Posts tagged body image

Why Do You CrossFit?


So –when you workout and live this healthy life, are you doing it for overall health and wellness or are you doing it to look good? Be honest with yourself.  I came across this postthis morning entitled:  Forget how you look. What can you DO?

Remember how I wrote about the themes we worked on with Tony Blauer? One of those themes was You Are Who You Are. You arent going to wake up with a super fit, elite athlete’s body. It takes work, focus and some genetics, if we are being honest.  I love this part of the article where the author really looks at WHY she is doing all of this crazy CrossFit stuff —

“I think people are really interested in how we get to the way we look. They want to look like we do. Like, ‘How do you get that way? That’s amazing!’ Well, we CrossFit.”

Exercise isn’t about vanity for me anymore. It’s quite simply about what I can push myself to do.

I no longer worry about the fact that I don’t have six-pack abs. I worry about building enough core strength and stability that I can hold a heavy barbell steady overhead while squatting to full depth over and over (still a work in progress!)

I no longer worry about sculpting my weirdly shaped butt or whittling down my hips and thighs. I worry about adding pounds to my max deadlift and backsquat, which will require not only building strength but also improving form and chipping away at self-doubt and other negative thinking patterns.

I no longer worry about maintaining a 100 percent perfect Paleo diet so I can stay at a certain weight or fit into a certain size of clothing. I worry about ingesting things that will upset my sensitive stomach and thus hinder my half-marathon training or my morning WOD.

My main concern is being able to do things that I love to do, because that makes me happy. I might never be asked to model for a fitness magazine, but if the world sees a happy version of me (and trust me, I’m incapable of faking or hiding my true emotions) then I’ve achieved my goal.

When was the last time you thought about one of your goals and the WHY you are doing it? What do you want out of it? Same things should be looked at with your career, your family. What are your reasons to get up day in and day out — is it a grind, is it the joy of your life? 

I have been at this fitness thing for over 4+ years now and regularly as you all know struggle with body image issues and what defines success — is it the fact that my doctor said my bloodwork results showed  Excellent Status compared to the old me? Is it that I am lean looking? Is it that I can do 6 Dead Hang Pull ups? Is it that it brings me pure joy? My list can go on and on and on but the important thing is that I define what success looks like to me!


Box Back Squats

12×3 Box Back Squats  125#
Tabata Situps (lowest reps 12)

Saturday Ramblings from Suburbia


Nate Dogg At Football tryoutsMy boy is growing up. He tried out for flag football today and from the looks of it, he did pretty well. He was Fast! I really think it’s been the CrossFit Kids he has done that has helped me tremendously!

The gym is closed today for training and I am sort of glad. I pulled something in my upper shoulder/neck area and it is tight and uncomfortable. Every time I lift something over my head (yesterday’s push press for instance) it sets it out of whack. It’s like I have a twisted muscle or nerve that gets aggravated.

I’m going to get a massage very soon to see if that can get the kink of out of it. We shall see….

Hope all of you out there are enjoying the weekend. The weather in the DC area is incredible! And I got a babysitter for tonite, so I am going out with the Silver Fox! Here’s to a great time had by all.

Here’s a few articles I have read lately that may be of interest to you all —

Life with Cancer Improves with Exercise

No shit about this one. Exercise IMPROVES Life, Period. End of story.

Studies found that exercise may have beneficial effects in health-related quality of life, including physical functioning, role function, social functioning, and fatigue.

21 Day Sugar Detox Results

I’m doing my detox starting two days ago,so I have been reading about others experiences to help inspire me! PaleoOMG is always a great place to start! I gotta tell you though, today my stomach was not kind to me. I am not sure if it’s my body saying get this shit out of me –but it sure has! Sorry if that is TMI — i guess I can look at it like a good thing!

And finally this is a GREAT Post that couldn’t have come at a better time:

Two Paths

When were we taught to compare ourselves to others? When were we taught that what someone else did was better than what we did? Did it start in grade school when we got picked last for the kickball team? Or maybe in high school when our classmate Jessica did something right while we were scolded for doing the opposite? Or was it when we got older and our best friend lifted more than we did at the gym?

Whatever the situation may be, we compare ourselves. We compare ourselves to friends, classmates, coworkers, and even our significant others. We worry about what others are accomplishing and dwell on what we have not. And while worrying, we forget our own accomplishments. We forget our goals. And we forget how far we have come.

I watch people compare themselves every day in the gym. I watch them stare at another person’s barbell while they load their own. I watch them worry about beating another person’s time so much they completely throw form out the door. And I watch others sink into frustration and sadness when they don’t beat their friend’s score. But what is that accomplishing? How are we improving ourselves if the only thing we are doing is steering off our own course and trying to follow the path of another?

 read more…


6 Things To Help Me Improve in Thirty Days


Fat vs MuscleI have a lot on my mind — so much so that I woke up with a headache. A lot of what’s on my mind is causing me a lot of grief. First off — I went to my doctor yesterday and accidentally saw the number on the scale. Whenever I get weighed, I make a request to not know the number. It causes me a lot of unnecessary drama and sure enough — it did its thing.

I am not going to share the number but I will say that its 10# higher than it has been in a few years. And I know I am the first one to tell everyone around me that the number on the scale doesn’t indicate whether you are fit. And I know I need to walk the walk – talk the talk. But I, like the countless other women out there, fall prey to it from time to time.  If I am having a weak moment or a particularly stressful week — and then something else piles on it. Well my focus becomes unsteady.

Seeing that number brought me to tears. I will be honest –have I been completely focused on my overall nutrition? NO but I haven’t been completely out of whack. I swear and it is frustrating that the weight creeps back on. Could it be muscle? Yes it could but not to this extent – I have noticed a bit more around my mid section and that my once loose pants are no longer loose. I can get in them –but they aren’t fitting the way they used to. It’s time to be honest and figure out WTF is going on inside my head. Because if you think about it–that’s where the issues begin.

I have noticed an overall decrease in some of my progress at CrossFit too. Have I gotten stronger? Yes. Heck I am doing 6 dead hang pull ups! So I am strong and fit — but am I completely well? No. Here are some things I am going to focus on and improve in the next thirty days:

1. Stick to the Nutrition Plan
2. Practice at least 5 m of Mindful Meditation 2x a week
3. De-clutter 2 rooms in my house: the mud room and bedroom
4. Go do something that I find super fun
5. Go Get a Massage
6. Deliberate Focus on Positive Internal Messages

You can join me and create your own list! Don’t make it HUGE and unattainable. You will just be setting yourself up for failure! Use the KISS principle!

My doctor was not concerned with my weight. He showed me my blood work results from last year and the HUGE improvements I made when I first went gung ho Paleo. He showed me the HUGE decrease in risk factors that the results showed by doing what I am already doing. He also told me once again that there are some factors that I just can’t change. Genetics play a big part.  I am not built to be small and skinny.  

And all of this I know — but there are times when I am weak and susceptible to esteem issues and need the people around me to just give me a hug. 

The question is – When will I be good enough? Only I have the answer. 


Don’t Be A Slave to the Scale


Another picture to illuminate how the scale does not tell the entire story! Stop being a slave to the scale and live healthy and fit, oh and sore of course!!

Here’s another blog entry from yet another female athlete that talks about it, just like I have before!


I took a rest day today. EVA, Nancy, Annie – those ladies are tough and my body needed to rest even though I would have liked to take on Grace! Tomorrow is a good one –although I am not going to share it until tomorrow but it’s one of the Ladies of CrossFit as well — ending a full week of the Nasty Girls.

I am so excited to go to a Combatives Camp with Tony Blauer this weekend. Jeremy Kinnick, Greg Glassman, Tony Blauer and a bunch of other amazing, inspiring athletes will be there. I love training sessions like this — so unlike what the old me would have done and I learn so much and have an amazing time in the process. I am so friggin lucky! Oh and I can kick your ass afterwards.

Is Your Daughter’s Wish To Be Thinner?


What Do You Do When Your 10-Year-Old Girl Says She’s Fat?

According to MissRepresentation, 80% of 10-year-old girls say they have been on a diet, and “the number one magic wish for girls 11-17 is to be thinner.” Now, personally, I’m pretty sure I didn’t figure out that I was fat and unlovable until I was around 15. And then I didn’t figure out that all of that was complete bullshit until I was 25. That was ten years of disappointment, dieting, crushing loneliness, and the gloomy certainty that I’d be alone forever (to be fair, it was also fun times, travel, hilarious friends, a great education, gin & tonics, and unfettered focus on making my life awesome). But today’s girls get 15 years of that shit, to my ten—presuming they clamber out of the pit by 25, if they manage to do it at all. NO THANKS. This is clearly an emergency.

I know one of these girls. She lives in my house. My 10-year-old stepdaughter (her dad and I aren’t married, but you know what I mean, Archbishop of Pedantrybury) recently announced that the entire family would be required to “work out” together every morning. She made little workout checklists for herself and her 8-year-old sister, with a specificity that would be hilarious if it wasn’t so troubling (“do 36 push-ups,” “jog for 17 minutes”). I notice her grasping for little excuses not to eat. She casually mentions that certain relatives and classmates have called her fat. She claims she just “likes” turkey bacon better than regular bacon (BLATANT LIE). Even kids (especially kids, maybe) know that the best way to insult a woman is to call her fat. They know that thin > fat, even if they don’t really understand what that means. So her stupid 14-year-old cousin knows that the best way to needle my 10-year-old beanpole stepkid is to call her fat. And he does. Stupid cousin.

Now, this could all be coming from a totally healthy impulse—she’s also terrifically athletic and currently obsessed with martial arts and acquiring a machete (her “Weapons to Get” list is twice as long as the workout list)—but it sure doesn’t feel like that.

Stop Being A Slave To The Scale


Are you a slave to the scale? I will admit that I still fight this part of me. I don’t own a scale, haven’t owned one my entire adult life. Why would I want to spend money to own something and give space to something that has so much control over me that it can make or break my day? No way Jose!

We are all so conditioned to believe that a number on the scale tells us that we are OK, and if we are healthy. A Number! Look around and read my post about Gretchen Kittelberger and how there are so many different body types out there. How can one small range of numbers apply to us all?

The past year I have shared a few of these pictures – pics that tell that story better than I can. Actual athletes who weigh more now than they did when they started. There is no way you can say that they don’t look more fit, healthier and BETTER!!


Body Image


Leah from CrossFit Nation

There you have it. These are just 3 pictures but there are many many more out there! As I find them, you will see there posted here. I do it to help others but it’s a good, needed reminder for me too. It’s about being healthy and fit — not what number you see on the scale.

Today’s workout sucked. Yeah, it really did. And it was humid, so my asthma was bad and today’s workout had running in it. A lot of running — oh the joys.

50 Double Unders
10 wall ball shots
10 push ups
10 walking lunges
10 sit ups

push up progressions




  • 400m run
  • 10 Thrusters

I decided to not go full on RX today. I have been feeling fatigued this week and Coach Conan’s WOD guidance was to pick a weight that you can go full steam and not have to stop. I chose 50#, however because I couldn’t breathe, I still stopped. I am working on being mentally OK with scaling when I feel it necessary. It’s not a sign of weakness or giving up – it’s assessing where your body is at at that particular moment and adjusting. 

And I am so proud of some of the younger women that I work out with. There are a few, when they first started, I smoked them each and every workout. Well the time has come –the student has at times surpassed the teacher! It’s motivating for me to see because how dare they smoke me by not just one, but sometimes two or more rounds!  I just love to see the change in people first hand. The fire, the gains, the progress they make. That’s what fills my tank up each and every day.

Getting sweaty is not feminine and other myths


What can we do as parents and mentors to encourage and support young girls to embrace physical fitness?  I don’t know about you all, but I know for a fact that women do sweat! Feminine, girly, frilly women – they do. I have seen women in the gym – leaving sweat angels all over the place. I like to say “clean up on aisle 2” when I see a pool of sweat and have said it for many of women. These women clean up nicely too.

What is it about girls and puberty that they start to lose interest in so many things that will help them further along in life — math, science, fitness. They lose their self esteem, confidence, belief that they can do anything.  They can do whatever they are willing to work for — just like the boys that sit next to them in class.

I let the fear of being sweaty go a long time ago — it happens, we are human and my kids, seeing mom and her friends rolled up in a ball of sweat at the end of a hard workout helps the cause. Maybe that’s the key – as parents we need to show our kids that we fit fitness in, no matter what is going on. We get sweaty, sore and spent — Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk…


Studies Show that Gym Classes May Make Women Hate Exercise

Forty-eight percent of girls surveyed said that “getting sweaty is not feminine”– and almost a third of boys surveyed agreed, according to a report in the Telegraph. Fifty-seven percent of girls agreed that girls tend to drop out of physical activity because their friends do, and 76 percent of girls agreed that they feel self-conscious about their bodies; about a quarter of them feel like gym class forces them to put their bodies on display. 

Apparently, the insecurity and self-consciousness continues into adulthood. A different study, released last month by the British mental health charity Mind, found that 90 percent of women older than age 30 are crippled by low self-esteem and body-confidence issues when they try to exercise in public. 

Some try to get fit by exercising in the dark or wearing baggy clothing, but most tend to avoid outdoor activities entirely, their report found. Instead, 71 percent of the 1,450 women surveyed said that they were more likely to eat comfort food, 66 percent said they’d rather sleep, and 71 percent would rather find a way to be alone instead of exercise. 


CrossFit Games Athlete: Gretchen Kittelberger Inspires Me


Here are the top 3 women in the CrossFit Mid-Atlantic Regionals this past weekend. Christy Phillips, Jen Jones (top spot), Gretchen Kittelberger. All three shaped very differently, all three strong as hell, fit as hell, determined and focused! Notice how they aren’t bulky, man looking women but attractive, fit and strong. They all lift weights — a lot of weight lifted between them. It’s a good lesson for all of us women that strength training should be embraced, not run from because of the fear of getting bulky.

We can’t escape genetics – there are some things about our bodies that are simply not going to change but you can enhance and maintain them so they become an asset or something that lets you stand out from the crowd.

I love Gretchen K. I have met her a few times – she’s always so nice and friendly and now that she remembers me– happy to stop and chat. I also like her a lot because I have a similiar body shape. Broad shoulders, big arms, smaller hips. We can’t change that – sometimes I wish I was thin and willowy, but that wasn’t in the cards for me.  I have spent way too many hours of my life wishing I looked a different way. She inspires me because in the end  – she is who she is and she is strong, pretty and  works her ass off.  Oh and did I mention she just passed the bar and is now a LAWYER!?

She has taken her broad shoulders and upper body and used it as an asset. No one would ever say oh man, she’s not fit. She is beyond fit and inspires me everyday to just accept the shape I was given and own it.

She probably has no idea she has helped me with that — but Thank YOU Gretchen!!! Good Luck at the Games — I am rooting for you!!!

I woke up today sore. My hamstrings and calves are yelling at me but I really wanted to work out today. Odd I know, but I was excited to get up and head out. I am not saying I wasn’t tired and it would have been easier to stay in bed because that would be a lie —

50 Double Unders
Dynamic Stretching

Snatch – Ugh, Ugh, Ugh!!


18-15-12-9-6-3 rep rounds of:

Power snatch 95/65
Wallball shots (14lbs)
Knees to elbows

time: 19:24 RX

Change the Voices in Your Head – Start Today!


I coached my first adult CF class solo this AM – rockin the red coaches shirt. It was fun and what was even better was that I could have a cup of coffee before I went! Whoo hoo – that was a treat.

Last night, I was talking to one of the CFI Whole Life Challengers who is down about 10 or so pounds.  She steps on the scale every day and is finding herself discouraged. I wanted to slap her — Seriously! If you look at her, she looks slimmer and no matter what the scale says — she has changed.

I was talking to her about what success means to her in this challenge. What is her metric? If it’s a number on the scale — then so be it but based on my experience – that is not what you strive for. You strive to LIVE better. FEEL better. BE better. It’s not a number on a scale, at least its not for me.

I asked her why she would step on something EVERY DAY that makes her feel less than she is. It may never show the number you want it to in your head, but does that mean you are worth less or have not worked hard enough? That’s a question for you to answer on your own. Maybe you haven’t really put in the work and it reflects in the number but maybe you have and the number still isn’t there. So What?  It doesn’t negate the work you have done.

Why are we programmed like this? Why do we believe that a number defines us? We could feel great one minute, step on the scale and in an instant we are experiencing defeat. Don’t give that scale the power.

And while I am at it – why do we NOT believe people closest to us?  Your friends, fellow challengers, family are telling you they see a difference — but we don’t believe them. Are they intentionally lying to us? Why would they lie to us? Is it because they don’t want to hurt our feelings or kill our spirit as we head down our fitness journey? For the most part, I highly doubt it. They are supportive and want to acknowledge the changes they see — Learn to accept their praise, their encouragement, their rah rah attitude and use it to propel you further.  And use it to combat the voices in your head trying to make you believe you aren’t worth it, you aren’t good enough, you haven’t done your part —  Those voices in your head need to be changed — so start today!


You Look Bulky and Other Annoying Opinions


I have spoken about this before — we all will not fit the mold of that supermodel. Be aware & sensitive to emotions and feelings that may go along with your words…

So, you say I “look big”? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

One of my CrossFit classmates told me that at a recent family party, one relative inquired if she was “putting on weight,” and another told her her arms looked “too big.” This reminded me of another girl I used to work out with. Her aunt had the audacity to call her fat, and one of her tennis opponents sized up her arms and asked if she was on steroids.

What the hell is wrong with people?

Both of the women I mentioned above are passionate about fitness, extremely dedicated to their training and hella strong in their own ways. They’re exactly the kind of gals you want in your class because their strength and intensity makes you step up your game.

But they’re human, so when they hear comments like that from clueless jerks who have no idea that they can backsquat a freaking car or deadlift twice their body weight or run circles around anyone and everyone in the gym, they feel bad. They get discouraged. They start doubting themselves and all the work they’ve put in to get stronger.

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