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Our nutrition challenge is quickly approaching! Are you signed up to start March 1st? A nutrition challenge is a bit different than a diet, and I highly encourage anyone thinking of doing it, or anyone who has never done one to try it. It can be a great experience to learn more about your own relationship with food and to see that with a little effort and planning, you really can take more control over what you put into your body. It's a great opportunity to experiment and see how you feel and perform when you eat clean. Maybe you will and maybe you won't stick with some of the rules of the challenge, but you'll certainly learn some things along the way, and hopefully you'll feel more knowledgeable and empowered when it comes to selecting foods that help you to work toward your goals rather than selecting foods that work against your goals. Because, the reality is, everything we put into our bodies on a daily basis involves a choice, and those little daily choices add up to habits. Ultimately, if 9 times out of 10 I make a choice that progresses me toward my goals, I'm doing pretty well. If I cut that down to 5 times out of 10, or 3 times out of 10, I'm working against myself every day, and I'll never see the results I want.
Eating healthy isn't just about looking better (though that can often be a byproduct), it's about feeling better, sleeping better, having more energy throughout the day and for our workouts, and being able to do the activities we love for many years to come. When we are forced to really slow down and pay more attention to what we are putting into our bodies on a daily basis, we have an opportunity to grow and to prove to ourselves that we are capable of making good choices. We realize that maybe our relationship with food isn't as healthy as it should be. I know I personally have used food as a reward or as a treat after a long hard day. It's funny to think of rewarding ourselves with something that is harming our bodies--a real reward would be something that helps us achieve success and makes us feel good, not something that makes us feel bad physically and mentally.
So--onto the challenge! We'll post the list of accepted and not accepted foods Friday so that you can spend the weekend on step one: preparing yourself and your home for success. This weekend will be time to clean the junk out of your cupboards and to set yourself up for 8 weeks of healthy eating. We thought about doing a shorter challenge, but we believe that to really see the difference clean eating can make, we should commit to a solid amount of time. And before you talk yourself out of it because of events, birthdays, vacations, or any other excuses, remind yourself that you are strong enough to do this if you really want to. There may be days that are more difficult than others, but we're all in it together, and we're here to support you. There will always be excuses not to start, but it's time to find reasons to succeed instead.
On Monday, the workout of the day will be our Pre-Challenge fitness test. If you can't make it in on Monday, you have until Friday to come in and complete the workout to establish a pre-challenge score. You'll also need to come in by next Friday (a week from tomorrow) to take some pre-challenge photos. If possible, please wear form-fitting clothing (shorts, sports bra or fitted tank top, shirtless for the guys) for your photos. You don't have to walk around and workout that way, we'll just need to have photos that will best show your progress. We will not post the photos on the Internet without your permission. Before and after photos will determine the individual male and female challenge winners, who will each get a free month of CrossFit. The winning team will be determined by food compliance (your coach will check in with you weekly to report successful days and any cheats), before and after (best progress) workout scores, and CrossFit attendance (a point for up to 4 classes per week), and weekly team bonus challenges.
Teams will be organized this weekend, and we'll have you share your contact info with your team and coach so that you can communicate with your team. We encourage you to work together, share recipes and ideas, ask questions, and support each other throughout the challenge. Let's let go of the junk food and reward our bodies with the quality food that they deserve!