How CrossFit Changed My Life

Since puberty I’ve always had a problem with my weight, and growing up with a family that ate very little healthy food, did very little to help. When I was 20 years old I weighed 90kg and wore mostly men’s size 38 (I was too embarrassed to shop in the ladies department as I’m sure only a size 20/44 would fit).

I’m not sure where I got it, but I read a book called Food by Susan Powter and I did a radical 180 degree turn. It was so simple, I cut out most sugar, I stopped eating my almost daily KFC and went to gym five days a week. I lost 7 kg's in the first week, which was crazy but a huge motivator. It took me another two months to lose another twelve kilos. For the first time since puberty I was not fat.

Later that year I met my husband, Daniel, a very skinny 75kg, 1.9m tall guy. Fast forward 10 years and one child later I was almost back to where I was as a 20 year old and Daniel had ballooned to 115kg. This massive weight gain was what most likely caused a ruptured disc, which landed him in two emergency operations and ICU for a week. The threat to his life, paralysis and maybe loss of bladder control was a huge wake up call for both of us! We made more of an effort to lose the weight but it wasn’t until I heard about CrossFit that we made a change that would cement a life of fitness and strength.

Before CrossFit our marriage was getting a bit stale, having a common interest has brought us closer than we’ve ever been. Plus the sex is way better, mostly due to a sense of pride and confidence. The saying “couples that train together, stay together” is rather cheesy but is true for us.

My childhood is riddled with occasions where I gave up easily, especially when things became hard. I did gymnastics for a few years in primary school but that became hard, so I quit. In High School we were away on a school trip to a camp. On the first day we were required to learn some survival skills and do an obstacle course. I was very overweight so I struggled and at the end felt very weak, instead of sitting quietly for a while and recuperating I complained I wasn’t feeling well to the teachers and I was taken to the camp sick room. I spent the rest of the trip cooped up for five days with other girls who were actually sick or with sprained ankles. I missed out on what was apparently a great week because I gave up too easily.

Since joining CrossFit that doesn’t happen anymore, if it’s tough I just try harder. I’m also way more confident and don’t shy away from a challenge like I used to. Never in my life have I been this strong, this fit and in control. Able to pull my heavy body up off the floor repeatedly, lift myself up over a bar, stand on my hands for long periods and climb a rope.  When I first started I was very unfit and struggled to run the 500m required in the baseline. I can now comfortably run 5km and still have some energy to spare. I don’t consider myself a runner but I don’t hate it anymore. I look forward to every CrossFit session, I used to have to drag myself to the gym.

At the chain gym I mostly attended group sessions, saw the same people every day and maybe got a smile. The massive mirrors meant that everyone was too busy staring at themselves to notice when someone was struggling and needed encouragement. I don’t have a single friend from my 15 years of chain gym membership, I have too many to count after a few weeks at my CrossFit box. The people you meet at CrossFit are different, either due to the shared struggles or just a better kind of person but I really think these are the “bail you out of prison” sort. The kind you can call in any emergency and will come running. I will do the same for them. My CrossFit friends are involved with so much of my everyday life, they really are my family.

The added advantage to all this is that it’s now likely that I’ll live a longer, healthier life and will get to enjoy more of my children and future grandchildren’s lives. And I can be a kid with them!

Only a few people are happy with themselves and find comfort in their own bodies before their 50s. I found it shortly after starting CrossFit.  And for the first time in my life I consider myself an athlete. My only regret is that I was not saved earlier! And that’s how I see it; we were saved by CrossFit.

Have a look at my husbands video, with our story from his point of view:
CrossFit is a Time-Machine

Written by: Louise Teixeira, CrossFit Vida Member.