Monday, January 23, 2012

Thoughts on the 10 Day Real Food Challenge.

Well, my 10 days of Real Food Challenge is over. And I thought I’d do a little flashback and tell you why I started this journey, and what led me to the decision to eat Real Food for 10 days. Put your PJs on, it’s a long one!

I began the long, long, longlonglonglong journey to get healthier about 5 years ago. I wasn't extremely overweight or obese (about 35lbs overweight), I was just on the borderline of overweight, according to a BMI chart. And for about 4 years I went back and forth from pills, low- and non-fat frozen meals, shakes, voodoo witches....just kidding…maybe. Pretty much tried everything. Then about a year ago, I was so sick and tired of yo-yoing on diets and weight loss that I made a pledge to myself.....and the entire interwebs (that would be you all lovelies!).....that I was going to change. I was going to work hard. I was going to be heathier! So, I started a blog. Writing about every up, down, happy, sad, funny thing that is my life, on the health track. And about beer. And little Wyatt-pants.

Here are some pics at my heaviest. Not the greatest pics, but you get the idea.
Those would be my brothers, my sister, and my neice. So happy!

Good ol' lake time. About 175 here.
Here's some good ones of when I weighed about 120. Too skinny, but you can see a huge difference in my face. This was my first year in college.
And when I had blondish hair. Wow.

See, I didn't want to be skinny. I wanted to be HEATLHY. I wanted to wake up with energy. I wanted to run around with my puppy and not get tired. I wanted to lose the dreaded 'bat wings' that plaque my arms like a disease. Because even 35lbs overweight made me feel sluggish, tired, sweaty….Lordy I would pit through a shirt in 2.5 minutes on a cold winter day, while at the same time my nipples could cut glass, it was awesome. Not really.  I was also pre-diabetic, depressed, moody, and had acne worse than a 13 year old boy.

I was UNHEALTHY. And I hated it. Hated every minute of it.

But despite all that, I was not an ‘exerciser’. I hate all things that you do in a g-y-m. I hate gyms. Period. And I wasn’t the most determined ‘healthy eater’ either. I loved me some Sour Patch Kids. And cheeseburgers and cheese fries. And Hostess anything. I had to force myself to change my habits. It was so hard. And I would constantly struggle with wanting to shove copious amounts of grease in my face. Every.Single.Day.

But I started out slow.  I started running, and eating more fruits, veggies, and yogurt. And started cutting out fast food, donuts, and candy. But I was still up and down and couldn't 'stick' to the health thing for very long. I'd get cravings so bad for greasy pizza that I was afraid I'd shank a bitch to get a slice of pepperoni.

Sometime last summer I started doing some research for eating clean and the great effect it had on your health.  I tried it out for awhile, but like everything, I fell off the wagon. It felt like another diet. A ‘quick fix’. Or at least the plan I was on/reading about was. And it was freaking horribly hard.  Then just recently, I came upon the Real Food website and read it page by page for hours. I saw a quote about how heart disease, strokes, cancer and diabetes can be related to the industrialization of our food. That hit home. Majorly. My husband, who is only 30, was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes a little over a year ago. He’s perfectly healthy, always been an athlete, there is no family history, and point blank the doctors do not know why he ‘just got it’. I asked myself, could it be that all the chemicals and crap that are shoved into food now-a-days had an effect on him??? Scary thought.

So I immediately took the 10 days of real food challenge, which began last Thursday the 12th.  I didn’t wait till the weekend, or after the weekend, I just did it. I even gave up my precious beer for 10 days. Just to see what the effects could be.

I don’t know how to explain it, but I feel…..good. I feel normal. My body is now operating at a normal level.  Yippeeeee! I committed 100% to eating only real and organic foods and in turn I feel alive. My stomach pains are gone. My energy level has increased. And I lost about 2.5 lbs. Not that I was actually trying to lose, but if it happened, eh, dolphin claps for me!  It’s been completely amazing and I can’t wait to continue on with this wonderful ‘challenge’!

When I first started the 10 days challenge, I thought by biggest obstacle was going to be cravings. Cravings for sweets, beer, Mexican food, beer, pizza, beer, pretty much any and all ‘bad’, processed foods that I’ve eaten in the 30 years I’ve walked this green earth…and beer. But it wasn’t that way at all. For a week solid I had no interest in anything other than my chicken, veggies, rice, salad, fruit, and yogurt. About day 8 I started having a little smidge of a craving for chocolate. So I got on the web and searched clean eating/organic desserts and found loads of recipes for chocolate bars, puddings, cookies, etc. I made those peanut butter protein bars covered in dark chocolate and that was that. No more cravings. And they are sooo good.

Other than that, it wasn’t that hard at all. I hate to say that, but it’s true! I didn’t deprive myself of anything…other than beer….so maybe that helped. If I wanted Mexican, I went out and bought whole wheat tortillas, organic shredded cheese (still low-fat), and cooked up some chicken and peppers. WaaLaa!

Now, as far as allowing some ‘beverages’ back in my diet……it went pretty good. Sat. night was the first night I could have a cold one and I waited till about 7 or 8. PM that is. The first one was heaven, not going to lie. But I only ended up having 4. FOUR! Who is this person?! Yup, 4 and I was done. I really didn’t even want the fourth, but decided what the hell. Then on Sunday I had one more. Just one. I think I’m finally over the mindset that I have to have a 12 pack to relax or to unwind. (Sometimes I pretend like I’m 22 and stuck in my college days. No judging.)

I realized right away, this is not a ‘diet’. This is not a ‘fad’. This is not something that I’m only going to do for the 10 days. I’m going to incorporate this in as my healthy lifestyle for the rest of my life. And I’m going to get my husband involved also!

I’m shopping at organic stores. Checking the labels on EVERYTHING, not only for calories and fat, but what the ingredients are. I’m buying more veggies and fruit than I ever have before. And I want to expand my little veggie garden this summer to grow more of my own! I freaking can’t wait for the farmers market to open in the spring!

Real food IS going to be my life from now on. Maybe not 100% all the time (I still like my beers too much), but I'd say 99% of the time! And it's going to be part of my husband's life, and when we have kids, a part of their lives. I've even got my Mom thinking about it more. It's amazing how a simple little change to eat better foods can really affect everyone in your lives. Makes me oh so happy.
And here are updated pics that I just took.
Still got the bat wings. Shitballs.

Anyways. I hope this helped you to see what Real Foods have done for me. Maybe you got something out of it. Maybe not. But I’m glad you stuck through to the end!!!! I bow down to you! 

Tootles Love Muffins!


  1. I absolutely love this post and thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and process for this whole foods eating. I'm already making changes. I will be following you down this road for sure. One bit at a time. <3

  2. Whoo hoo!!! Great for you!! I'm so proud of you-I've thought about doing something like that and keep running into time issues. Processed food is shorter on time prep-how do you get around that? Goodness knows I'm not going to deprive myself of any sleep just for food. Nope-not gonna happen.

    Thanks for the warm thoughts about Bunker. We'll keep our paws crossed for Wyatt too!! Nothing should EVER happen to the pups! uugh!!

  3. You are such an inspiration and you look great, healthy and strong!

    it was all about the label reading and being an informed consumer here, too.

  5. Yeah full body shots! Way to go. I try to eat the heathy foods too but its been 2 months since my last beverage and i'm counting the days til I can have one. (as soon as I'm off a medication next week). Everything in moderation!
    I'd like to start a garden too!

  6. You look fantastic!!! :) *High five* Good for you for sticking to it and feeling the benefits. A few of my professors have talked with us about food and different chemical processes that are used to pretty much destroy its nutritional value but make it "low calorie" or "low fat", etc. It is reeeeally bad for you. Since then, I have been a lot more conscious of what is going into my mouth!

    However, I still fall short a lot of times, and I am inspired by your experience to really work on it more. :)

  7. Great post! I've been doing a lot of thinking about changing to whole foods. Would you care to share some of the websites you found helpful in making the change?

    P.S. Love the body look mahvelous!!!

  8. You're so cute!

    It wouldn't matter if I did tricep push-up with weights in my lap, I'll always have bat-wings, I feel your pain.

    Good on your the clean eating. We are starting our seedlings pretty soon. Growing squash and peppers and tomatoes for the summer, yum.

  9. i cant believe the 10 days are already over...that went fast!!

    and like the others, you look great...for reals!

  10. Wanna know why I didn't comment right away? I was too busy staring at how freaking SKINNY you are. JESUS. I officially hate you and love you all at once.

  11. Wanna know why I didn't comment right away? I was too busy staring at how freaking SKINNY you are. JESUS. I officially hate you and love you all at once.

  12. We want to start a garden this year too. My inlaws have two big ones so they eill help


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