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I am so excited to be writing to you today because the 30 Days of Dedication Challenge is over! That’s right, 30 days of eating completely clean and 30 days of consistent training – done, complete, finished, accomplished! I have so much I want to share with you, including some before and after shots. Keep reading to find out the pros, cons, results, and everything else I learned from completing the 30 Days of Dedication Challenge.
When I discovered the clean eating lifestyle from Tosca Reno’s book – The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged!: Lasting Fat Loss That’s Better than Ever, I knew it was the sustainable approach to weight loss and body transformation, that I wanted to take. The ideas that Tosca shared just seemed so right to me. If you eat unprocessed and unrefined foods in abundance, you can get the body you want and give up the counting and measuring game that has become our standard weight loss approach.
Her ideals seemed right, but the application was always the difficult part for me. Sure, I was able to follow the eat-clean diet for a few days at a time, or even a couple of weeks. But sooner or later, I always ended up bringing those processed foods back into my diet. So when I made up this 30 Days of Dedication Challenge, I really didn’t know if I was going to be able to complete the challenge without any slips.
The Inconvenience Factor
The truth is, I have been uncomfortable with my body for as long as I can remember. I have been trying to lose weight and get in shape for so many years now. Losing weight is not a mystery, most of us know exactly what we need to do. But for most, knowing the facts isn’t enough. When real life comes into play there are so many obstacles and emotions involved in our relationship with food.
It’s almost impossible to walk into a restaurant and pick a meal that is completely unprocessed. And now, our grocery stores are mostly made up of foods that are processed as well. These realities are a huge obstacle. It has become inconvenient to eat clean. We’re so used to including processed foods in our daily lives that it is truely a challenge -mentally, physically, and emotionally – to avoid it.
Then when you consider the social aspects of food, a new set of worries develop. Most gatherings with friends and family revolve around food. We start to worry about people judging us or commenting on our choices if we decide to skip out on certain foods at the table. Or we avoid the awkwardness all together, eat what’s put in front of us, and endure the regret later. Worst of all, we may decide that we need to avoid these social gatherings completely, in order to give our new diet a fighting chance.
My Starting Point
I thought it might be helpful to explain where I was in my health journey at the start of this challenge. In 2017, I have lost 30 pounds through a combination of working out and counting calories. But during the months of September and October, I started to veer away from my restrictive diet and as a result, put 10 pounds back on.
During those months, I became heavily dependent on take-out and processed foods. This was not the first time this happened to me. My senior year of college, I became addicted to take-out, processed foods, and especially sugar. So to realize that this dependency was resurfacing, terrified me.
It may seem extreme to use the word “addicted” but that is the best way I can explain it. As soon as I got home from work, I would immediately order take-out before my mind could even catch up. It didn’t matter that I started the day by saying, I would get back on track today. Each night I would cave to my cravings. And each day I would experience the withdrawals of headaches, fogginess, and irritability if I tried to ignore what my body was asking for.
Why This Time Was Different
Yes, eating clean has become inconvenient. I believe that to be fact. But I still believe it’s a lifestyle worth working towards. There’s nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence, let me make that clear. Unfortunately, my diet had more than just the “occasional indulgence”. There were habits I needed to break.
I’m tired of wanting the same goal and experiencing the same setbacks. I want 2018 to be the year I become happy and content with my body. This challenge was a specific, defined, and timed jump start to that goal. I knew that if I completed this challenge, I would lose weight, get away from my take-out dependency, and feel my best for 2018.
What made this time different was that I convinced myself I could do it. You will not be able to accomplish goals that your mind doesn’t believe you can. I had my doubts, but each day I had to convince myself that I could absolutely complete this challenge. It’s a mental game, and if you believe you can accomplish something and combine it with action, you will be successful.
The Pros and Cons of This Challenge
**These are based on my own experience and while I believe you will experience most of these, you may not experience all of them.**
- There are many places you will not be able to find clean eating compliant foods.
- Social gatherings can become more challenging.
- Food preparation can be more time consuming.
- If you stick to the same meals, you can get very bored of your foods.
- You have to make time for workouts.
- You can eat however much you want.
- You can eat at whatever time you want.
- Weight loss
- You will become “regular”.
- Increased energy
- Better mood
- Better sleep
- Visible muscle definition
- Decreased cravings
- Save money
- Increased discipline
These are my before and after pictures. The pictures on the left were taken first thing in the morning Saturday, November 25, 2017. The pictures on the right were taken first thing in the morning Monday, December 25, 2017. (I apologize for the blurriness of the before photos, I was using my old phone!)
Are You Ready to Try the 30 Days of Dedication Challenge?
There you are folks! These are my results from one cycle of the 30 Days of Dedication Challenge. I can see and feel noticeable change all over my body. I am really excited about my progress and feel very optimistic moving into 2018!
If you’re interested in completing the 30 Days of Dedication Challenge, I highly recommend starting with Tosca Reno’s book The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged!: Lasting Fat Loss That’s Better than Ever. This will give you all the information you need to get started on your clean eating journey and the science behind it.
Ready to start today? Join the Climber Crew by subscribing to my emails and you’ll get a free eating clean grocery list! Check out my blog posts below for clean eating meal ideas and what you can expect throughout your 30 Day Challenge. I’ll be sure to post soon about tips for a successful 30 Days of Dedication Challenge, so stay tuned for that!
I hope you enjoyed reading about my challenge, I had a lot of fun completing and writing about it. If you have any questions at all, please comment below! Good luck to everyone in their 2018 New Year’s Resolutions!