Editor’s Note: This is a guest post written by one of our listeners, Becky Niehaus. If you are interested in submitting a guest post, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve been doing functional training for about 7 months (actual CrossFit for 6 weeks). In that short time span, several notable things happened. I drank the Kool-Aid. I started eating mostly paleo. I’ve met some great people. Perhaps most notably though, my Fat Days died forever. This great, hulking thing that drove me crazy with regularity passed from my consciousness. It went out with a whimper, not a bang. Kind of anti-climactic but a relief nonetheless. Most people have these days but women are especially affected by them, often choosing and discarding outfits based on this imaginary affliction we’ve created in our heads based on social constructs of “thigh gaps” and “skinny is the only pretty.” Bullshit.
On the day in question, one of my coaches programmed tire flips as a cash out. I love those things. Not much else makes me feel as accomplished as flipping a ginormous tire all by my little lonesome. But I digress. Anyway, I have the tire flip CrossFit shirt and he asked why I wasn’t wearing it. I flippantly responded it was because I was having a Fat Day and didn’t feel like wearing it because it hugged my muffin top. He looked at me and said, “Becky, why are you worried about that? Here, we are concerned with performance. You have come so far. That’s what you should think about when you’re getting dressed.” Or something pretty close to that and he went on his way. He has no idea how much that 15 second speech impacted my body image. I doubt he even remembers the conversation. He’s an awesome coach and he and his wife have really helped me get my mind around respecting my body for what it can do, not what society says it should look like.
For me, this has been the greatest challenge of fitness. I think of all the years I have spent wishing for a flatter stomach or hating my hips and I just shake my head. For me, CrossFit was the catalyst I needed to get out of that rut. Watching all kinds of people achieve things they never thought they could do is pretty great. Being able to deadlift more than my bodyweight is a high, especially considering how much a struggled with the movement my first night in class. Skinny is sexy for some. But so are strength, determination, and perseverance. THESE are the things I think about now. Not the fact that my thighs still rub together but the fact that those legs can squat, lunge, run, and box jump through a WOD like nobody’s business.
That was the day my Fat Day died forever. Do I still have days where I don’t feel 100% about my body? Yes. Have I ever let my brain call me fat again? Heck no. And every time I feel a Negative Nancy spell coming on, I flex my new biceps in the mirror and can’t help but smile.
I feel a PR coming soon.