Our grand prize for our Winter 2019 challenge: a Disneyland getaway trip for two! It includes a 4-day, 3-night stay in Southern California, two adult 3-day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Tickets, and $500 cash for traveling expenses. And we are SO excited to give these prizes away to our two first place (male and female) winners...
CONGRATULATIONS to Heidi! She is our Winter #CSEchallenge winner and we couldn’t be more proud of her! Aren’t her photos amazing?! What’s even more amazing is her story. She is a warrior! My favorite part about her journey is where she is at now and that she has found balance and success mentally and physically WITHOUT tracking a single macro or calorie! She achieved results while feeding her family the SAME food that she was eating. Can we say SUSTAINABILITY?! 🏻 This is what it’s all about! Read below for Heidi’s story:
I've always been an active person, but I have had an interesting/complicated journey the past 10 years with food. I started counting my macros in 2009 when I did a weight loss contest with some friends. This was the first time I'd ever tracked my food and I became hooked because my results were fantastic. My lifestyle from that point on always had an underlying guise of being healthy, but if I'm being totally honest it was mostly about being thin... I'd track everything I ate in an app, I'd sometimes make myself separate foods from my family for dinner so I could stay within my macros. I was so strict that I'd eventually crack, bounce up 5-10 pounds and then go crazy strict for another few months to get my weight back down where I wanted. In late 2014 my health took a turn as I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer and spent most of 2015 doing treatments. That year as I went through surgery, chemo and radiation, I actually had the healthiest relationship with food and exercise that I've ever had. I didn't count calories or macros but was very mindful that I was eating to fuel my body with the most nutritious foods available. I was exercising regularly with the intent to strengthen my muscles and maintain bone mass; not worrying about fat loss. I truly feel that eating right and exercising throughout all my treatments helped me get though that year with relative ease. Fast forward a few years and I got back into the bad habit of tracking everything that went into my mouth and every bit of exercise I did - will I never learn that this is my downfall!?! I again had a crash, but this time instead of yo-yo-ing 5-10 pounds like I did in the past, I consciously decided I wanted to just "enjoy" my life - I honestly had the crazy thought, "I ate healthy and still got cancer, why am I even trying?!?" I decided to just spend the rest of my life eating, drinking and being merry. A couple of years and 35 pounds later, I was not merry and was not enjoying life. I was sluggish, irritable, and my depression and anxiety started to rear their ugly heads again. My best friend had recommended Clean Simple Eats to me many times, but it wasn't until I watched JJ's Fit to Fat to Fit video that something clicked. I knew I needed to join this community because I do well with accountability to others. In addition, my entire family is eating the same meals and they all love it! However, I fell in love with CSE not only for the accountability and great recipes, but also because I am NOT obsessing over my food journal anymore. That is honestly my favorite part of the program and I'm hoping it helps me from getting overwhelmed and throwing in the towel again. Thank you so much for helping get back to having a healthy relationship with nutrition!!!
We were completely blown away by Joseph’s transformation! What struck home to us about his story is the fact that it’s so relatable for so many. We’ve all heard it before... “you can’t outwork a poor diet!” Joseph learned this lesson first hand. He didn’t change what he was doing in the gym. He simply followed the meal plan, fed his body with balanced, nutrient dense foods and watched the magic happen! We are so proud of you, Joseph. Congrats! Read his story below!
I have always been someone who loves to exercise. I have gone back and forth between exercising regularly to slacking off and taking breaks. When I started this challenge, I was excited to have motivation to start exercising again. When this started, JJ Peterson posted a picture on his Instagram story that really struck home with me, he posted a picture of his before and after picture and the title said "what you eat will make or break you." I was determined to see if this was really the case. Let me tell you he is 100 percent correct! Through this journey I didn't change any workout I have done in my life previously and I just watched what I ate. I made some meals from the winter cookbook and made sure I cut back on my portions quite a bit. The first 3 or 4 days were the hardest as my body recognized I wasn't eating as much as I use to. The body adapts so fast and as time went on I noticed I could go throughout my day with eating less and I would continually start to make my portions smaller. The weight literally was falling off so fast! It made me so excited to see the results it kept me motivated to keep going! I love knowing that in the winter cookbook the meals I was eating were healthy! But even eating large portions of healthy food can make you gain weight over time so I made sure to watch my portion control. This journey has taught me so much and I will be forever grateful for the picture that was posted by JJ because truly what you eat will make or break you!