Success Stories- Tim and Theresa
If anyone is thinking about trying this, then go ahead and take the plunge. You won’t regret it. What follows are my thoughts on the Nutrition Challenge.
Going in, I was nervous. 45 days seems like forever, and this was going to be more of an adjustment than I was prepared for. I always knew one day, I would have to give up Coke Zero. It just wasn’t healthy in the quantities I was drinking. And I thought my carbs were under control. I didn’t really eat bread, but I did eat a lot of tortillas in the form of burritos and chips. And I really, really like craft beer. But I also knew that I was getting older — I just turned 40 — and that I wasn’t going to be able to out-train my poor diet any more. I signed up for the challenge, hoping to lose a few pounds.
What was easier than I expected: I overcame my caffeine addiction faster than I thought possible. I quit Coke Zero cold turkey, and had an occasional unsweetened tea to get me through the times I felt fatigued or had a headache. Eventually though, I drank water almost exclusively, with the occasional V8 (carefully checked to make sure there was no sugar). I chose to go at level 5, so I was able to continue eating dairy. A small piece of mini Babybel cheese at the end of breakfast made me feel full and kept me going through to lunch. Just as Courtney said, my energy levels returned around day 5, and I made sure to eat when I was hungry. Just to make sure it was within the challenge guidelines. When I was out on the town with my friends, I stuck with wine — allowed at level 5. And I learned that Paleo food often tastes better than the stuff I had been eating. My wife and I discovered new recipes and new foods.
What was harder than I expected: Cooking and cleaning the kitchen every. single. night. Even cooking for a couple of meals at a time, this got old near the end. As the challenge neared the end, we went out a little more often. Steak and grilled veggies is something you can find in most places, and it became our go-to thing to order out. I also got tired of explaining to friends and co-workers why I was so fussy when ordering meals or drinks. Telling them how successful the challenge was going for me usually settled the matter. Really, the challenge was harder mentally than it was physically. I missed some things, but that spreadsheet kept me honest.
Why I think it worked for me: I’ve always read that keeping a food diary is an effective tool in losing weight. Pfft. I’m a guy – I’m not going to keep a goddam diary. But keeping points on the spreadsheet did what the food diary was supposed to do — keep me accountable to myself. Eating out less surely helped. Reading labels became an obsession. I would not have guessed there were 11 grams of sugar in a can of Campbell’s tomato soup, supposedly a healthy food. Also, I know I wasn’t supposed to, but I checked my weight every day. As a data-guy, I knew the number would fluctuate up and down based on any number of things, including scale error. But I focused on the overall trend, and that feedback kept me going strong.
The results: I lost about 18 pounds and lost 5 inches from the waist, 3 from the butt, and 1.5 from the chest. Pull-ups and dips got easier. I executed my first strict toes-to-bar. Shirts that didn’t fit anymore fit again. Pants that I bought so they would fit now require a belt to keep them up. And most importantly, I learned a lot about the importance of what I put into my body. You truly are what you eat.
Here are Tim’s wife, Theresa’s Before and After Pics too! She lost 9 pounds and 6 inches off her waist (4 inches off waist alone), hips and chest combined! Congrats to both of you!