August 09, 2019

Announcing Our Summer 2019 Challenge Winners!

After reading hundreds of transformation stories from everyone who participated in our Summer CSE Challenge, we finally have picked the two grand prize winners. We literally sobbed while reading some of these stories - you are SO inspiring to us. YOU are the reason we do what we do!

Our grand prize for our Summer 2019 challenge: a 4-night, 5-day vacation to Poipu, Kauai at the Koloa Landing Resort + $1,000 cash prize! And we are SO excited to give these prizes away to our two first place (male and female) winners...

Congrats Tobe!

Tobe’s journey is one of self realization and ACTION! When those two things work together, they make a powerful pair. His story really tugged on our heart strings because THIS is why and what it’s ALL about 🙌🏻 JJ and I were both 😭😭 while reading his journey. We are so proud of this dude!

Hear from his own words:

Last fall my wife and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary with a trip to Kauai. It was a magical time and a magical place and as we sat on the back deck of the condo one early morning I said to her, “We should come here every year and make a tradition of it.”

In my mind’s eye I could see many years of happy vacations with just the two of us, celebrating new milestones in our lives…kids going off to college, attending their weddings, grandkids, retirement, and so on.

My revery was broken when she said, “If you want to come here every year for the next 30 or 40 years you are going to have to take better care of yourself and get healthy. You may not be around if you keep up how you are living.”

She was absolutely right of course and I realized I was on a dangerous path of self-destruction. With every intention of getting healthy, I started and stopped, started and stopped. It was a vicious cycle that I just couldn’t seem to break.

Finally one day, my wife told me about the upcoming CSE summer challenge.

“I know you can do this,” she said. “Let’s do it together and I will support you every step of the way.”

We purchased the plan, went grocery shopping, meal-prepped, and put the program into action. A week in I had lost 6lbs, had LOVED the meals, and began exercising again. It almost seemed too easy.

I was addicted to Diet Coke, drinking upwards of 6-8 cans a day. I was addicted to sugar. To starchy carbs. To fast food.

I quit it all cold turkey. Of course the cravings were pretty intense sometimes, but I just kept thinking back to that morning in Hawaii and the desire I had to live my very best life, for as long as I possibly could. That never failed to bring me back to the present task at hand. The meals kept me satiated and full and the cravings have completely subsisted.

As the weeks went by and the weight continued to fall off, my clothes began to fit more loosely and then didn’t fit at all. I went into my closet to find my “skinny clothes.” I began wearing jeans and shirts that I hadn’t worn in 10 years. I was actually doing it!

As I watched my body change I realized that an even bigger change was taking place. It was in my mind. My confidence increased every week that passed and I realized that I was living a lifestyle that I could continue to live forever.

What JJ and Erika have created is more than a simple challenge. It is much more than meal plans and workout regimens.

It is hope. The CSE program gave me hope when I felt there was none. It gave me self-confidence at my lowest point. It gave me the boost I needed when I had all but given up. It was the spark I needed to just start. And once started, the spark became a flame and the flame became a roaring fire that will never go out.

When I found out that the winner of the challenge would get a trip to Kauai I felt like this challenge was created especially for me. That was where this journey really started, on that deck with my wife. Like a message from the heavens, I understood that this path was the path that I needed to follow.

I can’t begin to thank you guys enough for lighting that little spark and providing me a way to change my life and be the very best version of myself that I can be. Whether I win the challenge or not, I have won something far greater. I have won my life back.

Congrats Tamara!

Tamara’s story is relatable on SO MANY LEVELS. We loved seeing her apply small, but important habits into her life to achieve BIG results! Once she started fueling her mind and body with good food, her state of mind completely changed. Making better choices in the kitchen and getting rid of excuses propelled her to get active and do the daily workouts in the back of the Meal Plan even when she didn’t want to. SHE TOTALLY CRUSHED IT.💪🏻

Hear from her own words:

I can’t tell you how excited I was to take these pictures. This is the third time I have entered the CSE challenges, but the first time I have followed through and stuck it out until the end. I’m sure I can’t be the only one who has sent in before pictures and then disappeared. 👻🤷🏻‍♀️

BEFORE- I was introduced to CSE a year and half ago by a good friend. Honestly when she first showed me some of the foods she was eating I thought, “she’s eating pasta, she’s not gonna lose weight” (it was the tuna casserole-soo good!) My relationship with food was so off. Ten years ago in college I went on a strict diet eating nothing but lean meats, certain veggies, brown rice and oatmeal. That was literally it. No salt, no dairy, small portions. I lost 41lbs (went from 176 to 135). Eating like that obviously wasn’t sustainable for me and I quickly gained it back, but in my mind I took on the thought that certain foods were so bad I couldn’t touch them, and others were okay. I wouldn’t touch a slice of pizza, but I would binge on five bowls of oatmeal with fake sugar and unsweetened coco powder in it. I would turn down social events/ going out to eat because I didn’t want to deal with finding something I thought was healthy enough for me. Basically for ten years I tried to keep this really strict diet that got me skinny in college but would end up cheating most days and then the cycle of “I blew it today, let’s start again next day/week/month” would continue.


So when my friend introduced me to CSE last year I figured what the heck? I tried it for a month and lost 10 pounds on the spring plan! I was so shocked, I couldn’t believe I was eating waffles with peanut butter and losing weight. I bought all the meal plans and joined the challenges, but somehow would end up falling off the wagon. There were just too many excuses. A 2.5 hr commute to/from work after a ten hour day meant i didn’t have energy to work out. It seemed like there was always free food around that I couldn’t say no to. It’s free! I started dating my current fiancé and eating out just became the norm. And right back to square one, story of my life.


When this summer challenge started I knew I wanted to be a part of it. All my clothes were tight and uncomfortable and I was frustrated with myself. My wedding date was/is approaching and I was dreading going dress shopping. For this challenge I knew I just had to go all in, 100% and not give up, no matter how free the food was or how tired I was to work out. My fiancé, the most supportive, perfect guy I know agreed to go all in with me, and that’s when it really clicked. Doing it together made all the difference for me. He loves all the meals and snacks. We decided to do our high interval workouts in the morning and at night go for walks. It helped to get the workout done in the morning because I feel like that set me up to stay on track for the day. Whenever one of us hit a milestone like losing another pound or being able to do all the reps in a HIIT workout full out, or fitting into old jeans or even just showing each other how much we were sweating it would motivate me to go even harder. I’m actually really sad the challenge is over. In the past 7 weeks I went from 177lbs to 156lbs, I lost an inch in my neck and 6 inches in my thighs. I’m actually really excited to go dress shopping now. It has been a total game changer. My coworkers are always asking me what I’m eating for lunch, that it smells so good and I’m always excited to tell people about CSE and how awesome and easy this plan is. It’s unlike any other plan to me because it’s sustainable. I hope you guys keep stocking up on those powders cause right here, you have a player for life! #CSEtribe thank you so much Erika and JJ ❤️


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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.

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