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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!

Memorial Day Murph

Yesterday I did Murph. Murph is a hero WOD. For those who don’t do crossfit, or are not familiar with the workout, It’s a mile run, followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 push ups, 300 squats, and then another mile run to end it. Luckily you can partition the pull ups, push ups, and squats how you want, so I did it with 20 rounds of 5,10,15.

Today, my whole body hurt. I finally had a chance to reflect on the workout.

I did it, I did it. The whole thing. I went in with a goal of finishing under 90 minutes. And I did it in 87:14

The last time Murph came up, was Dec 31st, and I scaled the whole thing in half. It took all the life out of me then, but I vowed to go all the way for Memorial Day. I had a few months to get better. This was before the whole life challenge, this was before being able to do regular push-ups, this was before hand stands and kipping pull ups. Back then I did all the push-ups on my knees, and I used the green pull up band, adding on the thin blue band midway through. This was when I only did half.

Saturday I bought gloves to save my callused hands, which were beginning to hurt. I would have just shaved them, but they are usually really tender the next day. I wanted to be prepared. I was up until 4am prepping for company coming Sunday afternoon. I set an alarm for 9:30 so I would have some time in the morning to eat breakfast and wake up.

Sunday I woke up at 10:45 – I was signed up for the 11:00 heat – I panicked, I shoved trail mix down my throat and grabbed a coconut water. I was half asleep still – I got there at 11:05. On the way there, I was A little anxious, and down on myself for being late. I thought they probably started already and I would have to start by myself. I got there right when they were setting the clock, no time to settle, no time to warm up mentally, but I made it. 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-GO!

I ran much of the first mile keeping pace with Taylor, but when we got to Bennett’s Rd I started getting a cramp in my side. I slowed down a little, but didn’t stop running. I just started this, I needed to keep pushing. So the first mile I got through, without stopping, without walking, I just kept going. During the run, I realize I left my gloves at home – I was gonna have to just grin and bear it. I got back to the box and partitioned the middle as 20 rounds of 5-10-15, and I just went for it. I used the blue band for the pull ups. Push ups I did in normal plank position. I thought maybe at some point I’d have to switch to my knees – since I don’t think I’ve done more than 50-75 or so regular push ups in one work out, but I decided I was going to push as far as I could. I reached the midway point at around 40 minutes, and was feeling good. The pull-ups were going smoothly. Getting 5 with the blue band was working. The push-ups were still going strong. At first I was getting 6 or 7 before having to stop to shake out, but by this point I was stopping for a moment after 5. I decided as long as I could get through 5, there was no way I was going to let myself do them on my knees. I kept pushing. By round 13 or 14 my arms were getting shaky, and I was starting to hit a mental wall. I pushed….It was a little emotional…but I felt strong and weak at the same time, my body was tired. Sometimes I got 5 in, sometimes I got 3 or 4, I was ok with this, I kept pushing the pull ups in regular plank. By round 15 – with only 5 to go, I made a decision to refuse to drop to my knees. Plank position Push ups all the way, no matter how long it took. With all the encouragement from those there watching, supporting, and with my own raging determination to finish at this point, I kept going. 20 rounds done – 1 mile to go. I started feeling surprisingly strong. By halfway, I had a pretty painful cramp. I slowed to a walk briefly to let it subside, but not for long. As soon as it subsided a little, I started running again. I slowed to a walk briefly twice during the last run, but at a certain point I just kept telling myself that I was almost done, and I just had to push through the pain. As I neared the end, and was in sight, I heard people cheering my name to finish. It was a fire to keep moving. As I came back through the door and got my time, 87:14 – It dawned on me that I did it. I not only finished, but I succeeded in finishing in under 90 minutes. I sat on the floor, caught my breath, and was filled with exhaustion, accomplishment, pride, and strength.

I think those are the emotions that come out of a really good hero work out. I felt honor, I felt closer to a fallen hero. I felt strong. One day – I will do it with the weighted vest…..We’ll see where I am this time next year.


Run 1 mile
100 pull ups
200 Push ups
300 squats
Run 1 mile

Here is a link to the fundraising page.

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