10-Week Challenge Results (Hazim Ghanim)

If you are looking for the best program to make a complete healthy lifestyle transformation, look no further than the 10-week challenge.

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Meet Hazim Ghanim 10-week challenge alumni (read about his first challenge), who has been with CKO/2.0 for just over 1.5 years. Over the course of this fitness journey Hazim has had many great successes! He has lost over 35-lbs, completed a CINCO, completed 40-in-40 (4o workouts in 40 days), completed the Spartan Race, and improved his diet…

Besides being an absolute warrior in the gym, what is your day job?

By day I am a stress engineer.

Do you have any hobbies?

I am mostly a home body, I enjoy small projects around the home (right now I am looking at home automation).  I roast my own coffee.

Spartan Strong!

Spartan Strong!

How did you learn about the challenge and was it a hard decision to sign up?

This is my second 10-week challenge, I originally found out about the challenge through my wife, Viridiana. 

What was your favorite aspect of the challenge?  

Having a movie night with Q&A afterwards was great! It was nice to discuss and hear everything challengers had to say.

Hazim and his wife Vir

Hazim and his wife Viridiana

What was the hardest part about the challenge?

This time around I tried pushing myself well beyond 5 workouts a week, and I do not think I achieved this to the best of my ability.

What motivates you to walk through that door day after day and continue to push yourself?

Knowing what I came from, and the changes I have already made, getting the compliments from people and my wife, these things keep me coming back.

Bootcamp at 2.0 Next Level Fitness

Bootcamp at 2.0 Next Level Fitness

What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with? 

I still struggle with having the mindset to push myself. Sometimes I find myself rushing through a workout, and not giving it my all, or not taking my body to failure.

What would your advice be to some considering doing a 10 week challenge?

Believe in yourself, when you do the 10 week challenge you are gambling on yourself, it should be the easiest decision for you to make.  When I first heard about the 10 week, I thought to myself “I could just do that myself” but it is so much easier having a group of challengers going through the same struggles as you, helping you change your mindset.

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Have you tried any other challenges (with our gym or another)- if so what made this one different?

I have done the 40 in 40 and ‘Cinco’.  Those challenges were great, the difference is having people to rely on.  A community online you can talk to, and relate to.  You’re not on your own.

Working hard at CKO

Working hard at CKO

What can we do better to help you actualize your true potential? 

Funny enough, having the camera in class, someone taking pictures, makes me try harder, if even for that moment, but at the end I usually think to myself that was more that I thought I could do.

Share any relevant information you’d like about yourself that other team members might not know about you (also a good place to talk about any success you have had since joining the challenge)! 

Since starting CKO I have done the 40 in 40, Cinco, and 2 – 10 week challenges, in all I have lost 35lb (16% weight) and changed my diet for good.  It is the most amazing feeling to eat well, and deliciously.

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Member to Instructor — The Josh Cannaday Story

Meet Joshua Cannaday, a CKO Seattle member whose 2-year fitness journey eventually lead him to becoming a CKO instructor!

To read Josh’s previous blog, click here.

 

10-Week Challenge Results (Mary Grace McKernan)

If you are looking for the best program to make a complete healthy lifestyle transformation, look no further than the 10-week challenge.

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Have you ever had one of  those moments when all the stars seem to “align” and you find yourself at the right place at exactly the right time? It is those “perfect” opportunities that make you wonder if there is something bigger “operating in the background”…

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Well Mary McKernan, had one of those moments when she discovered CKO/2.0. Mary went out for a random bike ride. This bike ride was “random” because Mary’s dog had just died, and well, as you can imagine, Mary was depressed. So to help with the grieving process Mary decided to go for a bike ride.  As Mary put it, I didn’t know what to do with myself, so I just decided to ride my bike around the shopping center near my house… It was in this shopping center where Mary discovered CKO/2.0 and well the rest is history…

So in just 10-weeks Mary lost 13-inches and 16-lbs! In addition she improved her max push-ups (in 2-mins) by 19, her max goblet squat (in 2-mins) by 12, her max sit-ups (in 2-mins) by 30, and her flex arm hang by 16-secs.

To learn more about Mary’s 10-week journey, read the interview below.

September 2015 (left) - November 2015 (right)

September 2015 (left) – November 2015 (right)

Besides being an absolute warrior in the gym, what is your day job?

I am a photographer/writer and photo editor.

Do you have any hobbies?

I love bicycles…and when I travel it usually involves a bike tour.

How did you learn about the challenge and was it a hard decision to sign up?

I had just moved into my apartment and I decided to take a ride on my bicycle to check out the neighborhood. Instead of going south on Greenwood, I went north and I was riding through the parking lot and I stopped at CKO Seattle. The guy at the desk told me about 2.0, so I rode over and noticed the chalkboard with the 10 week challenge information. It wasn’t a hard decision to sign up because I was told that I could get my money back if all the terms of the challenge were met. I liked that idea. Also, unfortunately, my dog had passed away 2 days before and I was grieving and I missed her terribly and I was depressed. I knew that I had to get out and exercise. I needed something structured and I think it was almost serendipitous that this challenge began in less than a week. I hope this doesn’t sound too ridiculous but going to the boxing classes and working out with others helped me through the grieving process. I still miss my dog but I’m not depressed anymore and this challenge helped me through it.

Mary competed another 2.0 Bootcamp

Mary (back row, 4th from right) competed another 2.0 Bootcamp

What was your favorite aspect of the challenge?

I enjoyed the camaraderie. I liked that we were treated as a team and that I was able to see other challengers’ progress. I liked that all the instructors were so friendly and inviting. I also liked the music that was played at 2.0 Fitness and CKO Seattle. I think watching the documentary Fed Up was a big help to understanding food. I can’t think of one favorite thing because there were so many.

What was the hardest part about the challenge?

Taking a photo of myself in the mirror was the hardest part. For the first 10 days I wouldn’t even look at the photo. I would just send it to Jessica. At about day 26 I finally started to see a change and then I actually looked forward to taking my photo.

Doing deadlifts (2.0 semi-private training)

Doing deadlifts (2.0 semi-private training)

 

What motivates you to walk through that door day after day and continue to push yourself? 

I look at the 70 photos I took of myself over the course of this challenge. I see the changes in just 10 weeks.

Check out Mary’s 70 day (10-week) “selfie transformation:

What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with?

I wish that I would do yoga and stretch more.

What would your advice be to some considering doing a 10 week challenge?

Sign up immediately! Keep track of your workouts and your food. Remember, you are going to change habits and the weight will come off and you will get into shape.

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Mary (far left) celebrating another completed workout with fellow 10-week challengers

Have you tried any other challenges (with our gym or another)- if so what made this one different?

I belonged to another gym when I lived in Fremont/Wallingford and it wasn’t a challenge but a group “meet-up”. I could never get into it and I wasted a lot of money. I belonged to a lot of gyms in the past but I could never get the momentum that I seem to have now. I know that has a lot to do with how structured and planned the workouts are and all of the instructors, of course.

Working the bag at CKO Seattle

Working the bag at CKO Seattle

What can we do better to help you actualize your true potential?

I think you are already doing it but I’ll say it anyway. Change up the workouts. Maybe post more articles about fitness and health on social media. More mini-challenges. I think I saw at another gym that everyone can put money into a pool and if you miss a workout you get less and less of your money back and the people who go to all the classes get more than they put in. (Is that even legal? I find money very motivating…ha! It really is fun to talk about when you’re at work).

Share any relevant information you’d like about yourself that other team members might not know about you (also a good place to talk about any success you have had since joining the challenge)!

I hadn’t seen my family since before I started the challenge and when I went home every single one of my family members saw that I had lost weight and told me how good and healthy I looked.

It is amazing the amount of change possible in just 10 short weeks!

It is amazing the amount of change possible in just 10 short weeks!

Congratulations Mary, your 10-week transformation is impressive. We (CKO/2.0) are so glad you decided to ride your bike around our parking lot!

10-Week Challenge Results (Lynda Beddall)

If you are looking for the best program to make a complete healthy lifestyle transformation, look no further than the 10-week challenge.

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If we had a list of amazing members Lynda Beddall would definitely be on said list! She has been with both CKO and 2.0 from their beginnings, and she is amazing because she never complains or makes excuses, she just works hard! It’s AWESOME! And the results speak for themselves…

(Check out Lynda’s 2014 challenge results: Lynda’s 2014 10-week challenge results)

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Lynda (3rd from left) –Has no time for sleep. She will “sleep when she is dead”

Lynda has had amazing success over the last several years and this last 10-weeks challenge was no exception. Over the course of the 10-weeks Lynda lost 24.5-inches and 9-lbs! She also increased her pushups (in 2-mins) by 11, her goblet squat (in 2-mins) by 13, her sit-ups (in 2-min) by 8, and her pull-ups (using the blue band) by 5!

In addition to all this, I believe Lynda, also has, the best time management skills in the entire world! She is a mother of 5, works a full time job, play’s soccer and softball, competes in mud runs, and still workouts out (at one of our gyms) nearly everyday! It is amazing!

Check out Lynda’s story below.

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Besides being a Gym Beast, what is your day job?
I’m a property management accountant Monday thru Friday but most importantly I’m a mother to 5 amazing kids and wife to the most amazing man I know!

Lynday post baby # 4 and right after an Achilles rupture!

Lynda post recovery of an Achilles rupture (around 2013)!

Do you have any hobbies?
Besides hitting the gym 5-6 times a week I also play indoor and outdoor soccer and when the Seattle weather permits I like to play softball! Otherwise I’m honestly pretty low key… I love relaxing and being home with the fam!

 2012 Restarting her fitness journey after baby #4!

Mud Run!!! 2012 Restarting her fitness journey after baby #4!

 

How did you learn about the challenge and was it a hard decision to sign up? I’ve been a member of CKO since they opened so this was actually my 3rd time conquering the 10-week challenge! Each time I learn something new to add to my arsenal of healthy tricks, and each time I’ve had amazing results! Next for me is to keep on track during the holiday season and not get side tracked with life and loose sight of how far I’ve come! It’s a lot harder to keep it up when you don’t have the accountability of the trainers and nutritionist keeping you focused… This challenge is structured to get started on your journey, and it’s hard work but let’s face it — life is always gonna get in the way from time to time so you have to decide, how bad do you want it?!

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Jan 2014

What was your favorite aspect of the challenge?
Its hands down the community!! The group of people you meet during this challenge always astonishes me and I’m no newbie at this… You meet so many different people who are fighting the same fight as you. Pushing towards the same goals and supporting each other thru every step of the journey, and that is priceless!

What was the hardest part about the challenge?
Food!!! Restructuring your brain to relearn everything you’ve been taught… Like i said, I’ve done this challenge multiple times and every time I’m reminded why this program works. There’s no shortcuts to nutrition, either you stick to the program OR you don’t and you DON’T see the results.

Fastest time of the day! (2.0 Circuit Training)

“Momma B” — Fastest time of the day! (2.0 Circuit Training)

What motivates you to walk through that door day after day and continue to push yourself? My family… I want to be a strong role model to my kids, especially my daughters. I want them to see that hard work will get you further than shortcuts and that there’s no substitute for drive and determination. I want to be around to see them conquer their own obstacles in life with the same mindset! Most importantly want to be able to grow old with my husband, and you can’t do that if you don’t take care of yourself. He absolutely deserves to have the best version of me in his life, cause let’s be honest he helped me create this person… He’s always been my biggest supporter. Never allowing me to self sabotage or throw the scale thru the window!! Haha!! No seriously, life is too short as it is and I intend to not make it any shorter!

Check out Lynda’s 70-day (10-week) “selfie transformation”.

What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with? Food!!! I could use the excuse, I love food too much but that’s been explained to me SO MANY times as not a valid excuses 😉 You can love food and still make the right choices of things to eat. You truly have to grasp that fact that this IS A LIFESTYLE… It’s not the end of the world if you dabble into the badlands (with food) but you CANNOT allowing yourself to live there!

What would your advice be to some considering doing a 10 week challenge? Do it… Not just for yourself but your your family, cause this challenge will change your life. It a whole new world when you open your mind and heart to what you can accomplish in 10 weeks! The sky truly is the limit…

Namaste!

Namaste!

Have you tried any other challenges (with our gym or another)- if so what made this one different? Like i said before I’ve done this challenge 2xs prior but this time was definitely different. There was more accountability with the tracking the workouts and the daily photos and weekly weigh ins, which I’ll be honest was a pain in the ass at times, but it without a doubt kept me on track. There were also weekly meal plans! I was SOOOOO EXCITED about the meal plans that Jessica created for us… It helped me remember the serving sizes that are acceptable when you’re eating the right things and that you can eat great food and not feel restricted! My mantra this challenge was Athletes Eat and Train — They don’t diet and exercise! For me this means more than just what it says… I truly feel like an Athlete after this challenge! I’m WAAAAAY stronger, toner, and faster than yesterday and I plan to continue this journey because I believe in myself! I AM AN ATHLETE!

What can we do better to help you actualize your true potential? This is a hard one cause I truly believe you’ve done an amazing job at creating a program that works… Please continue to keep bringing the fire and passion to everything that you do at your gyms. You truly are changing lives and I can’t stress that enough. For me personally keep challenging me to get better at everything I do, EVEN if you know I hate doing it… That normally means that I need it the most!

Kettlebells, soccer, softball,Kickboxing, Bootcamp, is there anything Lynda can't do?

Kettlebells, soccer, softball,Kickboxing, Bootcamp, is there anything Lynda can’t do?

Share any relevant information you’d like about yourself that other team members might not know about you (also a good place to talk about any success you have had since joining the challenge)! I may seem like this comes easy to me but I’ve ALWAYS struggled with my weight and being healthy. Most people DON’T know that once stood at 5’0 and 200 lbs! This transformation did NOT happen overnight and has taken me about 10 yrs to get to where I am today… This challenge has brought me to the best shape of my life. I may not be at my lowest weight but I honestly don’t believe that the scale can truly measure ones accomplishments! I’m able to lift more than I’ve ever been able to before! I can do more push ups ON MY TOES than I ever could’ve imagined and can actually do pull ups without a band! I never envisioned these accomplishments for myself because prior to coming to CKO and 2.0 my only gauge of fitness was the scale… I now know that this can’t be measured by just that and THAT my friends is a TRUE accomplishment!!!

Having fun!

Halloween 2015 – -Having fun!

I am a firm believe in the phrase “if it is important to you, you will make time” and Lynda is living proof; if we want it bad enough, we will find a way! Congratulations Lynda, your work ethic and time management skills are amazing and highly motivational. Keep doing what you are doing!

10-Week Challenge Transformation (Lisa Wasikowski)

There is a famous book authored by Malcolm Gladwell called the “Tipping Point” which reminds me a lot about Lisa Wasikowski’s fitness journey. The book describes the “tipping point” as the moment when something, an idea, a trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and suddenly spreads like wildfire. And while Lisa has been a member for nearly 2-years it was the 10-week challenge that seems to be her personal tipping point!

When Lisa began her fitness journey with CKO/2.0 she did so by constantly “dipping her feet into the water”. In other words, I could tell that physically she was ready for change but mentally she still had some apprehensions. There had been 2 other 10-week challenges that popped up on Lisa’s radar screen but each time she dipped her “toe into the water”, she immediately pulled it back out…

Quotefancy - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Then the 2015 spring challenge rolled around and Lisa had this look on her face that said, “no more dipping my toe, I am jumping head first into that water”. And that is exactly what she did and immediately everything about her changed for the better. Once Lisa made the decision to fully commit to herself, she reached her own personal tipping point. This personal tipping point revealed Lisa’s true character–a strong, confident, and very capable women who’s possibilities know no bounds!

Oh, I can’t forget, Lisa is also a constant reminder that in order to be our best we must find time for self-improvement.  As you will read in Lisa’s interview, her personal journey has been far from easy but Lisa has learned that the stronger and healthier she is, the better equipped she is to care for and support her family! Read below to hear more about Lisa Wasikowski’s journey.

 

Feb 2015 - May 2015

Feb 2015 – May 2015

The Lisa Wasikowski Interview:

1.  Besides being a CKO superhero, what is your day job. Currently, my day and night job is being a full-time mom and special needs advocate.

2.  Do you have any hobbies? Oh man…. yes! I am a hand drummer.  Not in a band, just like to jam with friends, and get transcendental in the woods.  Also, I love to travel (especially road trips), check out local farmers markets, shop for ingredients, cook, camp, hike, drink wine, frolic on the beach, buy cool shit for my daughter, research, read (mostly autobiographies), spend time with family, get a sweat on, watch movies, and work on art projects.
3.  How did you first learn about CKO? It was a sign, literally.  Sandwich board! I live in the area. Drove by the place a zillion times.
4.  What are some of your fitness goals? At this point it’s to keep the fire going, and really work on exploring outside of my comfort zone.  Time to start living that bucket list.
5.  What is your favorite aspect of CKO? Oh boy, that’s a big question…
 
I love you, CKO / 2.0.  Some days it’s all I can do to not just throw in the towel, but that all consuming, love-filled feeling following a truly great workout is a high like none-other.
 

When I first joined, to be honest, it was intimidating.  The energy was electric, but it seemed a bit cliquey in the gym.  I get it now though.  You can’t be in a place like this, doing what we’re doing, for the reasons we’re doing it without forming connections, and unlike most gyms I’ve ever been to, the love is pretty unavoidable.  After a year and a half of trying to get my life on track, I can absolutely say this place is one of my favorites.  The classes are fun.  The energy is awesome.  Some options actually fit my schedule.  Familiar faces are everywhere.  It kind of has that “Cheers” effect.  Can’t help but make friends.  I’m even getting to know people who have inspired me, people whose stories help get me through, even when I’m sure I can’t.

Just finished that CINCO

Just finished that CINCO

I came to you (CKO/2.0) completely sad and broken, really seeking refuge from who I’d turned into.  I went through the motions enough to shake up the monotony of my life, but my molting process has taken time and considerable effort.  Each step seems bigger and bigger, and I turn to you more and more.  You have become my sanctuary, a safe, sacred place where I go to unleash, learn, and heal.
 
Oh… I also want to give props to my super fabulous trainer, because she’s super fabulous!
6.  What was the best part of the challenge? Making gainz!!
 
–  First wave was being able to think more clearly and start realizing how to make better decisions for myself.  Also a feeling of overall contentment washed over me, like everything was going to be fine, so I could breathe into this and not worry so much.
 

–  Second wave was actively carving out time for myself and putting my needs first.  My daughter has some pretty extensive special needs, and part of why I signed up was to get a bit of myself back.  As I started feeling better about life in general, other things, things I wanted and had been craving just started happening.  I even felt like I became a better mom, a more patient and attentive mom, not so frustrated and anxious, and finally was able to shake the last of the postpartum depression.  It’s nuts, once I let all the crap go, the gainz just kept on coming, even through the difficult times.

Lisa after a circuit training class

Lisa after a circuit training class

–  Third was seeing the changes.  I’d have moments where it was like…. whoa, I just lifted 155 lbs! …. or…. whoa, those pants haven’t fit since before the pregnancy!  Awesome feelings!  One of the biggest changes was re-prioritizing, and making time for myself (treated myself to a movie, and a day at the spa, and that memorable day I had to purchase a new pair of jeans because all the others now require belts and I don’t have a belt.).
 
–  Fourth was meeting my goals.  Yes, there were hiccups, and cheat days, and sicknesses, and doctor appointments, and missed alarm clocks, and unforeseen shit all over the place, but this was my time,  Mine!  I didn’t have to share this with anyone.  No matter what happened, I still had this, and I wasn’t going to fuck it up.
 
–  Fifth, was people noticing the gainz.  My husband is amazing, and I love his compliments, but when people other than the two of us started noticing my hard work, I felt like that was when it’d all happened, like I’d arrived, like I’d actually done it.  Best-feeling-ever!!
–  Lastly. personal connections.  New friendships were made.  Gotta love that!
Final Numbers (10-week challenge fitness test)
Push ups:  from 53 to 69
Goblet squats:  from 46 to 56
Arm hang:  from 48 sec to 62 sec
Final numbers (10-week challenge measurements)
11.25 inches lost (off entire body)
8.4 lbs lost
7.  What was the hardest part of the challenge? Balancing my commitments with life’s various road-bumps and hiccups proved difficult, at best.  Plans change.  Schedules rearrange.  Nothing is for certain until it’s happening.  Sicknesses.  ER visits.  Family squabbles.  Business trips.  Overtime.  Impromptu get togethers.  Power outages.  A couple birthdays.  A wedding.  A migraine.  A wrenched out back.  School switches.  IEP crap.  You name it, it happened.  I used the gym time and workouts as therapy.  No therapy = very cranky Lisa = not so good times.
 
Also, figuring realistic food choices when away from home was a total drag, like trying to find paleo options in the Children’s Hospital ER or on a room service menu or in a convenience store or in the airport.
 
8.  What motivates you to walk through that door day after day? –  Gym time is one of the rare opportunities I have to detach from all else.  No phone interaction, and not responsible for anyone but myself.
 
–  It’s the best anger management I know of, and is far cheaper than hiring a really good therapist, better results too.
 
–  The sweat factor.  I love the sweat drip!
 

–  The biggest motivator is the lifestyle change, and holding myself accountable for the promises I’ve made to myself and to my daughter.

Rocking that house at CKO

Rocking that house at CKO

9.  What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with? Lower back issues. Bad posture.  Heavy book bags.  Too many years in food service.  Bad quality shoes.  Untreated scoliosis.  Overcompensation due to injuries sustained from a car accident.  Pregnancy.  Post-pregnancy issues.  Sleeping on a bad mattress.  Helping my daughter learn to walk.  Life…. it gets heavy, and it tends to take its toll.  I’ve learned how to manage it more, but I like to go hard, which isn’t always kind to my back.
10.  What can we do to actualize your true potential? I am at the gym to make myself a better version of who I was yesterday.  Push me harder!!  Other than that, childcare would be awesome.  🙂
11.  Share any relevant information about yourself that other CKO members might not know about you.
I’m not a person who sugar coats things.  Life during these ten weeks was far from easy, but making the effort to try to live in the here and now helped me ward off the voices of resistance, and find my flow.  The challenge stretched far beyond the bounds of the gym, right into the core of me and who I am.
 
I like to have a tough skin.  Life has been so thick the past few years, part of what got me needing to turn things around was auto-pilot mode to the next fix, the escape, the desire to “turn off”.  I certainly didn’t expect to get all emotional at the end, but I totally did, which means progress!  Allowing myself to live my best life means actually LIVING it, feeling it, experiencing it, bad and good, not shutting it off or trying to numb it away.  I just had get up and do it.  Now it’s over.  The threshold is crossed, time to move on, and man does it ever feel good!
 
Today there is no rush.  Today it’s all about what’s happening right now.  My today involves enjoying the sunshine with my daughter, helping her get excited about walking on her own.  Her inner fire is my biggest inspiration.  I have no business setting my bar any lower than that.  I am her mom.  How can I teach her… how can I ever make her believe she can achieve her dreams if I’m not going after my own?  That’s what this challenge was for me, getting myself on track, finding the right path(s), setting the bar higher, and not fucking stopping.
 
Today I was reminded about the work I put into being the best mom I can be, and the kind of team my husband, daughter, and I are now.  When my daughter was in the NICU, we hooked up with an incredible Seattle based organization which provided us a wonderful team of early-intervention therapists.  They served us and taught us for three years, starting when she was three weeks old.  During that time, my daughter has been a “poster child” for their early-intervention program.  It is their 50th anniversary this year.  They put together a publication of “50 Stories Worth Sharing”.  We were featured!!
Lisa Fun
 
You want an itemized list of my gym related successes since joining CKO, let’s talk over a couple ciders and bun-less burgers (add bacon).  A lot has happened in that year and a half, including battling postpartum depression, a pregnancy, and a miscarriage.  CKO / 2.0 have been instrumental in helping me push through.  It’s a lifestyle change, though that wasn’t my aim at the time.  I just wanted to start feeling better and find some “me space” away from the house.  That was accomplished, and then some.
 
What I achieved in these weeks has been an off-put goal for years.  I was finally ready.  It was time to rise above my former self, and I did!  Not often in my life have I been truly happy or truly proud (of myself) let alone all at once.  I can honestly say I worked hard, I earned it, and dammit I deserve it.  Success!
 
Link to the article:  In “50 Stories Worth Sharing”.

10-Week Challenge Transformation (Hazim and Viri)

Want to know a huge secret that is almost guaranteed to give you the results you are looking for?

Wait for it…

Ok, the answer is…Having an active and “healthy minded” significant other!

When an individual makes the decision to become healthier, that person must make some major lifestyle changes. This individual must change the way they eat, they must change the way they choose to spend their free time, and they must even change their priorities about what they are willing to spend on health (among many other changes). This amount of change is not easy at all, but it becomes an even bigger obstacle when this same person also has to battle with an unwilling (“to get healthier”) significant other (husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend). In fact we have talked about this on our Podcast titled Vegan Thin Mints.

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So, when I see a couple, especially a married couple, working out side-by-side, I know their odds of succeeding have significantly increased. In other words, when it comes to obtaining that healthy lifestyle they are at a huge advantage compared to most people. Because not only do they not have to fight the unwilling spouse battle, but now they also have a teammate to support them through this difficult journey.

The “team” is always stronger than the individual, especially if the team works together! So if your goal is to get that “next level” in life, it is critical to surround yourself with likeminded individuals (teammates if you will). We need people in our lives to bring us up, not down.

One such couple (or teammates) that have been extremely successful at working together is Hazim (pronounced “awesome” with an “H”) and Viri (she goes by “V”-“D”)! During the 10-week challenge Hazim and Viri were definitely a force (and still are) to be reckoned with! They entered the 10-week challenge strong and with some momentum but have come out much stronger, with even more passion and even more drive!

Hazim and Viri are nothing short of a power couple! They are successful both in the gym and at life. Together since January 2015 they have lost 60-lbs. During the 10-week challenge (Feb 2015 – May 2015), together they lost 31-inches off their bodies. They are true team, in fact they even have establish roles, one is the gym motivator and one is the cook. It is literally a match made in heaven.

Read the Hazim and Viri interview below:

Besides being a CKO Superhero, what is your day job?

VIRII am a Licensed Veterinary Technician at an emergency and specialty clinic.

HAZIM – I am an Aerospace Structures Engineer

Do you have any hobbies?

VIRI I love to read. Barnes and Noble is my happy place. I also love to spend time with my pets…I have two Labradors and two cats.

HAZIM – Hobbies, always an interesting question. I like practical hobbies, working on my car when I need to. DIY projects, going green, researching random items and cooking

Wow! Just 10-weeks!

Feb 2015 – May 2015

How did you first learn of CKO?

VIRI My husband and I moved from southern California about a year and a half ago.  When we moved here, I was looking for a new gym to go to that would keep me interested and invested.  Many yelp and google searches later, I read about CKO. I’d done kickboxing (shadow boxing) before and the idea of having an actual heavy bag caught my attention. I showed up for my first class in March 2014 and signed up the same day.  

HAZIM – My wife pulled me into the addiction.

What are some of your fitness goals? 

VIRI  I’m interested gaining strength, endurance and coordination. One of my goals is to run a marathon by my 30th birthday.  I ran my first half marathon last year and will be running another one this year.  I am confident that training at 2.0 and CKO will help build the stamina needed for these events.    

HAZIM – My main goal is to be lean, tone, and healthy. My two top goals are to be able to do a human flag and muscle-ups. 

What is your favorite aspect of CKO/2.0?  

VIRICKO provides an extremely supportive environment.  When I first started going to CKO, I used the heavy bags that were furthest from the instructor, toward the back of the gym.  I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t want anyone to see me. Over time, however, I’ve inched my way toward the instructor.  I realized that no one was there to judge me.  The instructors’ and members genuinely want everyone to succeed.  

10 week challenge Vidi

Feb 2015 – May 2015

 

HAZIM – My favorite aspect of CKO/2.0 is the instructors, everything else came second. I was very humbled at how quickly they learned my name (not an easy name), and how genuine everyone is about health and looking out for all the members. I was never really one to de-stress by punching a bag, so to me, it’s fun exercise, which doesn’t make it feel like exercise at all!

What was the best part about the 10-week challenge?

VIRIRealizing that this was no longer just about 10 weeks. I have a new found respect for my body and what I can accomplish. I don’t expect to change anything that I’ve learned during this time.

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Viri rocking the house at CKO!

 

HAZIM – The best part of the challenge is making sustainable life changes, and learning proper techniques to work out.

What was the hardest part about the challenge?

VIRI The food at work.  In my line of work, clients tend to bring in a lot of food and treats to thank us for caring for their pets.  My clinic in particular has what’s called a “happy drawer” that’s always full of candy for employees to enjoy.  On especially difficult and stressful days, someone would buy food for the employees on shift. It was sometimes challenging not to revert to old habits.  

HAZIM – The hardest part about this challenge was giving up sugar. Not because I have a sweet tooth, but because 74% of products have added sugar. Even items you would never suspect…..Costco Rotisserie Chicken….yep, they use seasoned salt (added sugar).

What motivates you to walk through that door day after day and continue to push yourself?

VIRIWith every workout, I improve. There is always something to learn and room to grow.

HAZIM – Seeing a huge transformation, in my body shape, in my stamina, strength, mentality. My very first class at CKO, I barely made it 20 minutes and then I vomited. Now, I can do a Cinco!

What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with?

VIRIHonestly…resting.  I don’t workout on Sundays at all.  However, on my days off from work, I would often take up to 3 classes in one day. This often compromised the quality of my workouts.  I’ve had to rethink the way I schedule my workouts so as to not exhaust myself or injure myself.

HAZIM – I still find myself struggling a little to get myself to work-out (especially mornings). It is SO much easier to just sit on the couch. I always have to think about the end result, whether it be my ultimate goal, or short term, how amazing I feel after working out.

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Hazim doing circuit training at 2.0

 

What can we do better to help you actualize your true potential?

VIRI – I think with 2.0 and CKO you have provided the community with the tools they need to succeed. I think from there the ball is in our court so to speak.  It is up to us as individuals to attend classes and approach instructors when we have specific fitness goals in mind.

HAZIM – At a certain point, individuals have to take accountability for themselves. You already do so much to make sure we are on track, and to motivate. Anything else would be holding our hands, and that wouldn’t be conducive to living a better life.

Share any relevant information you’d like about yourself that other CKO team members might not know about you (also a good place to talk about any success you have had since joining CKO)!

Viri during Bootcamp

Viri during Bootcamp

VIRI – I was at my heaviest my senior year of college.  My daily breakfast would be a Frappuccino and a bagel with cream cheese and dinner would often be something from the drive through.  I didn’t exercise at all.  A year after graduating, life knocked some sense into me and I began to exercise at home (mostly Jillian Michaels videos) and I cleaned up the way I ate.   I went from a size 12 to a size 4…and then got comfortable.  I continued to exercise and found a love for it but slowly began to eat out again. I’ve never gone back to being as unhealthy and heavy as I was senior year of college but I always struggled with my relationship with food. I ate because I was stressed or sad not because I was hungry. Since joining CKO and 2.0, I’ve found healthier avenues to cope with stress and I’ve become more educated about the type of food I should be consuming. I’ve become more aware of what my body’s abilities and needs are. Joining CKO has truly been a life altering experience. Thank you all for your constant support!

HAZIM – I’m not a jerk, I promise (I just come off that way). Haha.  I’m often quiet at the gym and kept to myself, this is not because I don’t like you. Being an Engineer, I’m socially awkward.  It is very easy to talk to me though, if anyone has any personal questions about the 10-week challenge, or you just want to say hi.  I’m pretty competitive, so if you want to get a kickass work out, let’s work-out side by side, and let me know you’re trying to top me, haha.

I joined CKO in 05/2014 and for the first 6 months, I had almost no progress (because I did not take it seriously, and only went to 4 or 5 classes a month). I decided to take the Cinco challenge and in January started working up my ability to do 5 classes in a row, that’s when I really saw a change, and got addicted to CKO. Garett says it all the time, you can’t just take a few classes here and there, 3 classes a week should be your minimum. “It’s hard, if it were easy, everyone would do it!” This is a fact, the question is, are you determined. Getting ready for Cinco, and then doing the 10 Week Challenge, I lost 30lb (about 14%) of my total weight. I’m sure I would have lost even more weight if I didn’t gain all that muscle ;-).

Hazim during Kettlebell class

Hazim during Kettlebell class

ABOUT JOINING AS A COUPLE

VIRI I met my husband in first grade. We’ve seen each other grow up. We started dating 10 years ago, lived together for 6 of those years and we’ll be celebrating our first anniversary as a married couple in June.   We’ve been each other’s greatest supporters and sometimes greatest enablers. I would stay in and cuddle on the couch rather than head to the gym. He would go out to the drive through with me rather than enjoy a home cooked meal. In the last year and a half, we’ve made a lot of changes. We moved from Los Angeles to Seattle, we bought a house, we got married, and we’ve even gotten a puppy! With all these changes, we truly took the time to reflect. At this point in our lives, we were prepared to become healthier more fit people. This is not just for ourselves, but for the family we eventually hope to create. We started attending CKO more often and even participated in CINCO. We decided to take on the 10 Week Challenge as a team. He took charge of cooking (Hazim is an excellent cook) and I got us to the gym. We never saw each other as competition but instead sought to be a better version of ourselves as individuals. We celebrated one another’s successes, realizing that we could not have accomplished as much without the support of the other. Together, we’ve lost 36.2lb and 31.7 inches in the last ten weeks. We thank you all for your guidance and support!

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HAZIM – We’ve known each other since first grade, our parents were in PTA together (cheesy, right?). We started dating Freshman year of college (2005) and got married in 06/13/2014 (Friday the 13th, full moon). We truly are each others’ better half. I like to cook so I keep us from eating too much junk, she likes to be active and exercise, so she keeps us from being too sedentary. I think without each others’ support we would not have been able to make these life changes. In fact, I have read that this type of thing drives a wedge in a relationship and resentment (as if one person is leaving the other behind). There has been a lot of significant life events in the last year and a half, relocated from Los Angeles to Seattle, buying a house together, getting married, and adopting a puppy. All enjoyable, but still stressful. We made this a challenge we can conquer together, to help strength our relationship even more. Instead of competing with each other, we complemented and encouraged each other. Growing up, I always had a healthy diet, that now I can’t thank my parents enough for. This is something we wanted to do for our kids as well, so it is not just for us, but for the future us, and our future family. We did CINCO side-by-side, and felt great! We were still missing the dietary aspect though, so we took the 10-week challenge as a team. I did most of the cooking, and Viri kicked our butts to get to the Gym (ewww, 5:15am Cardio Lift). Together we lost 36.2lb and 31.7 inches in the 10-Week Challenge, and a total loss of 60lb since January!    

vandh

Real life Superheroes

 

VIRI’s 10-Week Challenge Results:

Viri

HAZIM’s 10-Week Challenge Results:

Hazim

Were you inspired by this story? If so, click here to start your own journey!

10 Week Challenge (Julie Kurpewski)

Ok, here is a question you need to ask yourself right now, “What could I accomplish in 10-weeks”? Well Julie Kurpewski asked herself this same question and she found her answer: She lost 27.75-inches (total off her body) and 20-lbs! Congratulations Julie! Your are yet another example that hard-work and dedication pay off! I hope your amazing results become an inspiration for others!

For those that are interested we will be starting our next 10-week challenge on February 21, 2015! Remember, What could you accomplish in 10-weeks?

Read more about Julie below:
2014 10 week Final JK

Besides being a CKO Superhero, what is your day job?

I am a Senior Project Manager in the Information Systems department at Costco Wholesale.

Do you have any hobbies?

I like to hang out with friends & family, getting my exercise on, playing with my pups, reading, listening to music & watching movies.

How did you first learn of CKO?

I heard about CKO by a pure fluke. A friend of a friend on Facebook posted her results from what I assume was one of the previous 10 week challenges. When I found out that CKO was a kickboxing gym, I was thrilled. I had prior experience with mixed martial arts/kickboxing & missed it from my life. I had to check out the gym to see if I liked the classes, and let me tell you I didn’t “like” their classes, I LOVED them! Once I confirmed  that CKO’s schedule worked really well with mine, I was sold! Not to mention that I felt immediately felt welcomed, which is very rare in a gym environment. I can honestly say that there is something very special going on at this gym, I love it! 

What are some of your fitness goals?

My main fitness goal was & still is to find a great cardio workout that I could enjoy. CKO has helped me fill that gap. As time progresses I want to continue getting stronger & faster.

Putting in that work!

Putting in that work!

What is your favorite aspect of CKO?  

One of the first things I noticed is that everyone is very friendly & encouraging. Many of the CKO members have now become my friends, in fact, one of my favorite aspects is that I always know someone at the gym, it is like the show Cheers, “everyone know your name”. LOL! I also love that the instructors not only remember you but also take the time to see how you’re doing. As someone that’s been to a variety of gyms in the past, I’ve never seen such openness from both the staff & the clientele. This is extremely refreshing! CKO is not a gym, it is a community, trust me, you will not find another gym like it!

It is amazing how much progress can be made in just 10-weeks

It is amazing how much progress can be made in just 10-weeks

What was the best part about the challenge?

Well, ironically the challenge, challenged me! The challenge provided me more direction on what I should do in relation to food & offered a level of accountability that I desperately needed at the time. I really appreciated all the instructors that participated in the boot camps because without their help we wouldn’t have pushed ourselves as hard as we did.

Then of course there were the results I experienced. I was thrilled at the end of 10 weeks to find out I lost a total of 27.75 inches & 20 lbs. Woo Hoo!!!

What was the hardest part about the challenge?

The hardest part for me was that I had to deal with some injuries for the majority of the challenge. Because of these injuries, I wasn’t able to push as hard as I probably could go. It makes me wonder what kind of results I could have had if I didn’t have to take rest days. But I am really proud that I did not use these injuries as an excuse, I found a way to work around them!

What motivates you to walk through that door day after day and continue to push yourself?

I am motivated to come in because I love the work out. Kickboxing is not only fun but it’s a great way to release stress if I had a bad day. The workout always offers diversity & each time I can push myself to perform better.

What’s one thing you still find yourself struggling with?

I think the biggest challenge I experience is making sure I have food prepared for each day. One thing that’s helped is finding recipes I can do it the crock pot. That must be the greatest invention ever! As a way to meet my food prep challenge, I have made Sunday’s my food prep day.

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Hard-work and dedication

 

What can we do better to help you actualize your true potential?

I think with 2.0 opening & consulting with you, I will find more ways to challenge myself to a higher level of fitness.

Share any relevant information you’d like about yourself that other CKO team members might not know about you (also a good place to talk about any success you have had since joining CKO)!

I’ve been on a fitness journey for quite a long time. Over five years at this point. Because of changes in my life over the last 1 ½ years I fell off track & re-gained some of the weight which made me feel frustrated. On top of that, I lost the inspiration & focus I previously had that kept me on track. I knew what I was supposed to do however “doing cardio” at the gym became boring for me.

I’m so happy that I found CKO.  I now have a workout that provides me both cardio & strength training. As a bonus, it’s a workout that’s fun & provides a great outlet for releasing stress.

Since joining in April, I noticed that I’m much stronger. I’m able to complete tasks that I originally found difficult. I believe that if I didn’t join CKO, this wouldn’t be the case. So in short, thank you Team CKO!