Beginning in Middle School, I’ve had a history of dieting with my weight cycling up and down over the years. When I got older and started having children, I would gain weight with each child. I would then eat my feelings and continue the weight cycling.
When COVID hit and gyms shut down, my exercise became nonexistent, I had five kids at home learning online, my stress levels were high, and I coped by eating. Through that process, I realized I needed to find a long-term solution. One that not only focused on nutrition, but helped me build my physical strength, teaching me for the first-time how-to workout for my body to feel good and not punishment. I also knew I needed to deal with the mental health side of my weight cycling and disordered eating.
I chose 20/20 Lifestyles because of the holistic approach. It allowed me to learn how to work out again, eat yummy nutritious food without starving myself, and provided me the space and support to work through many of the mental health aspects that many people experience growing up in a diet focused culture.
I’ve learned so much from 20/20 LifeStyles. It’s so hard to pick just one part of the program that had the most impact. But, I will say, the genetic testing was very insightful.
Genetic testing helped me understand how my body responds to different types of food, stress, sleep, caffeine, exercise, etc. I learned that carbs are good and not a barrier to me losing weight. I also learned that my body requires a higher level of intensity workouts in order to lose and maintain my weight loss. This allowed me to change up my aerobic activity to meet my body’s needs. It pushed me to not just do long runs, but intervals and sprinting. It also reminded me that I need to lift heavy things!
The educational videos were helpful especially in the beginning when you do not know what you are doing. It was a good way to ease into the program and expand your knowledge. I like to call it a low barrier entrance, it takes little to no effort, isn’t scary, but the knowledge is extremely helpful. The videos always got me pumped and helped me stay on track and remember why I was doing the program. It helped drive home that weight loss is multifaceted with many different inputs. In order to be successful you need all the pieces of the puzzle and the videos helped you more deeply understand each puzzle piece.
One of the best parts of 20/20 was feeling like I had a team supporting me. Meeting with my dietitian on a regular basis, getting counseling, working out with my trainer, weekly support group meetings, all made the whole process easier. I felt supported every day. I also felt held accountable and encouraged. It wasn’t just me trying to do this, it was a team of experts helping me make life changing decisions and acting to be more active and healthier. I have an active family and I want to do things with them and be active with them. I can do that now.