THE FUELING STRENGTH CHALLENGE WRAPS UP WITH GREAT SUCCESS!
The Fueling Strength Nutrition and Lifestyle Challenge saw several of our Crossfit Beloit members getting fitter, healthier, and even a bit leaner and more muscular over the course of the new six-week program. It just wrapped up at the end of October with a final small but lovely potluck gathering to wind down just this past weekend.
The Fueling Strength Challenge, led by CFB's new(ish) Coach Kortney, kicked off in mid-September with a presentation covering the basics from lifestyle factors to eating guidelines and recommendations which were all addressed in more detail over the course of the six-week program. Each week celebrated a new weekly winner with prizes graciously donated from CFB’s own Coach Scott, Primal Kitchen, Home Chef, Trifecta Nutrition, and Main Square Dental in Roscoe.
Frank Monyak scored the Pure Pharma supplement prize from Scott at the end of Week One, followed by Joanne Lenz-Mandt as the Week Two winner with a selection of avocado oil products from Primal Kitchen. Week Three went to Carly Madison with more fun products from Primal Kitchen, and David Bauer won the Home Chef voucher for four meals after Week Four. Matt Forshee rocked Week Five with even more Primal Kitchen goodies, and finally, Tina Lenz-Mandt wrapped up Week Six with a fabulous teeth whitening kit from Dr. Martha Muldowny’s dental office, Main Square Dental in Roscoe. The sponsored gifts were greatly appreciated, CFB and Fueling Strength would like to extend a big thank you to each of the donors!
Consistency in the daily questionnaire submissions for ticking off the daily habits was the main requirement for winning the prizes, leading to the overall GRAND PRIZE WINNER selection for the whole challenge. Eligible participants for the grand prize could miss no more than 3 daily questionnaire submissions over the whole six weeks, which boiled down to only three (although several others were REALLY close!): Tina Lenz-Mandt, Carly Madison, and Frank Monyak. The final winner of the $100 CASH PRIZE, as well as a generous $120 worth of free organic food delivery from the amazing guys over at Trifecta Nutrition, went to…………….Carly Madison! Woohoo! Everyone did a fantastic job staying active in this Challenge! And the individual results showed it!
Taking a habit based approach to lifestyle improvements, the Fueling Strength Challenge had members focusing on more than just their diets. With an emphasis on sleep habits, hydration, daily physical activity and mobility, nutritional supplementation, goal setting and mindfulness exercises, and even dental hygiene played a part in rounding out the program. Of course, this was all in addition to appropriate snacking and meal guidelines. With a slight departure from the more common elimination style diets, paleo protocols, or squeaky “clean” eating challenges, the Fueling Strength Challenge left the nutrition dogma and specific food restrictions to each individual’s own discretion while encouraging a fairly broad health promoting, nutrient dense diet. Catering to a diverse group of people ranging from vegetarian to paleo enthusiasts to everything in between, this extra bit of flexibility and wiggle room allowed participants to explore realistically sustainable approaches to eating, while providing a structure and framework to draw on for general guidance.
Placing more of an emphasis on HOW to eat, Fueling Strength Challenge members got to explore eating from a place awareness of physical hunger and satiety cues, slowing down during meals times, and mindful eating practice. While nutritious foods and habits are always encouraged, allowing people the freedom to decide for themselves what to eat or not eat based on their own unique needs empowers each individual to build autonomy in their dietary choices. Additionally, taking an approach with no foods expressly off limits dramatically reduces the likelihood of a post-challenge "forbidden foods" binge-fest! (Or that’s the hope, at least!)
The Challenge kicked off with the grueling Cindy as the baseline workout, and in the six-week end-of-challenge follow-up WOD, members who repeated it ALL saw significant improvements in their scores! The average improvement was 66 reps!!! Frank Monyak had the most improved Cindy score adding a whopping 123 reps to his original score going from a mere 9+28 to an impressive 14+1! Way to go Frank! Peggy Thiele also had a notable mention with a 92 rep improvement to her score, going from 12+13 to 15+15!
In terms of physical changes, many people did have their body compositions measured before and after as well. Peggy again made the most dramatic loss with a 5.8% body fat reduction while maintaining her lean muscle and bone mass. Despite the fact that body composition is likely the LEAST important measurement for determining overall health, in regards to the outcomes of this challenge every single participant who followed up with their after body composition measurements lost anywhere from 1.6% body fat all the way up to 5.8% body fat, with the average sitting at a very healthy rate of fat loss at 0.5% per week, for an average fat loss of 3%. In addition to the fat loss, many people added as much as 3-5 pounds new lean mass! How 'bout them GAINZ!!! All-in-all, there were good results across the board for those whose goals included body composition changes.
Even more importantly than body composition changes, in a follow-up doctor’s visit, Kim Matthews reported a very HAPPY doctor who saw a reduction in her liver enzymes which had been of concern prior to starting the challenge! How great is that? Getting healthier from the inside out is really what Fueling Strength is all about. Creating healthy, sustainable habits that can improve other areas of life is key! Physically, mentally, and even socially speaking, it’s important to find a manageable lifestyle that enhances the overall quality of life - and sometimes finding that balance can be tricky. Programs like the Fueling Strength Challenge are great catalysts for longer-term change.
Congratulations to everyone who participated! The final potluck hosted by Peggy Thiele drew a small group to share some of the drool-worthy recipes that had been shared via the private Fueling Strength Facebook group over the whole six weeks! Radhika shared her amazing Indian cooking with a spicy chickpea dish that was to die for, though it was rivaled by her husband Neel’s whole wheat pasta salad. Peggy's homemade dressing was delightful, and the apple nachos were a hit! A few non-Fueling Strength members helped celebrate as we also said good-bye to Jennifer Quantuk while taking turns passing around Baby Harrison. Overall, it was quite a nice, quiet little wrap-up for the season.
Finally, if anyone still feels like they could use a bit more support to continue to build some longer term nutrition and wellness habits, Fueling Strength has a daily 1:1 online nutrition coaching program on special offer for CYBER MONDAY. At a 53% price reduction for the set-up and first month, followed by an ongoing reduced monthly rate, it's really a small investment for a big return on health and sanity in regards to food and mindset habits. The investment in health is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, and sometimes a little extra coaching is all that is needed to tackle those lingering pesky food issues for good. Check out fuelingstrength.com for more or to register for 2017!