How Crossfit changed my life and I ended up here
Today being the launch of my new site I felt it would be appropriate to explain how I got here.
I grew up an athlete, football and baseball during pre-high school years, then football and track during high school. I was a good athlete, always a first string player. I never achieved my full potential because I just didn’t have my head in the right place. After school, I got into snow skiing and bicycled as training for the winter. I was an avid runner all of my life and ran a few marathons by the time I was in my late 30’s. I always trained with weights since the age of 7. I was one of those skinny kids that read the Charles Atlas ad back in the 60’s and used to work out in my bedroom. I used chairs, mom’s cutting board as a bench, anything I could think of to do the routines that I saw in magazines. Weight training became a part of my life. It gave me confidence and a better self-image. In my late 20’s I became a trainer and worked at various gyms of those times.
I was definitely a late bloomer. At the age of 40 I was in the best shape of my life. The strongest and fastest I had ever been. At that time I weighed 185 lbs. with around a 7 or 8 percent body fat.
After 40 I let things go. Having worked in the restaurant industry all of my working life, it was the typical late nights, high stress and long hours. I slowly stopped doing all of the things that I used to do to stay in shape and did all the bad things that get you out of shape. By the time I was 48 I was up to 270 lbs.
That is where this story really begins.
I was on Facebook one day just scrolling through the newsfeed when I saw some before and after pictures posted of some guy that was a friend of a friend. I didn’t even know him. He had lost 40 lbs. in 3 months and had some crazy workout pics of something called Crossfit. I had no idea at that time what Crossfit was but it looked pretty scary! I searched online and found their website. I liked what I was reading and decided to find a Crossfit Gym in my area and go check this stuff out. I went to one gym to observe a workout and was planning to join until I ran into a neighbor who had lost 100 lbs. When I asked him what he had done to lose the weight, he said that had been doing Crossfit! I knew at that moment that it was for me. He took me to his gym and I did a free workout. Even though the trainer scaled back the workout to my age and fitness level, my ego took over and I pushed too hard. Afterwards, I couldn’t return to the gym for 5 days I was so sore.
Now, let me tell you that those early days of Crossfit were rough. I struggled with my mind remembering where I used to be versus my body reminding me of where I actually was. Getting up off the floor was a chore, my endurance sucked, my flexibility didn’t exist, and I was frankly…scared shitless every workout. I plugged away each workout as best I could.
Crossfit is a real community/ family oriented program. You quickly get close to fellow Crossfitters. The support you get and share with each other is amazing. It is not uncommon for members to bring their kids and pets to the gym and everyone contributes in keeping it all safe.
Part two of this Crossfit story is the nutrition piece. Within the Crossfit community, many of us follow either the Paleo diet or Zone diet. I was familiar with the Zone, as I had read the book when it was first published by Dr. Barry Sears. I had never heard of the Paleo Diet. After some research, I ordered the book by Dr. Loren Cordain and read it overnight.
For me, the Paleo diet worked best. Eat like a caveman right? It was user friendly, no measuring or counting and pretty easy to grasp. Eat garden vegetables, especially greens, lean meats, nuts and seeds, little starch, and no sugar. Avoid grains and legumes, processed seed oils, processed foods and dairy. I began to see results and lose weight immediately. As I progressed with Paleo, I learned about Intermittent Fasting. If you were a caveman, you spent a large portion of your day hunting for game. It might take hours or days for a kill. Infrequent meals are a huge part of our where we came from. Once again, it worked for me.
At the end of the day, I have lost 90 lbs. in less than two years. I feel great! I am healthy and my workouts have evolved to levels that I was doing in my 30’s. Realistically, it is more nutrition than exercise. Honestly, because of my schedule in the restaurant business and working late nights I wasn’t anywhere close to being as consistent in Crossfit as I wanted. There were periods of large gaps where I couldn’t make it to the gym for various reasons, but I was very consistent with Paleo and Intermittent Fasting. As I lost weight and my health got better, even when I returned to the gym after a gap I would still see major improvements.
So, all of that being said, Crossfit changed my life! It gave me courage. It gave me a support group. Through Crossfit I was introduced to Paleo Diet. The combination of these factors led to change and to where I am now.
It is now my goal to share with you. To let you know that you can do it too! My whole life has led me to this moment and this place, and I am very happy and blessed to be here!
Let’s get started!