NUTRITION CHALLENGE WINNERS!
I have to say it was VERY hard to choose the winners of this challenge. It took MUCH deliberation and internal conflict on my end (oh, the struggle). I spent way too much time looking over again at each person’s results, PRs, and testimonials. I looked at the numbers objectively but also took into account other people’s opinions/comments in the gym (i.e. “have you seen so-and-so – they look great!” and “so-and-so is definitely going to win!”). So my final picks were also influenced by what others were saying as well. Everyone actually literally crushed this challenge and made huge gains and losses as well as had multiple huge PRs, which is what made it so hard to narrow down the winners. I considered having small prizes for everyone, but figured I should really commit to a top 3 and not just yell “trophies for everyone!” in my best Oprah impression. Aside from PRs and aesthetics, I know this was a learning experience for everyone who participated and submitted results. EVERYONE said that they love this way of eating in terms of properly fueling for performance and not restricting, which has a by product result of improved physique. Literally everyone had multiple PRs in their lifts. Like, we’re talking 10#-50# added to lifts AND gymnastics movements improved while simultaneously losing or gaining inches and pounds. The results were so impressive and I’m excited that everyone feels this way of eating is something maintainable that they will continue with. Amazing work, everyone! Below are the winners of our newtrition challenge.
YOUR TOP 3, IN NO SPECIFIC RANK (LISTED ALPHABETICALLY)
Allegra completely changed her eating habits for this challenge and stuck to the changes and tracking 100%, which reflects in her appearance. She lost a total of 14# (!!!) and is continuing to lose even now after the challenge has ended. She got stronger while getting leaner by increasing her squat numbers. She scaled weights properly in metcons to improve conditioning. She focused on her mobility/flexibility too, which has tremendously improved posture as can be seen in her photos!
From Allegra’s testimonial…
“So...... For my results:
I am officially down 14 pounds from January when we started. I lost a bunch of inches too which is awesome. I have never really found a successful way for me to lose weight before so I'm pretty pumped about food tracking and counting macros. My fitness pal has been a godsend for me.
My 14.5/16.5 went from 17:57 to 15:38. Nice PR there for me!
I PR'd my back squat at 230 for 2 reps and my front squat at 205.
I PR'd my power strength indicator from 1:37 at 85# to 1:36 at 95#.
Also, Geordie and I came in 1st for the row/ burpee in house competition. I was not expecting to do well in that AT ALL against some of the other teams so that was really exciting too!!!
I'm still tracking all my food and counting my macros. This quickly became a habit for me and I plan to continue it going forward. I went the whole 90 days without any pizza pasta bread French fries or bagels.... Huge for me as those are all my favorite :) I also went the whole 90 days without any junk or sweets. This probably wasn't totally necessary but I wanted to prove to myself that it's possible to kick the sugar addition (which we all have!!!)
I think my posture has changed for the better too. We ordered Romwod so I've finally been working on my mobility and stretching and breathing which is HUGE for me.
My clothes are fitting really loosely too especially my pants so that's awesome :)
Overall, I'm really happy to have done the challenge. The best stuff for me always seems to come from things that I'm not 100% thrilled about doing. I really needed this kick in the butt mentally and physically. Thank you for your help and guidance!”
Alysa had heads turning during this challenge. It was quite obvious that focusing on nutrition was improving her performance in the gym as she was constantly getting PRs and just overall killing it in her performance! She also made huge changes in her appearance, getting a lot leaner while getting stronger.
From Alysa’s testimonial…
“PR's: Front squat 160#, clean and jerk 145#, deadlift 235#, snatch 110#. My goal for the challenge was to lost between 8-10 pounds and become more lean. I have definitely accomplished this goal from starting at 148.0 and ending at 139.4. I feel much more confident and the composition of my body is much different, less bloated more lean. I finally feel STRONG, woah thats new to hear but empowering! I was able to change many things about my diet. especially about when to eat specific foods and how to properly fuel my body. I think thats the hardest part in realizing what you NEED in order to maintain strength and conditioning. I think being able to eat in this manner will be consistent. I have moved to the "base" portion and I feel very comfortable in my eating habits currently. I know what to eat and how much and when I should and shouldn't be eating specific food items. My clothing has been fitting awesome and thats a PLUS! Taking out size 4 shorts and not having a muffin top is awesome. My issue with clothing now is that its either too tight in my legs or butt, not my stomach and that is okay with me! As for compliments, it's nice to hear "woah, what are you doing?" or "How can you eat all of that?" and smile and explain how you are not starving yourself but eating real wholesome food. it's worth it and i'm glad I've found a set of routines I have now established into my lifestyle. I CAN eat food and still feel confident and happy with how I look.”
Ashley was another one who was turning heads in the gym – I heard multiple people comment about how great she looked! She was able to lose inches and pounds throughout the challenge, which allowed her to get SO MANY improvements in her gymnastics, which she previously struggled with. At the same time, she added 60# to her major lifts. She also competed in her first CrossFit competition and won first place out of over 60 girls in her division! Wow!! Ashley continues to hit new lows in body weight with each weekly check-in with Amanda while continuing to get stronger in the gym.
From Ashley’s testimonial…
“I started my challenge in December, my original goal was to lose weight and be healthier. I thought I was eating fairly well and doing good by working out between 3-5x/week. I quickly realized, eating at 6:30 am, 2:30pm and 8:00pm was not enough. With Amanda's help, I quickly improved my nutrient timing and started changing my diet based on training or work out days. I no longer view my diet changes as a challenge, it's just part of me now.
Since changing my diet, I feel great! I have more energy! I wake up ready for the day (most day :-) ) I've not only lost weight but inches too. I tell the joke about my co-workers banning me from wearing certain pairs of pants because they make me look homeless!
I've also seen a huge change in my gym performance. It's not secret I struggle with gymnastic movements but since beginning this challenge I've gotten both strict pull ups and chin ups, I can kick into and hold a hand stand with descend, my TTB are one at a time but a work in process, my DU are a constant struggle but I can DO them! And with a very large swinging kip and am able to do a chest to bar. My strength training as also benefitted, 20# PR in front squat, 10# clean and jerk and 20# back squat, 10# DL.”
We all know Alex is a beast. Her nutrition was already a focus before this challenge, a tool she uses to perform well. She got stronger during this challenge and also met her goals of improving gymnastics movements, stringing together chest to bar and getting the elusive muscle ups just in time for this year’s open! She has also passed on the knowledge she has learned to others – teaching family members how to eat and helping others to get healthy and lose weight also. What Alex says in her testimonial is an example of a balanced approach to nutrition.
From Alex’s testimonial…
“Below are my before and after pics as well as measurements. Top is before measurements, bottom is after. For the pictures, left is before and right is after. I've noticed a decrease in stomach fat and my pants are fitting looser now, but tighter in the quad area.
Some things that have changed, or PR's since the challenge..
165# clean and jerk
Overall feel my engine has improved
String chest to bar pull ups
Bar muscle up
195# front squat
My goal for this challenge was to get better at any gymnastics movement I could. I've worked on strict pull ups more, and have seen my C2B improving and I also got my first bar muscle up and then a few more. At the same time, I wanted to maintain my strength and if possible, get stronger! I feel I've been able to do both simultaneously which is a cool feeling.
What I did for this challenge was hold myself accountable to my macros/logging my food everyday. I've done the macro thing before but typically only Monday to Friday and then weekends I really let loose and enjoyed myself. Since January 11th, I have been logging every single thing and every single day, even my birthday, and even if I went over on my calories. I have found it to be very habitual now and I plan to continue. I've also been able to help Allegras brother lose 40(!!!) pounds and her mother lost 10. I love sharing the knowledge and helping people help themselves. Also, mini milestone for myself, I haven't had a beer since January 11th. I think that's about 85 days or something and that is huge for me. I've still had alcohol, but decided to give up beer specifically as I realize the IPAs I enjoy are pretty carb heavy. I feel I've leaned out, although my pictures don't really do it justice. I'm happy with my results and I don't particularly care if I have abs or not. While the aesthetics are cool, to me they are just a by product of being able to perform and recover really well. Since the challenge is over for me now, I plan on enjoying some good food and beer in Chicago and getting right back to it come Sunday. I feel better and feel I'm properly fueling my body for the workouts when I eat the way I have for the past four months. I have no plans to stop.
Another cool thing which I did already tell you about, my body fat has dropped from 24% in March 2014 to 21% in March 2016. While that isn't a massive decrease, I think it's significant as 21% is on the lower end for females. To get any leaner I would have to be so strict I could never enjoy myself and I'm really not sure I'm on that level. I enjoy the balance of life and Crossfit and good food and sometimes unhealthy food!”
Greg was able to lose several inches and pounds in this challenge by breaking a habit with sweets and making more conscious choices. Great job, Greg!
During this challenge, Sue really enjoyed this way of eating and says she will continue with the plan as she really feels it works for her. She was able to lose inches and a total of 9 pounds (!!!). She got her first strict pull-ups, got double unders, improved her form on different movements, and completed the CrossFit Open. Every day Sue improves by working on things she wants to be better at and is constantly improving in all areas of her fitness. Amazing, Sue!
Jocelyn lost almost 10# without losing strength while fueling properly for performance, helping her get her first ring and bar muscle ups. Give Jocelyn a challenge and she will always have the drive it takes to succeed. Great job, girl!
To everyone who participated and had great results, congratulations and keep going!