Today I completed my 2012 Weight Loss Challenge with Tyler Cruz, with just 3 days left in the competition.
Tyler and I started this challenge almost 5 months ago and we decided to increase the amount of weight we each had to lose as well as the penalties for not hitting our weight.
Here’s a recap of what the challenge was for each of us:
Money on the Line: $675 / each
Start / End Dates: Jun 16th – Nov 16, 2012 (5 Months)
Paul Starting Weight: 227.8 lbs
Paul Target Weight: 189.0 lbs (38.8 lbs — 17% of starting weight)
Early Completion Clause: Yes
Tyler Starting Weight: 210.8 lbs
Tyler Target Weight: 179.2 lbs (31.6 lbs — 15% of starting weight)
Early Completion Clause: No
Penalties: If I don’t reach my target weight, and Tyler does, I have to pay him $675. If Tyler doesn’t reach his target weight, and I do, he has to pay me $675. If neither of us reach our target weight, we have to donate $340 to BCSPCA.
As you can see above, my target was to drop from 227.8lbs to 189.0lbs or less.
I completed the challenge, losing a total of 39.2lbs, finally weighing in at 188.6lbs.
I had until Nov 16, 2012 to do it, but I also had an “early completion clause” in my agreement with Tyler.
What that means is that I was allowed to hit my target weight at any point in time during the 5 months, but he has to hit his weight actually on November 16th.
I originally wanted that clause as I thought I would lose the weight much sooner than the 5 month deadline, but I ended up procrastinating for so long that I ended up losing the majority of the weight in the last month or so in the competition.
In a way, a 5 month long competition is really tough because it makes you think that you have all this time to do the weight loss, and so it’s really easy to procrastinate and then soon enough the last month or two are here and you start to panic.
Here is my weight loss chart showing the 38.8lbs of weight loss over the 5 months:
As you can see, the last 2 weeks in the competition were very challenging for me. I was on an insanely strict diet and doing a LOT of running every day. The last three days were really hard, but I managed to pull it off.
Below is my before/after pictures. Unfortunately somehow I forgot to take “before” pictures when I was at 227.8lbs. The closest thing I have to a “before” picture is from Sept 6, when I was 217lbs. Even though that’s 10lbs lighter than when I started, you can still see a pretty big difference just between those two weights.
So, did Tyler Cruz make it?
Well, we don’t know yet. He has until November 16th to either make it or not.
We will see what happens.
Here’s a video of my final weigh-in:
Today is Day 1 of my e84 Challenge from Evolv Health.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been this excited to start something like this.
There’s just so much I love about Evolv Health as a company and it’s mission to transform the lives of 8.4 Million people with the e84 Challenge.
It’s so exciting for me to start my very own first ever e84 Challenge.
This is my official weigh-in / Day 1 video for the challenge.
As I stated in the video, my goals for this challenge are to lose at least 25lbs and to walk, jog or run at least 50kms in the next 84 days.
What is the e84 Challenge?
The e84 Challenge is a fun and rewarding, transformational challenge created by Evolv Health.
The e84 Challenge helps people to achieve their individual health and fitness goals – whether they be to lose weight, get toned, improve energy levels, build muscle, or to simply just get into the best shape of your life.
Each e84 Challenge is customized to the specific needs and goals of each individual doing the challenge.
In the pictures below you will see some of the products that Evolv Health created to help people achieve their e84 Goals.
In this first picture we see the Evolv Shake, which is the foundational product for each challenge. The shake is made from all natural and organic ingredients, and contains absolutely no artificial sweeteners.
In the same picture you also see the Evolv Limitless supplement, and the Evolv C-Prime bracelet. I’ll dive into more details on those products in future posts.
In the next picture we see the Evolv Thin and Evolv Energy drinks.
And finally a picture of the Evolv Water which is a pure alkaline spring water with Archaea Active™.
What Does the e84 Challenge Cost?
A few people have asked me about the costs associated with doing the e84 Challenge.
The cool thing about the e84 Challenge is that there are several ways in which the e84 can cost you absolutely nothing!
Let me explain.
Firstly, as I mentioned in the video, the idea here is to replace 1 – 2 meals per day with an Evolv Shake. So for example, I will be replacing my breakfasts and most likely my lunch with an Evolv shake.
I typically spend at least $3-$4 on breakfast, and at least $6-$8 on my lunches. That adds up to about $9-$12/day for breakfast and lunch, which is about $250-$336 every 28 days.
Now I realize that not everyone spends that much money for breakfast and lunch, but most people spend at least half that amount. Now, each Evolv Shake costs around $2.64 so if you replace your breakfast and lunch with an Evolv shake for 28 days, that would cost you around $150/month – which is still a huge savings over eating regular meals.
Secondly though, even if you’re a super frugal Ninja and you spend much less on your breakfast and lunches each day, you can still qualify to get your e84 Challenge products free.
Evolv Health has a program out called “1-2-Free”. How it works is that if you simply refer three of your friends to the company to do the e84 Challenge with you – your products in the following month (of equal value) are free!
Getting your friends on the e84 Challenge with you is an awesome idea anyways as it’s always more fun to do stuff like this with friends, but with the added incentive of qualifying to get your products for free, it’s an even better deal.
It only took me a few phone calls to find three friends who wanted to do the e84 Challenge with me, so my product is pretty much free. And since I was previously spending about $250-$336/month (or more) on breakfast and lunch, that is all extra money in my pocket just for participating in this challenge.
So really, depending on your specific situation – the e84 Challenge might not cost you very much, it could be free, or it could even put MORE money in your pocket versus not participating in the e84 Challenge.
More Info on e84
This video shows more info about the e84 Challenge. Which e84 Challenge pack fits with you best?
I’ve been waiting all weekend to reveal this.
In Friday’s post I mentioned that I would be revealing the next chapter in my weight loss / fitness journey.
Well, here it is…
… I’m doing the the Evolv Health e84 Challenge.
What is the e84 Challenge?
Watch this short video as it explains it best:
The e84 Challenge is not just a fad diet or product. It’s a fun and exciting system for achieving your health goals – whether they be to lose weight, tone up, increase energy or to get in the best shape of your life.
It’s an all-inclusive program that promotes a healthy diet, proper supplementation, drinking healthy water, and a custom-designed and personalized exercise program to fit your needs.
Why I Chose Evolv e84?
Last week I was sitting in the kitchen, having a conversation with my wife – talking about the two other companies I previously signed up as a distributor in – Isagenix and ViSalus.
Each of the two companies has their own unique strengths and weaknesses, but neither of them does everything in one.
For example, ViSalus is a company with a great marketing system and the growth momentum they’ve had in the last 2-3 years has been astronomical. However, personally I cannot stomach their shake product because it is sweetened with the artificial sweetener Sucralose. Since their meal-replacement shake is a staple of their program, and since I can’t drink it, and I don’t feel right promoting anything I don’t use myself – ViSalus just didn’t fit with me.
There a few other things that I don’t agree with in ViSalus, but the Sucralose is the primary thing that I didn’t like. Outside of that though, I think they are a great company for those people who are fine drinking Sucralose.
Isagenix, on the other hand has an awesome shake product. I love the natural ingredients, and I love the taste of their shakes and other products as well.
However, I find their marketing system nowhere near the level of sophistication of ViSalus. They are an older, more mature company, with a different marketing approach compared to ViSalus.
At the end of the day I like what Isagenix does with their products, and I like what ViSalus does with their marketing – but for me personally I don’t find either company had everything I was looking for in one place.
So last week I was having a chat with my wife, discussing the two different companies along with several other companies in this market and I was telling my wife what I would love to see in a company if I could create a “perfect” company.
I described how it would be a company that had a great product like Isagenix, and a great support and marketing system like ViSalus, plus about 20-25 other small things that I have seen in other companies that I have not seen in Isagenix or ViSalus.
The way I was describing my “perfect company”, was as if I was just fantasizing and dreaming about an ideal that I really didn’t think could even exist out there.
The really weird thing is that on Friday afternoon, just after I starter writing my Blog post on completing my HCG Diet Program, I discovered a new company called Evolv Health.
I started doing a little bit of research, and then a little bit more, and then I ended up almost staying up the entire night because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
This relatively new company I discovered was basically EXACTLY what I had described to my wife just a few days earlier.
They have a great line of products.
They have a great marketing system and support structure.
And their business opportunity is totally ground floor!
Plus they have a whole bunch of other amazing things that I have never seen in any other company of it’s kind — and all those things were implemented in a virtual identical way to the way I described it to my wife.
I was totally blow away.
I spent this entire weekend researching everything I could about this company, the e84 Challenge, the technology behind the website, the management team, their compensation structure, their testimonials and success stories and I am blown away.
I immediately signed up as a distributor, ordered my e84 Challenge pack and now I’m waiting for my product to arrive so that I can start my challenge.
Are You Up for the Challenge?
Are you looking to lose weight, or to tone up, or to get in the best shape of your life?
Do you want to save money or even potentially make some money while getting in shape?
Check out the type of results people are getting on the e84 Challenge:
As soon as my product arrives I will be starting my e84 Challenge and I’m going to put this thing to the test and report my progress to you guys.
I am also creating a community group on Facebook for everyone on our team who wants to participate in the challenge so that we can all help each other to success, support each other and hold each other accountable to our individual goals.
Join My Team of Challengers
If you’d like more information on joining the e84 Challenge, contact me here or visit this website for more information and join the challenge:
You can join as an e84 Challenger who simply wants to transform a part of their life, or as an e84 Promoter/Distributor if you are also interested in the business opportunity promoting the e84 Challenge.
Our goal is to transform the lives of 8.4 million people with the e84 Challenge.
Will you join us?
Today marks day 32 of the HCG Diet Program I am on.
Things have been progressing quite nicely.
Since my last update on August 4th, when I weighed in at 218.8lbs I have lost an additional 4.6 lbs of fat.
I am now at 214.2lbs, with a total weight loss of 13.0 lbs since I started the HCG diet 32 days ago.
My HCG Diet Plan Weight Loss Chart
As you can see from my graph, I had a spectacular drop in weight from August 4th – when I was 218.8lbs to August 11th – when I was 212.4 lbs.
During that one week period I dropped by 6.4 lbs in 7 days.
There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, during this period of time I was very strict with my diet while at the same time adding in daily exercise into the equation.
I either walked, or jogged for at least 3-5km every day in addition to my dietary changes and on August 11th I did a 15km walk prior to weighing in.
All of that exercise, combined with the HCG diet I’m on, definitely helped to produce such amazing results so quickly.
Cheating on the HCG Diet
I have to admit that with summer here and the BBQ and birthday party I attended during the last week I did cheat on my diet and consumed a lot more than the 900 calories I should be eating.
On the days that I cheated, I actually still ate much less than the 2,000 calories per day my body needs to maintain weight, but I’m pretty sure I gained weight in the days following that because of the white flour and processed sugar content of the foods that I was eating.
I previously wrote about the way that the body stores glycogen in the liver and how glycogen is basically one part sugar and four parts water, so when a person starts eating refined sugars after not eating them for an extended period of time, the liver stores that sugar but also stores about 4 times the weight of that glycogen in water weight.
So for example if you look at my weight on August 11th – which was 212.4lbs and compare it to my weight on Aug 13th – which was 216.2lbs, that is a difference of almost 4lbs of weight in 2 days.
There’s NO WAY that I gained that much weight in FAT during two days. When I say I “cheated”, I’m talking about having ONE hotdog and ONE can of Coke during a BBQ instead of having a salad for example.
The reason my weight jumped so much in 2 days is because the glycogen levels and water weight in my liver must have gone up after consuming the white bread and refined sugars in the meals I ate.
I learned about this glycogen storage concept from a doctor while I was on the Bernstein Diet last year, and it really helped me to understand how the human body works.
This is also one of the ways that most fad diets can produce very quick results in the first few days of depriving the body of sugar.
If you deprive the body of sugar for just a few days, the glycogen levels in the liver go down, and the body not only sheds the weight of that glycogen quickly, but it also sheds four times it’s weight in water!
Of course, on the flip side, when you resume eating sugar again, your glycogen levels in the liver go up, and you gain the water weight back.
This is why it is important to have a long term outlook on weight loss and not to freak out if you gain a few pounds of weight the day after eating some sugar. It’s not FAT you gained, it’s mostly just water weight.
Of course that doesn’t mean you can keep eating sugar non-stop, as once the glycogen levels in the liver are replenished any excess sugars you eat WILL turn to fat and you don’t want that.
The HCG Diet Itself
One other thing I will add is that I am NOT following Dr. Dale’s dietary recommendations verbatim. Her diet is based on 900 calories. Most HCG diets are based on a 500 calorie diet. I have been eating probably around 1,200 – 1,500 calories per day, but I’ve been supplementing my diet with regular exercise in the form of walking or jogging.
I find this to be more manageable and more long-term friendly than trying to only eat 900 calories on a VERY restricted diet of VERY specific foods.
I eat a lot of salads, and veggies, but I don’t follow the dietary recommendations verbatim. For example, I might have a chicken breast and a salad with various vegetables, with a little bit of salad dressing whereas Dr. Dale’s diet doesn’t recommend eating chicken or having more than one vegetable with each meal, and no salad dressing.
I’ve modified the diet to make it easier for me to stick to it long term and I’m happy with the results.
In 32 days I have lost 13lbs, and I have NOT been feeling starved or hungry or unable to do exercise due to being tired.
In fact I actually feel like I have WAY more energy right now while dieting and taking my HCG drops than I did when I was consuming 2-3x as much calories of junk food.
Today is Day 18 of the HCG diet program that I am on, and Day 50 in my Weight Loss Challenge with Tyler Cruz.
I am learning a lot about diet and exercise and how it affects body weight on this challenge.
I have also noticed some interesting patterns between days when I take my HCG drops and days when I do not take my drops.
First, lets cover my results so far…
HCG Diet Results for Day 18
As of this morning I have lost 8.4lbs since starting the HCG diet and 9.0lbs since starting the Weight Loss Challenge.
However, after my weigh-in yesterday I had lost 10.0lbs on the HCG diet, which basically means my weight went up by 1.6lbs from yesterday’s weigh-in to today’s weigh-in.
Let me show you my graph for this morning and you’ll see what I mean.
As you can see in the graph, my weight loss is represented by the blue line. Tyler’s is in red. I don’t have the official numbers for Tyler’s weight for the last few days so that is why his graph is so flat.
But when you look at my graph, you will see that my weight has been really fluctuating up and down the last week or so, compared to the first week or so on the HCG diet.
I have discovered there are multiple reasons for this. Let me share a few things I’ve discovered.
HCG Diet and Weight Training
In the past week or so I have had two days where I did quite a bit of physically intensive work outside on my property.
One of those days I did about 8-10 hours of physical labor outside, cutting down branches, pulling down an old fence, and digging out an old tree stump in my yard.
Another day I spent about 2-3 hours working on a new fire pit area in my yard, where we have our bon fires.
Both of those days were very physically taxing on the body in terms of the amount of labor that I had to do, while on this diet. Also, for both days it was mostly exercise that would be equivalent to going to the gym and lifting weights, versus a cardio workout.
Now the tough part of having to do this kind of work, while on the HCG diet is that after the work you get hungry for calorie dense foods. The last thing I wanted to eat after working on the yard all day is a salad.
So it’s not very easy to maintain the perfect HCG diet while physically exerting the body that way.
However, I will say that I was somewhat surprised at how much energy I did have to do the actual work for the first 3-4 hours. On some other diets I’ve been on in the past, there’s no way I would have had the physical endurance to do that kind of labor while on the diet. I would have tanked after the first hour. On the HCG diet I had energy without eating for at least 3-4 hours. Only then I started to tank a bit and had to eat some calorie dense foods that weren’t exactly on the diet.
The other downside is that the following morning after days like that you don’t lose a lot of weight – according to the scale – and in some cases you actually gain weight.
I am comparing this to a day where you follow the diet strictly, take the HCG drops, but don’t do any exercise. On such days I pretty much always lose weight.
Maybe it’s because on days where you do heavy physical labor, the body focuses on re-building and repairing muscle tissue.
It could also just be a temporary issue where you don’t lose the weight the day immediately after the physical exercise, but you do lose more weight all the days after that due to the small increase in more muscle tissue that has been rebuilt.
HCG Diet and Drinking Water
One huge difference I’ve noticed while on this diet is that on days when I drink the most water, I lose the most weight.
While on this diet, the body is burning fat for fuel and so it is also releasing all the toxins stored in the fat cells, so it needs a lot of water to flush out the toxins.
I’ve been working on increasing the amount of water I drink on this diet and overall I have been drinking a tonne more water in the last 18 days than ever before.
However, there have been some days where I have been out at meetings and driving around and I definitely have not been consuming enough water. I noticed that on such days I don’t lose any weight or even gain weight.
So if you’re on the HCG diet, make sure you are definitely drinking a lot of water.
HCG Diet and Eating Out
Another reason why my weight has been fluctuating a lot more, going up and down is that I have had a lot of meetings in the last few weeks where I had to leave the house and meet people at restaurants or coffee shops etc.
In such situations I have found it somewhat difficult to order food that fits with the HCG diet program.
The reason for this is because most restaurant food is loaded with calories, sugar, salt and fat.
In most cases, restaurants focus primarily on selling simple carbs as their primary calorie filler. For example, yesterday I had a stir-fry for lunch from a Thai food place, which was basically a giant plate of rice noodles (carbs), smoothered in sauce (more carbs) with a little bit of veggies on top and a little bit of chicken.
Now I realize that I didn’t have to make that choice for food, but my point is that at most restaurants they primarily focus their meals around carbs – because they’re cheap. Rice noodles are cheap. Rice is cheap. So they try to fill people up on simple carbs.
Another reason I have trouble ordering anything decent at most restaurants is that I absolutely can’t stand the salads that restaurants make. To me they are totally disgusting.
When I make a salad at home, I always use only the absolute most fresh ingredients. I also include a large variety of different types of vegetables, like green peppers, red peppers, yellow peppers, broccoli, cucumbers, radishes, green onions, tomatoes etc. as well as some pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds etc.
When you put a large variety of those types of veggies, thinly sliced on a salad it actually tastes good! Only about 25% of my salads are made up of lettuce or salad greens.
When you go to a typical restaurant and you order a salad, you’re basically ordering a bowl of lettuce! Lettuce is cheap so they load up 90% of the plate with just lettuce and then maybe put half a tomato on top and a few sliced carrots. That’s not a salad! That’s lettuce!
Also, at most restaurants that I’ve been to for the last few weeks, the cost of the salads is ridiculous as compared to other meals. I don’t understand why restaurants charge like $14 for a salad that is mostly just lettuce. I can make the same salad at home for $2. It wouldn’t be such a rip-off if the salads actually tasted good, but they don’t.
Anyway, so that has been tripping me up a bit. Trying to find semi-healthy foods to eat at restaurants when salads are not something I enjoy eating out.
I’ve been trying to make some better choices while going out to eat on this diet, but so far pretty much every single time I go out to eat on a given day, I find myself gaining weight according to my scale the next morning.
When I eat at home, I almost always lose weight. I’ll keep trying though. I’m sure there has to be SOMETHING that a person can eat at restaurants that won’t cause weight gain every single time.
HCG Diet and Taking HCG Drops
Another thing I’ve noticed when it comes to my daily weight is that on any day that I don’t take my HCG drops, I gain weight.
I actually didn’t realize until last week that I am only supposed to take the drops for 6 days in a row and then skip the 7th day and then go back to taking the drops again.
I read that in Dr. Dale’s instructions for the program when I first started taking the drops but then I totally forgot about it.
When I found the sheet again, and I remembered that I was supposed to take one day off from the drops every week, I didn’t take the drops that day and the following day I gained weight again.
Also yesterday I was out for most of the day and I totally forgot to take my drops, and I ended up eating at restaurants both for lunch and for dinner. I also didn’t drink enough water yesterday.
The net result of that was that I gained 1.6lbs from yesterday’s morning weight to today’s morning weight.
HCG Diet and Weighing Yourself Daily
I know most people say that you shouldn’t weigh yourself every day, but I like weighing myself every day as it gives me an almost instant feedback system as to how I’m doing on the diet and it lets me know if I’m slipping.
When you don’t drink enough water throughout the day, and the next morning you gain weight – it motivates you to drink more water.
When you go out to eat and you eat something that isn’t very healthy and the next morning you gain weight – it motivates you to make better choices at restaurants.
When you forget to take your HCG drops and the next morning you gain weight – it motivates you to remember to take your drops.
When people weigh themselves only once a week or so, it’s not very easy for the brain to link behaviors with negative consequences to results.
For example, if you only weigh yourself once a week every Friday morning, it is not very easy for the brain to link a weekend of partying with the weight gain the following Friday.
Meaning, if you party on the weekend and eat crap and then you eat healthy from Monday to Thursday and then weigh yourself in on Friday morning, and gain weight after 4 days of healthy eating, it feels like a punishment after four days of doing the right thing.
However if you eat crap one day and you notice the very next morning that you gained weight, the brain can make the link between eating crappy = weight gain.
Also if you eat healthy one day and the next day you lose weight, the brain can make the link between eating healthy = weight loss.
I never understood why people say not to weigh yourself daily.
I find daily weigh-ins to be one of the best feedback mechanisms for me.
If I weighed myself only once a week it would be way too easy for me to “cheat” on my program and still feel good about the weekly weight loss I had.
It would also make it almost impossible for me to figure out how my body reacts to so many different types of foods, different types of exercise, hydration levels etc.
If you’re on the HCG diet, I would definitely recommend daily weigh-ins to keep track of your progress.