I always thought I would end up obese. Just writing those words touches a deep fear that goes back to my childhood.
My family always struggled with obesity. It’s in our genes. I remember sucking in my tummy in middle school because I thought I was fat. I remember the absolute fear I had to take off my shirt or go to the pool - and I wasn’t an obese kid. I perceived that I was a fat kid and was afraid that I would be fat when I grew up. Even when I was at the top of my sport, gymnastics, I was afraid of what would happen to my body when I stopped gymnastics. After I stopped, and the 20 years thereafter, I felt obesity would catch me. No matter how many miles I ran or how much time I logged on the elliptical, I was terrified of ending up obese.
Before I started CrossFit at age 38, I was thick. I tried everything: eating less, running more, biking long distances, adding pushups and sit-ups to my daily routing, spending an hour on the elliptical machine a few times a week. I didn’t feel in control of my future. It would surely end in obesity.
It was as if I was driving downhill on an icy street. I felt a deep anxiety that I was going to become obese and the brake pedal wouldn’t stop the momentum. My kids were going to have a fat dad. I was going to be an adult who didn’t want to take my shirt off at the pool or on the beach.
I didn’t know that CrossFit would change my body composition when I started. I had gotten in the habit of avoiding my body in the mirror at home, but a few months into my CrossFit journey, I noticed was that my shadow looked different during workouts that included running. In less than 2 months, I looked different in the mirror.
Suddenly, I felt an uptick in the hope of my future. My hope was recalibrated. I could now see a future with me in control, in the drivers seat, and I’m not going to end up like mom and dad. My future is mine.