Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Whole 30 Challenge: Susie Hopper

"Whole9 is a community focused on health, fitness, balance and sanity, all built on a foundation of real food and healthy nutritional habits." (Whole 9 website) CrossFit Akron athletes put their bodies to the test for 30 days. We've had nothing but success. Here are the stories to prove it.  Please vote at the top of the page for the winner.

Susie Hopper Whole 30

3.3% body fat lost
My biggest hurdle in writing this was separating the benefits of the whole 30 day
challenge from the benefits of CFA, they are so intertwined.  I appreciate very much
your focus on nutrition and sleep as important components of success.  Even after
having lost as much weight as I did, I could still never quite figure out why I was
unable to attain the level of fitness and strength that I wanted.  I was beginning
to believe those people who kept telling me "you're not as young as you used to be,
so just be satisfied with where you are".  You pretty much convinced me the first
day that was a load of crap.  Every day I come in there, I leave feeling a little
stronger.  Some days are tougher than others, and I still lack confidence, but I
think I'll gain that too, as long as I stay positive.  So here's the essay.

When I first heard about the 30 day challenge, I was pretty sure I didn't want to do
it.  It seemed hard, and there are a lot of things I like that I was going to be
without.  As it got closer, and I started reading the information CFA provided, it
made more and more sense to me.  I was especially drawn by the possibility of better
sleep, because that's been a big issue for me.  Having to put some money on it
helped me take it seriously.  I don't expect to win the challenge, nor do I deserve
to.  It took me a couple of weeks to really settle in to this new way of eating. 
That's OK though, because I've already won in so many ways.  Not only do I feel
better, but for the first time in many years I wake up each morning feeling like
I've gotten a really good night's sleep.  That results in my having more energy all
day long.  It helps me perform better during the WODS and keeps me from having the
midafternoon letdowns I used to have.  I feel leaner, and I'm much more conscious of
the quality of the food I'm eating.  Initially, I thought I'd just get through the
first 30 days, and then start adding things back in.  It's been a week since the 30
days ended, and I haven't added anything back to my diet - I really have very little
desire to do so.  That doesn't mean I didn't have rice and a cupcake at Mardi Gras,
but rather that my body is telling me it functions better without all of the
processed and nutrient-empty foods it used to get.  The biggest unanticipated
benefit has been to my family.  Although they have not adopted the lifestyle change
as fully as I did, we are all more thoughtful about what we eat, and it's been fun
trying and cooking new things.  I don't think my daughters will ever embrace mashed
cauliflower and brussels sprouts, but there are lots of new really nutritional
things that they love.  This has been a fantastic eye-opener for me,  I have
appreciated the opportunity to participate - it's just one more way CFA is improving
my life.