Its funny how much can change in 1 year.
This time last year I was 25, about 25lbs heavier, and was diagnosed with high cholesterol, PCOS, and pre-type 2 diabetes because of insulin resistance- and to top it off, because of this, it would probably be hard for me to have kids oneday. It was quite a rude awakening. What had I done SO wrong to my body, at 25, that caused this? To most people, I looked pretty normal- pretty average.
My normal workout routine: I took a couple zumba classes a week, signed up for a 5k every few months, and hopped from gym to gym using the machines till they got old. I was active.
My normal diet: I figured that if I took a lean quizine or weight watchers meal for lunch every day I was eating healthy. I tried to eat wheat bread on my many subway sandwiches, tried to drink more milk because it said on T.V. that doing so would be really good for me, and stayed away from ANY red meat because I’ve always been told that its horrible for you. I ate ‘light’ yogurt, drank ‘diet’ sodas if I had one, got kids meals from restaurants and snack packs from Chicken Express (my favorite place!). I had a drawer full of mini laffy taffys at work that I snacked on throughout the day, they were tiny… couldn’t be that bad… I would skip breakfast alot because I just wasn’t hungry- figured it would help me get smaller if I didn’t eat as much too. I looked at calories-ALOT- but I never really cared what it was that I ate. As a kid I ate what all the other kids ate, hotdogs, chicken nuggets, mac’n’cheese… school lunches, pizza, cheese fries, “gravy day”- sometimes I would use my lunch money for ice cream instead of lunch- but hey, I was skinny- why should I eat healthy?
My life wasn’t really that different than the normal American- I even thought that because I was running a little and taking Zumba that I was doing more than the average person. Right after the Dr. diagnosed me, she immediately told me about the Meds that she was going to start me on to counteract the insulin resistance (that’s when your body has been fed too much sugar and doesn’t know how to process it anymore)- and she told me that we would just have to keep upping my dose as my body got used to it. I asked if there was another solution. like with nutrition, she said no- just watch what I ate (whatever that meant). So I started meds, dealt with side effects, and accepted the fact that I potentially had a hard road ahead of me.
A few months into this, a girl I worked with (AMY GLASS) came into work and said, “Hey Britt! I know that you’ve done a 5k and my CrossFit group is doing a 10K in Feb.- would you want to do it with us?” I thought about it, figured it would be fun and challenging, and nervously agreed to do it.
[See, I had no idea what CrossFit even was- All I knew was that Amy and the other couple people that did it wore crazy socks, and got REALLY excited when they saw each other, and always ended up jumping around and talking about weird workouts- it kinda freaked me out. In fact… She had one of the Coaches come up to work and do a weird “Lean Turkey Nutrition” meeting one night and I LITERALLY tried to sneak out the front door doing everything I could to not make eye contact with anyone! They reminded me of hippie people. Freaked me out a little.]
A couple weeks later, I went to a CrossFit workout strictly to meet the people that I would be running with. That day was the last day at their old Crossfit Waxahachie location, so there were double the people there just because they thought it would be fun to have a big last workout together. When I walked in, the room was filled with laughing and talking and crazy socks- I saw rows of barbells on the ground- and thought, ‘surely that that was what the Guys must be using to workout- not us girls’. They were about to do a strength workout. I didn’t know I was going to work out that day, but I jumped right in and started learning! At the end of the 30 min workout, I was able to lift a barbell from the ground to overhead! I had NEVER touched a barbell before, other than the VERY few bench presses we had to do for highschool tennis. It was empowering! Everyone was motivating everyone! It was fun… what a concept! I was SO sore the next day! I realized why Amy and her friends were so happy when they talked about working out. Because it wasn’t just working out. It was a community- a community of friends of all ages and shapes and sizes that do crazy workouts together and have a blast while getting their butts kicked! I’ve never walked into a gym or a class with that kind of atmosphere before. I was hooked.
I started crossfit a couple days a week and Loved it! A few weeks later, at lunch one day, Amy and I talked about the Meds I was taking- She immediately said, “BRITT! I’ve been on that! You do know that you can reverse that with nutrition, right?? I’m totally off that now!” -I was skeptical because of what the Dr. told me, but figured I could give it a try. See, another part of CrossFit is that they promote nutrition as the foundation of their program. She and her friend Jeanye Mercer (another CrossFitter) teamed up and kinda took me under their wing and told me about eating “PALEO” (short for Paleolithic- the cave man era). Basically- it’s eating like the cavemen would have eaten… the way God created our bodies to eat. Eating: Meats & Veggies, Fruits, Nuts & Seeds, Little Startch, No Sugar. Cutting out Grains, Pasta, and Dairy (Some people can do Raw Dairy, but most people’s bodies can’t). Getting away from all processed and fried foods, and getting away from all artificial foods/sweetners. I started googling everything I could about Paleo, and decided to take myself off of my medicine for a month and give it a try.
30 days of eating pure… 30 days with no sugar… only veggies, fruits, meats, nuts, and seeds. It was hard- I had cravings- I almost cried when I had to make cupcakes with the gooy icing for Josh’s baseball team and couldn’t lick the bowl… but I did it. And ya know what… It changed my life. I felt more energy than I had in years- my complexion looked better, I lost weight- my body made some huge changes. I’ve had zero problems with my health, my body started to fix itself- no more Meds- no more PCOS- no more insulin resistance. I haven’t taken a pill since. And I’ve never felt better. I’ve lost over 25lbs and had to go out and get a whole new wardrobe because my clothes are falling off of me now. That’s huge! The funny thing is that now, I could care less about the scale- knowing I’m healthy and seeing muscle where there used to be fat is so cool! Do I eat a cupcake here and there for a special occasion? Sure- but 95% of the time I do everything I can to actually feed my body what it was created to need. It’s Do’able. It’s worth it.
The more people I share this with, the more people I realize have a similar begining story. If Amy wouldn’t have reached out to me and told me how CrossFit and eating Paleo could change my life, who know’s where I’d be today- how hooked my body would be on meds- how many fertility Dr’s I would have had to see in the future– This stuff works. I am one of thousands that have realized it. This is why I’m so passionate! It’s not just a Workout. It’s not just a Diet. It’s a Lifestyle. -A lifestyle that has changed me for the better forever.