(This post was written by Olivia Morris)

We’ve heard it before. If you want to make a positive fitness and health change in your life, the right tools are found in a crossfit box. I knew that already. In the past I found myself in multiple boxes, frustrated that I was unable to find traction in these two areas. I knew the importance of “eating healthy” but I didn’t make the effort to understand what that meant for me specifically. Bless my heart, I was too busy pouting that I couldn’t do gymnastic movements or run a sub 10 minute mile. Imagine that.

Fast forward a year or two, a move across the country and enter Kitsap Crossfit. Here, the message changed. It was very clear: Take responsibility, put in the work and TRY. Why this was a revolutionary idea to me, I don’t know, but what I can tell you is it worked. First it was My First Throwdown, the Open and then a sub 10 minute mile run. I looked up one day and realized that I was checking movements and inches off my goal list so I wanted to know what else I could do. When we picked up Wired to Eat by Robb Wolf for the first book club, I immediately knew that I wanted to give the 30 Day Reset a try to prove to myself that I could see a challenging commitment through to the end. The rules were simple: paleo friendly protein, healthy fats and vegetables for 30 days.

Let me be the first to say, I love carbs. All of them. So wiping them out of my diet and replacing them with solely vegetable-based carbs, even for just 30 days, was terrifying. And I certainly let everyone know. The whole week before kicking this thing off I mourned my carbs. I did this to the point to someone actually said to me, “it sounds like you’re heading to the electric chair, honestly.” It’s also important to mention that I don’t like vegetables, so you can see my dilemma with this one. Low and behold, that wasn’t entirely accurate. The most valuable thing I got out of this challenge was discovering new, whole foods that I loved. Even just two months ago, I wouldn’t have touched a bell pepper to save my life. Today, I could probably run a Bell Peppers Anonymous club out of my kitchen because I single handedly support that industry at the moment. All joking aside, I walked away 30 days later with a much more positive outlook on vegetables and healthy carbs. At the end of the challenge, you “test” back in carbs such as sweet potato or quinoa but because I really do love my new diet, I have chosen to simply continue with my vegetable carbs for now.

My wins weren’t only in the kitchen, though. Within a week I noticed a dramatic different in my quality of sleep. I used to blame not sleeping well on being a light sleeper but take out processed foods and I have been sleeping solidly. I stopped tossing and turning, waking up during the night and was waking up a much kinder person in the morning. I also learned that eating food shouldn’t be an “experience.” Around day 15, Scott and I went to a Mariner’s game. I literally looked over at him as he was buying the tickets and said, “Is it even worth going if we can’t eat what we want at the game?” Looking back, I understand how absurd that sounds but it’s true, isn’t it? Often times activities or even whole days are centered around what, when or where we are going to eat. I had to shift my thinking from food as a part of my day to just being fuel so I can carry on and enjoy the people, places and experiences around me.

Did the challenge pull off a few more pounds? Yes. Did I get into a pant size I honestly didn’t plan on wearing again? Yes. But more than that, it added the missing piece for me. I am showing up at the box and am much more confident tackling those gut-checking workouts because I am also learning to do the right work in the kitchen, as well.