What have I learned after 9 Fitness Challenges?
What I have learned as a middle age mother, 34 y/young, 2 children, 3 years into CrossFit and 9 “Fitness Challenges”
The more fitness challenges at our gym that you can enroll in the better you will get. Experience is elite. You learn what works for your body and what doesn’t. We are unique complex beings. We have to find what fuels our body best, and practice makes progress. I was going to do this at the end of our 8 weeks, but thought it is right about now that some people start to feel the lull. They lose their drive because they have had one too many cheats, or have not PR’d a lift or WOD like they feel they should have in the last 6 weeks. We forget the light at the end of this tunnel. And darn it, it’s hard! If you are in this for the better of a lifestyle change, I thought this would be worth reading. And maybe give you that push to keep on moving forward.
Here are a few things I have learned in the past three years:
1) The lowest I have ever been was 11% body fat, 116 lbs about two years ago. This is not “healthy” for me. I learned a long time ago, that I may have been trim, but I didn’t feel well, and was always fatigued. Today, I am not only a full time employee, parent with kids in activities, and a small business owner, I need to have energy. All the time. The beginning of this 2015 Fitness challenge I started at 129, which was the heaviest since I was pregnant. It is beyond difficult to not let the number on the scale get to you. Why do I weigh more now after being dedicated to a lifestyle than I ever had before? The answer is strength and to make it simple. Muscle weighs more than fat. I have had my most GAINZ in 2014 than the two previous years. I chalk this up to my strength built. I just keep getting better. I could probably lean out a little bit more, but it’s not the number on the scale that defines me. It’s my attitude and my success’s in life as a mother, wife, trainer, gym owner, employee, and person. Eating to perform makes me better.
2) This I feel has been the greatest accomplishment thus far of this challenge. I have Avascular Necrosis in my left hip. I have had this since I was 12 y/o. Some days I may experience more pain than others. And I do not like ice or rain. I spent several years on crutches and had two hip surgeries. For several years, I have eaten Ibuprofen like candy. I took it even more when I had way too many cheat meals. I made a goal on this challenge to not touch the stuff no matter what, and still continue to train. In the last 6 weeks, I have taken 2 Naproxen Sodium, once, for a migraine I couldn’t break. If I was thinking straight, I would have realized the causes of the migraine were dehydration and lack of protein intake. It’s amazing what your vitamin/mineral and caloric intake does to your overall well-being. The important factor is, I have not once taken ibuprofen or any NSAID for inflammation of my hip or sore muscles. Hindsite: Maybe all the information I have read about sugars, dairy, and grain being inflammatory is true?! I am still training 5 days on one day off. And most weeks, I will train twice a day a couple times a week when schedule allows.
3) Fish Oil. Talk to a Doctor. Find it. Take it on a daily basis.
4) Mobility and Rest can cure almost any injury I have sustained. The more mobility I do. The quicker I am off the bench.
5) Fats. Eat the good ones. And do it every day.
6) Squatting helps everything.
7) Sleep helps everything.
8) You won’t get better at anything unless you practice it.
9) Sugar is like an addictive drug. You introduce it back in to a diet, you crave more of it. A gluten free or paleo Brownie is still a Brownie. Think about that before you make a dessert instead of just eating an apple or having a smoothie.
10) Eating clean and unprocessed foods really is like legal steroids for the body.
11) Don’t be a quitter. Quitters never win a pair of CrossFit Shoes. This may not be easy, but the results are worth it. Never give up.
If there was one thing you have learned about yourself from this fitness challenge, what is it?
Experience is incomparable. You may share something that more than one person can relate to on this journey. The only way is up. ~Maria Holee