There has never been a time when I did not struggle with my weight. Before starting Clean Kitchen and Versus, I had tried everything under the sun and had some success, but the weight always came back. Throughout high school and college, I was eating out constantly and doing whatever I wanted without thinking about how it was affecting my body.
Fast forward 10 years, 2 kids and a lot of ups and downs that included emotional eating along the way, and I was not happy. I "knew" what I should be doing but I just figured I would never be a fit person. It wasn't in my genes. But I wanted to change that and I did not want my kids to have that same mindset or struggle the way I did as a kid.
In September 2018, I messaged Steve about working out at Versus and began going about three times a week. I told him I just wanted to get into the habit of making myself go without changing my die...yet. (This is funny to me now because of what I know; you can't out work a bad diet!)
When the promos for Clean Kitchen Winter 2019 Challenge rolled out, I asked coach Michael if I should do it now or wait until I was done teaching in the summer. Life was really hectic. My husband and I were separating and heading for a divorce, but he was coming home from an almost year long deployment. I was about to take my test to become a Certified Academic Language Therapist. My first graders were challenging me in so many ways. I will never forget what he told me. He said, "There will always be challenges. It won't be easier in the summer, there will just be new challenges, so just go ahead and do it now!"
So I signed up, not really knowing what to expect. At first, I felt like I wasn't doing anything. All I was doing was drinking more water. But as the program went on, I added more habits, and I started to change my mindset and the "why" of what I was doing. One of the main things I have gained from Clean Kitchen is the ability to customize what I'm eating and make it fit what I actually LIKE eating.
During Clean Kitchen, I was still going to workouts at Versus 3-4 times a week. I noticed as the weight was coming off, I was able to improve at the gym. After the CK Challenge ended, I still had scale goals but switched my focus to becoming better, faster, and stronger in my workouts. I wanted to be able to do the workouts as written, finish under time, and do a real push up! With the encouragement from my Tuesday/Thursday Indoor crew and coach Nate, a lot of goals have become a reality. I even ran my first race, and completed 5 miles in under an hour! After a year of consistently eating well and putting in the work at the gym, I’ve lost 68 lbs and gone from a size 18 to 10.
In addition to losing weight and becoming stronger, I’ve noticed that I’ve become a more confident person. I am more likely to try something new, even if it means I don’t get it right the first time. I know I can do hard things, have hard conversations with people, and take on challenges without feeling inadequate. I can stand up for myself, have an opinion, know what I want, and not settle for anything less!
I can never go back to the person before I was before Versus and Clean Kitchen. I can’t imagine a lifestyle without consistent exercise. I look forward to going to the gym and feel grouchy when I can’t get in at least 3 days. I will still cheat (pizza!), but as I told my CK Coach Jeni, I know too much! I will forever be grateful for the CK program, the Versus community, and the coaches who motivate you to do better and to know the reason behind it.