Challenge Essay – Meg Hildebrand

As a serial Challenger, I continue to sign myself up for these things in hopes of a shot at prize money worthy results! I’m pretty sure I’ve done AT least 3 of these, all with minimal results. However, I learn a little more about myself with each challenge and think this time around I did finally make some progress.

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This Challenge I tried to pay more attention to portions and macros (which is a gigantic pain). I was not always on track and am still trying to figure out what works for me, but I’ve learned that mindless “Paleo” does NOT work. Just because it fits the paleo guidelines, doesn’t mean I need to eat it. Just because I’m not eating crackers and cheese, doesn’t mean I need seconds on paleo dinner. While medjool dates stuffed with almond butter are delicious AND within the guidelines – eating them like candy won’t help me reach any sugar reduction or fat loss goals. I’ve also learned that I have to make a conscious effort to eat a lot of vegetables, which I don’t love all the time.

Eating an adequate amount of vegetables seems to require more planning and prep work. Speaking of planning, my biggest fail happened in the first week when I failed to plan. We had a b-day party for my 4yr old and spent all morning setting up without eating anything. I managed to avoid the donuts, cake, pizza and other non-compliant snacks during the party- but once 2pm rolled around, guests had left, and I still hadn’t eaten anything all day – the leftover pizza didn’t stand a chance. I basically used myself as a garbage disposal to clean up. Gross.

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Other challenges I’ve faced over the past 4 years as a CFS Challenger are similar each time, but seem easier to overcome each round. Wine and leftover kids meals are two difficult areas that stand out from the past. They really didn’t seem as much of an issue this time. Old habits die hard, but it’s possible! Overall, the more practice I have being mindful of what I eat, the easier it gets.

While I don’t have drastic physical results to use as persuasion, I would absolutely recommend this type of challenge to anyone. I love (and seem to need) the accountability factor of these Challenges. It definitely helps me stay on track vs telling myself I’m going to do it on my own for 30 days. It seems to be a slow learning curve for me, but I did find a “before” pic from one of the first Challenges I entered and am happy to see I’ve come a long way. A lot of trial and error for me (ex. birthday party binge), but I feel like I’m in a better place after each Challenge and I’m pretty sure this won’t be my last CFS Challenge 🙂

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Stats:
Lost 3.5lbs – gained .5lbs of muscle and frame mass decreased by 1lb (and my muscle to frame ratio is within 1lb, so I think that’s good?)
lost 1.5inches on waist and .5 inches in hips
I’ve also birthed two nearly 10lb babies and never thought I’d be able to get through the extra skin and stretch marks to find muscles – but I can see a couple now!

22 seconds faster on WOD test – which was a real struggle. Within the last week of the Challenge I PR’d Grace, which I didn’t think possible because I’ve not been lifting heavy during class. AND I Pr’d Fran by over 1 minute while just sticking to my usual ladies class a few times a week. I started Crossfit over 7yrs ago (in my 20s) and the fact that I’m still able to improve makes me feel less like a middle-aged mom and gives me hope that it doesn’t have to be all downhill from here! Thanks CFS!