Paleo Progress

Calling all Paleo Challengers! We’re about half-way through the challenge, and hopefully you’re holding strong. Maybe you’re starting to miss your sweets, or maybe you are starting to lose faith in the challenge altogether. I’d like to share a story with you from one of our members and winner of our last paleo challenge, Mel. A few weeks ago in between sets on the platform, she showed me a photo of her paleo progress and I was totally shocked and inspired by her journey. Read below to hear her story. It’s a perfect reminder of why we tell you to stay patient with your journey and to ignore the numbers you see on your scale. Way to go, Mel!

Two years ago, I was living a pretty decent fit and thin life – at least that’s what I thought. I was the smallest I had been in my adult years and feeling pretty good about myself. However, I was at the gym almost two hours every day (running, spin, and body pump classes/light weights were my jam) and I was an obsessive calorie counter (not concerned about WHAT food I ate, just that I was under a certain amount of calories). I was consumed with maintaining that lifestyle and it ruined a sense of normal life for me – there were times where I would turn down social obligations because I was concerned about the added calories or taking away from my gym time!
cffreecomp1Then some personal life changes led to me working out less frequently, eating poorly, and drinking way too much socially for almost a year. By last March I was feeling like junk – when I begrudgingly checked the scale I was shocked to find I had gained 18lbs. In a year. Holy $hit!

I knew I had to do something – so I joined Crossfit Southie. But I still stuck to my old methods for a while (old habits die hard, right?). I began crossfitting 2x/week, running, and eating whatever I wanted as long as it was around my calorie limit. Then I went on all-inclusive vacation in August and gained nearly 10lbs of “water weight” (I use quotations because it didn’t come off even a month later). At that point, I said enough is enough.In September, the Paleo Challenge came around, and I knew it was exactly what I needed. I read “It Starts with Food” by the Hartwigs right before starting the challenge. So many things clicked for me while reading that book. It opened my eyes as to why eating the right foods is so very important to your body and what eating “non-clean” foods do to you chemically. I had never thought about it that way; I just thought, “food is food.” I had little self-control, but I figured that as long as I worked out enough then it would all balance out! I mean, I knew a double stuffed Oreo wasn’t a good option, but I never really thought about the impact it was having inside my body – making me want more and affecting me for hours after I ate it. Reading that book really helped me make better choices when starting the challenge because that education forced me not to revert back and to truly think what I was putting inside my body.

I took the challenge seriously: I upped my membership to unlimited and started showing up to the box 4-5 days/week. I ate completely clean during the 6 weeks, with my only cheats being some extra tequila or ciders here and there. And I ate A LOT – I had to change my mindset because the volume of food was so much more than in my old “healthy” days. Eating paleo was such a new concept to me , and I took the challenge as an opportunity to transition, making sure I got my protein, veggies, and fats in without making a major focus on portion control. I was concerned that I’d get bored of just plain meals and be tempted to quit, so I found great paleo recipe blogs and couldn’t believe how much tastier clean eating was. Seriously, – Make it all. Yes, everything. I lost 12 pounds and started feeling a lot better overall. I was working out harder, getting stronger, having more energy, sleeping better, eating yummier food, and generally in a better mood.

For the last five months I’ve lived an 80/20 paleo lifestyle and stuck to Crossfit 5x/week on average. During that time I’ve lived a normal life and didn’t let my old obsessive habits creep in. I loosened up during the holidays, took off time for vacation, and extra days off for special occasions or just when I needed it. I also allowed myself to indulge more often in general when it came to food and drinking (sometimes too much, and boy did I feel it afterwards). When this current Paleo Challenge came, I decided to use it as a time to reset again.

Her face is only blocked because “google lasts forever” 🙂

I took my “before” picture and was shocked.

I knew my body had transformed over the last 5 months, but I couldn’t believe my eyes when I compared it to the before and after pictures from the last challenge. I couldn’t believe that even just the 80/20 lifestyle had still produced such visible results. Even though I was feeling good, I had thought that all those extra indulgences couldn’t possibly have allowed me to progress much.  That would have been the case in my old mindset – if I let all those extra calories slip, they would add up and result in poor progress or setbacks. Another thing I had to reconcile with my old mindset – the only difference in scale since the end of the last paleo challenge was 1 POUND. Over the last 5 months, though I’ve only lost that one pound, I’ve lost so many inches and fat, and gained muscle.

I had read and heard so many discussions about how the scale doesn’t matter, muscle weighs more than fat, yadda yadda. And I kind of believed it (admittedly, with doubt), which is why I gave this lifestyle a go. But let me tell you from personal experience – ITS TRUE! IT WORKS! The weight loss between the first and second pictures is 12lbs. The weight loss between the second and third picture is 1lb. I weigh more than I did in my “skinny days,” but fit back into some of those old clothes and feel a million times better. It wasn’t an overnight fix for me, and there were days where I felt like I wasn’t making any progress at all, but I did – even when I wasn’t seeing it.This time my goals haven’t changed much, but I am focusing on my macros more and keeping an eye on portions (no sweet potatoes or sneaky high paleo carbs errrryday this time around) to find the optimal balance for me. I feel like my old self again – actually, I feel like a new person. A better person. I love that I can live a healthy lifestyle without affecting the normalcy of my life. I love all the progress I’ve experienced at the box, I love the energy I have, and I just love the overall positivity. I’m so happy I drank the kool-aid.


11 Minute AMRAP
9 Toes to bar
7 Power Cleans (155,105)
9 Burpees

Level 3 -(135,95)
Level 2- (115,75)
Level 1 –(95, 45)

Mobility Class:
Upper Body