Tag Archives: Member Perks

CFCC BCCC Winners!

29 Feb

This past challenge was another game changer – this time, for over 30 participants who, over the course of just 30 days, dramatically changed their health, body composition, and subsequently, their performance!

I could not be happier with the results of the last challenge – everyone learned a lot and put in a ton of work to get the changes they did.  With the growth of this part of CFCC, the prizes have increased! This time around I decided to give out two first place prizes (each receiving $100 gift cards to Lululemon, a stash of Primal Pacs, and a terrific pair of CFCC socks), two second place prizes ($50 gift card), and two third place prizes ($50 gift card).  And of course, the real prize, is knowing you’ve created this incredible change in yourself!

You’ll find, as I did, that excellence boils down to a simple truth: you’ve got to reject where you are before you can get where you’re going. You’ve got to be better than you were yesterday.

-Jon Gilson

More than anything, I feel that this challenge has shown me the importance of the personalization of this process for our membership base – EVERY person is different and requires a different psychological and physiological approach.  There is no cookie cutter way to make change for everyone and ultimately, it is YOUR body that will dictate what is best for YOU.

It is for this reason that the CFCC Body Composition Change Challenge is tailored to every individual’s experience and goals. Each week members are required to track their food in a medium they can choose (and boy, do they choose some interesting mediums!) and to report to me at a weekly half-hour meeting.  We tweak things for the next week and in some cases even talk through the grocery-shopping and cooking process for the week.  We measure at the beginning and we measure at the end – and all we look to do is get closer to their goals at the end than we were at the beginning.

This is a very personal undertaking for many of those who enter the challenge and so, every one of them should be congratulated for doing something that millions of people in America or completing afraid to do: change!  And now, without further ado, I give you… the WINNERS!

(for their privacy, I’m not listing their names – most of you know who they are!)


In 30 days, JH lost a grand total of nearly 18lbs, including over 3 inches at the navel, and about an inch and a half through the chest.  Remarkably, his workouts have not suffered and instead his upper body strength has also remained.  Additionally, he has grown a better beard 🙂


1) What was your favorite meal to eat during the thirty days of the CFCC BCCC?
One of my favorite things to eat was the surf and turf lettuce tacos from nom nom paleo. Another dinner was the chipotle lime salmon from elana’s pantry.

2) What, if anything, did you learn during this CFCC BCCC?
It is very easy to find great substitutes for the foods that you love and it is a lot of fun to cook new things.

3) What would you say to someone who was starting CFCC-style nutrition for the first time?
Try everything, it probably won’t hurt.

4) What will you eat now that you can?
I am not a hundred percent sure yet but there is a good chance it is either going to be some delicious type of pasta or a very large sandwich with a beer or two.

DQ started the challenge honestly never eating enough and struggling to figure out exactly how eating differently would work with her limited experience in the kitchen.  Fortunately, her positive attitude and creativity led her to a winning spot!  In 30 days she dropped almost 11lbs. She lost nearly two inches (1 3/4″) around her waist and an inch and a quarter at the hip.  She also dropped a quarter of an inch in her arms while they are at rest.  She did all of this while still drinking whiskey amaretto and going out with friends – as many on the challenge will tell you, this is the hardest part of the game!  

1. What was your favorite meal to eat during the thirty days of the CFCC BCCC?
My favorite meal probably the beef and broccoli recipe I got from Erin – but meatza comes in close second.

2. What, if anything, did you learn during this CFCC BCCC?
Most importantly this challenge was a lesson in self-discipline for me. I learned how to control my impulses and felt how empowering it was to do that.

3. What would you say to someone who was starting CFCC-style nutrition for the first time?
To someone starting the advice I would give is “cook!” Making meals for yourself is incredibly rewarding (you feel productive and have fun) and makes eating on plan so much easier.

4. What will you eat now that you can?
Eating paleo most of the time and maybe a little bit of primal – with regards to cheese, but honestly almond milk is delicious and I don’t think I’ll go back to drinking cow’s milk.


AS came into the challenge with a solid plan of her own that was often very consistent.  She wanted to do the challenge to see what a month of really strict eating could do for her.  Surprisingly, the biggest benefits AS experienced were understanding exactly how much food was necessary for her, and what kinds of paleo foods would alter her body composition the most.  She lost less than 3lbs. in weight but as we often see in the challenge, the scale is the LEAST of or concerns and instead, a convenient side effect.  She lost almost an entire inch at her waist and more than two inches (!!!) around her waist.  The icing on the (paleo) cake was certainly that she also lost a half inch in her arms as well.  I really think her pictures and her progress are truly amazing and a GREAT example of the fact that sometimes, when you want to know more about what works for you, simple “paleo” needs work!

1. What was your favorite meal to eat during the thirty days of the CFCC BCCC?
Breakfast was my favorite meal: Roasted asparagus, 3 egg scramble with zucchini and red peppers, Plantains
The other meal was an incredible mushroom and beef stew, Kale chips, roasted brussel sprouts

2. What, if anything, did you learn during this CFCC BCCC?
I learned about some new snack options including coconut chips and very yummy kale chips.
I learned what needed to be tweaked while allowing the wisdom of my body to guide me as well both energetically and emotionally. I can’t believe how much I don’t want sugary foods!!! Icky sweet. I didn’t eat many sweets before, but now I want them even less.
I also learned what it takes for my particular body to change composition in a purposeful way.

3. What would you say to someone who was starting CFCC-style nutrition for the first time?
It may all seem extreme and crazy, but it truly is great having more energy and clarity of mind. Making gradual changes over time can help the new eating habits evolve-it need not be a revolution-all a once change. Have fun with internet resources and recipes for great food and desserts.

4. What will you eat now that you can?
Nothing earth shattering-no pigging out! I will stay pretty much with how I have been eating. I will eat a gluten free scone now and again, a little dairy here and there and a bit more fruit than when I was on the challenge. The challenge wasn’t difficult for me since I had already been eating in the pale/primal life style. It was just some of the tweaking and new foods to add that Erin suggested that was fun that I will continue to eat.

JR came to the CFCC BCCC from an internationally-competitive athletic background with a very typical “female athlete” diet, i.e. there’s some beer, there’s a lot of turkey for some reason, there’s the occasional salad, and breakfast is either skipped or REALLY small.  Oh, and there’s diet coke.  ALWAYS diet coke.  I was so excited to see the changes she was able to make in this small amount of time.  JR’s strength and conditioning numbers have continued to improve throughout her month and with the right tools under her belt, I’m sure they’ll only continue along that vein.  She lost about 7lbs., an inch and a half around her waist, a quarter of an inch around her hips, and I think it REALLY shows.

1. What was your favorite meal to eat during the thirty days of the CFCC BCCC?
Favorite meal- Probably chard or kale cooked in bacon fat and chicken apple sausage.   Pretty basic I guess but I can’t believe something as tasty as chicken apple sausage exists and I had never had it before.

2. What, if anything, did you learn during this CFCC BCCC?
The main things I took from this challenge are that 1.) I actually like vegetables once I discovered all those leafy greens and ways to cook them  2.) I feel wayyy better and have more energy when I don’t drink diet coke- or pour a crap load of Splenda (or “the devil” as I believe Avener called it) in my coffee and 3) I definitely didn’t eat enough protein prior to this challenge and eating enough helped curb my hunger like whoa.

3. What would you say to someone who was starting CFCC-style nutrition for the first time?
If you are starting CFCC-style nutrition for the first time, get rid of all the stuff you used to eat and stay stocked with the healthy stuff.  It makes decision-making a lot easier.  And basically just do whatever Erin says. (haha, thanks, Joey!)

4. What will you eat now that you can?
Cutting out alcohol, nuts and dark chocolate the last week made the most dramatic difference in body composition, but those are a few things I don’t really want to live without, namely the alcohol.  Just kidding.  But seriously.  It’s good to know I can cut it out when I need to but life isn’t as fun without the occasional drink or chocolate!


LS’s goal during the challenge above all else was to feel better!  As a result we attempted to let her body take it’s natural course on body composition and focused principally on not worrying too much about caloric restriction of any kind.  It’s interesting then, that her body responded by still altering in body composition as a nice side effect to her feeling a lot better altogether – even though she was sick during the course of the challenge!  Additionally, she is former vegetarian who has just begun to eat sustainably-raised and humanely slaughtered proteins – this makes making choices harder!  I’m proud to say she has dropped more than 7lbs., lost two inches around her waist, and almost two inches around her hips, and a 1/2 inch around her arms. That’s a tremendous difference coming along with feeling a LOT better!

1. What was your favorite meal to eat during the thirty days of the CFCC BCCC?
In terms of something that was easy and satisfying, I was happy to eat a lot of chicken sausage (various flavors) plus kale chips (my favorite!) and a sweet potato. I also liked making fajita chicken from the fajita spice mix you can get from Penzey’s spices.
2. What, if anything, did you learn during this CFCC BCCC?
I learned what foods I can eat that don’t make me sick. This is really great for me because I’ve been struggling with what Erin calls “leaky gut” for years. Now I know that if I eat meat, eggs, leafy greens and sweet potatoes or squash (maybe with some berries and coconut), then I won’t get sick, and this is pretty much awesome. I also learned that I like I lot of things that I wouldn’t have eaten 6 months ago! I was vegetarian for 12 years until around last October, so the idea of buying stuff like chicken feet for broth was pretty strange.
3. What would you say to someone who was starting CFCC-style nutrition for the first time?
I think the key to being successful at changing your diet is finding a couple of easy, quick meals that you like and are satisfying. There’s lots of cookbooks out there with lots of recipes, and most of them are great for a weekend meal but often not so great as something to make when you get home from work at 7 and are starving and didn’t really plan ahead. That’s why I have a freezer full of different kinds of sausage–it doesn’t have to be thawed for you to cook it so you can make it in a hurry.
4. What will you eat now that you can? 
Lattes! Honestly I haven’t changed much yet, because I have to figure out what foods I don’t get along with, and that’s kind of a long process. But I have been having the occasional latte (which fortunately seem to be okay in moderation).
I kind of feel like our final winner almost needs no introduction – you can tell she’s CHANGED and every time she walks into the gym I feel like I hear someone else notice.  CB is a second-timer when it comes to the CFCC BCCC and this time around she wanted to really dedicate herself to being as strict as possible in order to see the most dramatic changes possible.  It wasn’t easy, but I’d say she REALLY achieved her goal!  She lost over 7lbs., an inch and a quarter around her waist, and an inch in her hips.  Changes like this over just 30 days are just REALLY fun to watch and obviously, as you can tell by her smile, pretty fun to experience too. 🙂

1. What was your favorite meal to eat during the thirty days of the CFCC BCCC?
Breakfasts! I always had two eggs over easy with some type of green (usually spinach) and either one large link of chicken sausage OR 3-4 ounces of smoked salmon.

2. What, if anything, did you learn during this CFCC BCCC?
The difference that small changes make when you’re very consistent with them – and that you really can do anything for 30 days.  Also, that you’ll be completely screwed if, say, you order a bridesmaid’s dress in august to fit your largest measurement, and then have to wear it in february after going through two BCCCs. The sales associate at priscilla of boston recommended that I buy a size 14 based on my measurements at the time – I had that dress taken in FOUR INCHES in the bust and as much as possible in the waist at the beginning of february. When I wore it on February 11, it was still far too big. I ended up trading dresses with a bridesmaid whose size 8 wasn’t working for her – and the unaltered size 8 was still at least a size too big. Thankfully I got through the day with no wardrobe malfunctions.


3. What would you say to someone who was starting CFCC-style nutrition for the first time?
Listen to your coaches, do what they say, and stop thinking that you’re special and “can’t” do this – you can, and it’s worth it.

4. What will you eat now that you can?
The same stuff I ate on the challenge, with the following additions: cream in my coffee every day, instead of just on weekends, and welcoming dark chocolate back into my life with open arms (about 1/2 ounce to an ounce four times a week or so…except for that time on saturday night i ate an entire bar for dinner. whatever).

SO, WHEN THE NEXT CFCC BCCC ROLLS AROUND – don’t wait around for all the great changes – SIGN UP, and watch ’em happen!


CFCC Movie Night and Paleo Potluck!

9 Feb

No costumes required for this one! 🙂

3 days before the CrossFit Open begins and probably the final big event we will hold in this space (CRAZY! We move in Mid-March)…

Come out on Sunday, February 19, 2012.  Starting at 5pm we’ll dig into some food and then start the movie at about 530pm.

We’ll be watching the movie on the wall! 🙂

Bring PALEO/PRIMAL FOOD only – or, at least label your food with what’s in it. Sign up in the gym to let us know what you’ll be bringing.  And sign up on the MINDBODY Scheduler  (under Seminars) to let us know that you’ll be there.  

All members of CFCC and all friends and family are invited.  This is a free and open event!

Wednesday, 2/8/12

7 Feb

Congrats to Morgan Voz and Jordan Klein for getting your FIRST DEADHANG PULL-UPS!

Specialized Classes: CrossFit Endurance (Rowing) with Liz at 530pm, Mobility with Tim after the noon for a half hour, and at 730pm, Intro to Olympic Lifting with Erin from 6-730pm.

Sign up for the Games Team.  Do it.  Before I personally call you out.  Remember, I know where you live…

SELF-MYOFASCIAL RELEASE: Lax Ball Shoulders, 3 minutes. Foam Roll Upper Back, 20 passes. Foam Roll the rest, 3 minutes.
DYNAMIC WARM-UP: 1 attempt at a max set of Kipping Pull-ups or, if you do not kip or would like to use strict pull-ups instead, max a set of strict pull-ups. Use any grip you wish. 3 sets of 10 Bulgarian Goat Bag Swings.
SKILL WORK: The Push Press
STRENGTH: Front Squat, Peak of 2.
METABOLIC CONDITIONING: A variation on a CrossFit Football workout:

Complete as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes:

3 Any Way Overhead – 75% of body weight
6 Push Ups
9 Russian KB Swings (2/1.5)

*Any Way Overhead means just that. You can press, push press, push jerk, split jerk, rack jerk or any other way overhead. You can start and finish in a rack, rx’d will be from the floor.
*If you haven’t learned to Russian KB Swing yet, complete 9 Bulgarian Goat Bag Swings instead.

In this workout, done for 12 minutes, Tim did 10 Rounds + 6 Push-ups.  Arrus did 8 rounds + 6 Pushups.  Both used 190lbs.


9 rounds: 1 min on, 1 min off @ 95% effort.

Which quote do you like best for our next tee shirt?

26 Jan


Goal Setting Seminar: Making the Most of Your New Year’s Resolutions

19 Jan

Our very own Abbey Sangmeister will be leading a “Goal Setting Seminar” this coming Sunday, January 22nd, 130-3pm. The fee for this seminar will be $10 for members and $50 for non-members.  If you’re looking for some guidance in setting aside the time to reorganize more than just your training but additionally, your goals in life, this seminar is for you.  Check out the content below and if you’d like to attend, sign up on the Google Calendar.

So many CrossFitters spend a lot of time focusing on the physical and nutritional portion of training – but what about the mental aspect?  What about trying to fit in more than one goal at a time?  What about the stuff in life that interferes with your training or, when training interferes with your life?  Who do you talk to about finding balance?  Why is balance important?

This workshop will focus on:

Prioritization and naming of goals
Learning how emotions affect success
Internal and External mental blocks
Identifying personal roadblocks
Ways to assess and measure goals
Accountability and who should hold you accountable.

This will be a working seminar so be prepared to be engaged and challenged! You will leave with one goal in mind to focus on and a plan for the next month.

Want to know more about Abbey?

With a clinical background from the University of Pennsylvania along with continuing education through the Post Deployment Center and Widener University, Abbey brings clinical experience to her coaching. Abbey has worked as a life coach within the adult population for over 4 years helping clients with a variety of challenges. Abbey also practices as a child and family therapist for a non-profit mental health agency in Philadelphia.  Abbey has helped clients to identify patterns and rewire their cognitions. In doing this clients are able to overcome trauma, build relationships, and successfully make career and life transitions.

In the gym, Abbey has been a winner of the Body Composition Change Challenge (no easy feat!) and has also been a stellar example of consistency in subsequent challenges and in her personal goals as a member of CFCC.  She has successfully completed one of Jim’s Olympic Lifting cycles, run the Rock and Roll Half Marathon and has gradually been working toward her goal of being a part of CFCC’s competitive team.  To be there, from where Abbey started – air squatting to a bunch of stools – is truly impressive.

Abbey will help you explore how your mind affects your CrossFit performance while also examining what this has to do with reaching goals outside of CrossFit. I (Erin) think of her as excellent example of good old fashioned hard work and know that getting her help with processing your thoughts on 2012 can only lead to a better year for the entire gym.  Abbey is looking forward to helping you beat the mental blocks inside and outside the box – come see her this Sunday after the Total to get your bearings and scope out your next few months of training!

Abbey with Rupert at the Battle of the Bands.

Last call for the CFCC BCCC and details for participants!

8 Jan
Still keen on getting involved?  By Monday evening at 9pm an email from YOU needs to be in our inbox.  After that – there are no more entries!  Get in touch with us at crossfitcc@gmail.com if you’re still interested!
The requirements for the BCCC (Body Composition Change Challenge) are as follows:
1. We need to schedule a weekly meeting – you can tell me what times generally work best for you and we’ll figure out a time.
2. At the weekly meeting I require a food log.  It doesn’t have to be super complicated but it should tell me what you ate, how much, when, and how you felt before or after.  You don’t have to make it super complicated if that’s not your style, but you can also use any medium you like to record your food intake. I’ve seen blogs, photos on phones, pie charts (no names mentioned :cough: :cough: DAFFY), but if you’re looking for an easy template – this is for you – and from Diane of Balanced Bites – an awesome resource!
3. At every meeting we’ll review your food log, look back to your goals for the 30 days, and try to make some changes in the next week that can get you closer to where you want to be. Every week is different and completely tailored to your needs!
4. We will weigh, measure, and take pictures of you at your first meeting (if you weren’t available to come by on the weekend), and we’ll do this again at the end of the challenge.  Everyone wins in that everyone always ends up learning a lot in the end AND seeing noticeable changes in their body composition and performance – but TWO very lucky people (and sometimes three) end up winning the big prize at the end of the rainbow (No, really.  There is a prize, and it doesn’t suck!)
5. The cost is $50 and you can pay in cash or check.  Outside of the challenge support like this is valued at $100 – so it’s kind of nice to do not only WITH others, but at a discount!
6. Ideally, you will have attended the Nutrition Seminar this past week… but if you haven’t, I will expect you to be familiar with the following video and Quick Start Guide and Useful Guides.  These are excellent resources and part of the challenge is to let knowledge (both theoretical and practical) change your mind!
7. There’s a Facebook Group for Recipe Sharing, Problem Solving, Lamenting and Rejoicing – go here to be part of it all!
If you’re still interested, let me know!  If I can answer any more questions, just ask!

What’s the deal with the Nutrition-ey Challenge Stuff?

3 Jan

Four members of the last CFCC BCCC show off their food logs!

Here’s what you need to know about how CFCC is helping YOU to move into 2012 at your best:

This Wednesday (that’s right, today) there’s a Nutrition Seminar happening INSTEAD of classes at 630pm.  Why are we doing this INSTEAD of classes?  Because what you eat affects your mood, your body composition (whether you want to be leaner, or whether you want to gain muscle mass), and both of these things affect whether or not you will show up to class and how you will perform when you get there!  YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!

We want you to be at your best and that means giving you the whole picture of what optimal health and performance is like – and that’s not just training!  Remember, you can’t out-train a bad diet and we’re not about lying to the people we like most in Philadelphia!

What specifically are we going to talk about?

A quick recap of my personal experience with Paleo/Primal eating.

– what I know from experience

– what I will definitely NOT be assuming I know in today’s time.

– people who know more than me 🙂

Goal Setting: what does Nutrition have to do with training and health?

A comparison between what I eat (Paleo/Primal) vs. what is recommended for me by Conventional Wisdom.

– Insulin Regulation and what it has to do with Body Composition.

– Label Reading and WHAT FOOD IS MADE OF

Common Concerns about the Paleo Diet and a brief review of the phases CFCC has had with this:

Fat intake – fact vs. fiction

Cholesterol and Heart Disease – do I get both if I eat seafood???

Grains, Potatoes, Nuts, and Legumes – are they really the devil?

Is Dairy really scary?

So how do you know if any of these things are affecting you or not?

– What digestion is really supposed to be like – and what it’s not.

– How the phases of BCCC (CFCC’s Body Change Composition Challenge) work for most.

How to eat real, whole, food. 🙂

– for health, for fat loss, for mass gain, for optimal recovery.

– three go-to paleo meals —> EMERGENCY PROTEIN!

The Take-Home Pyramid.

Open Question and Answer Time.