Last weekend I participated in the SuperFit Games in Richmond, VA. It was a team CrossFit competition and I’ve been nervously DYING to compete since I got back into CrossFit this past January. Since this comp was a team event, it eased my nerves a bit but I’ll be honest with you, I needed anxiety meds on Saturday. If you missed my recap of the experience, read about it HERE!
So my partner for the event, Trevor, is one of the most relaxed, laid back, yet highly motivated people I know. Life is just fun when you’re hanging out with him–kinda like nothing can go wrong. That’s why I knew he’d be a great partner for my first ever competition: he would keep my nerves at bay.
BUT, as the competition drew nearer and nearer, we had to decide on a team name to represent who we were–or are–to everyone else. Trevor first suggested “Sun’s Out, Guns Out,” but no offense to him, I think that expression is starting to become a little overplayed these days. In fact, I think there was a team there on Saturday who had this name. When deciding, I sort of giggled and said, “How about, Team We Used to be Fat!” which in fact, ended up being pretty funny and people liked it.
You see, Trevor and I simply, “used to be fat.” And both of us still struggle a bit with thinking we still are. I mean, when you see yourself in pictures and in mirrors–looking bigger and bigger every day, you start to think, “Am I gaining weight? I’ll work that off. I’ll go on a diet.” But you don’t. You continue to gain, avoid photos, and then your mom takes a picture of you on Christmas Day and you suddenly realize, “Oh my God. I am fat.” Not just “I gained a little weight-fat,” but actually fat-FAT–even bordering obese. And if you’ve ever experienced this moment, you know that it’s a moment you don’t just bounce back from. In fact, it’s something that you struggle with for the rest of your life.
Erik gets really mad at me because I constantly ask him, “Do I look fat?” or “Do I look fatter than normal?” or “Did I eat a lot of sodium because I think I look bloated,” or even “Does this make me look fatter than I am?” And he’s actually gone as far as telling me that I have that body dismorphic disorder–you know, the one where you look in the mirror and see yourself bigger than you are. How can I not? For years I looked in the mirror and refused to notice that I was gaining. Now, I agonize over every angle, every bit of skin, every “roll,” and every single place I can find that jiggles. How does this shirt lay? How do these pants fit? Will this make me look chunky here or show too much fat there?
I think Trevor has the disorder too sometimes. He makes the same comments about looking fat and there isn’t an ounce of fat on him. In fact, he could probably even stand to gain a few pounds, in my opinion. People tell him all the time that he has amazing abs! I’m not sure he believes them. And people tell me they wish they had my legs, but all I can think to myself is, “these elephant legs?!” I can only see two big fat legs…the legs that can’t even squeeze into a size medium knee sleeve…nothing long and lean, which is what society drills into our brains as what we must have. Why can’t I see the good in me that others do?
Body Dismorphic Disorder: I’m terrifed of being “Fat.”
I have a few more friends who suffer from this same disease. I think that people who used to be fat are just always terrified of being fat again. I know how easy it is for me–and my friends who share my same problem–to gain weight. Look at a donut, BOOM! Three pounds. I used to “yo-yo” diet so much that even now when I know I’m thinner–or fitter I should say–I’m still terrified of getting fat again. It’s always in the back of my mind that something I’m eating might make me fat. Even after doing FOUR WORKOUTS in one day, I still gained a few pounds from my day and a half celebration. Seriously? That should be a talent. I know I shouldn’t care…my success in competing and becoming who I am now totally trumps a few pounds from a cheat day. I’m strong! Fitter than I’ve ever been! I have an amazing pulse, blood pressure, and a super high antioxidant level! But some days, I just don’t care. Some days, I only care that I’m NOT fat.
Am I HORRIBLE or HUMAN?
There are some people who only know the fitness and food side of me–not the one who used to eat pasta, pizza, Chinese and ice cream every day. Not the “fat” me. It’s crazy to me that the person I never thought I could be is the one I’ve become. If I had known in college that I LOVED health so much, I would have majored in it in a heartbeat. I did actually enjoy my gen-ed health class…I read the text book for “fun” and aced the exam. But nothing clicked for me that this could be a future. I was never good at sports in school…I didn’t want to be a doctor…what else was there?
My freshman health professor at JMU said that we all needed to join a gym or we’d gain the “freshman 15.” I didn’t believe him. I gained 40 pounds. So I joined a gym and started weight watchers. When weight watchers started to fail me, I began reading about nutrition. I absolutely LOVE reading about food–and I still read all that I can get my hands on. Back then–about eight years ago–I drove most of my friends crazy because I literally tried EVERY health food I could get my hands on. I started eating whole foods. One time, I started talking about soy ice cream and a friend rolled her eyes and walked away.
She’s no longer a friend…And my new ones love me for me.
But how do fat people really get thin? How do you lose fifty pounds and turn your life around?
For Trevor, it was all about the workout. He says,
Crossfit has became a complete life changer! I started Crossfit because I was looking for something different than the normal “global gym” environment. I remember my very first WOD (workout of the day)–I was laying on the ground 5 minutes in, completely wrecked. I just kept wondering how in the world can a workout that was only 15 minutes long leave me on the ground only 5 minutes into it?! My body felt exhausted, but I couldnt wait for the next day so I could go back for more. My main motivation for losing weight was to become “identical” with my twin brother again. I was always heavier than him and when you are a twin, you are always being compared by others who are either trying to find resemblances or differences in the two of you. I was determined to NOT be named the “chubby twin” anymore.
With CrossFit, I lost a total of 64 pounds. My confidence went through the roof! I still get amazed at how far I have come, and can’t wait to see where else CrossFit will take me! It’s shocking to think that I went from being obese and extremely unhealthy to now competing in CrossFit competitions and holding the awesome title of being a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer at Crossfit Harrisonburg!
I love that story.
As for me? Nothing happened until I completely changed my diet and I started lifting weights. As I loved the lifting aspect, I then found CrossFit. I taught myself about nutrition and learned–pardon my expression–a shit ton. I taught group fitness. I read more on nutrition. I started helping others. And finally? I guess you could say–even though I beg to differ on a bad day–I’m not fat anymore.
I’m definitely glad to say that I represent Team Strong Figure in my competitions. Although “We Used to be Fat” is funny, I’m ecstatic to represent the strength in my life.
New Stuff on the Horizon!
Stay tuned to read about how Trevor and I do in our next Superfit Competition in DC at CrossFit Trident at the end of the month. I also signed up for my FIRST individual competition in Vienna, Virginia at CrossFit Rubicon in December, and I am BEYOND stoked that my friend Reagan and I will be competing in the Richmond Convention Center in February for my FIRST ever Rx competition.
Oh and you know how I mentioned LOVING nutrition so much? Stay tuned for big news. Strong Figure is about to launch a sister site…all centered on food. And me, of course.