Everyone has a complex relationship to their body. But who can blame us really? In the age of perfectly curated visuals with all those seemingly flawless social media people, whose lives (and bodies) seem to be nothing short of a dream come true. We constantly get bombarded with these pictures and ideals, hell we even choose to bombard ourselves with them. It’s a little sickening, but I’m definitely part of it. And probably that’s why I too live with the urge to have a ”hot body” some day.
Every time I go to the gym, I see at least one person with the type of body that I’d like to have. Those perfect veiny arms. A strong chest. The biceps every guy dreams of. A great bubbly butt. And a six pack of steel of course. And I think to myself ”That could have been me, hell he’s probably even younger than me! What have I done with my life?”. These people always make me feel worthless, even though I know that isn’t the case. Obviously genetics do play a role in all of this as well. Some people will never really achieve their dream body because of pre-disposed factors. But most of us can pull it off, it’s really not the hardest thing. I’ve even been really close once, but at the start of 2017 I had a couple of accidents and lost it all.
Here’s what happened…
I used to work out at the gym for years. However, I didn’t have a good plan and I didn’t really know what I was doing. So even though I went 4 times a week for years, not much changed with my body, although I was pretty strong by the end.
A conversation with my husband about Crossfit made me curious about what it was. I’m not sure if it was coincidence or fate, but there was a 21 day trial at my local CF gym. I decided to take a chance and see what the fuzz was all about. In just a week or two, I was clearly addicted. I bought a 6 month plan and went there basically 4-5 times per week. It was hard, tough training. But it was so much fun. And I got to challenge my mind and body in ways I’d never done before. For example, when I started, I didn’t dare even think about doing handstands, not even against a wall. And I couldn’t. Today I can do handstands without a wall, and it’s all thanks to the coaches I had back then. They helped me through so many things and going to Crossfit helped me through a really hard time in my personal life as well.
My diet was also really damn great back then. I was doing strict paleo, which I still have a fond feeling for, even though I’m not 100% paleo anymore. When I was at my peak in December of 2016, I was so strong, I even had something resembling a six pack! I was at a level of fitness that I previously had thought I would never achieve in my lifetime. But I got there in just 6 months! I could hardly believe it myself, but the results were there. And I felt better than ever.
But, there’s always a but. I stepped in something really sharp and tiny. Perhaps glass, perhaps something else. It was so small that you couldn’t see it. But something was there, inside my heel, and it wouldn’t get out. I went to countless doctors, did x-rays and ultrasounds. Results showed nothing. Weeks went by, and I could hardly walk. Since my doctor seemed to ignore me completely, I ended up at the ER, where they carved a freakin’ whole in my heel and in the words of that surgeon ”possibly removed the piece of glass or whatever it is”. I was like ”Oh thanks, that sounds reassuring”. Obviously that hole in my foot got infected and I had to eat antibiotics for 40 days (yes, FORTY DAYS!). I’m never walking barefoot again. Like ever. Seriously.
Surely, a damaged foot wouldn’t stop me from exercising? Think again. Since I’d been limping for weeks, I managed to hurt both my knees while doing squats one day. This stopped me from doing any more exercises where knee bending was involved. And I couldn’t run either. OK then, at least I could do upper body stuff. But noooo, during the same period I had been really low on cash, so I was working as many hours as I could at a supermarket. I was in charge of the fruits and veggies and if you’ve ever tried lifting big full boxes of carrots, apples or any other dense vegetable or fruit, you’ll know that they can get quite heavy. And after doing that same work for weeks with almost no break, and no other type of activity for my body, my elbows started hurting. And so upper body workouts also become a no go zone.
I quit that job after 7 weeks (not only because my body was doing really bad, but also because it was a shit workplace). I quit Crossfit, cause there was no point in paying if I couldn’t go anyway. No more workouts and the loss of my dear Crossfit family led to a heavy depression, which in turn made me start eating really bad stuff. I had no problem stuffing myself with 200 grams of chocolate every day. Lots of pizzas and fries also went down in a quick bite. But my biggest problem was definitely with sugar. I gained 10 kilos guys. That’s no joke, that’s the weight of 500 sushi rolls.
This was in the spring of 2017. My whole year basically turned into a sugar high, with some added rehab for my knees and elbows. My foot took about 6 months to completely heal. Last year was a mess. I’m still seeing a physiotherapist for my elbows (and my shoulder, that apparently also is a bit chaotic), but I’m much better now. I’ve started working out and eating better again. I’m slowly on the road back to where I was before. It might take longer than 6 months this time, but that’s alright, as long as I feel good and secure in what I’m doing.
Every time I tell people about these accidents, they think that somehow Crossfit was responsible. It really wasn’t. Crossfit didn’t give me any damaged limbs or bloody stories to share. It only made me feel great, fit and look the best I’ve ever looked. It might sound superficial, but I have really never felt so good. So if you’re thinking about trying CF, just go for it!
And let me know in the comments if you’re interested in my diet and I’ll post it here later on.