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If you can't handle those thighs getting bigger, Crossfit may not be for you. Find out why...

Monday, August 19, 2013

I debated recently whether or not I wanted to post about my one year anniversary with Crossfit because I think my take on it is a little bit unique. But then it occurred to me that I should write about it because it is unique.

My Crossfit anniversary was actually in July, so about a month ago. Prior to when I began in July of 2012 I had been circuit training and doing HIIT for about three years, so I had lost about 5 – 10 pounds and at least 10% body fat.

But my mind was wondering. I had been married to circuit training as well as running half marathons, 5k and 10k’s for so long I wasn’t sure Crossfit was going to be right for me. I had tried it once before and always felt like I was doing things wrong, yet there was no one there to correct me.

I began taking twice weekly workshops on the olympic lifts – the snatch and the clean and jerk. This was fantastic, but incredibly time consuming. Ultimately, I was still training for a half marathon as well as what would be my second and third bikini competitions. I quickly learned that these three fitness goals did not match. You can’t try to get really lean, increase your endurance and increase your strength all at once.

While the half marathon then the bikini competitions won for the time being, I still had the itch to continue with the olympic lifts. Shortly after my competitions, I was getting restless. I needed to change things up a bit. I was tired of focusing 100% on my body fat percentage (or lack thereof,) and constantly trying to get leaner – I needed to go pick things up and set them down. My inner meathead needed to come out and I needed to lift some heavy stuff!

I knew I did not want to go back to the same box I had been at previously, so I talked to a friend who had been training at Crossfit Southie for years. So one afternoon I headed into the city and dropped into my first class. Right there on the spot I did my very first double under – something I thought was impossible.

I signed up for 3 classes a week on the very first day, which turned into the unlimited package two weeks later – I was hooked.

Since then I have competed in 6 competitions -

Northeast Garage Games Finals, November 2012 – Scaled Division, 10th place our of 60

Crossfit 2A In-House Throwdown, January 2013 – RX Division, 10th place out of 17

Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em Couples Competition, February 2013

Crossfit Free In-House Throwdown, April 2013 – RX Division

WOD For Dimes Team Competition, May 2013 – RX Division

Crossfit Newton Mass Mayhem Garage Games, August 2013 – RX Division

I am currently taking the competitor’s class at Crossfit Southie and every single day I show up excited for what the day will hold. The next best thing to showing up to the box is looking up the workout the day before when it posts! That is how hooked I am.

In the last year I have…

Increased my back squat by 30 pounds

Increased my clean and jerk by 25 pounds

Increased my deadlift by 35 pounds

Learned to snatch properly and increased it by 10 pounds

Learned to perform kipping pullups, chest to bar pullups, handstand push ups, pistols, clean and press an axle, climb a rope, pick up atlas stones and swing a 53 pound kettlebell

I have also decreased my 500m row time by 12 seconds

And all the while I have been able to maintain my one underlying goal of having visible abs.

Part of the reason I feel as though my love affair with Crossfit is very unique is how it has gotten me past a lot of body image issues. As you know, I was overly consumed with my weight and my body fat percentage. All I had ever known of working out was to do it to be thin. Quickly I learned that to get stronger I was probably going to have to put on some muscle.

As I achieved PR’s and set the standard for myself higher and higher, my confidence soared. Until one day, I was going on a trip to Florida and I was trying on outfits to take with me and low and behold, my shorts no longer fit. I remember that moment well – it was not one I enjoyed. I knew that it wasn’t fat -it couldn’t be. I had been eating very clean, I was training hard and I almost always had visible abs. I looked back on my progress pictures and I realized – I had developed muscles – REAL LIFE USABLE MUSCLES. I had wider lats and I had developed quads and my glutes were as outstanding as ever.

I had two choices – quit Crossfit or fall in love with my current body. I was smitten with Crossfit – I’m not quitting – I want to make it to the Games! So I decided right then and there that I would love my body just the way it is. Here’s my pre-Crossfit body compared to recent progress pics…

And you know, sometimes you have to do that. Whether you have gotten a little bigger (muscles) because of your new training program or maybe you have a little excess skin because you’ve lost fat. Or perhaps you have decided that you can’t be a slave to your perfect, cheat free diet and you aren’t as lean as you once were – whatever your case may be, learn to love that body of yours because you only get one, and you have to spend your whole life with it, so you may as well show it some love. Because let me tell you, when you do, it will love you back. Our bodies do absolutely amazing things – we need to build them up, not break them down.

So now it’s your turn..

Do you Crossfit?

If so, do you love it? Why?

Has it changed your body or your mind? How?

I love hearing from you!


The Get In Shape Girl

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
OFGREENGABLES 2/21/2014 3:42PM

    thanks for sharing your progress and how you keep loving yourself

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ABIZZLE7 8/27/2013 12:37PM

    great blog! I've been crosffitting for 2 years now, the last year of it I was pregnant, had a baby (#2), and am not almost 7 months post partum. I absolutely love it, especially the community aspect. The variety and the community are what keeps me coming back, and what kept me in the gym all 39 weeks of my pregnancy (last WOD was 5 days before my c-section). I'm now finally getting PRs again (even though i CFd all throughout, I still lost a bunch of strength and stamina, and the 6 weeks post c-section really hit me hard because I really didn't do much except walk - it was pretty painful). I definitely have thicker legs (and everything) but am trying to re-focus on the eating aspect, as it's 80% of the equation.

Anyways, I love that you're spreading the word on being STRONG, not skinny!

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XFITSTRONG 8/24/2013 12:37PM

    I CrossFit (15 months now) and I am addicted to it! Physically, my arms look AMAZING (considering how they used to look, lol) I am just now starting to see some ab definition and my legs are strong and muscular.

Your title of the blog really caught my attention. I used to HATE my big legs and my huge thighs.... But in CrossFit, almost all of us have big thighs and are proud of them! Bigger thighs, bigger muscles. I don't stand out and I look at my big legs as a sign of strength which is beautiful! CrossFit has totally changed the way I view my body.

I love the community atmosphere in CrossFit. I love how we all support each other, no matter what level we are at. It is not a competition against each other, it is against yourself and you have a gym full of fellow athletes cheering you on. I am the shyest, quietest, most reserved person you will ever meet, and I feel like I fit right in at CrossFit. It is awesome to workout with like-minded people on a daily basis.

I love how the workout is different every day. THAT is what keeps me motivated and going back. It never becomes boring or routine.

K... I'll stop now... I could go on and on about how awesome I think CrossFit is. Added you as a friend because I love reading other fellow CrossFitter's blogs!

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ORCHIDLADY56 8/24/2013 7:44AM

    I Crossfit and love it mainly for the way it makes me feel - powerful. I always had decent strength, but it has improved tremendously. My aerobic capacity has also improved. At 57 I don't worry about how it makes me look - menopause and age do awful things to a woman so it is best to get past it and not fret or agonize over your body image.
Sounds as if you have accomplished a lot!

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RIDELIKEAGIRL1 8/21/2013 8:48AM

    Great blog! You mentioned a few things I have struggled with myself. I do crossfit, but only started the beginning of July. I do LOVE it!! Also in the habit of checking the WOD online the day before and while it sometimes scares the pants off me... I always show up and give it all I've got. The title of your post caught my attention right away. I've found myself torn between acceptance of the changes that I'm already seeing in my body (especially my thighs and butt) or going back to my lean runner's world. Thankfully it's summer and I have shorts I can wear, but once the colder weather rolls into Canada, I'm going to need to go shopping cause none of my jeans fit. :( I have a really hard time with this... I liked your comment:
I had two choices – quit Crossfit or fall in love with my current body. I was smitten with Crossfit – I’m not quitting
I think I'm with ya here... I DO love crossfit! I enjoy the challenge it presents daily. No one looks at the WODs and thinks "piece of cake". It strengthens us in ways we can apply to real life. And along with the blood, sweat and tears comes a great community of like-minded people all working towards a similar goal :)
Thanks for sharing! Congrats on all your success and best of luck!

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FLAMENM 8/19/2013 10:10PM

    You have to learn to love your curves. Cause those abs are curves. And those leg divots are curves.
Thanks for such an honest blog.

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WALLINMW 8/19/2013 7:14PM

  Great blog--stay motivated, one pound at a time!

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144AUTUMN 8/19/2013 7:11PM

  interesting post.

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