Our Fall 2023 Challenge Winner, Hailey!
CSE taught me that healthy food can taste good, give you more sustainable energy, and honestly, my depression and anxiety has gotten so much better.
I have worked my entire life to make friends with my body. Over the last decade, I have struggled with a desire to set a good example of self-care and body positivity for my four daughters while maintaining a healthy shape without devoting my entire life to counting calories. It seemed like I couldn’t have it both ways.
As 2019 came to an end, I knew it was time for me to start making healthier choices. I was the heaviest I had ever been outside of pregnancy- in fact I was only 7 pounds away from being as heavy as I was when I was 9 months pregnant.
Even though I’d been working out consistently, I hadn’t been smart about my nutrition. I knew about macros and energy balance, but it just seemed like soooo much work! Calculating calories and macros for every recipe I made was exhausting. I felt like I had to give up altogether, or let tracking food become an obsession that consumed me. I wasn’t willing to devote that kind of time and energy to my physical appearance.
Last November, I was wrist-deep in a jar of Nutella when I stopped and thought, “This is not who I want to be.”
I realized that I had given up on my physical health under the guise of trying to maintain my mental health. I knew I needed to find a better balance.
*Enter the CSE challenge* Even though I had been following CSE on Insta and had even bought a few cookbooks, I hadn’t fully committed to the lifestyle because it seemed like so much work. Turns out it was not nearly as much work as I thought it was going to be. JJ and Erika have built a program that is pretty much fool-proof. All I have to do is weigh my food! Meal planning is my LEAST favorite chore, but having all these healthy and yummy recipes in one place made it super simple. I found my go-to breakfast (Hello, Choc PB Oatmeal!) and my fave smoothie (Sweet Cherry Almond Freeze.) Knowing exactly what I was going to eat every day, and having healthy recipes I was actually excited about making and eating made me wonder why I hadn’t started this two years ago! I kept thinking to myself, “What took you so long to do this?!?” I love that my kids have seen that eating healthy can be delicious, and that tracking food doesn’t have to take over your life. Even my husband, who didn’t sign up for the challenge, lost 22 pounds!
So, THANK YOU for motivating me to take control of my health again. I feel better and more energized than I have in a long time! I'm able to BRING IT to my workouts in a way I haven't done in a while. And THANK YOU for making a program that I can implement without feeling like it’s taking over my life!
I work out with Kristin Barrus and Tiffany Smith at RIOT conditioning. That class is on MWF. On the off days, I did yoga, went for runs or did home workouts using your WODS in the book or old RIOT workouts. It was 6 days a week. I did a lot of two-a-days because my husband would want to work out when he came home from work, and we are really good about supporting each other's health goals. I also tried to reach 15000 steps every day. That meant lots of longer walks with my dog and occasionally getting on the treadmill after RIOT.
Each season we host a free 7-week, community-based health and fitness challenge. We work hard, get our sweat on, and work together to motivate each other to reach our goals.