When I joined CNS Kitchen in 2022, I was looking for a community of others who were on a whole food, plant-based (WFPB) journey. At the time, my goal was weight loss. I had been gaining and losing the same ten pounds for over a year. What I didn’t know then was how important the other pillars of health were for my well-being. As I connected with others through the 30-day challenges, classes, and conversations with other members, I began to find success. And the success was about so much more than my weight.
The critical development for me has been changing my mindset around health. I am no longer focused on what the scale says, and I understand the importance of self-care more broadly. I wake up early and begin the day slowly with tea, meditation, and journaling with soft music in the background. Intentional movement is also part of my daily routine. I get outside to walk and take in nature. I listen to the sounds around me and take in all the outdoors has to offer. In addition, I do some resistance training and stretching each day. I have recently incorporated setting a timer on my phone for every 30 minutes. Each time it goes off, I get up and do two minutes of activity. It might be walking around the house, or it might be doing some squats. If I am feeling ambitious, I might even vacuum a room or two. I’ve also been cooking at home more often. Going out to eat no longer holds the allure for me that it used to. I feel better eating plant-rich foods that I prepare in my own kitchen. The recipes and cooking classes provided by CNS Kitchen are fabulous!
Another huge change is how I talk to myself. Instead of beating myself up for making mistakes like I did in the past, I give myself grace and accept that I am a human being on a journey. I am not perfect. I celebrate the wins and forgive the slip-ups. If I make a choice that isn’t best for my health, I get right back on track and keep moving forward. I have learned the importance of setting goals and doing something every day that helps me meet those goals. For example, if I don’t have time for my 45-minute walk, I still lace up my tennis shoes and head out for 10 or 15 minutes. This small act reminds me that I am someone who takes care of herself by walking each day, even if only for a bit.
If you were to look at before and after pictures of me, you probably wouldn’t see a huge difference. My weight loss is slow and steady. However, the “inside” Julie has completely transformed. I am happier, I feel stronger, and I know that life will continue to get better. The support of the CNS Kitchen community has been essential to these changes. I am so glad I joined this group and look forward to continuing my journey.
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