At the end of 30 days Laura had lost 11 pounds / 3.5% body fat / 3.5 inches on hips / 1.25 on waist!

Challenge Essay – Laura Spelling

Throughout the challenge I learned a lot about temptation and willpower which I never knew was in me. I also learned how to cook something other than pasta – Joe and the dogs were thrilled to wake up to the smell of fresh bacon. I tried so many new things and ventured into wholefoods on an almost daily basis because I found some new recipe I wanted to try that I didn’t have an ingredient for (download the wholefoods app, its life changing). I have never eaten or cooked butternut squash, zucchini noodles, coconut aminos, RX Bars, and making curry from scratch – I’m never ordering Indian again!

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I learned to appreciate and look forward to going out to eat, focused on it for days, and imagined what it would be like to leave the house! I must admit, by the third week of not leaving the house, turning down invitations, and being downright bored, I was ready to get out! I only consumed one cheat meal and it was absolutely worth it. I methodically planned one drink with dinner, one drink after so I can be semi social– this is technically one meal. We did get out in other ways; we went hiking and walked the dogs more just to have a small resemblance of fun.

The most important takeaway from the past 30 days for me has been that preparation is key; if you prepare for the day then everything else falls into place. The first week was rough – I mean rough! But then when you get into a groove, go food shopping, plan what you need, stretch during lunch break (although I don’t think my manager was a fan), get to CFS by 6pm to ensure I’m home to cook dinner and lunch for the next day and get enough sleep, only to wake up and do this again. There was really no room for variation in my schedule, kind of felt like Groundhog Day…

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Although I expected coworkers to judge me HARD, they were actually very supportive and as I brought in my lunches they’d ask for recipes and now even they’re more aware of what they’re putting into their bodies. I did have an awkward encounter when I was invited to the Executive Dining Room (which is filled with the most delicious and FREE lunch options) and had to get a pathetic little salad and ask for olive oil and vinegar in front of 8 members of senior management. Not the highlight of the challenge. I converted people over to this crazy meal plan and even cooked a challenge compliant meal for my friend before a 7pm MBA class. Even she was surprised by my cooking skills and how something that tasted this good was approved per the challenge.

Getting the 8 hours’ sleep was rather easy and quick amazing. I vividly remember my friend asking if I wanted to go to her apartment for a show that starts at 10pm- I had to say no…what a shame ☺

Overall, people were very supportive and complimented me on my willpower; however, I will be thoroughly enjoying the Halloween Treats Party at work (which I planned) with real sugar and flour, without shame. I lost weight, lost inches, and have more energy – what more can you ask for?