Our Summer 2021 Beyond the Challenge Winner, Jennifer!
I just completed my fourth consecutive Clean Simple Eats challenge and have lost 48 pounds. My success is about so much more than pounds lost, though. It is about creating a completely new mindset and finally feeling confident in my body because I am fueling it well and building strength with a regular exercise routine. It’s about having more energy to be a better mom and sharper during my work day because I no longer feel exhausted and lethargic from a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet. It’s about managing my stress and anxiety better than I ever have before simply through healthier daily diet and exercise habits.
I have spent most of my life uncomfortable and insecure in my body and have tried more diet plans than I can count, gaining and losing the same weight over and over again. Now I can see that none of those plans were sustainable like CSE is. CSE recipes are so delicious and sustainable because no food groups are off limits and the macro ratio is helping fuel my body properly.
JJ and Erika, as well as the CSE community, have also taught me that consistency over time is the key. There are no quick fixes, instead I'm focused on building the lifestyle I want to live for years to come. CSE has helped me completely shift my mindset, so that I am focusing on eating to fuel my body and to slowly and consistently work towards my goals, rather than impatiently trying to reach a certain goal weight and then giving up because it gets too hard.
I realized that I need to be happy now while making changes - rather than hoping that I will be happy when I one day reach some arbitrary weight. I now am actually enjoying the process so much and I feel so good, that I'm not even worried about how many more pounds I have to lose. I no longer binge eat, eat out of boredom, go back for extra helpings just because the food is there, or worry about whether a food is "bad" or "good." I feel in control of my eating for the first time in my entire life.
In between each challenge, my husband and I still follow CSE meal plans for most of our meals to be able to stay consistent with our healthy eating habits and because we love Erika's recipes so much that they have become part of the meal rotation for our family!
I am finally treating myself with as much respect as I should have been all along. CSE has helped me find the daily habits that make me feel good on a day to day basis. I’ve realized that happiness is not waiting on the other side of some “ideal” weight, happiness is enjoying the daily lifestyle that I’ve curated for myself. I am so thankful for the CSE challenges and community; they are really what helped provide the framework and motivation to build new habits.