They did it! Our annual Rock Your Jeans Challenge has come to an end. Ten-weeks, ten women, a pandemic and we’re excited to announce all of our challengers rock their jeans! We couldn’t be prouder. How’d they do it? We’re not going to tell you in our words (boring!) we’re going to share it through theirs.
“Honestly, I am so surprised at how this challenge has helped me change mentally and physically over the past few weeks. I am so genuine when I mean it has changed my mentality towards living a healthier life. … I really thought that this wasn’t something that was attainable for me. I am so much more confident in my food choices and I know what my plate should look like (and what kind of snacks are actually helpful!). I have become more conscientious when it comes to what I am putting in my mouth and I am looking at food as fuel and how it can help me.”
Michelle (from Westcoast Nutrition): Knowing that 10 women learned that they can eat more, enjoy food, and still see progress in how their body looks and feels makes my heart so happy!
One of the key tenets of the nutrition program is to shift the focus from eating less to getting more of the good stuff. Getting enough key nutrients through consistent, balanced plates is essential to supporting a healthier metabolism, fueling workouts, and boosting energy – despite being contrary to most fat loss advice. Our bodies thrive when we get enough protein, fat, and micro-nutrients, and fat loss becomes easier (and more enjoyable!) when we’re not ruled by high hunger hormones or having to make food choices on the fly throughout the week.
Getting clear on what balance looks like with real foods, and then building the skills to plan and prep in a way that made eating well during the week easier, was a key part of our education and brainstorming in the Facebook community in the first few weeks. Meal planning templates, tips, and recipe sharing helped everyone bridge the gap between what they know they should be eating to actually being prepared enough to eat that way throughout the week. Side benefit? Balanced, filling meals meant our participants were less hungry and more energized for their workouts.
Most diets also require strict “no cheating” periods, which as most of us can attest to, only lasts so long. It’s human to want to eat delicious foods, and we also wanted to build sustainable habits so that our participants can break the frustrating weight gain – loss cycle. So I also taught our participants to intentionally plan for treats, so that when the 10-weeks were over, they have a clear structure to keep following that actually holds up to real-world challenges, social events, cravings, and bumps in the road. How much of a relief is it to know that you can enjoy your favorite foods and still feel amazing in your jeans?
“My fitness regime has also changed and I’m so grateful for that. I have leaned away from my old habits and have learned how to appropriately push myself and I feel like this is something I could do long-term.”
Sasha (from True North Strength and Fitness): Yes! This is what the Rock Your Jeans Challenge is all about learning what works for you, and your body and being able to keep it up long after the 10-weeks is over.
Too often when it comes to fat loss women decide they need to make a change and immediately start doing more cardio workouts like running, biking, or [insert any other piece of cardiovascular equipment here]. The problem with this is two-fold: the first ain’t nobody got time for that and the second is prioritizing a workout with the least bang-for-the-buck for fat loss.
As the women in the challenge learned if fat loss is your goal your priority should be two to three strength workouts per week, one to two metabolic conditioning workouts and last but not least, a cardiovascular workout.
Strength workouts are a top priority because they help build muscles thereby boosting your metabolism; muscle tissue burns more calories – even when you’re at rest – than body fat.
Metabolic conditioning workouts are second in line because of something called E.P.O.C, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption which refers to the amount of oxygen used by the body to return itself to its pre-exercise state. Metabolic conditioning workouts have been shown to have high EPOC, meaning they not only optimize fat burning during the workout they also keep our metabolisms revved up anywhere from 15 minutes up to 48 hours afterward.
Last but not least is cardio. This is where most women start when it comes to fat loss and although there are a whole host of benefits (improved recovery, sleep quality, an increase in your body’s ability to deal with stress) when it comes to fat loss, this type of workout has the least bang-for-the-buck – it contributes to your overall energy expenditure but you don’t build muscles, like in the strength workouts, and your metabolism doesn’t stay revved up like after completing a metabolic conditioning workout.
Learning how and why to prioritize their workouts gave the women in the challenge the ability to stay consistent with their training. Because the unsexy truth is this, consistency gets results and you can only be consistent if you’re doing something that is sustainable. Meaning if you try to achieve fat loss by thinking more is better you have a limited amount of time before you, and your schedule can’t keep up, and as I said above, ain’t nobody got time for that. So here’s to training smarter, not harder, and figuring out what works for you, and your body for the long term.
“During this challenge, I have ultimately been surprised that eating MORE food has led me to lose weight. I was always under the impression that ‘less was more’ when it came to weight loss and didn’t so much consider how what I was eating affected my mood, energy levels, hunger levels, and attitude towards eating. I’m a huge foodie and always thought that if I indulged I couldn’t lose weight but through this challenge, I’ve realized that that’s not the case at all. I know I need to be better about planning my treats (to be honest that was something I failed at miserably these past 10-weeks). I was absolutely more aware of what treats I was having and definitely didn’t exceed the planned or unplanned but planning ahead is something that I know held me back.”
Michelle (from Westcoast Nutrition): Something we see repeatedly from participants as they enter the challenge is the idea that to be successful with fat loss “less is more” when it comes to food, and “more is more” when it comes to cardio. What they end up discovering is that they can eat and enjoy the foods they love, and actually be MORE successful.
By teaching our participants to tune in to their body’s cues around food, types of hunger, and energy they were able to start learning to regulate their own portion control, get clarity on their triggers and focus on what they needed to work on most. For some that was planning and prepping meals ahead of time and self-care instead of emotional eating, and for others, it was eating more to fuel workouts or taking a rest day so they weren’t so hungry and tried later. Shifting the mindset from one of complete restriction and quick fixes towards sustainable, personalized habits is what translates to real long-lasting results.
Sasha (from True North Strength and Fitness): I think the above-shared experience from one of our challengers really speaks to the mission of the Rock Your Jeans Challenge. I actually see the reflection of knowing they need to be better at planning their treats, not as a “miserable failure” but rather a huge win. Say what?
Yes, the Rock Your Jeans Challenge is a female-focused challenge with the goal of having participants drop two sizes in 10-weeks, and without a doubt, we wanted that for every woman who signed up but we also wanted them to walk away with habits around fitness and food that would serve them for the rest of their lives.
This reflection warms my heart so much because this woman has identified a habit she knows could make her life better, and the first step to figuring out what habits to introduce into your life, is figuring out what habits you’re currently implementing in your life, and that is exactly what she did.
So in all honesty, I see the recognition that planning ahead is something she would benefit from as a win, even if it didn’t occur over the challenge because good habits don’t have a timeline, right?
“Once again the RYJC has whipped my butt into shape (literally and metaphorically). It’s such a good body, and habit reset for when you get off track. I’m. thankful to fit my jeans, and have overcome the challenges that this program brings. Learning how to eat mindfully, workout productively, and think happy healthy thoughts are clearly crucial to any. lifestyle change and the RYJC does all of that! My body has changed. I feel lighter and STRONGER and I love it. I love that I not only fit my jeans, but I have become stronger. I am so pleased with the physical and emotional gains from this challenge. Thanks, Michelle and Sasha.”
Reading these testimonials filled both our hearts. After 10-weeks with ten amazing women, we are thrilled to know that the kick-butt community and positive approach to food and fitness helped our challengers feel more at home in their bodies, stronger in and out of the gym, and confident about their food choices. Building happier, healthier women is what we’re all about!
If you have any questions about the challenge or how we can help you now, feel free to reach out. You can connect with us at the email below. We would love to chat!
Sasha [email protected]
Michelle [email protected]