• How My Body Changed Since Starting CrossFit

    April 4, 2013

    I survived my colonoscopy with flying colors! Hooray! Seriously, it was a piece of cake. The prep and (especially) not eating were definitely the hardest parts. The actual procedure was over and done with before I knew it. Piece of cake.

    My doctor talked to me briefly after the colonoscopy and, good news, he said he only saw a little bit of inflammation. The bad news is, however, the steroids I’ve been taking for the past few weeks are likely the cause. My body is dependent on them now, so when I meet with my doctor in a few weeks to go over the colonoscopy results, we’ll talk about getting me off the steroids for good, which, unfortunately, will likely include some more “hardcore” drugs. *sigh*

    Lunch

    After my colonoscopy, Mal met me at the hospital and we immediately went to get food. I was a little bit groggy and a whole lot hungry! It was after 11:00, so Mal asked me what I wanted for lunch, and my decision was easy: Anna’s Taqueria!

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    Quesadilla, get in my belly!

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    I ordered a chicken quesadilla with cheese, grilled veggies, and guacamole inside. Food never tasted so good!

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    After lunch, Mal and I drove home, which included a stop at Marylou’s for a decaf iced White Chocolate Chip coffee. Obviously, I needed some Marylou’s in my life.

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    Quesadilla + iced coffee + pug (I didn’t eat him) = one happy gal!

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    Three Questions Thursday

    Over the past few weeks, I’ve received several requests from you guys to bring back Three Questions Thursday, so here it is! And I’ll do my best to keep it a regular blog feature!

    I’m sure you’ve probably been asked this question dozens of times, but will you share a little about how your body has changed from Crossfit? Are your clothes sizes smaller/bigger, is most of the added muscle in your arms?, do you feel longer/leaner, etc.? Just so curious!

    I do get this question a lot, so here’s how my body has changed since starting CrossFit more than a year ago. (Here’s a post I wrote after 3 months of CrossFit: How My Body Changed After 3 Months of CrossFit.)

    Fitness-wise, I’m obviously a zillion times stronger and more fit than I was. I can do pull-ups, Olympic lifts, rope climbs, and all sorts of stuff I never thought I’d be able to do. I’ve also gotten faster with my running and PR-ed at a bunch of races last year. I’m constantly surprisingly myself, and my fitness level continues to improve. As cheesy as it may sound, CrossFit has taught me anything is possible!

    As far as my body goes, I’ve gained 5 or 6 pounds (on the scale) since joining CrossFit, but all of my clothes still fit and I actually needed to go down a couple of sizes when I bought new jeans last month. I guess everything just firmed up, and I lost fat? I’ve noticed a lot of my long sleeve shirts are tight in the arms (because of bigger shoulder, biceps, and lat muscles), but I’m really happy with the way my body looks, especially my upper body. My body confidence has also improved dramatically since I started CrossFit. I’m really proud of how my body looks and what it can do, so I rarely ever have those days when I feel “blah” about it.

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    It’s also important to note that when I started CrossFit, I also changed the way I eat quite a bit. I tried the whole Paleo thing as you might remember, and I still eat a Paleo-esque diet, but I don’t stick to it 100%. I eat plenty of dairy, beans, and non-Paleo foods, but, even still, I think it’s a great framework for healthy eating and shows you how to eat “cleanly.” Plus, Paleo recipes are the bomb! They are so delicious, nutritious, and satisfying, which is an awesome combo. Basically, I eat better now-a-days (more nutrients, healthy fats and protein, less sugar and booze), so I think that has made a difference with how my body looks too.

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    [image source]

    This is random, but were you and Mal always workout buddies? I’m only 20 but find myself being kind of picky when it comes to meeting a guy who I can workout with/who works out in general. I always see you guys on blogs who get to workout with their boyfriends/husbands and wonder if you guys encouraged them to start being active or if they just happen to be into it too!

    Mal and I have always been into fitness (we both played sports in high school and college), and we’ve worked out together over the years (i.e. Body Pump, marathon training), but we do so even more now because of CrossFit. It’s such a big part of our lives, it’s easy for us to work out with one another. We also just love trying new things together—both fitness and non-fitness-related activities—which, of course, keeps our relationship fun and exciting. I also think if Mal wasn’t open to staying active and trying new things, I wouldn’t have married him!

    What kind of camera do you use?

    I actually use three different cameras: Canon S95 (aka “the best camera ever”), iPhone camera, and Canon Rebel XSI.

    My “fancy” camera is the Canon Rebel XSI, which takes amazing photos, but my everyday, does-all-the-work-for-you camera, which I use 95% of the time, is the Canon PowerShot S95. I absolutely LOVE it! It’s so easy to use, takes fantastic photos, and fits in my purse or even the back pocket of my jeans for easy access. (Here’s the post where I profess my love for it.) I originally bought it because the lighting in our old apartment was terrible, but this camera has been my savior, especially when dining out. A good example of its low-lighting capabilities is when I went to Drink awhile back. It was SO dark inside, but I was still able to take a number of photos without the flash. I also use my iPhone quite a bit to snap photos in my daily life and on runs/at races, which end up on Instagram and/or CNC. As I always say, the best camera is the one you have on you!

    Question of the Day

    If you were in my shoes and couldn’t eat for 24 hours, what would have been your first meal when you could eat again?

    CrossFit peeps: How has your body changed since starting the “sport of fitness”?

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    { 97 comments… read them below or add one }

    Marie April 5, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Tina, how do you know how much to eat when you’re trying to drop a few pounds but still need to stay healthy and fuel workouts? I work out intensely most days of the week, and Ive been doing so since last summer. I’m generally fit and strong,but still seem to have a layer of fat on my muscles, making me feel like I look bulkier than I’d prefer. I track what I eat, which is mostly healthy, high in lean protein and veggies, low in processed food and carbs. I worry about not eating enough to fuel my workouts and get through my workday, but I don’t want to overcompensate, either.

    Reply

    Tina April 5, 2013 at 10:33 am

    It really depends on the individual and what works for you. I just make sure to healthy, nutritious, and satisfying foods (lean protein, healthy fats, fruits, and veggies) as much as possible before and after my workouts.

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    Amanda Jewell April 5, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    @Marie: I would track my food using an app like the MyLivestrongPlate for a week just to see what your calorie intake is + nutrient breakdown (carbs, protein, fat). This kind of shed some light for me that I was sneaking in a few too many carbs than my body (especially being insulin resistant thanks to PCOS) needed. Since then, I don’t track my food, but no longer eat SO many/much potatoes, nuts, nut butters, fructose heavy fruits, coconut milks, etc.. and have dropped 3lbs, but still are fueling properly for my 5-6x/wk Crossfit (and yoga) workout regime.

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    Jacquelyn April 5, 2013 at 8:18 am

    If you got biopsies hope they yield more results! That’s where they found all my issues (plus the inflammation all throughout, stomach and intestines). I’ve fought against steroids this whole time but I might be getting closer :(. Glad it went so well! Hope you get more answers soon! Colitis is meeeeeeean!

    Reply

    Allie April 5, 2013 at 8:24 am

    i easilyyyyy would have gone for anything including peanut butter.. probably a pb & j sandwich or french toast!

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    sara @ fitcupcaker April 5, 2013 at 8:53 am

    After not eating for 24 hours. I would def go for chipotle!! And I’ve been doing crossfit for about 3 months and already seeing changes!! I’ve gained 3-5 lbs depending on the day but my clothes still all fit. I’m feeling more tone but still have a ways to go!

    Reply

    Meghan@themeghamix April 5, 2013 at 8:57 am

    I have lost and then gained some weight, but my body fat has gone down. I “have abs” for the first time in my life, and I’m also proud of my legs for the first time in my life! It is really cool having muscle and definition. I also used to be really knock-kneed, but now because I have better posture and am so much stronger, I’ve actually improved my knee position and am an inch taller than I used to be!

    Can’t say enough good about what this sport does for your body.

    Reply

    Jolie April 5, 2013 at 9:12 am

    I would eat scrambled eggs with onion, green peppers, mushrooms, turkey lunchmeat, and ketchup! To drink I would have an Americano (iced or hot) with honey :) Glad everything went well!

    Reply

    Beth Sheridan April 5, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Glad everything went well with the colonoscopy and you finally got to eat! I believe my first meal back would’ve been something very “bready” because I sure do love my carbs!!

    Reply

    mary @ minutes per mile April 5, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Since starting CrossFit, I’ve noticed my upper body has gotten a lot stronger — and similar to you, I don’t think I’ve lost any weight (I might have even gained a pound?) but my clothes are baggier, so I’m clearly losing fat. It’s hard to tell though because I’m training for a marathon simultaneously. I’m not a huge fan of bulking up in the upper body, but I do like feeling stronger!

    Reply

    Katie April 5, 2013 at 9:56 am

    I had a colonoscopy years ago, and the meds kicked my butt so badly that I couldn’t really eat anything for two days afterwards without getting physically ill. But once I felt back to normal, I remember eating a burrito from Chipotle and was in heaven! :)

    Reply

    Tatomme @FreshPotater April 5, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Long time reader but seldom commenter. I’m glad everything went well with the procedure! It sounded like a real pain in the a$$, figuratively and literally!!! Before you start taking “hardcore drugs” I suggest doing some research…I know sometimes drugs sound like the easy way but there might be some other options. I just want you to do the best and get healthy :). I recommend looking at this blog if you haven’t yet http://meghantelpner.com/about/meghan-telpner/. She is wonderful and has just released a new book called Undiet which is going off the wall here in Canada. She was diagnosed with Crohn’s in 2003 and was told there is no cure, but since then she has completely cleaned up her diet in an effort to change things around and on this day she is symptom free. It’s a story worth reading if nothing else. May health be with you!!

    Reply

    Tina April 5, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Thanks!

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    Heidi April 5, 2013 at 10:01 am

    I am glad the procedure went well and that you were able to enjoy your lunch!!

    You look great!! :)

    Reply

    Kelli April 5, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Hi Tina!

    First, I’ve been reading your blog for about 6 months now and I JUST tried your sweet french toast breakfast scramble… AMAZING. At first the combo of eggs and sweet felt weird to me… so happy I tried it! Second, I looked through your postings and haven’t seen anything (doesn’t mean its not there) about starting crossfit. How do you find a good gym? Whats it like being a beginner? That kind of stuff :) I’m really interested but the crossfit gym websites (in my area) seem kind of shaddy. Not listing prices etc… any advice?

    Reply

    Megan April 5, 2013 at 10:56 am

    @Kelli:
    Hi Kelli,
    I wanted to respond to you only because I tried CrossFit last night for the first time and I have been very intimidated and hesitant to do it. I am extremly out of shape ( I have been caring for sick family members for 4 yrs and not caring for myself) I gave myself a pep talk yesterday and I went to the class! It was a beginners class and honestly I was amazed at what I could do! THere were a few things I needed to scale down for now, but I know I can improve, for me it was just a matter of gaining confidence back. You should really check it out…Note- some crossfit gyms look a little strange. Mine is just getting started and he doesnt have a huge space right now, so its just a room with a bunch of stuff in it to work out with.

    Reply

    meghan @ struggle muffins April 5, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Congrats on sailing through the procedure unscathed!

    After a full day of not eating I think I’d want to have my way with a Mexican feast. Guac, chips and salsa. Ceviche. Rice and beans. More guac. Fish tacos. Maybe a margarita. No, definitely a margarita.

    Reply

    lexi April 5, 2013 at 10:20 am

    I agree with a number of these ladies who say it’s so much of a mental change with CF!! My disordered mentality of “I have to lose xx lbs” and “XX has to look a certain way on me ” has become ” Can i add 25 lbs to my deadlift this month??” “Can i add more weight to my strict weighted pullups? ” and ” i need to practice my kip/rope climb/toe to bar/etc” … being STRONGER are my goals… I’ve gained a couple lbs but LOOK more defined, leaner overall, and YES my long sleeve shirts fit tighter and dresses are tighter around my back ( hey , there LATS!!) but WHO cares????? i’m more awesome, if that means i can’t fit in to some shirts when i go shopping or have to tailor pants to fit my waist and booty, so be it. I’m lucky my BF thinks it’s great, never intimidated by my lifting— he loves it and loves CF now too!!

    Reply

    Melisa April 5, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Glad you’re on the other side of the colonoscopy. I think not eating would be so hard for me. If I had to pick a meal, it would be Coffee and something sweet and creamy.
    I’m not a crossfitter but do UXC at BCS. I think it’s their version of a cross-fit style workout. I love it and gained a few lbs but my bodyfat went down 13 pts since I started in Sept.

    Reply

    Amy April 5, 2013 at 11:22 am

    i want to get into crossfit soo bad. i see the changes in peoples bodies (including yours) and love it! they look so healthy and strong-i think thats great! i can’t decide if i want to join a box or not..i know they can be a little pricey but it seems like it may be worth it. ive done some crossfit workouts by myself, but id like to go to classes to know exactly how much weight i should be lifting. great post!!

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    Kelly@BalancedDaily April 5, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    This is a perfect example of why you shouldn’t pay attention to the numbers on the scale. Its all about how you feel, how your clothes fit and body looks and works. Muscle obviously takes up less room than fat and that means a “tighter” body which lifting weights and CrossFit obviously helps out with. Love three question Thursday!

    Reply

    Chelsea @ Chelsea Eats Treats April 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    I have a question for you for next Thursday! Could you tell us if your shopping budget has increased now that you guys are juicing a lot more?

    Reply

    Tina April 5, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Good one! I’ll be sure to reply to it next week!

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    TiffanyS April 5, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Oh, for sure I’d one some pizza or a big plate of fajitas. My favorite things for sure! Oh, and bring on some coffee.

    I started CF last July, took 6 weeks off due to a car accident. Then did a strength program for 8 weeks through CF. It has made me see definition and tone I’ve never seen in my life. My endurance level is so high. I just plain feel good. Yes, I have gained probably 5-6 pounds of muscle. I use the scale as a tool, but my health and mental clairty I feel when eating right and working out are way more important that a number. My chest has shrunk, so that isn’t an awesome thing. But, I’ll deal with it:)

    Reply

    Katie April 5, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    I’d probably eat something carbo-licious like an excessive amount of pizza. Then again, after not eating for so long, an excessive amount probably isn’t too much. Glad the colonoscopy went well for you! Hope more good news is in the future.

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    Marilyn April 5, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Either a burger with fries or pizza – you just can’t go wrong with the classics. :-)

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    Camille April 5, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    I go to a cross fit gym for Olympic weightlifting but they throw some cross fit my way (usually must shorts wods – 5-8 minutes). I went in for fun and I have lost two pant sizes but also gained weight. I’m glad it’s not just me! Also – I’m sure you get this all the time but everyone becomes jealous of your arms!

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    Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin April 5, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    That quesadilla must have been the best quesadilla you’ve ever eaten after going so long without eating! If I hadn’t eaten in 24 hours, I would go out for a wood oven fired pizza and totally demolish it!

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    Ali @ WHOLEistically Fit April 5, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    Given that every time my husband asks me where I want to go eat it’s always something Asian, I think it’s fair to say I’d want a sushi feast after going 24 hours without eating. ;) Glad everything went well with the colonoscopy!

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    Bruna @morgbu.com April 6, 2013 at 10:21 am

    I would love to try crossfit, wish it wasn’t so expensive. Got get results with the gym and outdoor sports for now.

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    Steph April 6, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Glad the procedure went ok! Feta burger from Burger 21 with sweet potato fries and chipotle dipping sauce. Yum-O.

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    Chelsea Edgar April 7, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    I am getting my wisdom teeth out in 3 weeks and I wont be able to eat much afterwards til my mouth heals…I know I will be starving for real food and i LOVE mexican!!! chips and salsa will prob be my first meal!

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    Diane April 7, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Hi Tina,
    I know this will sound almost too easy, but dairy is very possibly contributing to your flare-ups. Try giving it up for 4 weeks…..you might be really amazed. I know i have mentioned checking out a naturopath to you before. They are amazing! And here in Canada my health insurance covers it! So so much better than long term drugs……really hope you can get it under control soon!
    Diane

    Reply

    Morgan@Healthy Food Newsletter April 8, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Crossfit sounds like it is working very well for you! I still need to try it but I’m in college and a membership doesn’t exactly fit into my budget right now :/ if I couldn’t eat for 24 hours, my first meal would probably involve Ethiopian or Indian food, ethic spicy food is my absolute favorite!!!

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    absolute health training April 11, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Great entry! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

    Alana April 17, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Hi there,

    Thanks for the candid post and answers to the common reader questions. If I couldn’t eat for twenty four hours, my first meal would be some good whole oatmeal with some strawberries, followed by a slice of chicken pot pie, all washed down with some coffee. Glad you survived the colonoscopy!

    Alana

    Reply

    penny May 30, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    I just started my first week of Crossfit just because I need a new routine and training environment as I am getting bored of going to the gym. Seeing your transformation is really motivating because I’d like to be stronger, healthier and more toned through Crossfit.

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    Tina May 30, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    That’s awesome! :)

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    sarah June 19, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    I have just started crossfit and I am on my fourth week. I wanted to lose a good forty pounds, and get stronger. The scale shows I have been gaining, but I do feel like I look leaner. However, my arms are starting to look big, is that normal sometimes after a tough workout? do your arms swell up? It can get discouraging. also how many times a week would you recommend crossfit for weight loss and results? ( I go to the gym and do cardio the days I dont do crossfit)

    Thanks so much!

    Reply

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