- Erin Bell I did this challenge hoping to lose weight and continue to get healthy and stronger. I had some health issues and other life events get in the way. So no, I didn’t achieve my goals. My biggest gain was continuing to learn to eat healthy. I would do it again but it needs to be shorter. Eight weeks is too long. I would like to see shorter challenges (21 days is what Beth said, I also like the idea of 10 days) and maybe have them a little more often? I likely won’t sign up for an 8 week challenge again… or at least not for a while.
- Kindra Preuss This is the first time I have done a challenge of what I eat. I have always watched my weight by working out, but always ate whatever. I chose this because I wanted to test myself and I thought the group dynamic would help me do just that. The biggest fear I had was the diet I chose…Paleo +FD. I am the girl who snacks on cold pasta, eats bread for every meal and serves most meals over rice and beans! Much to my surprise, I have completely succeeded with the diet… which I have adopted as a “lifestyle change” not a diet… I have absolutely seen a difference in my body physique as well as energy and cravings. Yes I miss all the comfort of comfort foods, but I do not miss the way my body felt. So with that being said, I have failed the challenge for lack of commitment to posting all the information for the challenge. Ironically, the pics, posts, calculating was the hardest part for me. I followed the plan but just couldn’t seem to stay consistent with my check ins that were required. I was under the impression this was not a team effort, and that we were just grouped by class for peer support… if I misunderstood that and let anyone down, I apologize. I know I have lost pounds and inches, and most of all, I have lost some very habits and gained some very good practices. This has been a wonderful experience for my family and myself. Thank you!
- Amy Stoehr WHY? I love the extra accountability that being in a challenge gives me. I’m always more successful in everything in my life where it’s a group effort.
HOPE: Continuing on the things I’ve learned with food – I get the benefit of working out, the importance of cardio balanced with resistance – and so the more I can learn about food choices and alternatives to old standbys and patterns, the better. I also hoped, like with every challenge, to shed some fat and inches, and gain some muscle.
ACHIEVED?: Carb awareness; I am far more on purpose about my food choices, and know better what a cheat is really costing me.
GAIN: more food awareness – wow, the carbs stack up if you’re not paying attention. Also, getting my hubby and son eating better. And reaffirming clarity on what works and what doesn’t for me to be successful.
DO AGAIN?: I will, because I need the accountability. However, I really did better in a declared team. I know myself – it’s easy to hide when no one else is “counting on me” to get to the finish line.
* Eight weeks is too long for me. I’d like to try different things for 30 days at a shot. I also realize nothing’s stopping me from doing that on my own.
* I’d like to have a t-shirt to buy at the end of every challenge I do. I wear it as a badge of honor. I’m still wearing ones from two and three years ago.
* There were too many things to keep track of this challenge. I felt like I was always falling short in something.
* I like a team format.
* Taking pics of my food when I’m out on the road with clients is awkward for me. I’ve also discovered it can be challenging to get people to give you veggies at breakfast! We need a world shift on that… wink emoticon
* I know I said eight weeks was too long… but wondering out loud, what if we created some longer-term “clubs” with fewer things to focus on and more directed at creating a lifetime habit/lifestyle choice? Like, the 90-day Cardio Commitment – you commit to at least 20 minutes of cardio a day, every day, for 90 days. That’s the only thing you have to track and provide proof of. Or veggies for breakfast for 90 days. Just brainstorming here… maybe I could spearhead one and see what happens?
- Beth Buczynski I chose to do this challenge because I want to be even stronger and leaner than FCE has already helped me become. I hoped to become a better runner and get my eating back under control during this challenge, and I feel that I have made progress toward both those goals (not to mention inspiring Eric to start running as well!). My biggest gain was watching how much faster I can achieve my goals when I exercise will power, and don’t let my brain talk me out of what I know my body can do. I’m always up for one of these challenges, but like others have expressed, I’d like to shake up the format and the time span a little bit. Eight weeks is so long that I almost feel like I don’t take it seriously in the first half. I’d also love to see more diversity in the types of exercise we’re challenged to try!
- Sue Smith-Troy WHY: I did this challenge because I have had some health challenges and really wanted to make some drastic changes in my lifestyle. Since I am new to FCE I also wanted to experience a challenge and have the support of others in making those drastic changes. HOPES: My goals were to completely change my diet and kick up the exercise in the hopes of making some major changes in my body, mind and spirit. I feel successful with the diet – I have had a few cheats that let me know that being paleo is good for me. Secretly I hoped to lose weight, lots of it, with this challenge. I did lose some weight but more importantly, my body changed. I am sure that I lost inches off my bust, waist and thighs and my knee doesn’t hurt as much any more – imagine that! I got to relearn how good I feel when I exercise. These changes will stay with me. It takes me at least 3 weeks to change a habit and I feel comfortable that I have made some great habit changes. Part way through the challenge I had some blood work done that supported that my body was benefiting from the dietary changes I made. Unfortunately surgery kept me from finishing as strongly as I wanted but I also let that go and am happy that I finished at all. BIGGEST GAIN: I think that the one thing I benefitted from most was learning that a few small changes can result in really big changes overall. I will continue with the paleo diet and more exercise, lifestyle changes as several others have mentioned. REPEAT: I will do another challenge. It took me awhile to figure out the postings and photos but they kept me motivated. I don’t do well with “don’t eat this” but it did give me pause to really decide what I wanted to eat. Going forward will be interesting. Many thanks to Angie Marone, Bobbie Covert and all of the FCE staff and members who have helped me on this challenge. You all are rock stars!
- Raluca Mica I did this challenge mainly to learn to eat healthy. I feel like I’ve learnt so much and even if I didn’t loose the weight I wanted ( kept going up and down) I’ve learnt so much. Thank you Bobbie Covert and Angie Marone
- Lisa Ellis Marasch Why–because my summer clothes from last year were getting too tight. Plus, I was just feeling out of shape and want to be able to keep up with my kids. I do better at making major changes like eating habits when I have some accountability. I was hoping to lose enough inches/weight to be able to fit into my clothes–I’ve actually lost more than I expected and all of my shorts are too big now! Plus, the day I rushed around the house getting everything picked up and furniture moved for the carpet cleaner, I wasn’t worn out when pre-challenge, I would have been. I think my biggest gain is a reset on my thinking about my diet. I need to allow myself fewer cheats on a day-to-day basis and avoid sugars and sweets (my huge downfall!). I would definitely consider doing it again.
- Ann Noble I did this challenge because I wanted to try and lose more body fat and knew that the structure of a challenge works for me (I have done many!). I really need the structure for eating the working out part is not hard for me but its not enough. I learned a lot and the biggest thing I learned was that this Paleo + FD really works for my body. My body is happy and I lost quite a bit of body fat. I found this way of eating to be pretty and and satisfying that I believe I can continue eating this way but with adding in a few more things (I do miss some things). I think it will be pretty easy to monitor how my clothes fit and my BF and tweak my eating so that I can maintain. My goal was to be firmly in the “good” BF category (and I am, finally) and I have a pair of jeans (from a jeans challenge years ago) that I can finally COMFORTABLY wear. If those jeans start getting tight…I know what to do. I don’t think I have been this thin, fit and healthy for 20 years!! I think that is quite an accomplishment when you are 47.
- Liz Andres Why I did I enter this challenge? My initial desire was to lose a bunch of weight and to hopefully create some better habits for myself as get older. I have never been an exercise nut. I have spent a lot of money throughout my life trying different gyms and diet schemes to get the weight off and then had this thought that it would magically change my desire to become fit. I have a pretty elaborate gym in my basement…I have worked out with my husband…done countless videos from Jane Fonda to P90X all with very different outcomes, but they have all been very fleeting. So while while I haven’t lost the tons of weight in this challenge, as I was hoping to, and didn’t follow everything to the letter, I have gained so much more. I have found a community of women who support each other and personally for me when I hit a wall several weeks ago…it was you who picked me up. I have done the diva dash…something I have NEVER done (thank you Dawna Masteller for your coaching through the race)…I hated the idea of sweating….and would never have considered doing anything like that…but it has ignited something in my that I never thought was there…Now I have signed up for the bolder boulder…and am looking for another obstacle course to run….I love the changes I have made through diet and exercise. I love the energy I have…I have a ways to go…but also know this is a journey not a destination….The one thing that was difficult for me and wonder if there is a something that could be better is that it was difficult for me to wade through and find specific challenges that we were to do once they were posted…I am not very tech savvy and wonder if next time there could be a ‘folder’ where only ‘assignments’ could be kept so that we could get to them easier, rather than having to scroll through everything else to get to them. Thank you to everyone this has been a wonderful experience….
- Debbie Trinidad I joined this challenge hoping to lose weight, try a different eating lifestyle, and get consistent with exercise. I am not sure if I lost much weight. I can say my clothes aren’t as tight, I stuck with paleo +fd and will probably continue eating similarly. I still had a few issues. The exercise part for me was not good. I am having problems with my feet again and have no energy. But I figured I’d lose weight anyway since diet plays the major role. Still have no summer clothes that fit. The first four weeks had a lot of requirements. But that’s how many things are at first. I’d do another one.
- Jolin Wyman I entered the challenge on the advice of my daughter who had just completed the 56 day Whole Life Challenge. Having the online option was perfect since I was going to miss at least three weeks due to travel. I had begun to follow a Paleo diet last July but wasn’t seeing the weight loss I had expected, even after adding workouts. I thought I would really miss all the Paleo sugar options when I started the challenge, but never had the sugar crash. Due to using MFP I became aware of the amout of carbs in my diet and through the challenge and advice of Bobbie Covert, I set carb/protein/fat goals. I started seeing the weight come off. I’ve lost about a pound a week and am very happy with that progress. (Didn’t gain it all in 8 weeks, not going to lose it all in 8 weeks.) I’m down almost two sizes and have more energy. So, yes – I’ve made the goals I’ve set for myself. I’m at my lowest weight in years! I also got tons of support from FCE gals, online gals (especially Tina Garcia) as well as Angie Marone, Ann Noble, Stephanie Fry Thai, LaShanda Jones Rigsby and Aimee Lampton Adams. Traveling during the challenge was probably the hardest – both nutrition and exercise. Planning is key! Gaining understanding and use of the tools meallogger and MFP was so instrumental since it gave me accountability and helped me be more aware of carb intake. I would definitely do another 8 week challenge! I don’t know if you would see results in a shorter time span. The goal setting (for me by email) will be a great way to wrap up the challenge but to continue moving forward to increasing my health and fitness. Eating Paleo has become a lifestyle and I plan to continue to do so, including keeping the Paleo sugars to a minimum. I miss FCE and will be glad to get back to the gym in July!
- Karin Trenkel-Wilson Why: I chose to participate in the challenge because I wanted to get my exercise and food choices in sync. Prior to the challenge I had been working out consistently, but my weight and body were not changing. What did you hope to learn/gain/lose in this challenge and did you achieve those goals? I hoped to lose weight and inches. I have achieved both of these based on how my clothes feel (looking forward to my measurements). Although weight loss was my main priority, I had no idea how much I would learn about nutrition. Having the mind set that following a “low-fat” diet was good nutrition, I would have never imagined eating full fat Greek yogurt on a “diet” to lose weight. I hoped to increase my cardio but I didn’t really have a “goal.” This is one area where I did not succeed and it’s likely because I did not set a goal to work towards. What was your biggest gain from the challenge? My biggest gain was learning about nutrition, reading labels, and finding delicious Paleo recipes. I tried several of the recipes posted by other FC’s and found this to be an easy way to find recipes that were yummy. Prepping meals was a huge lifesaver for me! Being healthy physically and mentally is a journey and I feel that the tools I gained throughout this challenge will help me continue my journey and maintain a healthier lifestyle. I feel great knowing what I am eating and what I am feeding my family. Through this experience my kids have asked a lot of questions about food which given me the opportunity to share my “wisdom” with them.Would you do it again? I would definitely do another challenge. I like the accountability that comes with a challenge and by having this experience under my belt, I will be better prepared to participate again. I am not sure if I would like a group challenge as I found keeping up with posts in FB was sometimes challenging and I do not think I would appreciate the group pressure.
- Heather Marjorie Ewell Swanson I chose to do the challenge because I needed a push to get myself focused and moving in the right direction with my diet and exercise. I was hoping to learn new strategies related to my diet as I often get in a rut and don’t really know what to do to get my body to start responding again. I also wanted to gain accountability. I was successful at both! I think my biggest gain was establishing a better habit of moving and exercising most days and really learned a lot about a different way to eat and that I can see results from that, even though I feel satisfied and eat as much as I want!I would do it again! In future it might be nice to have optional meeting part way through- a chance to all get together and share tips with each other, talk about challenges that have come up, etc.
- Tina Garcia I chose to do this challenge because what I was doing was not working for me. I was not comfortable in my skin, or my clothes. Jolin Wyman had told me about the paleo diet, and she piqued my interest. Then Aimee Adams told me about this challenge that she was doing with her gym. I asked her to tell me all about it! She then told me that eating paleo was a part of it, so I decided to give it a shot. I LOVE that it was online, I love that I can do the workouts @ home, and the variety of them. I LOVE that there is a whole community of women within reach for help with the diet, as well as the exercise. I LOVE having a nutritionist (Bobbie Covert) answering all my questions. I hoped to gain the knowledge of how to eat better and why, I hoped to get healthier, and lose some weight in the process. I did achieve ALL my goals. I have adopted a new way of eating, and thinking about food. I want to continue in eating healthier, because I feel healthier. I know now that if I am tired in the afternoon, it is because I didn’t eat lunch, or didn’t have enough protein for lunch, not because I need coffee or chocolate! I have lost weight, and I feel great about how I feel mentally & physically. I still have a ways to go, but I am loving where I am at now. My biggest gain from the challenge was in the nutrition factor, and learning the new diet. Also in learning new exercises so I don’t get bored with my workouts. I would definitely do it again!!! 8 weeks was a great time frame, any less and I don’t know that it would have become such a lifestyle change. It being so long, we were forced to research new recipes, and find alternatives to old favorites. Having all the support really helped, both online, and in Jolin Wyman, and Aimee Adams, and my family. My husband has been doing the diet with me and has seen results as well. We are going to continue with this, and do our own “mini challenges” to help keep each other motivated. I have learned so much, and am taking away from this challenge so much more than I was expecting and hoping too. I didn’t think it was possible, so thank you Angie Marone and Bobbie Covert, Thank you Jolin Wyman and Aimee Adams for everything!!!
- Annie Schupp I chose to do this challenge because I wanted to learn better eating habits that will stick with me, instead of just trying to crash diet. I wanted to gain an attitude that focuses more on being healthy an fit instead of skinny. I achieved my goals and feel great! I feel like I have a better relationship with food and I don’t view calories as the enemy anymore. I would definitely participate in a challenge again!
- Kelley Mcghie-Wyjad This was my first challenge, and I would 100% do it again. At first, I felt like it was way too time consuming and I was stressing myself out because I was clueless about Meallogger and my Fitness Pal. I also had to use multiple devices because of technical issues. That being said, I did the challenge to learn new and healthy ways to eat and because I wanted to lose the rest of the baby weight I’ve been carrying around the last four years! I felt like I did achieve those goals! What I learned from this challenge will be a lifestyle change for my self and my husband who did the challenge by my side! Thank you Angie Marone and Bobbie Covert for all of your knowledge and pushing me to do the best I could!
- Breanna Smith *I choose to do this challenge as I felt I needed to learn a new way to eat. I have been stuck in a rut since I had my child nearly 4 years ago. I have been a vegetarian for a number of years and I believe I have always had a fairly reasonable and well rounded diet. It was not until I did this challenge that I realized just how many carbohydrates I was consuming and how my body would change if I made some conscious decisions to limit this. I would always eat a big salad – but with a nice fresh baguette. In the last few months I would sometimes cheat and have a salad with a much smaller piece of toast but more often with a side of cottage cheese. I was surprised at how full I stayed full after these meals.
- *I also learned a different way of eating. I regularly would eat one HUGE meal at lunchtime and then maybe graze a little later in the day and sometimes not eat at all. This resulted in my next “feeding” being another “gorge” and often with bad choices. I have been eating this way for a number of years – one enormous meal and then some small snacks often consisting of crackers, chips etc.
- *The most important thing I gained from this challenge was learning that by eating some high protein foods throughout the day I stay fully satisfied and in fact feel much better with more energy. I also have realized that as much as I love my glass of wine at the end of a day – I’m not sure it is totally worth it. I am by no means saying that wine will be out of my life but making conscious choices as to when to partake will be more carefully thought out (realizing the downfall in terms of carbs, sugar and not to mention quality of sleep.)
- *I have only been a FCE member for about 6 months and at the beginning thought I would keel over in some of those cardio classes. I have pushed on and am feeling stronger and more in shape by the day. I used to dread the evening I had to go to class and now I wake up excited when I know it is a boot camp day. I know I could have pushed myself harder in the last month to complete additional work outs/cardio challenges. I feel like I focused more on the food portion, 2-3 weekly boot camps and record keeping than I did the extra exercise components. And that said, I’m not going to beat myself up about that either. To have stuck with boot camp when it was really hard for me and to still be doing it 6 months later makes me proud. If there is another challenge maybe I will focus more on this component.
- I am competitive, so the challenge with accountability was right up my alley. I started strong but feel a little disappointed with my overall progress this last month or so. I set myself up for a number of failures along the way and would keep that in mind if I did another challenge. I also think two months was too long. The MFP was useful to me as I really got to learn what food were good or bad choices. The meal logger got annoying by the 2nd week and I lost points as I forgot to take pictures. The support from many at FCE and especially Bobbi Covert helped me establish what I hope are some lifestyle changes that I will implement for a long time to come.
- The biggest plus to it all was; overall I had fun, what a great group of women!
- Renee Hernandez Price I wanted to do this challenge to lose some weight, start exercising again and also learn to eat healthier. I wanted to learn how to eat not just for the challenge but as a lifestyle change. I learned so much about the ‘right’ type of foods to eat. I did lose weight and was able to get back into a workout routine . I have felt so much better since starting the challenge. The biggest gain from the challenge was learning to plan meals that were balanced. I would definitely do the challenge again.
- Harmony Jay This was my first fitness challenge and I would do it again… I’d just do it better and I’d engage more! I wanted to be healthier and am often stymied by various health issues and I let myself get overwhelmed. I had also wanted to join a challenge to have that fun of cheering others on and seeing their successes and though I posted/liked in the first few weeks, I wish I’d been more of a support to my shredmates. There were many times when your posts made me smile and I’m grateful for all the positive and support shown here! I found new recipes and am happy to have discovered MyFitnessPal website through this challenge. My mom is now on it and we’ll continue using it to track our efforts and keep each other honest on the food and exercise. I’ll focus more in the future on what I CAN do and what I CAN accomplish. Wishing you all good things!