Contributed by Karen Stoychoff Inman
So says one participant in a comment representative of feedback submitted via the Winter 2012 30 Day Paleo Challenge pre- & post assessment. More than 100 EAD / CFAH / CFAX athletes committed to eat Paleo January 15 – February 13, with 33 percent of participants providing a written overview of their experience.
Most participants had no idea what to expect during the 30 Day Challenge, and many signed up with great trepidation. “I didn’t know what I was getting into, but I knew I couldn’t keep eating the way I was. I was really scared, but figured I had the support of so many people,” said one participant. “I was skeptical; really skeptical,” says another participant. “But I suspended disbelief because the EAD coaches have never let me down.”
In the end, it was the athletes who never let down, and their individual and collective results prove 30 days sans grains, dairy, sugar, legumes and processed foods can make the difference. Based on a comparison of 24 pre- and post- self assessments, EAD / CFAH / CFAX athletes lost almost 200 pounds, more than 115 inches, and averaged a 6 percent decrease in body fat. One participant lost 20 pounds, while another lost a total of 12 inches. Yet another participant decreased body fat almost 14 percent.
30 Day Paleo Challenge participants report results ranging from aesthetic to emotional to medical. When asked to reflect on their Paleo eating experience, participant comments include:
“The best result of this challenge? I had NO headaches for 30 days. I typically get them 2-3 times a month, and they last for multiple days. I never even looked at the prescription meds that I take for relief.”
“I feel AMAZING! Tighter and leaner. I feel way more confident in my appearance now than I have in a long time. My mood is much more elevated. I’m sleeping better and feeling more rested when I wake.”
“My chronic joint pain is gone. I no longer have cravings. I have much more energy, feel much stronger during WODs and feel better about my body.”
“No asthma! Wow!”
“Why didn’t I do this sooner?”
“My self-esteem has jumped. I feel healthy and strong.”
“This is just the beginning for me …”
All but a handful of participants completed the 30 Day Paleo Challenge, and those who didn’t still acknowledge that they gained new perspective on eating clean. “I have not been successful with the 30 Day Paleo Challenge, but I’ve been trying to eat ‘mostly Paleo’. I had a physical last week and my blood work has significantly improved … that was just the motivation I needed to get myself back on track,” said one athlete. “I started (the 30 Day Paleo Challenge) with the best intentions, but I just didn’t stick with it. I’m going to try again … everyone who did go the full 30 days seems so pleased with their results,” said another athlete.
Overall, responding participants say the 30 Day Paleo Challenge was a good experience, and better than 95 percent plan to stay Paleo or Paleo-“ish” going forward.
“I plan to continue eating Paleo at least 80 percent of the time for the rest of my life.”
“I feel stronger and push myself further and harder during WODs thanks to eating this way.”
“I actually shudder at the thought of going back to my old carb-junkie habits. I’m so pleased and excited about my results.”
“I can’t believe 30 days passed so quickly! I’m really happy I tried this … I’m so much more conscious of what I’m eating and buying … my seven year-old daughter (helps) me read labels.”
“My life is forever changed. Thanks, EAD!”