June 06, 2023

Our Spring 2023 Challenge Winner, Chris!

CONGRATS, CHRIS! 

I have learned firsthand how stress, emotional trauma, and lack of sleep affect the body in dramatic ways, and negatively impact one's eating and exercise behaviors. I am SO thankful that my wife and I committed to this Clean Simple Eats Challenge to reverse our habits and to improve our well being with healthier mindfulness.

This past year has been extremely trying, and raising a toddler was the least of it. After a long period of trying to have another child, we experienced the emotional roller coaster of delightedly getting pregnant again, only to have multiple miscarriages. I had heard other's stories, but never imagined the discouragement it creates until going through it. So the comfort eating began.

Right in the midst of these personal losses, we lost multiple family and friends to sudden illnesses in close succession. And the unhealthy eating continued.

In the past, with moderately good exercise routines, I have been able to burn off periods of fattening feasting, but not so this season. I fell off the boat with exercising too. In early fall, I was asked to direct a volunteer program for high school students at 6 AM every morning. This was a killer for my sleep as I often have evening requests for my time as well. To make matters worse, I got a new and highly demanding position at my company, which had me working the jobs of three people and very long hours. In order to cope, the eating continued and my activity level decreased. A historically harsh Colorado winter and months of viruses finished me off. I was a disaster–exhausted, packing on fat, unmotivated, clunky-feeling and discouraged.

Then my wife proposed a Clean Simple Eats Challenge. I was emotionally reluctant, but I knew I had to make changes quickly. I committed to her and to myself, and while I struggle to keep up with long programs, I knew I could thrive during short measurable efforts. I am thrilled that we did this as I have regained so much energy, confidence, and self-mastery!

In using the CSE recipes, I was quickly surprised to find myself eating so much less, but not feeling hungry. And the meals were absolutely delicious. I started to gain confidence that I was getting enough nutrition while controlling portion sizes. I started to do significant cardio again, and after a few weeks the clunkiness diminished and I felt more spry. I noticed improvements in my ability to focus and work. My sleep has also become more productive.

I have never been so diligent and intentional with my eating, and I have enjoyed the changes my body is experiencing (24 lbs down feels like such a huge burden lifted). Sweet and fatty foods are less appealing now, and I know how to make better choices. I still have room to improve, but I truly feel empowered to keep going. Thank you Clean Simple Eats for making this journey accessible, achievable, and delicious!!
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