One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

ASK RONI Q&A

Ask Roni: When Will I Start Looking Like a CrossFitter?

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Hi Roni,

I love reading your posts. :) Recently, I read your post about Crossfit and weight loss. I started Crossfit about 3 months ago and I love it. I am starting to see small changes like being able to squat lower and finish a 500m row without taking a break. My issue is that I am not seeing any physical changes yet. My weight is about the same when I started and my clothes still feel the same. My diet is somewhat clean most of the time, but I struggle when I go out or drink. For example, over the weekend I went out to eat and had a couple drinks and the next day I have a huge gut and gained 9lbs of water weight. And every week I am constantly fighting in the gym to lose the weight I gained over the weekend. Any thoughts on what I could do differently to start looking and feeling more like a crossfitter?

-Jo

Hi Jo!

First of all AWESOME on your progress! Isn’t amazing what your body can start to do once you push it?

I’m going to be a little obnoxious and answer your question with a question. Well, a couple of questions.

First, what does a CrossFitter look like?

Or rather what do you imagine a CrossFitter to look like?

Here’s a group shot I found of some of the top females in the sport.

CrossFitters
Photo Credit: CrossFitGames.com

This is Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir; she won the CrossFit Games this year.

Katrin Tanja Davidsdottir
Photo Credit: https://instagram.com/p/52pJytBqpp/

As you can see, these women are impressive balls of muscle!

As someone who now lifts and trains regularly (I’ve been CrossFitting 5-6 days a week for 2 and half years) and competes in local CrossFit competitions, I can slightly understand the dedication it takes to make it to her level — slightly — and I’m not even talking about her physique. I mean her overall fitness, athletic ability and strength.

And that’s what I want to discuss, as I think there’s a real difference between training to look a certain way and training to perform a certain way.

This is a group shot of some Victoria Secret models.

Model-Group-Pic-1024x640
Photo Credit: jollyclothes.com

As you can see, they look completely different than the CrossFitters above. And as someone who once dieted down to the bottom of her weight range I can also say I slightly understand the dedication it takes to keep a slender physique like that. Slightly.

My point in showing you both photos and body types is to point out that it’s these women’s JOBS to train and/or look the way they do. This is what they do to make a living. They are professional athletes/models!

I truly believe a lot of women shoot themselves in the foot when they compare themselves to these professionals. They overly concern themselves with how they may look if they make healthy and positives changes to their lifestyles. Instead of celebrating small changes — better food choices, increased strength, etc. — they get frustrated they don’t look a certain way. Instead of focusing on their own progress they give up and never achieve what they could possibly achieve.

So when you ask: What could I do differently to start looking and feeling more like a Crossfitter?

I want to say: YOU already look like a CrossFitter because you are CrossFitting.

If you want to FEEL more like a CrossFitter then stop comparing yourself to others, keep giving it your all at the gym and confidently say, “I am a CrossFitter.”

Once you shed the pressure you are putting on yourself, you can continue making changes (if that’s what you want to do).  If alcohol is keeping you from achieving your goals then work on reducing and/or eliminating it.

Or don’t.

Because that’s the difference between you and a professional CrossFitter who LOOKS the way you think CrossFitters look. It’s not your job. You have a choice!

Is it worth it for you to give up certain things to look a certain way?  To train a certain way? To live a certain way?

Your question really couldn’t have come at a better time for me because I know my answer to these questions. Right now it’s NOT worth it to me. I don’t want to give up drinks with my husband on the weekends or ice cream with the kids or popcorn at the movies. That doesn’t mean I don’t eat as healthy as possible other times. It doesn’t mean I stop going to the gym. It just means I found my sweet spot between living healthy and enjoying my life the way I want to enjoy it.

I’ve come to the conclusion that my body will be the result of my lifestyle, and if I’m living the way I want then I have to learn to be happy with the body it produces.

When I binged, ate, felt sorry for myself, and didn’t exercise I looked like this.

yikes

When I successfully dieted (translation: ate very little) without exercising I looked skinny. (Note: These were taken a year apart after strictly dieting on Weight Watchers.)

compare04

When I started to run a lot I started to look like a runner. (These were taken at the end of my first half marathon)

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 3.57.16 PM

Now that I’m lifting and CrossFitting I’m starting to look like a CrossFitter. (This was taken this morning while working on my pull-ups. My back is insanely muscular for me!)

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 3.49.55 PM

It’s taken me a long time to get to this place but now I’ve become really comfortable with it. The more you remind yourself of YOUR goals and YOUR priorities the easier it gets.

So I say, Jo, live life on your terms. If you are loving CrossFit and you enjoy your weekend indulgences then keep doing what you do. However, if your training and physique are more of a priority,  then it may be time to give up your weekend drinks.

That’s a choice only you can make.



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Discussion

There are 12 comments so far.

    Karen

    August 8, 2015

    Bravo Roni. Well said and you are such an inspiration to me. Thanks for doing what you do.

    Sara

    August 8, 2015

    Love this post so much! I recently went through this myself, as I began questioning why I was doing strength training. Yes it made my abs pop and I looked pretty darn awesome for an older mom of three kids. But I wasn’t enjoying the training, and I had a heart to heart with myself about why I thought it was important to look the way that I was striving towards. I ended up cutting out strength training and I’m very happy with my decision. I’ve already lost the ab definition but with my lower bmi and bf % I’m still lean looking, my arms and back are still tight etc. Really, I still look just fine for an older mom of three kids who’s successfully been maintaining an almost 60lb loss for over two years now. And I’m much happier with my new exercise regiment of 5 days of walking each week, which is something I really enjoy doing :) And I’ve actually lost a bit of weight since changing things up, go figure lol.

    JB

    August 8, 2015

    Excellent post. To a great extent we are the result of all of our small, daily choices.

    E-Liz

    August 8, 2015

    ?? If the LW’s diet is “somewhat” clean (which translates as “mostly not clean”) and she overeats/drinks/parties on weekends, what does she expect her body to look like? No workout can outwork a poor diet, and your physical condition and fitness will always reflect the fuel you give your body; i.e., you will never reach optimum performance living a lifestyle that doesn’t support that goal. If she’s fine with the way she looks/feels/performs, she can keep the status quo. If she wants to look/feel/perform like an athlete, she needs to live like one: clean diet focused on nutrition that supports her weight and / or fitness goals, training schedule to match, and cut out the partying. Walk to walk or stay average.

      Paula

      August 9, 2015

      You are 100% correct about the fact that you can not exercise away a bad diet. That I know for fact.

    Mary Nell

    August 9, 2015

    This nails it! “Your question really couldn’t have come at a better time for me because I know my answer to these questions. Right now it’s NOT worth it to me. I don’t want to give up drinks with my husband on the weekends or ice cream with the kids or popcorn at the movies. That doesn’t mean I don’t eat as healthy as possible other times. It doesn’t mean I stop going to the gym. It just means I found my sweet spot between living healthy and enjoying my life the way I want to enjoy it.”

    Emily

    August 9, 2015

    Wow. I love this. It takes the whole ‘stereotyping’ out of different sports. Just do what you love, and you are that ‘crossfitter’, runner, cyclist, walker, or hiker! :-) <3

    Maria

    August 10, 2015

    AMEN!! Fantastic Post, thank you!!!!!

    Gabby

    August 17, 2015

    Whoaaa – that’s exactly what I discussed with my mum today in other words; , instead of comparing myself to, say, other members of the gym or other real people, I go straight for Sports Illustrated, photoshop and all inclusive…
    I guess I should print out your post and hang it around my apartment!!

    Onnie

    August 22, 2015

    I love your answer to this. I follow your blog and it has been an inspiration to me. I am in a weight loss group and have lost lots of weight over the past 5 years (70 pounds) and now I am a group fitness instructor (teaching cardio dance, in and out of the water and hi/low aerobics). I ran 2 half-marathons, swim, and lift weights. But I also like to have fun with my husband, 6 kids, and friends. It’s been a challenge to find the balance between eating right, exercising, and having a few drinks and splurging on a good mea or two. But you hit the nail on its head when you said about priorities….it’s so important to think about. For so long it’s been to become fit and of healthy weight range. But now I can be that and enjoy my life at the SAME time! Thank you for your blog, Roni!

    Jason Conway

    August 23, 2015

    Very impressive Roni….I have never known about your blog and I happened to stumble upon this post because I was intrigued by the question. I must say I really enjoyed how you put it that people look towards the professionals in a certain area and feel as though that they must look that way in order to be accepted. I feel as though people should strive to be happy on the inside and then reach for the stars….Only then (in my opinion) will their confidence improve and spread in their lives. Thanks again for the blog post and I am definitely going to follow your blog more….

    Audrey Bryce

    August 29, 2015

    Here’s a fun weight loss tip my friend told me (it really works!):
    When you shop for grocery items, it is best that you eat beforehand. This is because going inside a grocery store, when you are feeling hungry can make you purchase more food items than you need. In fact, it can even make you purchase foods that are not healthy. Thus, it is best to grab a snack before you go to the store. This way, you can stick to your list of items you want to buy.

    More easy weight loss tips (like we need more, right?):

    http://bit.ly/Simple-Ways-to-Lose-Fat