I just started CrossFit a month ago, and my clothes aren’t fitting better AT ALL. I expected a slight weight gain due to muscle, but my clothes not fitting better is frustrating me. CrossFit is too expensive to not see results. I weigh 176, and I’m 5’6″ tall. I was wondering if WW is a good compliment to CF in terms of fat and protein needs. I would fail at the Paleo they endorse! Thank you. Your blog is fantastic!
Thanks so much! I’m so glad you like it.
Let me first say congrats on trying CrossFit. I know how intimidating it is to walk through those doors for the first time. When I did it two years ago I never imagined I’d keep it up this long and come this far in my health and fitness.
Notice I said health and fitness, not weight loss or “skinniness.” I am by no means the smallest I’ve been nor the lightest. I haven’t gotten on the scale since a doctor appointment a few months back but my weight was higher than it’s been in quite some time. Could I diet and get smaller? Sure, maybe a size or 2 if I hit my lowest weight again but doing so is no longer a priority. I’d much rather build muscle, get stronger and see progress in my overall fitness. So you may be asking the wrong person these questions but I’ll try to tackle your email a few chunks at a time.
First, your clothes not fitting better.
I’m equating this part of your question with skinniness as many of us generally feel like we should wear a particular size and that size should fit us perfectly. I used to fall in this camp. Once a size 6 fit me at my lowest weight then I used all size 6’s as the measure of my success. I remember fitting into a size 4 dress once and then it became my NEW measure of success. So when anything size 6 even became slightly tight I felt like a failure — fat, big, gross, bulky.
Stupid, right? I mean… first of all sizing is completely arbitrary, I can wear a 4 in one brand and an 8 in another based on cut and style. My body has also changed over the years and I don’t mean weight-wise, I just mean aging. And as I’ve continued with CrossFit and weight training these past few years I am more muscular than I’ve ever been.
I’m bringing all this up as I want you to think about how you are evaluating your success. If you are starting CrossFit to “thin out” and get smaller it may not be the best choice for those goals.
Take a look at these famous CrossFit athletes. (All images from Top 20 Fittest Bodies of Crossfit 2014 via TheAthleticBuild.com)
None of these women would be considered “skinny” in the traditional supermodel, Hollywood sense, but damn are they fit and strong.
I know the common thought process is that women can’t get bulky when they start weight lifting but I find, like most things, it really depends on your body type. I have gotten bigger. For me to be slim in that traditional supermodel, Hollywood sense I would need to eat less, run more, and weight train in a different way. I know this because when I did eat less, run more and weight train differently (lighter) my body was different.
You asked if Weight Watchers (WW) is a good complement to CrossFit and my answer, as always, is it depends on your goals. For me, no, WW is not a good complement. I have no desire to jeopardize my performance at the gym by reducing calories, and that’s really what WW is all about. If your goal is weight loss and weight loss only then maybe they can complement each other, although I can’t speak to the fat and protein part of your question. I’m still figuring all that out myself.
Like you, I have zero desire to eat Paleo. My diet is naturally getting cleaner but diets that make complete food groups off limits have never worked for me. Instead I try to eat intuitively, pushing myself to incorporate more vegetables and keeping my focus on real, natural, whole foods the best I can.
Since starting CrossFit my goals have shifted even farther from trying to hit a number on the scale or a certain size. Instead, I now focus on my performance at the gym and remind myself that my body will naturally be the product of my lifestyle.
I feel like I’m doing your question a disservice but all I can do is answer it from my current perspective. For me the expense of CrossFit is completely worth it because I feel the best I ever have in my entire life. I have a group of friends there who support and push me physically, I have an hour a day to myself of stress relief. I am, without a doubt, the strongest I’ve ever been. And I’m showing my boys that physical fitness is an important aspect of life. If that means I have to wear a size 8 instead of a size 6 I’ll take it. Skinny, small and thin are no longer my goals. Strong, fit, and happy are.
I hope that gives you a little insight into my thought process. Like I said I may not be the best person to ask as my idea of “results” may be different than yours.