The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Weight Loss

Chapter One: The Good

I look in the mirror and can’t believe the person I have become in the past 5 years. I graduated college, became a yoga teacher, CrossFit coach, gym owner and nutrition coach. I have lost almost 100 pounds and am in the best shape of my life at 37 years old. Being the best mom, the best wife I can be. Like who even am I?

I continue to progress with my fitness, and weight loss and I am excited to see where I can go. I have never been athletic in my life, but I am fully enjoying seeing what my body is capable of. Especially since I have had to be on own health advocate over these past few years. With my back injury I was often discouraged by doctors and physical therapists to continue of my fitness journey. I am glad I fought for better care and advice.

I feel good in my own skin for the first time in my life. I wear tank tops and shorts and I feel comfortable in them. I remember making up excuses as to why I couldn’t go somewhere just because I didn’t feel good in my own body. I’m so proud of how strong my body is for the amount of trauma it has been through. I am talking car accidents, two c-sections and years and years of abuse. I was a smoker for most of my life, and just to be able to run again without having an asthma attack feels amazing. I can hold a handstand for like 2 minutes unbroken, and I can still do the splits at 37 YEARS OLD.

I mean…I AM SO PROUD OF MYSELF!

I am so passionate about helping others who are on the same journey I am. I am just so inspired by them and it keeps me motivated.

Me: 2013

Chapter Two: The Bad

Imposter syndrome is very real. Even with all my success, all my knowledge and education, I always feel like I am not good enough at CrossFit, or smart enough to educate. So, I have to shift that mindset before it becomes dark. Instead of telling myself that I am not good enough, I tell myself that I am always going to be learning and growing in order to be better. We all should be. I shift to that “beginners” mindset.

Comparing myself to others has been a struggle. I watch people come into the gym and I coach them to get their first pull-up, muscle-up or handstand push-up. Let me say how freaking awesome that is and inspiring, but some of these people have been doing CrossFit for such a short time and I feel myself comparing my progress to theirs; “I have been doing this for over 5 years and I still don’t have a strict pull-up”. Oh, the dreaded pull-up. I AM SO CLOSE, but the struggle is oh so real.

The problem is I am comparing myself with people who have a completely different athletic background, lifestyle and overall health history than I do. I can’t compare myself to someone who has played sports their whole lives and has never had children.

I do believe that a little healthy competition is good. I like to look at the SugarWOD leaderboards and see where I stand for the day. Usually in the middle. Sometimes on the top and sometimes on the bottom (running WODS).

However, the only person I am actually competing with is “yesterday” me. I remind myself that I never set out to be the best. I am ok with being “World’s Okayest CrossFitter”. If I keep putting in the work, I will keep seeing the results.

The pressure is stressful. The pressure to always eat the best. If I have a donut, I’m being a bad nutrition coach, but if I don’t eat the donut, I’m being a bad everyday human being? If I don’t comment on the Lizzo controversy I’m being a bad fitness coach, but the truth is, I don’t care what size Lizzo is, I freaking love her.

The pressure to share my journey because I know it has helped people already. And I really do feel better and believe in CrossFit and nutrition and want everyone to feel better; but I also know that not everyone is into this lifestyle and that’s cool too. I’m still totally for hanging out and eating burgers and having a beer on the weekend because I have other interests too.

Chapter Three: The Ugly

I always begin my story in 2014 because that is the year that I started CrossFit, but the truth is I have been on a health journey for most of my life. I can remember as early as 13 obsessing with food and my body. I struggled with disordered eating on and off for years and years. I didn’t have a great diet though, so I would mostly just starve myself for a few weeks and then binge on all the food for a few weeks. Unfortunately, it is much easier to gain weight than lose it so every time I binged, I gained 10-15 pounds. It just got out of control until I stopped weighing myself.

That has been the hardest part to recover from, the disordered eating and emotional displacement. There were times throughout my weight loss journey that I have fallen back into old eating patterns or behaviors. Our life has been kind of chaotic over the past few years. We decided to open a business while Joe was still in the military; and then transitioning out of the military life has been a test of patience and sanity to say the least. There were times when I just wasn’t willing to put the effort into my nutrition, and my performance suffered for it. I wasn’t seeing PR’s and I was feeling fatigued in my workouts. I really struggled to maintain my weight and it began to affect my mental health.

I had a choice to make. I had to determine what was more important to me and what was better for me. Obviously beating myself up over what I was doing wasn’t helping me. Shifting that negative mindset needed to happen if I wanted to get back on track, and that is usually all it takes. A shift to a positive mindset. I hear myself, and others talking to ourselves in a manner we wouldn’t even talk to someone we don’t like. Why? I should be my favorite person. You should be your favorite person. So maybe we should start talking to ourselves like, we actually love ourselves.

AND I AM WORKING ON THAT! I really am. For all of the amazing things my body can do now, and how fit I am, and how good I feel, I still have insecurities. After having two c-sections and losing 100 pounds, you’re not catching me in a bikini anytime soon. I did buy a pair of FLEO shorts for the first time ever, but I have yet to wear them to the gym. To be fair today we had burpees and I didn’t want to get my knees all dirty…HAHAHA.

I have some loose skin but to be honest I am ok with it, and I don’t have great track records when it comes to surgeries, so I would rather not risk my life, and have it removed. I might be overreacting, but I don’t want to die. That is why I changed my life, haha.

So, there are a few of the good, the bad and the uglies of weight loss, but I promise you that the goods far exceed any of the bad. I am not special. I am just another person who wanted a better quality of life, so I put in the work. You just got to be willing to put in the work.

Coach Haley

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