June is almost over, and all those summer-body plans you made in May have either hit the dust or brought you success.

We’re celebrating several successes already (shout out to Megan G., Jenna W., John V., and several others)! The Lurong Summer challenge just ended, but other members are doing RP or following one of our nutrition plans to get healthier, feel better, look better, get stronger…all the rockin’ things that summer motivates us to do. As a gym, we participate in multiple events and challenges throughout the year, so there are lots of ways to plan for success in your healthy life.

If you’ve decided to take the plunge (into sweat, oftentimes, especially lately) and sign up for the next challenge or start a new eating plan, there are several things to keep in mind. We asked Lurong Participant & CrossFit 405 member Megan Paysnoe, along with other members, to share their tips to success for the challenge (or any new program)—here’s what we learned:

  1. Plan, plan, plan!

    If you’re headed to work or an all-day event, bring snacks with you so you’re not tempted or forced to buy something from a vending machine. Prepare meals during the weekend so you don’t have to exhaust yourself in the kitchen during your busy week. You’re much more likely to eat a healthy, non-processed meals when you’re tired if all you have to do is pop it in the microwave (or oven).

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    405 South member Chelsi Romero food preppin’ like a boss

  2. Keep yourself accountable

    If you do Lurong: Make sure to login to the website every day or every other day.  If you let too many days go by, you tend to forget what you ate. With any plan, write it down—this will help you get in the habit of monitoring your food and keep you on track. If you’re new to a plan, like RP, tracking what you eat for the first few weeks will get you on the road to success for the future—you can go back and see what recipes you liked, how certain foods made you feel, etc.

  3. Visual power

    Print a copy of your “approved foods” list (especially helpful if you’re following a food-specific plan like Lurong) and carry it around, or keep it in a convenient place for you to reference on-the-go. “I kept a copy in my purse and it saved me from making a few mistakes,” Paysnoe said. This can apply to any healthy-eating challenge you decide to tackle. Also, if you have a concrete list of your goals, seeing them constantly will remind you to keep moving forward. As for your daily workout? Write it on your to-do list. Seeing it there will remind you, and you’ll feel even more accomplished when you get to cross it off.

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  5. Don’t make yourself crazy.

    When you have an eating plan, it’s best to stick to it, but remember that no one is perfect. “If you try to go 100% Elite, 100% of the time, it will drive you crazy,” Emily Riley, two-time Lurong participant, said. “And that’s how you can get off track for the rest of your program.” If you restrict yourself completely, you can end up feeling deprived, which can backfire if you hit that “screw it” point. (We’ve all been there…hello, entire batch of brownies…) So plan a “cheat meal” once a week or so—but don’t go overboard. Remember, you don’t have to eat every “unhealthy” food in one meal. There will always be another cupcake, another pizza. So eat what tastes good and move on with your life—and your success program.

  6. Write it down!

    When you are doing any workout (especially during a scored WOD for a challenge), write down your reps in between rounds if you think you won’t remember them. “This kind of sounds dumb, but my brain sometimes goes dead during workouts, and if we are going from one movement to another, I’ll forget what number I was on.”—Megan Paysnoe. You’re not alone, Megan. If you don’t CrossFit (gasp!), write down your reps and weights from your workout anyway. This will help next time you’re in the gym and wonder, “Did I do 115lbs or 130…?” You’ll also have evidence of your progress and strength-gains!

  7. Have a support team!

    Whether it’s people in the gym (you don’t have to ask us twice!) or your friends and family, find someone who will encourage you on the road to success when all you want to do is inhale a cupcake. “I think what helped me the most in overcoming the obstacles was the support from my family and friends,” Megan Graver, first-time challenge participant, said. Another first-timer, Jenna Wetzel, gleaned a lot of support from the Facebook group. “I’m so thankful for the Lurong 405 Facebook group and how open people are about sharing recipes, successes, questions, and everything in between,” she said.

  8. Sharing is caring necessary

    More than support, you’ll need guidance. If you have never eaten Paleo (or Renaissance Periodization, or any eating plan) before, talk to someone who has! Your body will most likely experience a “detox” period at the beginning of your new diet, and it can be tough to handle. “It’s helpful and encouraging to know that what you’re experiencing is normal when “the beast” (a.k.a. sugar cravings) rises!” Paysnoe said. Plus, someone who’s done the plan before can give you advice on shopping, recipes, and things to watch out for. *“Eating this way will make a significant change to the ‘basics’ in your pantry. This shift can be daunting, but it’s totally worth it. If you need suggestions for brands, what to buy, etc., talk to someone.”—Megan Paysnoe*

  9. Don’t be shy!

    In case we haven’t said it enough, if you have questions, ask them!  Most of the time, you aren’t the only one wondering. And after all, that’s what we’re here for! Have your own helpful tips to share? Leave them in the comments!