Our Fall 2021 Challenge Winner, Kathy!

CONGRATS, KATHY!

For most of my life, it never seemed to matter what I ate. At least I felt like I could eat whatever I wanted with very little outward consequences. I could down the sweets and treats and really whatever junk food I wanted. I would say my relationship with food was addictive though. I got to a point that I couldn’t control my eating. I would tell myself, “I’m not going to eat that” or “I don’t need that” and the next thing I knew, the plate of cookies, or whatever, was gone. I was not in control of what I put into my body. 

After my second kid, my body started to react differently to this addictive behavior and I had a “baby bump” before I was even pregnant with my third child. Then I got pregnant and I was grateful to at least have an excuse for the excess belly weight. After the birth of my daughter, I was the heaviest I had ever been and the weight didn’t seem to be going anywhere. To make matters worse, I had some blood work done and learned that I have high cholesterol. I’m 32 and have high cholesterol! My doctor even said that that was young. I began to worry about my health beyond my weight and how I look. My family history began to scare me. My dad had a heart attack at 44 and my grandmother died of heart issues at 46. I knew that if I didn’t make a change, I would be headed down the same path and who knows what the outcome would be. I want to be around for my children and my children’s children! Nothing means more to me! 

So, I decided I was going to start eating healthy… it wasn’t that easy. I had no idea what to eat! I knew greens were good and treats were bad. Limit carbs? No fat? I had heard so many contradicting dieting tips that I found myself even more confused. So what happened? I would try and meal plan, but it was something I absolutely dreaded so much that it often wouldn’t happen, and I’d either make the same old stuff or go out to eat. I felt out of control and totally lost. 

Then my sister-in-law introduced me to Clean Simple Eats - just in time for the Fall Challenge, so I decided to give it a try. Throughout the challenge, I cooked more than I ever have, but I have been amazed by how easy everything was for me. And the most incredible part, I always knew what I was going to eat, and I suddenly didn’t hate meal planning! This was HUGE for me! I loved the practicality of the CSE+ App. Meal planning and grocery shopping were made so easy! I couldn’t believe it! Then tracking my macros! I had heard that tracking macros was best, but I never tried it because it seemed like such a pain that I knew it wouldn’t be sustainable, so why try? Using the CSE+ App completely changed my perspective of that. Using the app made it easy! 

Doing this challenge has been so good for me, and I know I can eat healthy. I can portion control. I can track macros. I wasn’t perfect during this challenge, but I worked really hard and was able to lose 15 pounds! I’m so proud of myself and I feel amazing! I’m excited that I can now sustain a healthy lifestyle for myself, and for my family, when that seemed impossible before. I feel like this is something I can do forever. I was starting to think that I was in an addictive cycle that I couldn’t break, but through meal planning, meal prepping, and using the CSE recipes, I feel like I’m in control of my body. I’ve never felt that before! I’m so grateful I found CSE.

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