So. True story time.
The last time I weighed less than 160 when I was 12 and had just lost 15 pounds from pneumonia and not being able to eat anything for 3 weeks. As soon as I was able to start eating again, I was back up to 160.I joined weight watchers when I was 14 and I was able to get from 185 to like 175 and was thrilled about that, but struggled with keeping track of my points and while I enjoyed the meetings, I was also busy with rehearsals and track or volleyball, so ended up quitting. My parents would still try to get me up to work out with them in the morning, and I’d be really consistent for about a week, and then decide that I cared more about sleeping. I tore my meniscus throwing the discus sometime in those early years of high school, and ended up getting a double knee surgery the summer after my junior year. I was completely incapable of being active that summer because standing for even short periods of time made my knees swell up and made me dizzy. I sat on the couch all summer long and had my siblings bring me food all day long. The start of my senior year, I weighed in at 220 pounds. A doctor had told me when I was younger that the best weight for my height was 145, so I was 75 pounds overweight. I was upset about it and definitely whined about it plenty, but didn’t do anything about it because I felt like I didn’t have the time or the energy to exercise.
My breaking point happened during the Madrigals Choir in probably October of my senior year when the choir director announced that one of our songs for the Christmas concert would include dancing, and he introduced our instructor. She was a very high energy tiny lady who had years of dancing experiences and thought that incorporating partner lifts while we were singing would be just lovely. My partner was captain of the baseball team and on the football team-so the guy with the biggest biceps in all of Madrigals. And still, everytime he had to lift me, he’d let out a horrible grunt, mid song. I was mortified. I felt like a tank. I promised him I’d lose some weight to make it easier, but of course, he’s also a nice guy so he was super polite about it. I decided to diet. My diet was 9 almonds in the morning for breakfast and then I’d go as long as I could without eating during the day. I survived by popping Altoids whenever I felt a hunger craving. At night, I’d eat a small portion of whatever my mom had made for dinner or make a sandwich or something. And that was it. Almonds, altoids, and then a small dinner. I dropped about 50 pounds in just about 2 months.
I remember getting lots of compliments-lots of people getting excited with me as I shrunk away. I remember feeling absolutely awful and totally drained. I remember one day at work in the auto shop not even being able to stand up. And I remember going out to breakfast on my little brother’s birthday mid December and thinking I’d been “so good” for so long that it wouldn’t be that big of a deal if I actually ate a meal that ONE time. I ordered a big cheesey omelet and devoured it in record time. I remember while all that hot cheese and grease moved through my digestive system how it felt like fire and I thought I was dying. I remember thinking that if this is how it felt to eat a real meal, I would NEVER eat again.
My mom took me the doctor that day and he asked me lots of questions about my eating habits after ruling out appendicitis for my stomach pain. I couldn’t meet his eyes when I finally confessed that I had developed a habit of extremely restrictive eating. He explained the stomach pain by saying that my body hadn’t been asked to break down anything like that for a long time so it had just forgotten how. That it’d be a rough night, but it’d pass. My mom started being very mindful and very aware of what I was eating and how much. And my weight started to creep back up again.
My parents are both passionate runners and are both very lean and trim so I grew up thinking that the ultimate way to get trim was to do long duration cardio. When I moved out of the house and started going to college, I decided that instead of being excessively restrictive with my eating habits, I would sign up at a gym and start building a habit of exercise. Day after day, I’d go to the gym and stay on the elliptical machine as long as I could stand-usually an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. And when school was out for the summer, I added in another hour midday. I also worked out once a week with a personal trainer who taught me about nutrition. I realized how backwards my way of thinking was and studied even more about clean eating-doing some trial and error with myself.
I found out about CrossFit over Facebook. It looked intense and exciting and like something I could actually look forward to. Enter Put It Up CrossFit. Working out became fun. True to CrossFit, the workouts were constantly varied, using functional movements with high intensity. Adding the element of competition, and I was hooked!
Now married to the owner and head coach at Put It Up CrossFit, I live and breathe coaching. I still struggle sometimes and lose motivation and have bad workouts. I’m grateful for my CrossFit community for keeping me in check, calling me out, and inspiring me to keep going when I really don’t feel like it.