Last May my friend Shelly won an auction for four free sessions with a personal trainer at Crossfit. She asked me to go with her because I had been complaining about packing on the pounds last year. I gained 15 or 20 pounds throughout the school year. I had never heard of Crossfit, but told her I would go with her.
We went to our first session, worked out harder than we ever had before and decided to sign up for the summer. I honestly never knew what real working out was before Crossfit. I had done classes, and videos, and kayaking and walking and even a little jogging now and then, but I never really pushed myself before.
Two months into the Crossfit membership I had lost 5 pounds without even trying. I went from not being able to even come close to doing a pushup to being able to do about 20 BOY pushups in a row. I thought I was too old to be able to do that stuff anymore. I told our trainer, Jeff, sort of jokingly that my ultimate goal was to be able to do one pull-up. Then I was done. I never thought I would actually be able to do it.
In August, after I had seen some surprising results in my strength, endurance, and weight, I decided to really commit to it. I had Jeff take my bodyfat measurements, measure my chest, arms, legs, waist, hips and abdominals, weight and then I got serious. I made myself a fitness manifesto outlining my goals. Not goals about what I wanted to weigh, fit into, or how I wanted to look; but goals about what I wanted to be able to DO. I wanted to be able to do a pull-up, a standing ab rollout, climb the gym rope to the ceiling, be able to run a 5k, and improve my performance on the rowing machine with the idea of maybe joining the rowing team in the summer.
I got measured again at the end of October and improved GREATLY. I lost many many inches, decreased my bodyfat percentage from 30% to 27% and lost a total of 13 pounds from when I started at Crossfit. I was ecstatic. So I set some new goals. The one I'm concerned about now is getting my bodyfat/weight down. I set an arbitrary goal of getting to 160 or below by January. I started Crossfit at 180 so it seemed like a good number to pick. I think by doing that I will be able to do more physically. I can do a pull-up now. I can do lots and lots of boy pushups, and I can even do a diamond pushup. I am way stronger than I ever have been in my life, even when I was a teenage "athlete." I'm somewhat competitive with the other people at the gym who are very fit. When we have competitions I don't usually win, but I don't embarrass myself either. Things that I found almost impossible when I started at the gym are just routine now.
Today is the 22nd of December and as of this morning I am 160.5 pounds. Pretty close! Jeff has helped me set up a nutrition plan. I use an internet site called Slimkicker to keep track of my food, weight, and exercise. I set it up for 1500 calories a day, 191 grams of carbs, 35 grams of fat, and 105 grams of protein a day. It's kind of hard to do! I find the protein goal hard to reach. I don't really have a problem with the calorie goal, but I really love my carbs!
Ultimately I would like to get to 20% bodyfat, around 140 pounds, be on the rowing team as a real contributor, be able to run a 5k without cursing and swearing and getting crabby, do an ab rollout all the way (I'm pretty close, but getting flat to the ground without falling is proving to be hard!), backsquat 200 pounds, deadlift 300 pounds, bench 150 pounds, strict press 90 pounds, etc. etc.
My friends and I are planning on doing a 5K in April. I'm starting the "Couch to 5K" running program this week. I'm not really at couch level, so I figure I will start on week 4. I ran two miles the other day, and think I could have continued on to do three, but it really really sucked. My knees hurt and it was boring. Now my legs hurt like they have been cramped up for days. My legs need some work.
So I think I have finally figured out how to make the changes I've wanted to make for so long. The "lifestyle" changes everyone talks about all the time. For me it's all about working out. If I make the investment of time into building my body how I want, then I think the nutrition and good eating will follow. Maybe not all the time, but most of the time. I also figured out that I need to be with people I like when I work out. I can't do it alone. For one thing, it's lonely and boring alone, and for another thing, I find that when I try to do something really challenging, I tend to panic a little and I need other people there to calm me down make me realize that it will be okay. I don't panic out loud and I don't think anyone actually realizes I'm panicking, but I am, and if I was alone, I would quit. I need help to push through the hard things.
Lastly, the best thing about working out hard is that I have cured my decades-long depression that I used to treat with medication. I am totally off medication now and I feel great. If I didn't lose a pound, an inch, or gain an ounce of strength; not being depressed would be totally worth all the work.