I’ve given up on the idea of exercise having anything at all to do with weight loss. Obviously, I have to get my nutrition on, as well as exercise, and it only took my 42 years to figure that out. Let’s see if I can do it? My track record would say no.
So, if my tens of followers want a CrossFit update here it is:
I still love/hate going. I still come last most days. And more importantly, I still adore everyone (except for that one guy) at the box.
I’m sitting here tonight after a particularly cardio heavy workout, which seems to be much harder on me than my lighter counterparts.
And here’s what happened next:
Now, a little backstory to begin.
My friend and favourite coach, whom I’ve nick-named Sensei, has been particularly motivating for me. She taught me more than the very technical movements of CrossFit; in fact she’s taught about the world of sports bras. She commented, one day, on my lack of appropriate bra-wear, and from then on she would regularly “call me out” for not wearing the appropriate gear. Now, this has been welcome and helpful in so many ways BUT, as I’ve told my Sensei before, I don’t like sports bras because they are hard to get on and even harder to get off.
But isn’t that just like me? If it’s hard, I don’t wanna do it. So, I’ve been working on myself, making changes that people I really admire suggest.
And then, to thank my sweet Sensei, I found her the perfect gift. I delivered it to her on this cardio-heavy night, and I made sure to wear my most expensive sports bra for the occasion. (see post photo to see gift)
And then, after celebrating my spots bra success, I headed home to shower after more cardio than my large frame could every enjoy.
Now, picture this, if you will. I’m having a friend over, and I need to shower the layer of sweat off before I entertain. I can’t wait for the sweat to dry, like Sensei told me during her sports bra lecture, because I need to shower now.
I remove all my clothing and then stare in the bathroom mirror at my NIKE nemesis, the sports bra with the swoosh, and I will myself the strength to get it off. I’m glistening with sweat and the Godamn bra doesn’t want to move. In fact, it wants to stay fully covering one breast, and awkwardly smoosh the other while getting caught on my shoulder and across my face. It might be the most awkward and uncomfortable position I’ve gotten myself into, to date.
I began to panic and got further stuck in that fucking bra, the swoosh mangled now, the arms holes indistinguishable from the neck hole. It was a mess and my blood pressure was rising.
So, I did what any sane person would do.
I slid the bra back down my body, and got in the shower anyway. I soaped up that damn bra like it was part of me and I got clean the only way I know how.
After the shower, the bra was soaked and even harder to get off. Essentially, I fucked myself. Now, I would have to towel off the best I could, and then throw on a hoodie and hope for the best.
Would, I be stuck in the fucking thing forever? Fucking Sensei!
I sat in a wet sports bra, and a damp hoodie for the evening and I cursed NIKE and Sensei and everyone else.
Why can't they make these things easier to get on and off?
Hours later, it would be dry enough to remove. Still not easily, but I liberated my boobies nonetheless, and it felt fucking amazing.
So, there it is.
Confessions of a Fat Girl at CrossFit.
Tell me I am not alone.
I know, I haven’t updated this blog in a month or more. It’s been busy, to be fair, but that’s no excuse. I will try and do better. Here’s what’s up in the Crossfit department, should you care.
I am currently sitting on my couch with pneumonia perseverating on how many days I have missed at the gym. Not because I’m sad to have ruined my streak, but because I am terrified to go back. Of course, I will. There is no doubt, because I want that good-brain feeling that place hands out like candy; but it’s still scary because missing a week of working out makes me wonder if I will be brought back to my early days at the gym when, after a workout, my body hurt, my hair hurt, my goddamn blood hurt. I can’t go back there. This is how they get you, you see. You can never stop, because those days are too terrifying. Anyway, enough of that, I’ll get better and go back and that’ll be that.
I'm really here to tell you a gym story; a gym story that is almost too terrifying to be real. And be warned, it could happen to you, too!
It was early summer, and I had been going to the gym for enough months that I felt a small bit of confidence when walking in the door. Confidence insofar as I didn’t need to run to the whiteboard and check for burpee box jump overs before I even put my sneakers on, nothing too crazy.
It was a particularly warm Saturday in June, when Alex and I showed up for the weekly partner WOD (workout of the Day). He regularly partners with me, even though we are at far different fitness levels. In fact, fitness levels matter very little to anyone at our gym, as anyone would happily partner with anyone else. It’s kind of remarkable in that way. But that’s neither here nor there, because on this day, I was feeling strong and ready to show Alex that I could keep up to him, or at least relatively, and I was even wearing brand new NIKE workout tights, and they were a full size down from the month earlier. A good friend of mine mentioned that if I got my tights a bit small, I wouldn’t feel so jiggly during those times when we have to run as part of our workout. Now, this little tidbit of advice is key to this story, and the reason I won’t name that sweet, good-intentioned friend.
Now, let’s cut to the workout. It’s your typical burpees, followed by squats, followed by wall balls, followed by running outside of the gym, and on and on. When it comes to running, I struggle, mostly because of the pain in my knees from carrying so much extra weight. So, Alex and I have a system. He runs the prescribed 200 or 400 or 800 meters and I run until I see him turn to come back and then I turn to come back and we typically end up back at the gym together. It’s how I scale running and it works for me. Now, after the third or fourth run, another friend, who shall not be named, happened in the parking lot where we were running and yelled out to me “Go Shanell, You’re doing great!” because she is so sweet, as I ran/walked/hobbled back towards the gym struggling for my life. This struck me as funny, so I laughed and therefore peed a little. Since I pee a little almost every workout, (truth hurts), I beelined for the bathroom to finish what I had started.
I struggled to get those damn Nike tights down to pee because I had been sweating from that proper workout but I finally liberated myself. But then...I couldn’t get those fucking tights back up. I was stuck in the crossfit bathroom (which opens up to the entire gym, by the way) and I couldn’t get my stupid tights back up. Meanwhile, Alex, or so I was told later, thought I had fallen during my run and was busy looking for me. He was worried I had hurt myself, which even as I type this makes me giggle, because I was stuck in the fucking bathroom with my pants down, fully panicking, while he was walking around the gym asking if anyone had seen me.
I am not gonna lie. I did tear up a little because, as funny as I find this incident now, it was too real in the moment. I imagined peeking my head outside the bathroom door, trying to get Alex’s attention amid the entire gym, and it motivated me to muster all of my strength and deadlift those stupid tights up over my ass. When I was finally successful, I staggered out of the bathroom to find a worried Alex, but we had a workout to finish, so the story would have to wait.
As you may have guessed, those tights live at the back of my closet now, waiting for the day when they run a bit loose.
T’il Next Time
P.s. If you like the illustration accompanying this post consider checking out my Etsy shop. Thanks
It’s been a little over six months. I’m still working out. Trust me, there is no one more surprised than me. My whole life, I’ve been more of the “I don’t want to play if I can’t win” kind of person. Which makes coming in dead last in most workouts, counter-intuitive to my very nature. I suppose, that’s a good thing, because that attitude wasn’t really working for me, anyway.
Okay, so an update:
I haven’t lost any more weight. That’s kind of a bummer, sure, but I’ve made other gains, so to speak. I’ll share a couple of journal pages below so you can see where and how I track my progress and my fitness goals.
I think you should know, that talking about fitness, writing about fitness and even thinking about fitness is still very foreign to me. I feel like a poser, a phoney, a fucking wannabe, but I keep going because of the people. I can promise you, my will power, and my motivation have very little to do with my current level of willingness to walk into that gym. It’s totally the amazing people that workout there.
First, there is my husband. He’s supportive, of course, but more than that, he will try and smooth the waters for me wherever we go. For example, when we go to a restaurant, he often asks me to approve his meal because he knows his fickle wife may decide she hates her meal and need to switch with him. (So, I have serious food issues. That can’t surprise you)
Next, my friends, that jumped in, feet first, just because I told them I loved it. I suppose, they are probably wondering what kind of crazy voodoo have these people preformed on her to get her ass moving because prior to Crossfit, she didn’t move unless...well, ever.
Next, we have the people at the gym. I need you to know that I AM NOT exaggerating when I say, they are all awesome. We’ve made some great friends and I know we stand to make many more. Maybe it’s the constant flood of serotonin that makes these people so great, but that’s for another post.
Now, if you want to get to the nitty gritty of it, and let’s face it, you would have stopped reading by now, if you didn’t, here’s the quick and dirty:
I’m still fat.
I’m still weighing in at 250lbs, though I’m stronger than ever. The weight does bug me, shame me, piss me, the fuck, off, but I’m patient.
In the meantime, I continue to work on getting DIESEL as fuck, just kidding, kinda....
Here’s what’s going through my mind, lately, when I’m working out.
“Did I just pee a little?”
“Fuck, I forgot to count.”
“Can lungs, actually, explode?”
“I just threw-up in my mouth.”
“Holy Christ, I can’t believe I did that.”
“I want to be like her/him/them.”
“Jesus Fuck, it’s hot in here.”
“These people are so beautiful.”
“I can taste last night’s wine.”
“Maybe I should get a tattoo?”
“How can I talk Alex into a third cat?”
“If I ever complete a pull-up, I will buy myself a one-wheel.”
“Why don’t we have a hot tub?”
“I needed to find this ten years ago.”
There are many more random thoughts running through my mind, on the rare occasion I can think at all.
That’s it for now.
More Later 🏋️♀️
I went to see P!nk in Montreal this weekend. I am sure some of you know this, as I obviously had to share it on social media. I will rank this experience right up there with the birth of my daughters because P!nk, in the words of my eleven year old, is so freaking rad.
It may have been the concert itself, or the combination of a weekend away with the girls, with little more to worry about than where we would eat our next meal, but this weekend felt too good to be true.
I'll share some photos below, if you care, but the point of this post isn't to share or brag that I was lucky enough to have a weekend away, but to share how that debaucherous weekend away will manifest itself on my first day back at the gym.
I know it will be bad. We had Mimosas for breakfast and wine with lunch. We stayed up until the wee hours each night enjoyed the air-conditioned rooms of hotels with sweet energy plans and wine and snacks galore (and not snacks like trail mix and dried fruit, but rather pizza and poutine), and all the while we enjoyed the warm fuzzy feelings that accompany the thought that you can sleep-in the next day. If you have young children, this may seem like a fantasy, but I promise you, if you can organize a girls' trip away, this too can be you. Also, can I come?
Now a few times during the weekend, the thought of the gym would sneak back into my mind, but then I would pop an overpriced gourmet caramel into my mouth and force the horrid thought out. This was my vacation, after all, and while I have enjoyed the gym (if that's the right word), I was not going to let the idea of it stop me from indulging, and indulge I did.
But now I am back. Reality punched me in the brain this morning when my alarm announced that I would be back to work teaching a very busy grade two class and follow that up with a visit to the gym right after work.
The workout, as is posted each night, and most of the time means very little to me (with its HSPU's and CTB's), actually scares me this time. Now, I always know that the workout will kick my ass, but this is the first time since I began five months ago, that I will be attending the workout after spending the weekend eating like...well....my old self and drinking like, well...I guess that's all me, too.
I expect I will be sweating out litres of red wine and burning off the fresh buttery croissants only a Montreal bakery can provide. I expect I'll be angling to get a spot by the fan, and the heat that will radiate from my overindulged self will likely burn a hole right through the gym floor.
I'll be back later to update this post.
Wish me luck!
It sucked and then I died
A year ago September I weighed in at 286 lbs. That is exactly one pound heavier than Duke’s phenon power forward Zion Williamson (285 lbs) and four pounds heavier than Yankee outfielder (and the only Yankee since Mo Rivera that makes this Red Sox fan think twice), Aaron Judge (282 lbs).
When I started Crossfit in January, I weighed in at 268 lbs (I’m 5’10’’). That's 6 lbs heavier than The Rock and 18 whole pounds heavier than a healthy LeBron James.
I currently weigh in at 250 lbs. That's 35 lbs heavier than Phillies Outfielder, Bryce Harper and 65 lbs heavier than Comeback Kid Tiger Woods. It's lightyears away from my goal, but better than where I started.
Now, my goal weight, isn't clear. I haven't exercised very much in my life, and certainly not at the level Crossfit demands, so I really don't know what to expect on the scale when I finally feel good in my own skin.
And, I actually hope I hardly care when the time comes.
It sure would be nice to start comparing my weight to female celebs or athletes, though.
I decided I had better start a fitness section to this blog, because if you came her looking for information about autism, or special needs parenting, or any of the other bullshit I tend to spew, you might not be too pleased to read about my foray into Crossfit.
So, the first post on my brand new blog section I’m going to call:
Couch to Crossfit!
Fat to Fit…. (Nah then I really have to get super fit)
MomBeast….Hmmmmm, I like it, because it suits me outside of the gym, too.
Okay, here goes.
Want to see some less than flattering photos of a 42 year old 250 lb mom at the gym?
That’s kinda weird, but scroll down for more. I’ll post them as a “before”........ I hope.
It’s been 14 and half weeks and and 49 visits to the gym and FRANKLY, I don’t know why I’m not skinny yet.
Now, recently I was lamenting to my husband about my lack of 'skinnyness', and he said some stellar words, and I kinda want this on a t-shirt: "Why don't you stop worrying about how much you weigh and instead worry about how much you can lift?"
I want to get there. I want to think like that and maybe I will soon, but for now I’ll soldier on. And while I am here I thought I might tell you the top ten recurring thoughts I’ve had at Crossfit: