It’s about practice, not perfection.

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By Dana Q. Palmer

For me, the Clean Kitchen Challenge was a desperate attempt to find something that was missing in my life. You see, although I am a successful and happy adult, my day-to-day life was chaotic. I would awake before 5 am to commute 1.5 hours to work. I never ate breakfast, worked through lunch, and would commute home to gorge myself until I crashed into bed every night. I was tired all the time; I had been diagnosed with IBS (a default diagnosis after the doctor could find no medical reason for my painful symptoms); my weight was ballooning; I had zero stamina; and I was losing my happiness.

I felt I had control over nothing.

I decided that if I could only lose some weight I would be happier. Little did I know, joining the Challenge would do so much more for me. What you taught me has changed me fundamentally. I now plan and prepare my meals days in advance. In learning this new “habit,” I have learned to better plan my budget to accommodate my grocery shopping.  I also now plan and prepare my wardrobe every day as well giving me precious extra time in my busy day. And, as I continue my journey, I will work to plan my free time on the weekends better to get in my “habits.”

The genius of the Challenge is in the simplicity. When you reassured us that “it doesn’t have to make sense” you took so much of the stress of learning this new lifestyle off my shoulders making it easy to get in those “habits.” Coach Anna’s reassuring words, “it’s about practice, not perfection” let me know that I can do this…even with all my flaws.

I come from a great family who no doubt love me. Like many middle class families, we were raised on processed food because it’s inexpensive. I knew absolutely nothing about nutrition. The lessons the Clean Kitchen Challenge provides were well written and easy to understand. Although I am no nutritionist, I do feel like I am now well equipped to make choices that will have a positive impact on my health. I am happy to report that I haven’t had one bout of IBS since the second week of the CK Challenge.  

Probably the toughest part of the Challenge for me was identifying the people in my life that are contributing to my poor choices. For me, it was my family. If I heard one more time, “how long are you going to be on this diet” I thought I would scream! Checking in on my CK App every day, helped me stay consistent, and I’m happy to say it’s no longer a conversation every time I see my parents. It just feels normal for me to pack food when I visit them, and they seem comfortable with my new “habits” as well. Hopefully, these new habits will run off on them as well!

Although I am happy with the progress I made in the past twelve weeks, I still have a ways to go before my weight lose goal is reached, but I no longer live with the fear of failure because for the first time I actually have the tools necessary to make a difference in my own life….and for that I say THANK YOU!

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