“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”-Ernest Hemingway

Back in September, more than sixty of you decided it was time to tell your inner two year old to shut it, set some short-term goals, and COMMIT to 30 days of solid nutrition. Around here, we call this month of commitment the Crossfit Center City Body Composition Change Challenge (affectionately titled the CFCCBCCC). There were no overarching “rules” (and there never will be – we’re all coming to this from different places, after all). All we asked was that each participant did what they said they were going to do for the duration of the Challenge.

We had tons of fun this time around – a fullblown nutrition seminar to kick things off, weekly informal Q&A’s to help you guys tweak as you went along and lively discussions on the blog and our kickass Facebook group throughout (and now I have a stellar list of blogs on my Google Reader so I can keep tabs on everyone’s eating FOREVER!) You guys took the information we provided and ran with it, holding yourselves and each other accountable to the goals you set at the beginning. 

The amazing results speak for themselves. 

Overall winners:

The Nutrition team selected an overall male and female winner based on measured results (both aesthetic and performance) as well as adherence to stated goals. Our winners are splitting a truly epic cash prize pot – $395 each! Congratulations to you both – this is a very well-deserved honor!


Without a doubt, Travis experienced some of the most astounding results I’ve seen in my long history of BCCC-ing over the past several years. Well, I take that back. It’s unfair to say he merely “experienced” these results, because that would imply that he sat back and let them happen.  Absolutely, without a doubt, Travis ACHIEVED what he set out to do. He faithfully logged his food every. single. day. He knew what he had to do, and he did it unfailingly, for the entire month. And when the dust settled, the numbers told the story – nearly 30 pounds of weight lost in 30 days, 6 inches lost around his waist, and a pretty solid preservation of muscle mass. Travis is the perfect example of what happens when you surround yourself with support and the tools you need, put your head down, and just get it done. -M

Can you say a few words about your goals during this round of the BCCC?
My goals for this challenge were to eat Paleo, no alcohol, no dairy other high quality butter, no fruit, 1 small cup of caffeinated beverage per day, eat fermented food every day, and get to the gym 5 days per week.  I wanted to maximize fat loss during the challenge and relearn good eating habits.
What did you like best about the BCCC?
I really liked keeping a photo food log.  It was easy to do and created a strong sense of accountability.
What was the hardest part about the BCCC?
The most difficult thing part of the challenge for me was reducing my caffeine consumption. I think it would have been easier to give it up cold turkey rather than just have one cup per day.
There were some days that I was bored with my meals.  I think it just boiled down to variety. I was cooking large meals and then eating a lot of leftovers. Cutting recipes in half so I’m not stuck eating the same thing every day has allowed me to try more new dishes.
What was your favorite recipe?
I made homemade breakfast sausage for the first time and it was amazing.
I ate a lot of burgers during the challenge since it was pretty much my go to option when I went out to eat. The best burger I had was one I made at home. I made bison burgers loosely based on the recipe for Fiery Jalapeño Buffalo Burgers in Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo. They were amazing!
Any advice to someone who’s trying the BCCC for the first time?
If you have a really busy schedule like me then it is important to plan your meals for the week. Block off the time you need to shop for the right foods and prep as much as you can ahead of time.  You don’t want to be in the middle of a busy week-from-hell and start making poor choices because you don’t have the right foods on hand.
What are you adding back now that the BCCC is over? What habit is sticking around?
Now that the challenge is over I’m drinking as much coffee as want!  Other than that I plan on continuing to eat very cleanly but I’m going to allow a cheat meal once a week.  I still have a way to go to meet my body composition goals so my hope is that by the time I get there my eating habits will be permanently changed.


 Ana has been a BCCC’er from the very beginning, and it’s one of the reasons that I feel her journey resonated so strongly with all of us. Hers is the perfect example of why we a) nag about food quality and b) really encourage you to just TRY taking things to the next level, no matter how miserable and impossible it may seem, for only 30 days! I’m so excited to report that Anahi lost over 10 pounds, as well as inches all over her body (while preserving muscle mass). She also crushed her 2K row time by 15 seconds and got her FIRST DEADHANG PULLUP. She’s a shining example of what happens when you finally decide it’s time to take the plunge. 

Can you say a few words about your specific goals for this round of the BCCC?

 I have been trying to get back down to my “fighting weight” (what I call my weight 10 years ago) since I started at CFCC, but through two past BCCCs where I controlled macros and reduced but didn’t completely cut out sugar, grains and alcohol, I didn’t get the results I wanted. This time I decided to just go all in and see what happened. 

What did you like best about the BCCC this time around?
 The great thing about being at CFCC for so long is that I have had the benefit of nutrition education all along, including seminars,  helpful suggestions from coaches (and totally deserved gentle nagging from Erin) about my eating/drinking habits. So, I had a decent idea going in of what to eat, how much and when. Also, I found the BCCC group on Facebook was an excellent resource for learning, sharing recipes, commiserating, and developing community with the other participants. 
What was the hardest/what did you hate the most? 
I can honestly say– and this is hard for me to believe– I didn’t really have any problem sticking to the program! I had already cut out dairy (except butter), gluten and most grains, so this was just a couple of steps beyond that. I just put it in my head that I was doing this, and that it was only for 30 days. I only had a few internal freak-outs about wanting carbs where I hated everyone — but that is not uncommon for me under normal circumstances. 

What was your favorite meal?
 A stir fry with shrimp, bacon, brussels sprouts and grassfed butter that my boyfriend made me stands out. (That was the day I overdosed on bacon.)  I am also now a huge proponent of eating Landjagr for breakfast! 
What advice would you give to someone that’s new to the BCCC?
 Read all the resources that are provided, and make some bold changes, but don’t get too hung up on being 100% perfect and thinking you need to become this amazing Paleo wonder chef all of a sudden. Just set some definite rules that you can stick to, have fun experimenting with crockpot recipes, eat real food, get excited about training, and don’t freak out. It’s only 30 days, and you will feel great. 
What habit/change in behavior are you planning to continue now that it’s over?
 I am definitely doing to stick with no dairy, no gluten and go mostly grain-free except the occasional cheat meal. And… as much as I hate to admit this: the thing I felt the biggest benefit from was not drinking. I am one of those 1 – 3 glasses a day winos, and unfortunately, that habit has got to go, because I honestly feel 10 years younger without it! 


Okay, we couldn’t help it. We were so blown away by everyone’s before and after pictures that we decided we had to publicly recognize the awesome – so we are awarding a prize for Male & Female Runner Up. Each runner up will receive a $100 gift card to Lululemon.


First of all, I stole this montage from Gabby’s blog, which incidentally has my favorite blog title ever. The “before” pictures are from a year ago, but I think they reflect a continued commitment to health and performance and the knowledge that sometimes it’s more than just a short-term destination, it’s a long-term journey. During this particular 30 day challenge, Gabby lost more than 2 inches around her waist, an inch around her hips and a half-inch under her bust. This time, though –  I specifically wanted to recognize how meaningful it was that she finally decided to ditch chasing a number on the scale in favor of chasing health and performance, because I know just how hard it can be to break that cycle. Gabby is a great example of how hard work and consistency coupled with a great attitude can take you very far!
Can you say a few words about your specific goals for this round of the BCCC?
 My goals were mostly performance based this time around. I have stopped focusing on weight loss as being the only success factor.
 Also, I sometimes tend to be negatively charged- saying I can’t do something before I have even tried it or focusing on a past failure. I tried very hard for the past 30 days to stop the negative thoughts, to focus on my own success and the success of those around me.
 Positivity goes a long way. I think it helped me reach my performance goals!
What did you like best about the BCCC this time around?
 This was my 4th challenge and by far the easiest that I have been through. I like that I know how a bad food decision makes me feel and 95% of the time it’s not worth it.  I also like that I had no weight goals- I am so over the scale. I am stronger, leaner, and in better shape than I have ever been in my life.
What was the hardest/what did you hate the most?
 There actually wasn’t anything I hated this time around. I don’t really miss the stuff I am not supposed to eat because I know how it will make me feel and effect my performance both at the gym and work.
Okay, truth, sometimes I miss candy, especially gummies.
What was your favorite meal?
 Spaghetti squash with paleo pesto (basil, olive oil, lemon, garlic, salt and pepper) with grilled chicken. Also, the bora bora fireballs from Well Fed are out of this world delicious.
What advice would you give to someone that’s new to the BCCC?
 Always read ingredients, you would be surprised what’s in packaged foods. There is no cheating only bad decisions, so try to make good ones because in the end it makes it makes these challenges so much more worthwhile.  30 days can change your whole perspective on training and food, it’s all good stuff!
What habit/change in behavior are you planning to continue now that it’s over?
I cut milk from my coffee during the last BCCC, I have stuck with it and it has made a huge difference for me. I also will continue to avoid gluten. Generally, trying to make good decisions, reading ingredients, and constantly reminding myself how I used to go to bed every night with a tummy ache. Eating clean means I no longer have daily stomach aches and I sleep very soundly.


 We’d be remiss if we didn’t recognize Mr. Hand. Consistently positive and excited, Joey approached the BCCC with boundless enthusiasm. He listened to our suggestions and took our recommendations to heart, posted to the blog and the Facebook page regularly in support of his fellow BCCC’ers, he attended every Q&A and asked questions and offered tips and advice. He emerged nearly 11 pounds lighter and 2 inches leaner around the waist. His stellar results reflect his hard work and great attitude.
Can you comment on your specific goals during the BCCC?
My specific goals during the BCCC were met with incredible results. The mindfulness of what you put in your body to fuel yourself was a very good experiment. It helped in every aspect in my life. Sleep, being present, maintaining energy levels and killing it in the gym @ CFCC.
What did you like best about the BCCC?
The best thing I liked about the BCCC is that you didn’t do it alone. You have the support of a lot folks with great ideas and your able to share that with them.
What was the hardest part of the BCCC?
The hardest part was breaking certain habits. For me it was artificial sweeteners and flavored cream in my coffee and cutting out alcohol completely. My coffee was like drinking a milkshake before. Now I have grown to like the taste of coffee black. As for alcohol, I will continue to indulge in adult beverages, but be more mindful about what kinds. Top shelf liquors all the way. lol
What was your favorite meal?
My favorite meal was a large turkey my girlfriend and I made one Sunday. It was a perfect smell while watching football.
Any advice for someone new to the BCCC?
Anyone starting the BCCC for the first time I advise anyone to make realistic goals and don’t be too hard on yourself. Keep going, even if the results take sometime to see in the mirror. The body is a wonderful tool and it takes time to learn new things.
What habits do you plan on keeping now that the BCCC is over?
Keeping my coffee black, choosing quality spirits, and making overall good food choices.
Thank you all for an amazing month – I hope it was as illuminating for each of you as it was for us! I think that the community that’s building up around our respective journeys towards health and fitness is one of the most valuable things about being members of Crossfit Center City. We are so proud of your hard work and commitment to yourselves and to each other.

That said, have a WONDERFUL holiday season, because the BCCC will be BACK in January 2013…

  1. Congratulations to everyone who had such great success during the Challenge! It’s totally inspiring to read all these stories — and it reminds me of just how powerful an experience it can be to clean up our diets and make self-care a priority. YAY!

    Also: thanks for the Bora Bora Fireball love ;-)

  2. Krista says:

    Congrats you guys!!!! amazing results and a fun month…you have certainly inspired me to push my own limits! side note, I believe mr. hand has earned himself a new body part nickname: mr. abs, no??

  3. Mr. Hand says:

    This experience has been great. For all those who participated and won, congratulations. You all deserve it for working hard.

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