Welcome to the January BCCC!

Welcome to the January 2013 edition of the Body Change Composition Challenge!

If you’re receiving this email, it’s because you let me know you were either definitely in to participate or interested, so be sure to let me know if you’re no longer interested and I’ll take you off the list so you don’t get inundated with emails. If you’re still in, please read alllllll the way to the end of this email. It’s long (sorry!) but it’s full of VERY important information.
Officially, the BCCC runs for four full weeks. “Day 1” is Wednesday, 1/16. The final day is Wednesday, 2/13. [Don’t forget to save the date for Friday, 2/15, for post-BCCC celebrations!] I’m not going to tell you that doing a few extra days of careful eating is going to hurt you, so if you want to get weighed in on Monday and call that your official “Day 1,” that’s just fine by us!
We’re offering a wide range of available times over Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday of this week (so, the 14th/15th/16th) that you can come in to get weighed and measured. They are as follows:
Monday – 7am-9am (Meg)
Tuesday – 11am-11:30am, 12pm – 2pm (Meg)
Tuesday – 4-8pm (Erin)
Wednesday – 5-8pm (Meg)
You do NOT have to RSVP or sign up, just show up during one of these times. If none of these times work for you – you MUST email us to schedule something separately (but please, do your level best to get here during one of the available slots). PLEASE BRING YOUR $20 IN CASH OR CHECK when you come to weigh in. YOU MUST HAND US MONEY TO BE WEIGHED IN – NO EXCEPTIONS. If I don’t see you at a weigh-in time or hear from you to reschedule by Wednesday the 16th, I’ll assume you changed your mind about participating and I will be sad, but I’ll take you off the list. 
Expect to hop on the scale, get measurements taken of your waist/chest/bicep/calf (men) and waist/chest/hips/bicep/calf (women). We’ll do “before” pictures facing front, side and back – it’s best to do these shirtless (men) and in a sports bra or fitted tank top (women). More on this in a second.
If you’re nervous about the idea of measurements and photos, PLEASE don’t fret! A word about what we mean here:
We will never make you do anything that makes you truly, deeply uncomfortable. Yes, we’ll push you to give up alcohol for thirty days and we’ll probably encourage you to jump on the higher box or kick up into a handstand even if you’re scared – but we also know that the idea of getting your waist measured by a stranger and getting photos taken in all your post-workout glory can be extremely intimidating. That said, please keep these things in mind:
1. THE SCALE IS ONLY A TOOL. It is NOT a reflection of your self worth or how great of an athlete you currently are or once were. It doesn’t make you GOOD or BAD as a person, and it doesn’t mean you’re more or less disciplined than anyone else. It merely is a sort-of accurate representation of how you’re CHANGING as a person, one way or another. I’m working on a much more extensive post on this, but leave it to say that in the course of one day, I’ve fluctuated by 6-8 pounds on CFCC’s kitchen scale. SIX TO EIGHT POUNDS. You eat a meal that’s a little salty? The number will go up. Severely dehydrated from the flu? Down it goes.  Different scales can read differently by up to five pounds, and our own scale has been known to read two pounds heavier when we move it a foot to the right, even if we’ve JUST stepped on it. As most of us are aware, gaining muscle will make the number go up – we’ve seen people end up significantly leaner but only a few pounds lighter (or even a pound or two HEAVIER) then they were when they started.
I know it’s hard for many people to not obsess over this number. If you’ve moved past it – congratulations! If you feel like it will put you in a weird place mentally, that’s completely fine. Just let me know (you’re not the first or only one that’s asked this, I promise) and I will still have you hop on the scale, but I will not let you look and I will not tell you the number. And I won’t tell anyone else, either.
2. All of the above goes for pictures. Trust me in advance – NO ONE LOOKS GOOD in these pictures. It’s overhead lighting, you’re sweaty, we get it. Again, we will NEVER show these pictures to anyone without your express permission, and we don’t even need to show you if you don’t want to see.
3. If your goals are aesthetic, you’d be surprised at how skewed your own perception can be. You see yourself every single day. Even the most dramatic of changes happens minutely, and sometimes it can be difficult to see just how different things really are – unless you have a starting point to look back on. (Case in point – our Fall 2012 winners. Holy cow.) Even if your goals aren’t so much aesthetic, it’s always good to have these kind of things recorded so you can see how things are progressing – even if you ask us to file them away and we don’t look at them again for a year.
4. Finally – we’re all friends here. You’re never going to weird us out or gross us out with questions about anything, and you’re not going to blind us with your winter paleness. So come in. It’s cool. We promise.
This Challenge is about setting a goal, making a plan, and sticking to it without exception for ONE MONTH. Trust me when I say I can think of about a zillion reasons in the course of a single week that you could go off-plan – work dinners, date night, sneaking food off the kids’ plates, birthdays, house parties, stressful weeks at work, the list goes on and on. And I’d wager that the hardest thing about changing your habits is NOT the actual changing part – it’s changing consistently and for long enough to see results. We found that you can see some pretty significant results by going all-in for thirty days, without exception. And I promise you that in the entire history of my time BCCC’ing – no one has EVER come back to me and said “gee whiz, I wish I drank MORE last night.” We know it’s hard, but the results are worth it.
That said, you’re all adults and we simply can’t follow you around every second of the day. So here’s what you can do to hold yourself accountable to you, your goals, and your community during this month.
1. KEEP A LOG. Again, we don’t want you to become neurotic, but I have heard over and over and OVER again “Wow – I thought I was doing really well until I saw everything written down!” Also, if anything is weird or you’re not progressing the way you want to be, we simply can’t offer suggestions if we don’t know what you’re doing on the day-to-day. You can log your food in whatever format is most comfortable to you. A notebook/pen. Pictures of your meals on your phone. A blog like this or this or this (Note that you can be completely anonymous on said blog as long as we know that you’re you. We love reading blogs!). You can post your meals in the comments section of the Nutrition Blog on the CFCC website – we’ll be posting a lot throughout the challenge and will answer as many questions as we can! It’s also helpful to keep note of other important things – like how much you’re sleeping and when you’re training (and what you’re doing) to help us have that crucial sense of context in your life. It’ll help you too! If you have a day where you would claw someone’s face off for a cupcake – it’s nice to look at your log and see “wow, I’m not a lunatic, I just only got four hours of sleep last night!”
2. JOIN THE FACEBOOK GROUPWhine when your roommate orders pizza or someone puts brownies in the office kitchen. Ask recipe questions or where to find the cheapest grassfed beef in Philly. Talk about how you put your M&Ms down the garbage disposal so you’d stop thinking about them. Whatever you need, someone will be there to help, answer or commiserate with you. Honestly, I love this group so much, and I’m so happy with how it’s grown recently.
3. READ THE BLOG. We have lots to say.
4. HANG OUT WITH US. Every Tuesday night at 6:30 in the Coach’s Lounge. Bring your questions, your problems and your victories to share with the group.
We’re really excited and proud that you’re all in for the Challenge this time around, and we can’t wait to see what the next month has in store for you.

“To get what you have never had, you must do what you have never done.” 

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