WED 11.07.12

CrossFit and Body Image

by Instructor Training Program member Urán
This post is geared toward the ladies, but fellas should feel free to chime in as well. A well-known myth finds its way into the mind of every female who ever considered picking up a weight:
“Lifting weights will make you bulky.”
It bums me out. And it bums me out more that I’ve heard variations of this myth spoken from the lips of some of our very own members. I could spend days talking about why this bothers me and why it’s completely untrue. Instead, I’ll let you read this, this and this, and share with you my own body image demons.
Now, everyone who meets me knows that I’m not a slight woman. I never have been. CrossFit or not. Part of that is because, while I generally eat cleanly, I put on weight very easily. I love fruit (carbs) and sweet potatoes (more carbs). I spent most of my life struggling with my weight and body image, and to say those days are completely behind me would be a lie. But CrossFit teaches me to care about different things than I used to concern myself with.
Take being “thin”, for example. If I may be totally candid, my biggest motivator for dieting and exercise in the past was my hope of being “thin”. When I weighed in at nearly 200lb a few years ago, the driving force for me to lose 40+ pounds in less than a year was the desire to just be smaller. It wasn’t until I joined the crew team, and later CrossFit, that I realized how much sexier it is to be strong… how lifting, jumping, rowing, and throwing heavy stuff around gives you confidence and satisfaction that seeing shrinking numbers on a scale never will.
Nowadays, I never even think about being thin. I think about becoming stronger and working harder and eating healthier. And working with my body, rather than against it, to make the most out of what I’ve been given. But it’s taken time to get there. Time to retrain my mind and to shake old habits. Time to start thinking of food as fuel. Time to find happiness in improvements at the gym and enjoyment in how that transfers into my personal life.
How has your idea of body image changed since joining CrossFit?

Whole Life Challenge Finals & Party

It’s the final week of the WLC! In addition to the other benchmarks we’re testing this week, on Saturday we do final measurements and retest the WLC workout. We hope to see you, your friends, family and the whole CFM community at the Finals WOD and the Awards Party on Saturday. Be there!
Final Measurements & WOD: 9:30 to 11a at Piedmont Park Active Oval
We’ll be doing measurements from 9:30 to 10:15, and running finals heats from 10 to 11.
Finals Party & Awards: 1 to 3p at Rira Irish Pub
Dermot and the gang at Rira are hosting a shindig for us to crown the WLC winners, hand out prizes, and enjoy some good fun. All CFMers are welcome to join in.

No class at CFM Saturday

There will be only ONE CLASS on Saturday, November 10th: 10am AT PIEDMONT PARK. Even if you didn’t get in on the Whole Life Challenge this time around, join us at the park for some fun with burpees, kettlebell swings and running!


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Workout of the Day

A. Quarterly Progress Checks – Baseline retest: If you didn’t retest the baseline yet this week, warm up and do it today. If you already did baseline, you get extra time for mobility/foam rolling.
Baseline:
500m row
40 squats
30 situps
20 pushups
10 pullups
B. In 20 minutes, complete as many rounds and reps as possible of:
20 Thrusters 135/95
20 Pullups
20 Burpees

Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • John Dyer says:

    Thanks, Uran. That absolutely needed to be said. The myth that women lifting weights will automatically make them look like Lou Ferrigno is second only to the myth that eating 20 rice cakes a day is the way to lose weight in the ranking of all-time biggest pieces of fitness bullshit out there.

    Lots of PRs last night including a 30 LB – yes that's 30 American pounds – PR by Jon De La Paz on his clean and jerk. Also have to mention that Lis PR'd her snatch and hit a big PR on her clean and jerk. Very fun to see hard work paying off.

  • Lis Saunders says:

    Thanks Urán, for this awesome post about CrossFit & Body Image…and thanks for linking to those three other articles/posts. WOMEN: lifting weights won't make you bulky…though if you put on muscle AND DON'T LOSE ANY FAT, then YES, you may appear to bulk up.
    A year ago I went on a few dates with an old friend who didn't love my athletic frame and freaked out when he found I squatted more weight than he did. It threatened his manhood. He had his own body issues. This dude wasn't in my life for long.
    Be secure in your body, proud of your strength and work hard for those muscles!

  • Ellen Flader says:

    Great post Urán!
    Missing all of you this week as I'm battling a cold, yet still working 🙁 Hoping it is gone by the WLC finals on Saturday!

  • I needed to hear that too. Thanks, Uran. I've only received compliments on how I look since joining CrossFit, but I was afraid that if I worked out for any longer and continued to improve my strength, I would appear too muscular or something. This article was well-timed with the setting of new goals!

  • Beth Zeigler says:

    Uran, awesome post! I love this line.. “I think about becoming stronger and working harder and eating healthier. And working with my body, rather than against it, to make the most out of what I’ve been given.” We are so much happier when we accept what we have and build on our strengths rather than holding ourselves to unrealistic expectations. I agree, strength, confidence and taking care of yourself is so much sexier than focusing on numbers on the scale. Thanks for sharing this and motivating me to get back in the gym!

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