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Eat Your Way to a Healthier You


Article by Chad O'Roark

Photography by Chad O'Roark

Quarantine has been a major nemesis for all of us that tend to already have issues with eating a healthy diet. COVID-19 has had people locked in their homes with easy access to their fridges and pantries that are stuffed full of unhealthy choices. As a society we tend to want to eat healthy, but those chips and snack cakes seem to be calling out to us. Where did we go wrong? 

What about exercising? Often well-intentioned exercise regiments turn into, 'why do I have to get up off the couch and walk all the way into the kitchen?' We often want to work out, but a quick nap or watching some Netflix really tends to cut into the day. 

What about diets? Everyone is talking about their latest diet fads. They'll ask you, "Have you tried the new Keto, the Atkins, or Military diet, etc...?" The fact of the matter is that most diets fail because they are unsustainable. Sure, you can "DIET" and lose weight, but are you truly eating healthy? Is your new fad diet sustainable for any particular length of time? 

What if you were able to lose weight and keep it off for life? What if you had the ability lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle without all of the crazy processes, 12 step programs, excessive exercise, and overpriced meal plans? What if 90% of your food came right to your door and only cost about 14$ a day? 

I began my search for health about 28 years ago. I began to study and train as a body builder. Things were going well as I continued to build over the years. I had put on about 120 pounds and was pleased with most of my results. That is, up until about a year ago when I snapped a tendon in my right arm and tore my right bicep and left tricep. I was furious with myself. How could I have let this happen? What could I possibly have done to avoid this? I did my best to continue to work out slowly through the pain. I was cutting back on my exercise routines, and reducing the amount of weights that I was pumping. Without realizing it though, I wasn't cutting back on my food intake. I had added on about another 30 pounds. What was I going to do?

I was getting close to hitting the 300 pound weight mark from the measly 140 pounds. that I weighed when I started my body building back in college. I had developed sleep apnea and had issues trying to stay awake even while driving. When I was able to sleep, I snored so loudly that my wife couldn't sleep. I eventually had to sleep in another room just to give her a chance to rest. My knees were giving out, and my blood pressure was also on the rise. It also didn’t help that my was having to buy XXL clothes and had a 19 1/2 inch neck.  I decided that it was time for a change. 

A New Healthy Lifestyle Plan

My wife and I had been given an opportunity to review a new healthy lifestyle plan. A family friend had lost 150 pounds with this plan and had kept it off for the previous four years. We listened to him and his wife intently as they spoke to us about the plan, Optavia, over a cup of coffee at a local Starbucks. This "diet" was not introduced as a typical diet, but as more of a lifestyle change or a new way of life. A life of health and wholeness. Needless to say, we were skeptical. This plan seemed "too good to be true," but we were ready to try anything at that point. We both signed up together.  The average weight loss on this plan is 12 lbs.  Clients are in weight loss an average of 12 weeks. 

Our food arrived on our doorstep about six days later. Upon opening the box, we both felt a little overwhelmed with the number of smaller packages that we had each received. It was explained to us that these individually packaged meals were called "fuelings," and that we would need to eat one of the them every two to three hours staring 30 minutes after waking up in the morning — five fuelings a day with one balanced meal.  

We were told about how each one of the fuelings was scientifically formulated and nutritionally balanced to provide the proper nutrients that our bodies needed to promote health and weight control. Eating one of these every two to three hours would keep our metabolisms working all day long and help us to burn fat. We were also instructed to take in 64 oz. of water per day, and no more than moderate workouts such as going for a walk or light exercise until we reached our goal weight.    

The only other food that we needed each day was a meal that we provide for ourselves that is referred to as a Lean and Green. The Lean and Green meal is eaten once a day at any of the six intervals. We typically have one for dinner around 7:30 pm each day. The Lean and Green consists of 5 to 7 oz of a lean meat and 1 and 1/2 cups of vegetables. It doesn’t sound like a lot of food, but when you plate it up it surprisingly covers the plate. 

Our first week on plan and I had lost 15 lbs, and the food was delicious. My wife had lost 7 lbs. Week two passed, and another 7 lbs. dropped off.  I honestly couldn’t believe my eyes. I would step on and off the bathroom scale three or four times in a row to see if it was broken. Within the first three months I was down 35 lbs.  In four months-time I had lost a total of 68 lbs. I had gone from nearly 300 lbs. to 225 lbs. Amazing!  My wife had also lost 65 lbs. on plan. She is happier and her self-confidence has grown 200+%.

We were loving our results, but that wasn’t all we were loving. We also loved the fact that we became part of a community of people that were going through the same life changes and struggles that we were. We became a part of a family of like-minded people which added a new level of hope and accountability that you don’t get when you diet alone. We were determined to stick to the plan knowing that we were not going through this by ourselves.   

One year ago my wife and I began our transition into a healthier lifestyle.  We eat our fuelings and Lean and Greens daily. We may deviate on rare occasion, but for the most part we stick to the plan. We have lost a combined 133 lbs. and have kept it off for a year now. I have personally lost 10 inches off of my waste line. I no longer snore, nor do I fight sleep apnea or doze behind the wheel of my car. I no longer have knee pain, and my cholesterol and blood pressure are near perfect. Who knew that there would be a diet plan that actually worked and for a prolonged period of time?

This plan is not only saving us money, but also time spent shopping. We no longer have to spend hours shopping for groceries nor do we have to fight the crowds and hoarders that are looking for the last roll of toilet paper. We occasionally have to pick up a few items as needed for our lean meals, but we get in and get out quickly and go on about our day.  

Food is no longer controlling our lives. We now control what we eat and when we eat. We are also able to spend more time together because we eat at the same intervals throughout the day.  

If you find that you are currently in the same boat that we were one year ago; facing poor health and unhealthy eating habits, then you may wish to review this plan. We are so glad that we did, and the results have been outstanding. Our journey has led us to helping others to have the same types of results that we are. As health coaches we aspire to encourage others to eat their way to a healthier life.