By Felicia Johnson
Sluggish. Moody. Sleepless. Bloated. Quickly expanding.
These are some of the words I would use to describe me before the Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge
. Yet, the most accurate word that truly pinpoints my life at that point is “frustrated."
I was frustrated with myself for knowing alot of what to do but still unable to get back on track.
I was frustrated by the cycle of feeling too sluggish to prep or cook, grabbing a bite to eat from wherever, and then crashing and burning, just to continue the same cycle the next day.
I was frustrated with the scale. It just kept moving upward. It was so unbelievable that I seriously contemplated purchasing a new one...just in case mine was off a little or a lot.
Mostly, I was frustrated with me because the person I saw in the mirror each day was inconsistent with the knowledge I had or the lifestyle I completely believed in. The incongruency bothered, even embarrassed me. Yet, with all of my knowledge and desires, I could not seem to get back on track. My life was out of control, and so was my weight.
I needed something. I did not need a pipe dream, gimmick, or fancy slogan that was thought up to make money. I did not need a get-skinny-quick scheme. I did not need a pill or a potion that had been cooked up in a lab, something I would always have to keep buying to feel "extra normal.”
None of those things was to be part of my story. I needed something real, something I could sustain, and something that aligned with my core beliefs about health, although I was anything but a picture of health at that moment.
After researching Clean Kitchen
, I felt that it aligned with what I believed in, and the pictures of past participants boasted great weight loss. With nothing to lose but a few rolls, I was all in. I was most optimistic about the weight loss at first, but after internalizing CK's core concepts, it became clear to me that this would be more than a weight loss venture. Clean Kitchen was not a program. It was a lifestyle of change and maintenance, restoring me back to a place where I honored the fact that I was fearfully and wonderfully made.
While I must admit, I went into Clean Kitchen for one reason, to lose weight, I gained so much more.
I had foolishly wrecked my body prior to CK, and this vessel needed to heal..the right way. What I gained in the first few months confirmed that CK was the right choice for me and that I was changing from the inside out. My eyes were brighter. My skin was more youthful. I honestly felt better than I had felt in YEARS! I was sleeping through the night, and my sugar cravings were gone.
I was no longer just surviving; I was thriving.
Eventually, I recognized some external mile markers that were the result of all the changes that had been taking place under the surface, changes that were hidden from me at first: feeling good enough to get back into the gym, the first day I ran and realized there was no longer a belly jiggle, wearing a dress that I had not been able to wear comfortably in two years, measuring a 14-inch loss, and having my husband say, "When I wrap my arms around your waist, the difference is noticeable." Broccoli points for him!
Four aspects that set Clean Kitchen apart from every other program I either tried or looked into; and cause me to recommend it above all else.
1: CK's focus was not on calorie restriction or quantity of food but more on quality. Just eat real food. The real food that I am now consistently eating has given me real life, a life I feel good enough to live now.
2: There's no generic meal plan I was held to. So, I never got bored of eating the same old thing. We were taught not just the "what" of eating but the "why," and once I understood the why, it was easy for me to comply.
3: The CK program is well-organized and put together in a way that is sensible and avoids overload. You get the information in a layered manner so that it really solidifies the foundation and then builds strategically from there.
4: The most distinguishable aspect of Clean Kitchen is the coaching. Hands down! It makes all the difference. The coaches truly understand nutrition and how all the aspects of nutrition work together to give you the body that is a picture of health, a body that shows you are grateful for life and that you get to live your life in that body. These coaches were there for so much more than just accountability. They constantly encouraged me, helped me when it seemed as if the scale had gotten stuck, and helped me tweak various aspects to get even greater results. Important to me was the fact that they each lived what they were teaching. I could see it in their eyes, hear it in their inflection, and sense it in their passion that they wanted me to be successful. I felt that I was more than a dollar sign. I was their mission, and it showed in every interaction, every e-mail, and every high-five! They set me up to be successful beyond a program, and although Clean Kitchen, the program, has ended for me, Clean Kitchen, the lifestyle is still in effect.
Thanks, Clean Kitchen and our coaches. I honestly believe that when I chose those 12 weeks, I chose life, and my life is filled with gratitude for what you did for me.