by ALISHA PACE, Tabata Times
I have been CrossFitting since January. My only goal was to lose 50 or so pounds, and for months…nothing happened. Several months of the scale bouncing around and even going in the wrong direction was what I faced. On top of that, I have type 1 diabetes and hypothyroidism which makes losing weight even more difficult. I cannot tell you how discouraging this was. I cried most days. Then I was frustrated that I couldn’t remember what Oly lift was called what, or I couldn’t lift as much as the girl next to me who started in bootcamp with me. So many times, though, I wanted to quit because I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted to see. I was obsessed with the scale and mirror looking every day for changes. (Looking back, this was obviously really unhealthy.) I was literally driving myself crazy. I was eating exactly as recommended by a nutritionist, drinking tons of water, and pushing my body through the hardest workouts I’ve ever done before in my life. I wanted results! To do that, I just kept going.
I have kept going because of the support I got from all the members and all the coacheswho cheered me on, and because I simply didn’t know what else to do. My brother in-law Craig — who got me into CrossFit — is my mental coach and sent me words of encouragement and “threats” of not letting me quit…”or else.” My husband also offered his support and told me that if I didn’t lose any weight and feel better in a year of doing CrossFit, he would comp my year’s worth of box fees. He also told me he would join if I kept going for just a few more months. What did I have to lose? I got angry and pushed myself harder!
I am to this day, the absolute slowest runner in class. I am a turtle. In high school I took gym class (by my own choice) and I dreaded nothing more than the mile run as time ticked away laughing at me while I clinched my sides and huffed and puffed more than the big bad wolf. At my box, even the newbies fresh out of bootcamp are lapping me. I struggle running a half mile before I slow down to a walk, and my run is already a slow paced jog — but this turtle will still finish the race!
I may be the slowest in class, and I may have much more difficulty losing weight than you’ll probably read about for those new to CrossFit, but I cannot discredit my strengths, personal achievements and discovery of self since I have started this journey, and that is what keeps me going.
What are your non-scale victories? How has your life changed in small ways that helped you get to where you are now?
For me for starters, in less than four months I learned how to do double-unders. I probably watched hours of videos on strategy and weight lifting movements trying to remember form and what a clean, jerk and snatch were. In less than four months I also braved the jump of a towering 20” box… successfully! I started stacking up weights until one day when I pushed the box up against the wall and took a giant leap and stood on that damn box like I was at the top of Mt. Everest. In less than four months I PR’ed my deadlift at a whopping 200lbs — that is the equivalent of lifting 67 metal toasters at the same time. (Weight equivalents are fun to think about, by the way). What it comes down to is simply reminding myself that practice is the only way to move forward. The list of achievements and self-discovery continues, so I’ll just make this a formal list.
- I forced myself to join an activity where I knew no one
- I walked out of the box after my first night crying, but I went back!
- I have made a huge group of friends very quickly
- I have become more social by introducing myself to new members
- I enjoy encouraging others as much as I enjoy seeing myself succeed
- I continue to get stronger and my lifts are getting heavier
- I finally stopped obsessing and put away the scale in the bathroom so I can focus on me (this is probably the best thing I’ve ever done)
- I smile more
- I am starting to feel better about myself
- I have set goals for myself both in and out of the box
- I am excited about clothes shopping (ok well, gym clothes at least)
- I am more active on the weekends
- I eat at least 3 meals a day and have cut out diet soda (previously 4-8 cans a day)
- I drink water when I eat out and take a gallon jug to the box so I never run out
- I feel good and proud when I sweat
- I can remember most of the Oly lifts by name (finally!!)
- I realized other people are as bad as math as I am when we calculate our WODs (ha!)
- I am proud to own more workout shoes than high heels
- I look forward to running in the WOD even though I dread it
- My dedication has inspired friends and family
- So many people have seen me struggle, and so many people want me to succeed
- My husband has been my workout partner on Saturdays and will officially be joining in June!
- I know I’m working towards someone I have always wanted to be
…And so the list will go on, and will continue to grow…
Back to running, though — I know I’m slow, but I’m confident my endurance over time, even at a snail pace, will get better. As of this week, I have lost 8lbs (since my last Dr’s visit), and my cholesterol has gone down to a better range. I am happier. I am healthier. I am stronger. The only number I care about is the number of days I can get to the box, and if not that, finding other ways to be active and on my feet.
Don’t forget to reflect on the small realizations and victories of your journey. They will help you realize that there is no reason good enough to stop when you have doubts and want to quit.
So don’t quit.