Hello! I’m Rachel and I’ve been working out at Crossfit Fayetteville for a little over a year now. When I joined the gym, I was seriously out of shape and overweight and a little bit deparate and honestly terrified of so. much. running. After about 8 months of working out, I noticed some great results like improved cardiovascular endurance, better balance, better reflexes, 15 pound weight loss, better breathing, and increased energy and overall happiness. However, I found a point at which I was no longer improving much.
I decided to try the Paleo Nutrition Challenge and fully give up my semi-vegetarian lifestyle. I was really pumped and did a great job for the first two weeks, but then my motivation stalled and I lost all the progress I had made. During the first challenge, I had made the mistake of trying to make very complicated dishes. This led to a lot of time in the kitchen and a lot of stress since I already have a pretty busy schedule. I also let myself eat as much as I wanted. Because one of my problems with food is overeating and not recognizing that I am full, I was sometimes eating over 2000 calories without realizing it. In addition to this, I wasn’t tracking my progress every week. This meant I really didn’t know how well the diet was working. The last mistake I made was Halloween. Yeah. It was a one woman feast of bags and bags of candy.
So when I decided to do the next challenge, I had some plans set for myself. First of all, I got myself in the mindset that this time it was really going to be a lifestyle change. And I had 5 weeks to see how the change felt and had to trust that I could do anything for 5 weeks. I promised myself I would keep my meals simple. On Sundays I usually baked chicken breast and tilapia as well as steamed a whole bunch of veggies. Some weeks I would get fancy and do something in the crockpot like Paleo Sloppy Joes. I also prepped veggies to snack on. Every lunch I also promised to eat a salad. Every week, I went to Complete Nutrition and measured my body fat percentage to track my progress. This definitely helped keep me motivated. I also recognized that some weeks were just better than others, but by not giving up I was making progress. I made sure to try to eat around 1300-1500 calories each day. If I ate my regular sized meals and was still hungry, I would eat more, but only after letting the meal digest. Finally, I let myself eat non paleo regularly. However, when I did so, I didn’t eat too much. This helped curb my tendency to binge on non paleo foods when I felt like I just couldn’t do it anymore. The weekly challenge where we drank 100 oz of water per day was also a huge success for me. That was the week I did the best and have continued that habit for the most part since then.
After two weeks, I noticed I felt really energized. I also noticed my skin really improved. As someone who has always had combination skin prone to break outs, I didn’t know the last time my skin had looked so healthy! That was one of the biggest motivation factors, surprisingly. I also noticed my clothes began to fit more comfortably and I was able to work out with more intensity. After completing this challenge I have definitely eaten plenty of non paleo foods, but I find the habits I developed during the challenge feel natural now, so most of the time I’m eating paleo. Although winning the challenge has been a nice perk, I would say the opportunity to focus on making good habits that fit my lifestyle has been the greatest thing I’ve gotten out of the challenge.
I started CrossFit Fayettville in July, 2013. My motivation was a new Health Program that my company was implementing, where my Health Insurance premium was going to be based on several indicators such as BMI, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol and several other factors. I knew I was not going to do well in the screening, so I started CrossFit.
When the screening came in October, I passed every metric. My premium did not increase. Not only did I save on my premium but a few weeks later I was able to save on my Blood Pressure and Cholesterol medications. I saved because I no longer needed to take them! The money I’ve saved on the premiums and meds is much more than the CrossFit dues. One negative though is I’ve had to buy new clothes due to my smaller size. I can live with that.
After I made it through the screening, I made the decision to keep going to CrossFit because of other benefits. I found my ability to deal with stress to be greatly improved. My energy level was higher and I didn’t want to just sit in the recliner when getting home from work. I found my balance improved which benefits my favorite hobby, bass fishing. After a long day fishing my shoulder, elbows and back would ache. After getting stronger through CrossFit, those symptoms are gone.
There are many other small benefits like being more comfortable sitting in those small plane seats for hours, but I won’t go on and on. I do want to tell everyone that might be concerned about being able to do the work outs, to relax. My first 2 days I was in such bad shape I could barely get through the warm ups. The coaches were there and only gave support and advice, always encouraging.
The benefits are endless and I’m making this a part of my life, with CrossFit Fayetteville.