I’ve struggled with my weight and health most of my life. Anytime I wanted to lose weight, I always thought that I had to do a fad diet and run all the time. I’ve realized over the years that is not true. I’ve also suffered from Rheumatoid Arthritis since I was 17 years old. I’ve realized the impact clean eating has on my joints and has helped alleviate the pain and inflammation tremendously.
After having my first child, I decided I wanted to become healthy and fit. I started eating clean and working out with weights. I lost a lot of weight, but more importantly, I was the healthiest I had ever been. I got bored easily with clean eating because I always thought I just needed to eat low calorie, no carbs, and very plain meals. I was constantly eating the same boring things over and over. When I got pregnant with my second child, I gained back all the weight and more. After having my third child, I put on some extra weight and reverted back to unhealthy eating habits. I decided it was the perfect time to make a change.
I came across CSE on Instagram and knew it would be perfect for me. I started my first challenge in the Spring of 2020. I had a successful challenge and could see major changes in my body and health. I did the summer challenge, but didn’t follow completely and didn’t turn in after photos. I then committed again for the Fall challenge, and now the Winter challenge. It has been easy to stay committed because I have changed my way of thinking from being a diet to a lifestyle change. I’ve realized how much better I feel when I eat healthy and within my macros.
I’ve also changed my mind frame from wanting to “lose weight” to wanting to be healthy. I want to always set an example for my children of what healthy and strong look like, rather than focusing on weight. Eating healthy but having different recipes to choose from has been amazing. I know now that I have made a lifestyle change and am no longer dieting. My children are even trying new healthy foods that they usually wouldn’t touch. Since they see mom and dad eating them and enjoying them, they want to try them too!
When I started the Spring challenge back in April 2020, I also recommitted to getting fit again. I’ve been working out 5-6 days a week consistently. I feel so much stronger and healthier. During the Winter Challenge, I decided to come out of my comfort zone and immerse myself into the CSE community. Following others is very inspirational and motivating. Even though I had never actually met anyone in person, everyone has been very encouraging! I feel like I made a whole new group of friends, and the best part is we all have the same interests!
I love that the Clean Simple Eats lifestyle is sustainable and has definitely changed my perception of healthy eating! Thank you Erika and JJ for creating these recipes, plan, and community that have helped change my life!