Twelve Weeks Down – Going Strong!
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Published on October 12, 2016

lisa leuning at 13 weeks

Twelve Weeks Down – Going Strong!

Week 12 is complete! I have lost 48.8 pounds and 48.75 total inches with the Avera Ideal Living program. I have lost the equivalent of my 3 ½ year old, and it’s pretty hard for me to believe. When I pick him up, he’s heavy!

When I first sat down with my health coaches, I decided my goal would be to lose 40 pounds. After I understood the strictness of the program, I changed my goal to 10 pounds.

But now that I met my 40-pound weight-loss goal, I decided to keep going. Once I got into a routine, this strict plan has been pretty easy. There are days when it is still a struggle, but when I think about how far I have come and how quickly the weight has come off, I realize: it is totally worth it. Right now my new weight loss goal is 68 pounds, and I will keep you posted! Thanks to everyone who has been following along.

When I started this journey, one of my health coaches told me to write down three reasons why I wanted to lose weight. I didn’t take this approach to reach a number on a scale or a certain BMI. When I get discouraged, I look back on these reasons and they tend to make me a little emotional. While this is personal to me, I really do think it is important to share because it has definitely helped me focus when I have wanted to phase off the plan. I encourage anyone who wants to lose weight to do the same.

Here are my reasons for wanting to lose weight:

  1. To keep up with my boys. They are wild and I sometimes feel like I can’t keep up with them and I don’t want to hold them back because of my weight.
  2. To get healthy so I can live a long and happy life for my family – especially my children. No one wants to be a burden to their children when they get older and the better I can take care of myself now, the better chance I can take care of myself when my children are grown. My dad passed away only a year ago and he had many health issues. I prayed nightly for God to give me guidance on how to best care for my dad while still being the best mom I could to my three kids. It was not always an easy balancing act, but we made it this far. God was always there to help guide me.
  3. Gain confidence in myself and be willing to try new things. I can think of several instances when I held back on trying new things because of my size. When I think about it, I am still embarrassed and sad. This goal is a very personal for me; I am so glad I can say this is the one where I have made the most gains.

Here’s the great news: I have gained confidence and tried new things. Two weeks ago my husband bought me a kayak. I don’t think I had the confidence to do this before losing almost 50 pounds. Even better, I could take my 3-year-old and 6-year old on the water we’re still under the boat’s weight limit. Check out the picture of me with my 6-year old in the kayak!

The boys and I have had a great time so far, and I see this as something we can do in the summers for years to come. Just last weekend, we took our two oldest boys to the Omaha Zoo and walked 10,000 steps in less than four hours. The boys were more tired than mom! We continued our fun day at a water park, and I went down the waterslides with the boys so many times I lost count. I wasn’t concerned with how I looked in a swimsuit for once; I was just concerned about making memories with my kids.

The Ideal Living plan gave me this gift with my children and my newfound confidence in only 12 weeks!

There is one other topic I want to touch on, because I have learned that obesity is associated with increased risks of some cancers, and I have a family history of that disease. I am fortunate that I currently don’t have any serious health issues due to my weight. But the National Cancer Institute says obese people can have elevated risks for these cancers:

  • Esophagus
  • Pancreas
  • Colon and rectum
  • Breast (after menopause)
  • Endometrium (lining of the uterus)
  • Kidney
  • Thyroid
  • Gallbladder

I have watched friends and family fight the battle of cancer and it is a terrible disease. I do not want to go through that fight or put my family through it. If losing weight can help prevent cancer, it is just one more reason for me – or anyone really – to lose weight!

I’m hoping to lose at least 10 more pounds when I check in again next month – see you then!

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