Finally after 30 days, 15 competitors, 7 left standing, the final winners are Scott & Michelle! Yes, yet another power couple in the gym! Michelle PR’d her clean by 20# and Scott made it through the entire challenge while traveling almost 5 days out of every week!
However, the biggest surprise is that there were still 7 people standing out of our 15 original competitors. Everyone improved their body composition as well as their performances. Everyone also improved their nutritional lifestyles and discovered some delicious new recipes. Here’s what the winning couple had to say:
I have been on the Paleo plus cookie diet for awhile now so one of the toughest parts of the Whole30 for me was giving up my cookies! I love meat and veggies but I also have a sweet tooth and usually want to end my meal on a sweet note with cookies, ice cream, or even a little piece of dark chocolate. After about a week I got used to not ending my meal with a dessert. I’d either have fruit after dinner or nothing at all. Did I have dessert this weekend when I went out to dinner? Yes. Did I enjoy it? Absolutely. But I realized that I don’t need a dessert as often as I thought and I hope to only indulge occasionally.
I find Paleo to be pretty easy to follow when you cook at home. Scott and I are used to making big Paleo dinners and saving the leftovers for lunch, so this month our cooking and grocery shopping habits didn’t change at all. What was difficult was being so strict when we went out to eat. Restaurants were very accommodating when we wanted to modify things, and I am fine with no butter on the steak and just getting grilled or steamed veggies. But when you’re at a really good steak house and you have to hold the sauce that comes with the steak, it’s kind of a bummer. When you can’t go to Mr. Cecil’s all month because their ribs are marinated in teriyaki, well that sucks too. And when you’re at a birthday dinner at a tapas restaurant and want to try a bunch of things but can only order 2 things from the menu, then that’s also a little disappointing.
What I love about Paleo is that I ate a ton of food and not once all month did I get that disgustingly full feeling. I was never hungry and always satisfied. I also had more energy. It wasn’t a glaring difference but I noticed in the morning when my alarm went off I was up and ready to start the day with more energy than before.
The highlights from the month would be getting my first unassisted pull-up (presumably because I am a few pounds lighter?) and getting comments from friends about my abs while playing beach volleyball=)
I’ve been mostly Paleo for about a year, so the Whole 30 Challenge wasn’t too terribly challenging. It wasn’t that big a change from our daily routine. It became a grind towards the end, but we always knew we could make it.
As Michelle said, we find it pretty easy to be good when we eat at home. My favorite part about being Paleo is how I feel every day. I dropped a notch on my belt this month and I simply feel better every day when I’m eating clean.
The hardest part about the Whole 30 Challenge is definitely going out and socializing. I don’t want my diet to be a topic of conversation at every meal, but it’s hard to be nonchalant while asking the waiter 20 questions and making special requests. It’s annoying to sit at a steak house and choose a boring steak with salt and pepper when you know their regular Filet with butter is amazing!
The thing I’ll take away from the challenge was the knowledge of how I tend to have small cheats 3, 4, or sometimes 5 days per week. Typically my cheats are a little cheese here and there, not asking how meat is prepared when I eat out, and the occasional glass….or bottle….of wine! They are small, typically gluten-free cheats, but then at the end of the week I look back and realize that I don’t have any completely clean days.
Going forward I hope to control the number of cheat days I have each week. I’m not going to pass up a good meal with a nice glass of wine, but I can certainly skip the cheese on my Counter Burger or the feta on my salad at home on a random Tuesday.
Congratulations to everyone who competed in the Whole 30 Challenge. I think the entire Paleo and Crossfit experience is about knowledge. Learning what we can do physically and mentally, and learning more about how the fuel we consume affects how we feel and perform.
Honorable Mention goes to Amy (whose partner, ahem, fell off the wagon and disqualified her) who lost 11+ pounds and 2% body fat in 36 days. Congrats on your achievement Amy and sorry about Yogurtland!
What did you learn? What will you do differently from now on, if anything? Post to comments!
Deadlift 1×5 or Wendler
12 KB Snatches (total)
10 Box Jumps