Author’s Note: This is not something I really ever though I would be ok to share because, to be honest, it is completely humiliating…but I’ve realized that maybe this can help someone else. If I can help one person, than putting myself in a really uncomfortable and vulnerable place is worth it. If I can make one person feel like there is hope, give them some motivation, or to just make them realize how many others are struggling with the same thing, this is valuable.
Have you ever felt trapped in your own body?
I was, and sometimes still feel like I am. Almost a year ago, I decided that enough was enough and that it was time to change my habits and get back in shape. I was depressed, embarrassed of my body, and overall completely defeated.
Weight has always been an “issue” for me for as long as I can remember. Even throughout high school when I played soccer 5+ days a week and was in the best shape my life I still felt like I was too heavy. I wasn’t – I was 130lbs of pure muscle and could run a mile in less than 7 minutes. I don’t really think there were outside forces that made me feel this way, I think it’s been (for the most part) an internal struggle for perfection. This is something that has also creeped into other aspects in my life – always striving to be perfect, maybe too much at times. As I’ve become older I’m realizing that I may never be completely happy with how I look, and that is a tough realization to have.
Last year around November I was at the heaviest I’ve ever been. I had been in NYC working the last year and completely let myself go – I don’t know exactly how much I had gained during that time but it was probably 25-35lbs. We ate out 3 meals a day and I wasn’t making the best choices on top of not working out.
I absolutely despised waking up and being in this body. I had no energy. I hated getting dressed because things didn’t fit how they used to or I couldn’t fit in them at all. I didn’t want to leave the house. I was too embarrassed to go to the gym. I hated going shopping (well, I still kind of hate that mostly because it’s so boring). I was terrified that I would run into someone at someplace that knew me before this point and would just look at me and think “Damn, Brittney’s gotten really fat, she really has let herself go.” The fear I had was crippling.
I decided that I had to make a change and suck up my pride and discomfort. I joined ClassPass in hopes that I would find a place that I enjoyed working out at while also feeling safe and without judgement. After trying quite a few places, I kept craving the spin classes at Flywheel in Buckhead. ClassPass only allows you to go to each studio 3x a month and I knew that I’d found “it.” I sucked it up, cancelled the ClassPass and joined Flywheel in spite of the fact that it cost a small fortune each month. The cost actually ended up being one of the things that helped me to actually go to the classes. When you are spending that much on a membership, you drag your butt out of bed and you go to spinning…especially since you have to sign up for them and if you don’t show up they take another $15-$20 from you. With a modified diet and going there 5-7 times each week, the weight came off fairly quickly. After about 4 months I had lost probably 25lbs just with Flywheel and eating somewhat healthier. Below are my actual numbers from my time there. I definitely put in the work and the time.
I started to get burnt out and knew it was time for a change (also, this place was expensive and I’d started to plateau). My body gets pretty used to whatever exercise it is doing and really requires changing up my routine to continue losing.
For some reason, I decided to finally give Crossfit a try – I’ve heard all the horror stories (you’ll get a man-body, they’re intimidating, only really fit people can do it) and let me just tell you it’s all a complete lie. I got a Groupon for the 6 week fundamental classes Crossfit Dojo. Classes were 3 times a week and were designed to start you from the very bottom focusing on technique and actually learning the movements rather than throwing on 150lbs and telling you to lift it. During this time I realized how strong I actually am and how much of this stuff I could actually do just fine. I would completely surprise myself each class with something I didn’t think I could do. I really liked that each day was different and that each day was challenging for my entire body. During this time I lost another 5-10 lbs.
Around week 5 or 6 I started working in Pittsburgh on a client and no longer could go to the fundamentals classes. I missed them but couldn’t find anything within walking distance to where I was staying there. I stayed pretty healthy during my time there – I walked to and from work, ate decent, worked out occasionally, and basically just maintained my weight. This may not seem like a big deal, but I counted it as a small victory. After gaining so much weight in NYC, I was pleased that I simply maintained.
The last few weeks since I’ve been back in Atlanta, I’ve kind of been “readjusting” to being back home. I took a little breather and I’m ready to go back to it and finally hit my goal. I just found an amazing new Crossfit gym (details to come) that I joined for the next 6 months and I’m super excited to see where I’ll be at the end of it. Yesterday on my Timehop, not a minute too soon and not a minute too late, a picture of me came up from when I was about 10lbs lighter than my heaviest exactly a year ago. When I looked at it, it showed me how far I’ve come. This picture doesn’t really do my work justice but I will share more as I come across them (cause hey, I guess I have no shame in outing myself now). I have lost almost 35lbs in the past year and I need to be proud of that. I need to take the small victories. I’ve done this all by busting my ass – there was no magic pill, fad diet, or anything other than sweat that got me this far.
I still have a ways to go, but I want to take you with me this time. Cheers to turning 29 in a week and it being the best year yet…and to hopefully finally find some peace with my body.