Fall 2015 Nutrition Challenge Wrap-Up, Winners, Testimonials, Pictures

My performance in WODs and strength has increased ten-fold! I have been PRing left and right!

I am more alert through the middle of the workday.

I’ve definitely noticed a difference in body mass as well, getting leaner!

I felt like I could sustain the energy

I noticed a significant increase in stamina during AMRAPs and 15+ min WODs

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the Fall 2015 Nutrition Challenge! This was our twelfth Nutrition Challenge, and you can find past results here:

Below you will find some before and after photos and testimonials from those who completed all eight weeks of the Fall Nutrition Challenge 2015.  I am really proud of the hard work everyone put in – it’s not easy to stay consistent during football and wedding season!  You all approached it with an open mind and a willingness to make positive changes. Big congratulations go out to all of the competitors from our gym.

Like all years, it’s always a difficult task to pick winners.  We consider a lot of factors when choosing a winner, from communication and ability to uphold the guidelines during the challenge, to before and after results based on the measurements, and benefits that go beyond just physical looks and measurements.

Winners:

We chose 3 winners this year, although it was extremely difficult to choose!  Matt, Hassan, and Jaclyn are the winners of this year’s challenge.  Matt was extremely diligent and consistent with his diet and work outs, and it paid off after only 8 short weeks.  Jaclyn had been eating paleo leading up to the challenge, and over the course of a few months dropped 30+ pounds! I think the challenge helped her find some new energy/balance and make a break-through with her diet.  Hassan was also very diligent about his diet and tracking, and is proof that with the right balance you can lean out while eating MORE food.  All the other finishers also had some amazing results, so congratulations to everyone!

Congratulations again to everyone!!

Hannah

Collages5Since I have been eating paleo for a while now, I joined this challenge so I could be closer to the C’Ville community. I really wasn’t doing the challenge to lose weight or lean out. I gained a lot of muscle, A LOT. I love that though! It was what I was aiming for. I was trying to see how I could gain muscle while still eating paleo, and I did just that!

My performance in WODs and strength has increased ten-fold! I have been PRing left and right! My clean and jerk went up 15lbs; my snatch went up 20lbs; I can squat 170lbs for 20 reps. It’s been amazing!!!

Though I still get tired around 2:30 (don’t think that will ever change), my energy levels in class and at the box have increased a lot. I am much happier about school and life in general. Because of the challenge and my 6 AM WODs, my body is now used to going to sleep early even though everyone in my dorm is up until 2 AM. I definitely now have a clear routine, and I’m sticking to it.

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Paleo is hard, but if I can do it in college, anyone can! You can put your mind to anything, and you will achieve it. This challenge reaffirmed my love for paleo!


Matt
I lost about 25 pounds. I lost an inch in my neck measurement, a little over an inch in my waist and over 2 inches in my chest.
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Being new to CrossFit, I wanted to engage a healthier way of eating to fuel my workouts. I didn’t want to have to take a lot of supplements or powders, but balance based on healthy foods. The zone based paleo-ish diet that I evolved into was key to doing this. This allowed me to time eating the proper foods to fuel workouts and recovery. I specifically noticed eating a decent concentration of proteins close to the finish of a workout really helped me feel good, especially the next day. I was considerably less sore.
In the beginning of the challenge, I often felt hungry during the day, but as I learned to snack smartly, this definitely improved and now I pretty much feel satiated until 4-5 hours after I eat, with healthy snacks.
The biggest change I have noticed here is that with significant grain based carbs in my diet, I would often feel lethargic. This was especially true after lunch. This has completely gone away which means I am more alert through the middle of the workday. As for sleeping, I have always been a 7-8 hours a night type of sleeper and this hasn’t really changed. I can say that I do feel more tired when I got to bed and fall asleep faster and am wide awake in the morning and ready to take on the day.
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I really like cooking, but the taking the time to prepare and shop has always been a huge hurdle. I used the cooksmarts.com site to great benefit, reducing the planning stage down to a few minutes and a couple of button clicks. The other thing that help me was learning what I can buy frozen and in bulk and where to shop. Places like Costco offers great natural wild caught seafood that is frozen. Then I found that Trader Joe’s has great quality, but less selection than whole foods, so I pick up a lot of items there. Finally whole foods fills in the niche items. This approach allows me to lower the grocery bill at least compared to shopping entirely at whole foods, without sacrificing quality of food.


Jaclyn
Where to begin?!  I saw so many changes during the 8 weeks, the least of which was weight loss. I think I only dropped 8 pounds during the challenge, but lost almost 3 inches each on waist and hips. I’ve definitely noticed a difference in body mass as well, getting leaner! I’ve been dropping off bags of clothes to Goodwill every week, and rediscovering a wardrobe I’ve held on to for years in the hopes I’d eventually fit in it again!
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I was still pretty new to CrossFit when the challenge began, but had already had pretty fantastic results – dropping almost 20 pounds by the time the challenge started. By tracking macros, I was able to understand HOW the food I ate affected my performance. I had already switched to paleo two months prior, but didn’t have a good handle on what to eat/why/when. As a chef, there was the additional challenge of making sure I was eating enough – I’m used to grazing all day, but the first two weeks I really struggled with eating nutritionally dense food that hit my macro numbers. Once I settled in, though, I really noticed a difference in my energy – and no longer felt like I was “eating too much.” From the workouts perspective, being able to do push-ups, pull-ups and more things that I never would have thought I could do has been so inspiring – and keeps me coming back for more every single week.

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My energy levels skyrocketed during the tracking period, and I was feeling much better during and after the workouts.  I’ve made a greater effort to get to bed early and up to the gym early every day. I noticed that the weekends when I had several events and less sleep, that I was still able to bounce back SO MUCH BETTER than before. Five-wedding-weekends didn’t leave me utterly and completely spent – instead, I was back at the gym Monday morning!
I’m excited to keep up with the overall principles of the challenge – nutritionally dense foods, watching macro ratios and continuing my CrossFit journey.


Roxanne
I have definitely seen a significant change in my body composition from doing this challenge. I didn’t necessarily lose a lot of weight in pounds but, I have lost three inches all around which feels awesome. I can feel and see it most in the way my clothes fit, and how lean I’ve gotten from doing the challenge.
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I work with children with Autism, and just in the first several weeks I felt so much more energy throughout the day. As long as I was eating clean and consistently throughout the day, I felt like I could sustain the energy. In terms of my workouts, I have felt less recovery time, and felt like I could push myself longer and harder than I used to before.
definitely more clarity throughout the day, and a ton more energy!
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Doing this challenge has definitely been a great experience. The best part, is that I have definitely appreciated my food, and cooking a lot more in the past 8 weeks. It has become a process that I thoroughly enjoy and is actually relaxing. Nothing beats coming home and cooking some good food that not only tastes good, but makes me feel good. I have learned a new way to approach food and snacking throughout the day, and have a new found love for almonds and grapes! I feel like going back to basics with paleo made me realize how much I don’t need all the extra’s in my diet like processed grains, and sugar, and I feel like this is a lifestyle we could maintain as a family.


Hassan

It felt like I lost more weight than the numbers indicated at the start and end of the challenge. Regardless, I still leaned out. I didn’t lose enough to change pant sizes (down from 32″ down to 31″) but I did need a belt and my shirts fit noticeably better. Also, abs and hip bones popped out from hibernation which was validation enough for me in terms of the scale not moving too much.

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Throughout the day, my moods felt more consistent. I prefer to eat twice a day (lunch and dinner). I find it difficult to eat in the morning and this made it really difficult to hit my macros early on.
I had been eating mostly paleo before the challenge; usually a meal or non-paleo snack every other day or so. Once I shifted to paleo it took me a while to adjust to eating more. Halfway through the challenge, I found protein shakes to be a good substitute for at the very least a late breakfast/early lunchtime snack especially on WOD mornings. Also, snacking on sweet potatoes or plantains (seared in olive or coconut oil 8 min) or grazing from a big Planter’s mix (from Sam’s Club) of blended walnuts, Brazilian nuts, pecans, etc. made things a whole lot easier.
Performance wise, I felt lighter during burpees and could string together multiple muscle-ups more consistently. Very surprised to hit a Clean & Jerk PR (225#) even though the only thing I was doing differently was the challenge.
Energy wise I felt a sluggish at the beginning of the challenge. It took me a while to adjust to eating a lot more than I expected. Tracking and seeing how little I was eating pre and post WOD was enlightening though because maintaining stamina during WODs is my weakest area in CrossFit. I noticed a significant increase in stamina during AMRAPs and 15+ min WODs just by adding a sweet potato or carb heavy snack (sweet potato/plantain) a couple hours before working out.
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I also started to sleep better. Never realized how non-paleo food (even if it was the only thing non-paleo thing I consumed all day) could really cause restless sleep.
Challenge is infinitely more manageable if you think of the whole thing as a dietary reset button. By the end of the challenge it definitely felt like I was getting more energy and nutrients out of eating meat and veggies than eating mostly paleo on an inconsistent basis.
I would definitely recommend planning meals in advance. Each week I went in with the intention of just having paleo food available every day during the week but it’s very difficult to not just lean heavily into Chipotle. Honestly, if anyone were considering the next challenge I would recommend setting up a meal schedule of literally anything you want and sticking to it for a week. I imagine it would be a lot easier to just substitute the food with paleo options once you get used to planning meals.
I’ve done challenges at other boxes before but what sets Charlottesville apart is the phases of tracking. I’ve never tracked macros before and I only continued for a week or so after the required phase during the challenge. Since the only thing I’m training for is being able to play my ab xylophone for the ladies poolside during summers, math isn’t something I think I’ll incorporate into my daily (or even weekly) eating habits.
However, the weighing and tracking phase made doing the challenge alone worth it for two reasons. First, it made it a lot easier to save money shopping for the right amount of food. A bag of frozen organic broccoli or peas is like 2 bucks and change at Whole Foods + only take 8 minutes to steam! Second, l got considerably better at eyeballing correct portion sizes of already cooked food. Spoiler alert: did not realize how easy it was to overdue it on fats and undershoot protein.
I would highly recommend:
Snack: Bag of sweet potatoes from Trader Joe’s, (microwave 2 min, split open and eat).
Meal: Chipotle: salad, double meat (I perfer steak/chicken, any of the salsas, and guac).
So Delicious No Sugar Added Coconut Milk Ice Cream.

Cindy

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CrossFit Charlottesville’s 5 Month New Member Special for 2015!

CrossFit Charlottesville is offering a prepaid membership special to last you for five months! Purchase the special before August 31, and have unlimited access to the gym for 5 months!  This membership gives you unlimited access to all of our amazing class offerings at CrossFit Charlottesville, including C’ville Strength and C’ville Burn.  Capture this opportunity for the best gym experience of your life.  Get results, experience fun, and come see why we’re the best gym if you care about changing your life.

Purchase Online or In Person!

Ready to jump start your fitness journey?  Our prepaid membership special at CrossFit Charlottesville has you covered.  You can either purchase it online or in person.  Want to learn more about CrossFit first?  Check out one of our Free Intro Classes (times listed below), and check out this video. Follow the link here to purchase online:

“5 Month” Special!

*This deal must be purchased before August 31, 2015.  Your membership begins on the date of purchase and is good for 5 months from date of purchase.  All sales are final, and this is for new members only.  For more information regarding the membership special, please come in for a FREE intro class during one of the times listed below to speak to a trainer and try it out, email info@crossfitcharlottesville.com or call (434) 260-0209.  This membership special applies to new members only, and cannot be combined with other discounts or offers. No membership holds are allowed.

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Why Choose CrossFit Charlottesville?

We provide incredible value when you experience results and the environment we’ve created. CrossFit Charlottesville has a staff of 18 trainers with 40+ years combined experience and 30+ certifications held, and we’ve been in operation for 6 years; our experience is unmatched in Charlottesville.  We offer CrossFit, Olympic Weightlifting (C’ville Strength), and Bootcamp classes (C’ville Burn), so there is something for everyone.  Come check out our facility during one of our Free Intro Classes and try it for yourself before purchasing this membership special.

“Back To School” Special!

FREE Intro Classes Every Week:

  • Monday 6:15pm
  • Wednesday 6:15pm
  • Saturday Noon

Learn More

Learn More by visiting our Getting Started section.

Try a free class.

Step 1: Try and Compare (Recommended)

  • Read testimonials from our members.
  • Compare value. We offer small group training led by certified instructors; our average member comes 3 or 4 times per week; our clients experience incredible results; and you begin a lifelong, social fitness journey. We provide so much more value when you experience results and the environment we’ve created. Scroll down for prices.
  • Years of Experience: Over 4 years training all types of clients
  • Class Schedule: 7 to 10 classes per day to fit any schedule
  • Program Variety: CrossFit, Olympic Weightlifting, Bootcamp
  • Training Staff: 18 Trainers; 40+ Years Training Experience; 30+ Certifications Held
  • Open Gym Time: Open lifting during regular class times; Saturday make-up sessions
  • Competitive Wins: 4x CrossFit Games competitors; Many local wins
  • Intro Program: Optional Essentials classes for newer members
  • Nutrition Challenge: 4 Years Running; Over 100 Finishers!
  • Facility: 5,000 Square Feet; Best in class

Step 2: Try a Free Class!

Join us either every Monday and Wednesday at 6:15PM or Saturdays at Noon for a free introduction class (no registration, just show up), or contact us to schedule a free introduction during any time. You can register online and sign a waiver digitally before coming in to the gym, and you can register for the Intro Class online as well!  Wear your workout clothes, bring some water, and be prepared for a workout and an introduction to the CrossFit methodology.
FREE INTRO SIGN UP

Step 3: Essentials Classes (strongly encouraged)

We encourage new members to attend our Essentials classes every Monday and Wednesday at 6:15PM and Saturdays at Noon.

In order to give our athletes the best possible experience, we ask them participate in our flexible “Essentials” classes which are small group sessions designed to introduce athletes to the CrossFit methodology and movements. The classes are designed to help you build the confidence and familiarity with what we do in our CrossFit classes.

Alternately, if those times do not work for you, all of our classes include instruction for all levels of athletes, and you are welcome to attend any class if you feel comfortable or have scheduling issues.

Step 4: CrossFit Classes

CrossFit training is meant to be scalable and flexible around your fitness goals and daily schedule. Naturally, so are our membership options.

Membership Type

12 Month

6 Month

Month to Month

Regular Unlimited

$135 /month

$149 /month

$169 /month

Regular 3X/Week

$125 /month

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$159 /month

Regular 2X/Week

$115 /month

$129 /month

$149/ month

There are further 15% discounts for families, couples, students and active duty military.

Upon signing up for any 6-month or 12-month membership, you will have the option to meet with a trainer of your choice for a goal-setting session about any health, fitness, nutrition, or lifestyle-related questions you may have.

We’re the best results-oriented gym in central Virginia. You get personal attention everyday. If you want to see a change in your life, contact us and we’ll talk about membership and details.

Do I have to do Essentials?

We encourage new members to complete the Essentials process, but you are welcome to attend any class if you feel comfortable or have scheduling issues.

Special Holiday Membership Offer

$99/Month for 12 Months if you sign up by December 31!

CrossFit Charlottesville is offering an awesome unlimited membership special for new members.  If you sign up by December 31, you can lock in a 12 month membership agreement at only $99/month!  This is the best deal we’ve ever offered at CrossFit Charlottesville, and we are doing this because we want to give any new member the opportunity to experience the amazing fitness community we’ve created.  This membership gives you access to unlimited classes per week and one of the most knowledgeable fitness communities in Charlottesville.  You can sign up in person to get this membership special, or click below to sign up and purchase online at our membership site.  

PLEASE NOTE that we can adjust the start date for your membership, but in order to change the start date you must sign up in person or contact us prior to checking out online. The only restrictions are it must be purchased by December 31 (membership must start by January 31) and it’s for new members only.  There are NO sign-up fees. Come talk to a trainer or contact us if you have any questions.  If you are a student, ask about our hold policy for summer and vacation breaks, too!

Click Below to Purchase Online!

Read our FAQs or check out our website for more information. Read actual testimonials from our members to hear what people think.  See our Getting Started section for more info.

CrossFit Charlottesville has been in operation for over 5 years; our experience is unmatched in Charlottesville.  We offer CrossFit, Olympic Weightlifting (C’ville Strength), and Bootcamp classes (C’ville Burn), so there is something for everyone.  Come check out our facility during one of our FREE INTRO CLASSES and try it for yourself before signing up: Register For An Intro

  • Monday at 6:15pm
  • Wednesday at 6:15pm
  • Saturday at Noon

Check out this video to learn more about our gym and hear from a few of our members: Click Here to Watch It On YouTube

 

CrossFit Charlottesville’s “Back to School” New Member Special!

CrossFit Charlottesville is offering a 3 month, prepaid membership for only $299!  This membership gives you unlimited access to all of our amazing class offerings at CrossFit Charlottesville, including C’ville Strength and C’ville Burn.  Capture this opportunity for the best gym experience of your life.  Get results, experience fun, and come see why we’re the best gym if you care about changing your life.

Purchase Online or In Person!

Ready to jump start your fitness journey?  Our prepaid 3 month membership special at CrossFit Charlottesville has you covered.  You can either purchase it online or in person.  Follow the link here to purchase online:

*This deal must be purchased before September 25, 2014.  Upon purchasing the special, you can begin your 3 month membership at any time – your membership will activate when you sign in for your first class.  All sales are final.  For more information regarding the membership special, please come in for a FREE intro class during one of the times listed below to speak to a trainer and try it out, email info@crossfitcharlottesville.com or call (434) 260-0209.  This membership special applies to new members only, and cannot be combined with other discounts or offers.

10354949_10152137637806751_5653578521178331516_n

Why Choose CrossFit Charlottesville?

We provide incredible value when you experience results and the environment we’ve created. CrossFit Charlottesville has a staff of 18 trainers with 40+ years combined experience and 30+ certifications held, and we’ve been in operation for 5 years; our experience is unmatched in Charlottesville.  We offer CrossFit, Olympic Weightlifting (C’ville Strength), and Bootcamp classes (C’ville Burn), so there is something for everyone.  Come check out our facility during one of our Free Intro Classes and try it for yourself before purchasing this membership special.

FREE Intro Classes Every Week:

  • Monday 6:15pm
  • Wednesday 6:15pm
  • Saturday Noon

Schedule Changes to C’ville Strength and Intro/Essentials in July

Starting the week of July 7, we will be making some schedule changes that will affect C’ville Strength weekday classes as well as our Free Intro Class and Essentials

  • C’ville Strength will be moving to 7pm on Tuesday and Thursday during the week (schedule remains the same for the weekend)

  • Intro/Essentials will be moving to 6:15pm on Monday and Wednesday during the week (we will still have our regular Saturday classes at noon)

These changes will better serve our growing strength community as well as make it easier for new members to take advantage of our Essentials class during the week.  None of these changes will have an effect on our regular CrossFit Class Schedule.

Also, just a reminder about our current Saturday CrossFit schedule.  We have CrossFit make-up classes at 8am and 11am ONLY.  There is no longer class at 10am.

All of these changes are reflected in our online scheduler, and the website will be updated by the 7th.

If you have questions please email Scott!

Thanks, and always have fun getting more fit!

I feel lean and mean, systems running like a well oiled machine

I started sleeping much better and didn’t always need that second (or more) cups of coffee in the afternoons, even when I woke up before 5 AM for work

I’m not easily winded when going on the 400m and 800m run

Due to the weight loss my performance has changed greatly

I don’t get nearly as tired during workouts and feel like I have more energy

Overall I had great energy, slept soundly and was happy-go-lucky

I was able to gain perspective on the saying “you are what you eat”

The positive benefits have encouraged me to push myself more and try new things

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the Spring 2014 Nutrition Challenge! This was our ninth Nutrition Challenge, and you can find past results here:

Below you will find before and after photos and testimonials from those who completed all eight weeks of our Nutrition Challenge this spring.  I am really proud of the hard work everyone put in.  You all approached it with an open mind and a willingness to make positive changes.  It was very rewarding for me to witness this, and I enjoyed working with you all. Most importantly, big congratulations go out to Anna and Karen for winning the Spring Nutrition Challenge!  They both not only did a solid job of sticking to the guidelines of the challenge, but achieved measurable body composition changes.  Everyone who completed the challenge deserves recognition, and you can find their testimonials below.  Again, congrats to everyone who participated, and we hope that everything you learned during the challenge will enrich your life going forward.

For this Nutrition Challenge we teamed up with Arqspin to produce some awesome before and after pictures!  Nathan and Chandler were a huge help, and I appreciate the work they put in to make these great interactive pictures.  You can see before and after spins by clicking on the picture itself or the links at the end of each participant’s testimonial.

Anna

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BEFORE

I rate my overall experience with paleo strong to quite strong. I lost 15 pounds during the challenge, and let’s be honest, ten of those likely dropped due to the absence of IPAs in my diet. I feel lean and mean, systems running like a well oiled machine. I probably lost a dress size. The greatest impact was my recovery time. Throughout the challenge, I continued my usual workout schedule and played in a couple tennis leagues. I was able to do so without fatigue while seeing improvements in performance. Outside of fitness, Mondays are no longer the bane of existence, and I feel more alert around the usual two o’clock lull. Will I continue strict paleo? No. I like beer, ice cream and pizza too much. I will eat those a little less, though. Further, I plan to incorporate the following:

  1. An awareness of the content of your food. As a general rule, chemicals do not enhance food. In order to maximize your output, though, you must also input balanced amounts of protein, fat and carbs at the right time. For instance, I found the switch from a carb-loaded to protein-centric breakfast extremely valuable.
  2. The accessibility of Paleo. You are just one Google search and a bag of coconut flour (though slightly expensive) away from replacing any of your favorite gluten treats. Except pizza – although even my paleo pizza was surprisingly tasty. As far as time commitment, you can commit as much or as little time as you would like. Very little of what I made took over twenty minutes to prep and most meals had leftovers, which was huge.
  3. Consistency. In the illustrious words of Ice Cube, “It ain’t a track meet, it’s a marathon.” The biggest struggle was adjusting my attitude that claimed, “Eat well and sometimes minimally during the week so you can glutinously gorge yourself on the weekend.” Discarding that attitude, I focused on making meals that interested me regularly and finding ways to satisfy cravings so I could easily say no to treats when offered.
Again, a great learning experience and one that will continue to impact my lifestyle.

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AFTER

Check out Anna’s Spins from Arqspin!

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Christina

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BEFORE

The biggest thing that I noticed was an improvement in my energy levels during the day and during my workouts (after an initial slump). Once that slump was over, I started sleeping much better and didn’t always need that second (or more) cups of coffee in the afternoons, even when I woke up before 5 AM for work. More than that, I had fairly consistent energy levels throughout the day. I was surprised by these improvements because I ate “primal” beforehand, but never really thought too much about ratios and timing of nutrients.  Beyond that, I noticed pretty considerable gains in strength and muscle size. My squat and deadlift all improved, and I only use the red band for pull-ups now and can do more skilled movements than before (TTB!). I’ve always struggled with building muscle. My digestive issues got even better and my skin and nails got better, too. As for clothing sizes, I didn’t necessarily drop in size but my tops were definitely fitting looser. My pants fit looser in the waist and tighter in my legs etc., but I’m okay with that! Finally I became a lot better at listening to cues from my body – everything from when to rest or when I could do a bit more to my tendency to eat when I’m bored/tired/stressed instead of when I’m actually hungry. I think my relationship with food has improved considerably.

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AFTER

Check out Christina’s Spins from Arqspin!

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After Photo

Shirley

  1. How much weight did you lose? How much have you leaned out?  6-7lb loss, I’ve toned/leaned out more.
  2. How do you feel throughout the day? How has your performance in workouts changed? I’m not groggy in the afternoon and I don’t snack throughout the day. My performance in workouts reflect this as well. I’m not easily winded when going on the 400m and 800m run.
  3. How many dress and / or pant sizes have you lost? Clothes are looser but pant size hasn’t changed.
  4. How have your energy levels changed? What about mental benefits? My energy level is great, more endurance.

Bruce

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BEFORE

  1. How much weight did you lose? How much have you leaned out?

I lost approximately 14 lbs.  I don’t know exactly how much leaner I am but I certainly feel like my muscle mass has increased and my fat levels have dropped.

  1. How do you feel throughout the day? How has your performance in workouts changed?

Interestingly my energy level has been great. I still don’t get enough sleep, but that’s my life. One thing I did was completely cut out diet soft drinks, I was very addicted. I wanted to go cold turkey from them and did so. I was afraid I would have headaches from the withdrawals from caffeine but I never once noticed it. So far I am 9 weeks without a diet soda.  Due to the weight loss my performance has changed greatly. I don’t get nearly as tired during workouts and feel like I have more energy. I believe it is a combination of a much stricter diet in combination with the weight loss and more muscle being built.

  1. How many dress and / or pant sizes have you lost?

I haven’t lost any sizes but my current closes fit much better. In fact, my wife says my XL shirts don’t look so tight anymore.

  1. How have your energy levels changed? What about mental benefits?

As I was saying earlier, my energy levels are great. I do find I need more rest but that is again because of my crazy schedule. As for mental benefits, I am much more positive about myself. I feel better mentally because I am doing something to help myself which makes me think of myself in a better way.

  1. Anything else you would like to share?

Just a big thanks to Scott for his encouragement and for the support along the way. Also, his knowledge was helpful as well as his willingness to take the time each week to help us push through.

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AFTER

Check out Bruce’s Spins from Arqspin!

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Dominique

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BEFORE

The nutrition challenge was an excellent experience for me. I have been doing versions of the ancestral diet for the past six years; first Weston Price and now Paleo for the past 2.5 years. Documenting and measuring my food for the first month of the challenge gave me a lot of insight about how I was eating. I found that I was filling up on good fats, but not eating nearly enough protein or carbohydrates.  The biggest positive change for me was giving up all refined sugar. I quit my daily dark chocolate habit about one month before the challenge and have remained sugar free ever since.

I was initially concerned about the “Zone” portion control and potential hunger, but I actually found that I needed a greater variety and volume of food than I had been eating. After week three I cut my intake to about 1300 calories a day in hopes of shedding weight more quickly. I only remember feeling hungry during a few morning workouts.  Overall I had great energy, slept soundly and was happy-go-lucky.

I lost four pounds, 1.5” off of my hips, and about 1.5 dress sizes during the nutrition challenge. I was initially disappointed that I did not lose more weight, but I see now that I have leaned out a lot and gained quite a bit of muscle. I am happy that I am able to squeeze into some of my pre-pregnancy clothes for the first time in a very long time.

During the last two weeks of the challenge I began to see performance improvements in myself. This encouraged me to focus less on the vanity aspect. I find the guidelines of the challenge sustainable and I continue to follow them (with the addition of a few glasses of wine here and there.) Now that I have been doing this for 11 weeks I actually feel like I have hit the tipping point and I am beginning to see the real changes that I was anticipating.

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AFTER

Check out Dominique’s Spins from Arqspin!

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Karen

I joined Charlottesville Crossfit in November of 2013.  The range of fitness and physical challenges captivated me.   This is something that I enjoy and it is never boring!  After losing 15 lbs and hitting a plateau, the nutrition challenge was presented.  I had heard of Paleo and thought it would be too difficult to maintain with children and not to mention costly.   This was not a diet for me but a lifestyle change for my family that needed to take place. Once Scott assigned my specific weekly nutritional goals, I began cooking.   Cooking and preparing my meals ahead and pre packing for the week helped with my busy schedule.  I found that the first week, I was always hungry.  I found myself eating all the time; however, a quick healthy snack or meal on hand was a big help to keep me on track.  Once I was able to get through the first week and get into a manageable routine, I found that I had more energy and felt more focused.  “Goodbye to the midday slump.” I think I realized the benefits of clean eating on my cheat days or when I would started to add some foods back into my diet.  I quickly realized these were the foods that were making me feel bad: bloating, sleepiness, mental- fog and so on, it was all coming back.   I was able to gain perspective on the saying “you are what you eat”.  We choose what we put in our mouth and I will definitely continue the clean eating lifestyle and lead a healthier quality of life.  During the nutrition challenge, I lost 8.7 lbs, 2.5 inches off of my waist, and 3.5 inches off of my hips.   I am able to run further distances without stopping and my box jumps have also improved.   The positive benefits have encouraged me to push myself more and try new things.

Meredith

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Debbie

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Check out Debbie’s Spins from Arqspin!

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Q&A With Clay – Good Luck in Texas Clay and Kristen!

I had a chance to catch up with Clay after he and Kristen moved out to Texas this summer.  Clay and Kristen joined our gym about 2 years ago and were very active members in our small community here in Charlottesville.  Like Clay and Kristen, many people are here for a short while due to school, training, or other commitments, so when that stint is up we often have to say farewell.  We create lasting bonds with people in the gym, and we are excited for them when they start the next chapter of their life although it’s not easy to see them go.  It was rewarding to see the progress Clay and Kristen made during their time at CrossFit Charlottesville, and it was even better to get to know them as people.  I wanted to thank Clay for imparting some words of wisdom and finding the time during the move (and Kristen being close to having a baby!) to answer my questions below.  Best of luck to you both, and come visit us in Charlottesville soon!

Congrats to Clay and Kristen on their wedding this past weekend!!

Where did you move?

Ft. Hood, TX

What takes you to your new home?

Army, back to work. No more goofing off at school.

What is your favorite memory of the gym?

I’m not sure if I could pin down a single favorite memory. Certainly there were some pretty tough WODs that felt great to get to the other side of. I really enjoyed helping out at the SuperFit games and seeing people of all ages who could bang out some reps in some pretty tough events. I am not sure, but I also feel like that was around the time when I started feeling like a part of the community and not just a member. That transition happened gradually, starting from the beginning, but certainly by a few months in, we weren’t just faces coming and going. Folks knew us, trainers didn’t worry if we knew what we were doing, and if we missed a week people asked after us.

Worst workout experience?

Again, hard to say. I never judged a bad workout on how difficult it was; if I thought it was bad, it was usually because I had eaten badly or was sick/hurt, and I was suffering from my own issue. That said, I do tend to hate anything with high rep burpees. All the up and down just spikes my heart-rate.

Best workout experience?

Kristen and I both remember one of the first Burn workouts we did last summer when it just started pouring at the start of a long series of hill runs and dumbbell things. Other than that I would say anytime I progressed to doing a particular movement/WOD Rx from scaled I was pretty happy. That happened a lot over the first year, even if I didn’t record the particular milestones.

Biggest accomplishment since starting CF?

Two (they’re related): first, I’d say my short-lived ability to do an actual muscle up. Second, the weight loss/body comp improvements that came with being healthier overall in that fall of 2012, and again leading up to our wedding the next spring. I got down to the 200lbs mark for the first time in years, and I could really tell how much difference it made, especially on bodyweight exercises–like dropping a 25lbs plate.

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What are your fitness goals when you leave Charlottesville?

Definitely regain the health/body comp focus we had before. Life got stressful and busy with the final school semester, moving, and everything else, and we went from habitual good choices to sporadically good choices in diet.

Anything you’d like to say to your fellow crossfitters? 

We will sorely miss everyone we have gotten to know these past two years. I’m very sorry to anyone who we didn’t get to say goodbye to. You know, this seems to have been a tough year for C-ville in major competitions (except for Elizabeth, of course!), but I would absolutely rather workout alongside of everyone there than any of the professional CrossFit elite on TV. Remember the first rule–it’s what make the community in C-ville so strong.

Any advice or thoughts you’d like to impart on a new person considering trying CrossFit?

Along those same lines–CrossFit as a brand has been evolving at least in the several years since I found out about it. There is the international multi-million dollar competitive enterprise that the brand has become known for on TV, sporting goods stores, and countless blogs either touting or bashing it. Then there is the actual experience you have in the gym with trainers who were in your shoes not long ago themselves, and other members who all share the simple goal of fitness. Don’t be intimidated, come and learn. Don’t skip essentials. Learn the movements correctly, and scale appropriately at first. Don’t try to win the Games next year, just try to hit your next small goal, and catch that guy running a little faster than you up the hill. You will improve, quickly.

Anything else you’d like to say?

The bottom line though is that I think you’re doing it right at CFC. I’m bummed that the national brand is turning into a competitive professional sport, NOT focused on functional fitness for everyday people, but that doesn’t seem to have affected the focus locally. That’s good.