Our Winter 2020 Winner, Danny!
Say hello to Danny, our male Winter CSE Challenge Winner! We were completely blown away by his transformation pics and story! Isn't it amazing what the body can do in just a matter of weeks?! 💪🏻 We loved Danny's story because it’s relatable on so many levels. He decided at the end of 2019 he was going to dedicate himself to this challenge and man did he CRUSH IT! He now feels better, is performing better at work, and has a TON of energy to play with his kids. Danny's story just goes to show if you dedicate yourself to getting your health in check, all other areas of your life will improve! Congrats, Danny! You’re getting an all-expenses-paid trip to Walt Disney World!
You honestly almost broke me. Emotionally. Mentally. Physically. My family and I barely stumbled across your finish line, which is strange because you actually started out with so much joy and excitement. With 4 beautiful daughters in our family, we were so excited that you brought us a healthy baby boy on New Year’s Day. His birth coordinated with one of the coolest events of my life. As a woodworker who was raised by a professional calligrapher and crafting wizard, I felt like Making It on NBC, which is hosted by my two favorite actors from my all-time favorite TV show, Parks and Rec, was tailor-made for showcasing my personal skills. The producers also seemed to think so. Several fun Skype interviews led to a trip to LA for “Crafting Camp” with the 31 other finalists chosen out of the 6,000 people who applied. While going through that experience was definitely fun, I’m sure you remember how much it stung to get that close and not be chosen. Yep, that one took a minute to wear off. But, life moves on and summer brought blue skies. Your next little opportunity for personal growth was one that I honestly could have done without. One morning, as I was doing a filling on one of my dental patients, my secretary almost yanked me out of the chair to hand me a phone with my wife screaming on the other end. Our rental house was on fire. You know those days where you can remember every minute of what happened? Well, that day was definitely one of them. Luckily, no one was hurt and the firemen got it under control relatively quickly. They did need to pull the ceiling down, however. Asbestos rained down on most of our possessions, which was a real bummer when the insurance company found a way to deny coverage. You then, no doubt, remember what happened next. Some amazing friends gave us their basement and shared their food. Our kids kinda loved the fact that they got all new wardrobes from Target and got to have a month-long sleepover at their friends’ house. The rest of our community, our families, and one particularly generous friend wrapped their arms around us, dusted us off, and got us back on our feet. Unfortunately, the road our feet got planted on was not as smooth as we had hoped. As a small business owner, you’re never truly off the clock, and the end of summer brought lessons that, once again, kept us humble. But 2019, thank you for your fall! It gave us a chance to catch our breath and enjoy an improved outlook as your leaves turned every shade of beautiful. But, as they say, all things must inevitably come to an end. Your final days were the icing on the cake we never ordered. As we got together with my wife’s entire family for a Christmas ski vacation to Montana, you gave us the following parting gifts: a torn ACL for my wife, a broken leg for my oldest daughter, a broken collar bone for my middle daughter, and a flat tire in a snowstorm as we left the Urgent Care on the night of New Year’s Eve. That last week of the year really put the exclamation point on our newly-minted family mantra, “If we can survive 2019, we can survive anything!”
PS- The letter you sent at the end of the year that was waiting for me on my first day back to work in 2020, stating that my business had randomly been selected for a tax audit, was a dirty trick.
So CSE, through the lens of 2 months of hindsight, I can now look back on the events of 2019 and laugh. The laughs sometimes turn into ugly cries, but those tend to be equally therapeutic. My wife has been purchasing CSE plans for the last five years and I have traditionally been a fair-weather supporter.
I would eat the meals she prepared but could often be found cheating in between meals and my efforts at exercising were spotty, at best. My wife, who was very motivated to shed her baby weight and get in shape in 2020, suggested that we do the Winter CSE Challenge. Not wanting to squash her excitement, I agreed to participate, but I could honestly feel inside that my commitment level was going to be similar to previous attempts at clean eating and exercise.
That all changed in that final week of 2019. Seeing how dejected my wife was that she was not going to be able to exercise like she was hoping to help me decide that I was going to be all-in. So that’s what I did. I calculated my macros and for these last seven weeks, I’ve lived my best Clean Simple Eats life. Mixing meals from the Winter and Fall Meal Plans, I grew to love the feeling of being satisfied, but not full. We even created a few of our own delicious recipes using CSE principles.
Six days a week, I spent 30-60 minutes on the Peloton and began to hit PRs on a weekly basis. On top of that, I worked in some weight training, HIIT classes, CSE workouts, and a handful of personal training sessions. The increased energy that I felt each day translated into every aspect of my life. January was the best month we’ve ever had at my dental office and we saw a 35% improvement over January of last year. February looks like it will similarly be a banner month. I’m a better husband and father, I’m sleeping better, and I find myself spending more time on productive pursuits and less time on social media.
The last few years have been quite a journey of personal growth. When I bought my dental practice from a retiring dentist, I felt intense pressure to try and be just like the previous dentist and conduct the business as he did. I didn’t want the long-standing patients and staff to jump ship if things felt different. That pursuit led me to experience extreme bouts of anxiety and depression. Getting myself up out of bed in the morning became an increasingly difficult task. The negative effects could be felt and seen in every aspect of my life, most noticeably in my home.
My incredible wife was ever-understanding and helped me find resources that slowly helped me to live life and conduct my business as my authentic self. As I did, the gains in nearly every avenue of my life were palpable. The final piece of the puzzle that I long had neglected, was taking care of my body.
Clean Simple Eats helped me to fix that and the gains I had been noticing over the last six months have all been amplified beyond what I felt was possible. My wife feels it. My kids feel it. My staff and patients feel it. Most importantly, I feel it. I now get out of bed (with fewer aches and pains) excited for the day and for the possibilities that life holds. So for that, CSE, I want to offer a sincere and heartfelt Thank You!
I worked out six days a week for the entire challenge. The staple of my routine was a daily 30-60 minute Peloton ride. Most days, that ride occurred at 5:00 AM because that is when I could work it into my schedule. In the evenings, I would do weight training or CSE workouts from the back of the meal plan. Then, one day a week, I would do a HIIT class at a local gym. The teacher of that class also convinced me to come in for a handful of personal training sessions over the seven weeks.