I’m so excited to share this giveaway with you this morning. A few weeks before the last 21 Day Ultimate Weight Loss Challenge began, I ran the same giveaway here on HGK and I chose Cyd as the winner. She has been an enthusiastic and supportive member of UWL ever since and we all love her!
“I’ve been overweight most of my adult life. It started at about 19, around the time my husband and I met. We got comfortable with fast food, watching TV and I was perfectly happy ignoring exercise. That was a dangerous combination – my weight started to go up. So, my response? Diet. Fad Diet. Bad Diet. Name it, I’ve done it. All the big names (Jenny Craig, NutriSystem, Lindora, Fen-Phen, etc..) and a LOT of the little ones (cabbage soup, magic pills, mono diet, etc..).
I spent a lot of money and time chasing after dreams that I was never able to realize with these diets. And, to make matters worse, while they may have helped me to lose some weight here and there, each iteration ended in me gaining the weight back PLUS another 5-10%.
Fast forward to my early 30s…I grew to 347lbs.
I only know that number because of the vitals sheet I got from my doctor’s office back then. I had long since tossed out the ‘broken’ scale (it wasn’t broken, it just stopped at 320). I was wearing a women’s size 30/32 pant and those were getting tight. I had knee problems. In fact, I remember the orthopedic doc handing me a knee catalog (yes, they exist) and him telling me that’s where I’m headed. I had Type 2 diabetes and extremely high cholesterol (back then, they called it ‘Adult Onset Diabetes’…sadly, you don’t hear that anymore). I started having more health issues because of my diabetes so I had to start looking for solutions to improve my health. While products like diabetic crew socks from https://wholesalediabeticsocks.com/shop-by-length/diabetic-crew-socks/ helped the complications I had been experiencing a lot, the best thing I could do was lose weight. I just didn’t realize it yet.
Work was stressful and all I was doing to deal with the stress was eating. Chocolate bars and chunks of cheese.
I was miserable and ready for something to change. I was at my wits’ end and started researching surgical options. I had decided that I was going to have Tonic Weight Loss Surgery at one point. Then, when talking to a friend, she pointed out that although the surgery would be amazing, I needed to start eating healthier and exercising as well. That was when I started researching healthy eating in more depth. I’d had so many failed attempts of losing weight using healthy eating and exercise that I was at my wit’s end. There’s no denying that it feels incredibly hard to lose weight, and if I hadn’t identified the reasons why I was finding it so difficult, I’d still be going round in the repetitive circle of looking for an alternative method to reduce fat.
I discovered a 21 day detox sponsored by an N.D and an M.D./N.D. down in Santa Monica. I decided to do it. I figured I had nothing to lose but weight…I’m glad I did. It was my first introduction to healthy eating and awareness about the importance of food and our bodies.
The cleanse was a vegan system that only required you to purchase food (no pills or powders). It worked really well and I lost weight. It made sense given the diet I was eating and the diet I was on during the cleanse. HUGE difference. I decided to stay vegan (plant based) and see how long I can go. It’s been 11 years as of this writing.
From there I continued losing weight but hit a plateau because I was still eating junk. Vegan junk. But still junk.
I stumbled along for a few years and then was fortunate enough to find Chef AJ’s intro class in 2009. I wasn’t quite ready then to make all of the changes Chef AJ recommended, but I liked her recipes and I love veggies. So I added them in and then the weight started to come off again. Slowly, but it got me out of the plateau.
I began to spend more time in Chef AJ’s classes and ultimately began to help her with her classes. An opportunity I will be eternally grateful for. I learned so much from her and the information began to stick.
But it wasn’t until Chef AJ took me aside and asked me to either commit to her program 100% (because it was clear that I wasn’t – my weight wasn’t dropping – I still weighed around 240) or consider scaling back to helping her at times we get together with friends.
It made perfect sense; Chef AJ’s Sous Chef wasn’t walking the walk.
That’s when I committed. January of 2012 I joined several others for [what was then called] the Chef AJ and JP 30 day Challenge. It wasn’t my first, but it was the first that I gave my all to. I lost well over 40 pounds, dropped from a size 18 to a 14 and felt GREAT. For the first time in over a decade, I felt in control. I still had weight to lose and much to learn, but I was well on my way.
I continued to learn from Chef AJ and in 2014 took her Ultimate Weight Loss class. It was the first of many that I would take with her. That is where I polished my skills and really locked in the science behind why it’s important to put the right whole foods that are unprocessed and free of added sugar/oil/salt into our bodies. I have since lost another 15 pounds and can almost see that weight loss goal “light” at the end of the tunnel. But now I know how to make sure not to let the weight come back.
I’ve been fighting weight problems for 24 years, and now, at long last, I feel like I’ve found the handles to my life and am getting a good grip once and for all. Thank you, AJ.”