We’re Chris and Ed, we’re 47 and 51 years old and recently each lost 46 pounds with the 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge.
After transforming our health, we’re excited to share our story. Hopefully, it will inspire someone out there (maybe even you) to make a positive change!
But first, here’s a little about us 🙂 We have two adult children who attend UAA. I’m a registered nurse of 24 years and my husband Ed has been an educator for 24 years. After 20 years of nursing, I embarked on the adventure of Correctional Nursing, which has been a challenge and rewarding experience!
We live in Bush Alaska, in a tiny town called Bethel. There are no roads to get here so you must fly in from Anchorage. We love adventure and Alaska provides a lot of opportunities such as camping, fishing, sports and spending time together as a family. We are currently empty nesters since our children left for college.
My husband I were both thin and in shape for most of our lives until we experienced significant health issues in our family.
My husband was hospitalized for 6 weeks and 3 surgeries later he was able to return home in Bethel. Within a week of my husbands return home our son got very sick and was hospitalized for nearly 3 months before we received his chronic diagnosis.
While our lives were becoming more stressful, our eating habits declined and we began gaining weight. We were eating out all the time. Our portions were out of control and over the course of 8 years we both packed on around 45 pounds. My labs were elevated my cholesterol was high for the first time in my life. I was borderline diabetic, exhausted and had no energy. I knew we had to get healthy.
I had been checking out Rachel’s recipes on CleanFoodCrush for about 2 years and was familiar with her program, the 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge. Diabetes and heart disease both run in my family and in December of 2016 I decided that I needed to do something if I wanted to be around for my husband and children. January of 2017 I started Eating Clean using Rachel’s recipes.
At this point, I hadn’t cut out sugar completely but I started using the treadmill a few times a week and I was seeing results. Now I was in the right mindset to start the challenge.
In March of 2017, I signed up for Rachel’s 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge and I was all in! I followed the program strictly and I set personal goals. I was determined to be healthy by my son’s graduation in May of 2017!
I started to feel the results right away and I was SO excited. I was feeling better, sleeping better and had ENERGY again! I was walking on the treadmill every day and I looked forward to it.
I don’t love exercise, but it really is addicting. For the first time in a long time, I was close to my goal weight. I wanted a new dress for my son’s graduation. I didn’t know which size to get but I did have a goal of the size I wanted to be.
The dress was expensive, and when I talked with my husband about it he encouraged me to buy the dress in my goal size. I have never done this before! I bought it and continued my journey, with goals! I was so nervous to try it on. I knew I was losing and was so close to my goal weight.
I was checking my measurements, but I hadn’t checked in a while. My clothes were hanging on me and my kids kept saying “You need new clothes Mom!” I hadn’t met my goal yet but there were only a few weeks until graduation and I was just 5 pounds away, so I tried the dress on and it fit me. I was ecstatic!
Not only did the dress fit, it wasn’t tight, and it looked good! I was 2 pounds away from my goal for the graduation and I was disappointed but my husband and kids were so encouraging and proud of my success. The inches spoke louder than the scale. I have to remind myself that often because I do tend to get hung up on the numbers on the scale which I know can fluctuate (and that’s normal!).
As I continued my journey, my husband saw my results and was completely sold on the program. So at the end of May, he started the 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge with me! This time, he had goals as well. He also walked on the treadmill and stuck to the plan strictly. By the end of the May challenge, he was completely convinced this is how we needed to eat.
He felt better, had more energy and quickly saw results! We decided this was going to be our lifestyle for good so we took action steps:
- I signed up to be an annual member of the 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge.
- I cleaned out the pantry and fridge so that there were no processed foods or refined sugars left in our house.
- We both committed and felt better for it!
With our kids going back to college, I have to admit made this a lot easier. They are the enemy…lol. They like the new recipes, however, they made it clear they love their comfort food too! They are very supportive of our new lifestyle change and they encourage us to continue.
By the end of September of 2017, my husband and I had both lost 46 pounds, a combined 92 pounds. Following the 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge wasn’t hard and all we had to do was eat good healthy food. We didn’t feel deprived of anything and the cravings were gone. We did allow life to happen occasionally and then we just continued on. We still walk on the treadmill every day at least 5-6 times a week for weight loss.
Ed and I had both tried other programs in the past, and we would lose weight only to have it all come back on again. Usually, those programs were so deprived that when we were done, we’d overindulge and feel like we’d been set up to fail. Clean Eating is the opposite of that. We never felt deprived. There is nothing special to buy, just real food.
When I returned to my doctor for my annual physical and lab work, she was so happy with my results! She just kept praising me! That moment I felt so good about myself, and what I had accomplished. Now that I’m healthy I am never going back!
My cholesterol was normal, my Hemoglobin A1C was normal, measures for diabetes, and for the first time in my life my HDL’s were great! My provider was almost in tears when she said: “Do you know how often I get to give good news to patients? Rarely!”
It’s now August of 2018 my husband and I have both maintained our weight goals. We work, travel, go on vacation and continue to maintain. Yes, we fluctuate about 5 pounds here and there and we are ok with that. That is normal for everyone. We have an occasional indulgence and continue on our journey.
We get on the treadmill 3-4 a week for maintenance. We love how we feel, we love the energy we have, we love the food we eat! Our friends tell us we look so young! This journey has been an amazing and rewarding experience. All of our friends and family ask us how we did it. We tell them about CleanFoodCrush and they are amazed. A couple of friends have started the program and others aren’t there yet. I do believe you need to be ready and in the right mindset to be successful. It took me 2 years to get there.
I am here to say “If we can do it anyone can!” I know everyone says that but we are middle-aged and we each lost 46 pounds. I really didn’t think it was going to work, but I knew I had to get healthy. Set achievable goals and adjust as you go. I didn’t set out to lose 46 pounds. I gradually got there. I kept adjusting my goal.
You need to achieve the small goals to get to the big goal! We live in rural Alaska off the road system. It is very hard to get fresh fruit and vegetables at times. We order a veggie box weekly from Anchorage and as far as organic, we have a very small section.. maybe a ¼ of an isle. While organic is important it won’t break you if it’s not organic chicken or beef. We also ship organic meats in but when we run out we purchase what is available and we simply ensure it is lean and the highest grade of meat.
This is the simplest and easiest way to lose weight naturally. There’s no calorie counting or special foods to buy. A good support system is essential and the Private CleanFoodCrush Facebook group is amazing! Daisy and Billie Jo are so supportive and very positive!
My advice, don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t let the small obstacles get in the way. If you eat real food and follow the plan you will be successful! Be positive and if you slip, just continue on. The 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge really works! We have never felt better and so full of energy. We wish everyone the success that we have achieved. You can do it, just believe in yourself!
Thank you, Rachel, for creating this amazing program!
Chris & Ed