I first became aware of CSE about 5 years ago. I dabbled with some of the recipes and tried a couple of the meals while my goals of “losing weight” and “getting healthy” sat on the back burner. I wasn’t ready to 100% commit, and that was ok.
In April 2020, for the first time, I faced the reality that my weight was putting me at risk of dying an early death. It sounds dramatic because it was dramatic. It hit me like a slap in the face! I was terrified. After seeing both of my grandparents pass away within hours of one another and facing the reality that obesity is a significant risk factor for severe COVID symptoms, I was terrified of dying.
Because of my previous experience dabbling in CSE, I knew it was a tool I could use. I was finally ready to commit full force, and the COVID quarantine was a strange blessing that finally gave me the time I needed to prioritize my health. I said, “I will eat exclusively CSE meals for the foreseeable future.” That has paid off, as I have now officially lost 100 pounds since April 2020. I started at 320, and now I weigh 219.8.
Quickly after committing full force to the CSE meals, I started to learn a couple of things about my body. For me, eating is a very deep, emotional, and complex act. I sought out help from a personal trainer and therapist to help me better understand the emotions behind my eating, and eliminate emotional eating as much as possible. Now I eat about every 2-3 hours, and I’ve the CSE meals and snacks are portioned perfectly for me.
I also learned that for my body and brain, sugar is a drug. The more I eat, the more I want. Also, I’ve had a few “binge” eating moments in the past year. I’m not perfect. Each time I would goof up and binge eat, I realized...all my problems are still here. I soon recognized the cycle of binge eating and sugar, and I love that the CSE meals do not include added sugars.
Instead, I regularly eat the Thin Mint Shake, Chunky Monkey Smoothie Bowl, Dark Chocolate Mug Cake, and Radiant Raspberry Shake. Those are my “desserts,” and I fit them in as one of the three snacks I eat every day. The longer and longer I stayed consistent (not perfect) in eating 3 CSE meals and 3 CSE snacks a day, the more and more I felt like I was going to be able to stick with it.
I checked out the Freezer meals blog post, and realized that it worked well to double and triple many recipes, and freeze them in individual portions. This allowed me to stay consistent with my meals without feeling like I was stuck in my kitchen 10 hours a day.
I would tell anyone who’s reading this to let your journey with CSE happen how it happens. What worked for me won’t necessarily work for you. I rarely do cheat meals, but maybe you can. I work out 30 minutes a day, maybe you have time for 90 minutes a day. The CSE meals are a solid starting point for anyone looking for a non-restrictive eating plan that incorporates all the food groups. From there, let your journey be unique to you, your needs, your body, and your situation. Focus on consistency and the basics over perfection and doing extra.
Every single one of us has all the power and determination we need to make our health goals happen, and that power and drive is already inside of each of us. I realized that I just needed to do some work to find that power, and be ready to use it. Now that I’ve found it, I know I’m unstoppable. You’ll find your power too, just keep letting your journey happen how it’s going to happen.