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Fall 2011 Paleo Challenge

The winner of the Spring 2011 CFSB Paleo Challenge was Elena. Jessica S. and Darin H.’s experiences also merit mention. Check out the Challenge summary post and the write-ups and results below!

WINNER: Elena F.

Congratulations to Elena for eating 100% squeaky clean paleo for five weeks, taking an inch of fat off, demolishing her Helen time (and moving up a band) and adding 15 lbs. to her 5×5 back squat. Elena takes home the cash kitty for eating 100% clean and seeing the biggest overall improvement.

  • Pounds added to back squat 5×5: 15
  • Helen time improvement: 27s (and 1 band improvement)
  • 1″ lost at waist

Here’s a Q&A with the winner:

Name: Elena Filek

Age: 35

Kids? Hubby? Pets? I’m married to a wonderfully supportive husband, Cory.  We’ve been married for 13 great years and have two fantastic children (Sarah – 9 and Matthew – 7).  We have no pets, as we feel that children are enough work already!

What do you do when not CrossFitting and making paleo food? I volunteer at my kid’s school for hours and hours at a time!

Favorite motivational phrase you like shouted at you while working out: My good friend once said:”You can do anything for an hour.”  I often say this to myself before a WOD…

Favorite music to work out to: The latest song I’ve grown to like is: “I’m sexy and I know it” by LMFAO. After all, isn’t it why we do this to ourselves (I mean Crossfit)?!? I do it so that I’m SEXY!

Member at CFSB since: September 2011

What did you do pre-CFSB? I feel like in order to answer this question I have to back up a little and describe my journey to Crossfit in general.

If you would have told me 6 months ago that I would be doing Olympic lifts, hand stands and working out along side athletes (and have people refer to me as an athlete), I would have laughed my a$$ off.  I never considered myself to be an athlete, I never even considered myself to be active.  I didn’t play any sports in high school.  I only started working out on a consistent basis about three years ago.  I battled with weight gain a few times over the last 15 years. First, after graduating from college I lost weight with diet and exercise (and was quite successful).  I lost my “freshman 15″ and felt really good about myself, but then exercise took a back seat to my career and having children.  I managed to loose my “baby weight”, twice, by doing Weight Watchers with minimal activity.  My excuse for lack of activity was no time (children and career were taking up all my time).

Then three years ago we moved to Mobile, Alabama. Who would have ever thought that my journey to fitness would begin in Mobile, Alabama! But it did!  My husband got a transfer to Mobile and I quit my job and became a stay at home mom.  It was a tough transition, as I now had all this “free” time and no family or friends to keep me busy.  I wondered how I would fill my time. And then I met Tre Cook…  Tre was running boot camp classes at a local gym and I decided to try one session and see what happens.  Well, that day was the beginning of the end! I was hooked on this whole exercise/work out/sweating/breathing hard/sore the next day thing! I saw unbelievable changes in my body and my confidence. Tre made me feel like I could do anything! I ran my first 10K race last year and did it under an hour – now don’t laugh this is pretty good for me.  Just for comparison sake, at 24 years of age I walked a 5K race in 58:20 and at the ripe ol’ age of 34 I did a 10k in 57:30. Now, that’s a PR if I ever did see one (how’s that for Crossfit lingo?)!

To make a long story even longer (just joking)… In August of this year we moved to Redondo Beach, California.  I have to mention that I gained a little weight in the move (you know – lack of exercise, stress, bad eating and a little (ok, a lot) of drinking), so it was time to get back in the gym.  I started researching local gyms and I came across CFSB on Yelp.  I had no idea what Crossfit was about, but the gym had good ratings, so I thought I would try it.  I did a bit of research… I was looking for a gym that offered group “boot camp” – like classes and it looked like Crossfit would be something like that.  Little did I know… Every time I leave the gym I say to myself: “Tomorrow can’t be as hard as today…” But it always is and yet I keep coming back.

That brings me to my Paleo Challenge experience: Well, I’m going to be totally honest and tell you that I began this challenge for a totally vain reason: I wanted to look good in a bikini again (as I mentioned earlier I might have gained a few over the summer). Yes, I know this is grounds for dismissal from the Crossfit cult, but here it is and I said it! I did the full on Option A with a nutrition class and a cooking class. I knew nothing about Paleo and the science behind it, but thought: How bad could it be?

I have to admit the nutrition class that Remy did at CFSB was really scary. I left the class terrified of touching anything in the grocery store and worried sick that I was poisoning my family with what I considered up that point a very healthy diet (healthier than most, even if I do say so myself). I’m still not sure how I feel about the info presented in that class on the effects of Standard American Diet on our bodies, but I’m open to doing more of my own research on the subject and coming up with my own conclusions.

What I can tell you is how I felt while doing the Paleo challenge: The first 4 days were hard! I felt light headed, hungry and over all low on energy. At around day 3 I thought that this Paleo thing was quite unreasonable considering the amount of energy one needed to complete a Crossfit WOD. But then, it kind of got better. I started to feel great all day (no low energy slumps in the afternoon), when I got hungry it wasn’t as sharp of a feeling as “normal” and what was most surprising is that I no longer felt like throwing up after each work out. And ok, I really, really, really missed my cocktails!

Fast forward five weeks, and I still feel great, I see small changes in my body and some improvement in my lifts and WOD. The changes aren’t as dramatic as I may have wanted (still a little work to be done to look good in a bikini), but I’m pretty pleased with my progress. As I move forward form this challenge, I hope to continue my education on the benefits of the Paleo lifestyle and start making changes to our family meals that moves us closer to being healthy. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to have an occasional pizza and ice cream (I have two kids for goodness sakes and I can’t deny them this ultimate treat), but taking those foods out of regular weekly rotation might not be such a bad idea ;)

Why do you CrossFit? How does paleo fit in, in your opinion? I do Crossfit because it makes me feel strong and powerful and Paleo contributes to that feeling.  As I mentioned in my Paleo Challenge Experience description, I no longer feel like throwing up after every WOD.

Any advice for someone thinking about trying CrossFit or someone who has just started? My advice is to just do it! Just go and try it.  It’ll be the hardest and most painful thing you’ll ever do (and I’ve given birth to two children, so I know what pain is), but you’ll come back to do it again.

Jessica S.

If you don’t know Jess, she’s a medic and works insane hours answering 911 calls and has some pretty awesome stories to tell about that.

  • Helen time improved: 30s
  • Back squat lbs. 5×5 added: 5
  • Waist inches lost: 2.25
  • Paleo expertise: pulled pork

From Jess on the Challenge:

  • “I sleep better. Even on the days I only get 5 hours because of work I actually sleep the whole way through. I also seem to be more alert at work even in the wee hours when normal people are sleeping.”
  • “I really would like to incorporate wine, cheese, and dark choclate back into my diet (in moderation of course), but I do know that I will never return to the SAD way of eating ever again.”

Darin H.

Darin is a new CFSB member whose food log informed me that he is culinarily gifted and whose job has him travel like it’s going out of style. Managing that and paleo proved a challenge, but he was able to get right back on the wagon, feeling better each time.

  • Helen time improved: 1m 49s (with KB ROM improvement!)
  • Back squat 5RM lbs added: 40
  • Deadlift 5RM lbs added: 20

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