Marti Keegan is one of our “pioneer” boot campers. She was there for our first day of boot camp over two years ago – braving leftover snow, darkness and cold, and has kept coming back ever since.
Marti lost 6 pounds during the 4-week Clean Up Challenge and was our 2nd Place winner for Lifestyle Transformation for our . Her story is below.
I think the greatest thing that can be learned from her story is that clean eating isn’t always easy. That yes it takes time and planning but the results make the effort worth it. That once you cleanse your palette of all the junk and so-called “healthy” foods, you start to appreciate the tastes of real food. And that adopting a clean eating lifestyle doesn’t mean giving up “treats” forever, but becoming more discriminating regarding when and how you choose to indulge, so that you can truly savor those treats.
The beginning was the most difficult. It took time for my body to get adjusted and it took time for me to adjust. The first few days I felt really hungry and struggled with cravings for the foods I was missing. I remember writing in my food journal on day 8 and having serious doubts about whether I would make it all the way through.
I definitely had to change the way I shopped at the grocery store, both when I went shopping and what I bought. I knew I had to make sure that I always had the right food on hand. That meant frequent shopping trips for me. If I were someone who normally cooked meals I probably wouldn’t have had to shop the way I did: picking up just enough fresh food to get me through the next few meals. But that was a part of the challenge – knowing what my limitations were and working around them. I wasn’t going to become a chef overnight.
Many of my meals didn’t require much elaborate cooking at all: protein smoothies, apples, almonds, string cheese, salads with avocado, cherry tomato, hard boiled eggs, pre-cooked boneless chicken. I think I found really simple methods of creating snacks and meals that fit the requirements and didn’t take me much time to prepare at all.
Having a variety of good choices also helped. It’s easy to only have 8 almonds when you’re having a small apple at the same time. But if all I had for a snack was almonds I’d be eating them like potato chips – really not a good idea.
I think avocados are my new favorite food. I don’t know why I never bought them before but they’re amazing. I even tried the Brussels sprout recipe. It was simple and I did actually like them. It’s been nice to discover some new foods in the process.
There were times when I surprised myself by not giving in to temptation. I always felt good about passing the test and sticking to the challenge. After surviving dinner out without having a glass of wine and without eating a single piece of bread [that was the harder part] I realized that I was just fine without them….well at least for that night. I have to be honest. I don’t think I will be able to live without some bread in my life.
Knowing that I was losing pounds, shedding some fat, fitting into my clothes better was a great motivator. I hadn’t seen much change in my body lately. I felt like I had hit a wall. It was really exciting to see it begin to look the way I want it to. It makes me feel as though my goals are within reach. That’s pretty amazing. And that kept me on track…feeling like I was accomplishing something. It was also good to know that everything I ate was something good for me. If you take care of your body, your body will take care of you. Makes sense.
I do want to keep a lot of these rules in my eating habits. I think I have felt better for it and I certainly have seen how beneficial it has been for my body. I let myself go this weekend – and just ate some junk. It makes me want to get back to clean eating starting tomorrow.
I am sure that I will want to have some bread, some sweets and a drink every now and then…but one of things I’ve thought about is that I will be more choosy about when I indulge. It’ll have to be really worth spending those calories. Something I can savor . . .
Whenever I’m in the checkout line at the grocery store I find myself scanning the magazines. . . I have bought the magazines – clipped out the articles – stashed them away according to category – food – fitness – makeup tips. Not that I want to malign the magazines themselves – because I’m sure many of them have some very nice ideas. The problem is reading an article isn’t going to magically change your life.
There is actually a point to my rambling on about magazines. The thing is, the last time I went to the grocery store, and stood in the check out line, and scanned the magazines – I thought – I’m already doing what I need to do – I know that going to boot camp 4 days a week is the fitness routine that works for me – I know it is what gives me the ability & the opportunity to continue to challenge myself and get stronger and fitter and stay that way….and then I thought…I already know what I need to do about eating healthy – it’s what I’ve been doing for the last month. It’s what I’m doing right now with all this fresh food in my basket. There was a kind of relief in knowing that. Not that I won’t pick up a magazine every now and then – but I won’t be so vulnerable to it’s promises of my perfect life hidden there in between the pages. I will be living my perfect life. And that will change everything.
Well said, Marti. Congratulations on your success!