Achieving a weight loss goal does NOT mean being hungry. Instead, it means filling your plate with foods that turn ON fat burning AND help prevent hunger and make you feel satisfied! Many of the AENpeeps are surprised to find that once they implement the Complete IF Bundle principles, their cravings are gone and they aren't hungry... AND they're losing body fat at the same time!
Today, I'm sharing Monica's incredible story. Monica has been an AENpeep for a year and is loving how she feels eating satisfying, fat burning foods. In fact, she accidentally went above and beyond her initial wellness goal!
"I had only set out to lose 5 or 10 pounds, but I actually lost nearly 25 pounds over the course of three or four months! ...I have stopped obsessively counting calories and living in what felt like a persistent state of starvation."
Check out Monica's wellness journey and experience below!
Tell us about yourself!
Hi! I am newly 30 this week, but I won't complain because I am also probably in better shape than I have ever been before! I am a kindergarten teacher living in Alabama and missing the mountains of Colorado, where I finished my Master's and taught first grade for the past five years before moving back home to be closer to family. I have a very supportive and amazing boyfriend-practically-hubby of 12 years (we were high school sweethearts!) and we have three kitties - Weasley, Sadie, and Chubby, who often grace the background of my pictures of smoothies and keto coffee. I love all things nerdy and have always enjoyed learning new things, so naturally finding Autumn's channel was a treat and inspiration for me! I am so thrilled to soon be celebrating my one-year anniversary as one of the AEN peeps!
Which program/protocol are you following?
I would be very interested in trying out the Athlete protocol at this point in my journey, but I typically find myself following the Hormone Balancing Pro protocol... I have stopped obsessively counting calories and living in what felt like a persistent state of starvation. Instead, I started focusing on the quality of the foods I was eating and how satiated I was after each meal. My boyfriend and I began to pay close attention to ingredient labels and cooking at home from scratch nearly every night. These changes have made a world of difference for us both physically and mentally!
What was your main wellness goal with the Complete IF Bundle Protocols?
Initially, my goal was purely aesthetic. I wanted to lose a few pounds for one of my best friends’ weddings. I’d been doing Transform 20 for a couple of weeks already, and I just needed guidance on food to help speed up the process of shedding 5-10lbs. At the time, I had no intention of making a permanent lifestyle change. I wanted a quick fix.
Once I began seeing and feeling real change, though, my goals evolved into ones that were meaningful and health-driven. It took some time, but I no longer put so much stock in the number on the scale. Instead, I wanted to become stronger and more toned. I wanted to heal my gut. I wanted to not feel bloated and crampy every time I finished a meal. I wanted to tackle my seemingly relentless adult acne problem and have clear skin again. I wanted my stomach ulcers to go away. I wanted my blood panels to not raise concern from my doctors. (They were always surprised that someone of my age, who was not considered traditionally overweight, had so many nutrient deficiencies and gut health issues.)
I’m proud to say that after following Autumn’s advice for a few months, I shed nearly 25 pounds, and I saw most of these problems correct themselves!
Did you try anything else in the past to achieve your wellness goals?
As often as I used to complain about hating my body, I had never truly committed to any real diet before this. Rather than actually making lasting changes to my habits, I would randomly and desperately try these embarrassing fad diets (i.e. the regrettable cabbage soup diet, UGH). I knew it was foolish and unhealthy. I knew it was not sustainable and that any weight lost would likely just be water weight, but I did it anyway in hopes of being “thinner” for the next upcoming event. I cringe at the memory of jokingly asking friends in the teacher’s lounge at Christmastime if I could “smell” their food because I missed real food that much.
When I realized that I couldn’t possibly make that last, I began counting calories religiously. And it kind of worked. For a little while. Yet I always felt like I was STARVING. I never felt satisfied, and I certainly never felt happy. I even briefly gave IF a whirl, but I was never informed or consistent enough to see any change.
Intermittent fasting (the RIGHT way) truly changed my life! My relationship with food is a positive one now, and it has been an empowering experience taking control of my health
Did you have any hesitations before getting started?
If I’m being honest, I entered my health journey kicking and screaming. Being healthy never seemed desirable or sustainable. I never saw myself as a “fit" person. “That's just not me," I would tell myself, as if wellness was a personality trait. I was perfectly content with the late-night happy hours with friends, the gluttonous foodie in me, the corner I had carved into the couch where I snuggled with my cats nightly under pillows and fuzzy blankets, the Netflix binging accompanied by an endless supply of snacks and wine. I embraced the lazy lifestyle that had grown so comfortable.
Finding Autumn’s channel changed all of that. Once I began following her advice and forming good habits, I saw real change. I now knew I was capable of treating my body well and feeling so much BETTER.
While I still love snuggling with my cats and eating delicious food, I don’t ever want to go back to the person I was before I made a commitment to these lifelong habits.
What's the biggest wellness win you experienced?
I had only set out to lose 5 or 10 pounds, but I actually lost nearly 25 pounds over the course of three or four months! But as I said, the number on the scale slowly became the least important thing. My bouts of cystic acne cleared, and my bloating and inexplicable stomach pain have all but disappeared. I have less inflammation overall, and I've regained control of my hunger hormones. I think the greatest win for me, though, was my change in mindset and my newfound ability to sustain healthy, lasting habits.
What was your favorite meal from the Complete IF Bundle?
We just made the Veggie & Black Bean Enchiladas for the first time this week, but they are easily my new favorite, as indicated by the completely empty plates following dinner. We also love the LA Street Tacos! They have become a staple in our household, especially paired with the homemade taco shells. For break-fast, my go-to smoothie is the Bloobs and Ginger Smoothie, but I love switching them up and trying as many different recipes as I can! The Almond and Bloobs, Mocha Maca, and PB & Chai smoothies are also wonderful! And of course, the OG Blueberry Hemp smoothie is a classic and a favorite of mine.
Did you have a Nutrition Nerd moment? 🤓
Absolutely! Though it took me a while to actually pull the trigger on the bundle (thank you to my sweet boyfriend who bought it for me as a Christmas present!) I had been following Autumn's IF principles and cooking her free recipes for quite some time. While I binged her channel, something clicked for me. I had never had it explained to me in such a way that helped me grasp the science behind the effect food has on my body. Learning about nutrient timing and the process of making your body efficient at burning fat was fascinating to me. I stopped feeling so emotionally dependent on food and started viewing it more as fuel (yummy, yummy fuel) understanding that I had the power to manipulate the cause and effect. I felt in control. I remember telling myself during a long walk one night after dinner, "A body in motion stays in motion." I was at rest before, but I was now motivated to never stop.