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The Numbers Game

Ken and Megan Sharrar
Photo taken on August 5, 2016. Our starting point.

Somewhere between 125 and 205 pounds is where I have lived my life for the last 20 years. Sadly, more on the upper end than the lower end. I don’t know if you experience what I call the numbers game, but it’s exhausting. You are either fighting to get to a number, maintain a number, and for some of you gain a number. And it’s constant. You are never free of the number.

I will be 40 next year, in 325 days to be exact, and I refuse to keep playing the numbers game. I recently said to a friend that I refuse to be “40 and fat.” Fat of course is relative… and harsh. I am not fat, there is just more of me to love right now. See how I did that? Reality is I want to be healthy, feeling good, in shape and happy with myself when I reach 40. So how do I make that happen? How do I make permanent, effective change so I can live successfully without being controlled by numbers?

I, in partnership with my husband, have decided to go all-in with the OPTAVIA program (formerly Take Shape for Life/Medifast). The concept is great: 5 fuelings a day plus 1 lean and green meal. You eat every 2.5 – 3 hours so your body is burning fat all day long – perfect! And you purchase the fuelings from OPTAVIA so there is no thinking. People have seen incredible success on the program and have kept the weight off, because ultimately they change their lifestyle and habits. We are talking 40-50 pounds in 4-5 months. Heck yeah!

It sounds ideal until you factor in significant food allergies. What is typically an easy program for many becomes extremely complicated and very stressful for me. I have cried mucho tears the last week in anticipation of starting the program. Even the stuff I shouldn’t be allergic to I never really know until I take that bite or sip. But I am determined to make this work. I can no longer let my fear or my lack of desire to try affect my success. To quote Og Mandino’s scroll #3, “I will persist until I succeed!” And the bigger truth is I need to ask God for help EVERY DAY to not only succeed on this program but to also conquer my fears.

I am asked often, “What are you allergic to?” and my usual response is, “It would be easier to tell you what I am NOT allergic to!” I created a list for family, friends and doctors because it was easier. I was tempted to list out everything for y’all for pure shock and awe, but decided against it. No sense focusing on the limitations, right?

So today is day 2 on the program. In all honestly, I am not feeling great. I’m exhausted. My head is pounding. My stomach feels like a track meet is going on. Because of the amount of water we are supposed to drink I have been to the bathroom A LOT! My body doesn’t know what to do with all the protein it is getting, not to mention the caffeine withdrawal is a little intense. You can have caffeine on the program, I am just not supposed to have caffeine at all so back off I go. Our health coach – yep, when you sign up you get a health coach – informed us the first few days would be rough but before we know it we will start to feel much better. I hope so. I’ll let you know. The good part of the first couple of weeks is no exercise… oh bummer!

Normally, and there is nothing normal about any of this for me, I wouldn’t put out into the blog world that I was starting a new weight loss/health program. Why would I want to make myself accountable to all of you, especially if I fall off the wagon? Two reasons: first is that I don’t want to fall of the wagon and so the accountability is key for me. So please feel free to ask me how it is going. Secondly, many times we hear about someone’s weight loss success AFTER they have gone through it. Why not share about the success – and let’s be honest the struggle – while GOING THROUGH it. So that’s what I am doing. I plan to blog each month to let you know where I am at, how I am feeling, etc. And I promise to share it all – no holding back here!

Pray for my husband and I as we are traveling to Baltimore next week. Staying on program will be VERY HARD but we are going to do are level best to make good choices and not cheat!



14 thoughts on “The Numbers Game

  1. I am so proud of you and Ken! Be kind to yourself, once you have a week of eating this way it will get better and the results are always encouraging. Love to you both and big cheerleading hugs your way. The honesty and openness of your struggle will help many and the key to The power of the other by Dr. Henry Cloud. Look him up on Youtube- and watch The Power of the other- the power of prayer. You will get it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good luck Megan! I know you will do great. The crappy ‘flu’ like symptoms will go away in about a week. Your body and mind can do amazing things! Remember to focus on how you feel not so much the numbers – increased energy, clear head, sleeping better at night, etc. I would also recommend you read the book “It Starts With Food” by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig. Great info for life after you finish your OPTAVIA program. It is a great program that focuses on eating real, whole foods. I would think it could be tailored to work with your allergies. You can do it!


    1. Thanks for the encouragement and feedback. We will definitely look into the book. I have to admit that I am starting to feel better. My body is definitely adjusting, but I can tell that something good is happening.


      1. Thanks Shannon. Honestly, it’s been a struggle and I’ve been off plan more than on. That said, I refuse to give up on the plan but more importantly I refuse to give up on myself. My goal is to maintain my humble 10lb loss this season then hit the ground running after the New Year. I appreciate you asking.


  3. Hey, beautiful!! You and Ken have been on my heart since early this morning! I am so proud of you both and want you to know I am here for you, also!! Keep that huge “WHY” before you at all times. You can do this and will pay the price to have a healthy lifestyle forever more. My thoughts and prayers will be with you as you venture forth to Baltimore!! Stay on Plan!! It is so worth it to be in fat burn . . . amazing results are in your future!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ramona, you are so sweet. Thank you for encouraging Kenna to follow up with us. We are excited about our journey. It’s a big life change, BUT we already know it will be worth it. We are going to do everything we can to say on plan while away. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers! ❤️


  4. I agree… the discomfort is temporary for having energy, feeling good and less emphasis on comfort from food!!!
    It Starts with Food was huge for me and have leaned paleo ever since… less moody and more satisfied from whole eating!!!! Cheering you wholeheartedly!!!!! Xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

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