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