21 Days.

They say it takes 21 days to build a habit. And you guys, I think we’re there.

We have been a real food eating, no sugar consuming, healthy, and energized bunch of Proebstings for the past 21 days, and I don’t plan on looking back. I’m very proud of us. I wish I could really get across to Leah how happy I am at all of the trying that she’s doing. That I do realize how hard it is for her to chew and swallow some of these new foods, but that she is a rock star three year old for doing it anyways! And Kyle, too. This game has come much easier to Quinnie and I. 🙂

About 19 days ago, Kyle pitched the question, (something to the effect of), “what are we going to do when we’re finished with this?” He participated in a challenge four years ago that was 12 weeks of intense cardio, muscle building, clean eating, etc. And when 12 weeks was up… it was over. Back to fruit loops for breakfast and McDonalds on the weekends. But this time is different for me. So I quickly answered back… we aren’t going to be finished with this. We’re locked in this for life, buddy. I’m not sure why it’s different for me this time around. Perhaps that disgusting Wendy’s chicken nugget had a bigger impact on me than originally thought, or perhaps I’m ready to be a crunchy granola mom, but it just is different. I just want better for my family. I want these adorable faces I cook for to have long, healthy, happy lives. And I do believe that what we put in our bodies is what we can expect to get out of them.

And 21 days later I have the evidence to prove it.

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9lbs and 3inches.

I didn’t start this thing to lose weight. Sure, there was the family beach body competition that gave me the start date, but I didn’t care about losing weight, honestly. I didn’t think I had much to lose. Of course, there were areas I wanted to change, but overall I was happy with my size. But when I see that picture – hello puffy. But now I’m quite a bit less puffy. (And ignore my face, taking selfies doesn’t come naturally to me). And this is barely working out… this is simply eating clean. Eating things that were made to go into, and be digested by, my body. If I can’t pronounce it, I don’t eat it. And if it’s not maple syrup or honey I don’t touch it. If it’s a color not of the earth (how’s that for crunchy granola mom), I walk on past. I don’t count calories. I don’t sit in a sauna. I don’t wrap myself up like a mummy. I don’t detox. I don’t cleanse. I don’t starve. I simply eat simple foods. And look at what happened! Not only the weight, but the energy is truly something to behold. Do you know that I can now do 15 REAL pushups? And I squat 30 times holding 25lbs. You guys. I’m not a worker outer, but I have all of this energy and it has to go somewhere – so I put it into random exercise at random moments throughout the day. I have no “workout time,” I just get down and do push ups when I feel like it. It’s not uncommon for me to lunge from point A to point B around the house. Or to squat with Quinnie. Or to do a plank with Leah on my back.

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And I’m not saying any of that to brag, I’m just saying that eating real food has had a profound impact on my life – and in just 21 days!

Here’s where it gets real, though. I don’t think a carrot is as good as a piece of chocolate. And I think people that say things like that are ugly liars. And while I happily refuse candy now, I do remember that it tastes very, very good. I refuse to eat whole wheat pasta – we tried it one night – not for us. I’m Italian… don’t mess with my noodles. I don’t buy everything organic.  Leah still eats the snacks given to her at school (the other day it was colored goldfish, yaaaay).

So, we’re adapting as we go. And I think that’s okay, too. Perhaps that’s why we made it so long. I didn’t set my expectations too high. I just wanted to start and see where the wind would take us. And boy am I glad we did. Here are some ways we’ve changed:

  • Everything I bake now gets a little something green in it.

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Hooray for Zuchinnis! (Leah always asks for seconds of this).

  • Friday night is now Pizza night. And Leah knows it 🙂
  • We have a freshly blended smoothie every day with lunch. Leah picks the color; the only time I failed was when she asked for white.
  • We make our own ice cream now (thanks, Poppy). And with maple syrup instead of sugar it turns out like butter pecan. Um. YUM.
  • Our pantry is bare and our fruit bowl is toppling over.
  • I now crave things like a Blendtec blender, avacado de-pitter, and bread bags (you know, kitchen appliances) instead of candy or cookies.
  • I have Tea time every afternoon, and it’s my favorite time of the day.
  • By menu planning and having a coordinating shopping list, I came in 43.33 UNDER budget for this months groceries. I don’t think I’ve ever come in under budget.

So those are some really fun things. I know Kyle is pretty happy with the last one.

It’s just a different way to live. But it’s working for us. The kids are still little enough that it’s easy to get them on board. Valentine’s Day poses a small problem, but heart shaped balloons, princess toys on clearance at Target, and homemade cookies should help. Easter poses another small problem, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. I’m not saying that we’ll never eat candy again. Or go to a restaurant. But we are in a really good spot right now, and I’m not quite ready to give that up.

21 days. What’s a few more?

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She’s ready.

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