Courtney is a wonderful VIVA Wellness client who has been with us since April of 2022 and has experienced changes in her life! As you’ll hear below, she started with HCG medical weight loss, after building up to a moment of total frustration, feeling depressed, unhealthy, and devastated. She then moved to doing colonics and lymphatic drainage treatment to further support her body. She has been a rockstar in terms of dedication and mindset, and it shows—she is down over 40lbs in a little under 6 months! She is very passionate about sharing her life change since incorporating the VIVA Wellness services she gets at our Brookfield clinic, and we’re so grateful that she has generously agreed to share her story. Truly Courtney, thank you for being you and for your willingness to be seen on your journey!
Enjoy, and just try to fight back the inspiration that builds as you read. 😉 If you see yourself in her story, please know we are here for you.
1. Tell us about you. As much or as little as you want to share, but what has led you to the moment you decided to seek support with VIVA Wellness?
I am a 38-year-old mom and wife. My husband and I have 3 sons, ages 21, 14, and 11. Growing up I was very athletic and played in several different sports. I never had to worry about my weight or watch what I ate. I had gained and then lost 50lbs with my first pregnancy. I ended up gaining 60lbs during my second pregnancy and found it very difficult to lose after my son was born. At this time I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism after struggling to lose weight and feeling very run down. Over the next 10 years, I chased every diet in an attempt to lose weight, however, I failed each time and would end up gaining even more weight back. By 2022 I felt completely defeated and had given up on myself. I was at my highest weight and depressed. I had developed terrible skin allergies, I relied on sleep aids to sleep every night, I was anxious and my body felt uncomfortable and sore all the time. In March, I took my kids on spring break to a beautiful beach house and I spent my vacation trying to hide my body the entire time. Despite my efforts, one photo of me on the beach was captured, and seeing it devastated me. I decided at that moment to do something to change my life. I researched weight loss programs in the Waukesha area and found VIVA Wellness. It took me a few days to work up the courage to call, but I felt such relief once I finally made my first appointment.
2. Any big ah-ha or turning point moments?
I was terrified that the HCG program would be one more program I would fail. I made a promise to myself to follow the diet exactly and not give up. It was hard but after the first week, I was already feeling better and losing weight. I could see and feel that the program was working and I knew I owed it to myself to stay 100% compliant. In order to remain compliant, I needed to make some big changes in my life and I needed to reevaluate how I dealt with my feelings. Coming to this realization was the biggest turning point for me. I could not afford to give up on myself any longer.
3. Advice for anyone considering a weight loss or wellness journey with VIVA Wellness (or in general)?
It will get hard and you will need to put in the work to get results. HCG helps assist the weight loss but you still have to give 110% towards the program. I knew I needed to change how I treated my body and I was willing to do whatever was needed to feel better. Every time I thought about giving up I had to remind myself of how far I had already come and how much better my life was going with the new changes. I also needed to give myself some grace and forgive myself if I did slip, that was the easiest way to get back on track. Progress over perfection. In the past, if I slipped I would give up completely. I would convince myself that I ruined everything and think what’s the point in continuing? Changing that mindset was a big key to my success.
4. What is the biggest lesson you learned during this process?
I can accomplish anything. This was hard, but I can do hard things. I am capable of so much more than I gave myself credit for. I learned that I am able to and deserve to live a life that feels good and my health is important. Every struggle I overcame brought me a huge sense of accomplishment which fueled me to push on and work harder in the next struggle.
5. Any tips for folks struggling or just beginning their weight loss journey?
Don’t give up. Jennifer and Rachel are there for you and all you have to do is ask for help if you need it. You don’t have to pretend around them, be honest if you’re struggling. Being honest with myself was hard at times but it allowed me to fix what was not working for me. I have completed two cycles of HCG and I plan to continue to see them monthly for accountability in maintaining my weight loss. I worked hard to reach my goals and I know continuing to check in with them will help me stay on track and I will have someone to reach out to if needed.
6. What were some of the most difficult changes to make and how did you overcome them?
I learned that I would eat food if it was around me, even if I wasn’t hungry. One of the harder changes to make was dealing with the social ties to food. I have learned that I can enjoy events without eating. I still enjoy treats but I know that I need to practice moderation and I can’t have treats every day. If I go out to restaurants I ask for substitutions in my meals. I used to be afraid to ask, but I learned that asking for changes like steamed veggies instead of sauteed doesn’t bother the staff at all. This allows me to enjoy social events while staying on track.
7. What are some habits or changes that you learned along the way that are now part of your normal process/routines?
I try to intermittent fast most days but if I am really hungry I will eat sooner. I move my body a lot more now. I usually get at least 10,000 steps a day and have incorporated weight training into my exercise program. I try to choose healthy food options first and have increased my veggie intake. I drink a lot of water daily. I also started having colonics and lymphatic drainage treatments. I try to keep those as regular appointments to help keep my body healthy.
8. What’s something that you would tell yourself the day you booked your first consultation with VIVA Wellness?
Booking my first appointment was the best decision I made. I had no idea that this journey would bless me with so much more than just weight loss. I would tell myself congrats on making a great choice and don’t be scared.
9. What’s something that you would tell a previous version of yourself?
I would tell the old me that things are about to get so much better. Stay strong, make your commitment to the program right away and be kind to yourself. You are going to love the changes that are coming your way.
10. Now what? Here you are. What has this journey created for you? …opened up for you? …shifted in you? Anything you are doing now that you can credit to these changes in your life?
I am a completely different person today than I was in April of 2022. I look great and feel great. I went from a size 12-14 to a size 4-6. I am active and working out again. My body feels strong and healthy. These were my goals when I walked into VIVA Wellness in Brookfield for the first time. While I am thrilled that I accomplished those goals, I discovered that I gained a whole lot more through this journey than I thought I would. I learned that I have the ability to overcome hard situations. I am mentally stronger now than I was before. I no longer give up on myself like I did in the past. I feel like my life was given back to me and I enjoy waking up each day. I want to get out of the house and do things again, I want to see people again, no more hiding. I am not willing to accept that life just happens to me, I now make the life I want happen for me. I am determined to live a great life, I am actively doing things to make that great life happen, no more sitting around hoping for change. I am more assertive and confident in myself now. Every aspect of my life has improved. I can accredit this to keeping up with the changes in lifestyle I made during the program. I have not gone back to my old habits.
11. Favorite thing about VIVA Wellness?
The staff! Every single person there has been wonderful. I believe that taking a multifaceted approach to my health has led me to where I am today. The HCG protocol along with Jennifer and Rachel’s support helped me lose weight and change my mindset. I am grateful for their continuing support in my maintenance phase of this journey. Esmeralda has such a magical touch and lymphatic drainage has assisted my body in feeling better again. Laura has helped me work towards healing and improving my gut health, which has had a major impact on my well-being. Having colonics freaked me out at first but they are both incredibly comforting and make it such an enjoyable experience. My maintenance plans include continuing to use all of the services at VIVA Wellness on a regular basis. I have appointments booked several months in advance to stay on track with weight loss, and lymphatic and gut health. I am excited to try more services in the future. Booking my appointments out helps me put myself first and stay on track in regard to my well-being. Every single member of the VIVA Wellness team has supported me in one way or another. They are all truly the best! I look forward to each visit I have with them.