Wanna know what the hardest thing is about losing 57 pounds? Fear. Especially after utilizing a program that takes care of most of the prepping for you. You have to constantly navigate the glares of others just waiting for you to gain it back (listen, I gave the exact same glares so I have no room for judgement). You also have to be careful not to overthink because most of this work is in your mind, so we don’t want to overstimulate, over-calculate, double-guess the mind because that can backfire quickly. You also can’t retrain those altered taste buds to accept salt and sugar like they used to. And finally, you can’t stop prioritizing your health just because you aren’t “on a program.” This is serious stuff, y’all, and I don’t think we talk about it enough. In a society that asks so much of us on a regular basis and then turns around and provides quick and easy tricks to make it all work, it’s a battle every day to remain focused, consistent, and disciplined while also leaving room for spontaneity. So before I go on, I just want to name all of this out loud just in case it resonates with you and admit that all of this is harder than it needs to be and some of that has absolutely nothing to do with us, but with the systems that operate all around us. I see you. I see those systems. Choosing to go against the tide is hard, but when we do it, the rewards show themselves in time.

It’s been two weeks since moving to maintenance after 6 months of being on Optavia’s 5 & 1 plan. Oh, and let me address the elephant before we move on. Some of you may have issues with planned programs and that is absolutely okay. There are numerous plans that have worked for some folks and not worked for others. I felt the exact same way for two years while watching others go on the program as I enjoyed ranch dressing, queso, and wine. I had all kinds of feelings about “going on a plan” but ultimately, I had to face that head on because what I was doing while judging “those plans” sure wasn’t helping my mind, heart, or body. So…will the weight stay off? I watched others keep it off for years and years and I believe based on where I’m landing after experiencing the plan work for me AND doing the internal work needed to make it work (that was the big work I had to do), I believe (and hope if you are reading this that you will believe with me) that I can accomplish even MORE than keeping the weight off. I hope you will join me in believing that I will continue to prioritize my health because of how it has made me feel and show up differently. That part matters even more than keeping the weight off, so I’d appreciate that kind of support more than anything. Deal? Deal!

So here’s how I’m maintaining with food: As I get used to adding in more whole foods during the day, I’m using the free website Cronometer. No, I do not plan to log everything in for the rest of my life, but for the last two weeks it has been helpful to see what intolerance I have and also what foods keep me energized and satisfied throughout the day. Cronometer also lets you decide what percentage of protein, fat, and carbs you’d like to aim for in a day and that has also been helpful. In my first week on maintenance, I lost 3 pounds which told me I needed to increase my calories (and I did). In the second week, I found my stride and have been super steady and satisfied. I also haven’t had an adult beverage since February and that has made all the difference in the world. Finally, I’m still trying to stick to eating small meals or snacks every 2-3 hours like I did on the 5 & 1 plan, which means I’m still using Optavia fuelings during the day. Honestly, I’d be lost without the decadent brownie with reddi whip at night.

Here is how I’m maintaining with exercise: I am doing Pilates 2 times a week and walking at least 30-45 minutes 3-4 times a week. I credit this schedule because of the following reasons: 1) It finally feels like fall in Alabama and I know it won’t last long, so I’m taking advantage of it. 2) I no longer have 57 pounds competing with me. 3) Due to a better diet, I have way more energy than ever, so that helps. Exercise has long been a challenge for me and I’m proud of where I am right now. I used to think I had to do an insane amount of cardio to see any meaningful changes, but after doing the internal work I’ve done this year, I am seeing the benefits of choosing a healthy, manageable, and enjoyable exercise routine. Who’d a thunk?

Let’s talk breakfast:

I’ve been watching a lot of plant-based folks on YouTube, and I think their love of overnight oats is a little unsettling. I haven’t drank the overnight oats Kool-Aid, because the oats are…cold? I’ll get there eventually, but I’m not there yet. Plus, chocolate in my oatmeal? Woof. I have, however, found something that works: Steel-Cut Oats made with Almond Milk (with a little splash of it after heated up) or low-sugar vanilla yogurt, a teaspoon of flax seed, a tablespoon (or two) of Sunbutter, and some bananas and blueberries.


I was so thrilled with my lunches last week, I’m at it again (see previous post). This week I’m prepping the following combo bowl: Kale and Spinach for my base, roasted butternut squash / sweet potato, sliced apples, chickpeas, quinoa, dried cherries, sunflower seeds, hemp hearts, and tahini dressing. I see you, fall, and I am not playing with you. I’mma make this Harvest Crunch Salad to the 10th power, mmmmmmmk? I also made an egg salad combo with Bitchin’ Sauce (Original flavor).


Listen, I’ve been sleeping on Trader Joe’s. I know, I know. Y’all are like, “Where have you been, Amanda?” Well, I’ve been ordering lemon pepper chicken wings fried hard from Door Dash, thank you very much. Back to Trader Joe’s: I found these gems right here and went ahead and baked them in the oven so that we can use them in meals throughout the week. I’ll pair it with some rice, black beans, sauteed brussels sprouts, and whatever else I find.

Bonus Points: I’ve been keeping up with my writing on this blog, which fills me up. I appreciate all the ways you continue to support me and my many journeys. I’m grateful for the space for us to share and learn together.

“It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

—Theodore Roosevelt
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910