30 Day Challenge: Final Results

In Eat WellFitness |

On February 14, 2018

My month long challenge with friend and personal trainer John Ferraro of Fast Pace Personal Training is up and the results are in!


Before I dive into the numbers, a little reflection. I honestly didn’t end up diligently following the macro nutrition plan. Part of this is my inherent dislike of counting, weighing and measuring. Another part was the 6 small meals a day structure. I tried hard for about 10 days and then pretty much went back to 3 slightly smaller meals plus 2 snacks. I did however, successfully make it all 30 days without any alcohol (read hard cider, my love) and refined sugar.

I also cut out all gluten-free grains except just a few 1/4 cups of white rice here and there after harder workouts. And, as noted in my week 1 review I quit coffee for 2 weeks. I then made the decision to add half-caff back in around day 14. It is a stimulant and diuretic after all, and part of the challenge is aesthetic change (pre-post pictures). So this was strategic as well as…well I just wanted coffee back!

As for the workouts, I added a lot of John’s training into my CrossFit Open preparation. This included some bodybuilding sessions and running / cardio that hadn’t been anywhere near my usual training. Considering one of my goals was improving CrossFit Open type of workouts, I was pleased to shave 1 minute and 45 seconds off a recent re-test of last year’s 17.5 workout.

The Results

Probably should have gotten a tan 🙂

Weight: 8 lbs. loss (200 to 192 lbs.)
Cardiovascular Fitness: As noted above, really feeling improved and trending up.
Mental: I noticed a lot less afternoon fatigue.
Aches & Pains: I’ve had right elbow pain for almost 6 months. I’ve been rehabbing and treating the heck out it, but 2 weeks into cutting all the excess sugar and alcohol out seems to have done the trick. I’m feeling 90% improvement.
Aesthetic: Hey there abs! I definitely have leaned out, most notably through my abdominals and neck and face.

Things I would do differently

I’m kicking myself for not at least doing a pre/post body composition assessment. Even a skin fold test would have been nice to be able to compare. I also would have prepared a week in advance. That’s one of the things I like most about Diane’s 21 Day Sugar Detox. She has a whole section on the pre-detox including shopping and pantry clean out. As note din my week 1 post, I got off to a slow start cutting down on excess fat simply because I had so much delicious food in the fridge I didn’t want to waste.

Final Thoughts

Probably should be more relaxed in the post for fairness – but oh well 🙂

I think the thing about challenges I like most is the experimental aspect. Set some variables and parameters, put in the work, note the results.

This is the second time I ‘committed’ to a macros plan and didn’t follow through. I think it’s pretty safe to say I don’t care for it. I can see how it absolutely works for physique or bodybuilding competition preparation. And I’m sure certain personality type will take right to it. But my focus is on sustainable healthy eating for the long haul.

Despite my lack of adherence on the macros, I’m quite happy with the results.

John accepts remote participants in his challenges. Give him a shout if you’re interested.

One last note on transformations and pre-post pictures. I’m definitely not a big fan of putting a huge emphasis on the aesthetics side of things. There’s so much fudging that can go on in pictures anyway. Slouching/flexing/lighting/tans. And as much as leaning out was nice, my goals were much more focused on fitness than abs. Ironically, the thing I was most proud of was abstaining from alcohol for 30 days. Even though I’m only a 2 drink / week guy, this felt like a huge accomplishment and my body thanked me. The point being, if you’re going into a challenge make sure your priorities are set. As I talked about in a previous post, that the purpose behind the change is almost more important than anything else.

Yours in Strength & Health,

Dr. Scott Mills

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Last modified: February 13, 2018