Before starting Clean Kitchen, I had tried everything under the sun and had some success, but the weight always came back. Throughout high school and college, I was eating out constantly and doing whatever I wanted without thinking about how it was affecting my body.
There has never been a time when I did not struggle with my weight.
Fast forward 10 years, 2 kids and a lot of ups and downs that included emotional eating along the way, and I was not happy. I “knew” what I should be doing but I just figured I would never be a fit person. It wasn’t in my genes. But I wanted to change that and I did not want my kids to have that same mindset or struggle the way I did as a kid.
In September 2018, I messaged Coach Steve about working out at Versus and began going to classes about three times a week. I told him I just wanted to get into the habit of making myself go without changing my diet yet. (This is funny to me now because of what I know; you can’t out work a bad diet!)
When the promos for Clean Kitchen Challenge rolled out, I asked Coach Michael if I should do it now or wait until I was done teaching in the summer.
My journey towards being healthy and having a healthy relationship with food has been years in the making. As a child, I struggled with being overweight until I hit my awkward pre-teen growth spurt.
Flash forward to college years, I competed in Miss Mississippi and dropped to the low weight of 100lbs to get ready for swimsuit competition. I severely limited my caloric intake and worked out like a madwoman. Sadly, this is actually what it took to win the swimsuit competition.
My experience then definitely clouded my judgment of what eating healthy looked like. Less calories= less weight in my view.
It’s really no secret that I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life.Two years ago I was at my heaviest, and I was miserable to say the least.
I read about Clean Kitchen and all the results past clients had, but I had an abundance of excuses as to why I wasn’t going to try the program, one of the main reasons being the cost.
I took matters into my own hands and bought the CK cookbook as I, once again, ventured into a healthier version of myself.I made great progress on my own for a while, but I eventually fell back into bad habits.
I participated in the Summer 2018 Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge, and it taught me, for the first time in my life, how to eat to live instead of living to eat.Even though it’s all very self-driven, having your own personal coach to help guide you and hold you accountable and to answer any questions you have makes all the difference.
I have nothing but great things to say about the program and what it taught me, and the fact that I’ve been able to sustain it since the challenge ended is everything.
The absolute game changer was when I decided to try a Versus class.About 3 weeks before my CK challenge ended, I joined Anna’s outdoor class at Oak Grove.I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to do the workouts because of some old injuries, but Anna put my mind at ease, and there’s been no looking back.
Thanks to Anna’s Versus Outdoor class, I am stronger than I’ve ever been, and I’m continuing to see amazing changes in myself.Like Anna keeps telling me, “This is just the beginning.”I couldn’t be more grateful for being a part of the Versus family; their encouragement and support is like no other!
With 45 pounds gone, 17 inches lost , 2 dress sizes down, I’m a believer in this process! I truly believe this program is one of the best investments in yourself you can make. Want to learn more about the CK Challenge? Check out the FAQ page here.
I have worked out and taken Advocare supplements for years. Before my Clean Kitchen Challenge, I also thought I was doing all the “right things” with my nutrition. Even though I had great results I wasn’t where I thought I should be. I figured “this is what I’m supposed to look like” and felt like maintaining it was all I had left.
I heard about the Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge but thought it wasn’t for me. In my mind I already worked out, took supplements, and ate good enough. My husband encouraged me to sign up for the summer session thinking maybe I’d learn something. I’m so glad he did because I had a lot to learn! I was amazed at how easy it was to implement good eating habits. On a recent vacation I ate poorly the first couple days. I woke up the next morning and decided it was a new day and I needed to start fresh. I started eating the Clean Kitchen way and immediately felt the difference. You see it’s not just how you look but how you feel!
My body composition has changed so much in just 12 weeks, even though I only lost 5 pounds! More proof the number on the scale is just a number. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next 3, 6, and even 12 months.
Exercise and supplements have always been a part of my life, but good nutrition was the final piece. You can kill your self in the gym every day, but if you go home and eat junk you can ruin everything you worked your tail off for! And I learned not-eating is just as bad.
No matter what your goals are – fat loss, muscle gain, general health—Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge is an amazing tool that can set you on the path for life.
“I just thought I’d share in my happiness because you are a huge part of helping it happen. Looking at everyone’s progress pictures from the recent challenge made me want to compare my then and now and see how much I have changed. I have continued to take pictures, because the scale is not my friend, ha, but I usually just compare to the most recent photo. I decided to go back to my CK challenge photo this time and I was shocked! Thank you for helping change my life and so many others! I’m a year and a half out from my challenge and continuing to see results.”
I signed up for the Winter 2017 Clean Kitchen challenge after my aunt invited me to a Clean Kitchen cooking demonstration. Honestly, I was not convinced that I could “do” Clean Kitchen with all the “it must taste good,” healthy alternatives and eat your “plants” 4-8 times per day talk from two extremely fit, beautiful women in pristine white shirts.
However, I had gotten to a point in my life where I felt like I had nothing to lose. I hated looking at myself, especially in pictures. I hated how hard it was for me to get around. I could barely walk up the small flight of stairs at work without getting winded. I constantly battled guilt for feeling sorry for myself and believing I should just be grateful. I have so many things to be grateful for – a loving husband, two beautiful girls, a supportive family, good friends and co-workers, a great job, health, home, etc. But, I wasn’t happy, and I found myself trying to minimize who I was in every way possible, and I hated that most of all.
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,
“You could win $1000…” I told myself as I coughed up the $250 to sign up for the Clean Kitchen Challenge. Not that I actually expected to win! It seemed like such a big investment at the time, but I can honestly say that what I gained from the program was priceless. I had recently started working out at Versus Strength & Conditioning when registration opened for the 2018 Winter Challenge. I had just given birth to my second child and was dealing with some mild postpartum depression. I was exhausted, fat, and feeling hopeless. I needed something, and that something turned out to be Versus and Clean Kitchen.
One of the first assignments in the CK program was to identify my “WHY”. Well, I wanted to lose weight and feel better about myself. But I’ve always wanted that. That had never been strong enough motivation for me to make a long term change. I needed to dig deeper. Yes, I wanted to be successful for myself, but what I realized was that ultimately I wanted it for my family. I wanted to have the energy to enjoy my kids; I wanted to live a long, healthy life so I could watch them grow up; and I wanted to be able to set an example for them so that they could lead healthy lives. That is what makes CK unlike any “diet” program out there. It’s not a meal plan or some quick weight loss gimmick. They make you dig deeper because they know that’s where the real change has to happen (not just in your waistline).
With the support of my coaches and the CK community, I did win the challenge. But more importantly, I won a lot of mental battles throughout those 12 weeks – against negative self-talk, emotional food cravings, and all my old excuses. The winter challenge may be over, but thanks to Clean Kitchen I am prepared to win those battles every day. I am in the best shape of my life, physically and mentally, and it’s only going to keep getting better!
*Just a side note for anyone thinking, “There’s no way I can do this program because I’m a picky eater.” Yes, you can! Before CK, I had the palate of a toddler. My diet was full of processed/fast food. I NEVER ate vegetables. I kid you not, the first thing I did after signing up for the challenge was Google tips for making vegetables taste better. I read articles like, “How to trick your toddler into eating veggies.” It was sad. Fast forward to today, I’m eating SIX servings of vegetables a day and I only make bad faces sometimes.
This year, I turned 35 years old. I was at the lowest point I had been in my life in terms of my health. I knew something had to change, but I didn’t know what to do. In the depths of despair, I went to see a doctor for weight loss. Eat this, don’t eat that, take this pill, and come back in a month. I KNEW there had to be a better way.
I have struggled with weight most of my adult life. I have tried a little bit of everything in the past – calorie counting, counting points, fad “diets.” I would have some success with these methods, but it was nothing that I could stick with long term.
I have friends at work that have done the Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge and live the CK way of life. They encouraged me to sign up for Clean Kitchen and just do it. Without giving myself time to think too much about it or talk myself out of it, I enrolled for the Winter 2018 challenge.
The past 12 weeks have gone by so fast for me. This program is designed for anyone to be successful. I’m not sure how they’ve done it, but the daily lessons are timed perfectly. You get what you need when you need it. I also had a great coach who guided me, coached me, encouraged me, and helped me see the positive – even when I didn’t want to.
As a result of my CK experience, I lost a total of 18 pounds and 23.75 inches. It has been amazing to see the changes that happen simply from changing what goes in my body. I went from feeding my body garbage to feeding my body the things that it needs to function better. I have a whole new perspective on food. And the best part was that I didn’t go hungry at all. As a matter of fact, I have been eating more food than I used to. It’s just wholesome, healthy food. No gimmicks, no pills, no counting anything – just simple habits that are easy to integrate in to day to day life.
In addition to the physical changes on the outside, my blood pressure is lower, my lipid panel has improved greatly, and my glucose levels are better than what they were.
Although the 12 weeks are over, I’m already enrolled in the Clean Kitchen 2.0 program and I have signed up for a Versus boot camp. I lost a lot during the 12 week program, but gained so much more! I am excited to see where the next phase leads. I like to tell people that if I can do this, anyone can! It has been life changing.
On January 3rd, I went to my doctor for my annual wellness visit. I topped 300 pounds for the first time in my life. All of my bloodwork was at dangerous levels. I knew I had to change something. All the more with a 4-1/2-year-old son at home and a daughter on the way. My doctor mentioned Clean Kitchen to me and I was intrigued. That was 31 pounds ago. That amazing fact is made even more incredible by that fact that my wife and I welcomed our second child in the middle of this twelve-week challenge.
I thought I was going to learn how to eat better, but I learned so much more than that. I learned a whole new paradigm about food, eating, and my body. I learned how to keep it simple with the habits. I learned tips to make eating well doable in the midst of a busy season of life. My coach helped me to look at my eating without shame, but always looking for victories and for what can be improved. I learned to understand what my body was telling me about what I needed to eat or drink.
I learned that being level 2 (eating the best I can) was always my goal, but that level 1 (eating healthy and fulfilling my habits) was still a great way to eat and live. Amidst the craziness of our second child, with people bringing us food and sweets, I managed to maintain my habits and some progress, even though it slowed. As the craziness of the new baby has stabilized, I am moving back to level 2 and making faster progress again. I am so proud of myself for what I have achieved and I am thankful for everything that Clean Kitchen has done to help me become a better and healthier man. I cannot wait to see how far I will go before my next wellness visit next January.