It’s been 30 days and I’m proud to say I’m not a member of the “Clean Plate Club” anymore! Although this is a huge leap for me I have to tell you this is a journey that I know is a lifetime change and to get to a “healthy” lifestyle will take me a good 6 months of continuing to do what I have been doing this past month.

So let’s recap for all of you new friends who don’t have a clue of what I am talking about. In February I was contacted by Nutritionist Rebecca Scritchfield who wanted to know if I knew of someone who would be interested in a “Wellness Makeover” which would be part of a month long segment which would air weekly on ABC’s “Let’s Talk Live.” I thought about it for a moment and then thought hmm I was just about to call a Nutritionist that a friend of mine was using, because I was tired of looking in the mirror and seeing a distant memory of myself. I asked Rebecca would the person have to stand on a scale in front of all of Washington DC and the world or have measurements taken on TV and she said “No.” So without a second thought I jumped at the opportunity and said “Yes, Me!” That was the beginning of the journey.

I am not a dummy and know that in order to really be successful you need to actually move your body to reduce the number of calories you take in and as much as I don’t love exercise I thought I would like to have a trainer to help get this party started so to speak. That is when I met Ryan Walker of Alchemy Fitness. He and I began to work out weekly 3 days a week to work on Strength training. Which is a bit hard because over the years my balance has gotten “off” if you know what I mean, but I was determined and Ryan was great about working on a program that was tailored to a person who has high blood pressure. In addition to strength training I rode the bike for a cardio workout 2-3 other days. This in itself was another huge milestone for me. I only missed working out with him once due to a migraine, which is another topic for another time.

So what did I learn?

Week 1 & 2

1. I am an emotional eater, which is why I “graze” all day in the kitchen like a cow would do. I eat not because I am hungry, I don’t think I even would taste the food I was just shoveling it into my mouth to ease my emotions, if I was sad I ate, mad, I ate, upset I ate, worried, I ate… you see the pattern here? Does it sound familiar? Because I never stopped to realize what the heck I was doing.

2. I have been a chronic dieter my whole adult life. I have done Optifast, Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystems and was very successful each time I was “on” a “diet” but when I was done well back to #1 and you know what would happen, bloob bloob bloob over a few months I’d put back on the weight and sometimes more because I never “got it.”(this in itself is another whole post lol)

3. So what was it, what made me “get it?” I think maybe realizing that I’m not getting any younger i’m in my late 40’s and I don’t want to keep this up and possibly become diabetic at my own hands, or maybe have a heart attack, and not see my grandchildren. I woke up one day and realized I want to “live” I want to dance, I want to travel, I want to be healthy to take care of my disabled daughter. I needed to change and not for a minute, for forever.

4. We shopped for food. Rebecca and I went to Balducci’s which is where I love to shop since our local grocery stores produce taste like nothing; seriously I don’t know where they buy there produce but attention people at Giant and Safeway your produce is awful! So back to our adventures at Balducci’s we picked up a few new things like, Almond butter, and Pomegranate/Cherry Juice, and Quinoa. It was a true adventure shopping through the eyes of a Nutritionist not thru my Junior Chefs. Always try and take a shopping list with you to the store and follow it! One other little tip I picked up this week is stay away from the “middle aisles” in the store or what I will call the heavily processed foods and saucy foods. Eat fresh and clean!

5. Rebecca took a look through our kitchen and I’m happy to report that it wasn’t so bad! Not that I’m really surprised we usually don’t have a lot of “craparoo” around.

6. This was a big one for the week, eat “if” you are “hungry” hmm what a novel concept of eating when one’s body wants to be fueled. But that is what I really tried to concentrate on, “am I hungry?” And then “stop” eating when you feel satisfied! Do not continue, put down the fork and walk away from the table! I did it a few times, not all the time, but enough to know that I am ready to turn in my membership to the “clean plate club.” Parents please do NOT teach your kids to clean their plates you are doing them such a disservice in the long run, just ask me!

Week 3 & 4

1. You can eat out; just make it more about the “experience” and less about the food. I mean eating out is not something that most people do every night or every week even so when you do make it about the experience enjoy the company you are with and the surroundings. With that said, I learned I was eating way to fast! Slow down, “try” and I say that lightly because I know it is hard but try and chew each bite 30 times. Put your fork down when you have had a few bites, drink your beverage, ask your company a few questions and then go back to eating. When you eat out most restaurants give you wayyyy to much food, actually a salad at the Cheesecake Factory could easily feed a family of 4 if you eat the proper amounts of food. So what are the proper amounts of food? Take a dinner sized plate ½ of the plate should be your veggies, and ¼ of the plate grains and the last ¼ protein. That’s it, it’s that simple. And stay away from extra’s like salt, butter, creamy sauces or dressings those are just unnecessary and unhealthy.

2. We spent a lot of this week making over recipes which I loved from Ina, (my favorite gal) and I was introduced to a new friend/chef Ellie Krieger. After making the first recipe from Ms. Krieger’s cookbook “So Easy,” I was hooked and knew we would become good friends! As I said I do love to cook and entertain and I spent a good deal of time trying “new” things.

3. Step up the exercise a bit more, Ryan and I continue to work out but I was getting “tired” of sitting on the bike, I wanted to “move” so I saw this dance/exercise class called “Zumba” and I gave it a try (yup you know it, another post lol) and I loved it, you can bet I will be Zumba-ing 3 days a week from now on!

Although this is brief and in an outline type form it gives you a pretty good idea of how things have gone the first 30 days and I’m proud to say I’ve lost 11 pounds and 18.5” all over. So I would have to say this is a great beginning, and although I know this is a journey I keep telling myself that I’m taking it one day at a time.

I would love to hear from you! Are you an emotional eater? Are you a member of the “Clean Plate Club?” Join me nowand QUIT!

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