I’m always hoping that I can inspire people and when they’re brave enough to tell me I’ve done so…it feels so good! The best part of this story is that not only did I manage to inspire Kate, but she has continued to inspire ME and others in her life (her mom has recently joined CrossFit as well)! I first met Kate in 2009 when I joined Clearwire. I don’t think there were many things we had in common, but I did love her sense of humor and we became good work friends. I had mentioned workouts and healthy eating to Kate, but she has always said she could never give up bread and pasta….oh and that she hates vegetables! I never pushed it, but was always willing to talk about it on her terms! She left Clearwire, but we kept in touch and over time I convinced her to try CrossFit! I asked her to share her story because I’ve seen such a change in her (appearance, happiness, health) since she made this commitment and I wanted others to hear it! Enjoy her story!
Sports had been a big part of my life growing up, but somewhere along the way I forgot how to be an athlete. For years I had spent most of my time sitting at a desk, exercising my brain but little else. I didn’t have a lot of energy, my stomach gave me problems, and I had to start taking medications for various medical issues. Unfortunately, I still ate like an athlete. I’d load up on carbs and calories but wouldn’t do anything to burn them off.
When my brother in law got married, I wanted to look great for the wedding and drop a few dress sizes for the family photos. I tried training for a 5k on my own, and that stuck for a while. After I gave up on that I started riding the stationary bike, but even my iPod couldn’t save me from that particular boredom. So I ended up going to the wedding being unhappy with my appearance.
Enter CrossFit. My friend Kylah had convinced me to try it, even helping me find Lake Washington CrossFit, which was close to my house and work. I figured it was worth a shot, so I went to give it a try. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but in about nine minutes and thirty seconds, I was hooked. I signed up that day. In the beginning they talked about the paleo diet, but I wasn’t quite ready to make that leap yet. I had already switched to brown rice, wheat bread and whole grain pasta, wasn’t that enough?
I had been playing indoor soccer once a week for over a year, but I wasn’t in very good shape and my play suffered for it. It didn’t take long after I started CrossFit to start seeing results on the soccer field, plus I was down a whole dress size! I found, though, that I was having a hard time making big improvements at CrossFit, so I decided to try to go full paleo for 28 days.
I had no idea how I was going to accomplish this. I basically lived on all of the things that are forbidden in paleo – rice, bread, milk, cheese, pasta. I also think I am vegetable-phobic. I spent a whole weekend scouring the internet for paleo recipes to try to get me through this challenge. I was surprised to find so many that sounded like something I could enjoy eating.
My coaches at CrossFit told me the first two weeks of going paleo would be the hardest. If I could get through the cravings and decreased energy, I would really start to feel a difference. My husband Adam cooked me so many delicious meals that all of a sudden, I didn’t need all of that other food. A “diet” where you can eat bacon? Count me in! In 28 days, I lost 15 pounds, and I noticed I was lifting more, faster. The best part of it all? I got to decrease some of my medications, completely stop taking others, and my stomach problems are a thing of the past. I’m almost done with another challenge, but in between I’m starting to prefer eating paleo as a lifestyle change.
There’s another great benefit to getting fit and losing over 35 pounds. My sister in law is getting married this summer. I’m looking forward to those family photos.
CrossFit has become a great outlet for me. I don’t think I’ve ever found anything better for working off a tough day. I have more energy, I’m happier and more fun to be around, and I actually look forward to working out now. But the other day, when I sat down and signed up for the CrossFit Open, I remembered how to be an athlete. It’s great to be in a team environment again – everyone pushes each other to be better than yesterday and celebrates in each other’s successes. Maybe that’s why I keep going back – it’s an addictive way to measure your fitness, to make a sport out of being fit, to see calculable results, and all of this with a group of teammates cheering you on. It sure beats going nowhere on a bike for 30 minutes a day.