Rachel Rivera: "I am no longer pre-diabetic!"

Published January 10, 2018

  • So for everyone out there who doesn’t know you or where you started before this body composition challenge - would you tell us a little bit about your story and why you decided to commit to this 6 week nutrition challenge at CrossFit Jungle Gym?
    • I'm a pharmacist and pretty much stand all day.  I don't have a specific lunch time and can go a whole work day without eating because it's so hectic.  This causes random fluctuations in my weight that I'm sure cannot be healthy.  I also noticed that when I worked out I felt better but then I was hungrier during the day because I was barely eating.  I decided to commit to the six week challenge primarily to lose weight and any extra benefits would be appreciated.


  • Would you give us a little background on some of the changes you made during the challenge?
    • So I committed to working out at least 3 days a week including coming to open gym if I was not out of town, eating 5 meals a day that consisted of a protein, carbohydrate (veggies or fruit only) and fat, no alcohol, no dessert, sleeping 7 hours per night, and drinking 50 oz. of water daily.

  • Were the guidelines and rules set out by the CrossFit Jungle Gym coaches manageable to follow? Did you feel like you found a good balance or do you feel like we put you on one of those extreme crash diets that would not be maintainable after the Challenge?
    • I've done Paleo before which is probably the most extreme lifestyle I've done.  This was very manageable.  It seemed extreme at first, but once you started putting meals together and figuring out what you love to eat and is still good for you, it wasn't bad at all.  It was a good balance of the nutrients I need daily and there was no crash.  I'm still incorporating the meal plan after the challenge has ended, so it's totally maintainable after the challenge.  


  • Tell us about your results after just 6 weeks (this can be number based, specific results or just overall how you feel, or possible updates you receive at your latest Dr. appointment). Anything that you feel you would like to credit to your hard work during this challenge?
    • First and foremost, I am no longer pre-diabetic.  I have been on the cusp for a few years but I couldn't quite get down below the cut-off.  After the six week challenge, I had my nutritionist check my A1C and I fell below the cut-off!! Woot woot!  My body also performed better.  I got a number of PRs during the challenge: 35 double unders in a minute, 5 kipping pull-ups, 3 toes to bar.  It was pretty awesome to see a change in my eating habits pay off in my health.

  • Where do you plan to go from here? Do you think you you’ve been equipped with the knowledge to continue this on your own or do you plan to continue to work with a CrossFit Jungle Gym Coach?
    • I plan to continue this meal plan for a few months and see where it takes me.  My next step is do sit down with a coach and figure out my Zone prescription.  I'm kinda scared of Zone, it sounds like a full-time job.


  • What are three things that changed in your life for the better as a result of participating in this challenge with us at CrossFit Jungle Gym?
    • 1. I had changed my membership to unlimited once I realized that working out daily helps me not punch people in the throat.  I don't actually punch people in the throat, but I want to.  CrossFit @ JG really made my work-life balance much easier.  My employees thank you.  
    • 2. There's really no question if I'm coming to Jungle Gym.  The question is when since I've discovered I like the 6 pm class as well.  I like the consistency of knowing I need to be here regularly.
    • 3. I don't have an obsession with food.  I don't HAVE to have that slice of cheesecake, or bagel, or name your food.  I was a bit ridiculous before.


  • What are you most proud of accomplishing during these last 6 weeks?
    • My kipping pull-ups. I've done CrossFit off and on since 2011. I never stayed with a box long enough to get results. This is the longest I've been with a box and it feels good connecting with people and having a common goal of overall fitness.


  • Were the guidelines set forth by the Coaches at CrossFit Jungle Gym easy enough for even a beginner to follow and or see results from?
    • Yes! It would have been exciting to be a beginner and see what kind of results I would have had.  


  • Explain how the Coaches and other members supported you during the challenge? Did you feel like you had the support you needed from the CrossFit Jungle Gym team to succeed once and for all?
    • The Monday classes and the Facebook group were really helpful. I felt like people definitely understood the challenges and were always willing to put forth an idea to help you through a struggle.  I want to shout out Dennise and Erin for helping me not nosedive into terrible decisions!

  • Do you think the person sitting at home who may have a story similar to yours could do what you did with the help of a CrossFit Jungle Gym Coach?
    • Absolutely!  I'm a pretty positive person and I feel like with enough support and time, people can do just about anything they want to do.  If that's getting a(nother) degree, or changing careers, or losing the weight they've been holding onto since 2001.  Whatever it is.  And I think in terms of the last one, CFJG is a totally judgement free, empowering place to get that goal accomplished.


  • On a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your results from this program that the Coaches here at CFJG put together for you?
    • I'd say a 9.  I didn't actually get the goal I wanted to (major weight loss) within the six weeks but I got so much more.  It took me more than six weeks to gain the weight so I have to be realistic that it can't take six weeks to lose the weight.  But my strength, endurance and skill was improve dramatically and I lost inches!


  •  I can guarantee you that someone who doesn’t know you is reading this at home- if they are in a similar boat as you and are looking to make a change and you could tell them only one thing about getting started here at CrossFit Jungle Gym what would you say?
    • Only you can make the decision to change your life, but we're all here to walk, jog, run, lift, kip along wit you.

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