**Editor’s note: The winners of our awesome Slim for the Chimney Partner Challenge were voted on by all of the contestants in the challenge – and we found ourselves with a First Place tie! Winners Edith Moreno and her co-worker, Brenda Stevens, shared First Place honors with Gary Martin and Jim (Pops) Martin!**
Jaimie: Way to go ladies! Tied for first place! How awesome does that feel?
Edith: AMAZING. Just a little bummed there was a tie! Who likes to share first place? haha. Anyway, if felt so good to lose so much weight during the most indulgent time of the year.
Jaimie: You both had some major transformations over the 8 week challenge; what was your favorite part and least favorite part of the challenge?
Edith: My favorite part was when I actually began to notice some results. It was self-inspiring and it motivated me to keep going the extra mile in my workouts and follow my strict nutrition plan. My least favorite part was explaining to my family, friends, and co-workers why I couldn’t eat certain things. It was SO hard to say no to delicious holiday foods. I’m mexican, so it was hard to turn down tamale season!
Jaimie: What did you find most difficult during the challenge and what tips/tricks did you use to get you past the hard parts?
Edith: I attended the nutrition clinic and learned about how cortisol regulates energy and how it is highly correlated to weight gain/loss. Caffeine and carbs cause cortisol imbalances. After learning this, it all made sense. I always thought I ate healthy since I never ate any processed foods and I worked out fairly often, but my diet was all wrong. I stopped having coffee in the morning and switched to herbal tea, went 100% paleo (with a few cheat days here and there), and was very careful about when I ate my carbs (fruit). Giving up coffee was definitely difficult, but it was mainly the taste I missed so I had decaf coffee whenever I craved some. Giving up/limiting the amount of fruit I ate was the most difficult. I love fruit. It was my candy so it was hard not to have it for breakfast or even lunch. I only had it once in a while as an afternoon snack or around dinnertime. As far as tips go CJ talked about measurable and attainable goals during our nutrition clinic, so make your goals measurable and attainable! I set small, reasonable goals for myself throughout the challenge (like stay after class and do 50 sit ups or work on wall climbs for 3 min). It’s the little things that I did that made the difference!
Jaimie: Obviously you made some diet/nutritional changes to get you to the winning spot; do you plan to stick to this new way of eating or have you started any new challenges?
Edith: All I ate was BACON. Bacon won me this competition. So thank you bacon…haha. No, but seriously I do plan on sticking with it. I’ve never ever felt this good. For the first time in my life I’m comfortable with my body and I’ve never been so strong. I’m SO ready for spring rugby season!
Jaimie: What is your favorite recipe or food that you cannot live without from your new way of eating?
Edith: Roasted brussel sprouts (the ultimate hipster vegetable).
Jaimie: If you were any animal in the animal kingdom, which animal were you before the change and which animal are you now?
Edith: Tough question…but I would say I was a panda before the competition. And after….maybe a honey badger! Honey badger don’t care and it’s pretty badass.