This morning I PR-ed (got a personal record) on my front squat… 175. Or as I told my confused co-workers, I squated a me and a third. And the response? You don’t weigh that much.
Growing up, I never worried much about weight. I was a string bean of a thing. Until I stopped growing at the age of 14 and realized I will forever be five feet tall. It was then that I started to navigate the stormy path of a body image issue. Puberty had left me curvy, which was rare in my friend group. Being curvy and 5’0… Well there’s not a lot of room for that hourglass shape that people envy on women twice my height. I would sometimes gain weight, and people in my life were quick to tell me that they noticed, so I’d work hard to lose it. Towards the middle of high school, I stopped eating while I was at school, but for a single yogurt cup, even though some days went from 8 a.m – 10:30 p.m. at night. That’s what all the skinny and popular girls did, so I thought I should too. Looking back, I was massively unhappy in high school and a large part of that had to do with how I looked. No, I was never obese. I’m the girl that Kate from This is Us yells at in her weight support group. When I looked in the mirror, I saw something different.
In college, I was determined to not care what everyone else looked like. And I quickly blew through the freshman 15 and landed into the sophomore 30. I was heavier, but I was happier. Until I decided I wanted to switch my career track because I was going to be the next Barbara Walters. That’s when I was politely told about how important my appearance was, aka, I needed to lose weight. At the time in Miami, a diet pill by the name of Fruta Planta was really popular. I decided to give it a try and it worked. I dipped below my high school weight and since everyone told me how good I looked, I kept taking it. I kept taking it even after someone in Miami died from it and the FDA outlawed it.
I finally stopped taking them when I could literally no longer get them. I fad dieted. I got trainers. I copped. Okay, now the story stops getting sad…
My husband (boyfriend at the time) started doing CrossFit for a project he was doing at work about 3 years ago. He instantly fell in love with it and wanted me to join. I laughed at him for about a month, until I said I was tired of a gym feeding me tootsie rolls and pizza, and wanted to really enjoy working out.
I was surprised when I walked into my first box. There were young people, old people, really swole people, and people like me. The best part? The people that were in the best shape, their thighs were as thick as mine. And they liked them that way! That was huge deal to me. Wiregrass CrossFit became my home while I learned the basics, got in shape (not just skinny!) for my wedding and made amazing friends.
Three years later, I love CrossFit for the same reasons.
When we moved from Dothan to Birmingham, the first friends I made were at CrossFit. Many of them are now like family to me. And the fact that me and my husband do it together, has given us a hobby that makes our marriage stronger.
My thighs are big and getting more muscular every day, and for the first time in my life, I look at them and don’t feel bad about myself (most days). I want them to get bigger and look like the CrossFit games athletes I look up to.
And I never thought I’d be able to front squat 175.