This year, I went from 67kg/147 pounds to 62.5 kg to my highest at 72kg/158 pounds. Ever since I started keeping track of/worrying about my weight, I started to develop body image issues. I don’t think people who train with me or see me train notice it, but it’s in the back of my head all day long.
In September 2016, I decided to start counting my macros and eating at certain times of the day. I had never done anything like it and I quickly went from my starting weight of 67kg to below 63kg/138 pounds in approximately four months. This was just before the 2017 open. I qualified as an individual to the Meridian Region for the first time and I was really happy with my progress. Then, I stopped tracking my food as strictly as I had and I started gaining weight again. I was competing at the Regionals and at the Games during that time. I didn’t feel good about myself and I was disappointed in that I hadn’t held on to those 63kg’s.
There was a constant voice telling me that if I had just kept myself at that weight I would be so much better. I started beating myself down, little by little each day.
Each day started with me stepping on the scale and seeing the number slowly go up. That number on the scale would then determine what kind of a training day I would be having. If we had a lot of gymnastics or just plain burpees my first thought was always: “this is going to be so hard for you because you’ve gained so much weight.” Every time I stepped on the scale and saw a “high number,” instantly all body weight movements felt heavy.
They weren’t, as I was gaining strength as well as weight, but my mind was just telling me all the wrong things.
I’m 1.70cm( 5’7″) so I’m one of the taller CrossFit athletes. I’m also TOO tall to be sitting at 63kg/138 pounds bodyweight, and that’s something I have been trying to make peace with and to understand. I can’t reach my full potential in strength and health at a bodyweight that’s just too low for someone my hight, even though I had a six pack then.
The other thing is that how I looked during workouts became the highlight of them, and especially during competition workouts with many people watching me. Instead of focusing 100% on the task at hand, I was thinking about what other people were thinking of me and how they saw me.
The worst may be that I started thinking that I wasn’t worthy of being this elite athlete I strive to be because I felt like I didn’t look like all the other amazing successful athletes around me.
I just think that maybe the body image issue in sports is more common that we think and see. You have to look a certain way, an approved way, to be considered good. And if you don’t, some will say that you’re not working hard enough. That’s just not true. I work pretty damn f***ing hard every day.
Strict muscle ups were no problem when I was at 63-64 kgs/138 pounds and then I started gaining weight again and they became this huge ass mental thing. I tried multiple times after Regionals and I never managed to get at least one rep. Each time I couldn’t get the transition it broke me a little bit. Eventually I stopped trying and I have not tried since maybe August.
Each day started with me stepping on the scale and seeing the number slowly go up…There was a constant voice telling me that if I had just kept myself at that weight I would be so much better. I started beating myself down, little by little each day.
When I was in San Diego these past five weeks I decided to seek out a new nutritionist to help me deal with not only controlling my weight but just to get some sense back into my head, because I sure as hell wasn’t going anywhere with this mindset. I contacted Mike Molloy, and he just has a whole new approach to dieting (or just eating FOOD) than I’m used to. He guides me through each day and modifies my days as training gets tough. I don’t go by the number on the scale anymore. I go by performance, how I feel, if I feel tired, how much more food I need to recover and the occasional progress picture.
I’m feeling so much better mentally, it’s crazy. And god damn it feels good.
On Wednesday, my body was feeling like a train wreck after many days of training. The last piece on my training schedule was sets of strict muscle ups. I just thought “oh my god I have not done a successful one in so long and I’m way to tired to get one done now.”
But I decided to give it a go. It had been long enough. And you know…it was the easiest strict muscle up I’ve ever done. And then I did another…and another…and another.
I’m 1.70cm( 5’7″) so I’m one of the taller CrossFit athletes. I’m also TOO tall to be sitting at 63kg/138 pounds bodyweight, and that’s something I have been trying to make peace with and to understand. I can’t reach my full potential in strength and health at a bodyweight that’s just too low for someone my height, even though I had a six pack then.
I got a six pack for the first time ever when I got down to such a low weight but I don’t have it anymore, and that’s okay. Maybe it’ll come back, maybe not. Because having a six pack doesn’t determine weather you are a good athlete or not. The formula is not sixpack=good athlete. So many other things play a factor in the good vs. not as good of an athlete.
I’m working hard on acceptance and just not caring what others think as long as I feel good. I need to start enjoying myself in this thing I’m doing, because I am worth it.