Over the course of the 4 years I’ve done Crossfit, I’ve done many things incorrectly and in doing so have spent years “unlearning” my bad habits.

kelli

As a coach, there is nothing that makes me happier than helping athletes avoid all of the mistakes I’ve made and teaching them the correct way from the beginning.

And so,  in writing this I’m hoping to help each of you avoid making the biggest mistake I ever made and it has nothing to do with lifting form, gymnastics technique, or even diet.  Instead, it has to do with body image.

My biggest mistake happened long before I started Crossfit.   When I was 15 I developed a nasty habit of telling by body every single day that it wasn’t good enough.  I told myself I wasn’t thin enough, I wasn’t toned enough, my stomach wasn’t flat enough, and on and on.

I never thanked my body for helping me win almost every swim meet I was in, for making me MVP of my volleyball team, or for making me a straight A student. Instead, I beat it down every single day for not looking how I wanted it to look.

In doing so I developed an eating disorder.  Eventually, through this negative talk I did become the thin image I thought was so important.  I also ended up in the hospital and had to spend years in treatment centers and counseling.  And guess what, I still wasn’t happy with the image I saw in the mirror.

Fast forward 4 years, 2 hospitalizations, 3 months of intensive treatment, and too many dieticians and counselors to count; fast forward to the first time I walked into a Crossfit gym, I was hooked, immediately.  At first I thought, “I can’t wait.  This will definitely make me thin and toned.  If I do this I’ll finally be happy with how I look.”

This was my second biggest mistake.  1 year in and I was so frustrated because I hadn’t seen improvement.  I didn’t have abs, my shoulders were still big, and I didn’t think I looked toned.   But, I could do pullups for the first time in my life, I could deadlift 300lbs and I was always one of the top scorers in the WOD.  After some forced self-reflection from an awesome coach, I realized that I had left the self-hate from my teen years creep back into my life and I was still focused solely on a physical appearance.

It took some time, but I finally shifted my focus and learned to appreciate my body for what it could do, rather than how it looked.   I also learned to measure success and improvement in performance rather than appearance.  And guess what, for the first time, in possibly my entire life, I kind of like myself.

So why am I telling you all of this? I don’t want any of you to make this same mistake.  I want you to fall in love with the amazing feats you accomplish every single day in the gym, rather than beating yourself up because you don’t look the exact way you want to.  Focus on performance goals rather than appearance goals.  You are going to be able to snatch 130lbs long before you are going to be happy with the way your arms look.

And along the way to reaching those performance goals your body is going to become something you appreciate and, hopefully, you are going to become someone you kind of like too.

Change Your Life, Schedule a No Sweat Intro

Do It Today
“You Cannot Do This”

“You Cannot Do This”

“….thinking what I have gotten myself into. I didn’t know how to do anything athletic. My eating and drinking habits were out of control. I got winded walking up the stairs at my apartment. I had been depressed for months – sometimes to the point of missing work because the reality of my day was too much to handle. All around, I felt and looked awful.”-Athlete, Katie Kregg

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