I never thought I’d ever see myself signing up to do The Challenge, and here I am writing my essay at the end of week 4. I started at Crossfit Stamford in May 2016. I saw results within the first three weeks of May, and soon became obsessed with bettering myself physically. I remember going to the gym 6, if not 7 days a week (which didn’t last too long), and obsessing over everything I was eating. I was so set on improving and seeing results, but I never took the time to understand that there was more than one way to do so.  \

Before starting the challenge, I always watched my diet during the week, and was much more relaxed about my eating habits on the weekends. No part of me was planning to sign up for the challenge. As a college student, I enjoy spending my weekends out with my friends. I knew if I signed up, I’d be saying goodbye to my social life, aka, going out to the bars and coming home late eating everything in sight. Part of me kept saying, “you’re so young, enjoy the food and drinks while your body can handle it”, but the other part of me really wanted to give it a shot. So I signed up the last possible day I could…procrastinator.

I totally consider myself a foodie. I love traveling to new places and trying new things. The thing is, my stomach is a bottomless pit and I can eat just about anything (it’s a blessing and a curse). The first meeting was super informative and I learned so much from it. I have never tried doing a paleo diet, so the first week was mostly a lot of research. The first week was by far the hardest because not only was I still learning about the diet itself, but I had just moved into a new home that didn’t have kitchen appliances yet. Most of my meals were spent at The Granola Bar (they’re super accommodating to diet restrictions), and Dig Inn. Lunch and dinner was always hard for me because of my crazy class schedule, this is where Kettlebell Kitchen saved the day. I wouldn’t get home from class until sometimes 9:30pm; by this time I was starving. I always carried around RX bars, Epic bars, and avocados for snacking. My dad was extremely helpful throughout this month, cooking challenge-friendly dinners that were ready for me on the stove by the time I got home (best dad ever).

The hardest part for me this month was avoiding sweets. Luckily, we don’t have any around the house, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t crave it! I kind of get a little crazy when I don’t have my chocolate, so I knew that would be difficult for me to avoid. I tried many recipes to satisfy my sweet tooth that were challenge-friendly, such as coconut ice cream and coconut cookies. Almond butter became my best friend, I think I just imagined it was Nutella the whole time and kind of ran with it. Something else I weirdly struggled with was having to drink water first thing in the morning. I’ve have always been well hydrated, drinking water all throughout the day. Something about chugging a full glass of room temperature water every morning was not something I looked forward to, it made me kind of nauseous, but hey I still did it every day!

For the past couple of months, I’ve been sticking to the same workout schedule. I attend the gym every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, while Thursday and Sunday are dedicated to rest days. I’ve learned this works for my body and my schedule. By the second week, I started to notice a difference in the mirror. I was less bloated and felt overall healthier. I found myself tackling more sport workouts using the rx weight, which is a big deal for me! I was more motivated this month to try and perform better at the gym, always challenging myself. Sleep was never an issue for me. I almost always get 8+ hours of sleep, now I was just excited that I got to give myself points for sleeping like a baby.

My goal for this month wasn’t really the cash prize at the end. It was more to learn about what works for me. I have decided that I am going to continue these eating habits, but add a few more things back into my diet, like plain greek yogurt and my overnight oats that I’ve missed so much! I saw more results this past month than I have in the past year, which is definitely why I want to continue. I improved on my WOD retest and am more than happy with the results.