By Paula Artmann, Clean Kitchen 12 Week program, Summer 2015
Thanks to Clean Kitchen my entire mind set and approach to nutrition and exercise has changed. I was hesitant to sign up for a completely online class and even more hesitant to take the plunge into weight training in the Versus S&C classes. I mean, I am 53 years old- a grandmother!!! Barbells and kettle bells are scary and I felt a little “over the hill” to start now. But change needed to happen and I was ready for the challenge! All I needed was a change in mindset!
My Old Mindset
At the age of 47 I decided I wanted to become a runner and it was time to lose some weight. I began a running program—a boot-camp-type class while also enrolling in a diet program. The pounds flew off and I was thinner than I had ever been. For the first time in my life I was happy with my body composition! I continued running and then began marathon training but the severe calorie restriction began to take over my thoughts. It changed my mood and was overwhelmingly making me hate “dieting.”
It was not possible to realistically restrict my eating to the amount of calories that allowed me the energy to run, and to keep my “thin is in” body. Despite continued working out-marathon training, exercise classes at the gym, hot yoga and even Zumba- I was still gaining weight and never feeling good about myself when I looked in the mirror!! I wasn’t “overweight” but I was not happy with my quickly aging body.
The beginning of the change
I decided to take the plunge with Versus when a new boot camp class began this past February. Coach Jamie constantly encouraged us to make good choices with our eating and she taught us some very good basics that I was diligent to follow. The workouts were hard but I felt good about myself for completing them.
After I finished boot camp, I switched to the Versus Outdoor class (Athletic Training class) that incorporated some weights. I was again challenged physically and proud of my accomplishments, but still wanted to SEE some results in my mirror!! I attributed it to my age, my metabolism is slow, maybe I will have to just “diet” to see results. Coach Jamie encouraged me to sign up for Clean Kitchen and be patient with the process.
How Clean Kitchen changed my mindset
Clean Kitchen taught me gradually how to reprogram my thinking about food, how to choose whole foods, lean protein and cut out processed foods that are loaded with sugar and salt. I learned how to plan ahead for success by prepping food ahead of time so that I was prepared for the hectic days that we ALL have at times. Little by little I became knowledgeable and confident in my eating and food choices- and I WASNT STARVING! No more counting calories, no more feeling deprived, no more cravings for sweets or salty junk foods!
The first noticeable change was that my skin looked healthier! And then I began feeling more energetic, stronger, and more confidence. I wasn’t losing weight really, but I began to see some definition in my arms and in my stomach. Along with Clean Kitchen came the encouragement of coaches to branch out and begin some weight training (in Versus Indoor Classes) along with my regular outdoor class workouts, so I jumped in!!
I have had fantastic results, not HUGE weight loss, but my body composition has changed a lot. My goal was to turn some fat into muscle and lean up-I didn’t really care about the number on the scale. Through the valuable instruction in Clean Kitchen, things began to click and change began to appear. I am just a normal, middle-aged woman who couldn’t seem to make any progress on my own. What changed was consistency in nutrition, adding the weight training, and having constant accountability and encouragement from coaches who care and want me to SUCCEED!!
Like most women, when I compared myself to others in the class, I was still a little discouraged by that number on the scale. I only lost a little over 5 pounds! Our coaches reminded me over and over to take pictures and measurements every 2 weeks to SEE what change was taking place, so I diligently followed their advice! When I compared my week 12 pictures to my week 1 pictures and was amazed to SEE that I now have defined ABS – I LOOKED different even though the scale hadn’t moved much.
I added up my inches lost and found I have lost over 10 inches of body fat!! I am so glad that I took the plunge and competed Clean Kitchen!! Twelve weeks was not too long- it was not a burden- it was totally worth it to build new habits, to feel better about myself, to be stronger and to well equipped to move forward in this clean eating lifestyle!! THANK YOU coaches for all of your help and advice along the way. I am ready to continue the journey!!