By Lindsay Wright
I have never been healthy.
In my 20s, the scale was in my favor, despite my diet of fast food, frozen food, cereal, and sugar. I only ate once or twice a day, only drank diet coke or sugar filled lattes, and waiting tables was my only exercise. When I stopped waiting tables, my diet remained the same and I became quite sedentary, so as I got older, naturally the numbers on the scale crept up. After my daughter was born, I said I’d start cooking meals when she was old enough to eat what we eat. That time came, and I was managing to feed my child a healthy, well-balanced diet of plants, protein, carbs, a multivitamin, and water; but I was still eating (or not eating) like I always had. I did manage to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight with this method, but that was still borderline overweight.
I didn’t need to be told what I should/shouldn’t be eating. I knew six slices of Texas cheese toast for “dinner” and then cupcakes (yes, plural) before bed, was not appropriate. I was already feeding my daughter a healthy diet, I just had to do the same for myself. I needed to let go of my excuses about how busy I was, and I needed support fitting meal prepping and eating into my schedule. That’s exactly what the Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge did.
The first week of Clean Kitchen was probably the most enlightening for me, as they asked we not change anything yet, but we had to log our food for the week. When I looked at my log at the end of the week, I hadn’t eaten a plant that wasn’t on a fast food sandwich, and only drank 32oz of plain water total, the entire 7 days. Not to mention the embarrassment of my coach seeing my log consisting of only vending machine finds, corn bread, pizza, and cereal.
At first I questioned how I was going to survive the Clean Kitchen 12 Weeks. My excuse was always that I didn’t have time, and this program wasn’t going to give me more time in my day. But CK started off slow, so the changes were manageable. They gave me the tools to rearrange my time and forced me to be honest with myself about my time limitations.
I still “don’t have time” during the week, but my weekends look much different now than they did before CK to compensate for that. I do my large grocery shopping trip and meal prep on either Saturday or Sunday, because no matter how great my intensions are, I’m not going to put a pan of veggies in the oven to roast after work. Meal prep for me also has to include washing and cutting veggies or fruit, because again, I’m not going to eat a bell pepper whole, and if I have to take the time to cut and de-seed it before I eat it, I’m just going to avoid it. I still work full time, leave the house at 7:00am, get home at 6:00pm, and have my daughter in bed by 8:00…but now, I just have to heat up whatever we’re having for dinner that night, and dinner is served in less than 5 minutes. That’s even less time then I used to spend in the drive thru on the way home.
I didn’t expect to lose much weight during CK. I had been restricting calories for years and the scale never moved. But in 12 weeks I lost 22lbs, dropped 4 dress sizes, and am getting healthier everyday…just by eating the right foods every 4 hours, drinking water, and being active.
After CK ended, I saw a quote and it has stuck with me,
“Be stronger than your excuses.”
That one phrase sums up my Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge experience. Are you going to be stronger than your excuse?