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‘With My Cleanish Eating, No Added Sugar Diet, I Lost 105 Lbs.’

My name is Aujile Riley (@journey2onederlnd), and I’m 34 years old. I’m from Akron, Ohio, and I’m a health & fitness coach and entrepreneur. After struggling to lose weight on restrictive diets, I developed my own version of clean eating that works for me.


Before losing weight, I had little to no energy to do much of anything, let alone keep up with my infant son. I had lost myself in being a mother and wife. I was so absorbed in who I was to my loved ones that I neglected myself. The simplest tasks would have me out of breath. At 32 years old, I weighed 289 pounds.

I hadn’t been diagnosed with any health issues, but I knew that it wasn’t healthy to be out of breath after climbing stairs or walking to my parking spot after leaving the mall. I had reached the highest weight of my life, and I was devastated! I couldn’t believe I’d let that happen. I refused to see 300 pounds on the scale.

So I started my weight loss journey (for the millionth time) in June 2018.

Recommitting to my health was my 32nd birthday gift to myself.

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I’ve done a few different programs, diets, and contests through the years. Although many of them yielded results, I’ve always struggled with being 100 percent compliant with the nutrition plans. Most of them were too strict or restrictive for me. I would eat in a way that was off from whatever diet I was doing, and then feel bad for “messing up,” which often led to more slip ups.

Then one day, I decided that I was no longer interested in the shame that came along with eating some of the foods I enjoy the most.

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That’s when I went back to the drawing board and developed an eating style that works best for me. I call it “cleanish” eating.

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I eat food from every food group while being mindful of portions and the way those foods affect my body and energy. Most of the foods I eat are plants and animal products in their unprocessed form, but I also indulge in things like pancakes from time to time.

I also try to avoid foods with added sugars and ingredients that can’t be easily found in the grocery store. Eating like this has been sustainable for me!

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Here’s what I eat in a day.

  • Breakfast: Shrimp and grits
  • Lunch: Air-fried chicken breast, broccoli, sweet potatoes
  • Snacks: Almonds, protein shake, blueberries
  • Dinner: Steak, rice, squash
  • Dessert: Banana, chocolate PB2, cinnamon, and pecans (mashed together and frozen)—tastes like ice cream!

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    When I started working out, I walked 30 minutes a day.

    Now I go to the gym five times a week. I tend to favor cardio machines. I love the StairMaster, but I’ve also started to lift weights to feel stronger.

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    These three small changes have made a huge impact on my overall weight loss.

    • I cut sugar. Sugar is addictive, and it has no value aside from taste. Reducing my sugar intake has greatly contributed to my loss of belly fat and increase in energy.

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      • I found my people. Support and accountability are so important on this journey. I surrounded myself with like-minded people who had goals similar to mine. I didn’t have many in my personal life, so I turned to social media where I found a host of people just like me.

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        • I improved my mindset. So much of this journey is mental. Once I identified and worked through my mental barriers, my journey went from hard to enjoyable.

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          Since June 2018, I’ve lost 105 pounds.

          I want other women to know that they are not only capable of a lifestyle change, but they are also deserving of it. As women, we pour so much into others and leave ourselves with the leftovers. But the truth is, you can’t pour from an empty cup. When we take care of ourselves, everybody benefits! There’s nothing selfish about that.

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