I don't really want to share half-naked selfies of myself with the world, but I feel compelled to. Because after years and years of running and training for half-marathons, sweating it out in yoga classes, and eating healthy, I have finally caught a glimpse of the kind of transformation I have been wanting ever since I can remember. And it's only been one month.
This might sound like a PSA, but so what? I really do owe it all to CrossFit. I had been wanting to try it for years but through two pregnancies, working, and taking care of my two young kids, I just felt like I couldn't carve out the time. It was kind of a lame excuse, actually, and I realised it was high time to make the time and do something for me. So on Mother's Day 2016, I bought myself an On-Ramp course for CrossFit. No it's not culty, yes the workouts are frickin' hard, and yes, the community support really is amazing and was the key to my success.
After completing that course, I decided to go all in and committed to going for one month, five days a week. Here's what happened.
- Weight down: I have been the same weight for years, trying to lose those last pesky pounds that hide my muscles and make me look softer than I'd like. I was amazed when I stepped on the scale and realised I was at the weight that I lied about on my driver's license. Down five pounds! I mean, that's huge when you don't have a ton of weight to lose. CrossFit smacked my weight-loss plateau in the face!
- Less to pinch: OK, so the scale isn't everything. I also lost at least one inch around my waist. I can totally tell in the photos because it's the first area of my body my eyes move to whenever I look in the mirror. I have had a belly my entire life it seems, and I can finally see it slimming down and that little muffin top diminishing. I even noticed a little definition in my obliques!
- Arm definition: While brushing my teeth a couple weeks in, I happily noticed my biceps bulging but didn't think anything of it until the month was up and people commented on my arms. "What have you been doing?" they asked. Someone else said when they hugged me, my arms felt stronger. Even the guy who came to fix my internet commented on my "guns." I also noticed more definition in my upper back.
- Toned thighs: I've always had lean legs, thanks to running and inherited genes from my mom, but they look even more toned and defined. I slipped on a pair of leggings and loved that I could seen my quad muscles popping out a little. Thank you lunges and deadlifts!
- Perkier bum: I also inherited a flat bum from my mum, but a month full of squats, wall balls, and kettlebell swings have turned my flat rear into a more shapely, rounder, lifted bum. My husband has noticed, too. Bonus!
- More energy: I used to run for an hour in the morning from 6 to 7 a.m., and by late morning/early afternoon, I felt completely drained. My body felt exhausted, my brain felt foggy, and all I wanted was a nap. I craved sugar and chocolate because I thought it'd give me a pick-me-up. Of course, that backfired with an inevitable sugar crash, plus the extra calories didn't help me lose weight. I didn't feel tired once during this month-long CrossFit experiment. Even after getting up at 4:50 to make my 5:45 a.m. classes, I still had more physical and mental energy.
- Less hunger: Now this surprised me. I thought all that intense cardio and heavy lifting would leave me insatiably famished. But I felt way less hungry than I did after those hour-long runs. I never ate before those early a.m. classes for fear or puking, and by the time I got home, showered, and started working, I wasn't hungry until 9 or 10. I was also inspired to eat better because I was putting in all this time and energy, and I didn't want to undo all that by devouring half a box of Wheat Thins dipped in peanut butter.
- Varicose veins diminished: I thought the bulging blue varicose vein behind my left knee was the oh-so-special badge of honour I shared with mums everywhere. But after four weeks of CrossFit, I swear, it's hardly noticeable. The increased blood flow from all that heart-pumping cardio works magic! I feel way more confident in short shorts and skirts now.
- Stronger overall: Carry three bags of groceries on each arm from the car to the house? No problem! Lifting heavier weights for just one month made me stronger and more capable of handling life's challenges. When both kids' heads accidentally collided when reaching for the same flower, CrossFit mummy power came to the rescue and I could bend down and lift 80 pounds worth of kid without my knees giving out with energy left to kiss both boo-boos! Running feels easier, previously difficult yoga poses like One-Legged Crow are doable, and come Winter, I'm excited to see how CrossFit-strong legs tackle the ski slopes.
- Confidence: It wears on you when you spend years thinking about your weight while working hard to change your body and not seeing the results you're after. Making a change that actually worked was life changing. I feel more confident and am just overall happier. I also realised that I like pushing myself and since CrossFit encourages you to to get stronger every day, I'm embracing this feeling of pride, and it's inspiring me to keep pushing myself. I see now why people become hooked on WODs. It only took one month, but I'm addicted now, too.