Health

on paleo + crossfit

I’ve discussed similar issues in the past, but after a talk with a friend a week ago, decided to put this out there since most people have very strong reactions to paleo and CrossFit. People who do one or the other, or even worse, people like me who do both, are
crazy. We are obsessed with all things paleo and Crossfit and think everyone who isn’t paleo isn’t healthy every workout other than CrossFit is insignificant.

Wrong.

Paleo isn’t for everyone. Like vegetarians. Or people who love cheese. And I believe that paleo isn’t the only healthy way to eat. I think you can follow a clean diet but eat grains or cheese and be very healthy. If I’m at a restaurant and the bread basket comes out, I won’t
throw it across the room or rant about how terrible grains are. I’ll
have bread if I feel like it or won’t if I don’t. No need to talk about it, because it’s that simple. If
it’s Christmas and there are cookies, you can bet I’ll have a few of
those. And if I want pizza I’ll have pizza–I just don’t need those things all the time. If I felt deprived, I’d be miserable. I’d be living life on a diet, feeling unhappy, and that
wouldn’t get me anywhere. Paleo and CrossFit got me to a very healthy place with diet and exercise. I like where I am, and it works for me.

CrossFit isn’t for everyone, either. If weight lifting isn’t your thing, you’ll probably hate it. But here’s what happened. I spent the entirety of my 20s trying to be the girl who worked out regularly because I wanted to be skinny. I was always counting calories for the same reason. Forget health and strength–I wanted to be skinny. I also hated working out. H-a-t-e-d it. And the girl who hated working out found CrossFit, became ridiculously excited about it, and wanted everyone to be as happy as she was.

And that’s where I messed up.

I felt great. Confident, stronger, happier, and healthier. I wanted to go to cf at the end of the day and couldn’t wait for my Saturday morning WOD. I still love it. And I wanted everyone to know about it. I felt like I emphasized that cf and paleo weren’t the answers for everyone. That you should find the thing that’s right for you and go with it. But there were aspects of my love of CrossFit that were a little extreme. Or I see how they could have seemed that way.

I don’t regret sharing the information that I’ve shared thus far because quite a few readers have found CrossFit because of this blog. I would absolutely take back my posts with goals, because going to cf and trying is enough. I no longer have goals when it comes to lifting. Yes, I’d like to be able to do hand stand push ups during a WOD, and I’ll get there. But there isn’t a timeline. I’m not a slacker when it comes to working out, and I’ll get there when I get there. I’m getting a great workout, and it doesn’t matter if I back squat 125 or 160. My back squat is a good 20-40lbs behind most of my friends at cf, but that’s ok. I am a much stronger, happier, and more confident version of the girl I was the day I walked into RNCF. The type a overachiever in me who likes to set the bar really high finally calmed down. I’m enjoying it for what it is and not overdoing it or comparing myself to anyone.

Live and learn, people. 

The first time I tore my meniscus I was shopping with my mom. It’s a common injury and could happen with any workout, or in my case, doing anything at all. And yes, I spent a good amount of time in physical therapy, because I went from doing nothing to lifting weights. From not working out to working out like an athlete. And because I was so excited, I had the tendency to keep piling on weights and overdid it a little bit. I wasn’t in PT because I was injured. Yes, my back hurt, but it hurt because I was using my back instead of my glutes, lats, and hamstrings. So I worked on other areas of my body, went back to cf, and I was fine. This seems crazy to some, but it was worth it to me because I love CrossFit.

I had a long talk with my surgeon and told him that I’d quit CrossFit tomorrow if he said that’s what was best for my body. He said he thought it was a great workout and that I’d be fine to return in early Feb. I think I must have asked the same question 5x, almost as if I was waiting for him to tell me to quit, because everyone (aside from my friends at cf) blames my workouts for any problem I’ve had the past year.

But lots of things come with risk.

Any exercise can result in injury. Running, spinning, rowing–my mom knows someone who hit her head riding a bike, was hospitalized, and died as a result of a head injury. I have a cousin who died hang gliding. A good friend just hurt his foot climbing a mountain. People fall in love and have their hearts broken. There are over 6 million car crashes each year. So I’ll quit CrossFit, stop dating, and never go in a car again–and you should all do the same. Let’s just hang out at home and never do anything ever.

I just wanted to put this out there for anyone who has followed me and wondered about paleo and CrossFit. I’ve written very similar posts (links below) but after talks with a few friends decided to share again. CrossFit is a very important part of my life, but I’ve been approaching things differently since PT and haven’t really had time to write much about that. The past year has been one about finding balance, and while I honestly don’t care what anyone thinks because I know where I stand, I wanted to share this with those of you who are interested in these topics, or who have been put off by how crazy I was about them.

A big thanks to my friend Jess who inspired this post after a girls night a few weeks ago. We talked about everything–past issues with body image, food, exercise, finding balance etc. It was that talk that inspired me to share what I’ve learned the past year. I’m hoping this will inspire some of you to find balance, too.

Similar paleo/cf posts:
So you want to try CrossFit? Let’s talk about it.
Why I CrossFit

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