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I am very happy to have completed the Aspire 90 Days to New challenge. What an awesome experience. I really had no idea what was ahead of me when I won this package. I thought it was a bunch of free skin products. So when I came in to Dr. Lee’s office the first day, and they weighed and measured me and ask me to bring a bathing suit for the before and after photos, I was little scared. I thought, “Oh my, what in the world have I gotten myself into?”

But hey, I am always up for a challenge. So I decided to embrace the opportunity and see where this journey may lead. I frankly thought they had their work cut out for them, because I have been pretty much the same weight since high school. It is very easy for me to maintain weight, but I have always had a very difficult time losing. And I knew I had collected some extra pockets of body fat as I aged. So when I started the program, my weight was in the normal range, but my body fat was too high.

It definitely lived up to the word “challenge.” Dieting over the holidays was not my idea of a good time. But I quickly learned some valuable lessons about self-discipline and working toward a goal. I have never in my whole life been able to feel completely in control of my diet. I found myself making poor food choices because of my busy lifestyle; I often ate on the run and did not plan ahead. I also used sugar as a comfort food. When I dieted in the past, it never lasted long. I believe it is because I never had the accountability and the plan I needed to keep going. I knew that to meet my goal of losing 10 pounds and some body fat in 90 days, it was going to take some serious changes in my diet.

Aspire set me up for success. They formulated a diet and exercise plan especially for me. The diet was based on avoiding the foods that the ALCAT test found my body does not tolerate well, with more protein and fewer carbs. I avoided dairy, gluten and sugar as well as many other things. The very first thing I noticed was that my cravings diminished, almost overnight! I rarely felt hungry. I believe this was largely due to the fact that I was not experiencing the extreme highs and lows I had from eating so much sugar. I believe replacing that with protein really helped my body stabilize and feel satisfied after eating. When I have tried to diet other times, mostly through counting calories, it seemed I always felt hungry and thought about food I could not have. On this diet, I almost had to remind myself to eat. The exciting part was, the weight started gradually coming off, and each week I felt like I was making progress. It was very slow but steady.

Toward the last three weeks, my weight started to plateau a bit, and I knew if I was going to meet the challenge I would have to step it up a notch. After talking with the Aspire nutrition experts, I realized I probably needed to eat a little more often to keep my body’s metabolism fueled and exercise even a little harder to burn some extra calories. That’s when I splurged and got a personal trainer. I never thought I would need a personal trainer, because I have always been self-motivated in the gym. But I really wanted to reach my goal and decided I didn’t have anything to lose.

The first day I met my trainer, I had to laugh. He looked like he could be my son. I immediately thought it was a complete waste of my hard-earned money and time. I probably made the mistake of telling him to “kick this old lady’s butt.” And that he did. He took working out to a whole new level. We started with 10 minutes of cardio and then switched to weight training for the last 50 minutes, three times a week. He also suggested doing 45-60 minutes of cardio on the days I didn’t meet with him. He had me doing more reps with lighter weights than I had been using previously. We would focus on different areas of the body every session, taking my muscles to the point of complete fatigue. He stayed by my side and coached me the entire time.

And in the end, it all finally came together. I actually exceeded my goal and lost 11 pounds. I reduced my body fat by 6 percent (which they said was rare for a female my age). And I lost several inches throughout my body. I dropped two pant sizes. I have noticed a difference in my skin, hair and nails as well. I feel great!

The thing I am the most excited about is that because of this experience at Aspire, I feel like I am going away with knowledge, skills and confidence to make this a permanent lifestyle change, not just for a 90-day challenge. Thank you so much to Dr. Lee and all the Aspire staff who invested their time and talents to this program. Your love, concern and wisdom have made a real difference in my life. I am very grateful to you all. The YOUniversity of Aspire Health is a wonderful program; I would recommend it to anyone who wants to see a transformation in his or her appearance and attitude.

if you would like to enjoy YOUniversity of Aspire Health services, call Aspire Plastic Surgery at 260-427-7473 for a consultation.

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