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Jackie Warner changed my life
on March 5, 2014
I bought this book when it first came out, so this review shares my LONG-TERM experience, which is significant. Anyone can pick a diet/exercise book, stick with it for a couple of months, get awesome results, and write a review telling you this is the answer to all your problems. But you never get to hear what happens later -- a years down the road -- did they maintain their losses? Did they gain it all back and then some? So, that's what I'm going to share with you -- me, more than two years later.
Who am I? In my former life, I was an elite athlete (swimming) who competed at the national and international levels and went to college on a scholarship. Now, I am a 37-year-old mom of two who works fulltime. When I read Jackie's book, I wasn't "fat" exactly, but I was at the very high end of the "healthy" weight range for my height: 5'4", 145. I was definitely unhappy with how I looked. As a former athlete, I was really missing my body, but never thought I could get even close to where I was before grad school, marriage, two kids, and a stressful job intervened.
So anyways, forgetting for a moment that the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result," I decided to try yet another diet and exercise program. I read Jackie's book. At first, I could only muster the will to follow the dietary guidelines, which, by the way, are surprisingly easy and do not require you to break-up with carbs, learn how to eat weird, or immediately overhaul your pantry. I added the foods she said to, ate what else I wanted to, and started losing weight right off the bat. I did this for about a month. "Hmmmm," I thought, "if I can lose weight just by eating this way, I bet it'd come off faster if I actually tried."
So I started to follow the second phase of her diet, which is "cleaner," and I tried the workouts in the book. Now, to be honest, I am not that great at pushing myself after years of having a coach do it for me. The workouts are great, but I couldn't stick to them. I got her DVDs instead, which are great, especially the "30 day jumpstart" (which still kicks my butt) and the "Xtreme timesaver." Having her tell you what to do instead of having to figure it out for yourself definitely makes it easier to complete the workout. Armed with the book and the DVDs, I marched on.
About three months in, I had lost all the weight I wanted to (30 pounds). Awesome. And I wasn't "skinny fat," either. I was actually firm. So firm, in fact, that I could see definition in my abs -- "there you are my old friends, I thought we had said goodbye forever." Now here's the really awesome part: I have maintained it for two years and counting -- with minimal effort.
Since reaching my goal, I have continued to follow Jackie's dietary guidelines, but instead of doing the "cheat meals" thing, I apply a 90/10 rule -- 90% of the time I'm 100% good; 10% of the time, not so much (the percentages change during the holidays). When I get sloppy and start to notice a little flab creeping back, I get serious and go back to the plan 100% until I'm back to my goal (the trick here is to catch yourself before you go more than 10 pounds in the wrong direction). I firmly believe that the dietary guidelines alone have been 95% responsible for my maintenance.
I do still exercise, but nothing crazy. I aim for 30 min. of intense exercise 3 times per week. I only do more than that when I have to make up for the holidays or something, and there have been months when I do nothing at all. I rely mostly on Jackie's videos but add in other random ones I pick-up here and there when I get bored. I've also gone on a couple of gym kicks but only run high-intensity intervals on the treadmill so as to avoid the gym rats who shamelessly stare as they grunt through another set of bicep curls.The point I'm trying to make here is that I haven't exactly been killing myself in the gym or setting aside chunks of time every day to workout, yet I have managed to maintain my new body.
Bottom line: You can do this. The book's subtitle, "And How to Get Thin Forever," is true. Reaching my goal required some initial effort (but nowhere near as much as other programs I've tried), but maintaining your new body is not only possible, it's easy. And the longer you stick with it, the easier it becomes.