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4 Week Nutrition Challenge – May 11, 2009- June 5, 2009

Dorrene Johnson

CrossFit Michiana image
"Because of the Fitness Challenge, I've added myself to the list of people who are important in our family of 6. I used to say our family was too busy for me to work out and/or take the time to make sure every meal was healthy. Now, my family makes sure I’m able to work out, they're impressed at what I can do, and have healthy options for meals for all of us. I'm working through the self doubt in the gym (damn Burpees and runs) and the "I am worth it" to take the time to make healthy food choices. Paleo hasn't been hard for me at all, except for wanting the Iced Coffee and chocolate chip cookies I used to live on. I used to drink 64+ oz of pop a day on top of the coffee, and replaced that with 128 oz of water. I can visually see muscles forming and trying to be seen, and the fat overlay going down. I'm excited to know 3 days a week at CF and good nutrition can make me feel more in control of my life. It's great knowing I don't have to spend hours a day 7 days a week dreading a workout to not get the results I’m already seeing in just 3 1/2 weeks in CF."


Weight Loss: 13.5 lb
Lean Gain: 11.9lb
Fat Loss: 25.8 lb
Body Fat % Loss: 17.6%


Joleen Krause

Since combining the Paleo Diet guidelines with Zone blocks as part of my Nutrition Challenge, I’ve gained more knowledge about foods and their effect on our health. For the last month I have integrated these guidelines into my meals. For the first two weeks, I also tracked calories to be sure I was within my target range. It became quite obvious that when healthy foods are eaten, the calorie counts are sooooo much lower than the junk food… result: eat more and lose more fat, without counting calories.

Because of the Nutrition Challenge do I LOOK better? Yes. With healthier food choices, my body temple responds with internal health that naturally transforms to the outer. I feel better in my clothes (that means they fit a little more loosely).

Do I PERFORM better? Yes. Last week, I completed my first box jump and completed the WOD doing 84 more. This week, I ran 400 meters x 3 during a warm up without any walking. In the past, I struggled on round 1 and walked some during rounds 2 and 3.
I’m confident more goals will be reached.

Do I FEEL better? Yes. My energy levels are more even and I feel more UP.

As I continue with wise food choices and Crossfit, I know my body will continue improving toward being the best me I can be."



Weight Loss: 6 lbs
Lean Gain: 0
Fat Loss: 6.01 lbs
Inches Lost: 6 1/8
Body Fat % Loss: 7.2 %


Laura Guentert

"I took this nutrition challenge for a number of reasons but mainly because I have been playing at better nutrition ever since I joined the gym in October of 2008. Playing really means that I wasn't taking it seriously and so I wasn't seeing the health or strength benefits that I should have been seeing.

I actually began serious work on this lifestyle change at least a week before the official start date - my biggest challenges giving up starchy carbohydrates (I could live in a bakery), eating more healthy protein, and not being afraid of good fats. I grew up with the 'low fat' diet mantra and this is a real stretch for me.

The change was difficult for me, especially when I was looking for a snack - I had to really think about getting the three parts protein, fat and low carb each time. I learned that this takes planning and good shopping habits. With Carole's help, I found that if I ate two afternoon snacks, I avoided my 3:30 pm scramble for anything in the kitchen, It really worked!!

I have not been able to exercise for an entire month due to foot surgery. I have been back to the gym for 1 1/2 weeks. It was scary because it's painful, but I've noticed that my recovery has been faster. I expected to hurt badly for 2 weeks but after the first 4 days, I didn't feel so sore. I think this is due to the fact that my eating/diet is better than ever. I stuck to the program throughout my convalescence and at least I didn't gain weight.

I hope to stay on this program long term. I am anxious to see the results in the gym now that I have returned. The next step for me is to help my family eat healthier and continue to make healthy choices when they are out on their own. Many thanks for a change that I intend to keep for life!!"

Weight Loss: 1.2 lb
Lean Gain: -2.4
Fat Loss: 3.5 lb
Inches Lost: 3 5/8
Body Fat % Loss: -10%


Lauri Waidner

"Day #1 of the challenge: OMG what was I thinking??? Cutting out bread, pasta, rice and any other starchy carb in my diet for four long weeks? How would I survive? My life evolved around those comfort foods! What would my life be like? Would it change? How would I feel? Would it work? Would I be able to actually stick with it?

Those were the carbs talking. They had me under their spell and were holding my body (and my mind) captive. All of that has changed.

Simply put, because I challenged myself for four weeks to cut out the starch in my diet and go Paleo (w/dairy), I have gained so much in my life that mere words cannot describe the overall feeling of happiness that has entered my life. In three weeks, I’ve lost weight, went down a pant size, and started to tone my body. My workouts will always be challenging, but recovery time is now quicker and I’m gaining the needed strength in order to start doing some of the basic exercises w/o modifications. My endurance is increasing…I’m running a bit farther w/o stopping every time I go out. I’m starting to look forward to working out…I never thought I’d hear myself say that.

Along with all the physical benefits from the nutrition challenge came the mental & emotional benefits. As I saw my body changing, I gained self confidence that what I was doing (the “suffering” as my carb-laden body would say) was all worth it. The tough workouts no longer were a mental challenge, but now were a competition within myself like “how can I kick this workouts a$$ today???” Hell yeah!

Not only has my physical appearance changed, but more importantly my health is changing. By gaining lean muscle mass and decreasing body fat, I’m on my way to a healthier body, reducing the chance for pre-diabetes, heart disease, and a handful of other diseases that come from lack of exercise and improper nutrition. I’m sure my high cholesterol has dropped a few points too. I haven’t had a dizzy spell since I started the four-week challenge, which is telling me I’m doing something right…that I’m giving my body something that it desperately needed.

I had some mental break-downs along the way and shed some tears…no one ever said this would be an easy journey. Having to reprogram the way you think about food isn’t easy, but it is doable for those of you who truly put your heart and soul into it. By going through the challenge it has enabled me to develop a routine to start a healthier eating pattern for the rest of my life that will not only benefit me personally…but my family as well."



Weight Loss: 4.2 lb
Lean Gain: 2.7 lb
Fat Loss: 6.6 lb
Inches Lost: 9 ½ in
Body Fat % Loss: 6.8%


Myra Decraene

"It is easy to obsess over appearance while working in a salon. Every day I help my clients feel better about their looks, but I have struggled with finding a healthy lifestyle that makes me feel good about myself. After a month on the paleo diet, I have noticed a change in both my appearance and the way I feel. I have dropped almost two sizes and I feel stronger, leaner and happier. Many of my clients and friends have commented on how great I look. It’s no surprise that several have even gone out and bought the book. Which is awesome because they can be a part of my extended support group. But more than the weight loss itself, the health benefits have proven to be major "a ha" moments. For me, that is proof enough that paleo is the way I was designed to eat. I have my girl Tara, my CFM friends and the paleo diet to thank for my success. I am certain that I have changed my lifestyle to live a modern Paleolithic diet."


Weight Loss: 9 lbs
Lean Gain: -13.9 lbs
Fat Loss: +4.9 lbs
Inches Lost: 13
Body Fat % Loss: -15%



Lindsey Kendle

"I've always been a big carb lover, and starting the zone was difficult to convince myself to do. Crossfit alone made a huge difference in the way I looked and felt, and I finally decided to give the zone a try. The results have been wonderful, and I look, feel and perform better. My skinny jeans fit again, the rest of my clothes fit better, and I can wear a bathing suit with confidence for the first time since high school! I've started kipping and finally doing push ups with the correct form. For many of the workouts I am now using the prescribed weights and range of motion. Looking at pictures of myself from one year ago, the difference is amazing. I was headed down a road that I never want to travel on again: I wasn't exercising and was eating very poorly. Crossfit and the zone have completely turned my life around, and I am so grateful to everyone at CFM!

Thanks Carole smile"


Weight Loss: -.4 lb
Lean Gain: -.6 lb
Fat Loss: -.7 lb
Inches Lost: 1 ½ in
Body Fat % Loss: -2.8%



Adrienne Freiburger

"The two weeks that I really participated in the nutrition challenge, I felt re-energized! I really could tell a different in my energy level throughout the day especially at night when I would usually be tired. It was really difficult at first to prepare the food and get things ready, but once I had a schedule down it was easier. I am very conscience at every meal about how many proteins, carbohydrates, and fats I am eating now. After about two weeks, when my schedule got pretty busy I got off track. I was still following the zone, but it was not perfect. I can definitely tell a different in my body when I was strictly following it and when I am not. Hopefully, I can get a schedule down so I can feel energized and good about my body again."


Weight Loss: -1
Lean Gain: 7.7
Fat Loss: 6.6
Inches Lost: 8 in
Body Fat % Loss: 11.5%
Inches Lost: 13in


Amanda Moore

"I think more than competition the Challenge has provided for me that little bit of structure and "camaraderie" I guess you could say, to help make the nutrition more of a priority in my life. I still have a ways to go - there are some people who have done awesome - Lindsey is someone I really have a lot of respect for her dedication and consistency in her nutritional habits and her workouts. Pretty amazing!

Thanks for your advice - not just for this Challenge but for all over the past year and some!"


Weight Loss: 5.6 lb
Lean Gain: -3.1lb
Fat Loss: 2.9 lb
Inches Lost: 5
Body Fat % Loss: 3.8%


Sara Hake

"No white flour, wheat, sugar, or dairy. No measuring
Because of this nutritional challenge I have learned:

1) I am grateful I am not living in the cave woman period.

2) Sam’s club is my hunter and gatherer.

3) George Foreman’s grill is my cheat version of a fire

3) I can now fit into clothes I last wore 2 years ago....in only 4 weeks time!! (See my smile)

4) I have increased my dead lifts by 40#, push press by 20#, and squat clean thrusters by 20#s. I can now put weights on my 45# bar!!! For those of you who passed this milestone in high school...no snickering!

5) I’m still out of breath my entire workout, but my recovery time has shortened. I now realize I can get up from the floor without a crane.

6) I can do sit-ups without my stomach (adipose tissue) flash forcing air out of my lungs.

7) I have more energy and there are days I feel like I could actually go longer in my workouts. Now, having just said that, doesn’t mean I have done it...just thought about it....and that’s 180 degree change in my thinking! I’m use to feeling tortured, not thinking I could endure the torture longer.

8) Lastly, I have learned that I can survive and physically feel great with increased energy and mental clarity without eating bread, cheese, dairy, and dare I say...sugar.

9) Oh, can’t forget....my biggest accomplishment....I can satisfy my chocolate cravings with one piece of 80% cacao dark chocolate once weekly. Who ever thought I’d want, let alone choose dark chocolate?!! And you know what? It actually tastes sweet and not bitter. Life’s unexpected pleasures...paleo diet and 80% cacao dark chocolate. I’m pretty sure the cave women in South America had cacao beans! That’s my presumption and I’m sticking to it!"



Weight Loss: 13 lb
Lean Gain: 5 lb
Fat Loss: 8 lb
Inches Lost: 11 in.
Body Fat % Loss: 5%



Crystal Lam

"The effects that I have experienced during this nutrition challenge have been amazing! I will admit I was a sugaraholic; however, I can say I broke my addiction, despite the fact that I was craving sugar so bad the first week that I did not even like to be around myself. I have never felt better in my life. I was trying very hard before the challenge in cutting my sugar and following the Zone, but the Paleo Diet took me a step higher by cutting out grains and dairy. I never realized all of the hidden sugars and impact these foods can cause for a sugaraholic like myself. This is something I want to share with my diabetic family members who are suffering from so many ailments caused by diabetes.
Not only do I notice my clothes fitting better but I am mentally alert. I am able to concentrate on my daily activities and I have more energy. I have had compliments from family and friends who have noticed the change in my appearance too. As for my workouts, I have increased the number of my workouts per week. My workouts have improved and proof was by finishing the Murphy's Challenge on Memorial Day."



Weight Loss: 8 lbs
Lean Gain: -5 lb
Fat Loss: 3 lbs
Inches Lost: 8 in
Body Fat % Loss: 2%


Michael Dimino

"The nutrition challenge was one of the tougher exercises I've done at CFM. Quitting my carbo drug cold turkey led to a grumpy, cranky, and all around ticked-off me. However, after the night sweats, uncontrollable shivering, and random swearing...just kidding, let me start that sentence over. However, after dumping all the starching carbs out of my system, I began to feel better and I had more endurance during my workouts. Being a "strength-guy", endurance has always been my weakness, so the nutrition challenge has helped me with that."

Thanks Carole. I hope the pictures are at least a little better."

Weight Loss: 2.5 lb
Lean Gain: -4.4 lb
Fat Loss: -2.4 lb
Inches Lost: 11/8 in
Body Fat % Loss: -4.1%



Eileen Dimino

"The nutrition challenge bottom line: I'm in control and feel better. I don't really feel that I LOOK better yet, but I am really proud of myself and I'm on a good roll! I know that I'm eating the right foods and doing things that are GOOD for my body. I know when I should feel great and when I shouldn't. I know what MAKES me feel great, and what doesn't. I could go on and really try to describe it, but that's really the bottom line. I'm eating better, my kids are eating better, we feel better, we're proud! Go us! And THANKS to you guys for encouraging this part. This was the part we really needed help on. At least, I did. It's hard to figure out all of this stuff on your own, when you've never done it before. Thanks for the support! smile The plus side is that on Monday Michael and I went shopping for shorts for Disney - we both are down 1 size and are on our way to the next. And, I'm down 1 size on top too. (From XL to L).”


Weight Loss:
Lean Gain:
Fat Loss:
Inches Lost:
Body Fat % Loss:
Unable to measure due to vacation:


Joe McPhie

"Because of the nutrition challenge, I think that I perform better in the gym, and feel better when I comply more closely to the zone. I have not conformed as closely as I should have. Some due to circumstances out of my control, some self control. Given that, when I have eaten right, I think I do better in the gym.

Thanks for your continued patience and support."


Weight Loss: -1.5 lb
Lean Gain: -.5 lb
Fat Loss: -2 lb
Inches Lost: 6.5 in
Body Fat % Loss: -1.875



Kim Kollar

"Because of the Fitness Challenge I have improved daily. I have joined the Crossfit team for ME, and I am dedicated to improving my physical being and my eating habits to make a stronger, leaner ME! I have gained determination over the past 10 months, but more so over the past 4 weeks. Logging my food has made me "accountable" for every decision I make on what goes into my body. They say we are what we eat and I am not just a "carb" anymore! I can certainly say that I feel better in my "skin" because I have recently worn clothes I haven't been able to wear in 2 years... and that feels great! I am dedicated to the improvement of my health by keeping physically fit and eating healthy....at least most of the time smile Thanks to an awesome team of trainers to help keep me focused and on task for daily improvement!"

Weight Loss: 2.8 lb
Lean Gain: 1.3 lb
Fat Loss: 4.4 lb
Inches Lost: 4 3/8 in
Body Fat % Loss: 7.7%


Kim Makowski

"The nutrition challenge has inspired me to eat healthier. I like the "competition factor" associated with the challenge because it drives me to make better choices. The changes I've made in my diet along with my exercise program have yielded some noticeable changes in my body. I'm noticing muscles I didn't think I had. My clothes fit better. I am stronger and, I have an overall feeling of renewed confidence. I think just being part of the challenge is good because it allows you to monitor yourself. It also gives one away to gage success. Overall, I'm very happy with the changes I have made for myself and will keep working forward."



Weight Loss: 2.4 lb
Lean Gain: -.7 lb
Fat Loss: 2.4 lb
Inches Lost: 4 5/8 in
Body Fat % Loss: 2.4%



Laura Deak

"Because of the nutrition challenge I have become more aware of what I am, and what I was eating. I feel much better and have noticed that I don’t have the highs and lows of the sugar rush. I cut out all of the dairy and starches from my diet. I am not as hungry and usually have to purposefully eat. As far as weight loss this has yet to be proven, but I can say that my clothes fit better and I personally notice the difference in my body. I will be continuing to eat healthy and following the Paleo “diet.”



Weight Loss: 2 lb
Lean Gain: -2 lb
Fat Loss: 0
Inches Lost: 6 in
Body Fat % Loss: -1%



Lauren Carlson

"After 6 months of Crossfitting 5x every week, I hit a wall. I could perform heavy lifts, but workouts took me over 30-40 minutes to complete, thus losing all of the benefits of intensity. The Crossfit trainers recommended that I change my nutrition, and I now sincerely regret that it took me 5 more months and this “challenge” to actually do it. The change was simple: make better choices. I have been reaping the benefits of paleo-zone in my workouts for the past few weeks, and I know I will never go back to the way I used to eat. My times have dropped substantially while the weight I’ve been using has either stayed the same or increased, I recover faster from a tough WOD, and I’ve started to get better ROM on difficult skills, like ring dips. By the end of this challenge I will have done things that were not possible for me several weeks ago: run a half-marathon, almost reached a full ROM for a HSPU, gotten my first jumping muscle up, run my fastest 400m split, and even got my name on top of the Girl’s board for one WOD! Aesthetically, friends tell me they can see that I’ve leaned out a bit and my clothes definitely fit differently, but I think I look 100x better because of how happy and confident this change of lifestyle has made me. I do crave ice cream still, and I do cheat a little here and there (Starbucks White Mochas will always have a place in my life – just not front and center) but I can feel the difference in my WODs when I haven’t gotten enough proper fuel and that sh***y feeling makes me stay more true to the straight and narrow. Thank you, Carole, for teaching me to reach my potential in ways I never thought possible (and for your infinite patience with my panicked text messages from the grocery store aisles)! And thank you to all of the trainers for giving us the opportunity and the incentive- the Crossfit Michiana Nutrition Challenge has changed my life, both for the better and for good."


Weight Loss: 1.8 lb
Lean Gain: -.8 lb
Fat Loss: 1.1 lb
Inches Lost: 4 3/8
Body Fat % Loss: 1.8%


Lisa Bottorff

"I am writing in response to the Paleo eating plan and my experience with it. I did the Paleo for 1 month. I thought I did a pretty good job sticking to the program. I did have ups and downs every so often, but feel that I can write about it with confidence. I did not feel that the Paleo did much more for me than the Zone. I didn't feel any different physically and I did gain weight. I did like that I had to be very well prepared and I love how the Paleo and the Zone make you think about what you are eating. I definitely feel better when I am eating "in the zone." I enjoyed the experience, but I am happy to say that I am enjoying my oatmeal, chocolate milk and yogurt again! smile"


No Post Challenge Assessment

Michele Sheline

"I must admit I was definitely skeptical about this challenge. It was not an easy transition and still is a work in progress. After making it thru the first week, the improvement in my overall "mood" has been one of the biggest changes I've noticed. If I remain aware of my eating,ie keep up on it, there are no mid-afternoon "crashes". Overall, I feel better and have slept better. During my workouts, I feel strong, although I'm still working on my confidence in believing that I can really do it. My clothes are more comfortable as I don't feel the "bloating" that I've so often felt. I intend for this to remain a lifestyle choice, with a few diet "tweeks", not just a one month challenge. I really do feel that much better!"


Weight Loss: 4.2 lb
Lean Gain: -.4 lb
Fat Loss: 3.5 lb
Inches Lost: 3 ½ in
Body Fat % Loss: 6.6%


Michelle Lacay

"Because of the Nutrition Challenge...

I have found the "Key" to getting to my goal! I have realized that the answer to fitness is right here... all we have to do is follow it. For years I have been searching for a plan (Cambridge shakes, Weight Watchers, South Beach, Soup Diet, L.A.Weight Loss etc..) and I now know all I need to do is stick to Paleo and the weight will continue to come off along with the fat. I have seen a big difference in how my clothes fit, the scale, my endurance level has increased, my appetite has lessened and I feel stronger. It's hard to believe that I can have any success this month after all of the parties and a vacation (I did have my share of cheat days), but I did succeed. Some people may be surprised at how excited I am, while I still have a ways to go.....but I have the "Key"... I will be there soon and that is a FACT! This week I got to go shopping with my sister-in-laws and I didn't have to just buy shoes....this was one of the most rewarding days of my life... I'm doing it! I couldn't ask for more supportive trainers or members (friends) to do this with...they are all so encouraging...Thank you so much!

Forever grateful,
p.s. I now have my "eat a gallon of ice cream a week" mother on Paleo and she's lost 12 lbs in
3 1/2 weeks! She thinks it's fantastic and so easy to follow!"


Weight Loss: 10 lb
Lean Gain: -8lb
Fat Loss: 2 lb
Inches Lost: 11
Body Fat % Loss: -1.4%


Patty Battalio

"Thanks to the CrossFit Nutrition Challenge, I have made physical progress in my endurance, strength, and weight loss efforts. My workouts continue to be TOUGH (would we have them any other way??) but I am able to push past my limits and breaking points. I leave the gym with the satisfaction that I have accomplished something I never thought I could do.
My biggest change, however, has been my attitude towards life. Exercise is no longer a thing I dread, food is no longer a crutch. After years of dieting, I have finally learned the right way to eat., The Zone is not a diet for me but a lifestyle. I can honestly day that I have never felt better. I’m happy, energetic, self-confident (something that was definitely lacking) and to top it all off, I am wearing clothes I haven’t been able to get into for over 4 years!
Thanks Crossfit!"


Weight Loss: 6.4 lb
Lean Gain: -1.5 lb
Fat Loss: 4.7 lb
Inches Lost: 6 5/8
Body Fat % Loss: 9.3%



Peggy Randolph

"I am starting to notice a small difference in how I look since the Nutrition Challenge started. I wish the changes were more noticeable but I do think I have slimmed down a teeny tiny bit! I definitely feel better as my workouts are going pretty well. I am able to do the prescribed weight for most WODs and my recovery time is so much faster than it used to be. It is amazing to me how much of a difference my nutrition is making in my overall life, not just in the workouts. It's gotten a lot easier to block out my meals in my head and I now feel comfortable making good decisions when we eat out. I also am noticing that I am not eating as much food at every meal.

Thanks Carole!"


Weight Loss: -1 lb
Lean Gain: -.7 lb
Fat Loss: -.7 lb
Inches Lost: 2 ¾
Body Fat % Loss: -1.3%


Stephanie Scalise

"After Brady was born (March 10th) I was losing pounds every week with a little exercise here and there and watching what I ate. After the sixth week or so, the scale froze, so it was time for a new plan and luckily this competition came into play just in time. After the first week on the Zone, I felt great, both mentally and physically. I had more energy than I had had in a long time and mentally I felt like I could handle the demands of everyday life with a newborn and a toddler much better. Although it was quite a bit of work to measure everything and have the right food on hand, I knew that I had to do something if I ever wanted to lose my pregnancy pounds. Before I started the Zone, my weak food moments would start in the afternoon and last until I went to bed. Now I feel like my body is on a schedule and I rarely have the cravings or hunger I used to have. I’m also having fun coming up with creative meals and snacks that fit into my daily block count. Over the course of the month I was able to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight without a consistent workout plan, due to the baby and other circumstances. I’m looking forward to seeing what can happen once I’m able to get back to working out more consistently. It feels great to have lost the pounds, but what is most rewarding to me is that I’ve found a food plan that works for me and is something I can see myself following indefinitely!"


Weight Loss: 11.8 lb
Lean Gain: -5 lb
Fat Loss: 7 lb
Inches Lost: 7 ¼
Body Fat % Loss: 5.8%


Tara Reilly

"Crossfit has been the catalyst for a lot of positive changes in my life and I feel great! I have never really enjoyed standard exercise programs but Crossfit, with it’s variety, has been a blessing in my life. After committing to Crossfit I have found that I am much more active in my daily life and with a busy toddler, that’s important. I ride my bike, run and walk more regularly and am more physically capable of keeping up with my son, Noah. I am eating better, have more energy and have lost weight. The best motivator for me was the day I fit into some work suits that I haven’t worn in over three years. When shopping I can buy a smaller size. My self-esteem has improved immensely and mere words just cannot express how good I feel! I am grateful that I have been able to stick with the program with the motivation of my husband, family and the wonderful staff at Crossfit. I am really proud of my accomplishments and look forward to more positive changes in the future!
Thanks, Carole!"


Weight Loss: 6.4 lb
Lean Gain: -.5 lb
Fat Loss: 5.7 lb
Inches Lost: 5 in
Body Fat % Loss: 4.3%