By Christy Street
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.
So, with a little skepticism, I took the plunge into the 12-week program.
I though I was “too busy” for Clean Kitchen to work
Right off I had several hurdles to overcome, but the top two were my limited palate and too busy schedule. Well, Clean Kitchen was built for busy people, with real life issues. The 12-week program taught me how to incorporate building healthy habits and make better choices while living my busy life. Also, Clean Kitchen introduced me to a world of food options that I would have NEVER tried before. The Clean Kitchen community you get to join are constantly sharing ideas and successful healthy food options. My Clean Kitchen coach, Anna, was encouraging and supportive but most of all kept me accountable and pushed me to try new things.
Throughout the 12 weeks, I experienced so much transformation. I lost 35lbs and about 40 inches off my body. I learned to meal prep and that I loved cooking with my husband. I discovered that I love spinach, brussels sprouts, and asparagus. And, I found that consistency really works.
After my 12-week challenge ended, my Clean Kitchen experience didn’t end; because Clean Kitchen isn’t a diet program it is a lifestyle built on consistency and healthy habits. I was so encouraged, even though I didn’t “win” the challenge, I wanted to see what else I could push myself to do. I noticed that Versus Strength and Conditioning were about to host another round of boot camps and asked my CK Coach Anna about them. I was really worried about my ability to take on a boot camp because while I had lost some weight and was feeling really encouraged about my new diet, I hadn’t exercised in a long time. Anna convinced me to give it a try, so I did. I signed up for an outdoor 4-week boot camp class taught by coach Matt Lee.
Versus Boot camp began
I was so intimidated my first class and felt so out of place! After my first week I didn’t think I would make it, and I thought, “What the heck have I done! I can barely walk 400 meters, and I’m being asked to run. I’m dead last finishing everything we do, and I’m holding the others back by taking up so much of Matt’s time.” I think I apologized to Matt for the 100th time, and he told me that “I walked 10 miles into the woods and it would take me 10 miles to walk back out.” What he said really stuck with me, and it reminded me that I needed to allow the seemingly small daily wins of building good habits to add up to huge victories. I also quickly learned that I didn’t have to “walk out of the woods” alone because Matt and the rest of my 589 AT class were right there with me, encouraging and believing in me. I’m happy to say that I stuck it out and finished that boot camp. By the end of those 4 weeks, I joined the 589 AT class and a few months later joined an indoor class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well.
One Year Later
Today, almost 1 year after starting my Clean Kitchen journey, I am now 80lbs lighter and I am down 6 pants/dress sizes! The best part is, I’ve learned I LOVE eating healthy, and I LOVE working out and growing strong! I am still living Clean Kitchen through the CK 2.0 program and can run the 400 meters with the 589 AT crew (at least the first 400). My confidence has improved so much and for the first time in a long time, the vision of myself is a positive one, and I am excited to see what I can accomplish.
Through this journey, I’ve meet some of the most amazing, kind, encouraging and, most importantly, AUTHENTIC people. The Clean Kitchen and Versus Strength and Conditioning coaches and community are truly one of a kind! Do yourself a favor and check them out. Whether you need to lose weight or not, whether you are in shape or not, you WILL learn something and will come away a better you!