Up until about two weeks ago, healthy eating and exercise had really gotten away from me over the past 8 months or so. Not that I was some vision of a healthy lifestyle prior to that, but I was definitely doing better than I had for most of my life. During my twenties, I was just plain skinny. I struggled to put on weight, which led to consuming a ridiculous amount of junk food, and very little to no exercise. I hated being skinny because I was the subject of many snide remarks, but I really didn’t know how to change my body at that time. Looking back now, I was clearly going about it all wrong.
Then 30 came. I swear my metabolism slowed down the day of my birthday, but it felt great for a while. I finally started putting on weight, and curves versus being built like a 12-year old boy felt amazing. In fact, the change in my breasts alone had several people actually asking me if I had a boob-job. But a couple of years into this, and my pant size kept going up, so I decided to give Weight Watchers a try. I couldn’t believe that I was in this position, having been a skinny girl for my whole life I never envisioned that I would need to lose weight, and I definitely didn’t know the right way to go about it. While Weight Watchers helped me drop a few annoying pounds, I wasn’t treating my body the right way. I was still eating the wrong foods and was pretty lost when it came to exercise and nutrition. I joined a gym several times, but it never lasted. I didn’t know what I was doing and usually just ended up walking on a treadmill after timidly trying out a few weight machines. The monotony always led to membership cancellation.
As I started to approach 40 I took serious notice that I was what is referred to as “skinny fat” and I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life just being soft and immobile. My husband had been going to CrossFit for a couple of years at this point, and the one time I tried it when he first started, I was turned off. I didn’t think being surrounded by shirtless men and women grunting away in their sports bras and tiny shorts was for me. (To be clear, my husband always keeps his shirt on while at the gym.) It was intimidating and felt very cliquish, which reminded me too much of what high school felt like, so I ran from it. Instead, I spent the next couple of years sporadically attempting to work out with weights in the garage with my husband, but never fully committed to that, either. After a move to a new part of town and with 40 staring me down, I knew something had to change, and it had to be drastic. I decided to check out a new CrossFit gym (or box as they are many times called) in the neighborhood, and as terrified as I was, I found myself hooked. This place was so different than the first one I went to, they were incredibly friendly, supportive, and helpful. I signed up right after my first class and have been a member now for two years.
My eating habits changed, my body was feeling great and I was seeing some muscle definition – I was going strong until I had a pretty severe muscle spasm in my neck/upper back during the middle of a workout last October. I was laid out and had to take time off to recover, which I did, but then I kept taking time off. I quickly starting letting go of my good eating habits as well, and that, combined with limited exercise has been leading me right back to skinny fat. I needed something to kick start me back, and while I could have gone back to the gym, I found myself being afraid and nervous about it all over again, so I’ve taken another route in the meantime. I signed up for the 90-day Oxygen Challenge lead by Christmas Abbott, and I’m currently on day 16 and already feel spectacular again. My intent is to get back to CrossFit, but this challenge is exactly what I’ve needed. I have no desire to be some muscle bound chick, but I do want to feel strong, sexy and confident. So far, so good – but if you are reading this, I’ll keep you posted on how this goes.