Back last summer, before things went to shit, I’d started looking at Crossfit boxes. A coworker was seriously into Crossfit and loved it. I have some friends who do Crossfit, including a former coworker who now has her own box. At the time I was eating pretty much full Paleo, and all of the Paleo people I was following were all into Crossfit. I mentioned it to Phillip a couple of times, but the price kind of kept me from even checking it out. And then things went down the crapper, and Crossfit was definitely out of the question.
Fast forward a couple of months to when I found Go Kaleo and started learning about the Eating the Food philosophy. At that point, I was still working out a little on my own and still gaining weight, but I realized that if I had any hope of being as fit as I would like to be and truly being healthy in all ways, that I had to work on my relationship with food (and in a lot of ways, myself). There’s no doubt that Medifast exacerbated my disordered eating, but I also knew that there had been times as an adult when I HADN’T had disordered eating and when my relationship with food was fine, other than the fact that I ate things that I now know my body doesn’t respond well to (and I was extremely sedentary at that point, too, which didn’t help). So for a few weeks I ate whatever the hell I wanted, to an extent. Because of the depression of losing my job and starting to gain weight so rapidly, I fell into a place where I really wasn’t that hungry. I knew I had to eat, so if I wanted something I ate it, even if that something was an apple fritter or one of those ginormous gourmet Belgian chocolate chunk cookies from HEB (seriously…best cookies ever). I’d denied myself those things for so long, that it makes sense that those things would be the first I would really start craving. Then it was ice cream for about a week (Talenti, which is actually gelato–it’s amazeballs, FWIW). After three or four weeks of this, I stopped wanting those things so much and started craving protein and fat again.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this crazy up and down journey, it’s that we really should give our bodies more credit.
For a while I was focusing more on my relationship with food and fixing it rather than working out. So when I started working out again, it was kind of frustrating. I started using kettle bells and that helped–they’re fun and they make me feel like I’m getting a really good workout. Around early November I’d started to feel a bit antsy, I guess, and not happy with what I’d been doing physically. I would ride the stationary bike for 30-45 minutes, lift weights on the weight bench for about 20 minutes, and then work with the kettle bells for 15 to 20 minutes.
I started to hate the stationary bike. Sure, I enjoyed the fact that it gave me the opportunity to read while working out (and to be fair, I use the term working out a bit loosely here), but other than that it was just…meh.
Phillip would ask me what I wanted for my birthday, and I couldn’t come up with anything. So I kind of jokingly but kind of seriously said I would like to find a personal trainer–or a very small gym with super small classes where you get individual attention and individualized workouts)–who understood the whole nutrition/exercise balance and who wasn’t into the crazy calorie restricting that a lot of trainers seem to be into. I wanted to learn how to lift properly, and get really strong, because I was learning that I enjoyed weights and kettle bells. It was a passing comment and one that we kind of decided would probably be hard to find and super expensive.
So I kept doing my thing on my own, getting more and more bored (I swear I have ADD) and just not feeling it. I wasn’t pushing myself, was just going through the motions. Sure, I upped my bench press in that time, but that was about it.
Fast forward to Christmastime. I guess Phillip was noticing that I was spiraling a bit, just really apathetic and not motivated and not feeling good. So he surprised me and asked if, for an anniversary gift, I would like for him to get me a membership or some sessions with a trainer. I was like, sure, thinking to myself, “I’m not going to find what I want. I don’t think it exists.”
Well, apparently it does, or at least as close to it as I think I’ll be able to find. Phillip was listening to a local sports station when one of the on-air personalities did an advertisement for this fitness place. Phillip suggested I look into it, because it sounded like what I was looking for. I did. I contacted the guy. Talked to him on the phone. His classes are super small (3 people or less), he takes a mostly Crossfit approach to fitness and working out but realizes that nutrition is the basis for fitness. He has a bit of a crazy history regarding diet and fitness, too, and is a self-proclaimed nerd.
I had my first session last night and holy fudge monkeys, Batman. I don’t remember when the last time was I had a workout like that. At one point I thought I might throw up, which made me want to punch him. I told him I wanted to punch him. He laughed and said that was good because that meant he was doing his job. It’s nice to be able to tell someone, “I really want to punch you right now” and not hurt their feelings. I’m incredibly sore this morning, but actually not quite as bad as what I’d feared I would be, which is a good thing. And despite the fact that I’m kind of mad at myself for the decisions I’ve made in the past and the fact that I’ve let myself get fairly out of shape, it seems that all is not lost, as he dispensed these two facts last night:
- I’m pretty strong and have good form
- I’m really freaking flexible
In some ways, though, the best part was that during the Workout of the Day (WOD), I think I was on my third set and was doing Mountain Climbers (kind of like in the video I linked, but with my hands on a box since I’d never done them before). I was tired, I was hungry (it was supper time, yo, and my body was letting me know it via the pukey feeling), I was worried my heart was going to explode from my chest, and whereas four years ago I would have slowed down a lot or given up entirely, I was instead doing those Mountain Climbers and thinking, “Holy shit, my ass is going to be amazing! Phillip better appreciate this.”
I think the hardest part for me in this is going to be working out in front of someone else. I like working out by myself for a variety of reasons; it’s been a time when I could let my mind wander, it’s been my alone time, and because, to be perfectly honest, I always feel like a big dork. I know I’m not super athletic. I’m flexible and I’m strong, I have good form with some things but need to work on others. I overthink some things (like one of the bar squats and the box jumps) and don’t entirely trust my body, my ability or my damned ankle. The idea of being pushed is kind of scary, because I know I’ll have to do it (unlike when it’s just me, myself and I). But I also know that deep down this is what I need. I’m a competitive over-achiever; I’ll get those damned moves down and I’ll lessen my WOD time bit by bit. I hope I’ll eventually stop being self-conscious about how stupid I must look with my butt bouncing up in the air while doing Mountain Climbers, or the fact that when I’m really getting into lifting something I tend to grunt a little bit (yes, I know that’s normal, but I still feel self conscious while doing it). Maybe I’ll stop being self conscious about my shirt riding up and exposing some of my stomach. I hope I’ll get there. Logically, I know that no one cares, and that I’m much harder on myself than anyone else is.
So, yeah. I guess for now I’m trying something new. The plan is to try this for three months (two times a week) and see how things work out (no pun intended). By that point I may be a total Crossfit addict, or I may not be. By that point, I may feel the need to move on to the next thing (I can kind of see that next thing being Olympic lifting–I really do enjoy lifting). Who knows? Hell, part of that will be financial, too, depending on what happens with my contract and work situation. But for right now, I’m trying something new, learning new stuff (yay!), moving my body and eating the food.
Yay for trying new things!