I never thought I'd actually do it, but I did... And it changed my life.

As little girls mature into young women, society’s stigma of ‘the perfect body’ begins to overwhelm their minds.  As a child, there is very little sense of shame or self-consciousness, toddlers wear bikinis their parents buy for them without hesitation and run around with chocolate all over their face without thinking twice. As children continue to grow they are absolutely satisfied with their natural appearance, as the concept of makeup is only associated with play.  When they mature and their hormones begin to change, so does their physical appearance.  Comparisons begin to form between other girls in their class or family members who may be the same age, but look "better" than them. Jealousy and even hatred is formed between those who were once friends, all because someone went through the 6th grade and gained 15 pounds compared to their classmate who gained nothing. Bullying is a real thing and every day girls are tortured because they have gaps in their teeth, aren't a size 00, wear glasses… the list goes on. Girls become ashamed of themselves because they are told by the world that their thighs shouldn’t touch and that different is bad.  Whether it is seen visually by paging through magazines of supermodels or just looking at their friend in a bathing suit and noticing that their stomach is much flatter and “more attractive,” this is something dealt with on a daily basis from an age much too young. Body image negativity is also heard verbally by those around them who constantly complain about their growing waistline, and/or the latest diet bandwagon they have jumped aboard.  In the female realm of this world, weight is an all too common topic of discussion. 

I personally was subject to this very obstacle at a young age and can honestly say it is something that I still deal with as a 25 year old. As I went through my middle school years, most of the other girls in my classes kept their lean, slim physique while my hips grew wider and weight began to gather around my midsection. By no means was I “fat” according to anyone else. But to me, in comparison to others around me I was fat, and I was VERY ashamed of it. Years went on like this and I didn’t bothered to share this information with even the most important people in my life. To be honest, it wasn’t until a few months ago that I realized how much of an impact it had on my life. 

Finally after reaching high school I sprouted a few inches taller and my body weight resituated itself, revealing the figure of the young woman that I had been pining for all those years. I was active in high school, and weight gain was not an issue so I never really worried about my diet or nutrition.  I went through a few transitions as I went from being a high school athlete to a freshman in college, such as: holding myself accountable for daily gym sessions and making “healthier” choices in the café such as wraps and salads vs. burgers, fries, and pizza. However, looking back now, my habits those first few years of college were nothing short of horrible. Somehow I managed to stay at a comfortable size throughout what I refer to as my self-induced “natural disaster” (nutritionally speaking at least). 

About half way through my undergraduate schooling, once I had settled in on a major and was spending the majority of my days with people who were very active and healthy, I decided a change was needed. I began to feel regret (lots of it) after nights filled with alcohol and poor food choices. I wouldn't even want to look in the mirror because I was so disgusted with myself. My solution seemed a bit drastic to most of my friends, but I was up for a challenge… I became a pescatarian, meaning I didn’t eat meat, only seafood. This pretty much cut out any late night snacking, because A) the only thing on McDonalds menu that met my diet was the Filet-O-Fish and let’s be real… that is horrific. And B) seafood pizzas are less than desirable. The other part of this diet change was increased attention to the low fat/whole grain craze that is now referred to as the “Standard American Diet.” It was at this point that I became known to most as “the healthy one.” I thrived on exercise and (at the time what I thought was) good nutrition. I picked up the habit of running and even faced my fear and stepped into the weight room.  

After undergrad I moved to Illinois to pursue a Masters Degree, and shortly after was faced with an unfavorable situation that tested me more than anything else had. In order to cope with the way I was feeling, I made the decision to train for my 1st distance race, a half marathon. I fell in love with running over the next few months and good nutrition became necessary for fueling a “good run.” A good friend of mine introduced me to the 21-Day Sugar Detox in the fall of 2013 and I was skeptical, very skeptical at first. You want me to not eat oatmeal with berries in the morning? I have to stop eating peanut butter? 21 days without ice cream? I never thought I’d see the day, but I am always up for a challenge so soon after finishing my 2nd half marathon, I embarked on my 1st 21DSD(pescatarian modification). 

I’ll be honest the first few days were not fun… I had to change all of my routines, especially in the morning. I had thrived off of working out and then coming home to a bowl of cereal or oatmeal with fruit, and now I had to learn how to start my day without sugar. I pretty easily transitioned into loving scrambles or even fish from the night before topped with spinach and a fried egg, but then there was lunch and even worse snacks… what could I even eat for snacks??? Chex mix, popcorn and crackers turned into veggies and nuts, green apples and almond butter, and banana ice cream. Dinners were not too much different than my previous diet,  I just eliminated the quinoa and whole wheat pasta I was eating prior to the detox and kept the protein and vegetables. Like I said, this was far from easy, and some days resulted in less gym time because I did feel tired at points, but what kept me going was the way I began to look & feel. 

I had always wanted the “picture perfect” flat stomach, the toned muscles, and tight butt that flooded the media. Well, 2 weeks into this detox, I had it.  I was astonished at how I could stop counting calories, decrease my time at the gym and in turn, weight was literally falling off. I easily pushed through the last week of the detox and ended up with a total weight loss of 12lbs, I felt amazing and looked great!  This program is not intended specifically for weight loss and I knew that going into it, but it still was a wonderful surprise to come out with such great results! Way more than that though, is how much I learned about diet and nutrition from this program. I now read the labels for literally everything that I put in my body, I learned how many products sugar has snuck into, and I learned what negative effects those toxic ingredients can have on people. Not only in regards to their weight, but in regards to energy levels, mood, autoimmune diseases, and more. 

Since then I have completed 3 more full detoxes and have never once looked back. Each time I did a detox the amount of information I learned about nutrition continued to grow, and bad habits began to decrease until they eventually dissolved. About 6 months after being introduced to the detox I added meat back into my diet, and WOW was I missing out! Throughout the next few rounds of the 21DSD I eliminated dairy from my diet (except for the occasional “treat day” ice cream) and now I am proud to say that I eat a paleo diet 85% of the time. 

“The 21-Day Sugar Detox is a clear-cut, effective, whole-foods-based nutrition action plan that will rest your body and your habits! Tens of thousands of people have already used this groundbreaking guide to shatter the vicious sugar stronghold… What you’ll experience on this program will be different from a lot of other ‘diet’ programs out there that promote extremely restricted eating; encourage you to consume only shakes, juices, or smoothies; or rely heavily on supplements and very-low-calorie or very-low-fat diets to ensure success. The goal of any detox program should be to support your body in naturally cleansing itself of substances that create negative health effects-and that’s exactly what The 21-Day Sugar Detox does.” –Diane Sanfilippo, The 21-Day Sugar Detox

I invite you to join me on this journey through the 21DSD beginning on November 2nd.  I am offering online coaching packages that include: 3 weekly conference calls, email support and updates, access to a private FB community, a participant workbook for detox curriculum, and REAL results. Don’t miss out!  Sign up today @ define fettle.com/21dsd.

XOXO -brit