Liz is a paramedic who has actually been around CrossFit for years. She trained back when the old head quarters still existed and after a break from CrossFit returned as a CrossFit West Santa Cruz member. Always fun to be around, the life of the party, and way stronger and technically sound than ever she gives herself credit for, Liz saw dramatic results (which she also down plays but the rest of us are amazed by) after committing to the Paleo Challenge. She also loves her boyfriend 🙂

I am one of those people that has always battled with weight and have tried everything under then sun in an attempt to loose weight and this was my main goal when I started the Paleo Challenge. When I began Crossfit about 5 months ago I knew that I was out of shape and that I was totally uncomfortable in my own skin ( I am still working on that one) and was mortified when I gained 5 lbs in my first month ( I know it was muscle). When the idea of the Paleo Challenge was posed my first reaction was, that I wanted to try it but that my other half would never do it and I couldn’t do it alone… Thanks to the wonderful coaches that we all enjoy every day Brad was willing to take the plunge as well. At first I figured I could do anything for three months but figured once the three months past I would be over it( I even planned to make home made lasagna after the last day)! I thought that I ate ok, not great but ok, but I quickly learned that ok is not good enough. My first couple days on the Paleo Challenge was really hard, I laid on the couch and complained that I wanted chocolate (and I mean milk chocolate), cheese, bread basically all the things that we were not allowed to have. It took me about three days to get over those cravings and I have to admit that I felt horrible at first, super sluggish and all I wanted to do was sleep. The thing is when we made the commitment to Paleo we really made the commitment I gave away everything that I could to our friends, all the cereal, crackers, cheese ( loved cheese) I also went straight to the store and bought only salt free seasonings ( I read somewhere that we shouldn’t have it on Paleo) and many different cooking oils. I remember having dinner with Jesse and Rachel about half way through the challenge and having Rachel think we were crazy strict ( we were not that strict) but I felt that if I made the commitment that I should fallow through and hoped that I would have results to justify what i felt that i had “given up.” While doing this challenge I found myself, for the first time since high school ( and this time in a healthy way), reading labels to make sure there was nothing “off limits” and most of the time cooking from scratch ( even at work which had people calling me “a good little cavewoman”).

Really the best thing I have noticed while doing the Paleo Challenge is a self confidence that I lost! I have always been a competitive athlete but some time around my senior year of college I lost my sense of self, I was out of shape and I guess started to feel like I was done being an athlete and unfortunately gave up on myself. I knew that I needed to make a change in my life when my job became harder than I thought it should be, patients that should not have been heavy were! I didn’t know where that change would come from but fortunately for me Lisette Brought me to meet everyone at the CFWSC Box and I fell in love. It was approximately one moth into my new Crossfit adventure( I used to to XFit at central along time ago) that the Paleo challenge was posed. It didn’t take long on the Paleo diet for me to notice that every day I was able to do something that I couldn’t do the day before and recently I was even able to do pull ups for the first time ever. Since starting back at Crossfit and doing this paleo challenge I have gained a sense of self that drives me to want to be a more active person. I have learned that I like myself so much better when I workout and crossfit gives me an outlet to be my best. I can not say that the Paleo Challenge is the only thing that has changed recently in my life ( i was kind of a sloth until about a month prior to the Challenge and now I am working out at least 3-4 days a week) but I can admit that I truly believe that it has helped me so much ( if nothing else it has kept me on track with a goal in mind and made me realize that eating ok is not good enough).

After about a week I began to notice that PR’s were occurring almost every week and that workouts just didn’t seem as difficult, not saying that I was any less tired, I still spend a few minutes on the floor after EVERY workout, but the type of pain/tired I feel during/after workouts is different. I also found that recovery from workouts was much easier, not as much muscle pain and tightness after workouts. On the flip side when we didn’t eat Paleo I felt bad at workouts, possibly due to the stomach ache that lasted until I was able to get rid of the cheat food, if you know what I mean or possibly the food choices were just not conducive to effectively working out.

During this challenge I have lived by the mantra “stupid paleo.. but it works” and as much as I hate to admit it Paleo does work. At first I was using Paleo as a way to kick start weight loss now I have accepted that its a way of life. While I am sure that I will not be SUPER strict about Paleo forever I do not plan on having non-Paleo foods in the house and understand that a “cheat day” is normal but I don’t want to ever go back to the place I was at before the Paleo Challenge began. In closing I want to thank everyone that has supported me over these past few months I do feel like a totally different person ( sorry Joc that I still hate taking pictures alone, I will work on it its just gonna take a while). I never could have imagined that I would have experienced such gains in strength, times for WOD’s and the respect for myself that I am once again experiencing in myself. THANK YOU!

Helen: 14:37 (35 / Jmp PU)/9:36 (35/JP)
Grace: 3:59 (85) / 3:12 (85)
Deadlift: 205 / 225
Pull Ups: 8 (grn band) / 15 (grn band)
*although something clicked for Liz a few days ago on the kipping Pull Up and she did 80 full kipping pull ups in a pull up ladder wod!

CrossFit West Beach WOD and BBQ tomorrow 1PM! Seabright Beach in front of the Whale Museum! BYOB and Food! Come join the fun guys while the sun is still here!

Workout: by Sam
Alternate movements each set
7×3 Deadlift
7×3 Push Press

3 times
400m Sprint- each for time w/recovery

Plate Situps
(during “rest” hold plank position)