Happy Work Week Athletes!! We hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend!! As promised, we have Whole30 challenge winner personal reflections to share with you!

We’re going to kick this thang off with a reflection written by our second runner-up — Jessica!

Jessica & Coach Justin with her prizes: new Foundry tank & $25 Reebok Gift Card


And without further ado, I’m turning this blog post over to Jessica and the wonderful reflective essay she wrote that won her 3rd place!

WHOLE30 Reflection

“Let me get this straight: no sugar, gluten, alcohol, dairy, soy,
beans, or anything processed for the next 30 days?”  Coach Lina smiled
brightly and said yes.  I’ll admit, the dietary restrictions of the
Whole30 Challenge didn’t seem like a “lifestyle”, but rather just
another overrated “diet and exercise” program that promised immediate
results. Yet, CrossFitters everywhere seem to swear by paleo/Whole9,
so 30 days seemed reasonable to determine whether it was really worth
all the rage.

The first few days were quite easy; this challenge would be a piece of
cake (paleo cake, of course)… or so I thought. Towards the end of Week
1, I was lacking energy and feeling cranky.  My chatty officemate
always seemed to irritate me, the crowds at the grocery store (just so
I could get Whole30 foods) were profoundly annoying, and when Coach
Jon told me that I wasn’t getting low enough in my back squat, I felt
like bailing on the squat… with the barbell “magically” landing in his
shins. Plus, dining out and my only option being a giant bowl of
iceberg lettuce (without dressing) made the Whole30 that much more
appealing.  Ugh, 21 more days of this couldn’t end soon enough.

Week 2 was by far the hardest. My irritability had gone down and I had
somewhat more energy, but my cravings had skyrocketed.  I kept
counting down until the 30 days were up and started planning what I
would eat afterwards: pizza, sushi, french fries, ice cream, cupcakes,
and a good beer.  I even bought a couple Groupons for a pizza place
and a sushi restaurant, just so I had something to look forward to.
Meanwhile, I secretly resented my Whole30 meals, salivating after the
gluten-infested lunches and free desserts in the lounge that my
colleagues were stuffing themselves with right in front of me.  At my
best friend’s bridal shower, I was the only one to pass on the
champagne toast and cupcakes, all for the sake of Whole30.  How is
that we’re only HALFWAY there?!  I must be living on a prayer because
making it to the end seemed impossible.

Somehow, Week 3 was much better.  My cravings weren’t quite as
intense, but work was very stressful, only getting 4 hours of sleep a
night for several nights in order to meet deadlines.  During that
mess, I realized that I had the energy to make it through the
never-ending days, I was able to focus when it counted, I actually
LIKED my Whole30 meals, and the thought of pizza or ice cream was
nauseating.  I was also getting stronger in the gym and felt empowered
to see the weight on the barbell go up.  How did this happen? And is
there really only one week left?

Week 4 was a complete blur.  I had tons of energy, no major cravings,
felt great, significantly improved on the baseline workout, lost body
fat, and my skin has never looked smoother. Moreover, I have every
intention of maintaining this approach to nutrition after the 30 days,
perhaps with a “cheat” or two on certain occasions. How did this “fad
diet” all of a sudden become a maintainable lifestyle? Somewhere in
those 30 days, I realized that life may get me down, but nutrition is
something that I have complete control over… and that’s where strength


Congratulations again Jessica! We are so proud of you and are so excited for the discoveries you made through the challenge! We are so happy that you learned how to make nutrition part of your life!!

Stay tuned for our post tomorrow — Jessica shares one of her favorite Whole30 recipes!!