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Hope Gustafson's story of a "brain-retrain."

I titled this "Hope" because though this is her actual name, this is a story will give you hope for change. If you are looking at getting healthy and fit as "not possible" or "just not for me," then this story will change your mind. This is a testimony of the transformation of her body, but more importantly her mindset. You really just have to get out of your own way and trust the process. Let time and consistency work it's magic. Now anything is possible! This new life perspective was brought on by just taking a leap of faith, trusting her coaches, and following through with a process she didn't trust 100% in the beginning. Slowly her body and mind changed. Without even realizing it, she molded a completely new person! We are SO PROUD of you Hope!!!!!!! Congrats on your new life you have created!! Hope_beforeafter
"This past month a picture popped through my TimeHop from right before I started Versus, out of sheer curiosity I did a side by side comparison of that picture and one I knew I had on my phone and there it was --- right in front of my face. Proof of the work I’ve put in."
My Versus journey landed me in Clean Kitchen about a year and a half after I joined the gym. I’d had several conversations with Steve and Jamie about food and I’d truly convinced myself that I was doing the 80% - 20% they are always talking about. I was pretty sure I was aware of what I was eating and I honestly tried to make good choices, most of the time.

Then there was the list of reasons why I didn’t think CK was the answer:

  • I have 4 kids who will not eat “that” food
  • I’m super busy chasing those 4 kids around from practice to game to rehearsal to performance and volunteering in between.
  • I’m not eating chicken and salad every day – I’m just not.
  • I really think the key is working out more and I don’t know if I want to.
  • It’s sort of expensive.
  • What new info was I going to get anyway?
  • And so on and so on and so on.
I’m sure why I finally decided to do it – probably because one of my good friends was doing it and hard things are easier with friends. When CK first started I was immediately skeptical. We did not get a grocery list, or a meal plan or even extra workout assignments. We got a habit to practice. A HABIT. Are you kidding me? Drink more water, they said. Half your body weight was the goal and that was what we were to work on. I was not pleased. It sort of makes me laugh now. I was so whiney about the entire process – about each new habit. What I didn’t realize was Coach Jamie was laying the foundation for every other step of this journey toward better health/fitness. I had to be willing to start at square one and create a solid foundation – one that could be built upon, that would become routine. I finished up CK and what everyone wanted to know was “how much did you lose?” and I was actually disappointed to have to say – because it was about 10 pounds and so many others had lost so much more. If Jamie (and Steve) said it once, they’ve said it a thousand times – stop watching the numbers on the scale. Look at your measurements, look at how you feel, look at what you can do. That’s what I was trying to do and then Thanksgiving hit – and Christmas and before I knew it I was eating pie for breakfast. One afternoon, about a week after Christmas, I went to the fridge and looked around for what was could be cooked for dinner (I had to look behind many treats that should have been long gone) and saw some chicken – so I cooked it and while it was cooking I remembered I had some carrots so I started those. While they were baking I decided I should go ahead and use the head of cauliflower I had and that I might as well make up a frittata with the eggs and spinach that needed to be used. And about an hour later I had done an entire round of food prep without having even thought about it. Talk about a light bulb coming on! Those habits Coach Jamie promised would be there – they were actually there! What this showed me was that I had just automatically purchased “real food” staples to feed my family, with no prompting and with just the energy it took to get off the couch I had prepped food for the week – no stress involved. The foundation was there, just like she promised it would be. At that moment I knew it had been worth it.

To make a long story a little longer –

  • my boys actually did eat the food, they still do
  • And as it turns out I did have time – it just took a little habit forming and planning to get rolling..
  • I didn’t eat salad or chicken every day. Coach Jamie gives some amazing recipes and food prep tips. We also are encouraged to revamp recipes – something I may not have tried on my own – without the challenge of that homework.
  • Steve & Jamie (and all the other coaches at VSC) were right, it’s your food. It’s not just about moving more – moving more isn’t enough.
  • We find ways to do what we think is important. I had to cut in a few places to pay for this. It was worth every penny.
  • It wasn’t about new info, it was about putting into action what I knew and what I was learning. Knowledge without action is absolutely useless.
This past month a picture popped through my TimeHop from right before I started Versus, out of sheer curiosity I did a side by side comparison of that picture and one I knew I had on my phone and there it was --- right in front of my face. Proof of the work I’ve put in. Proof of how much the coaches as Versus want us to succeed. I know everyone says it, but this place is more than just a gym and I’m super thankful for the coaches that help us to become better versions of ourselves – not better because we are thinner, but because we are have become faster, stronger, more confident, more active – improved versions of ourselves, because that is who we are competing with. This whole thing has been a huge learning experience – one I’m not done with. And I’m thrilled to know I’ve got this group of people on my side.
hope_prgresspics Progress pictures from August 2015 to January 2016
This is your chance to sign up for the next 12 Week Challenge! Do not wait for another couple of months to go by. The time is going to pass anyway. You might as well make the most of it!! As Hope said earlier, the 12 week challenge starts simple to lay a foundation. By the end of the 12 weeks you are prep and ready to handle the rest of your life!