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Whole 30 Challenge … The results are in !

So we were asked to blog about our whole30 experience and I have been debating the right angle. Do I talk about the feelings during the challenge like did I feel sluggish or deprived? Do I talk about my athletic performance and how I responded during the WODs or in my recovery? Do I gush about my results (if any)? In thinking about this I realized that some discussion needs to be offered in all three areas as they are all important to the challenge.

Feelings about the Challenge:

Love the forum and the other members of the challenge working through menu items, best places to eat out and various supportive posts when we needed the encouragement … just like I would expect from the family at Crossfit Strong. Since my eating prior to the challenge was relatively clean the removal of grains, beans and sugars was not the hard part. The hardest part was giving up my wine and cheese “snack” before bedtime several nights a week. Who knew cheese was so damn addictive? Day to day I didnt feel hungry and if so I simply had a balanced snack of some protein/fats or vegetable/fats depending on what I brought that day to the office. The hardest part I think was for my wife. Her guilt about eating “forbidden” food items in front of me became a common conversation piece, even if I was the one who cooked it for her!

Oh, and the scale ….wow. I will admit I weigh myself about three times a week prior to the challenge. Since I do not measure my food anymore after being Zone for several months it seemed the best way to ensure I am not overeating over time. I didnt really care about the specific number, I was more interested in trends and mentally ensuring I stayed under 200lbs. It wasnt until the last week I was getting really curious about my weight since my clothes were fitting differently and my smallest waist pants seemed to now need a belt but I stayed strong and didnt weigh in until Saturday morning after the run and WOD.

WOD performance:

I will admit that in the first week or so the WODs seemed a little harder due to lack of explosive energy but the recovery after each workout seemed easier and I didnt feel as depleted after a long run or hard metcon. Towards the middle of the third week though I turned a corner. The energy for the WODs improved and recovery was a breeze in relation to prior weeks. One thing I did notice though was my moods were much more even throughout the day and I didnt finish the day feeling so mentally and physically exhausted. Also my range of motion, especially in my squats, felt significantly improved and my hips and lower back which are usually stiff in the mornings were much more flexible and felt stronger throughout the workout.


When I started the challenge my measurements were a 15.5” neck, 35” waist, 194 lbs and a 18.5% body fat (according to my scale at the house). Measurements this morning (Feb 12th) had the same neck but waist at 34.5", 184.5lbs and 16% body fat. Following the LBM calculator ( my BMI at starting was 25.0 kg/m2 and ending was 23.5 kg/m2. So in laymens terms in 30 days I went from the bottom end of overweight for my height to slightly above normal BMI (see chart:

Going forward:

So now the question is, where do I go now? I think I will stay whole9 as much as I can. The resulting energy, flexibility, and body composition changes show me that I still have room for improvement and living whole9 is a solid foundation of nutrition to build that platform upon. Since I have removed all these inherent sources of inflammation from my system I see no reason to intentionally take a step back into the stiffness and soreness I felt before the challenge. Assuming I continue on my track of BMI change and strength increases there may be a couple of dead hang pullups and a muscle up or two on the horizon in the next few months, now that would be a great 41st birthday present, wouldnt it?

I am not sure how or when I before and after pics will be posted but I look forward to hearing everyones thoughts on the challenge and whole9 living in general. If other peoples results and pics are anything like mine I think this challenge was worth the time and I encourage others to try it for themselves. I would be happy to provide whatever support or encouragement I can while you are making the adjustment to the whole9 life!

Whole30 Whole9 Challenge Results

Viewing 1 - 6 out of 6 Comments

  • JohnD 02/15/2011 11:55:04

  • DeveneyW 02/14/2011 13:47:29

    Great post John and I agree with COdy, you def need to hear John's story, impressive!  Good work!!
    If you have any good , easy to prepare recipes that are not posted on the site, can you please send them to me?? 
  • CodyR 02/14/2011 11:47:50

    John- you are without a doubt one of the most committed people I have ever met.  Thanks for sharing your story, and for those of you who have not heard how far John has actually come, you should definately ask him.
  • MikeB 02/13/2011 20:24:22

    Congratulations John!  The Whole 30 challenge looked much more difficult than the Kettlebell challenge - which you completed as well! 
  • JohnM 02/13/2011 15:34:16

  • marlam 02/13/2011 08:46:11

    Great blog and results - thank you for sharing!

    Where is the "forum" you talked about, I would love to read some of the post for ideas?


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