My Fitness Journey
A few months ago I visited Brick Boston while in town for work. As we warmed up, the coach observed, "So, you must have been a gymnast."
"A chearleader then."
"Well you had to have been something."
I laughed because it couldn't have been further from the truth. Except for a short two month stint in seventh grade, I never played sports in my life!
2002: Weight, unknown
Exercise: Steady state cardio
Diet: Whatever, whenever!
Every other day, I ran one mile, because my mom suggested it would be good for me. Knowing nothing about nutrition, this was accompanied by innumerable Raspberry Snapple drinks, trips to Wendy's, and White Chocolate Mochas. I wasn't overweight, but I had a full, curvy figure.
2004-05: Weight unknown
Exercise Regimen: Steady state cardio
Diet: Whatever, whenever
My senior year of high school, I ran three miles every other day. I was depressed and full of angst--running gave me a good way to channel all my unhealthy energy.
2005-06: Weight 138 lbs
Exercise Regimen: Steady state cardio, alternating with various Pilates movements
Diet: Health conscious, with splurges
In college, I upped to six mile runs. I started supplementing every now and then with workouts I'd picked up from various magazines. I gained weight eating at the cafeteria and living in a dorm, and then lost a ton from a mysterious flu that lasted three weeks the summer after my Freshman year.
2006-07: 112 lbs
Exercise Regimen: Steady state cardio + abs and the leg adducter machine
My junior year, I moved off campus and couldn't afford to spend much on groceries. In addition, I had almost zero cooking experience! I rapidly dropped weight. I kept running and began supplementing with an ab workout and a few sets of the leg adductor machine (press your thighs together against resistance, and can switch sides to press your legs apart also under resistance).
2009: 116 lbs
Exercise Regimen: Alternate days steady state cardio + abs and total body 10 pound free weights
Diet: Health conscious, with a weekly cheat meal
When I got married in May, I weighed 116 pounds. I did a free consultation at our local gym and started lifting some 10 pound dumbbells for an hour every other day. On the days I wasn't "lifting" I ran six miles followed by abs.
2012: 119 lbs
Exercise regimen: unchanged
Ater a few years, I grew bored. I began using an online arm workout I found from Tone It Up (TIU) and ran between 5-8 miles every other day.
My husband, Steve, coaxed me into trying an introductory class at a local CrossFit gym. I wasn't impressed. I felt silly and stupid and intimidated and embarrassed, doing push-ups on my knees and jumping pull-ups. I wasn't interested in the short bursts of intensity and thought if I didn't spend time actively working arms, abs, and legs in isolation, I'd lose all my muscle tone. I decided to stick with what was safe (although boring and 90 minutes long for a full body workout).
In October 2012, I tried CrossFit again. Again, I felt intimidated. I had no body awareness and no coordination. Attempting the movements felt embarrassing and frustrating. I was afraid to ask questions and everything felt foreign. My very first WOD after the intro class, I attempted thrusters at 75 pounds. I couldn't lift the bar off the ground when we went to start and thankfully, a few kind souls helped my quickly swap my weight for 55 pounds. I then proceeded to smack myself in the face with the bar and split my lip. Back to my boring and safe routine I went!
2014: 122 pounds
Exercise Regimen: CrossFit, steady state cardio, 10 pound total body free weight routine
Steve started coaching CrossFit at a newly opened box for a friend, Nick Rocco, so I tried again in July. This time, everyone was new. With my husband or Nick as coaches, I didn't feel silly asking questions or scaling movements, so I asked away! In between days of running, I fit in CrossFit two to three days a week.
When Steve co-founded Acuo CrossFit in November 2014, I began going five days a week. I was nervous about "losing my abs" and hated the high intensity, but it wasn't as important to me as being supportive of our box and ultimately, my husband! In the mornings, I ran three miles with our Weimaraner, Oakley.
2016: 128 lbs
Exercise Regimen: CrossFit
Diet: If It Fits Your Macros (Flexible Dieting)
I've been consistently Crossfitting 6 days a week now for two years. Oakley and I walk in the mornings.
While I'm heavier, I am confident it's muscle gain because I fit into the same or smaller sizes than before! With the exception of blazers and cap sleeves🙄. No mercy for a girl with shoulders!
I couldn't be happier or more proud of how far I've come and how much I've learned about nutrition and fitness along the way. The more weight, skill, and gymnastics ability I built over the years since beginning CrossFit, the less I focused on isolated groups of muscles. I now understand CrossFit as a full body workout that uses all of my muscles🙈! I know focusing on getting stronger, which is empowering in and of itself, will also produce aesthetic results. And, I've learned the foundational importance of nutrition both for aesthetics and performance.
Having the passion I do for fitness and nutrition, I should have been a gymnast. But I'll settle for fooling people into believing I was😉.