We’d like to introduce you to Courtney Crozier. We (and maybe you) first noticed Courtney as a contestant on a popular weight-loss based reality TV show, and we were over the moon to see (via her Instagram feed) that she was embarking on a Whole30. Not only did she rock her program like a champ, but in the true spirit of the Whole30 community, she encouraged so many others along the way. When she wrapped up her day 30, we knew we had to connect with her and share her story with our community.
Courtney’s story started…
“When I was 21 years old, I weighed 435 pounds! I was on a popular weight loss TV show in 2011 and I lost 222 pounds in 18 months. I lost the first 112 on my own before I was on the show, from hard work and the determination of wanting to change my life for the better. I lost the other 110 pounds on the show. I lost the weight very differently in each stage of my journey. I don’t feel like one way was right and one way was wrong, but I do know for my mind and my FOREVER health that certain things I did worked and certain things didn’t. And after the show ended I had to find what worked for me for life and not just an accelerated weight loss competition.”
Paleo, Primal, and how she got to the Whole30…
“I see people talking about Whole30 all over social media! I am someone who truly believes that eating clean and whole foods can cure so many different ailments and diseases. Sometimes, even with this knowledge, my food addiction gets the best of me. I don’t always do what I know I should be doing for my body, and that is just the honest truth. I had seen people post about Whole30 on Instagram, and my initial thought was that there was no way I could do it because it seemed so ‘strict’. But the more I looked into it, the more I loved the guidelines and structure behind it. I thought it would be a great 30 days to figure out some things that I needed to about my relationship with food. I also thought that, since I tend to eat paleo/primal for the most part, it would not be difficult physically. I knew I would have challenges mentally with it because of my food addiction, but I wanted to go after it head on!”
At first, it was difficult…
“If you would have asked me in the beginning of my Whole30, I would have told you that this was one of the hardest ‘diets’ I had done, and that includes being on a very competitive weight loss show! The first few days were a bit of a detox period for me, especially from caffeine. (It was my choice to cut caffeine because I felt like I had an unhealthy relationship with it.) I had to prepare, prepare, prepare because if you don’t meal prep, it is really hard to stay on track with a busy schedule.
I also experienced a bit of a mental breakdown on Day 10. I just felt like there was no way I could do another 20 days without having one treat. I didn’t know at that point what the real treat would be…my major boost of energy, optimal workouts, and total mood change! Keeping emotions under control was difficult, especially because I often times use food to feed my emotions, good or bad. Luckily I had much support from my family and especially my boyfriend, who helped me stay on track the whole time!”
But that didn’t last long…
“I could go on and on and on about all of the things I loved about my Whole30 experience. I think the biggest thing that I enjoyed was that my mind really did change somewhere around halfway through about what I fuel my body with. I physically felt the changes my body was going through, and I hadn’t seen results like that in a while. Not to mention, my mood was better than it had ever been! I had boundless energy and the small amounts of anxiety that I had previously had were completely gone.
I took time for myself during those 30 days, which I often do not do because I am always doing for others. I HAD to make time to prepare and prep for the day and for the week. There wasn’t an option and I needed that. After I was done, I realized how much I loved the prepping part of Whole30 as it was therapeutic for me. I think knowing that you are preparing food to fuel your body and make you feel the best that you can makes everything so much easier and more fulfilling. It didn’t seem like a chore to me like I thought it would.
Coming off the Whole30, I know that I have to put myself first when it comes to my health. The most important thing that I learned is that this really is a way of life for me. I am going to live this way forever because it is what makes me feel the best and it is also the optimal way of living for HEALTH and that is what I want most. I will take Whole30 principles and use them in my Paleo lifestyle forever.”
Courtney’s relationship with food changed…
“I know that I have a food addiction and it is something I will probably fight for my whole life. But with Whole30, I learned so much about WHY and HOW and WHEN I make those choices that are not the best for me. I know that most of the food issues I have are with my mind. I craved sugar because I ate too much sugar. When you cut out the refined sugars and replace them with even more vegetables, fruit, meat, and healthy fats, amazing things happen! I’ve always known this, but I needed to prove it to myself…body and mind! I definitely did that and I don’t want to look back!”
Oh, and her body changed too…
“I still have about 40-50 pounds I would like to lose, but it is about SO much more than weight for me now! Being healthy from the inside is the most important thing to me and I believe a way of living should always be for optimal health. I did lose some weight, but I am most proud that I took 13.5 inches off of my body in just 30 days! I could tell that my clothes were fitting better, but I never thought it would be that many inches. That was really awesome coming from someone who hasn’t seen a lot of inches fall off in quite some time. I know this is just what my body wanted and NEEDED! I also had a major improvement in mood, zero anxiety, less bloating, a major energy boost, clearer skin, longer nails and hair, clearer vision, improved workouts, and overall just a happier and healthier life! Those are the things that mean the most to me and always will.”
You can connect with Courtney Crozier via her blog, CourtneyCrozier.com (where she’s still providing Whole30 resources and sharing her experience with her readers), and through social media on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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