Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Thoughts and lessons learned on the Engine 2 28 Day Challenge

by Paul

Starting this 28 day challenge, I had no idea if I could do it - and I don’t think I could have done it without my wife. Rachel was so awesome with the planning and shopping for this - then blogging about it each and every day was beyond amazing to me. She is an amazing person for helping me during this time. I think she did it mostly for me because I needed to lose some weight and get healthy.

I should start off by thanking my wonderful wife for being there for me throughout my weight loss battle. It’s been a struggle these past years. I tricked myself over and over into believing I could eat whatever I wanted - as long as I was pushing myself harder and further in my running. I’ve had a battle for so long with food it’s not even funny anymore. I’ve found out I really like to binge eat or drink whenever I have food around me or alcohol.

One thing this challenge did for me is made me realize that what everyone says - that you need these certain foods for protein or whatever - is not always true, and most of that is based off someone else’s opinions. So many of us base our lives off what others say about one thing or the other that we don’t live our own lives and experience things for ourselves. I’m learning every day now about myself, what kind of foods make me feel better to eat, and what makes me a better person through my own experiences.

The Engine 2 Diet helped me realize a lot about myself and the misconceptions on what makes an athlete go. During this challenge I lost 25 pounds in 28 days eating only plant-based foods. If you were to tell me in the beginning that  I’d be able to do that... and be able to run an hour and a half each day and have all the energy I needed...  I would tell you you were crazy and laugh.

For so many years of my life I’ve been told so many different things from so many different people about eating and working out that I have no idea what was right or wrong. Everyone has their own opinions of what works or doesn’t for that individual. Something I learned was you have to experience things for yourself and don’t always listen to others - they might ultimately keep you from something you love.

So many years of my life I never heard about ultramarathons because nobody I knew was into that - I had no idea that you could put your body through that and not damage it. Now I’m in love with ultrarunning after experiencing one for myself.

I had no real idea what a vegan was or what they ate until this diet, I just had the rumors of others and opinions of others.

I’m not saying this diet or challenge will work for everyone but I can only tell you what I learned from it and what it did for me - and then you can decide for yourself if it will work for you. I never thought I could go without meat, cheese or butter - three things I love and enjoy very much. But on this diet I’ve learned some of my favorite dishes like pizza, lasagna and chili don’t need meat or cheese on them to make it tasty and delicious. I also learned that plant foods go through your body a lot different and faster then processed foods - makes sense if you think about it. The more processed the food is the longer it takes to process inside your body and sometimes those processed oils and sugars stick inside your body until surgically removed.  

I’m glad I did this because I feel so much healthier than I did a month ago - inside and out. I learned so much about food and myself during this challenge.

I will probably continue to eat like this in my own home for now, but if I go over to others homes and they have prepared a meal I will eat what they have prepared just to keep the harmony and peace inside their home. Inside my home, I’ll be keeping to this meal plan - until I get to my goal weight and beyond - because of how it makes me feel through my experience with it.

I would recommend it for anyone that asks me, please experience it for yourself and see what it does for you. Even if you don’t lose weight you will gain a new perspective on food - and yourself.

It’s been a great ride and I hope those that try it learn some thing from it like I did.

Healthy day folks!


  1. Thanks for the interesting blog posting on your 28 day challenge, Paul. Congratulations on taking your awareness with food and health to the next level.

  2. Rip! Thanks for reading!!