You know what? I must really love you guys.
Why, you ask? Because I’m about to talk (in great detail) about our real food journey, and my weight loss stats (with pictures) to date. I’m a little torn about my feelings on this post.
Am I excited to talk about what this new food diet has done for myself AND my family, and countless others out there?! ABSOLUTELY! Am I nervous about showing you…friends, family AND strangers my weight loss progress so far? DUH. But my excitement outweighs (pun intended) the fear by leaps and bounds.
So let’s go back to about 9 months ago…this image was taken at a time when I actually “felt ok with my body”…although when I think about it, I was close to my heaviest at this point. I honestly cannot tell you what my heaviest weight was, as I stopped weighing myself when I hit 190 lbs. Too close to 200 for my comfort. Ignorance is bliss, after all…right???
At that point in my life, my family wasn’t really conscientious about what we ate. I mean we “tried” to eat “healthy”. By that, I mean we ate salads (loaded with store bought ranch, filled with who-knows-what), drank low-fat milk, bought low-fat yogurt, and only ate potato chips every few weeks. But we also allowed ourselves to “splurge” on soda, fast food, and other treats on occasion. Those occasional splurges turned into an every week occurrence…then one day, I found myself adding soda and chips to our grocery list every week. Like it was a necessity.
Let’s fast forward to Christmas 2015.
At that point, I had been using (and loving) essential oils for almost an entire year. We were just at this point in our lives where we wanted to do better for our health and reduce toxic load in our home and our bodies. So I decided to participate in a cleanse / detox, with my team. Everyone in the group was asking what sort of “diet” everyone was planning on doing during the cleanse, and I felt embarrassed. My mind never even went there. I don’t know why either, because it only makes total sense to change the junk you’re eating, if you’re going to do a cleanse. Otherwise, it would make the entire process moot. So I went back and forth in my mind on what “diet” to do. Nothing had ever really worked for me in the past, so I was not really thrilled to torture myself with counting calories, or denying myself of ALL dairy / bread / sweets, etc. I love all those things!!!
The day after Christmas, we got together with my husbands family to do our Christmas with them. We began opening presents, and it was my turn…As I open the gift from my sister-in-law, my heart about leapt out of my chest. I was so so excited (and honestly, I had no idea why…I just knew it was going to be great) to see a “recipe” book sitting neatly in front of me. “100 Days of Real Food”, to be exact. I had never heard of it, and had no clue what it was about. My SIL began explaining a little bit to me about how much she loves this woman’s recipes, etc, etc, etc.
So that night, after the kids were in bed and the husband was relaxing on the couch, I broke out that book and began to read.
What I read BLEW. MY. MIND.
I kept interrupting my husbands quiet time by saying, “Listen to this!”….”Oh my gosh, are you kidding me?!”…”WHAT are we eating????!!!”. His response was, “do you feel bamboozled, honey?” Yes. Yes, I did. I felt like someone has just ripped the rose colored glasses right off my face, and shoved a big pile of poop in front of me and said, “Ha! Fooled you!” All that “healthy” stuff that we eat and FEED OUR CHILDREN, is the complete opposite of healthy. I found myself not being able to put that book down, until I had read the entire thing. I made notes, and found myself not wanting to eat anything in my house. I was disgusted. Thankfully, my husband agreed. We both decided then and there that we
wanted needed to make a change.
My plan was to gradually go through our pantry and “eat through” what we JUST spent money on at the store, then over the next few weeks, to replace the old items with new, healthier options. But I couldn’t. I just couldn’t feed my kids that junk…knowingly.
So I went through and made a donation bag to go to the local food pantry, a throw away bag, and a giveaway bag. I cleaned out the pantry in a week, we readjusted our grocery budget, and I started researching the local grocery stores where I could find the food we needed. It was definitely a challenge at first, but over time, as I’ve learned and relearned how to cook certain foods. We realized that we were actually missing out on all of the amazing and delicious foods we could have been eating years ago! We still eat all of the things we loved before. But now, we just eat the REAL FOOD version of them. Do I spend more time in the kitchen? Yep. Is it worth it to know that I am doing something better for my entire family and our health? ABSOLUTELY.
Knowing that we are eating healthier has been amazing. But I’m going to be honest with you…the “side effects” are so encouraging to us.
It helps us know we are on the right path. My oldest son, J-Man, has always (and I mean that in every sense of the word…literally from the time he was born) had severe digestive issues. The poor kid would go days without using the bathroom. And he was miserable. We tried everything with him. Making sure he got enough water throughout the day, reducing the amount of cheese / dairy he could have, adding fibrous foods to his diet. NOTHING worked. After a week (a week!) on our new “diet”, his issues had been 100% resolved! THAT right there was worth it to me. It wasn’t until I noticed my clothes were fitting differently, that I realized I was experiencing a pretty great side effect as well. Weight loss. Are you kidding me?! That wasn’t even on my mind when we started this process. My goal was just to eliminate the junk from our life…but I had no idea what that junk was actually doing to my body. Both my husband and I have experienced weight loss. Do we have time to work out? Hahahahahahahahaha. Ok. No. The answer is no. 😉
Three kids, trying to run our own businesses from home, and now spending more time doing food prep? Forget about it. There is NO extra time for working out (yet…I’m working on that). All that “healthy stuff” that we were supposedly eating, was hanging onto our bodies for dear life. When we started introducing real food into our diet, it chased those nasty, unhealthy fat bullies away!
This picture was taken this morning…just 4 months after reducing our processed food intake by 95%
I still have a ways to go, but when I saw this side-by-side with the image above for the first time today, I was in tears.
Seeing where I WAS not so long ago, and how far I’ve come, and knowing that I’m teaching my kids a better way of eating and living, is such a huge motivating factor.
That no matter what happens in our lives on a day to day basis, be it temper tantrums, talking back, scraped knees, hurt feelings, the works…that they are healthy, and I am doing my best for THEM. So I hope you will be encouraged. Encouraged to take control of your health. To step out and go against the grain of what society (and those sneaky little marketing geniuses) tells us is ok to eat. Do your research and I strongly recommend the “100 days” book.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
“‘Everything is permissible for me’ – but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible for me’ – but I will not be mastered by anything… Therefore, Honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:12, 20b).
I’d love to hear your comments, questions, and YOUR stories! Feel free to comment and encourage others who read! 🙂