I am not even sure where to begin with this post. I’ve asked myself a million times whether or not it is a good idea to post about my weight loss journey. The answer is always the same. Yes. Because it ISN’T about weight.
It’s about the journey.
I was always playing sports growing up, so I never really thought about weight. Being genetically predisposed to diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity never ever crossed my mind. As I got older, and the metabolism started to decrease, I began to take notice. Then….. I had kids.
After I had my first little one, Christiana and I decided to sign up for a half marathon. Super ambitious goals are the only goals!! “Sure I can run 13.1 miles 8 months postpartum. I’ll just train my ass off, lose all the baby weight, and feel FABULOUS, right?”
EHHHHHHHHH (cue game show buzzer noise)
So so so so wrong. All that training and I lost ZERO pounds or inches. ZERO. I also ended up hurting my hip flexor pretty badly during that race because…hello...cross training is necessary when training properly for long distance running.
It was then that my metabolism
came crashing screetched to a halt. I was eating all the food and drinking all the beverages. And it was then that my body image started to wain. An increase in scale weight and clothing size caused a HUGE decrease in self worth for me.
<Depression enter stage left>
Depression set in pretty hard. It was soon after that I spent a majority of my days in tears, not feeling worthy of any kind of love. OK, I know what you’re thinking,
“weight shouldn’t have anything to do with that…. society….. diets… magazines….. women are predisposed to unhealthy mindsets due to having their bodies objectified and sexualized in our faces since we were little and it shouldn’t affect them….”
Yup….all that. All of the yeps. But I still hated myself for letting myself get to a place that I hated myself, perpetuating a vicious negative feedback loop.
Fast forward to my daughter being born. With little #2, I never slept. She was up every 45 minutes of her life for the entire. first. year. I cannot get back all the wasted time on social media looking at photos like the one above and seeing someone I didn’t even recognize. It became impossible to see any happiness in my life. I was being blinded by how disgusting I thought I looked. I couldn’t see the beauty in the way my daughter is looking at me in this photo. The joy radiating from her sweet little face…
<Cue second bout of depression and self loathing>
It was then that my husband, bless that sweet man, had HAD IT!
“I want you to see what the children and I see, so I used my Christmas bonus and signed you up for the on-track class at the closest Crossfit. It’s already paid for….you’re going”
<jaw drop……anxiety sweat dripping>
Walking through the doors that day in January of 2015 changed the course of the rest of my life.
Through education, HARD WORK, team commoradory, nutrition challenges and changes (we went mostly paleo), and push from my family…. I started to feel worthy of this change. The weight loss started happening slowly, then once my diet changed, my metabolism that had been seemingly dormant for 4 years decided to wake up!
Suddenly, I could do stuff. Pull-ups (albeit assisted but WHO F$*&ing cares I was doing PULLUPS) pushups, deadlifts, stuff I had never even thought I’d be capable of.
Pretty soon, I found myself at a 55 lbs weight loss. FIFTY FIVE POUNDS!
But….was I truly happy? Well, I went from hating my body, to becoming OBSESSED with it. I spent every moment I had thinking about workouts and how I needed to get there and see the people that had become my friends, my lifeline. I would get anxiety about every workout everyday. And if I missed one, I’d have anxiety that I’d lost all the fitness I had worked so hard to get. Every day I’d miss dinner, and homework, and family time to work on this new body of mine. I looked for my self worth and validation for missing those things in every “you look amazing!”, from people that I heard. I found physical validation in others finding me attractive, since I had spent so long feeling hideous. In other words, my mental health battle had just begun.
I kept getting thinner and thinner. Skipping breakfast, drinking protein shakes instead of lunch (mainly because the anxiety for the workout that day would leave me nauseated), and only having an appetite for dinner after the workout. My coaches even noticed and talked to me about my weight. They weren’t happy.
It was shortly after this that I started having panic attacks. Undiagnosed depression and anxiety had gotten the best of me. With the up and down extremes, using weight loss and working out as the only escape, it became hard to even notice that I had lost myself and the person I was. I was no longer the carefree woman my husband married. The thing that made me happiest at that point, was now my greatest source of angst and pain.
Life threw us a giant kick in the ass when my son started losing interest in school. We started having emails and notes home from his teacher that he was way behind and not able to focus in school. Essentially, we took him to the gym and came home and put him in front of his homework or the television and talked about crossfit in the kitchen.
ROCK….BOTTOM…..PARENTING………FAIL……..<cue more self loathing>
That woke me up to just how bad my mental state had gotten. I looked for validation at the expense of everyone but me.
My supportive (you know who you beauties are) friends and family took me aside, and told me that they loved me, but it had been as if they’d lost me to crossfit and crossfit people for two years at this point. So I changed….
I refocused my awareness on healthily eating, (whatever I wanted…not following a specific limited diet) being okay with skipping workouts and only going three days a week and NEVER in the evenings. We reinstalled family dinner around the table, and no television during the weekdays. And the biggest factor was that I asked for help. That help saved my sanity, just as Crossfit had saved my health two years earlier.
The scale went up, but guess what….so did my performance in the gym. I still crossfit and I still think it’s the greatest exercise for me. My husband does it now, too!
I ended up pulling away from the obsession, and have maintained a healthier weight for my body, mind, and life balance ever since. Anxiety is something I still struggle with daily, but the self awareness actualizes true coping, instead of filling and fueling it with old habits and relationships.
My point in writing this story is to show that, while I may have felt skinny and awesome in some ways, I hadn’t truly healed myself. I live a life nowwhere I am so much happier, showing my daughter that I have a little weight to me, but it comes with greater strength. She can see all that Mommy can do. I can balance now. And I hope to inspire her to adopt this motto: Strong is the new skinny. Strength, balance, SELF LOVE, and happiness have been the end goals to this journey and will continue to be. For now, when you ask me what my weight is in the above photos, I will answer this way,
” 155# deadlift for 100 reps, 75# on the barbel for the rest of the 200 reps. And guess what, I threw that damn scale out the window……..”
Kristy is a married mom of 2, doula, massage therapist, and dedicated crossfitter with a passion of healing the human body and mind in Virginia.