Friday, April 8, 2016

My Journey to a Happy Healthy Fit Me!


Photos || Madi Flournoy Henderson

Today is my 100th day on Whole 30...wow, I can't believe I have finally hit 100 days!!!  I've been wanting to write this post for some time now but I also wanted to ensure that I wrote it at a time when I felt like it deserved to be written (if that makes sense?).  

There is so much that I want to share with you all, its hard to know where to start, and I hope you will hang in there until the end as this post is certainly going to be lengthier than my normal style posts.

As I write this post, in my mind, it makes sense to go back to a time in my life nearly 2 years ago.  At that time I was working out nearly 5 days a week, doing Crossfit,  and I was the strongest I have probably ever been.  I was so very proud of my Crossfit accomplishments BUT I wasn't happy with what the scale said and at times with how muscular I had become.

At the time, I was eating fairly well but not really limiting myself and I most certainly didn't cut anything out of my diet.  I ate what I wanted and had the mindset that I would work it off the next day in class.  I knew I wasn't fueling my body with nutrient rich foods and had I been, I would have achieved much more lean results through my daily workouts.  I always "aspired" to be better, to do better, to eat better but I never did.

Then around May of 2014 we received news that our daughter Addison must undergo open heart surgery to correct a hole in her heart (you can read more about her story HERE).  This news rocked us to the core.  We always knew she would have to have a "procedure" to correct the hole in her heart but we never imaged it would be as invasive as open heart surgery.

From about mid May until July 9, 2014 we sat on this news and had to digest it (not sure that we ever truly digested it).  We experienced an array of different emotions...it was rare for us not to think about it.  The "what ifs" caused many sleepless nights and many emotional vulnerable moments.  

Although we had our family and friends behind us offering support, it still felt very lonely and isolating at times.  Besides talking to one another, Peter and I truly didn't open up to many people about how we were feeling.  After all, we didn't want to be downers about it and we always tried to keep a positive perspective on things.  In our minds...how could anyone possibly understand how we were feeling considering they weren't going through the same thing.

I tell you all of this because this was the beginning of my turn towards an unhealthy lifestyle.  I never realized that I am an emotional eater but boy am I an emotional eater.  I ate my fears, my worries, my sadness away and I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.  I stopped working out and I found comfort in food.  Don't get me wrong, I've always loved food but I've never eaten the way I did from about May 2014 until January 1, 2016.

I found comfort in fast food, junk food, sweets, sodas, etc etc and before I knew it, I had gained nearly 25lbs.  I didn't care either.  I was going to eat and enjoy the foods that at the time, I thought I truly enjoyed.

I would watch the scale steadily increase but I had no motivation to do better, to be better.  I didn't want to give up the foods that I enjoyed and I couldn't find the motivation to get back into a consistent workout routine.  I attempted to return to Crossfit after Addison's recovery period but I had lost all fire at that point.  I remember thinking..."what's the point in coming in here, busting my butt, to only leave and pick up Wendy's or Taco Bell on the way home".  I was giving up.  Saying that is tough for me because I have never been a quitter and all of a sudden I had become a quitter.

No one could decide for me that I needed to make a change...that had to come from within.  I didn't feel my best, I certainly didn't look my best, but I had no real reason to make a change (at least that is what I told myself).  There were excuses after excuses after excuses.  You name them, I probably made them.

You know the saying, "the struggle is real"?  Well I am here to tell you, my struggle was real.

I don't exactly remember what ignited from within me to decide that it was finally time to make a change but after all of the holiday cheer of 2015, I knew come January 1, 2016 it was game on.  I felt a surge of motivation...a desire that I could not quiet any longer.  A desire that wouldn't tolerate being pushed to the side.  A desire to begin a journey...a journey to a more happy healthy fit ME!

It was time to give my life back to myself!  To no longer let my emotions and food control me.  I was tired of it and I was so ready to get back to the self I have always known.

So on January 1, 2016 I started the Whole 30 plan.  I'm sure many of you have heard of this plan and if not, I'm going to share a bit more about the plan here.  There are also a ton of resources online as well.


For me, I had to do something drastic.  I don't have a lot of willpower when it comes to food and I knew that I would need to cut out certain things to retrain my brain and to retrain the way I look at and experience food as a whole.  Sweets are my weakness and I knew I would have to give them up (after all, I was eating some type of dessert nearly every day...not good).

Prior to 1/1/16, I spent several days researching Whole 30, finding recipes, and planning my grocery list.  Talk about information overload...whoa!  But the more and more I read about it, the simpler it became.  The premise of Whole 30 is eating whole foods and cutting out those foods that don't nutritionally fuel your body.

My first grocery shopping trip was one for the books...I think I wandered around the store for at least a couple of hours trying to find everything that I had on my list.  The good news is, most everything you need is in the produce and meat section. 

I arrived home with all of our groceries and began prepping food.  I never knew how much prep was involved...there is a TON of prepping involved but it is essential to ensuring that you stick to the plan.  After all, who wants to be caught in a moment of weakness, HANGRY, with no food in sight?!  Not this girl.

 I was cooking ALL OF THE TIME and that was a big adjustment for me.  Not to mention, all of the dishes that had to be cleaned after I spent time in the kitchen, phew.

BUT...I quickly realized how much I was enjoying eating real whole foods.  The first couple of weeks were tough for me.  I was giving up all sugars (except natural sugar in fruit), all caffeine, drinking only water (I never really drank much water before this plan), eating less, and still fighting every urge to eat those foods that I was used to eating.

I had multiple headaches within the first couple of weeks, I was sooooooo grumpy, and I was questioning (nearly every day) whether or not this was going to be worth it.  But I knew I had to make it to 30 days.  

After the first 2 weeks, I started to turn a corner and feel as if I understood this lifestyle and I felt as if I was finally adjusting (mind, body, and spirit).  It was at this time that I decided that I wasn't going to just do 30 days as the plan called for but that I was going to continue on in hopes of making this more of a lifestyle change versus a 30 day diet challenge.

I continued to hit milestones, 45, 60, 75 days and as of today...100 days on Whole 30!!!  I'm pounding it and giving myself lots of high fives over here!

I'm sure you are wondering if I have allowed myself any treats along the way and the answer is YES! During the first 30 days, I stuck to the plan to a T...I did not waiver.  Right around Valentine's Day, which was about 45 days in for me, I allowed myself to have dessert when we went out for dinner and I've occasionally allowed myself to have dessert ever since.

After all...if you told me that I wouldn't be able to eat another dessert for the rest of my life, I'd throw in the towel right away.  I can't live my life like that BUT I can live my life eating according to the Whole 30 plan 99% of the time.



At about days 54, 55, and 56 I decided to complete a 3 day juice cleanse as well and I am so glad that I did.  My cleanse came from Juice from the Raw and I really LOVED this cleanse.  Their juices taste fantastic and after completing the cleanse, I had lost another 5lbs!

If you juice or enjoy doing juice cleanses, I highly recommend that you try Juice from the Raw.  They have various packages and juice combinations that you can order and they are delivered frozen right to your doorstep with complete instructions on how to successfully complete your cleanse.

AND they are offering my supporters a discount of 52% off of their cleanses...just use code "kbstyled" to receive this discount.  

I promise you that you will not be disappointed if you choose to try this cleanse.  I am actually ready to do it again and can't wait to receive another round of their juices.

As part of my daily diet, I have also been drinking Teami Tea Blends.  I drink their "skinny tea" every morning and their "colon cleanse" tea every other night.  These teas are a great "natural" way to boost your metabolism and to activate your colon and get things moving and they work.  

I will tell you...if you decide to try these teas, especially the colon cleanse tea, you will need to be prepared to be close to home the next morning.  It is a cleanse and I can tell you, it will clean you out and it definitely helps with cutting the bloat.

Teami has offered my supporters a discount code as well...use code "kbstyle" for 10% off your order.

I started this journey just a little over 3 months ago weighing 150lbs...just 4 pounds less than what I weighed when pregnant with our kiddos.  I was considered overweight for my height (I am only 5' 4") and this was the heaviest I have EVER been my entire life.  My ideal weight is around 125.

As of today, 100 days in, I currently weigh 129!  I still have a few pounds to lose as well as lots of toning left to do but I am beyond pleased with how far I have come.  My hard work, commitment, and dedication is paying off.

I'm sharing all of this because you need to also know that I have been working out 5-6 days every week as part of my journey to a healthier me.  Reaching weight loss and fitness goals are much easier to achieve when both your nutritional diet and your workout plan are in sync.  Diet and exercise go hand in hand...it is proven to bring in big results when you do both.

My workout routine consist of doing home videos.  I started on 1/1/16 with Jillian Michael's Ripped in 30 DVD.  I did this video for the first 30 days and I saw immediate results!  I am a big fan of this program...it is ONLY 24 minutes per day.

After the first month I started intermixing other DVD's including Beach Body's Hip Hop Abs DVD's as well as Turbo Jam kickboxing.

I've really enjoyed working out at home...it is such a time saver and I can get it done anytime throughout the day when I have a spare 30 minutes.  I love not having to get dressed for the gym, driving to and from a gym, etc.  I've given myself so much time back in the day by doing my workouts at home.

Below are the links to the workout gear that I started with on day #1:


With regards to recipes, I have saved my favorites that I have tried so far and that I go back to time and time again on my Pinterest board HERE!  I wanted to put them all in one place for anyone who wanted to try recipes that someone can vouch for...if I didn't love the, I didn't pin them!  

If you decide to try any of these recipes, let me know what you think and if you have any recipes that you can share, please leave a link or the recipe information below in the comments section!

I told you this would be a long post and I know that I am leaving something out so please, if you have any questions, leave them below and I'd be happy to answer them!

Overall, I am so happy that I decided to give Whole 30 a try and that I've decided to continue on.  There is no stopping now...I'm only moving forward from here!  If you want to make a change in your life for the better, I HIGHLY recommend giving Whole 30 a try.  Eating well has never tasted better and I honestly look forward to eating my veggies when in the past, I would go all day without picking up a veggie much less eating one.

Thanks so much for barring with me on this lengthy post.  I hope you found some value in learning more about my experience and again, if you have any questions, tips, or recipes to share, please leave them below.  I'd love to hear from you.

As always, thanks so much for stopping by and Happy Friday!


20 comments:

  1. Brooke,

    I love your story! You sound so much like me which is crazy! lol I too, have an everlasting sweet tooth. I literally eat something sweet multiple times a day and I know it is awful for my health but I do it anyway. This was a very inspirational post and I think I am going to look into Whole 30. I know I won't be able to make the changes over night, but you've inspired me to at least look into it!

    Thank you for this! Happy Friday! xoxo

    Jamaria
    www.throughjamseyes.com
    @throughjamseyes

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    1. Sweets have been the hardest thing to cut out for me but believe it or not, it is doable. Glad to have given you some inspiration Jamaria! xoxo

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  2. Loved hearing your story!! I am on day four of my whole thirty journey! I have always worked out but wanted to really focus on what is going into my body!! It's been hard, but more simple than I thought! It is getting easier to say no! :) Congrats to you and thank you for sharing!!

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    1. YAY Nikki...you've started, which is half of the battle. A lot of people will read about it and never start because of ALL of the things that you can't eat. Proud of you for taking a leap and giving it a try! Go girl, you've got this!

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  3. Thanks so much for sharing your story! You are rocking it, girl! I am a pretty healthy eater, but I have recently been working on cutting out sugar (I have a sweet tooth too), and eating more whole. You are a great inspiration!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

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    1. Awe thanks so much sweet friend! It has been hard but I was out of control over all so I had no other choice but to stop what I was doing to my body.

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  4. You're inspiring me to give Whole 30 a try. My son just turned 1 and I need to lose this baby weight! I'm also an emotional eater and I'm sick of feeling this way.

    Question - did your family eat this way too? My husband and son would eat anything I cooked but I think they would want carbs, etc.

    Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Allison! I completely understand and YES my family is on this plan as well. I will tweak things for our kiddos to ensure they are getting all of the essential nutrients that they need (such as carbs) but my Hubby eats exactly like I do. The food is really amazing once you get going with it and your taste buds will definitely change. I actually crave salads first thing in the morning versus a big bowl of Lucky Charms like I used to eat! Good luck if you give it a try!

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  5. Get it girl! Good for you! I've heard great things about Whole 30 and am tempted to try it!

    Greta | www.gretahollar.com

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    1. Thanks Greta! If you do, let me know if you have any questions...always here to answer them! xoxo

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  6. Thank you for sharing your story - it really encouraged me on my journey to a healthier and happier me. I've been going through a rough spell and this was just the encouragement I needed today!

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    1. Awe so glad and just know that you are not alone. I always wondered what was wrong with me...why I couldn't snap out of the funk that I was in. I can say with full confidence I am so much happier now that I have chosen a healthier lifestyle. It all goes hand in hand!

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  7. wow great work Brooke!! I will have to look for that book. I always eat some what healthy but I tend to treat myself a little to much!

    http://xoxobella.com

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    1. Thanks B! I follow along of course and I do see that you eat pretty healthy. I would love for you to share any shake recipes that you have that would be considered Whole 30 or Paleo friendly if you have one!

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  8. Girl, I admire your willpower! You look amazing! You've inspired me to look into it and try it out!

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    1. Thanks Ash! Glad I am inspiring you my friend.

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  9. Brooke - oh my gosh...read every word. Had no idea about your daughter either..wow, what a story!! I love that you opened up and shared your story. I've been wanting to try Whole30 but with stress of planning the wedding, moving, etc. There's been a lot on my mind. But maybe that's not an excuse and I should do it!! You're true motivation!!

    Thanks for sharing this fabulous post love!! Xo

    @stylemelauren
    http://www.stylemelauren.com

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    1. Awe thanks Lauren! Everyone has a story right?! We often times just don't share them. ;-) I totally understand the position you are in...often times the more stressful life was, the more I ate. Not just an emotional eater but a stress eater too. You look amazing already and I know you are going to be the most BEAUTIFUL bride ever. I hope all of the wedding plans are coming along nicely!!!

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  10. What an amazing share! I also have done the Whole 30. It's not easy, but it is worth it! You've inspired me to pick up my Whole 30 lifestyle again and I thank you for that!

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