And in the end, there were 14. Six women and eight men decided to stick to this whole crazy paleo thing for the full 75 days. Yep, that’s right – logging in Evernote, charting their WODs, taking before and after pictures, etc.
Please join me in congratulating ALL of the finalists for continuing on for the 75 days. They are:
These 14 people lost a total of 127 inches in 75 days.
Let me say that again for emphasis: THESE 14 PEOPLE LOST A TOTAL OF 127 INCHES IN 75 DAYS!!
This competition was tight. An independent panel of 8 judges spanning all 4 BTB gym locations cast their votes on the winners. While there are certain measures that are objective, some things become subjective at the end (for example, someone’s before and after pictures and the differences seen there are open to the judges’ assessment). The crazy thing about this time? Pretty much every single one of the finalists had a vote cast for them as one of the finalists. In recognition of all the remaining BTB75 finalists, the powers-that-be at all BTB locations have decided to give ALL runners-up of the 75 a month of free training.
That said, in the end, we do have the BIG GRAND PRIZE FINAL 75 WINNERS! What did they win? $1000 cold hard cash. Each. We told you it would be a bigger and better prize than the 45!
For the women, our winner is:
Gwen was also our BTB45 ladies' winner, and continued her winning streak for the BTB75. Gwen lost a total of 10 inches, 9 pounds, PRed on Elizabeth, survived eating paleo while on the road and as a teacher, and even when moving in with her in-laws! Gwen and Alex were the only married couple in the contest, and in Alex’s words, having your spouse on board with you eating this way makes a huge difference!
For the men or winner is:
Ryan was one of our finalists last year when we did the BTB45 (we knew him as “red shorts guy.”). Ryan dropped 15 pounds, a total of 15.75 inches (along with adding ½ inch to both his arms), and had a real change in perspective on eating paleo since his initial experience last year. In his own words, “Something seems to have just "clicked" this time around. Maybe it's because I'm so close to achieving goals I've set for myself. Maybe it's just because I feel better than I ever have before. Regardless, this way of life ain’t goin’ nowhere.”
Congratulations to Gwen and Ryan!
But wait, there's more. The coolest thing in observing folks who gave this paleo thing a shot? Their individual realizations as to what works for them in their lives. I’d venture a guess that most of the BTB45/75 competitors have decided to stick with paleo, at least in an 80-20% notion – which is awesome.
If the above isn’t impressive to you, perhaps some observations straight from the finalists – their proud moments, or epiphanies through the contest - might be of interest.
“Despite my worries, apparently I am losing SIZE... not just weight, but actual inches. We tried Paleo last year and while my wife was strict-ish with it, I was about 65-70% for most of 2011. While I was getting into better shape, I didn't start seeing WOD results that actually surprised me until I went 90-95% strict paleo. The old saying of "you can't outwork a crappy diet" is 100% truth.”
“THE END.... And what a great journey it has been! It really blows my mind how far I have come and still take a second look when passing by a mirror. Who is this skinny guy? I haven't seen him since high school. What's been most encouraging is exercising my will power. Having gone through such a challenge with great success has me thinking what else I can do or improve.”
“I went from 80% paleo to 100% and that last commitment made all the difference in the world. Body changes that would have taken a year or so with regular diet and exercise, were expedited and accomplished in a couple months.”
“I learned soo much on this journey and I am feeling very good about myself and what I accomplished. I will not be logging my meals anymore, but I will be continuing the paleo program. But I don't see myself going back to eating grains or dairy outside of maybe an occasional greek or frozen yogurt. I think I have inspired no fewer than 10 other people to come on board to the paleo philosophy as they have observed my results and enthusiasm for the program.”
“The thing that really struck a chord with me is the eating of fat to curb my hunger. That really made huge difference for me in terms of not "junk eating." Although, I still have the sweet cravings from time to time. I am going to work in at least 1 serving of fruit a day.”
“I have noticed how much sweeter fruit is now. My God! That was a huge shock to me. Another shock was how much I have become alcohol intolerant. Holy crap! I had two tequila and sodas the other night, and I was way buzzed. Between taking 30 days with zero alcohol and getting older, I have become a complete lightweight. That should save me some $$$. The greatest thing for me is that I have discovered a healthy way of eating where ... I REALLY LIKE THE FOOD. How many times have I tried to diet, but I really hated the actual food? Or, the process of keeping up with it was too hard? I cannot count the number of times that I have tried a diet and the food was too boring or hard to keep up with. This was very very easy. I think this is something that I can do. “
“Actually, I am doing quite well. I have been surprised at how well this does for me. My clothes fit better, and I feel good. Since about the middle of January, I have not had any heartburn. That was a frequent experience for me.”
“Am I going to stick with it? Yes, this has been really easy for me and I feel good. I am going to go back to the RSB meals and re-up my strict program until June. I need to drop about 4 more inches in the waist to be satisfied. Now, I am sure that I can do it. “
“I feel like I have learned a way of healthy eating that I can take with me and use long-term. I am still excited about it.”
“Paleo breakfasts and lunches are so easy! I will certainly be continuing those easy meals. I will definitely continue to cook Jules' cauliflower mash, stuffed peppers, paleo pizza, and Brussels sprouts... And spaghetti squash - those were some of my favorites!!”
“My proudest moment: Actually realizing I lasted 75 days. I figured I would have fallen off the wagon along time ago but I'm really planning on keeping this up. Amazing that at the end of my 75 days I went to the grocery store and without even thinking twice bought all Paleo groceries and proceeded to make myself dinner without even a thought of going crazy and eating everything I dropped from my diet the last 75 days!”
“There are a few things that I will carry on from this 75 day Paleo challenge. First is the knowledge I have gained about nutrition and what the body truly needs and what the body does not need. Second is the frustration that wonders where I would be today if I would have done this 15 years ago. How much healthier I would be and how much better my athletic performance would be. I am not one to live in the past so I am very excited of what the future holds and I know now that I am in control."
“My proudest moment in this journey: sticking with it for 75 days and zipping zippers and buttoning buttons that haven't zipped or buttoned in months. I wish I could say it was a PR, a muscle up, or an incredible decrease in time on my benchmark WOD, but it's not. Maybe 75 more days from now it will be! Hope springs eternal.”
The awesome news for anyone reading this who wasn’t part of the BTB45/75 is that you’re only a meal away from starting your paleo journey. There are a ton of resources here on the BTB site, and out there on the big old internet machine. BTB will do another 45 challenge in the future, but until then, why wait to start your own personal healthy eating? If you might ditch the heartburn, drop some inches, clear your skin, feel good throughout the day, and start seeing some PRs, don’t you think it might be worth you giving this a shot?
Stay tuned for follow-up stories from our 75 finalists. Until then, please congratulate all those whose names you see above for giving this paleo thing a shot for 75 days, and ask them for some tips and tricks – they’re full of knowledge, and pretty darn awesome paleo examples!