tongue or injections, you can choose whichever option you feel the most comfortable with. These pills attack your fat stores so that you lose fat instead of muscle.

In Phase 1, called the “loading” phase, you eat whatever you want for two days, preferably a lot of options with fat in them. This prepares you for the detox portion of the program. I personally ate every single thing I normally crave since I wouldn’t be able to eat it for 23 days, like pizza, tacos, and cheesecake.

Phase 2 is 26 days where you cut out a lot of foods, including all dairy, starches, fats, and preservatives. You can only eat from a list of lean meats, non-starchy veggies, and low sugar fruits. I won’t lie – this was HARD WORK, people! I had a couple of first dates during Phase 2 and had to order shrimp cocktail and salads with no dressing and have no liquid courage since I couldn’t drink. I even went on vacation during this time and cried once because I couldn’t eat guacamole. You are also not allowed to work out, so I had to give up my beloved barre classes. I was determined though and I stuck with it. I’m very proud of myself because I didn’t cheat once!

After Phase 2, I ended up losing EIGHTEEN pounds! In Phase 3, you can add your fats back in and you essentially eat as though you are on the keto diet. If you do it correctly, you are supposed to stay within 1-2 lbs of your end weight. Mine was 138, and after 3 weeks of Phase 3 I was still in that 1-2 lb range! I am currently in Phase 4 and I’m adding starches back into my life (hello popcorn and sweet potatoes, I missed you!)

The 18 pounds aside, I FEEL great! My energy has increased (although I do have lingering sleep issues from shiftwork) and I have practically no bloating anymore! I honestly don’t notice too much of a difference in the mirror, but I can tell the difference in what clothes I’m wearing and other people have commented and noticed. I just feel so much better that I’m back to my normal weight and so proud of myself that I could accomplish this!

I want to talk a little bit about the confidence issue. We shouldn’t base our self worth on a silly number on the scale. I love my barre classes and used to lift weights, so I know that you can weigh more but look and feel great because you have more muscle. My confidence issues are mostly grief based – not only did I lose my dad, but I lost myself and any sense of normalcy and control. My weight was increasing so steadily while I could do nothing about it. It made the grief process even worse.

I no longer feel bloated and tired every single day. I feel healthy, happy with the food I’m putting in my body, and secure that I am in control of my choices. I have made a lot of changes to what I eat, and sometimes eating out can be a challenge, but it’s all worth it to me in how I’ve been feeling. I feel like I’m finally out of that black hole of grief. The 18 lbs was just a great bonus to kickstart my confidence 🙂 Now I just need to get myself back into a gym routine and try to find some good methods of stress relief!

I didn’t want to ramble on about the specifics of the NAVA RX program, but if you are interested I can always do a FAQ post for you all. Let me know in the comments!



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