Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My Weightloss Story: Part 2

If you missed part one of my story you can catch up here.

So there I was at the end of the marathon, 216 pounds, feeling totally fit and amazing, eating a bagel and cream cheese...thinking this was as good as it was going to get.
Was I really destined to be the Athena athlete beating the odds and tromping across the finish line of every race statistically too big to be there? Was I really happy with the way I felt about myself and how I looked? Decidedly not.
My big fear was, now that the ultimate challenge was complete, what was there to motivate me? If 216 pounds was as good as it got, How the heck was I going to maintain It when running 10 or more miles a day was the standard for the last 9 months? What if I didn't feel like running anymore ?
Rather than think logically, or scientifically, I immediately signed up for a half marathon and went head long into more training. You know the story by now, lots of running, lots of food (mostly grain and vegetables as I was following the running mantra of carbo-load and protein is bad...). I could not imagine fitting in more training (like weights or cross training) it was just too much work! I hurt and I was exhausted...and still stuck at 216 pounds.

Not long before my next big race, Mr. Dad decided to do some shake up of his own. He also ran the marathon and was just sick of running at this point. He did not want to lose the progress he had attained from training so he opted to try a new sport instead.

Mr. Dad had heard of a gym in our little town that was more weightlifting classes than the traditional gym experience. He told me it was like personal training and group exercise rather than running the treadmill and doing machines. That sounded great until I saw this:

Now, I got to the part of the video with the guy doing the ring handstand push ups and totally disconnected. NO ONE wants to do that, right? Who the heck wants to work THAT HARD?!

I patted him on the head and wished him well...then I went to watch my movie and run 10 miles on the treadmill.
One month after the marathon and my weight held steady with no signs of dropping. I regularly consumed fast food and restaurant meals along with a big portion dinner. AND if I wasn't running on my mill, I was sitting on my but looking at the computer. I was totally unmotivated, lonely, and had no real goals to get me to a different place.

Mr. Dad came home from his first class at the new gym totally covered in sweat and red in the face. "CrossFit" had kicked his butt. He told me all about his workout and the fact a 68 year old woman had left him in the dust. This only reinforced in me the idea of it being totally scary and NOT for me.

"You would love it" he says. "They make it so you can do it, you would start slow"...
Well, eventually I would be expected to do all the crazy stuff in that video wouldn't I? Isn't that the goal? Isn't CrossFit supposed to kick your butt everyday and make you an ubber athlete or keep special forces guys in shape for there job? My confidence was so low, I really never thought I could do any of that...specifically because I had not clue how to do it right then and knew I didnt have the ability to if I wanted. "I can't even do a push up". I kept making excuses for myself.

Eventually the curiosity in me caught hold and I wanted to at least watch Mr. Dad do his thing. He was more motivated about this workout class than anything I had seen him do in years.
Before I went, I stumbled upon another video or two as I research a reason not to try this thing out. This one really spoke to me...

..."Everyone knows your name"...
..."If I don't go, someone calls me"...
..."My gym is not fancy"...

I went and checked out the workout. It WAS different. It WAS doable. It Was hard...and it was a competition. The fact they held you accountable by time and not just completion threw a twist I had not anticipated. I LOVE competition.
The next day I did the Filthy Fifty workout with Mr. Dads class.

MONDAY 061204

For time:
50 Box jump, 24 inch box
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 Kettlebell swings, 1 pood
Walking Lunge, 50 steps
50 Knees to elbows
50 Push press, 45 pounds
50 Back extensions
50 Wall ball shots, 20 pound ball
50 Burpees
50 Double unders
Post time to comments.
Compare to 060910.
Posted by lauren at December 4, 2006 2:10 PM 

It was totally scaled and totally slow...but I had a blast getting through the work. I loved seeing all the people around me working so hard, I wondered how I compared in ability. I thought I was a pretty impressive girl, having just finished a marathon...
I quickly realized I was NOT in shape but just a good long distance runner.
I was motivated to see some improvements. I wondered if I could slim down working out so hard in an hour and skipping the two hour sessions on the mill.

Mr. Dad knows me well, I did love it. It was nothing like that first scary video.

I was in love with the community of the gym. It was my little family. Yes, we bonded. Finding friends who wanted the same things in life and struggled by my side to do amazing things...was awesome!!

On the first day of my commitment to trying something new, I took pictures. I hoped to one day not be totally humiliated by them but to use them as a tool for inspiration for myself and others. This is me on the first day of CrossFit January 6, 2012:
216 pounds and 31% body fat (as a marathon runner!)

I gave myself 3 months. I would do the workouts 5 times a week and work hard to see what might happen.
At the 5 month mark I was still going strong pushing bigger weights and running faster than I ever had. My marathon training had all but stopped because I was easily getting in 7-10 miles of running each week during workouts and I felt really good.
And at 5 months I had dropped 7 pounds of fat even though I had not changed my eating one bit. The idea of doing diet and food...seemed like too much to do. It was my reward for working so hard! I like hamburgers!

Surely I would continue to drop the weight if I just worked out hard enough...
29% body fat

At the 10 month mark of my training I was motivated and inspired! I loved the new sport so much.

 I wanted to teach, to inspire, to be a part of the ground floor of the new fitness movement. I went to San Antonio and got certified to instruct.
As the training go harder and the workouts more complex, the frustration over my size was mounting. It was not a frustration over my pants size anymore, my new frustration was the absolute inability to do things smaller people could! If I was so "good" at this sport and so inspired to work hard and compete, why were there certain things I just could not do.

At last the realization had come. I had to really focus on food. It was the food...It had to be better for me to be better. Any heavy person can tell you, they know exactly what they are NOT supposed to eat. Finding the right balance of the right food is the real challenge.
I started with the Paleo diet. Then I got the flu at my 1 year mark of Crossfit training. I don't know if it was going "paleo" or getting sick, or resting for a week that did it but I immediately lost 10 pounds.
27% body fat

Within a month another 5 pounds and I was seeing results in my workouts and weight on the bar.
I totally cheated on paleo eating. I drank beer, I had bread once in a while...
90 percent of the time I ate fruit, nuts, seeds, veg, and lots of meat. I did not deprive myself of meat. This worked but I was tired without carbs ( I wasn't eating enough!!)
27% body fat

I did the CrossFit open, totally scared and overwhelmed...but all that is good for the confidence. I love the quote: "Do something everyday that scares you."- Elenore Roosevelt
It has become my mantra.
In May, I took another rest. Almost two weeks of nothing but rest and a bit of weightlifting for my Olympic certification. I dropped another 15 pounds...almost over night.
Rest? Was rest the magic pill???

The summer has proved eventful. It has been full of joy and sorrow...and it has tested my confidence. Through everything life has thrown at our little family (fires, floods, cancer...) the CrossFit sport and my training has saved me.
It is not a strait arrow to health. CrossFit alone will not make you the picture of amazing achievement you see in so many athletes. For me it was the combination of Consistent training, good clean food in rational portions, and rest.
IT DID NOT WORK WITHOUT THE FOOD IN CHECK. I'm only just beginning to understand how my body works. Food is still a mystery and my nutrition knowledge grows by the day. I read. I learn. I am my own science experiment.
Recently, I asked my trainer what to do with myself now that my "goal weight" had been attained.
22% bodyfat

Her response was simple and true: Keep going. Make new goals. See what this body can really do.

Your never done. Right? There has to be more. The scale has become only a tool to keep my mind in check. I know when I have overdone it with food or training. You HAVE to listen to the body. After almost two years, I don't want to screw things up...I just want to get better.

You must learn all you can.
Never be afraid to try something new to see if it works.
Be consistent when something feels right.

Getting to the sweet spot with your body takes effort. Not just gym effort, not just food effort, not wishing or hoping for better.

But you just have to keep going. Be inspired.

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