From the time I was 10 years old I have been aware of my size. I have always known how much I weigh and what size I am wearing. Sometimes it has been a bit of obsessive (read: all of the time it has been a bit obsessive). I have always worked out, watched what I ate (or at the very least was aware of what I was eating). I can tell you the caloric content of almost anything. Go on, test me… bag of M&Ms? 250 calories. Arby’s Roast Beef… 350 calories. A piece of wheat bread… 60 calories. I’ll stop. It’s annoying.
It was this obsession that led me to CrossFit. I have done about every other workout regimen. A friend of mine dabbled in it a bit, and her in-laws opened a box. Sure, why not. I’ll bite. So, I’ve already talked about that first workout. I won’t go down that path again. But, I will say again, CrossFit has changed my life. One of the main ways it has changed my life is how I view food. I LOVE to eat. Seriously, it is my favorite thing to do, but I do not let it control me. I am not obsessed with the caloric content of anything. I eat real food. I stay away from some things, have some glorious cheat meals, and indulge from time to time. I’m in the best shape of my life. Here’s the issue: while I am the same size as far as measurements, I am the heaviest I have ever been (excepting my two pregnancies, of course).
The inner obsessive girl struggles with this. I went to the doctor today to have my back readjusted after the hellish 5 weeks that was the CrossFit Open, but of course, before I could go into the room, they had to weigh me. Lovely. I stared at the number in disbelief. It’s tough to see, but my inner dialogue immediately began the diatribe of “it’s mostly muscle,” and “think about your body fat percentage not your weight.” And I did, but as you see from this blog, it still bothers me. I have 32 years of thinking this way, and have been wrestling the last two with changing this. I think this is a common struggle with a lot of CrossFit girls. Some of us have spent years in search of the thigh gap and a protruding collar bone. Now we are combating quads for days, a big butt from squats, and the shoulders that would make the shoulder pad fad of the 80’s really easy.
Don’t get me wrong, I am in love with what my body can do. I can squat thirty pounds more than my body weight, deadlift my body weight and a half, and can ALMOST clean my body weight (I need to work on that). I have not reached my goals yet, but I’m getting closer. But, I digress. I’m strong and I love it, but with that strength comes a mass I’m not used to, and that society is not used to. We talk about being “bulky” and “manly” and worry about how other’s view us. We need to start focusing on what our bodies can do, not how well our bodies fit with society.
If we began to do this, we would stop worrying about the size of the clothes we wear, because frankly no one has any idea what size your clothes are. Once they are on we can no longer see the tag, so wear what fits, right? It’s much better to wear clothes that fit our bodies, than squeeze into clothes that don’t, simply so we can say, “I’m a size X”. Pointless, right? Not to mention it’s not cute. Psst, you actually look bigger in close that are too small. Again, I digress. If you live in a world where you have to tell people what size you wear, you need to find a new place to live. Sometimes you have to size up because your quads are too big, or you have to size down because your chest is too small. It doesn’t matter if you are in a size 2 or a size 10, if your thighs touch or your cleavage doesn’t. What matters is what your body can accomplish. How well you perform at the tasks you wish to perform.
So, let’s embrace our quads, hams, glutes, biceps, triceps, and lats. Let’s enjoy what we do, and look good coming and going, no matter what size your shorts are, or which way the scale tips. Be happy with who you are and what you can do, and go kick some ass.
Photo Credit: Olivia Fortin Crossfit girl. Via Lorri Anne