After giving birth to my daughter in March 2009, I vowed to not become a mother who blamed pregnancy and motherhood as a reason to hang onto the extra pounds I gained throughout my pregnancy (I gained 55 total pounds with my first pregnancy). I had always been a yo-yo exerciser. I would exercise, get into what I thought was good shape, drop weight, feel good and then stop because the goals I had were attained. Maintenance for me meant waiting to feel unfit and have snug pants to get back to the gym. I was always too busy and yo-yo exercised as to not let things get too out of control. I had been in the Army National Guard for 15 years at the time and had perfected figuring out what I needed to do exactly to pass my semi-annual weigh-in and pass with an above average score for my annual Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) which consists of 2 minutes of push-ups, 2 minutes of sit ups and a 2 mile run. My best APFT score was during my deployment to Afghanistan, where the only thing to do on down time was to make it to the tent-gym and work out. I was (what I thought) in the best shape of my life.
Upon my return from overseas, I became pregnant and spent 9 months eating what I wanted, when I wanted because THAT is what pregnant women do, right? I justified my eating by going to the gym 3 times a week and walking on the treadmill or doing low impact elliptical workouts. 55 pounds later (I’m only 5’3” tall), a traumatic c-section that left me on the couch for 6 weeks and the rainiest maternity leave ever, I went back to work with 30 extra pounds on my body. It was demoralizing to not fit into anything in my wardrobe and to feel so un-fit. With my next APFT and weigh-in on the horizon, I somehow managed to get back beneath my authorized weight limit and barely passed my APFT within 9 months of giving birth (nothing short of a miracle really). Though I passed my tests, I was not exactly my pre-pregnancy size. I attributed my new size to my post-birth “Mom” body.
Only 12 months after getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight, it was time for baby #2. I was determined not to gain 55 pounds, remembering how difficult it was to lose the weight afterwards with my daughter. Well, excuses, excuses, but being pregnant in the summer led to ice cream daily and all the steak and yummy summer food I could handle. I did meet my goal of not gaining 55 pounds, but still gained 50 pounds (and I was pregnant a week less the second time around). My son was born on September 1st, just in time for fall and the dreaded winter months where I would typically gain weight, not lose it.
During my pregnancy, a friend (my workout buddy) had been telling me about her husband’s new passion in CrossFit. I had never heard of it but learned that a ‘box’ had opened in Ashland, close to where I live. I committed to checking it out as soon as physically able. I did the trial class with Matt and was pretty smoked. I wasn’t even able to do a ‘regular’ push up at the time, which was embarrassing for me after so many years in the service. I signed up for Foundations when my son was 12 weeks old and decided it was time to try something new. The Foundations class was a great pace for me, learning moves and not worrying about weights (quite yet) but just form. Little did I know that my ass was about to get kicked in only a few short weeks.
I started Wodding 2x per week and immediately realized that my brain and body were not on the same page. My body was not doing the things I felt it should. I had always been stronger, faster and leaner than I was at that time. It was the single most frustrating thing in my life to mentally believe I was a ‘fit’ person and to have a body that wasn’t cooperating with this mental image. This alone drove me to work hard, cope with scaling because it was the appropriate thing to do, and work my ass off until I could eventually become someone to RX a couple WODs a week and be a person another new Mom might talk to about starting CrossFit. I also learned that the “Mom” body was a bunch of bull. Though my weight is not too far off from my previous adult ‘low’ of 132, the clothes I wore at that weight hang off my body. My size 8’s and 10’s are a thing of the past and I am replacing the clothes in my closet with 4’s, 6’s, smalls and extra smalls. I never thought I’d be that size, ever! I don’t think I was that size even as a teenager.
Now, 10 months later, I continue to push myself harder every month, setting specific goals to continue moving me towards faster times in METCON WODs, heavier weights in weight training and better technique in things like pull ups, toes-to-bar and double-unders. I WOD 3-5 times a week and strictly schedule my calendar to make sure I fit in my workouts each month. I never liked going to work out in the morning and now I am excited to get up and go to CFS on mornings that I am scheduled to do so. I love the community, motivation and support from my CrossFit peers and friends I have made. I love being inspired by some phenomenal athletes and I love that I have been able to inspire a few others out there. Most importantly, I love how I feel about my stronger body and the example I am setting for my children.