Review of the Whole Life Challenge
In the beginning of January I signed up for an 8 week challenge called Whole Life Challenge. The 8 weeks ended this past weekend and I wanted to capture my experience while encouraging all of my readers to sign up for the next Challenge in May.
The overall mission of the Whole Life Challenge is simple in text: To create lives of unbound possibility where health and fitness are limitless resources and the right of every human to design and share. You know when you sign up that you are making a lot of changes in your daily life but I didn’t realize what type of healthy habits I would be developing over the 8 weeks (or how hard some of them would be!)
My Biggest Challenges of the Whole Life Challenge
It is easy to look back and think “I owned that challenge”, but really, the challenge owned me.
Food Prep and Planning
I signed up for the advanced eating challenge which equates to paleo eating with no grains, diary or soy. This meant that we cooked 98% of our meals for 8 weeks. Besides the last week when we were on vacation I can count on one hand how many times we ate out. The process proved that meal planning and proper food prep is necessary even when you live in a moderately progressive area like Boulder/Denver.
Working out and Stretching Daily
During this challenge I really drank the CrossFit kool-aid but as a true beginner I am only going 3-4x a week. If I missed a workout it was never due to being lazy but due to time constraints of work and commuting to/from. To the same tune getting in 10 minutes of stretching after a 12 hour day at work wasn’t always top of mind when I stumbled in the door. These two pieces of the challenge are something I still carry with me as I don’t feel like I overcame them 100% or have nailed down a great balance.
My Biggest Wins of the Whole Life Challenge
The great thing about this challenge is it truly challenged every piece of my life in a healthy and exciting way. The wins outweigh the challenges greatly and picking out the biggest is difficult.
Most importantly my biggest win was completing (and dominating) this challenge with my new wife. We signed up together and created many healthy habits together like cooking and working out together more.
The stats: 5″ lost around my hips and waist, 10% improvement on my baseline test (11 mins: 800m run, 75 airsquats, 50 situps, 25 pushups and then as many burpees as possible in time left)
My Overall Review
Cliche as it is, this challenge was life changing and I would recommend it even to a die hard athlete.
I plan on continuing to eat mostly paleo, with proper food planning and prep on the weekends. CrossFit is very much part of my workout habits and will only make me a more balanced cyclist during the season. I’m not sure if I will do the challenge again anytime soon but that is mainly due to wanting to implement the “rules” of the challenge in my everyday life!
The Whole Life Challenge has changed my life, maybe it will change yours too?
Crossfit: Try #3
Back in October I mentioned very discreetly that I might be giving Crossfit ago and a week later I did just that, I gave it a “go.” My better half fell in love with the sport and I couldn’t walk right for 4 days. This is when friends would chime in saying that it was my first true activity since cracking my patella and that it was probably setting myself up for failure. I didn’t feel like I failed but I did feel deflated and frustrated.
Fast forward 2 months, my gf is hooked and I haven’t really moved forward with any particular hobby. I’ve been giving running a stab but with the Polar Vortex and crazy cold weather we have had since early December it hasn’t been ideal. So, I did what any athletic, overly competitive, endorphin chaser, would do – I pulled on my big girl pants and went back to Crossfit Parkhill to get my butt kicked again. First by front squats, and then by the WOD of my Whole Life Challenge baseline test. When I was done recovering, including trying not to throw up on the car ride home, I knew what needed to be done.
I’ve always had a strong belief that if you are scared of something, you need to try and conquer it.
Well, I am scared of crossfit.
I’m intimidated of the girls that could toss me over their heads like a pizza, I’m scared of box jumps and double under jump rope contests. How can I fix that? Well, last night I signed up for a Basecamp class at the Crossfit gym near my work in Boulder, Crossfit Sanitas. 3 classes a week for 2 weeks and unlimited access to the other classes. This morning was my first fundamental basic class and I loved it. Starting at the very basics is what I needed (and to work on my push-ups) and I’m already excited to show up to tomorrow’s 6:30am WOD to try it again.
Tackling the Whole Life Challenge
It hasn’t been a secret that I’ve been struggling to find my personal identity when I removed the “bike racer” from 25 hours of my week. Combine that with a new state of residence and a month old job, I have felt pretty disconnected from who I believe I am.
Over the past week I started researching (again) about Paleo eating to address some stomach problems I’ve been having. Naturally when I was training a lot my eating habits were 90% of what is outlined in a strict paleo diet. The 10% was left in greek yogurt for smoothies and thin whole wheat bread with almond butter & jelly.
Without knowing that I was looking at the Paleo diet my girlfriend emailed me Friday morning to see if I would sign up for the “Whole Life Challenge” with her. Initially I was very resistant. You want me to pay $49 to track my eating and body weight? After some reading and taking a “pride check” that my biggest goal for this challenge would be for Emily to meet her goals. I wasn’t too good for this, and by submersion into better eating as a family we will have the best results.