Tomorrow starts a 60-day “Look Better Naked” Paleo Challenge at my Crossfit gym. They’ve had a few of them before but I never joined. For one thing, I eat that way most of the time anyway, but I can tolerate things like legumes and dairy just fine so never felt the need to omit them. I simply limited them to keep my carbs within a healthy range, just like anything else.
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The other reason is that I was pretty close to some semblance of an eating disorder the last time I did any sort of serious counting and weigh-ins when I did Weight Watchers a few years ago. I became obsessed with the numbers – the Points I had to count, the flashing ones on the scale I had to get on, the grams of fiber and sugar. I was in a bad, bad place.
But this time it’s different. It’s just not about weight loss and counting. There’s a point system this time and the top five people with the most points get voted on by the gym based on body composition change (before and after photos). They’ve split the people competing into teams with a trainer as the team captain for support and morale. There’s a total of 500 points to be earned based on the following: daily recording of all food, four days a week attendance at the gym, percentage of weight loss, percentage of inches lost, and you can get penalized with negative points for cheat meals and days skipped at the gym.
I feel like this system makes it a fair game for anyone and creates a great environment to really dedicate the next 60 days to clean eating and performing our best at the gym. I’ve been super sick this week and I’m pretty sure it has to do with the fact that I’ve let my nutritional needs fall a little lower on my priority ladder than they should. So after spending the better part of the week in bed with the worst cold I’ve had in years, I’m definitely ready to clean up my system and bring it back to the level of functioning I know it can be.
Mike is doing the challenge too and we’re actually on separate teams so the element of competitiveness has already been placed. I’m pretty sure he invented some kind of weird “I’m gonna beat you” dance last night that I only wish I had a camera for. The prizes are pretty great for the winners: around $1000, gift cards, etc.
But for me, I’m just hoping the next two months help me finally get closer to where I want to be. I am proud of myself and how far I’ve come and love that this lifestyle I’ve chosen to live is a journey and not a destination. I see changes every day and am always making progress, but I know that I have more in me. I know if I really put my head into the game and my nutrition at the forefront I can make strides and hit goals in my fitness that I haven’t been able to attain.
So here’s my plan:
- Strict Primal eating (no grains, sugar, legumes, processed foods, only full-fat dairy).
- No cheating. It’s only 60 days.
- Sleep at least 7 hours a night, aim for 8.
And here are my goals I’d like to see at the end of this:
- At least 10% weight loss (around 18-20 pounds)
- 2-3 inches off my waist
- Be able to do more than 1-2 unassisted pull-ups or even do them in a WOD
- PR at least 5 lifts
I think they’re pretty attainable goals.
This is where you come in. If you’ve been toying with the idea of doing something like this, why wait? If you push it off until after the holidays, you’re only going to have that much more to lose.
So if you’re interested in doing a challenge, now’s the time. If I get enough people to do it, I’d like to run a little contest. You will submit a photo of yourself to me via email (holding a newspaper to ensure date accuracy) and at the start of it, one at the end, and I will post them here (faces/names can be blocked) and have the readers vote on most changed body composition. Winner will get a prize package of goodies of my determination at the end. Also, if anyone wants to donate prizes (t-shirts, books, etc.) in exchange for links and for just good marketing, please let me know. Please spread the word on Twitter and Facebook as well.
Since I’m starting tomorrow and that’s short notice, you will start the Friday after Thanksgiving and end on Jan 6, six full weeks. Your rules will be a little different since I can’t hold all of you accountable with the same point system. I’d like to you be as strict primal as possible and, in theory, log your meals. You don’t need to count calories or carbs or measurements but just keep a daily food log of what you’re eating. This way, if you hit a problem or a plateau I can maybe help you look at it and see what your issue is and how to help you fix it. You should plan to work out at least four days a week and record these workouts as well.
If you cheat, it’s your decision. If you don’t log your food or workouts, that’s your call. The winner will be chosen by your peers (the readers of this site) but a one-time only voting poll based on your body composition changes in 6 weeks. So if you think about it, 6 weeks is NOT a long time, any major cheat can set you back days. The reason I’m not doing this solely based on weight loss is simple: the scale is not a good measure of health and I know this first hand. Maybe you’re “skinny fat” (a term I hate but know that some identify with) and want to change that. Maybe you’re just looking to cut some lines in your abs. Maybe you have 50 pounds to lose and this will jumpstart you on a path that can change your life.
Maybe you’ve been thinking to yourself that it’s time you made the change.
Are you in?