And the winners of the Summer 2013 BCCC are….

Without further ado….in 1st Place, OZZY AND LUCIA!

OZZY lost an astounding 3.5 inches around his waist and went from 33 burpees in 3 minutes to 46. His only regret, I believe, has been having to buy new suits.

OZZY lost an astounding 3.5 inches around his waist and went from 33 burpees in 3 minutes to 46. His only regret, I believe, has been having to buy new suits. He also no longer fears the grocery store.

Can you say a few words about your specific goals for this round of the BCCC? What did you hope to achieve? Did you have any expectations coming in? How did you feel on day 1?
Initially, I just wanted to see how much gut (and corresponding pounds) I could lose by trying this whole “eat good food and cook it yourself” concept without increasing training volume (in fact, I reduced volume).  I expected to lose maybe 10 pounds and 2 inches.  I felt like I could do it but definitely wasn’t looking forward to it.
What did you like best about the BCCC this time around?
Well, since this was my first BCCC (previously I had made excuses about travel schedules, etc), I felt like it was a fantastic learning experience.  The results don’t hurt either.  That said, I’ve also discovered you can use the BCCC to jump start a longer-term nutrition plan, which I’m trying to do currently.
What was the biggest challenge/hardest part?
For me, planning meals in advance (and even cooking in advance) was probably the most difficult.  I also had to get over a fear of cooking and grocery stores, but that subsided quickly.
What was the most delicious meal you ate? What was your “go-to” meal?
If I could combine the Wyebrook Farm sirloin (so thick and delicious) with the coconut oil-fried plantains I was making later in the month, I would have the most excellent meal to come out of my kitchen.  I’ve discovered a great go-to burger is as simple as adding some curry powder and oregano to a half pound of grass-fed beef, and serving on a bed of fresh spinach.  I could make that four times a week and not get tired of it.
What advice would you give to someone that’s new to the BCCC?
Have only one major goal, with some mini-feats you need to accomplish to get there. If your coworkers give you crap tell them it’s a contest… people like helping colleagues win things.  If you find something that works for a meal, don’t feel the need to change it up! (E.g., you can eat the same thing for breakfast almost every day for 30 days and you will be fine.)
What habit/change in behavior are you planning to continue now that it’s over?
Grocery shopping? The go-to meal and a regular budgeting of steaks in my diet is definitely going to stay.  I’m also keeping (when possible) to eating carbs at the end of the day and making an effort to plan (if not prepare) at least some of my work lunches in advance.
What was a typical day of eating and training like for you during the BCCC?
Check out a day in the life of Ozzy here, or take a look at his blog here. Training wise, I would do Oly three days a week and two WODs (Oly focused).  This minimized my metcons while emphasizing strength.  On days when we weren’t living in Seattle (what horrible rains we had), I would take a daily walk around 2pm after eating a late lunch.

 

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LUCIA went from 36.5 inches at the navel to 31. 2 (!) Although she couldn’t complete her burpees at the end due to a foot injury, she spent the month PR’ing her lifts left and right. She also overcame some nagging health obstacles.

Can you say a few words about your specific goals for this round of the BCCC? What did you hope to achieve? Did you have any expectations coming in? How did you feel on day 1?

Goal #1 for this BCCC was to follow a strict 30-day paleo diet- for me, this meant  no grains, dairy, legumes, seed oils, coffee or alcohol. Very limited fruit and no paleo-baking.

Goal #2 was to do WODs 3 x per week, minimum. If this meant having to show up at 6 am bc of scheduling… so be it.

Goal #3 engage in a physical leisurely activity during the weekends.

I didn’t really have a set fitness goal because I had no idea how paleo was going to affect my body, so I was mainly focusing on food and feeling good. That being said, day 1 and 3 were not as great as I the glorified paleo-lifestyle in had created in my head. During lunch I found myself in the food court running around from place to place trying to find paleo meals to no avail. I should’ve known this.   Settled for DiBrunos chicken kabob. After that experience I went back to my desk and started googling paleo recipe books– I settled for Practical Paleo  (recommended in one of the BCCC blogs) and just followed that and Meg and Greg’s suggestions for all things paleo related. From Practical Paleo, I picked the “fat-loss” meal plan, I figured if I was already eating paleo I might as well pick the fat-loss program (Fat loss: forever an ignored yet on-going goal in the back of my mind…)

What did you like best about the BCCC this time around?
This was my first time doing the BCCC (and really the first time committing myself to any kind of dietary regulation for…6 years?) and  what I liked the most was how encouraging people were around me. My boyfriend started doing paleo with me (granted mostly during the weekends when I was around). People at work were super supportive as well– and yes, some people did make fun of me when I tried to explain why peas were evil…. but then again….who cares! My family was also very supportive— even though they ate chips while we chatted on FaceTime (they don’t live in the US). Now that they’ve seen the results they’ve converted.

What was the biggest challenge/hardest part?
The biggest challenge was social situations (mainly during weekends) that included, but were not limited to- home-made indian-banquet-style brunch for a one-year-old’s birthday party, read: cake cake cake. And also, dinner at the house of a friend from work where the husband prides himself on margarita making and home-made gelato. “I’m sorry, no. I cannot try your lavender-blueberry ice-cream that you spent all night making. Nope, the vanilla-mint one isn’t good either.” silent tears. So, in general having to feel like an awful guest was I guess the hardest part of BCCC- this meant I mainly avoided having to eat out with people- which is also not sustainable, I realize.

What was the most delicious meal you ate? What was your “go-to” meal?
The most delicious meal was my boyfriend’s mexican taco meat recipe (tastes just like home!!) + guacamole. I’m so glad that Mexican food is so easy to make pale-friendly. Here’s the quick recipe:

caramelize onions and one chopped Serrano pepper in LARD (favorite part!!) for about 3 minutes. Chop up flank steak in tiny pieces and then add to the Serrano peppers and onion mixture. Cook the meat on medium heat until the meat looks kind of dry (20 minutes) and continuously add lime juice. salt and pepper to taste. Serve on iceberg lettuce taco shells.

The other amazing paleo dessert I discovered is an almond stuffed medjool date, sautéed in butter until crispy and then rolled in coconut flakes…….AMAZING! I reserved this for treat nights, though— i.e. I-couldn’t-eat-the-ice-cream nights/ I sat in front of the cookie platter during an all-day conference-room meeting.

What advice would you give to someone that’s new to the BCCC?
Go buy Practical Paleo– read it multiple times, follow a meal plan in the book, make an effort to cook a lot! Be careful of google– it will lead you astray…..Go to the nutrition seminars Meg and Greg host on Mondays.
What habit/change in behavior are you planning to continue now that it’s over?
Ideally, I am trying to stick with paleo as much as I can. I’ve gotten used to cooking by now and I don’t want to let that new habit go to waste. More than anything, though, I think I’ll stay off the grains. I’m still trying to find a balance between cheat times and strict paleo. From what I know of myself– I tend to be an “all-or-nothing” personality… so I’m sticking to the “all” part for now. And, I will definitively stick to the 3 WODs per week (to the best of my abilities/in spite of my horribly bruised toes that I hurt while moving apartments).

What was a typical day of eating and training like for you during the BCCC?

(Check out Lucia’s blog here!)
Eating:

Breakfast: 2 eggs any style with 1 tbsp of olive oil/butter. Some non-starchy veggie that I had cooked up the night before. During the end of it I turned to grain-less pumpkin porridge and scrambled eggs (again, all Practical Paleo)

Snack: raw almonds (life savers, for better or for worse) and an occasional date.

Lunch: Usually left-overs from dinner the night before- but if in trouble- I purchased smoked salmon, a lime and a green veggie smoothie. Note to self: DONT FORGET YOUR LUNCH AT HOME! It gets expensive to buy prepared paleo foods….

Dinner: Mostly mexican dishes, but I did explore making stuffed grape leaves/ cauliflower rice/ artichoke lemon chicken (all things involving an oven that made my house feel like a sweltering sauna). Salads and rice-less sushi were also favorites.

Training:

After the first week of paleo I felt this intense unexplored strength—- seriously, out of nowhere I was suddenly able to clean 20 more pounds (what?!- double PR in one class, what?!) I moved from an average to a light+mini for strict pull-ups, PR’d my snatch, AND achieved my first double-under EVER!… and then 29 after that first one…. So, all in all, I saw and felt incredible results from just changing my eating and keeping my WOD activity constant….. this is what makes it hard to go back to a non-paleo world…. what if it all goes away?!?! NOO!!

RUNNERS-UP: LINDSAY B. and JOHN M.

 

Lindsay, pre-BCCC.

Lindsay didn’t want to share her photos, although the differences were pretty phenomenal! So, I provided a crude drawing of Lindsay before her BCCC began. (Source: hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com, my source for all things hand-drawn).

 

What Lindsay actually looks like.

What Lindsay actually looks like. Also, she lost an inch around her waist and increased her 3min burpee count from 36 to 54. And got her first strict pullup. Boom.

 

Can you say a few words about your specific goals for this round of the BCCC? What did you hope to achieve? Did you have any expectations coming in? How did you feel on day 1?
My biggest goal was to eliminate all processed sugar, which I was successful with.  And it became increasingly difficult over the first two weeks but after that the cravings became less and less.  I wanted to do the challenge to prove to myself I was capable of “clean” eating and that it would in fact be the best thing for me as a crossfitter.  Day one was fine, it was toward the end that it became more difficult, mainly because I found myself eating a lot of the same meals all the time.  Now, I am working on variation and it is keeping it both interesting and tasty.
What did you like best about the BCCC this time around?
I liked that the BCCC gave me awareness, I didn’t realize all the bad stuff I was eating on a daily basis that needed to be eliminated.
What was the biggest challenge/hardest part?
Sugar was the biggest challenge.  Giving up processed sugar was VERY hard, but then regulating how much fruit I was eating.  I found myself eating a weird amount in the beginning to help with the cravings.
What was the most delicious meal you ate? What was your “go-to” meal?
I don’t think there was one meal that really stood out.  My favorite “go-to” meal was flank steak over rice with homemade guacamole on top.  I could eat this every day.
What advice would you give to someone that’s new to the BCCC?
Have an open mind.  You can give up the things you think you “love” and actually not miss them at all.  Because in the end, how you feel will make it all worth it.
What habit/change in behavior are you planning to continue now that it’s over?
I plan on continuing them everything, I love how I feel and my physical improvements in the gym are enough to make me continue.  MAYBE with a scoop of ice cream every so often…
What was a typical day of eating and training like for you during the BCCC?
At least twice a week I was doing regular class metcons in the mornings, and oly at night.  The other days I was doing the regular classes, with Saturday being my rest day.

A typical day of meals would be:

Bfast- 3-4 eggs, with kale and/or bacon, but sometimes as little as a protein shake (<-totally limiting this occurrence, it’s not enough!)

Snack-piece of fruit or almonds

Lunch- usually some kind of left-over from dinner (protein with rice or veggies, or sometimes a salad filled with protein and avocado)

Snack 2- more almonds or cut up peppers

Dinner- always a protein and veggies.  Tried to mix up the proteins as much as possible but would usually be chicken, steak, or sausage.

 

Murdock, before.

Murdock, before.

 

Murdock, after.

Murdock, after! He lost 1.75 inches at his navel and added an inch to his flexed bicep, all while dealing with the tough challenge of being away from home for two weeks, training with the Coast Guard.

 A little on Murdock’s experience from the man himself:

Before the BCCC started I could not decide if I was going to jump in or not. I knew during the last week I would be out of town performing my annual two week training with the Coast Guard. I figured from the beginning I was doomed. I’d only have 3 weeks to complete a 4 week challenge. I decided that even if I only got three weeks in, that would be better than nothing.

This was my first BCCC with CrossFit Center City and I enjoyed it. It was fun to chat with others and see how they were doing along the way. I tried to set goals that were “real” world. I had the normal “I want to get stronger and leaner”, and “I want to look better, eat better, sleep better, etc” goals. My most important, number one goal, was to go and do something outside every week. Reflecting before the BCCC I realized that I work out, eat and sleep well, but I was lacking the most important thing, the real reason I do all these things…fun activities!!! So during the challenge I took days away from the box and went hiking, bike riding, and swimming multiple times. I found this to be really rewarding during the BCCC.

I can honestly say I was not 100 percent paleo, primal, or sugar free. I had some ice cream and a slice of pizza and maybe even a cocktail or two during the BCCC. For me it wasn’t about being perfect it was about making smart decisions and limiting the crap! I actually have to give Tim Heckman credit for part of that. We were chatting one day about the challenge and he said something along the lines of “it’s not about being perfect, it’s about making good, smart choices”…thanks Tim.

I found that a little planning goes a long way. When I did not plan my food ahead of time, either cooked or already purchased to cook, I found last minute choices ended up being bad ones. During my first week with the Coast Guard my diet was headed down hill and by the end of the second week it was a disaster. I felt completely different after the end of that week. I wasn’t sleeping well, my eczema broke out rather badly, and to say my gut was jacked is an understatement.

I tried to eat as much good food, (not the ones that say they are ‘good’ on a box), as possible. What worked for me was keeping it simple. Get the basics down first and then fine tune it. I’m still working on the basics.

CrossFit is not just about getting an amazing workout in and eating well. It’s about bettering yourself to go live and enjoy this incredible life and world. Go enjoy some of those activities that CrossFitting make us so much better at!

HONORABLE MENTIONS: COACH BASA and CLAIR S.

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Basa lost about an inch and a half at the navel and added half an inch to his flexed bicep. He also went from 54 burpees in 3 minutes to 70 (!) despite training only olympic lifting. Oh, did I mention he clean and jerked 100kg (225lbs)? Yeah, he did that.

Can you say a few words about your specific goals for this round of the BCCC? What did you hope to achieve? Did you have any expectations coming in? How did you feel on day 1?

I really wanted to lose some weight (from fat) so that I don’t have to worry to much about cutting weight for competitions. I was walking around 59-60 kg at the beginning of the BCCC. I really wanted to be able to walk around 58 kg or less and still have my strength. I really wanted to be able to C&J 100 kg again at this lighter weight. I also wanted to get the 70 burpees in 3 minutes from the original 57. To be fair, starting the BCCC, I still had a wrist injury and did the burpees with a closed fist. I was expecting the BCCC to be hard and expensive. On day 1 I was sad I wasn’t able to go to Garces Trading Company for Unlimited Steak Frites.

What did you like best about the BCCC this time around?
I was expected and held accountable to cook more and be creative. One of my goals was to try a bunch of new and different beers, so I definitely took advantage of that.

What was the biggest challenge/hardest part?
Eating decently when I was out at places like Six Flags.

What was the most delicious meal you ate? What was your “go-to” meal?
Anything with bacon. my go-to meals usually consisted of 3 egg omelets with tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach and 6 slices of bacon. I also made sweet potato fries often as well as kale and spinach wilted in bacon fat.

What advice would you give to someone that’s new to the BCCC?
Make tangible, quantifiable, and realistic goals. Make gradual changes. One might want to kill him/her self with such drastic life changes. Also, make a fun goal…like try new beers or whiskeys!

What habit/change in behavior are you planning to continue now that it’s over?
I will continue to cook as much as possible and try my best to eat my carbs in the evening.

What was a typical day of eating and training like for you during the BCCC?
Since I am on summer vacation, I have had more time to cook and shop for good food. This way I was able to schedule my day around training and eating. (what a life!) In addition, I have been given such an awesome opportunity to be one of the coach apprentices, which opened up more training slots for me to train 2 times a day on some days. My increased volume in training definitely helped with reaching my goals.

 

A girl and her bar.

A girl and her bar (as witness at the May 2013 CF Total). Clair decided to figure out her insides this time around, and thus adhered to a strict autoimmune / gut healing protocol that included, among other tough things, removing tomatoes and most spices from her daily diet. And despite a strict diet and a super stressful job, THIS GIRL BACK SQUATTED 300 POUNDS. Yes she did.

Can you say a few words about your specific goals for this round of the BCCC? What did you hope to achieve? Did you have any expectations coming in? How did you feel on day 1?
Goals, to feel better, to not be limited as much by my mobility (inflammation) and allergies and just to feel good.  I didn’t have physical goals like how many pullups I would do, I just wanted to be able to do pullups and other movements without pain, and without running for the anti inflammatories after.  I wasn’t sure what I could do in 30 days, I felt like I was cheating a little in that everyone else’s goals were to take inches off and be fast and strong.  Day 1 couldn’t get here soon enough, I was psyched to see what I could do, I love challenges! I felt good after Day one too, like this isn’t too bad.  I think my “real” day 1 was when I sat down with Meg and discussed the plan, and it hit me that I need to make some solid changes if I want my body to respond.  It was scary and I had a little cry, but I toughened up and embraced what I had to do and learned to love it!
What did you like best about the BCCC this time around?
I liked learning new cooking styles, I love cooking, but learned how to pickle and make kombucha, I learned more about types of carbs and ate some interesting veggies.  Still haven’t delved into organ meat, but marrow is awesome! I now make bone broth regularly and plan my week of meals ahead of time.
What was the biggest challenge/hardest part?
First hardest part was giving up spicy food and tomatoes.  So hard. Sooooo hard. Second hardest part was when I got tired in the beginning, just trying to keep moving was really tough until I learned how to better integrate carbs and take days off from working out.  I had a really stressful month in my life that just so happened to fall under the same time as the BCCC.  Dealing with that level of stress while still staying on track and feeling good was no small undertaking, I’m an emotional eater, but I found a way through it and felt really good about that success.
What was the most delicious meal you ate? What was your “go-to” meal?
Maybe the most delicious meal was Wyebrook farm pasture raised pork chops thrown on the grill… a-maze-ing!
My go to meal was leftovers. Honestly, I always set aside a tupperware full of yummies from dinner and had them at the ready, if I overslept for work, was too tired to cook etc, I had food.  And word of advice was to keep a stock of chicken thighs in the fridge, so handy in a pinch.
What advice would you give to someone that’s new to the BCCC?
 Advice? Make it personal.  Take some time a few days before you start to really think about what in your life you want to improve.  Use this time to hold yourself accountable and make strides towards achieving it.  It might be to run a faster mile, or to be able to clean bodyweight, but it might also be to make time for you, to learn how to plan your day, to learn how to destress, to enjoy your life a little more in one small part.  Take time to reflect throughout the BCCC but keeping a log of some sort, not necessarily to measure, but to give yourself the time it takes to write to actually think about what you are doing and how valuable your actions are.
What habit/change in behavior are you planning to continue now that it’s over?
For me the BCCC is only the beginning. I have a long road of dealing with allergies, injuries and pain ahead of me.  The BCCC showed me that I have support, and I can do things in my daily life to feel better and not just settle for how I feel.  I plan to keep up my eating very strictly for a while and to slowly start integrating some old foods back in so if I eat at a friends house or a restaurant I’m not such a nudge and I can have days of moderation.  There are some things that I have accepted are never going to find their way back into my mouth, but others I do miss and will relish the days that I can have them sparingly.  I know that my diet is not one that cheats can happen because it tears up my tummy and screws with my joints and overall health. I’d like to get to a point though where I can have something while on vacation and know what causes my pains and how much I can have and how to deal with it. I also want to continue to make strides towards planning my week and making more time for me.  That part is important too.  After I get my allergies and everything else under control, I want to focus on my performance and weight loss.  That stuff will come but the internal stuff is more important.
What was a typical day of eating and training like for you during the BCCC?
Typical day was to wake up, drink gelatin/bone broth & supplements, walk dogs, make/eat breakfast, make/pack lunch, take dinner out of freezer to defrost and make sure I had what I needed, go to work, work, assess level of tiredness/stress and decide if i am going to gym or taking a walk or what, if going to the gym, then go!, if not, home, make/eat dinner, walk dogs, take a walk or do something!, drink gelatin/bone broth, bed. shopping was typically once a week and planning the night before, but there were weeks where I was at Whole Foods every night! Check out Clair’s blog here.

 

A NOTE FROM MEG:

Every BCCC is so different from the one before it. Either we change up the format, change up the focus, revamp the nutrition seminar or have to deal with different outside influences that we know will affect the performance and commitment of CFCC. In January, we’re happy to nom on pot roasts and roasted sweet potatoes and it’s a struggle to show up when it’s dark outside for the 6am WOD. In June, my kitchen is like the fire of a thousand suns, so I’m constantly struggling with “what to cook so I don’t have to do anything but stand in front of the open fridge and simmer” and our challenges become fun weekends at the shore and cooling off with cocktails three times a week.

So, as usual, we were interested in seeing how you all would approach things this time around. It’s no secret that CFCC’s nutrition challenges aren’t like challenges at other gyms (but then again, there’s not much about CFCC that’s like other gyms, amirite?) Our intention is to guide each of you into shaping your own experience – to really think about what outcome would make you fulfilled, come up with a plan to achieve it, and stick to the plan you set for yourself. With lots of input from us, of course.

Your fellow athletes honored above were successful in such different ways. The changes they saw in themselves over a mere 30 days are, to put it mildly, mind-blowing. We’d be remiss (and we’ve said this from the beginning) if we measured success only in pounds lost or a smaller pants size. Although those accomplishments are positive side effects, they’re just that – EFFECTS of a new, healthier approach to food and fitness and life both in and outside the box. Each of you entered the coaches’ lounge at the end of your month feeling happier and healthier than you did on Day 1 with more knowledge about your body and how to fuel it – and to me, that means each of you succeeded. Congratulations to all of you for another job well done!

 

See you in SEPTEMBER….

 

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