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The New You: The struggles of changing eating habits

We're almost to the halfway point through our healthy living program, so how's it going?

CLEVELAND — Six weeks ago, Kimberly Horton and Kati Lucas told me they needed to do something big in order to feel better. Together, we decided to go through the Cleveland Clinic’s wellness program. And over the past few weeks, we’ve begun to learn real strategies for a well-balanced healthy life.

But, Kati and Kim both admit that it hasn't all been easy.

Kim says she struggled right off the bat with our first lesson, which was all about changing our eating habits.

The program encouraged us to consider when we are truly hungry versus when we maybe just needed a glass of water. To start, we were encouraged to limit our eating to just eight hours.

"My biggest struggle was the first week doing the fasting," she said. "The first week was rough. I had no energy, and I was very lethargic and I thought, 'I don’t know if I could do this.' But that seventh day it was like I had a lot of energy."

For Kati, managing those cravings for something sweet has been the hardest.

"Just in the last few days, I have been craving a little bit of chocolate so those moments are a little difficult," Kati said. "My son wanted brownies and I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, I'm never going to survive this.' So I didn’t tell myself no. I told myself I can make it alternatively."

There were also moments everyone goes through when they’re trying to make a lifestyle change -- that persistent sense of self doubt.

"There were moments where I didn’t think I would be successful at it," Kati said. "[I thought], what's the point? I am just going to get fat again and that’s a lie."

But through those tough times, Kati told me, she leaned on our weekly meetings with the Cleveland Clinic team and her family for support. 

There are some aspects of the program she loved right away.

"My favorite has, I think, been the yoga because it incorporates the mind and body and I don’t think you can compartmentalize the body."

Kim told me that because she has a passion for food, her favorite part of the program so far was teaming up with Chef Jim Perko to learn about some basic healthy kitchen swaps. 

"Learning how to cook with the raisin reduction was interesting," Kim said. "My craving for sugar is almost nil now."

We still have a couple of weeks left in the program. However both women say they are committed to sticking with the changes long term.

"I'm looking forward to continue losing weight ... [and] possibly moving to a plant-based diet," Kim said. "I have a toe in there, but I haven’t fully committed to it."

"I'm in it for the long haul," Kati said. "It's never too late. Never ever give up. Even a small amount of progress is still progress."

If you're interested in learning more, or signing up for a similar program through the Cleveland Clinic, visit: 

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/departments/wellness/integrative

call: 216.448.4325 or email: cilm@ccf.org