Robert’s Ramblings: CrossFit isn’t Everything…
I know, this sounds like blasphemy, coming from someone who does CrossFit. What nerve do I have to say that?!? Especially from someone who’s been doing CrossFit since 2013. Well, hear me out. To get some perspective on what I mean, I need to give some background.
Growing up, I was not the athletic kid. I gravitated towards non-athletic things: theatre, music, math, and science. One could easily argue that I was the “fat kid” growing up. Over the course of obtaining my undergraduate degree and completing my Ph.D., I had ballooned up in weight even further. As I started my career and no longer had any school to deal with anymore, I figured it was time to focus on my health. I started eating healthier, joined the gym at work, and started running practically every day (keep in mind, no CrossFit, yet). I lost quite a lot of weight (actually lost about 100 lbs.). And, like what can happen, I slid back and wasn’t going to the gym, and started eating poorly again, and gained about 60 lbs. back.
In comes CrossFit in 2013 and eating healthy again. I dropped about 35-40 lbs. over several months with the combination of that. I’ve been doing CrossFit consistently since then. It’s actually the first workout regimen that I have stuck too. So, I had gotten that working out piece figured out.
So, going back to the title, “CrossFit isn’t everything”. What, do I mean by that? Well, I’ve been doing CrossFit consistently for 4-5 years now. And yet during that time, I’ve fluctuated up and down in weight by anywhere from about 30-50 lbs. But I’ve been doing CrossFit, so what gives? That should do the trick, right? Well, as one who has tracked his weight, I’ve noticed that the main factor in if I’m going up or down in weight (and therefore how I look) is FOOD.
What food I’m putting into my body has been the largest factor that impacts if my weight is going up or down; I’ve tracked this. Now, people do CrossFit for many different reasons. Some people want to improve their PR’s on their Olympic lifts. For me, while that’s a nice plus, the main thing for me is to lose weight and look good (or some combination of both). So, while CrossFit has helped my mobility, and strength. If I want to look good, I can’t just do CrossFit. A bad diet cannot be made up by working out.
As an example of that, this year (in the last 2 months, actually), I’ve been doing CrossFit as usual, but my diet was slipping. So, while my mobility has been fine and my lifts have been good, my weight was creeping up. About 2 months ago, CrossFit Phoenix 815 started participating with Kettlebell Kitchen to supply ready-made meals. I decided to give that a whirl and do an experiment. 12 meals a week, already prepared, just pop it into the microwave. I don’t have schedule time to meal prep. And I only need to get groceries mainly to make breakfast in the morning (usually eggs…).
I’m at just about two months into it (that plus CrossFit), and I’m now down 20 lbs. thus far. In addition to the numbers on the scale, I really notice it in my clothes. That pair of “skinny jeans” suddenly fits. Those pair of shorts in the back of my closet can be worn again. I can button up that one shirt again that I like. So, for me, this is the evidence that CrossFit isn’t everything. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an important aspect of being healthy, you just have to manage the food side in addition to the CrossFit side.
If you’ve been coming regularly to CrossFit and are thinking that you haven’t seen any results, one thing to do is to take an honest and serious look at what you’re eating. As people have said before, you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. I’ve found that to be true.