Saturday, March 3rd marked the end of the 60 day Performance Nutrition Challenge I participated in at my Crossfit gym. We are still finishing up some performance workouts at the gym, so our coach won’t announce the winners until the end of the next week, but I thought it would be a good time to celebrate my progress and share how I’ve changed.
First, a quick history. I started Crossfit in November 2011. It was crazy hard, and I was crazy out of shape, but I loved it and kept coming back for more. At the beginning of January, I decided to join the food challenge, aka “eat Paleo”. This seemed insane to me — I had no idea how I would be able to give up all those foods I loved — breads (bagels! pasta!), sugar and dairy (ice cream! chocolate!), but I knew folks had dramatic success so I was willing to give it a try.
It was hard, initially. I definitely had cravings and I felt like 75% of my time and energy was devoted to what we would eat next and how to prepare it. But I surprised myself by sticking with it (I had 2 cheat days over the whole thing) until eating clean became the norm. I also worked out 5 -6 times a week during this stretch.
So.. after all that hard work, how did I do? Here is the “after” me:
Obviously, I am a dork and have no clue how to pose myself, but I feel great and am proud of how I look. Here’s some of my stats:
Weight: Dropped 14 lbs (closer to 25 lbs down since starting in Nov.)
Waist: Down 2.5″ (since starting in Nov, I went from a bulging size 14 to a size 10)
Hips: Down 1.5″
The challenge wasn’t just about “losing weight”, but was meant to measure our overall fitness. We did workouts at the beginning and are repeating them at the end. So far, I have seem incredible improvements. Here are some of my fitness stats:
My overall strength improved dramatically. I can now:
Back Squat: 203lbs (+30 from January)
Shoulder Press: 78lbs (+10)
Deadlift: 253lbs (+60)
Another test we did was the maximum number of pull-ups and push-ups we could complete in 5 rounds. I was able to do:
158 push-ups (on my toes; +105 from January)
63 pull-ups (using bands for assistance; +32 from Jan)
Lastly, here are some before and after pictures. I am a little embarrassed to be showing off my “before” to the world, but I think it demonstrates the power of Crossfit and “eating clean”.
If anyone is on the fence about “trying Paleo” or thinks “I could never do that!” I encourage you to try a 30 day challenge. Believe me, if *I* can do it, anyone can!
Whole 9 Life has a 30 day challenge which is a great place to start. If you are interested in learning more about “Paleo”, Robb Wolf has a book, The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet, which also has a 30 day plan and is another great resource.
And for the record, Yes, I realize my story is just another example of the 20 step story of a typical Crossfitter.