Two Point Whoa

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By Samantha McCain

My guess is that if you are right here, right now – reading this – then you are probably on the fence of deciding if the Clean Kitchen Challenge is for you. 

You’re probably trying to justify the cost, the time and all of the other variables we use during self talk when we’re trying to make decisions. 

Can I help?

Stop. 

Just, stop. 

Because whether you’re the person who feels like a job/career is taking over your life, the person who is in a new relationship, the person who is grieving over the loss of something or someone significant, the person who is experiencing a monumental life change or the person who feels like there. is. never. enough. time… this program is for you. 

And if you think you have too many chips stacked against you to think about you right now, then this program is definitely for you. 

Your life will always include SOMETHING – a new normal, with new people who need new things from you. 

But, if you don’t take hold of what YOU need and create a system that allows for it, you’ll always feel like you are treading water.

And if you are anything like me, you are rolling your eyes and mumbling, “You have no idea what I’m up against.”

Wrong. I have all the ideas and I absolutely know where you are. Our situations may not be exactly the same, but.. 

I know what it’s like to walk into the gym feeling like a zombie, but still exhausting myself JUST to check that box because it’s more of an obligation than a commitment to myself. 

I know what it’s like to cram down a hamburger and some french fries in a spare five minutes because I had a hunger headache and ANYTHING was better than nothing.

I know what it’s like to make sure that all obligations are met while missing every single appointment I make for myself, because a list that is marked complete creates an opportunity for more things to be added to it. 

I know what it’s like to let the day run me without a system to help me manage what I can control. 

I hear you. I see you. I know you. Because friend, I am you. 

Consistency is greater than intensity.

My journey through Clean Kitchen has been S L O W. I did my first stint in 2016 with a lot of great results, but I signed up for an advanced version in 2018 because I thought I wanted to tackle a level 2 approach with macros, food timing and a mix of carb cycling.

Fall 2016 CK 12 Week Challenge progress pictures

Hindsight is 20/20. What I didn’t know then is that signing up for 2.0 was the equivalent of me waving a very large white flag for where I was standing and how my relationship with food and stress had evolved.

Right before summer last year, I felt broken and tired. Work was the hardest it had ever been. While I knew that filling my habits was the sweet spot, I didn’t know how to get back to that space. I would buy all of the groceries, but they would be wasted because I didn’t make a plan to use them in a way my schedule would allow. 

I would bring prepped food to work, but meetings would overrun my schedule and I just wouldn’t eat. 

The proverbial road was blocked and I let all the dang excuses drive my car. If you’re here, you know that a tired brain feeds all of the cravings. 

I needed someone to help me break the continual cycle I found myself circling. Knowing and doing are two totally different things, and I needed someone to coach me through the days that were throwing me for a loop. Pride is a hard mountain to climb sometimes, but admitting we need help is the only way over. 

Over the course of the last 14 months, my coach helped me say the hard words I needed to not only say, but own. Sometimes (a lot of the time) it was uncomfortable. I had to get to a space where I was comfortable with being truthful with my coach and myself.

I was so conditioned to saying “I feel great.” as a response to “How are you doing?” By the end of my time with him, I was owning how I felt and why. 

“I feel fluffy.”

“I feel stressed.”

“I could use a drink/something sweet/a Big Box from Canes.”

There wasn’t any shame in my Coach’s response, just a helpful approach to figuring out why I felt that way. Was it the food? Was it Mother Nature? Was it work?

In addition to the habits, we worked through my stubbornness, the fiasco my brain creates when I try to make things complicated and moving at the pace of a sloth to do something I wanted and needed. 

And, it worked. 

CK 2.0 progress pics — our coaching program after the CK 12 Week Challenge if clients would like to continue on with their coach past the 12 weeks.

The monotonous food prep, tweaking the system so that it worked for me and owning my schedule instead of letting it run me – it all contributed to feeling like I’m in control again. 

Sure, I lost the weight I wanted and pushed myself to new levels for performance in the gym. But, I also realized that I could do something for me for a change. And more importantly, that I had control over what my day looked like and the food I fuel my body with. 

Busy is relative.

Busy is relative for everyone. Can I say that louder for the people in the back? 

B U S Y  I S  R E L A T I V E.

When I got back on the Clean Kitchen wagon, I lived in a world where early mornings, late nights, things that go boom in the middle of the night and weekend events ran me ragged. But, I narrow mindedly thought my busy was an exclusive kind of busy that no one else could understand. 

It wasn’t. 

And when I thought I might be spiraling to a place where I was constantly sick and very tired, Clean Kitchen helped me help myself. 

Daily, I’m able to tap into what I know to be true and use foundational habits that were drafted and adopted by me through the help of someone who could see the bigger picture when I couldn’t. 

This program is not a solution or a quick fix, but a resolve for approach. 

And when you get to that space or approach, you begin to experience life with a new perspective. And that – THAT – is where the magic of Clean Kitchen really, really lives.

Can I be obnoxiously loud for a second? 

THE MAGIC OF THIS PROGRAM IS NOT FOUND IN THE WEIGHT LOST.

It’s a great byproduct, and you will move more and feel better than you ever have… but, the results really come from the program’s ability to draw a very clear path, encourage you to build habits that help you stay on that path and more importantly – help you realize that you are capable of way more than you might think.

There is SO much language in the general self-help space right now regarding mental toughness, preparing your heart for battle in the arena and living your life in a way that provides for boundaries and safe places. 

And, I found none of the self-help language to be more helpful than the hard questions I was asked by my CK coach, the daily approach to encouragement I experienced with accountability inside the gym and the words consistently spoken over me.

It was never all about the food. It was about the systems I could take to make me feel better – holistically. 

We cannot push, push and push on input/output if we don’t do a systems check on the actual vehicle – and in total honesty? This includes the heart and mind, in addition to the food.

I can’t say enough good things about what Clean Kitchen has done for the long game in regards to my health, but the mental toughness that was cultivated through foundational systems like habits, asking “Why?” and understanding that the journey is full of seasons — that’s priceless. 

If you are on the fence – get off. Rip off whatever bandaid you have stuck on your feelings and do something for yourself. You won’t regret it. I promise. 

Three Year Journey pics of the ups, downs and all-arounds.

Enroll in the next Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge here!

Sound Bites: Month 2

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Month 2 of the Clean Kitchen Challenge is a really important phase for clients. Month 2 is when things really start clicking and clients start trusting the process. We asked clients in a survey, how do you feel your CK experience has gone so far? Here is what they had to say about implementing their new habits and coaching of the 12 Week Challenge.

“I thought the “habits” were too simple to really make a difference. But it works. We haven’t found ourselves unprepared in any situation.”

“I love the speed at which new information is being given. It isn’t overwhelming. I have also found this program easy to follow.”

“I love the four simple habits and that I’m actually doing them. Grocery shopping is fun and meal prepping has changed my life. I no longer stress about what to fix for dinner.”

“…it is becoming second nature now to think before I eat something or buy anything at the grocery. I am pleased with the food prep, planning and no food waste! CK has been encouraging but not micro managing this process.”

“It’s real life. It’s a choice that isn’t made once a day, it’s making the right choices all day long.”

“Even though I may not have always logged by food, I still followed the habits and (progress) shows by the weight loss and my energy level!”

“I’m encouraged that the habits are becoming more automatic for me. I feel like it’s taking less brain power to map out my meals and I love that!”

“I was pleasantly surprised at how easy to understand the process has been. The app has been a great tool. I have a much better understanding of nutrition in general now.”

“It has taught me to make smarter choices and about proper portion sizes. I have found out that many foods I used to eat that I thought were healthy were not what the said they were. Also, I love the support and encouragement from all of the coaches!!! They rock!”

 

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“Skinny” doesn’t mean “healthy”

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Kimberly has always been naturally thin and not what you might call an “overweight” person. You may look at her and think she doesn’t have any weight to lose. But she needed Clean Kitchen. Being “skinny” doesn’t mean “healthy.” Being healthy is so much more than counting calories for the rest of your life. It actually has nothing to do with counting calories. Being healthy has everything to do with what you habitually do everyday. That is where Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge can come in.

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Trust the Process

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“I couldn’t believe this way of eating was in any way going to help me reach my goals. This was unlike any ‘diet’ I had ever tried before and literally just didn’t make sense.”

by Traci Massey

I think I have tried every diet under the sun. It seems like I have been on a diet of some sort my entire life (whether I needed to be or not). You’ve heard the saying, “I only exercise because I love food.” That’s pretty much me…my life…except I never really exercised. I would eat and then diet and then eat and gain weight again and diet again.

In February 2010 I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma cancer. I’m now 6 years out and cancer free, but something changed after my treatments. I didn’t care about dieting any more. I continued to eat what I wanted and did very little exercise. You would think I would have become a health nut and worked hard to be healthy after enduring 6 months of harsh cancer treatments, but I did the opposite. I just kind of gave up and did what I wanted to do and ate whatever I wanted to eat.

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CK is not a “Diet” Program

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I have never thought of losing weight and getting healthy as an easy or fun task until my experience with Versus Clean Kitchen.  In my long history of finding the magic weigh loss program, I found most required immediate drastic change into a healthy lifestyle which never lasted more than 2 months.  What I needed to be successful was a slow and steady transition into creating healthy habits.  This is exactly what Clean Kitchen offered and why I was comfortable and successful throughout the 12 weeks. Each week built upon the previous which provided structure and sensibility.

I was a little skeptical of the online format at first simply because I thought I needed face-to-face interaction in order to remain accountable.  The online format proved to be easy and very user-friendly.  I was able to communicate with my coach when I needed extra support and she always responded in less than a day.  In fact, most of us have such busy schedules that I am not sure if having to meet would be more stressful than having the online format available.

The daily emails provided support and reinforced the reasoning and science behind the weekly habits.  There were mornings when I would wake up not feeling it and then the email would come in and completely change my perspective on the day.

There have been times when life was challenging during the 12 weeks and I wanted to grab for the comfort food but instead went for a walk until the craving past.  Now those cravings are much less and I can tell my entire relationship with food is much more positive and healthy.  I absolutely loved my experience with Coach Kellar and CK . I am so impressed with the ease and sensibility of the program.

-Leslie LaVergne, CK Summer 2016

Sign up for the next Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge here!

 

Summer 2016 Progress Pictures!

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We had an amazing group of people in the Summer 2016 Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge. The progress picture vote was SO HARD with so many amazing pictures of progress. Featured below are our winners and a gallery full of of the amazing body transformations that happened in just 12 Weeks!

And the winners are…

First Place: Won $1000 cash!!Summer2016Winner

Second Place won a $600 Yeti Package from Parish Tractor!

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Third Place won $500 to spend in Ashley Furniture Homestore!

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This program is about teaching you the critical steps to get your results and keep making progress. It’s not a meal plan, it’s not a “diet” program, and it’s definitely not something that is meant to last only 12 weeks. Our clients realize we are preparing them for week 13 and beyond.

We understand how daunting “getting in shape” can seem. But you have to start. Start with one simple step, change one simple habit and watch each step build upon the next. This is how we work in the 12 Week Challenge. We teach you how to build a healthy life that can be simple, not complicated. Just take a look at these results. They speak for themselves. These are real people, who had real obsticles, and made small daily changes that added up to big results. Find out more about the next Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge here!

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The Journey Continues

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By Matt Lee

Journey is the word I like to use when it comes to attaining your fitness goals. It helps me not to get discouraged if I’m not where I want to be. It keeps me centered in the reality that my goals, while they are completely attainable, will require some patience, focus, and remembering that there is no quick fix that produces long term, maintainable fitness goals.

A little back story first.  For those of you that don’t know I am a coach at Versus. I also grew up the chubby kid in my friend group. My friends were my friends and we were tight, but I did get picked on from time to time for being the chubby guy in the group. It also didn’t help that I sweat all the time. And honestly over time, not that I blame them, it put little insecurities into my head about my appearance. I always the kid who always wore a shirt at the beach or at the pool, dreaded the ole “shirts versus skins”, it also made me a little shy.  Yep I was that guy.

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Those last 10 pounds…

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How you built an unhealthy relationship with food.

By Jamie Page

I will start this article by saying trying to lose weight sucks. Plain and simple, there is nothing peachy about it. It takes hard work and, above all, consistency. The more I learn about nutrition, the more “complicated” it can seem and I see how people can lose sight of what really matters. So I understand the more you read about opposing diets and supplements, the more confused you will be about which path to take. If you do not take anything else from this article let it be this: Eat more whole foods than you eat processed foods, drink more water than other beverages, and move more. This is the only path to real-feel-good-long-lasting-health. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is a liar.

As a coach, I meet a lot of people who have unhealthy relationships with food. They may not realize it, but this has been built over years of being told to “eat less and lose more”. There is a fear of “doing it wrong” or fear of not eating the “right” foods. You may have an unhealthy relationship with food if:

You think eating “too much fruit” is a bad thing. You might have some confusion on what eating healthy really is. (You may have said, “Aren’t bananas super high in sugar?”) 

You think taking a fat-burner or other supplement is more important than eating plants in every meal.

You think saving calories or macros for a later meal is more important than where those calories or macros are coming from.

This is called “mowing the lawn, while your house is on fire.”

Which means: Focusing on small details rather than the root problem.

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Fruits are plants. Plants are good for you. Eat the plant! The problem is not your fruit consumption, it’s all the other food you eat 365 days of the year. Once you get in the habit of choosing more plants, then you can get technical about having “too much fruit” or whether or not you should cut back on the fruit.

Supplements and juice cleanses are not the key to a healthy body. Supplements are suppose to be “supplemental” to an already healthy diet. Juice cleanses are not for losing weight. And if you are using it to “detox,” remember you were born with a liver that does that for you. You just need to change the quality of your food choices.

There is no need to worry about minor details (like macro/calorie counting) when you do not have the foundation of basic healthy habits down—more water than other beverages, more plants every time you eat, and use lean protein sources.  Get down the basics first before complicating things.

If there was a magical pill or supplement that allows me to eat pizza and ice cream every single day and still keep the health I have right now, please inform me ASAP.

There is no right or wrong way if you stick with the basics and real food.

But as far as media shows us, we are conditioned to think there is some secret or misery involved. Here at Clean Kitchen, we take the psycho out of it. We teach that simple steps can add up to huge and lasting results.

In the Clean Kitchen 12 Week Challenge, we will teach you how to perfect the basics.  We will help you break old school thinking and establish new habits. But first, let’s explain what may be sabotaging all your efforts currently.

Your body was designed to feel awesome.  But, you lose weight by making yourself miserable. Then you just put the weight back on twice as fast. It is a vicious cycle that creates a very unhealthy relationship with food.

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Hope

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Hope Gustafson’s story of a “brain-retrain.”

I titled this “Hope” because though this is her actual name, this is a story will give you hope for change. If you are looking at getting healthy and fit as “not possible” or “just not for me,” then this story will change your mind. This is a testimony of the transformation of her body, but more importantly her mindset. You really just have to get out of your own way and trust the process. Let time and consistency work it’s magic. Now anything is possible! This new life perspective was brought on by just taking a leap of faith, trusting her coaches, and following through with a process she didn’t trust 100% in the beginning. Slowly her body and mind changed. Without even realizing it, she molded a completely new person! We are SO PROUD of you Hope!!!!!!! Congrats on your new life you have created!!

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“This past month a picture popped through my TimeHop from right before I started Versus, out of sheer curiosity I did a side by side comparison of that picture and one I knew I had on my phone and there it was — right in front of my face. Proof of the work I’ve put in.”

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