How I Lost 91 Pounds With CrossFit (Interview)
Hi! Tell us about yourself…why did you decide to start losing weight?
My story is a little funny in the sense that I was not trying to lose weight when I started. I was driving home one day bored from work and they were building this massive building (which I did not know was going to be a LifeTime gym), and I am very curious, and really nosey and stopped by. I got sold on Personal Training somehow and joined right then and there on the spot. I got matched with my new best friend Mari, and I kept putting off our initial consultation because I did not want to do it. I didn’t want to give up my fast food, drive-thru, Friday night pizza nights. Somehow she and I hit it off and the rest is history! I feel like God put her in my life for a reason because I was really really unhealthy with no plan on stopping so it was definitely fate that brought us together!
There were many big moments when I decided to start. The first one being me wanting to cry after my first session with her! It was so hard, but somehow, I was like okay that was really fun. I kept coming back because she was so great at her job, and again, I felt like I was finding something that I loved. When she introduced me to the barbell, it was like I found the love of my life!
What was your workout routine? Can you give us what a typical week looked like for you working out?
So in the beginning, my workout routine was actually very limited as to what I could do since I had been inactive for such a long time. When I started my personal training sessions with Mari, we did very small movements such as a brisk walk on the treadmill at different inclines, squats down to the box, a lot of TRX work, and occasionally some battle rope work. We incorporated some dumbbells and some sit-ups, but there really wasn’t much I could do.
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I worked out with her 3 times a week to start, and after a year or so and about 60 pounds down, I was able to join her class called Alpha which is a spin on CrossFit like movements. My workouts in the beginning during personal training sessions were only 30 minutes long, and then we gradually worked our way up to an hour and now most of my workouts are roughly 2 hours because of the type of workout that I do.
Currently, my workout schedule is 3 days on, 1 day off, with 2-a-days. I joined an Olympic Weightlifting Team, so I do weightlifting practice before work, and after work, I have a CrossFit class. Some days, depending on how I am feeling, I may only do Weightlifting, or I may only do CrossFit, but I am somehow always moving!
My biggest advice would be to take care of your body! As hard as you work it is as hard as you should recover. I try to do physical therapy/acupuncture at least once a week. My body goes through a lot, so I want to make sure I am recovering.
What was your nutrition like? Can you give us what a typical day of eating looked like?
I eat a lot of protein! Mari taught me every meal should have a protein, carb, vegetable, and some form of healthy fat. Due to my increase in exercise, I have had to increase the amount of protein I intake, but I try to get as much protein and carbs in as possible. I take fish oil, a women’s vitamin, Vitamin D3, & Zinc every morning.
I don’t follow any “diet” per se. I am actually not even a fan of that word ha! I believe in creating a healthy balance of the foods you like to eat, that are from the earth, nutritious, and good for the body. Lots of egg whites, grass-fed meat, organic vegetables, brown rice, and quinoa!
When I first I was eating roughly every 2 hours with small snacks in between, but we have since bumped my snacks up to mini-meals so that I am primed for working out!
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How did you stay motivated to lose weight? Did you ever slip up?
I get asked this question quite often! I am actually not motivated all the time. I have found something that I love and because I love it, I don’t feel like I am motivated, I am just obsessed! Working out has become my release, it is where I go to forget about the stress of the day, and when you find your second home, it doesn’t feel like work! My motivation to your readers is to find something you love! It is easier to stick to when you love what you’re doing. Be it Zumba, or Yoga, being active is easy when it is enjoyable.
My mental advice would be to really get to the root of the reason WHY you want to lose weight. That will help you along the way when making decisions throughout your journey. I stay on track with my nutrition 99% of the time, and I had to go through the process of removing emotion from food. My mindset has totally shifted in the sense of it is not a “slip up”, I just enjoyed myself.
When first getting started, I think you do need training wheels and need someone to hold you accountable. Mari was on me and always watched what I ate! I would feel guilty if I had a cookie or a slice of cake and would text her almost right away! I would recommend when starting, having someone to hold your hand and help you make the right choices with food really helps.
Once it becomes your lifestyle and second nature, it becomes easier to make smart choices all the time, and indulge when you feel like doing so! I would also suggest not do any FAD or trend diets. I have done so many of them, and none of them have taught me the art of healthy food choices, and lifestyle changes. I would say work with a LICENSED nutritionist! They really help put things into perspective and help you eat the right way based on your weight loss and fitness goals.
Did you use any sort of trackers/apps/scales to track your progress?
I used to be a heavy tracker using MyFitnessPal for my macros and FitIndex for my weight/body fat percentage! For right now, I am on a break from tracking my weight since I am gaining muscle. My workouts are tracked in Triib, which is an app my CrossFit gym Doors of Daring uses. My macros need to be on point for weight loss, so whenever I do switch up my meal plan, Mari and I always input it to see where we are at, but I am a creature of habit and will eat the same thing for about a month, so there’s no need to track it every single day!
When did you start to notice progress?
This is a great question! I didn’t really notice the difference until about 60-70 pounds in. I knew I had lost the weight, but when I saw my pants size going down it really shocked me. I still have moments now where my body amazes me, like I noticed the other day my traps coming in and I had a WOAH OMG THIS IS REALLY ME moment.
I feel like throughout the journey, you are always noticing progress. You’re always seeing and learning new things about the changes in your body!
Do you have any fitness “hacks” or “secrets” that helped you succeed?
What helped me succeed was to really not deprive myself of anything. If I was craving a brownie, I would grab a brownie flavored protein bar, or if I wanted pizza, I made a flatbread pizza with a whole wheat tortilla!
I believe if we deprive ourselves of the things we want along the journey, it is easy to revert to old eating habits. Finding healthy ways to incorporate the things you love really helped making the adjustment that much easier. Not saying to eat that slice of pizza if you’re out, but obviously, almost every day I make healthy choices.
I am enjoying myself, still losing weight & hitting many PRs in the gym! Mari really taught me the art of making healthy choices so that achieving my fitness goals are that much easier.
Are there any other fitness products that you used frequently?
What is your best advice to beginners who are looking to lose weight?
My advice would be you have to decide to show up for yourself. No one can want this more than you can. There are SO SO many days where I do not want to workout, I just want to watch Lifetime movies all day, but I push myself because I know that I am working on being a healthier version of me. You have to make up in your mind that this is what you want to do, and once you do, you will become unstoppable.
Also, be patient with yourself and your progress. This will not come overnight. It took me 27 years for me to reach 257 lbs, I am not going to lose 100 of it overnight. Your body undergoes so many changes during this process, so I recommend practicing a wee bit of patience with yourself and don’t get angry when the scale doesn’t move!
Do you have any fitness books/podcasts/websites that you’d recommend and why?
Where can we find more about you?
You can follow me on Instagram @fit.whit.it!
Is there anyone else you’d like to give a shoutout to?
Yes! @quitecontrari was my trainer for almost 3 years and who I started my journey with. I am forever grateful for how she has not only changed my view on fitness but my view on myself. @crossfitdoorsofdaring and @dod_weightlifting, my new home gym that I have come to love, and my amazing weightlifting coach @coachjacobpenner
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