The Back Story
So, yes, I’m fat. And no, not the cool kind with a “ph”. The regular overweight fat. And yes, I’m allowed to say it about me…you aren’t! haha. Most of these plus size stories start with “growing up, I was always the big kid”, but for me that is not the case. I was a super fit athlete all throughout elementary school. I had a larger frame and an even larger family but it seemed like whatever I ate didn’t matter because I was active enough to burn it all off.
Then highschool came and I got my first (and last!) boyfriend, as well as my first part time job at Tim Hortons and things started to change. I now had cash burning a hole in my wallet and someone I wanted to spend it on. Our dates always revolved around eating, followed by some activity like a movie or bowling and the pounds slowly started creeping on. I was still very active in these years, practices and games for school sports 4 days a week, and then either volleyball or baseball on Sundays. But even with all that exercise, I couldn’t outrun my bad diet. Food had now become a celebration for having money or getting out of the house and by the time I graduated, I was pretty overweight.
The Beginning of the End
Flash forward to now, about 6 years later and I’m even heavier. Still with the same guy – now my husband, having gone through college, starting our careers, getting married, and buying out first home and now – pregnancy! After last year, when we purchased our home, we decided that in about a year from then that we would start trying for our first baby. I knew my excess weight could be a problem and so we sought to lose weight together in hopes of giving ourselves the best shot possible when the time came.
We had tried so many different things over the years, going to the gym, working out at home doing P90X, taking classes etc. and it would go great for about 3 months and then we’d get sick of it. My husband’s coworker told us about this CrossFit gym in town that he went to and loved. I was always weary of it because you hear so many horror stories…bad for your joints, they teach you terrible form, and so on but at this point we were willing to try anything. It was a pretty pricey package to join – $320/month for my husband and I to go 3 times a week so we figured, we’d give it a month, see how it goes, and then decide to continue or not.
So I get to my first class and I’m shaking in the car almost having a panic attack. I had gotten fairly confident in myself over the past year with working out in front of people but this was a whole
different ball game. This was olympic lifts, gymnastic movements, and a whole lot of cardio and I was scared. Scared I wouldn’t be able to do the moves and scared that I’d be judged. But after that hour long session, I realized that I couldn’t have been more wrong about the sport of CrossFit and the members at this gym in particular.
In one session, I was hooked! The coaches were so helpful, as were the other members. Nobody judged me for my size or my ability – in fact I never felt more at home. I was able to scale and modify the workouts to my ability so that I never felt secluded from the super fit athletes doing strict pullups and handstand pushups! I would do my ring rows and regular knee pushups right alongside them and I would receive the same “Great Job” fist bump at the end of the class as the rest of the athletes.
This is a great article I found by Huffington Post for beginner CrossFitters called “What To Expect At Your First CrossFit Workout.”
No Pain, No Gain
We went religiously 3 times a week, every week. No longer were we putting off workouts to hang with friends or have a lazy day. It was our priority and our social life! Because of the price, and the intensity of the workout, we felt obligated to make the most of it each and every week. The price was a huge motivation to keep us coming back, but even bigger than that was the feeling we had when we left each class – pure satisfaction. During the workout, you’d be thinking to yourself, why am I paying to be in this much pain? Then you leave and say “see you tomorrow”! I finally felt like the athlete I was when I was younger and it made me want more. We became pretty addicted really, watching CrossFit documentaries, and doing our own home workouts on our off days. It was something active that we actually enjoyed doing.
We were accepted into this great group of individuals that all came together to support each other in achieving their goals and it was just such a cool movement to be a part of. There’s a running joke in Crossfit that it’s a cult and the first rule of Crossfit is “never stop talking about crossfit”. It engulfs you, makes you strive for more, and want to be better. I’ve never been involved in a sport that provided that much comradery and support. The other members became friends and the people I wanted to share my growth with. They were the first people to help celebrate a new PR or to give tips on how to do a better lift. And despite the price to get in, that feeling is priceless.
I hadn’t lost a ton of weight in the 7 months that I was there but I definitely gained muscle. My body composition had changed drastically and I could tell I was getting stronger. I modified less and less each week I was there and it was amazing. We figured we would start trying for a baby while still working on our health because who knew how long it could take. Well we were pretty lucky…4 months in and I saw that beautiful second line on the home pregnancy test that confirmed that in 9 months we would be bringing new life into the world.
Unfortunately due to some complications in the first month, I’ve since had to stop CrossFit and it’s been really hard. I’ve not only lost the drive and motivation from the coaches and other members to workout, but I’ve lost that social aspect as well. Once you’ve been part of such an amazing and supportive community, it’s hard to replicate that environment alone at home. But babies health is most important and I’ll join back up when I can.
Of course CrossFit didn’t literally get me pregnant but I fully believe that without it, that we may not have had such quick success. It helped me make drastic changes in my health in a fairly short period of time. I was fitter, leaner, and my cardio endurance had increased exponentially. I mean, who knows, I could have still had the same results had I not joined, but I’d rather start off fitter than fatter!
Is there a sport or class that you want to take but have been avoiding? If so, what is holding you back and how can you take steps towards achieving your goal?
Facebook post: Struggling to get pregnant? Read this woman’s journey on how Crossfit helped her get in better shape so she could get pregnant: http://wp.me/p3QRy0-coA
Twitter post: A Fat Girl’s Guide to #Crossfit – And How It Got Me #Pregnant: http://wp.me/p3QRy0-coA