Our Fall 2023 Challenge Winner, Hailey!
CSE taught me that healthy food can taste good, give you more sustainable energy, and honestly, my depression and anxiety has gotten so much better.
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.
Each season we host a free 7-week, community-based health and fitness challenge. We work hard, get our sweat on, and work together to motivate each other to reach our goals.