My “Failed” Paleo Challenge & How It Stacked Up Against THM

I’ve alluded to what’s been going on behind the scenes in several posts, but today I’m dishing on what I’ve been up to.

I joined a local CrossFit gym back in May.

I love CrossFit!

In fact several years ago, Mark and I owned a CrossFit gym in San Antonio.  CrossFit became our life and we burned out.  Burnout was mostly due to the fact that Mark was still working a full-time job, we had 2 small kids, were the only coaches and that all made for long days and nights and loads of stress.

CrossFit was an all-consuming work for us and in the end, we decided we couldn’t sacrifice our family or our time to make it something full-time.  So we liquidated the business and moved to South Dakota.

I longed for the day I could work out in a “box” (aka CrossFit gym), again.

4 kids and a hectic schedule stopped me from being able to make it work up in SD.  But when we moved to Fort Walton Beach, friends of ours were going to a gym that had a spot for the kids to play/wait during classes.

Which brings me to 30 days ago.

The 30 Day Challenge.

The gym started a 30 Day Paleo Challenge in June.  Since I’m doing this Trim Healthy Mama thing I decided to do an unscientific study on the effectiveness of Trim Healthy Mama compared to Paleo.

Only problem is I didn’t check the rules to the challenge.

I told a few ladies that I wasn’t going to actually DO Paleo but instead follow a program I was using.  No one tipped me off to the fact that if I wasn’t following Paleo, I’d never win.

You see, the gym is really awesome and they know that you can’t JUST look at weight loss.

They look at:

  • Eating Paleo
  • Exercise
  • Stretching
  • Workout Stats
  • Before & After Photos
  • Weight Loss

So every day you can earn up to 5 points towards your final score.  3 points account for eating in accordance with Paleo, 1 is for working out, & 1 for stretching.

Everyday for the last 30 days, I’ve had a 3 point deduction from my 5 potential points.

Outside of this numbering system, they also have you do a 1 rep max on back squats and a baseline workout.  You do both at the beginning of the 30 days and again at the end.  This is all designed to measure your progress.

Lastly, weight loss and your improved appearance are taken into consideration.

I was SUPPOSE to take a before picture against a PLAIN background.  FAILED.

By the middle of week 2 of the challenge, I finally remembered to ask for the info the rules.  At that point, I realized I’d never win but pressed through to see where my progress was for the month.

So here is how my month on Trim Healthy Mama and CrossFit panned out.

Weight-Loss & Exercise Stats.


The workout I did was an 8 minute AMRAP, which means you do As Many Rounds As Possible

6 Power Cleans (I chose 65 lbs)
8 Chest to Ground Pushups (I was on my knees)
10 Air Squats
The 1 Rep Max movement was Backsquat


During the 30 days, I had 4 days that I DIDN’T follow the Trim Healthy Mama plan.  To give you an idea of one of those days, one included 4 pita chips.  Not a horrible cheat, but a cheat nonetheless.  Another day, I had a cookie.

Suffice it to say, I ate very well for the 30 days, much better than I had been before the challenge began.

Before & After Pictures.

Now I will tell you that I was hesitant to post these.  My change was not as noticeable as I had hoped it would be.  My body changed yes….but it is very subtle.



Like I said, not as drastic of a change, but for 30 days I’ll take it.

Final Thoughts.

I’d be deceiving you if I didn’t tell you I was disappointed with my weight-loss and the physical change.  Part of me thought I should have done Paleo.  Maybe I would have gotten better results.

I’ve done Paleo, for 2 years in fact, and it did work for shedding pounds.  But Paleo wasn’t something I could sustain.  By the end of my Paleo stint, I hated Paleo.  I found it to be too restrictive and I had oodles of cravings much of the time.  No yogurt, no butter, absolutely no grains, no legumes.

With Trim Healthy Mama, I do feel so deprived (because I can have a wider range of foods in moderation).  I’m not over-eating and I’m losing weight.

And on the weight issue, the reality is that the scale is so misleading.  I know for those 30 days I gained a lot of muscle.  My love handles are gone and my clothes are looser.  The scale doesn’t tell you that.  In fact the scale can make you feel like a big fat failure.

So there you go….that is how I successfully failed at the Paleo Challenge.  I’ll take that kind of failure any day.

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7 thoughts on “My “Failed” Paleo Challenge & How It Stacked Up Against THM”

  1. I just wanted to thank you for posting this. I found your blog searching for Trim Healthy Mama recipes (you have some awesome looking recipes that I can’t wait to try!!) and stumbled onto this post… and it really put my mind at ease. I have several friends doing Crossfit and paleo — I can’t do either at this point, despite the fact they are always trying to recruit me! Crossfit is expensive and a long drive for me. Low carb in general makes me shivery cold and depressed, and messes with my hormones. I ordered my THM book a few days ago after a friend introduced me to it and it seems just so doable, healthy, and balanced. Thanks again!

    1. Hi Kim! I don’t like the fact that Paleo cuts out very nourishing and healthy foods. I have friends who LOVE Paleo and it works for them, but I respectively disagree. I hope you enjoy the THM plan! It has a sharp learning curve but if you can tackle it, it is worth it. Also, I’d highly recommend joining the Facebook group if you haven’t already. There is a wealthy of knowledge on there.

  2. I just wanted to thank you for posting this and the photos. I can see the difference in the photos and I think you did a great job. I am just starting THM but have been drawn to Paleo in the past and this confirms that THM is a better eating plan for me.

    1. Thank you so much Robin! I was hesitant to post the pics because my change was not as noticeable in those thirty days as I had hoped. I have gone Paleo because it does work, for me, it is not sustainable longterm. I’m convinced that THM works and is more doable than paleo.

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  4. Hi Julie, I came across your site tonight and this post. I’ve also thought of trying paleo but felt there may be a better plan for me. I heard about the THM book a little over a year ago but never bought the book, until last week. I can’t wait till my book gets here. Thanks for the post. It has been encouraging for me.

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