Alright gang, it’s the week before the Whole Life Challenge begins. This is the calm before the storm. Remember in college when you left two advil and a glass of water by your bed before going out to drink shitty beer while inverted? Yea, it’s kind of like that time. (that was for you KJ, both the planning aspect and the alcohol aspect…high five!)
So what’s a CPC’er to do this week? Well, here’s what I’m going to do and what Eric is going to do. This will be our 5th time doing a nutritional challenge and due to the added factors involved in this one, planning will continue to be paramount.
Here are the SOP’s for this coming week that we recommend before every challenge, with a few added ones.
1) Begin talking to people that have done one of our Paleo challenges before.
Talk to your coaches and your community folks, that’s why we all do this together. This month the power that exists from being a part of a health-oriented community will become even more apparent and should be felt by everyone – no one is doing this alone.
Hearing other people’s experiences; what they went through, how long it lasted, how they felt afterwards, how they got through the cravings for all things doughy and sugary, (like donuts, which are f-ing awesome, but equally evil) will help you relate to what you’re going through yourself.
Lean on the OG, they’ve been here the longest and are wise in the ways of the world.
2) Begin accumulating recipes. Today.
Truth be told, about a week into our first challenge a few years back, I thought that Paleo meant “living on salad with no dressing and eating Lara bars.” Fortunately for me, Lindsay Klipping got concerned about Eric and my well-being and dropped off a weekly Tupperware container filled with enough Paleo goodness to keep us alive for the following 7 days.
It wasn’t until we actually had a few recipes under our belts and realized that there were actually Paleo meals that we enjoyed, that things got easier for us.
The earlier you can enjoy what you’re eating and can enjoy it to the point of saying, “Wow, I like the paleo version of pancakes better than the non paleo version of pancakes” the better you’re going to be.
I still have meals that we figured out during the first challenge that I enjoy now. This is big.
3) Begin getting everything that you do not want to eat during the challenge out of your house. NOW.
This is also VERY IMPORTANT! There’s sort of a general rule about food I believe holds true, especially during challenges – “If it’s not in your kitchen, and you don’t buy it, and no one gives it to you, and it doesn’t manifest itself in your presence magically, then it’s going to be hard for you to eat it.”
Deep I know, but also very true. This is definitely the week to throw out, donate, and/or ask your neighbor to hold onto or eat yourself – everything that you don’t want to eat after next week.
We’ve found that most people, ourselves included, love to spend the day and night before (and right after) the challenges gorging themselves on crap that they wouldn’t eat otherwise.
Although there is some kind of pseudo ceremonial aspect to doing this, it makes the first 3 days of the challenge a lot more disruptive than they have to be since not only are we adjusting to cleaner eating habits, but we’re also sweating out Yellow #5 from the Skittles. Don’t do this – trust us.
Please make no mistake about it, you will be tempted to grab a beer if it’s just stuck in the back of the fridge. You will be tempted to eat the leftover tortillas that you left in the cabinet. This will happen. It won’t be on day 1 or day 3, but inevitably, you’re going to come home late, not have anything cooked, be tired and cranky and that’s when it happens.
Make it easy on yourselves and simply remove the non- Paleo temptations now before hunger and fatigue turn them into something that you wake up fantasizing about – like eating chocolate donuts off of Shakira.
4) Go Shopping.
The universe abhors a vacuum so now is the time to fill your house full of nutritious goodness. Hit the Farmer’s Market, hit Tri County, if you make enough money, hit Whole Foods and stock up.
You’re far more likely to eat well and have less stress with a fridge full of veggies than an empty one. Running to the store three times a day to get food is going to get old, so stock up!
5) Come up with a plan for the tough times.
Since this challenge is more than 30 days, and is designed to make you bump up against weddings and other events, it’s important to look out at your calendar at what’s coming up.
Have a wedding that you’re going to attend? Come up with a plan now on how you’re going to handle the day. Have a trip to Hong Kong planned for work? Come up with a plan now on what snacks and bars you can pack for the trip.
OR – figure out if you’re going to write those days off because life isn’t perfect and neither are you supposed to be for this challenge. That all being said, have an idea going in on what you’re plan is so that you don’t show up with an idea of staying strict, but because you were pressed for time and now are starving are at the mercy of whatever the caterers brought.
Plans are good.
5 Rounds for reps:
Max Bodyweight Bench Press (Women = 60% of bodyweight)
3 Min rest