Hey folks, I hope you are all looking forward to the final installment of our Inaugural Whole30 Nutrition Challenge Essay Contest! Today, we share with you the story of one of our foundational members, challenge winner, and recently married, all-around awesome guy — Tyler Rogers

So without further ado, here is Tyler’s Essay:

Whole 30 Reflective Essay

By Tyler R.

Back in April I had a good buddy tell me how Crossfit was changing his life.  I knew a couple other people who were also involved in crossfit and I got the same response from everyone “it’s life changing”!  I have always been a very active person from working out to playing competitive sports.  Ever since I was younger I was always bigger than most of my friends.  I was even bigger than my brother who is 3 years older than me!  Growing up I idolized people who were in great shape, like Hulk Hogan and Arnold S.  I always told myself I would look just like them when I get older.  The fact of it was I grew up and didn’t play college sports, started my career, and ate/drank anything I wanted.  My weight would jump from 230 to 250 in the blink of an eye.  I used diet pills regularly and ran to drop weight before big events and the summer time.  Once I met my fiancée, I regained that competitive burn inside me that made me so successful in sports growing up and in my career today.

After talking to my friend I thought I would give Crossfit a try.  I signed up for a 6 month membership thinking I would give it a shot and hopefully be in shape for my wedding in September.  I started the Foundations class weighing 240 and my body fat was 31.2%.  The sad thing is, I was feeling pretty good about weighing 240.  After the first two weeks of training I thought I was going to die!  I have never been able to do pull ups and I thought I was going to break my neck doing hand stands.  Not to mention, I was very confused with this whole Paleo thing!  After the foundations class was completed, I was hooked.  I found myself watching every Youtube video on crossfit, paleo eating, and dreaming about the upcoming WoD.  I was very lucky to have my fiancée join me in this upcoming adventure to attain better health.  She loves to cooks and she helped make clean eating much easier to maintain.

Once I heard about the July 30 Day Whole 9 Challenge I thought I would sign up.  I have already been eating a paleo diet for the past month or two but thought I would shift it in the next gear and see how my body reacts.  Starting the 30 day challenge I weighted 211.4, with 25.3% body fat.  I haven’t weighed 211 since I was 20 years old and eating diet pills w/ Ephedra like they were skittles.  I was feeling healthy and very proud to see myself doing unassisted pull ups and PR my WoD weekly.  I signed up and thought I just wasted $30 b/c I couldn’t imagine seeing any more progress.

After 30 days, it was time to weigh back in.  All week I felt like I gained weight and felt discouraged.  After Friday’s WoD it was time to see the results.  I was blown away to see I was down to 206 and lost 1 inch off my chest, waist, and 2 inches off my hips  and was down to 23% body fat.  I have never felt so healthy in my life!  I am eating more than I ever have before.  My workouts have been going through the roof and I’m starting to see the numbers I’ve been expecting.

I went to lunch with a friend the other day and he asked me the question, “Do I think crossift will be around in 5 years or will it just faze out”?  I told him crossfit is here to stay because of the amazing results, community atmosphere, and the explosion of the Crossfit Game.  He then asked if I could see myself doing crossfit when I’m 50 and I told him yes!  I love the way it pushes my weaknesses, improves my mental toughness and improves the overall way of life.  I look forward to the coming years of healthy living and being the best person I can be!

Tyler’s Before & After Photos

Tyler Before and After 04.2012 - 08.2012

Accomplished in just four months.

Congrats on winning the challenge Tyler! We hope you enjoy your brand new pair of Foundry colored custom Reebok Nano 2.0’s.

And, of course, many congratulations on your wedding this weekend! We wish you and Mandy many healthy, active, and happy years together!