November 07, 2023

Our Fall 2023 Challenge Winner, Steph!


Hi, I’m Steph and here is my story. I am a pretty active person. I love to work out, run, hike, bike, yoga–the list can go on. I love moving my body. I have been in relatively healthy shape up until I had my fourth baby eight years ago. For whatever reason, I couldn’t lose the body weight that I gained during the pregnancy. My life has been stressful too. My husband was in a severe biking accident, and there have been various other stresses of being the caregiver for his slow recovery. 

I started to emotionally eat. I slowly started gaining weight and to be honest, I didn’t really like how I looked. It was really hard for me to look at myself in the mirror with all the body weight that I have gained over the last few years. I would avoid looking at myself in any mirror, at home or at the gym. It was really hard to accept my weight gain. 

About seven weeks ago, I was scrolling Instagram and I saw the Clean Simple Eat Challenge was coming up and I decided that I was going to try this challenge. I hoped that the challenge would kickstart me into forming better eating and exercise habits. So I took my day one picture and set the goal to practice yoga everyday, go for a walk daily and eat foods that bless my body. I decided to substitute my cravings for sugar with CSE shakes or CSE treats. My last goal was to force myself to look at myself in the mirror everyday and say one positive thing about myself. The last goal was the hardest goal. 

Well, one week in and I did all of my goals everyday and I didn’t lose any weight or notice any changes. Week two, the same thing.

Week three, and I decided that I didn’t want to focus on losing weight anymore. I wanted to focus on loving myself. I wanted to be able to love the person I saw in the mirror at whatever size I was. Thick or thin, I was enough. I decided to toss the scale too. No more weekly weighing. I just wanted to focus on self-love for this challenge. 

The next few weeks, I really enjoyed my morning yoga practice followed by a walk. I noticed I stopped eating sugary treats and I really enjoyed the CSE shakes. Looking in the mirror and finding things that I loved about my body became easier and I started to write more in-depth entries in a notebook about things I liked about myself. I noticed that I would not have any issue looking at myself in the mirror at gym class or home. 

When the challenge was over, I didn’t think there was going to be a change in weight or size, but I was shocked when I opened my day one pictures and saw the difference just in seven weeks. I believe that the key to losing weight wasn’t related to extreme exercise or extreme dieting; I just needed to let go of the trauma and love myself first. I learned that the only person who can pull me down is myself. And with the new habits I created with the challenge, I’m committed that I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore. I have more energy and my body feels so much stronger. Thank you for this opportunity to reset my mindset and daily habits–it’s been life-changing.

Link copied to clipboard!




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.

Learn More