Things you should realize when looking at these photos:
- I am very embarrassed to be posting them (so don’t be a dick and make me regret it).
- I woke up about 10 minutes before taking them and had no intention of sharing them on the internet at the time. Yes, I have bed-head and a groggy look in my eyes. No, I don’t usually rock that look (haha who am I kidding, yes I do).
- I actually started CrossFitting & eating Paleo in July of 2011. So, as flabby as these ‘before’ pictures look… they are nothing compared to the ones I was too embarrassed to take.
- July weight – 165#
- September weight – 155#
- April weight – 145#
- Yes, I totally flexed for the camera. Leave me alone.
Why I’m putting nearly naked pictures of myself up on the internet.
- To inspire other people. I hope that others will look at this and realize that they can change their body & health if they decide they really want to. I hope that they will not just realize this, but they will DO SOMETHING about it.
- To keep my blog up to date with my progress.
- To brag 😉
- Because every good fitness story starts with an embarrassing set of ‘Before’ pictures. Mine is not excluded.
And Now… An overly dramatic account of one woman’s success in losing twenty pounds
From the ages of 0-18, I was a child and we can probably ignore most everything from this period of my life. Aside from landing the man I would one day marry at the age of 17, there isn’t really much important information here. My mother encouraged us to eat our veggies and play outside, just as much as the next mom. I hated gym class, I didn’t play sports, and I would have rather cut my legs off with a swiss army knife than run a mile (I still would, kind of, but I suck it up and I run anyway now).
From the ages 18 to 26 (while attending college and attempting to become an adult), I tried to be a healthy person quite dramatically. I read all the best fitness books, I followed some great blogs, and I would regularly preach to my friends and family about the best ways to stay healthy (nothing has changed here). In addition to having all this great knowledge, I went to the gym ALL THE TIME (probably once a week…if that), I lifted weights (rarely), and I ate healthy (in between my ‘cheat meals’). Through my efforts, however, I never felt like my body reflected my hard work. At my healthiest, at about 18 years old (please note, I did nothing but go downhill in my attempts at being healthy), I weighed about 145# (the same weight I am now) but I was pudgy and soft and I didn’t really look or feel “healthy” like I do now. At that point in my life, I was completely fucking delusional about how healthy I was. I was totally and completely full of shit. Perhaps I still am, but I don’t think so.
Back then, my diet generally consisted of bouncing between “eating like total horse shit” in an obviously unhealthy kind of way (pizza, cheese steaks, soda) and eating in a way that I was pretty sure was healthy (veggies, protein, whole grains (Eh…I was close)). I was pretty friggin good at tricking myself into thinking I was the healthiest person ever in between my normal meals of, pizza, beer, chinese food, beer, cheese steaks, beer, hoagies, and more beer.
I additionally got really good at pretending to be healthy while doing shitloads of drugs and pulling all nighters while I was in college. Then after getting out of college, I moved into pretending to be healthy as I discovered “home-brewing beer”, “cocktail parties”, “brunch”, and “baking holiday cookies” (more adult & acceptable versions of acting like a 12 year old in a candy store). Anyway, for whatever reason… (who knows why!?) my super healthy diet and lifestyle wasn’t really working for me back then, and I continued to gain weight year after year — eventually blowing up to around 165# and realizing, “Well fuck, I’m not really very healthy am I?” and deciding to try something else.
[Enter CrossFit stage left]
[Enter Paleo stage right]
[Exit grose flabby arms]
As I look back on myself, I kind of feel like I’m looking back on a completely different person, even though it was not even a year ago that I was pulling that bullshit with myself. I can see very clearly now what was going on and I realize now that I still try to pull the same mental acrobatics with myself to get out of workouts or to let myself eat some junkfood. I think part of the problem was that I never really felt confident that I knew what was good for me, and therefor I was never really sticking with anything for longer than a couple weeks. Turns out, a lot of the stuff I “knew” about being healthy back then was actually right (unlike what many people go through where they are getting all the wrong information — eating lean cuisines or throwing up after their meals). I knew I was supposed to be going to the gym, lifting heavy weights, eating lots of veggies and protein, I just totally sucked at actually DOING IT, so I never saw results. Turns out, DOING IT and STICKING WITH IT are actually really really REALLY important to seeing results (maybe, the most important).
I personally attribute this realization to an email that one of my coaches sent me when I first got out of foundations at CFSBK. He challenged me to actually stick to what I knew was good for me, to cut out booze (even if I love it), grains and sugars (this includes honey and fruit if you’re trying to lean out) and to get to the gym on a regular basis. For whatever reason, maybe because he was jacked and looked like he probably knew a thing or two about being healthy, I took his challenge and I tried it for 1 month. I got to the gym a few times a week and I didn’t cheat on my diet. When I saw results (as he predicted I would), I congratulated myself and instead of stopping, I started over. Then I did it again… and again… and again… and again. I’m still doing it. Currently, I’m on my 10th straight month of fitness/diet challenges, and at this point, this is just the way I am. I rarely drink, I eat healthy, I work out and I am constantly challenging myself to dig deeper and do better than I did last month. As tackling healthy eating has gotten easier I’ve started challenging myself with physical goals (a 200# squat, or a 300# deadlift for example), this has had a HUGE impact on my body composition. You can’t tell from these photos, but from January to April my weight went down about 3#s but my body looks completely different. It’s been fun!
A major part of finding a lifestyle in fitness is finding a lifestyle that works for you consistently and regularly. It should involve eating lots of veggies and protein, lifting heavy weights, and most importantly STICKING TO IT. For me CrossFit/Paleo works, I see results, and most importantly there are other people to look toward for advise and to stay accountable to. I need that. As much as I like to pretend I know everything, I don’t, and I know I don’t, so it has been extremely valuable having the coaches assure me that I’m headed in the right direction. It might be something else for you, but whatever it is you need to DO IT and STICK TO IT! There are no exceptions to this rule. You can’t do it half assed. It doesn’t work.