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A letter for the New Year

A letter...journal...ramble by Jamie Page. My thoughts and hopes for where we started and where we are going with CK. Clean Kitchen is four years old. As I reflect on how much CK has grown since Fall 2014, I realize we have been building momentum for a long, long time. It’s been in small increments -- little steps that felt natural to do at a particular time it needed to happen. Nothing has ever felt rushed. That is not to say we didn’t feel a sense of urgency to get things moving. It needed to feel right and not forced. There is a hunger we have to keep creating and giving, because the needs are always there. It’s hard to explain the drive we feel. It is like an insatiable hunger to tell the truth and help people come to a realization that this is not suppose to be so difficult! I literally have the urge to shake people sometimes! To tell people you can be different, but you do not have to be perfect! You can change YOU. And I don’t mean the cheesy line “new year, new you,” nor do I mean the old you is a bad person, but you can take care of yourself. We are not here to change your morals, but we do mean to change the way you respect yourself. The Clean Kitchen program is more about becoming a new person that thinks and acts differently—and through this process you improve your health. People ask me all the time, how do I stay motivated to workout and eat right? Truth is, I don’t have to stay “motivated” because it is who I am. I am not saying I eat perfectly or love to workout every single day, but these habits have become me and make my health what it is. We created Clean Kitchen to teach people to become the process. To learn to love the process. To create a new identity in these new habits they practice every single day. To live in it forever. But selling this philosophy is not very easy. Try advertising “you may lose 10-15 pounds in 12 weeks” and not many people are going to be knocking down our doors to get in. People want double that no matter how unrealistic it is. Once you get it—you “get it.” It’s that “ah-ha” moment when you realize what I am talking about when I say become the process. Our clients’ successes are not measured by a mere 12 weeks. Their success is measured in the YEARS that follow. Three months turns into 6 months, then 1 year later and they don’t even recognize their pictures on their social media time hop. Where would these people be if we hadn’t decided to share what we know to be true? What would their life look like 5-10 years from now if we had decided not to create Clean Kitchen? We believe we have a responsibility to these people to lay it out honestly. In a world full of fake, unrealistic images of health, we want to be the voice for the normal people. We see a need, we fill it. People don’t cook enough. Let’s make it easy for them and show them. People don’t eat real food. Let’s create easy, real-food recipes that are not intimidating. People don’t have time. Let’s help them manage their time. People have too much to do. Let’s help them prioritize and organize. People fall off the wagon. Let’s keep them accountable. People think they have to suffer. Let’s retrain their brain and rewrite the narrative about what being healthy truly is. Because that is not what other “programs” are selling. I don’t know what is in store for CK and the years to come. Although I am confident we can and have hopes and dreams that we will, I don’t know if we will ever grow far outside our bubble. But I do feel we are on the path we were meant to follow! I have always believed this is the path God created for me. In hindsight, I began on this path in 2006. It was the year I graduated college and began working in Atlanta. Every year since I can see where He was guiding me and training me for the skills I needed for Clean Kitchen. Even when I wanted bigger things earlier in this process, I wasn’t ready to take them on. I needed experiences that would mold my perspective and knowledge to what it continually grows into today. What is meant to be will happen only by His timing and I should hold steady with the plan already set for me. Believing in His timing is the only thing that keeps me from crawling out of my skin. The stress, the pressure to build CK, to make it bigger and better by reaching people everywhere -- I remind myself doesn’t have to consume me because I know I’m not going at this alone. I have an amazing team of coaches and creatives that have made CK what it is today. I don’t claim to be a super religious person, but you do not have to be “religious” to believe He has got your back. I can’t tell you how many times I have had conversations with Him to help calm my mind and anxiety about where Clean Kitchen is going. We are helping the people we were meant to help. If it is our destiny to grow larger, I pray the decisions we make now keep us on the path He started us on. I never want to lose that focus. When people tell me CK changed their life, it validates and reestablishes my focus. Because every. single. time. I get anxious or overwhelmed with the weight of this responsibility, someone reaches out and tells me their story of how we helped them. To those who have personally shared their stories with me, you have no idea how much encouragement that gives me. It is truly a gift. Help one more person. Plant a seed. Create a domino effect. That is our mission. Every event, every post, every article, every recipe, and every one-on-one conversation is meant to plant a seed in one person God has decided we should cross paths. It’s not by chance, but by a larger plan not designed by me. I have self-doubt everyday. Did I say the right thing? Do I know enough? Do I have what it takes to lead this where it needs to go? Should I keep going? Is it worth the stress? The answer is, help one more person. Plant a seed. Create a domino effect. And so we keep going. Clean Kitchen was made for a bigger purpose. I can feel it. Even if that “bigger purpose” is meant to be a stepping stone for something else. What we do matters. We are ready to take on another year. And I am ready to keep on the path He has set ahead of me, though I have no idea what is in store. If it feels right, I’ll keep going! Bring on 2019!