Ten Step Challenge: 2015 Update

It’s officially the New Year and many weeks since the completion of my Ten Step Program with PURE Natural Health & Wellness. I purposely delayed writing this blog until after the challenge ended, after I would knowingly indulge in larger than life portions of holiday food and after getting back to my healthy lifestyle that my body has become accustomed to. The interesting fact here is that I didn’t really indulge TOO much over the holidays.  Sure I ate my mother’s famous chocolate covered peanut butter balls during the holiday season, but I didn’t eat an entire tray of Turtles everyday like other people I know (hahaha friend, you know who you are)!  There were some ingredients that I purposely abstain from on a regular basis as I know there are better options out there for me.  There are other food items that I abstain from just due to a lack of tolerance with my digestive system.  Over the holiday season I tried to create a balance between my regular clean eating choices and those carb crazy, sugar-laced and booze infused goodies that seemed to be at everywhere for two solid weeks!

While following the food guidelines from PURE Natural Health, I noticed a huge difference in how I felt both physically as well as emotionally. Let’s talk about the more obvious physical changes first as I personally would have never thought that I would have so many emotional changes and it seems too heavy to get into right off the cuff here!

For the most part, I felt great. Anyone who has followed my journey knows that I have been suffering with back pain.  I can say without a doubt that when I am eating clean (no wheat, dairy or sugar) the physical pain subsides dramatically.  My weight didn’t fluctuate too much over the holidays. When I am eating clean my stomach is flat… like as flat as it’s going to be for a curvy chick that’s not working out as hard as she used to flat!  I ponder why on earth at any time during the year would I “treat” myself to the food that hurts my body so terribly.  The pain isn’t a treat…. so why do I put myself through this cycle?  The best answer I can come up with is human nature.  We as humans don’t like to be told that we “can’t” have something. A good example is telling my 6 year old she can’t have ice cream always results in some kind of lengthy battle for me!  We also associate food with pleasure and memoires. The act of eating is a pleasurable experience (unless you’re eating my sisters food, of course).  Eating, for the most part, is a social experience.  The act of sitting around a table with those that are eating with you provokes (hopefully good) conversation.   We smell, taste and enjoy our food as well as the social conversation that comes along with it.  We create memories during these interactions and while creating these memories; we then associate particular foods with these specific memories.  We indulge in anything in life due to human nature.  I have vowed to eat for my health and to indulge once a week, no more and really no less. If I told myself I could never have french fries again, I’d want fries just because I told myself I couldn’t have the stupid fries.  That is just me… this is what I call balance and everything in life is just a little more enjoyable if you have balance.

The emotional shifts that happened during my Ten Step Program were really unexpected and caught me by surprise. I noticed that I ate and drank in order to not deal with my emotions and this became very apparent during this process with PURE.  I was either eating or drinking due to a stressful day and if I had something to celebrate, dinner and drinks it was!!

When I chose to not consume anything processed for this challenge, I had to find new alternatives for dealing with the “bad” days. Same goes for those celebrations.  I found myself really “feeling” life…. good, bad, indifferent really.  When I was happy, I was really happy. I found myself even telling others in my life just how grateful I was for their presence at that moment.  I had this grand sense of gratitude for people.  When I was sad, I was really super sad and needed to find other ways to cope with this sadness. One of the new ways to deal with the sadness was talking to a friend. In turn it made us closer as friends as well. I also picked up a yoga class twice a week at a local church. Yoga and meditation is amazing and has allowed for so much personal growth.  It’s two hours of my 156-hour week that I put aside just for moi!  I also write a few goals for each day and a few key points about my day in a journal, a routine that I never had before.

I am not the same person I was when I entered into this challenge with PURE and I am thankful for that.  That old me was good, nothing terribly wrong with that old me, but this new evolved me is better.  I am so grateful for those friends, family and professional associates that have been there along the way.  I am grateful for those of you who read and watch what I have been up to on my Facebook page and then privately give me the hip-hip hurrah for inspiring you.  I do this for me, but having the support of my friends and family out there are what keeps me going.  When you’re having a bad day it can be easy to quit… when you’re just doing it for you…. it’s the accountability that has made all the difference for me and I thank you for your encouragement over the past few months.

As of December I have started working with a trainer and have been doing rehab on my back. I hope to soon feel strong enough to get back into the best shape of my life and I can’t wait to blog about that!  I will need your support, as we all know training isn’t easy but the results are way too awesome to just quit because it’s hard!

A special thanks to Sharlene Styles of PURE Natural Health that has worked with me for the last few months (even from vacation) to make sure I would succeed!  This woman is so much more than a food coach, she really knows about life and the challenges that come along with life, health and relationships.  Life isn’t easy and she was my cheerleader this whole time, encouraging me to keep my goals in mind along the way.  I encourage anybody out there that is looking to make any kind of health or dietary changes to visit PURE’s website, subscribe to her newsletter and get your copy Top Ten Tips to Healthy Living Naturally.

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