You can live "not a sick life."
Well, this has certainly been an adventure. I can safely say that the last 12 weeks have been some of the most uncomfortable, BUT most fulfilling and productive days of my life.
When I started Clean Kitchen, I was FAT and SICK.
I had known for a long time that I needed to make changes, but could not do it consistently. I tried starting little weight loss clubs among friends, but they wouldn't last. I had tried Weight Watchers and other "diets", but the weight and habits would just come back. I think for a long time I had lived under guilt and condemnation of my health and appearance. There was a lot of critical and negative thinking. That mindset only "motivated" me for a little while, but it doesn't stick. True change comes when there is a conviction of the mind and heart. For me, that conviction came from God. He helped produce the right kind of positive motivation and continues to do that as I commit my life to Him on a daily basis.
How I got started with Versus and CK
I have been very familiar with Versus for several years. I have watched membership and locations change and grow, and actually would tell friends and customers about it. But, I NEVER thought that it was for me. I was too far gone to participate in workouts and lifestyle changes like that; or so I thought. I contacted Steve and laid everything out on the table- all my reasons that I couldn't do all the things they were doing there. And he shot back with every reason why I could.
I can say after several months of being a member of Versus, everything that he told me that day is true. My goal was not to become the next American Ninja Warrior or run a Spartan race. I just wanted to get healthy and treat my body better. And there is a place for me and anyone else like that at Versus. You are not competing and comparing with others; you are competing against yourself (hence the name Versus).
I knew that I had made a good decision to start working out, but I needed something to help with eating and nutrition. That's where the Clean Kitchen comes in. I read about it, asked a bunch of questions, and then talked to my wife. At first, the start up cost seemed a lot for our budget, but I knew in my heart that it would be well worth it. And let me say, it has been!
In the Clean Kitchen Challenge there is a ton of information presented over the 12 weeks. It is not given all at once, but it builds over time. And I liked that. You could absorb it along the way. I was impressed with how serious the coaches, and especially Jamie, were about nutrition and all the information being shared. It was very refreshing to find a community of people that were ahead of me in that phase of life; ones that I could "chase" in the health race. All of it worked together really well. The private Facebook page was something I checked all throughout the day, the unlimited workouts for Versus members came in handy, definitely the daily food log and habit log kept me very accountable and track, and don't forget the prizes that were out there as bait. They all helped make the choices easier and more consistent.
Part of being overweight and out of shape was the physical pain and limitations that I endured. When I started working out, I had several things going. But, I can say without a doubt that I feel a ton better after making these changes. After basically eliminating sugar and processed foods from my diet, my chronic joint pain that I had throughout my body is gone! I was hoping that would happen, but did not know if it would or not. That was a condition I had battled for years! And, according to one of my sons, I actually look taller! Something else I have always wanted!
Even thought I did not place in the competition (this time!), I am definitely a winner in the Reaves household. I lost 22 lbs and almost 20 total inches! My clothes are hanging off of me and even my watch and shoes are a lot looser. So, it has definitely been worth the work and effort. Overall, it has been a great experience. Most importantly, I feel like I am taking better care of the body that has been given to me. I owe it to the good Lord, who gave it to me!
My thought would be that over the last several years I really had been looking for people to join up with and get things on the right track with me. Like I said earlier, I had tried several different avenues. Little did I know, the place I needed to be was right under my nose the whole time!
(and it certainly is not over; it is really just beginning!)
Jason Reaves, Summer 2016 CK 12 Week Challenge