On November 26, I started something different at the encouragement of Coaches Nicole & Drea. That became a seed for change in my life, so I want to talk a little bit about it.
Since even before starting crossfit in February 2013, I have danced with nutrition changes. I started at 262 pounds in October 2012. With minor changes, I dropped to 248 by February of that next year when I walked through the doors at Crossfit Continuum.
Over the next few years, we tried a few things. Whole30 was a success and I worked all the way down to 201 lbs before the end of 2013, but it didn’t last. We have stuck to a mostly paleo diet, but definitely managed to go off the rails over and over again. Lurong Challenge. Whole30. Zone. Nothing really managed to stick as far as a lasting change.
Let’s fast forward to November 2017 and some conversations with Drea and Nicole about nutrition. I was back up to 228/230 by that point and the scale was definitely not going the right direction. Time for a change.
I think one of the key points of that change came during a nutrition seminar Nicole gave. She described alcohol as poison to the body and something popped in my brain. Poison. A harsh word. Dangerous even. And definitely an eye opener for me.
It’s not like I’d ever consider myself an alcoholic, but I had definitely succumbed to the habit of a drink every now and then. And eventually that habit turned into every night. Not a lot, but enough.
The weekend after Thanksgiving, I agreed to follow three key ideas for Nicole.
- More veggies
- No alcohol
- Less sugar
Simple enough, right? During the nutrition challenge at the box, we added two more key ideas:
- Sleep 7.5 hours a night
- Drink at least 64 oz of water each day
So let’s look at some numbers.
- November 26, 2017
- Weight: 230.6#
- Body fat percentage: 32.2%
By the time we started the nutrition challenge, I’d already seen some changes and added a few more measurements:
- December 1, 2017
- Weight: 227.7# (down nearly 3#)
- Body fat: 31.7% (down .5%)
- Waist: 42.5″
- Chest: 45.5″
- Hips: 41″
Now, what made this nutrition change a bit easier, despite Christmas and New Years’ in the middle, was that it wasn’t penalty based. Previous challenges were focused on the number of days you cheated. This challenge focused on the days you did things right and that perspective change made a huge difference.
Did you have to be perfect every meal? Every day? Heck no. But if you went off the wagon, just start again the next day. Easy. Much more forgiving than focusing on the negatives — it allowed us to focus on the days we did things right.
And we were tracking enough bits and pieces that maybe you didn’t get in your 5 cups of veggies every day, but you hit your water goal or maybe kept your sugars in check. Great! Just get back on track the next day and keep chugging forward without dwelling on the negative.
I won’t say I’ve been perfect, but I didn’t have to be. And before long, habits changed for the better. Even if I slipped here or there or decided I wanted some gluten (usually a flour tortilla!), life was ok. It wasn’t the end of the world.
Today marks the end of this nutrition challenge, but I’m going to keep going with the habits we’ve created.
As far as the changes that have happened? Some good ones I think:
- January 31, 2018
- Weight: 216.9# (down nearly 14#)
- Body fat: 30.2% (down 2%)
- Waist: 40″ (down 2.5″)
- Chest: 45″ (down .5″)
- Hips: 40.5″ (down .5″)
- Total inches lost: 3.5″
And I don’t feel like I deprived myself of much during that time either.
Some other fun facts:
- Caffeine-wise I’m down from drinking Advocare Spark and half a pot of coffee with creamer every day to just one Advocare Spark each morning. Every now and then I’ll have some tea and some days just cry out for coffee, but for the most part my caffeine intake has dropped dramatically. (Keep in mind I used to drink 6 Diet Dr. Peppers or more each day in 2012.)
- Who knew that roasted broccoli (broccoli florets tossed in olive oil with fresh garlic and a bit of salt and pepper, then roasted at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes) were addictive? I certainly didn’t.
- Drinking 64-128 oz of water a day and working from home means I test the plumbing in my house regularly. Geez. Who knew?
- Though I can’t say I feel any stronger, I feel like my endurance and mental game at the box has improved. I’m definitely faster in some ways too.
- Being lighter has made certain things easier as well, such as chest-to-bar pull-ups, handstand push-ups, and even running to a degree.
Long story short, I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.
I want to thank our coaching staff at Crossfit Continuum for getting me started on the right path and keeping things going with the challenge. For me, it’s been another in a series of life changing events that begin and end with crossfit.
Thank you and congrats to all the other folks who have seen amazing change on this journey!!