Tag Archives: getting healthy

Day 56: The End of The Whole Life Challenge Fall 2013: Results!


It’s over! It’s done! We did it! This marks the end of another chapter, and now I can say I am a 2 time WLC veteran! I love it. Seriously, I don’t mean to sound like a commercial, but if you haven’t done one, you owe it to yourself to do it, at least once… And give it everything you’ve got! What did I do once I was free? Well, I sat on the couch with a single glass of red wine, and I relaxed. I took a few minutes to just celebrate myself and my accomplishments. I did NOT binge on pizza, or sugar, or pasta – because I know better than to do that. If there is one thing this challenge teaches you, it’s that YOU are in control of your actions. So if those foods don’t cause your body distress, and you really need to have them, then go ahead…. But be reasonable and make sure it’s worth it. Today, I promised myself a treat. Since I don’t tolerate dairy, I’ve pretty much written off ice cream, no way will that ever be allowed in my mouth. However, There are some great, limited ingredient/junk free coconut milk based ice creams that I’ve been meaning to try, so I’m gonna have one.

This time around, the food felt easy. I’ve been eating Paleo since the last challenge, so it was really just eliminating the occasional sweetener (Honey, Maple Syrup), and the alcohol. I was already gluten, grain, and dairy free (With the exception of a rare portion of rice with sushi or Thai). I definitely learned to use my crock pot more, to prep ahead more, and to always have a supply of home-made stock for cooking. Last challenge I felt deprived when I couldn’t go out for a beer with friends. This time I knew I could find a way to stay compliant anywhere (even if that meant eating beforehand), and if everyone was drinking, I would be content with my seltzer and a lime wedge. I truly felt in control.

I loved keeping up with mobility and daily activity. The lifestyle challenges were great this time around. I really want to get better at working mindfulness into my day, maybe during my break at work. It’s so important to allow yourself some time to just clear your head, and just exist. Stress management is essential to good health, and I think it would greatly benefit me, to continue to try to work it in. The reading lifestyle challenge, and the “Things You Love” were a wonderful touch this time.

Anyway, the results! I actually surprised myself! I didn’t lose that much in terms of a scale number, but I lost way more in inches than I anticipated! Considering my diet was pretty up to speed and on par going in, I didn’t expect much, but I definitely exceeded my expectations! (I was also annoyed because this was a hormonally bloaty week for me – women you know – and I didn’t want it to negatively impact my results!)

Preliminary Measurements:
Weight: 131 lbs
Waist: 33″
Hips: 37″

Final Measurements:
Weight: 123.5 lbs
Waist: 29″
Hips: 34.5″

For the workout, I felt like I had more endurance, and just moved better. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I felt like I didn’t do as well on the sit-ups, but apparently I did. In the end, even a marginal improvement is something to be proud of. Just to remind everyone what the official workout was:

Complete the following for maximum points:

2 min – 25 yd Shuttle Run
– complete as many 25 yd runs as possible between two cones (or marks)
– (5 points for each complete 25 yds)

– 1 min rest –

2 min – complete as many reps as possible, repeating the following sequence:
5 push ups
15 squats
(1 point for each Push-up and Squat)

– 1 min rest –

2 min – complete as many reps as possible of:
Sit Ups
(1 point for each sit-up)

– 1 min rest –

2 min – 25 yd Shuttle Run
– complete as many 25 yd runs as possible between two cones (or marks)
– (5 points for each complete 25yds)

Workout Results:

Preliminary Total Points: 257
Shuttle Runs: 15 (75 points)
Push-ups/Squats: 66
Sit-Ups: 46
Shuttle Runs: 14 (70 points)

Finals Total Points: 277
Shuttle Runs: 17 (85 points)
Push-ups/Squats: 69
Sit-Ups: 48
Shuttle Runs: 15 (75 points)

Improvement: 20 points

Those are just numbers though, looking at pictures side by side I definitely see improvements, and I did indeed lean out a bit as I hoped. As usual I’m going to continue to move forward, and we’ll see where I naturally end up tapering off! If I naturally and healthily get leaner, and lose more fat, then great. At the end of the day, I feel healthy and look healthy, so even if nothing changes I am very happy with where I am. Here are the visual results! (Same outfit and poses so you can really compare properly)





And Here are each pose side by side compared:




So Did YOU do the challenge? How did YOU do?

Oh…And I posted this on Twitter last week (Are you following me yet!) but I thought it was pretty relevant for here. This is a picture comparing where I was August 2012, Right when I started at CrossFit Stony Brook, and before the first challenge in the spring. I gained some muscle and lost a small amount of fat, but my hidden food intolerance(s) kept me from really losing. Back then I was skeptical of Paleo and thought I was eating healthy (veggies, lean meats, whole grains, occasional treats and things in moderation) It wasn’t until the Spring Whole Life Challenge, that I really became dialed in to my body and realized how much food was sabotaging my desire to be healthy! I sometimes like to look back and remind myself where I was before this journey started, and sometimes I can’t believe it…it shocks me that I was that much heavier just ONE YEAR ago. That in one year, I could transform so much, and not have to worry about starving myself, counting calories, religiously watching a scale number, or depriving myself of delicious food. I did it the healthy way, and in a way that’s sustainable for the rest of my life. I remind myself of this journey, and the reason why I’m here, telling you guys about it. I want to tell you that it’s possible for you too!


Whole Life Challenge: Day 21

So we’re three weeks into the challenge, and I have to say, even as a veteran challenger, I’m surprising myself. I always forget how little it takes to slow my body down. I didn’t expect very drastic results coming in. I thought I’d clean up, detox the impurities of vacation, maybe lose a few pounds by the end, but I was mainly looking forward to getting back to the water, sleep, and mobility. I have to say though, I’m pleasantly surprised. It’s three weeks into the challenge, and Just like last time, I’m averaging a loss of about 2 lbs a week. That’s right, I’ve already lost 6 lbs! I have been losing weight since the last challenge (and it’s NOT from lack of eating!) , but summer drinks, and healthy but somewhat out-of-my-control food (staying grain/dairy free but not sure about every ingredient, sugar, meat sources ….OK and maybe a gluten-free dessert) on vacation, kept me more slowly losing or maintaining. I haven’t yet reached a point where I’ve gained anything.

Anyway, there are these pants I own. Keep in mind, I’m not even considering that I’m fitting into a size 7 (in Junior’s department jeans) now, which has NEVER happened before. Regardless, there was this pair of Lucky jeans that were my favorite jeans, and I hadn’t fit into them for two or three years. Even when I did fit into them, they were always a little snug, they just fit. They weren’t the type of jeans that were like “Oooh these are super comfy” but they looked great and were comfortable enough. I remember when I started this journey, it was a goal of mine to fit into them again. I remember during the summer when that happened, when each time I would try them on, the button would get closer to the button-hole. It was exciting. I don’t care that the jeans I’m buying now are a size smaller than the smallest I had ever been. It doesn’t matter that I’m a size smaller than I wore back when I lost weight by starving my body of nutrients and calories, or that I’m very close to the weight I was, but this time I have oodles of healthy muscles underneath. Not even paying attention to the fact that I’m a billion times healthier than I was, back when the scale number, irrelevant as it may be, dictated how I felt about myself. Those are all awesome, awesome things. But it’s more than that. Maybe it’s on a superficial level, the fact that my “these make me look awesome” jeans are getting loose on me… but ….it’s a small personal victory. Though, It’s still even more than that . It’s this wonderful validation that THIS path, this delicious, real food filled, health conscious journey, is amazingly, perfectly right.


So the picture on the left is back in 2010-2011. The lucky jeans are a size 29, and were a little snug, but looked good. The picture on the right is me today. It’s not the best picture, you sacrifice yourself to weird angles when trying to show the new space in your pants. But…you get the idea.

And It Starts Again….Whole Life Challenge, Fall 2013

Well here goes nothing, another 8 week journey as the Whole Life Challenge Fall 2013 begins! Of course, at least for me, this time around is a little different. I don’t expect the same results as last time, not as drastic anyway. I already eat mostly compliant with the challenge. I’ve already cut out grains, corn, soy, gluten, dairy, soda, sugar (with the exception of occasional honey), and artificial ingredients from my diet. I mainly want to detox my body from the treats of summer ( and vacation, where I had some gluten-free, but not grain/sugar-free treats, and corn), and the drinks, the unknown marinades, the barbeques, the leniency with potatoes, etc. I ate pretty darn compliant, but I did drink (Sticking to wine, and gluten-free beer mostly), and even though I still lost weight, and I’m thinner than I was after the spring challenge, it slowed down and I want to get a little leaner. The accountability, reeling myself in, the lifestyle and fitness parts of the challenge, the community – these are all the things I am looking forward to jumping back into as a WLC veteran. The knowledge, strength and will power are there already, now it’s seeing how much more can I do.

With my past experience, there are definitely a few things I am going to do differently this time around.

  1. I am going to try to use my crock pot more
  2. I am going to try to make bigger batches, and make recipes with larger yields so I have leftovers
  3. I am going to try to prep more the night before, and make more in advance – having grilled chicken strips or steak strips that can easily be thrown into a salad, or used in a quick recipe.

Other than that, it’s just saying no to the drinks, and being a bit more strict with everything. I’m ready! The only thing I’m kind of sad about is that Taro isn’t allowed. I’m pretty sure it was allowed last time, but I guess it’s too starchy. Goodbye Taro Chips! I’ll miss you!

[Though, I must say, I probably WILL have one drink today, as I’m going to a wedding, and it just HAD to fall on day 1 of the challenge…I don’t care, the first time around I was pretty pristine with everything, so gosh darn it, I’m allowing myself a drink!]

Stats at the Beginning of the Challenge:

  • Weight: 131 lbs
  • Waist: 33″
  • Hips: 37″

Workout results: [257 Points]

2 min – 25 yd Shuttle Run
– complete as many 25 yd runs as possible between two cones (or marks)
(5 points for each complete 25yds)

-1 min rest –

2 min – complete as many reps as possible, repeating the following sequence:
5 push ups
15 squats
(1 point for each Push-up and Squat)

-1 min rest –

2 min – complete as many reps as possible of:
Sit Ups
(1 Point for each Sit-Up)

-1 min rest –

2 min – 25 yd Shuttle Run

complete as many 25 yd runs as possible between two cones (or marks)
(5 points for each complete 25yds)

And here is a before photo compilation to compare to once the challenge is over.


For those doing the challenge, or curious to see a fairly comprehensive list of foods that are and are not allowed, go here:


And here are my Ten Tips to Surviving The Challenge

  1. Use the community, don’t be afraid to ask questions!
  2. Cook your own food whenever possible – If you aren’t a great cook, or don’t know where to start – try some slow cooker recipes.
  3. Don’t go overboard on nuts, and try to stay away from “Paleo-fying” treats like waffles, cookies and muffins. Trust me, you’re not helping yourself.
  4. Eat plenty of good fats and protein, they will help you stay full longer
  5. Try to log your score first thing in the morning, that way you don’t forget.
  6. Read Labels, find things you like, and stick with them!
  7. Be adventurous, try something new. Use a new recipe, a new fruit, a new vegetable, as often as you can.
  8. Sometimes simple seasoning is better. Let the food speak for itself. A little salt, pepper, oregano….maybe some lemon juice, sometimes that’s all you need!
  9. If you fall down, just get back up and keep going. We all have slip ups, don’t let it get you down and don’t use it as an excuse to throw everything away. You owe it to yourself to keep moving forward!
  10. Have Fun! You are doing this to become better at being you!

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