I am in Week 12 of my 90 Day Challenge and now I can really see the end of it in sight. It is the next week!
Saying that, my husband and I have already agreed that we wish to continue in as similar manner as we have learnt to live and eat over the past three months time. We are asked often when our diet finishes and the question does create a little bit of resistance in both of us.
While it was restrictive in many ways, I have not seen it as anything that was depriving my body of anything. The only thing that body was deprived of was added sugar, unnecessary empty calories, processed food, alcohol, unhealthy fats, added salt and everything else in between.
So, when you “deprive” your body of empty calories of cakes, biscuits, chocolate, candies, ice cream, crisps, alcohol, and then also white rice, white potato, pasta, bread, processed meats, sauces and other processed foods, etc., I can guarantee you your body will notice.
If you add, on top, home-made cooked meals with lean protein, healthy fats and vegetables as well as nutritional supplements that further enhance overall nutrient intake – your body will truly be able to get to Optimum Nutrition level. That is how it felt, almost for the first time in a long time.
You see, I have always been healthy, I had an interest in health & wellness since I was a teenager, but I have also “sinned”. A lot. When I think about it – most probably, on a daily basis. Because I could.
Overall healthy eating and supplementation helped me to stay on top of my weight most of the time, with respectable energy levels, and very low amount of illnesses over the past decade, certainly a lot less than an average person. Some may even call this balanced. I used to. Not any more. And I used the word “sin” for a reason. The feeling we get when we do or say something we know we shouldn’t.
After starting my 90 Day Plan, it became clear that this challenge was going to challenge us. Physically and mentally. It was the cleanest plan we could have chosen, science based, balanced, safe and solid. This was important to us. Because of what we believed in personally and it also meant I was not doing all that much different from what I was advising clients to do.
But, starting in January also meant that we would need to go through family’s five birthday events and a few other dinner/ lunch engagements. And we did. Successfully. Without breaking the “diet”. Looking back, here are the changes that took place over the past three months:
- My husband lost 10 lbs of body fat, with body fat going down from 19% to 14%. Visceral Fat went down from 8 to 5.
- He used to suffer from digestive issues and flatulence. No more.
- I lost just over 12 lbs. Muscle mass intact. Body fat went from 29% to 23%. Visceral fat from 4.5 to 3. I am 44-year-old mum with two children… I am very happy with those results. And I can tick off the list getting a six pack, although this has never been part of my list. I now know how to get it myself and how to help others get it too.
- My skin has never been problematic, but every month, around my period, I would get a spot or two, I always thought they were hormonal. Well, there is no sign of them, I have had clear skin for weeks now without any breakages. I used to use a face concealer, now less and less, most days not at all. I am happy how my skin feels naturally.
- I used to get painful period cramps and mood swings. This has disappeared too. They say there is no Japanese word for “menopause” as Japanese women do not suffer from it. This is, of course, all diet related. I am hoping, being at the age when menopause is not that far away, that the same can happen to a Western Woman when diet is right. Stabilising my PMS or, rather, eliminating it, gives me that kind of hope.
- I have a generally sweet tooth, however, after three months of not touching any sweets, cakes or chocolates – those can be in front of me and would not bother me. We have a cupboard with biscuits for the boys if they wish to have something sweet – I have not been tempted to raid it in any shape or form. Craving has disappeared. I truly am free from temptation. I am not saying I will never touch chocolate, but, being in control and doing it when it is my choice, rather than craving, feels liberating.
- I have more energy, not that it has been lacking, but there is even more of it. Getting up at 5:30AM and doing my exercise routine before boys get up has become a habit and something I truly look forward to each morning.
- My children took notice of our plan and we are showing them the way, they are asking questions and, with that, learning at the same time. This all is a way of us, as parents, setting up the example.
- My mental strength has increased. I am tempted each day to go back to old habits or break our 90 Day Challenge rules because of some foods being all around us that are not on the plan or do not serve me, but are incredibly yummy and satisfying. Instead of giving in, I am mindful, I pause, think about it and opt out. And then feel good about it. Really good feeling. This has got to do with more than just no longer being addicted to sugar. This is a CHOICE. And, from whichever angle you look at it – it is liberating.
I used to think my diet was balanced, but forcing myself initially into clean eating, I have grown to like it because my body is thanking me so much each day after following it for almost three months now. I think word “balance” will mean a different thing to different people, but, my approach to “balance” has shifted.
For my body to feel and stay in full balance, diet needs to be clean. Full stop.
Any time when it is not, my body will be pushed OUT OF Balance. Balance for me these days is feeling well and in top form every single day. This is how I want to live. And this is why our plan has never been a DIET.
Word DIET comes from a Greek word DIETA, which means WAY OF LIFE. So, if I have been on a diet, it is a WAY OF LIFE kind of diet.
And, I think, this is the only one that counts and that gives sustainable results over long period of time, so you stay healthy and vibrant for a long period of time.
I focus a lot on eating as it is 80% of your health, but, rest assured, I also think that to change your health, one needs to change their habits in relation to exercise, rest and hydration too. Those, together with clean eating, will give you the best chance to truly live a disease-free, healthy life for a long period of time.
Thank you for reading to the end, hope it has inspired you to live cleaner, healthier lifestyle. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions.
Yours in Health,