What a difference a year makes. You know the saying, “A year from now you’ll wish you’d started today”? Well, I’m thankful that, for the first time in years, I don’t have to look back wishing. This time last year, I was in a worried place. When my step-dad was diagnosed with cancer in September, it opened my eyes to what my own health looked like. I had struggled for years with migraines, gut health, and my weight. After exploratory surgery years ago came back with no answers, I threw my hands up in defeat thinking I was doomed to feel crummy for the rest of my life. I gave up trying. But, there was something about seeing a family member in pain that finally gave me a sense of urgency in getting my own health in check. I began researching what I could do to help myself get in a better place. I started drinking a green smoothie every day, which seemed to really help… at first. My body just didn’t seem to want to adapt. I reached out to friends who had recently worked hard to get to a positive place to see what changes they’d made. I can honestly say I was skeptical anything would work for me. I was at the end of my rope with my migraines and GI issues. Years of struggle had caused me to feel like I had no control over my body. What I found last year is that being at the end of your rope will cause you to take a leap of faith sometimes. After a couple of months of research and many emails, I bit the bullet and ordered the Advocare 24-day challenge. Why did I choose Advocare? The challenge was a catalyst to a lifestyle change-- not just a diet. I needed to make changes in my life, and I knew I couldn’t do it on my own. I’d tried before. I needed a support system, and I needed something I could continue long term. So, I took a chance-- a little leap of faith. And, for me, it was the best leap I could have ever taken. When I finally decided I was ready, I knew I didn’t want to wait until the new year to make changes. The time was now, and honestly, I was afraid I’d chicken out if I waited. So, I started the challenge on December 7th, 2013, the day after my company holiday party, and I have not looked back since. Over the next three months, I lost 20 pounds, could get through an entire meal without feeling sick, and very rarely got the migraines that used to plague me. After yet another family member was struck with cancer, I decided to do something absolutely out of my comfort zone and signed up to run the NYC Marathon for charity. And, on November 2nd, I completed that marathon with the biggest smile on my face. I can honestly say I could not have gone on that journey without Advocare. After months of eating clean 80% of the time, I was the healthiest I had been in years and in the best possible place I could be to begin training. Adding the performance elite products to my regimen just upped the ante. So I’m sure many of you are wondering… Why am I just sharing my story with you now? As I approach the one-year mark of my journey with Advocare, I am reflecting on what this past year has brought to my life. And, I’ve come to realize that what I needed most last year was a sense of hope. I just needed the hope that life could be better. And I am beyond thankful that my friend, Lauren, gave me that hope a year ago, and now I feel the need to share it with you. I couldn’t think of a better gift to give someone this holiday season.

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