The first step I took to grabbing the reins of my life was to take responsibility for my body and how I care for it. In the beginning of September I met with Lisa Carpenter, founder of the 10 week E.A.T. Program, which I wrote about in one of my first blog posts “My Starting Point”.

Ten sessions have since passed and last night was the big reveal and  I was blown away, not just by me losing 27 lbs, 23 inches and over 7% in body fat – but the PICTURES!! I am not ready to show you all of them because honestly, they are “too raw” if that makes sense. It feels like yesterday I was there – in a year I might but not tonight. The best I will do is give you the back fat shot – dramatic to say the least. You can only imagine (if you really want to..) what the front looked like..haha. Enjoy…. uuggh.

I did this by following the structure that Lisa puts forth – eating 5 meals EVERY day that were rich in lean protein, smart carbohydrates (including bread AND potatoes!), lots of leafy greens, healthy fats (Omega 3, 6 & 9s) and mountains of fresh vegetables and fruit. In comparison to previous attempts, it was refreshing to see no quick fixes, no magic powders or shakes to drink, shots or blood work to take and NO deprivation. I honestly didn’t expect it to work! LOL!

And get this, I even did this with a few nights of wine and junky food – difference was I enjoyed the hell out of it and just picked up where I left off the next day. No more sabotage. Eureka!

When people ask me what I’m doing to lose the weight and I tell them about the course, I sometimes get resistance with only answering the question by saying “I took a course on eating for weight loss and optimal health”. Like today, when a woman (I don’t know) asked me, she immediately said “Sounds like hard work.. (grimace face)” and then she asked me to tell her more so I did but she quickly cut me off saying “Oh I do all that already” and “I eat healthy but it doesn’t work” And although I REALLY wanted to engage because I’m super passionate about what I learned and love how it’s going to serve me for the rest of my life!!!…. I stop myself because I’m not here to convince anyone of anything. I’m just glad I found my way to it and also remember being in the same place. I wouldn’t have wanted to hear it either..haha.

The difference for me this time is that I was ready to admit whatever I was doing wasn’t working and think a lot of the success that happens in this course is when people show up, do the hard work and open themselves up to shifting their position or attitude – whatever it is. This is hard to do if you are hell-bent on believing you NEED cheese to live (believe me, I tried!!).

I surrendered and let go of what I thought I knew. This was the hardest part of the course for me and if you are ready to do this and want the change bad enough –you can make BIG changes and it is WAY EASIER than you think. There was never a time where I wanted to quit but I was annoyed and irritated with food logging and having to shift my thinking and behaviors. Most of the time this was just old patterns and my troll trying to sabotage my progress (note still working on this even though they are getting further and further away).

 How am I different now?

  • I don’t eat cheese at every meal … or at all for that matter (I just heard a collective GASP from my friends & family).
  • I’m less about a destination and see this as a daily, meal by meal way of living. In time, my body will catch up and be its optimal size.
  • I found myself RUNNING up the stairs carrying six bags of groceries yesterday. No calling Scott from the car to come help. Laughed when I noticed this.
  • I play with my boys differently – lifting the big one up more, rough housing, running, chasing and climbing at the park. We have more fun together.
  • I gorged myself on 3 CUPS of BRUSSEL SPROUTS tonight dressed in pureed avocado, horseradish and red chilli sauce, salt & pepper…. and LOVED IT! I made the bowl for the family and ended up eating the entire thing myself! What the…??!!!!
  • My 3 year old doesn’t beg for juice anymore. BIG WIN! He yells for water and it’s music to my ears!
  • I have now begun incorporating my new knowledge into my family’s meals with success.
  • Even though I still loath food logging, I see the value in it and will go back when I feel myself slipping. It’s a good way to keep mindful about the food I’m eating and why.
  • I’m armed with tools to get me though eating out, Christmas parties and my own self-sabotage.
  • I feel a sense of calm in the journey now – less roller coaster and ‘good’ ‘bad’ mentality. I’m human and will make less than stellar choices but will move forward the next day instead of derailing the process.
  • I read food labels and understand them on a whole new level.
  • I feel SO much more confident in my own skin and love that my wardrobe doubled now that I can fit into my thinner clothes.
  • My husband is reaping the rewards of a happier, healthier, ‘rock star’ feeling wife 😉

That being said, now that the classes are over, I need to keep my “I got this” mentality in check because it’s only been 10 classes and this is something I want for the rest of my life. Definitely something I will need to check in on every now and then at the Alumni events which I’m looking forward to. Once you become a member of the E.A.T crew, you are welcomed into a family of other women on the same path with support, recipes and stories to share about how to ‘keep going’. Love it and can’t wait.

Thank you Lisa and the amazing women I shared this journey with over the past two months. I look forward to connecting again and seeing what else we are capable of!

Although I am forever changed and happy the majority of the weight I wanted to lose is gone, this was the beginning piece of a much bigger puzzle for me to live life with more purpose. Today, I reached week  8 in my 5K running program and ran 28 minutes in a row without stopping 🙂 This weekend I head into the second to last course of coach training-action and continue to explore this possible career change. I also started a fun grassroots “movement” with a handful of fellow community-lovers to inspire, educate and convert locals in Steveston to connect our community even more using the power of social media. We created a bulletin board on Facebook called  #SocialSteveston: Our Community and launched the #SocialSteveston web page where events and resources will be posted on how to get involved. We are planning a larger kick-off meeting with local businesses and community leaders in the coming weeks to see where this will go.

Before I sign off, it has to be said that although I am glad to be out of “the well” and feeling more alive and engaged with the world than ever before, I am officially in uncharted territory now. I’ve been in ‘action-mode’ for almost three months now and I’m starting to feel the effects of the shifts happening. The original ‘kick-ass and take names’ part of me is now feeling more like ‘where the hell am I and what’s next’… which feels a LOT scarier and uncertain. Enter the whispers of my troll.

Thank God Peter and I are reuniting this weekend after months apart so I’m hoping to get some much needed ‘catch-up’ coaching to see what shakes out. I’ll be sure to report back.

Thank you all for following along with comments, emails and updates from fellow 5 and 10K runners around the world who inspire me to keep going.

Until next time, with much love and gratitude, Ker