I love having a partner to walk the Trim Healthy road with me. I found THM many years ago (think the big, white monster book days) after hearing whispers about it from our home school community. We were in the beginning process of an international adoption, and per the countries guidelines, I needed to lose weight to complete our home study. I was drawn to the program, as all it required was food modifications. No expensive program fees or supplements. I was initially successful in losing weight, however once I had completed the medical paperwork, I went off plan. I would go back to the way our family eats, feeling like I was “missing out” on treats, or not wanting to cook something just for me. I would go back and forth, on and off plan many times. I knew what to do, but doing it alone was challenging for me.

We are a busy family with children from the ages of 13 down to 4, and I didn’t make my health a priority. I knew how to do the program, but it wasn’t until my husband decided to join with me that I had lasting success. Our church participates in a Daniel Fast annually in January. Every year Ryan says he feels so good that we aren’t going to undo the benefits of the fast by going back to the previous way of eating. During the fast there are no sugars and so it is a great way to detox, while focusing on Spiritual things, rather than just trying to use self-control. As we have entered our 40s, we wanted to focus on our long-term health, and the benefits of eating the right way. So, beginning at the end of January, we were fully committed to THM. As of today, we have lost a combined 75-pounds. Ryan has reached his goal weight, with a loss of 25-pounds, and I am 50-pounds closer to my goal!

I am a bit of a cookbook junkie. I have all the THM books, as well as some published by popular THM bloggers. I love leafing through the books and marking the things that look good to me. I also had Ryan go through the books to mark what he thought looked good. Gentle Sweet is your best friend during the transition time. Ryan loves cheesecake made with Gentle Sweet and the Trimtastic Chocolate Zucchini Cake (page 296, Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook)

Ryan loves snacks, and he will make popcorn popped in coconut oil nearly every day. (Being at his goal weight, and also having healed his metabolism, he needs many more Crossovers than I can have.) Having treats available that you know you enjoy help you to say “no, thank you” to unhealthy treats. We have also found having on-plan chocolate available helps to make sure we never feel deprived. We never did go back to sugar following our fast and I believe that is one of the biggest keys. Breaking the crazy cycle of sugar cravings and crashes sets you up to be more successful in so many areas of life. The energy we have from eating the right way not only sustains during the day, but when it is time to sleep, your body is ready to rest.

To make this sustainable for Ryan and me, I make THM dinners for the family. When doing THM as a family, I found I needed to start right where we were, making small changes to our family favorites. Taco Tuesday? No problem. Rock some low-carb tortillas or lettuce wraps. Pasta night? Use Dreamfields (shhh… don’t tell Serene!) or broccoli. Start adding other recipes into the mix. New family favorites are just waiting to be discovered!

Make the plan work for you. We have food allergies in our family and nuts are off the table for family meals. I just searched online until I found an alternative flour baking blend. There are Facebook groups available also for special dietary needs. These are great resources FOR FREE, people! (Said in my best Pearl impersonation!) If you feel overwhelmed by special ingredients, begin by collecting them slowly. Start with Gentle Sweet and Baking Blend. Many things are becoming more and more “normal” and can be found more locally. You don’t have to purchase everything at once. Simplify your choices… we almost always have oatmeal for breakfast, insuring that we are getting an “E” to start our day.

Look for Trim Healthy moments (also known as non-scale victories) every day. Keep a running list in your “notes” app in your phone. When you are having a hard time, look back and see the changes you have made! These two photos were taken going to see comedy shows at the same place. In the first photo, the seats were uncomfortable, in the second, I thought maybe they got new seats because they were so comfortable!

– Carrie & Ryan S.

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