Today marks the monumental close to Crossfit Quantum’s Spring Leaning 2010!  I would like to give a huge congrats to all the challengers who stayed strong until the bitter end.  It was not an easy 7 weeks – with weddings, birthdays, bachelor parties, trips to LA and Ireland – but you all stayed on track and I’m so proud.  You should be really happy with yourselves.  The winners will be announced on Friday once we’ve had time to review the pic’s and measurements.  I’ve already seen some big losses, so it’s going to be a close competition.  2 people are going home lean in the waist and heavy in the wallet.  The suspense is killing me!!

Now that the challenge is over, it’s time to put a plan in place to keep up the momentum.   You’ve worked so hard to get to this point, so don’t throw it all away by going back to your bad habits.  Here are some tips to keep you going:

  1. Be diligent with your meal planning and grocery shopping – don’t get lazy and decide you’re going to forgo food prep for the week.  As soon as you decide you’ll “just grab takeout for breakfast and lunch this week” instead of making it, you’re putting yourself at risk for getting back into old habits.  It only takes an hour to prep a bunch of good food to keep you going throughout the week. 
  2. Don’t forget the 80/20 rule – Aim for 100% perfection and net out at about 80%. This should allow you to maintain a social life and not go insane.  Be aware of what 20% really means….it’s really only about 2-3 meals per week.  Keep it clean as much as possible!
  3. Cheat smart – I’ve said this before and it needs to continue.  Don’t go on a bender and inhale a huge cake and pint of ice cream.  You can undo your hard work so much faster than it takes to reach your goal.  Save your cheats for something cheat-worthy, like a piece of homemade cake from my mother-in-law.  Not a soft serve from McDonalds.  Better yet, try to reach for a ‘paleo-friendly’ dessert like my strawberry-rhubarb crumble instead of the sugar, gluten and processed crap.  
  4. Be creative – It’s easy to fall into a trap of eating the same 5 meals every week and this can lead to cheating and cravings because you get bored.  Seek out new meats, veggies and recipes to keep things interesting.  It only takes 5 minutes to whip together a marinade that will make your chicken kebabs so much more delicious and interesting.  
  5. Spread the love – people are surely going to notice that you’ve shed some lbs (semi-primal husband is getting complimented like crazy! I’m going to have to carry a taser to keep the ladies away from him.)….tell them how you did it! Celebrate and share your successes in order to keep you motivated to stay on track.  Be proud of your accomplishments!  Spread the love by bringing a paleo-friendly dish to a dinner party to show your friends that it doesn’t have to be boring or weird to be delicious.  I brought a cabbage slaw and this sweet potato pie to a dinner party I was invited to last week…it was a big hit and no one realized it was Paleo-friendly.
  6. Set some more goals – set a new set of performance or body goals that you want to focus on until September.  Keep going throughout the summer and give yourself a new challenge to work on.  I’ve got to do this myself.  Don’t forget to write it down!
  7. Reflect – This process has probably made you realize some interesting things about yourself.  Take note of those things and remember them.   If you started performing better at the gym, slept better or had less cravings, fit into your booty-shorts etc etc, then remember that.  It was likely a result of your nutrition.  Save it as a reminder to help you continue with your clean eating.

Personally, I’ve learned a few things about myself through this process.  Going 30 days with no cheats, no wine or dairy is not easy.  But, I made it through with 100% paleo perfect for 30 days and I didn’t need to stay under house-arrest.  I’m also happy to report that  I didn’t kill anyone or ruin my marriage!  I was shocked that it wasn’t the desserts that I missed, rather it was the wine that I really missed.  Having a nice steak dinner on a Saturday night just isn’t the same without the wine pairing.  My crippling cravings for dessert have subsided and I’m able to be around cake without wanting to rip out my eyeballs.  The results really surprised me because I thought my diet was already pretty squeaky clean – I hit PR’s across all my lifts (except Press) during the challenge.  I got my 5 dead hang pull-ups and 1 hand-stand push-up.  The scale might not be going down for me, but all my other numbers are going up and I couldn’t be happier.  Of course, this is also a testament to the amazing programming and coaching at Crossfit Quantum – awesometown it is.

Big congrats to all the Spring Leaners and cheers to a fantastic summer!!