July 30th challenge winners!

I want to thank each and every one of you who entered this challenge, there were so many AMAZING submissions. I took my time to read each email and I couldn’t be more inspired! This challenge is not only about the outer changes, but the inner and often the inner transformations are so much more powerful. I wanted to take time to announce the winners here and share a bit about their inner transformations.

1st place winner:
(Who will receive a prize of $500)

Steve Somers

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Steve and his wife did my last challenge and killed it! Steve has stuck with it since then, here is some of his story…. “My wife and I have been following your plan since May 29th and I most recently completed the July 30th challenge.  I found immediate success during the intial challenge as I averaged weight loss of about 4.5 pounds per week, and lost about 35 pounds.  

For the July 30th challenge, I followed the basis of the plan, but increased my calories to about 2,500 per day, because I’m running 35 to 50 miles per week, among other exercising.  I have loss another 15 pounds, but am now mostly just trying to increase my fitness level while maintaining a healthy weight.   

The most noticeable differences for me when following your meal plans are increased energy levels and faster recovery.  I have been an avid distance runner for about 12 years and for the first time in several years I can easily maintain a mid 7 minute mile for an extended distance, whereas earlier in the summer I had to exert more effort to maintain a mid 8 min mile over a shorter distance.  

I’m also seeing more success in racing.  For example I recently placed placed 13th overall (out of 304), 1st place in age division, and 2nd in Masters category (age 40 and over) at a half marathon (over 13 mile) trail race.  

As much as slimming down and becoming a better runner have meant to me, I feel like my biggest transformation is an improved relationship with my wife as we work through a common goal of improving our health and eating habits.  It has been fun doing your challenges together and cheering each other on.”   Steve you are an AMAZING husband and person. SO proud to have you part of this community, you deserve all of your success!

2nd place winner:
(Who will receive a prize of $200)

Chiara McIntire

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Chiara you are AMAZING! Here is some of her story…. “I kept trying to tell myself I would never be a bully to my body…especially after it created the sweetest baby girl, but it was a lot harder to do now. I really, really hated how I looked. And more so, I hated that I hated how I looked. I cringed when I saw myself in the mirror. I cringed when I got dressed. I felt embarrassed around my bff – my husband. And while I  still considered myself really blessed and really happy in general, I hated this part of me. 
Here is where you come in. 😉
The challenge went great. I am vegetarian and not the most creative cook so I stuck with a handful of my favorite meals and snacks and that worked just fine. I really liked the food I was making. It was EASY to stay on track because I wasn’t really restricting anything. I could make these things sort of last minute which happens all the time with little kids running around. And it really did work for me. I was a little skeptical, but man. It really did! I am still shocked looking at my before/after pictures…but here are a few things the pictures don’t really show but mean the world to me.
  • My tummy feels so much better. I have had IBS and stomach problems for over 20 years. After Melody was born, I feel it got even worse. I had stomach pain, gas and cramping pretty much every day of my life. I feel SO much better and this is probably my biggest win in this challenge.
  • I have more energy. 
  • I feel like I am more patient 
  • I started really enjoying veggies (Thank you Cottage cheese + Ranch packet idea!) The excitement I feel when I finish a bag of veggies before they turn into slime in my fridge is borderline ridiculous. 
  • My kids started enjoying healthy snacks more – This is another huge one
  • I ran my first 10K – and before I started the challenge I planned on running the first 5K and walking the rest. I ran the whole thing – not because I am in great shape or had been training, but because of my increased energy and my new found ability to talk loving and positive thoughts to myself. I was able to just focus on and conquer each .5 mile at a time, just like the challenge was focusing on one meal at a time.
  • Silly thing – but my house is cleaner. It’s like feeling better about myself just makes me want to improve myself more, in so many different ways. I have organized my closet and kept it clean for a record length of time! haha…”
    Such an amazing mother and person, thank you for the inspiration Chiara!!3rd Place Winners:

    (Who will receive a prize of $100)I chose 4 3rd place winners… they were all SO amazing I couldn’t pick just one!

     

    In no particular order they are all below…..Michelle Cousineau
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    Such an incredible Mom and person! She said: “Challenge started July 30th – I gave birth August 2nd and started the challenge on August 6th! Now that I am cleared to workout, I am doing the current challenge & will be adding in workouts!

    Ashley & Jake Robinson

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    Ashley had such an incredible story, I am just going to share a part of it….

     

    I ran across your account on instagram the day before this challange started and I was so inspired! I turned to my husband and said I really want to buy this meal plan and start making some changes. My husband was so supportive and honestly I think he was so tired of hearing me complain about my body that I think he was excited for me to finally do something about it!  I told him I really needed his help to keep me on track and accountable. He was so excited to do it with me! 
    I am happy to say I started out at 151 lbs and I am down to 138 lbs!!! I could not believe how fast that weight came off!!! I stuck to your plan and have really enjoyed learning more about what foods I need to fuel my body. And also that it is okay to have a treat every once in a while!! This not only was a major weight loss success for me but it was also a life long lesson of how to eat DELICIOUS FOOD!!! It was all so yummy! I also have noticed how much more energy I have throughout the day with my busy toddler!!! I feel like I am a much better mom and wife because I have treated my body much better the last 8 weeks. I am able to get on the ground and play with my toddler instead of just sitting on the couch watching him, and also able to go out to the park and run around with him instead of sitting down and just watching him.

    It was such an amazing experience and I am so impressed with myself that I actually did it! I never ever thought I would be able to complete a food challenge of any kind! I honestly thought I wasn’t strong enough or didn’t have the will or desire to do so. That is one of the things I have loved about your meal plan! It didn’t feel like a diet! It was all food that I loved to eat already it was all about making the healthier choice!! This meal plan has been such a blessing in my life and I have been able to see the importance of taking care of your body and how it does help the lives of others! I am so grateful that I ran across your instagram account that night and that you inspired me to do this! What an eye opening experience it has been. I plan to eat the same and use the same recipes and helps throughout the rest of my life!

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    I loved what Jake said and I wanted to share it as well……

    To be honest I was a little skeptical at the beginning of the challenge because my wife found out about this and it was a spur of the moment idea, that didn’t exactly fit our med-school-life budget. Turns out that it was among the best of all of her brilliant ideas, another testament that I should always listen to my wife:) I was also skeptical because I’ve learned so much in this last year and a half of school about nutrition and health. I was taught in detail about the flaws of certain nutrition programs and popular diets. However, amongst the skepticism I was excited that my wife and I had a goal that we could work together at completing. The more we followed your tips and meals the more I learned that it was right in line with the principles of healthy nutrition that I’ve learned in school.  This was also really the first time I had attempted to switch up my diet; I always thought that I ate fairly healthy but I soon found out that was not the case. By tracking what I was eating I found that my daily diet was lacking in so many areas and it helped me to hold myself accountable. 

    I was surprised at how convenient most of the meals were to our schedule. Between the rigors of my second year of medical school, Ashley’s work, and our very busy 19 month old pride and joy, our eating schedule had been a nightmare.  By planning our meals each week it helped us stay more organized and in all honesty lightened the load. When I started to lose lots of weight I thought for sure that I must be losing muscle because I wasn’t eating enough calories but that also proved to be wrong as I found myself lifting more weight and feeling stronger each time I went to the gym. I also hadn’t anticipated feeling happier and full of more energy to study throughout the day!  Overall I went from 191.8 lbs. to 176.4 lbs for a total of 15.4 lbs lost in 8 weeks. Between my wife and I we lost a total of 28.4 lbs. This was truly an amazing experience! A twenty-five dollar meal plan bought us a lifestyle change of healthy habits! Thank you!”

    You are both AMAZING parents and people! Thank you for being a part of this community, so proud to have you both!

    Niki Bassett

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    Here is some of her story, she had me in tears! “As I was venting to my sister one day, she started to tell me about your meal plans. She told me that with doing your challenge she had learned that food shouldn’t be used to punish our bodies but to fuel them. I thought about that and realized it had been so long since I saw food for what it was. A positive thing! After that I was desperate to learn more and give it a try. It was very difficult and full of moments when I thought I would give up. At the beginning, eating well wasn’t the hardest part (especially because your meals are so tasty) but it was a matter of trying to rewire my brain and telling myself over and over that I was worth it. For the first time in years I started to believe it! And as the weight started to drop the best part was that all of a sudden, I wasn’t constantly thinking about food or how much I suck… I started to think about those around me and how to help them. It was as if i was truly free from this prison that kept me thinking about nothing but food and myself. ” Niki, you are more than worth it! I love that you are helping those around you, I hope we can all be inspired to be like Niki! SO proud of you gorgeous!

    Victoria Van Orden

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    Victoria killed it and I was so impressed by everything she said… “After I had my daughter (my first) I viewed my body in such a negative way, i looked at myself with disgust rather than gratitude for the amazing process it just went through! It took me a long time to take control of my life in the sense of putting myself first, taking care of me, lose the baby weight & overall love and appreciate my body for all that it does for me! I was constantly feeling sorry for myself and making excuses as to why I couldn’t lose the weight! When I had my son (my second) I told myself I am not going to let myself get that way and treat myself that way! That’s when I decided to join your challenge, I wasn’t cleared to fully work out yet, but I was going to take control and build better habits by eating better so that I could truly see what eating good would do for me! I not only saw a physical change, but I felt better after my meals! I wasn’t sluggish and was happy and proud of myself every time I made good eating choices. I wasn’t perfect during the challenge and that’s ok! I was able to learn how to eat, how to grocery shop and how to make meals that me and my family can eat and feel good about! I no longer wish for it more than I work for it. I am so grateful for your challenge because it changed my insight on food & I don’t punish myself if I eat a treat because I now have the knowledge to get back on track. Most of all I am proud of my body and all that it has done and continues to do for me & that alone has made the biggest difference for me! Thank you for sharing your meal plans and knowledge!” I could relate to Victoria so much and I know so many other Moms can too. Thank you for sharing gorgeous!! You are an inspiration.

    If you are ready to join in on a challenge, you can jump in late to my current challenge, we started on Monday! Click here to get started!

    CONGRATS to all of my winners and thank you to everyone who entered, I am so grateful to have this amazing community!

    XOXO

    -Carli

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