There’s a saying in Crossfit that goes something like, “If at first you don’t succeed, try doing what your coach told you to the first time.” I think I find that to be so hilarious because I am a stubborn opinionated ass and it’s possible that one of my coaches wrote that for me.
Luckily for me, I also succumb easily to peer pressure (how do you think I got into this Crossfit thing to begin with?), and because of it, I’ve seen some really amazing progress in my weight loss journey since the first of the year. There are a lot of factors playing into my slow but sure transformation, but I’ve got to admit, Paleo has made all the difference in the world.
Let’s rewind to my first Crossfit class. August 30, 2012. 98 degrees outside with 100% humidity and my fearless friend and I decide that we want to sign up for our intro class. I talked to my now coach the day before to confirm our participation and attempted to make him promise that I wouldn’t cry or shit myself. He said he could do neither.
So like all intelligent newbies, I ate Mexican for lunch that day, making sure to get extra rice because I “would need the carbs,” and headed to class.
We all know how this went. Murder. Torture. My sweat smelled like tortillas and jalapenos. I kept lunch and my spleen inside me, but I’m not sure how.
For those wondering, I managed not to crap myself. In hindsight, that might be why I decided to come back.
The Elements (that’s the beginners class) coach was passionate about nutrition, and was preaching Paleo within a day. Since I know everything and love bread and wine, I had no interest in his nonsense. I would listen and smile, or sometimes not listen at all, or argue, or earn myself extra burpess… doesn’t matter. What matters is that I simply wasn’t willing to listen, learn, and change my diet at that time.
Fast forward 4 months. I had graduated the Elements program and was coming 3-4 times a week. I had seen some progress in weight loss, but not as much as I had hoped for. I also wasn’t getting much stronger or faster, and found that I was sore all the time and not recovering well. I had been lifting the same weights for a few weeks, and a point came where I could no longer blame my lack of progress on lack of physical effort at Crossfit. I was showing up. I was doing the WOD, and I was giving it all I had. I just felt like some part of the equation wasn’t there because didn’t have enough to give it any more.
So I did something very out of character for me, I came to the conclusion that I might be wrong about the whole diet thing. I researched Paleo. I found that it made sense. Not only did it make sense, but many of the ailments that they described and the side effects of a western diet applied to me. Maybe there was something to this after all.
On January 1st I made a commitment to myself that I would eat Paleo for 2 weeks, telling myself it was only 2 weeks and that if women worldwide could be pregnant and not drink wine for 9 freaking months I could last two weeks. I would decide after that point if it was a lifestyle change I could stick with.
I haven’t looked back. Sure, there’s been a slice of pizza here and a girl scout cookie there. I’m not a saint for crying out loud. But the increase in energy I saw in just a week made me not even question that this was the right nutrition approach to follow for my new Crossfit lifestyle.
Almost 2 months later I’m down 11 lbs. I’ve PRed every single one of the lifts I’ve attempted in the past 3 weeks regardless of the rep scheme. I am now coming to Crossfit religiously 5 days a week, as well as cycling at least 3 for a total of 40+ miles and have the energy to do more. My body has found this amazing ability to recover, and though I am sore from time to time, it never keeps me from coming in for a WOD. I’m rarely tiered, and when I am I fall asleep instantly when I go to bed and sleep like a grizzly bear in hibernation, complete with growling and drool.
The only regret I have is that I didn’t just commit to this change 100% back in August, as I would be at my goal weight by now. Luckily, there’s time to get there and get better from there.
Then, my biggest problem will just be my pants falling off while I’m running. And let’s face it, that’s a grand problem to have.