Jaimie: Wow – 1st place tied podium finish! How awesome is that! Tell us how you feel about your progress from this challenge.
Gary: Well, it feels good to start and begin working my way back into a healthier lifestyle. I have let myself get so out of shape and I needed to do something. This was a good beginning. I still have a long way to go.
Pops: Honestly, I was really surprised. Gary did great and I felt guilty that I wasn’t such a good partner for him. To be tied for the first spot when there were so many folks that had such amazing results is a humbling experience.
Jaimie: You both had some major transformations over the 8 week challenge; what was your favorite part and least favorite part of the challenge?
Gary: I am no big fan of metcon work. Few things make me cringe like burpees or running. It just feels good to move, so I would say that my favorite part of this challenge was the completion of each and every workout. I walked in to every session with Michele, feeling an overpowering need to flee. Problem was I was too slow and fat to get away. I forced myself to get the work done. It is odd that my most favorite and least favorite part of the challenge was the same.
Pops: I think my favorite part was getting active again. My workouts hadn’t been a priority in the six months leading up to the challenge. This was a good excuse to refocus. I train with Michele 4 days a week now and get to workout with Gary two of those times so it’s been fun. The least favorite? Looking at my before pictures and realizing that the guy in the photos was me. Not a very uplifting experience.
Jaimie: What did you find most difficult during the challenge and what tips/tricks did you use to get you past the hard parts?
Gary: Food is a major issue for me. Finding an easy and clean food source was critical. Pete’s Paleo is a saviour. If I have to make it, I won’t. I will eat perfectly if all I have to do is warm it up and eat it. Pete’s made it so easy to eat without guilt.
Pops: Difficult? I think I had it pretty easy. I’d get cravings and hunger pangs when I know that I wasn’t hungry but just wanted to snack. Snacks kill me. So I’d just brew a cup of tea and in a while the craving would go away. I gotta say, I drank a LOT of tea!
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?
Gary: For me, it is about eliminating the bad stuff and not concentrating on finding the good stuff. Sugar is an issue for me. So I try and stay away from processed sugars as much as possible. I find that it is easier to create a small list of things to remove from my diet than it is to create a big long list of things I can eat. It gives me less to think about and keeps things simple.
Pops: You know Jaimie, I am probably the luckiest guy in the world. Karen is such a great cook and I eat very few things that she doesn’t prepare. Almost all of my success on this journey is because she makes great healthy meals. That means I eat great healthy food. I can’t take any credit for that. I know Karen is a believer in good nutrition. As long as she keeps cooking it, I’ll keep eating it. The only thing I cut down on was my evening glass of wine. (Courtney calls it a “generous pour” which means I get two glass from one bottle.) Now I save it for the weekend. I also cut back pretty dramatically on the mountain of almonds and cashews I was eating. I found that eating them was more of a habit than anything else. (Here comes another cup of tea ).
Jaimie: What is your favorite recipe or food that you cannot live without from your new way of eating?
Gary: I love fatty meat. I love to make little slider patties and keep them in the fridge. Every time I get really hungry I can grab one. It feels like a cheat and it keeps me from going after the really bad stuff. There really isn’t a recipe, but it is still one of my favorite things to eat.
Pops: Pretty much anything Karen cooks but I do love her spaghetti made with kelp noodles and her famous Pumpkin Oats.
Jaimie: If you were any animal in the animal kingdom, which animal were you before the change and which animal are you now?
Gary: Before: Flounder (think Animal House not animal kingdom) After: Three-toed sloth; big, slow, hairy and strong.
Pops: Where the heck did you come up with that? Hmmm… I went from a walrus to a seal, working my way to an otter.