Paleo Success despite multiple “Special Occasions”

11 Mar

Down 20 lbs, 6 inches & 2% body fat in 45 days

Down 20 lbs, 6 inches & 2% body fat in 45 days

Challenges of the Challenge:
Super Bowl
Mainland Visitors
CrossFit Prom
Bachelor Party in Vegas

“I would like to focus on these things first.  Why?  Because I, like probably most people, rationalize a lot of the bad decisions we make especially when it comes to nutrition.  But it’s my birthday!  I NEED to have some cake and beer.  But it’s the Super Bowl!  The whole point of the Super Bowl is to eat crappy food and drink lots of beer.  And hey, my wife’s team is actually playing.  But my parents are visiting from the mainland!  I have to take them out to all of my favorite restaurants if they want to have a good time.  And they don’t eat the way we do, so we will need to have bad food in the house.  But my buddy is getting married and I am the best man AND we are going to Vegas!  Okay, I cheated on that one.

The difference in this challenge (and I have been on a bunch of them where I started strong and failed early) is that I rationalized why I shouldn’t eat like crap for these “special” occasions.  For instance, my birthday?  There will be another one next year.  Same story for the Super Bowl and Prom.  As for my parents?  Do I really need to eat crap for THEM to have a good time?  Absolutely not.  They showed up about two weeks into the Challenge.  And much like I had to eat what they put in front of me as a kid, they had to eat what I put in front of them.  Except they REALLY liked what I put in front of them: grass fed tenderloin with grilled portabella mushrooms, chicken pot pie with a cauliflower crust, Smoky Bacon Chili, etc.  One highlight of their trip was their absolute NEED to have ice cream (which is consequently STILL in our freezer).  They actually made themselves a bowl of ice cream and were sneaking out the back door to eat it when I had to explain to them that I wasn’t craving the crap they were about to eat (it was low fat yogurt… what a loss) and they could eat it front of me and shouldn’t feel guilty.

What about Vegas you ask? My best friend is only getting married once (that I am aware of) and we were going to send him off right.  Did the scale and the tape measure tell me that I took a few steps backward over the course of the weekend?  Absolutely.  But now I have a really good idea what a liberal dose of alcohol will do to my body and lasts for almost an entire week.

So in essence, the mindset is already a victory.  Had I lost zero weight, this new found ability to eat healthy without sabotaging myself or my wife and live a more active lifestyle at the same time has been more than worth the price of admission.  Because now that the challenge is over, I have no desire to stop eating this way.  I have no desire or craving to eat the 11 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies that are sitting on my living room table.  It is a complete shift away from making excuses: “I know how to eat right; I just can’t seem to do it.” All of that being said, I started out over 221.0 lbs.  This morning, I weighed 203.3 lbs.  My waist has gone from over 39 inches down to 35.8 inches.  Before I left for the Vegas bachelor party, I was down to 201.5 lbs.  When I reluctantly weighed myself Monday morning, I was at 206.2 lbs.  Sure, a lot of this, maybe even most of it, was water, but it has taken an entire week for my body to recover like I’ve already mentioned.  But if I had a
“cheat” meal every Saturday that involved enough alcohol to get me drunk, it suddenly makes sense why I would never lose weight or fat. Clothes I wore when I graduated from college fit.  Clothes I have been wearing for the past couple of years don’t.

As we hit the last week, my wife and I were not happy about the Challenge coming to an end. We were enjoying eating this way.  We were enjoying counting up our +1′s we had earned throughout each day.  And we have slowly come to the realization that it only has to be over if we want it to be.  I have at least four co-workers and friends who have asked for the rules to the Challenge, because my transformation has inspired them.  And as I try to help them along their own path, I find it keeps me motivated and inspired all over again.  This has truly transformed my life!”


  • About Courtney Johnson

    Courtney Johnson is one of the original (2006) CFO members and has been coaching for over 4 years. She is also a Registered Dietitian and has special "Paleo" powers. When not at the gym, "Coco" enjoys the beach, reading, volunteering and the island life.
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