Guest Written by Paula Reeder
As a school teacher I hear a wide range of excuses on a daily basis. Although some are very creative I seldom accept them. But why then do I allow myself to make excuses for my own behavior? Simple, it’s easier to make excuses than actively doing something.
January 2013 – I no longer could accept excuses as to why I was overweight and out of shape because I had a cruise coming up in three months. So like many people do at the beginning of the year I made a resolution to lose weight and get in shape. Guess what happened next? I started making excuses. I’m working two jobs, I don’t have time to work out. There’s no time to cook and eat healthy. I’m tired of treadmills and elliptical machines. I’ve dieted and exercised before only to have the weight come back plus some. No need to go on and on, I am sure you have probably made similar excuses. So how did I overcome?
First I had to start my fitness plan, and that led me to Crossfit. My friend, Jessica White, told me about her new gym in Russellville called Crossfit Russellville. Jessica said I wouldn’t be using treadmills or elliptical machines there. I told her that I was not an athlete. She said not to worry; the workouts are scaled to fit all fitness levels. Nervous and feeling as if I was going to be sick I showed up for Crossfit 101. Let me just say that first day pushed my limits and with sweat dripping off my nose –crazy as it sounds — I knew I would be back. Day two, I showed up sore and ready for the next workout. Again I left with a sense of accomplishment. Before I knew it a week had passed and I was looking forward to my daily workouts. Now a year and four months later I’m still excited to go to Crossfit.
Why did Crossfit work for me? Why does Crossfit continue to work for me? One word: Community. Let me first explain a crossfit workout. You show up at the ‘box’ not the gym and you’re greeted by several people. You begin your pre-workout stretches with other people. Next you complete a group warm up, which as most crossfitters would say, “is harder than other gym goers’ workout”. After warm up you walk over to the whiteboard to discuss the WOD (workout of day). Now it’s time to work out as a group. Everyone sets up their weights and equipment according to their ability and skill level. Coaches walk around encouraging and correcting movements. Those who finish early push others to keep going. High fives and compliments are seen and heard throughout the box. When the WOD is completed there’s a cashout, sometimes just as hard as the WOD. Before heading home groups gather, more words of encouragement are heard and congratulations are given. Crossfit is a family. We push each other, we encourage each other, and we celebrate together. I may be sore for a week and can barely sit down but with my Crossfit family I can improve my overall fitness and keep pushing myself to be better.
Within my first week of crossfit I started focusing on my diet. I was introduced to the Paleo — gluten free, dairy free, and processed sugar free — diet. It’s an all natural food plan of meats, vegetables, and fruits. Processed food and frozen meals were no longer acceptable. Not an easy diet when you like fast food and pasta. But with the help of Pinterest for recipes, my husband and a group of friends willing to try new foods I have stuck to this healthy way of eating. There are the occasional cheats, but for the most part my taste buds prefer the natural foods. My new rule is if I can’t pronounce all the ingredients I am not to going to eat it.
So here I am, one year and four months later without excuses. I have continued to make time to exercise and eat a healthy diet. Crossfit has proven to me that I am an athlete and I challenge myself daily to improve. My healthy diet has led to planting a garden and preparing foods for others who want to eat healthier.
My advice to anyone looking to make a change is to start by stopping the excuses and finding your support community. I’m here to help.
Guest Written by Paula Reeder