I was so nervous to start this challenge. I was conflicted because my history with food and body image is a complicated one and I didn't want to make anything worse, but I also was going through some things and I really, really wanted to feel better mentally and physically. Obviously, I took the plunge and joined the challenge and I now I am so glad that I did.
I bought the recipe book, planned and made the healthy meals (not always on the right days because...life), did the workouts (struggling through many of them) and I followed along and received a lot of behind-the-scenes support via the Clean Simple Eats online community. It was my first time ever actually sticking to something like this all the way to the end.
Don't get me wrong, I did a lot of "failing" along the way too. I had days where I really struggled and, in the past, those days would have made me spiral into a mess of negative thinking, self-loathing and I would have given up completely. This time was different. I was determined to end this challenge in a healthier place than I started it.
Prior to the challenge, I had never counted macros or even knew anything about it. Over the last 7 weeks, I have learned so much about food and properly fueling my body. I ended up really loving the meals and the way they made me feel. I even enjoyed cooking them--which is saying something as I have never loved cooking.There's something to be said about planning and creating a meal knowing how it's actually going to help your body and mind function better.
I think what made the biggest difference and helped me the most with this challenge is initially coming at it with a mindset of making healthy life changes. It's not a quick fix or an "I just want to do this until I lose __ pounds" kind of thing.
I love that by following it, I was taught skills that I can take with me and apply in my everyday life. It helped me learn a way of eating (and moving) that is sustainable, something I can keep doing even after the 7 weeks. It's just what I needed right now to jumpstart myself into a healthier way of living. I feel so lucky that I found it when I did and I am so glad that I actually gave it a shot. Thank you Erika and JJ!