4/22: Fitness & Eats + Why I’m Cutting Back on CrossFit

Hi, guys!

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed a bit less CrossFit in my Stories. I know. It’s a big change for me. CrossFit is so, so, so fun, and I would do it everyday if my body could handle it. But, sadly, it cannot. So, I’ve decided to cut back and deal with some pretty bad muscle imbalances (due to scoliosis) and nagging injuries (due to old age). I recently found OPEX South Shore, a local gym that creates customized fitness plans, and we’ve decide to partner up to address these issues.

Even though CrossFit is a wonderful, well-rounded functional fitness workout, it’s not tailored to individuals and their needs. Basically, what’s written on the whiteboard is what I do – whether it’s good or bad for my scoliosis. However, in recent months (since going to physical therapy for my back), I’ve paid a lot more attention to the movements and what I’m doing in class (scaling, modifications), but I really need a more individual approach if I want things to improve.

Side note: The photo above actually makes my spine look pretty straight, but my scoliosis is quite severe. Around this time last year, I had an assessment done with a local chiropractor. He took x-rays and my mid-back curvature is 30% and Cobb angle is 42%, which, according the chiropractor, would need surgery if I didn’t “get away with” everything that I do. He works out with me at CrossFit and said he’s really surprised that I can do so much considering what I’m dealing with physically. Anyway…

A little backstory on OPEX… I initially heard about them after my friends Marisa and Jeff did an InBody assessment with them at the Lululemon in Hingham. (FYI: OPEX is there once a month offering free assessments.) They said it was really cool and explained how InBody is one of the more accurate measurements of body fat % as well as identifying muscle imbalances, which, of course, immediately caught my attention.

In recent years, my muscle imbalances have gotten worse and worse. It’s likely a combination of old age, CrossFit, running, not stretching, pregnancy, sitting at a computer all day, and a whole bunch of other factors. But, at the end of the day, it’s not getting any better – and the last thing I want to happen is for it to get worse. In the last year or so, I’ve also had a lot more annoying injuries (hip, back, calf), which are very likely related, so it’s time to deal with them.

Last week, I had my fitness assessment at OPEX, which was three 60-minute sessions and much more comprehensive than other ones I’ve done in the past. We tested all sorts of strength movements (squat, pull/push, overhead), blending, flexibility, and cardio capacity in order to establish a starting point for my personal fitness level. Plus, my coach wants to get the full picture with regard to my muscle imbalances. Let’s just say, I’m quite the case study with all sorts of weird active and inactive muscles!

So, there’s life after CrossFit, and I’m excited to get started and find a fitness regimen that truly works for my body. I’ll still pop into CrossFit once or twice a week (I can’t miss Saturday “gym days”!), but the majority of my workouts will be at OPEX. Keep a look out for updates in the coming weeks!

FITNESS

Monday – CrossFit

Tuesday – Fitness Assessment (part 1) at OPEX 

Wednesday: Rest 

Thursday: Fitness Assessment (part 2) at OPEX

Friday: Fitness Assessment (part 3) at OPEX

Saturday: CrossFit

EATS

Atlas Bars – I think I already gave these bars a shout out on CNC, but here’s another one! They’re made locally in Duxbury (but you can get them on Amazon), and they’re frickin’ delicious! I love that they’re made from simple ingredients and high in protein. And rumor has it there’s a new peanut butter flavor – obviously, I need to try it ASAP!

Chocolate Protein Balls – So damn good! I feel like these babies need their own recipe post!

Great shortcut for my One-Pan BBQ Chicken – Instead of chopping up bacon, use cubed pancetta!

Afternoon snacks don’t have to be boring! I recently started eating smaller versions of my lunch as a snack to keep me full until dinnertime. It works out well because it’s typically much more nutritious and satisfying than what I typically reach for. On the snack menu: Arugula topped with ground turkey, orange ginger fermented carrots from Farmhouse Culture and Annie’s horseradish mustard. Mmm, so many awesome flavors and textures!

Seeds on seeds – Loving this easy breakfast of tahini on toast with sunflower seeds!

Zucca Salad from Novara – Listen to this combo: roasted butternut squash, gorgonzola, dried cherries, baby kale, and bacon shallot vinaigrette! It was so delicious and definitely a combo that I want to recreate at home!

21 Comments

  1. As a Spine physical therapist…..I’m proud of you Tina! It’s hard for people to accept that what they love isn’t always the best for them and to make lifestyle changes to address physical issues. Good luck with the strengthening.

  2. Ahh, Tina, nothing against Chiros, but I wouldn’t necessarily follow those x-rays. Have you had any done at an imaging center referred by your doc? Secondly, the body adapts to stresses, don’t be afraid of ‘getting away with.’ With that said, love the individualized approach – totally agree with it and a change is always good 🙂

      1. @Lisa: That’s incredibly false as they go to medical school and are ACTUAL doctors. Chiros take 4700 hours of medical school versus 4550 for MDs. Please check your facts before commenting.

      2. @Lisa: 150% go to an actual doctor. If your curve is “that bad” that you would need surgery, an MD would not just shrug and say “eh.” Literally the amount of people I’ve seen who now say they “read” x-rays is insane. I’m actually shocked you are promoting seeing a chiropractor for scoliosis and not seeing an MD.

  3. I have scoliosis and my curve is a “s” curve of 40 and 30 on bottom I had to wear a brace for years until I was done growing. I was always told by my orthopedic any exercise is great for the back I’ve been lucky that I had 2 kids and continue to have no back issues at the ripe age of 41

  4. I’ll be very interested to see your new fitness journey as it progresses – I had a spinal fusion for scoliosis about 14yr ago, leaving me still with some pretty significant curves, and I have been doing Crossfit for almost 5 years now. Especially in the past year, I have been experiencing some of the same lingering, nagging pains that you describe (currently a hip issue that has been ongoing for months now..) and I have sadly found myself thinking towards looking at different fitness options as well.

    1. @Tessa: Fellow spinal fusion-er here! I had mine 20 years ago when I was 14 and was also left with some pretty significant curves. I did whatever I wanted up until I was 30 and then my body just crapped out on me due to all of the imbalances (some of which will never be fixable due to the fusion). It was devastating at first to cut back but I’ve finally at the point where I can do enough to maintain a fairly fit-looking body without straining my system too much.

      Three things I swear by: the Rumble Roller (that thing is hardcore!!), Gaia Herbs Turmeric Supreme Extra Strength (to keep down inflammation in my joints), and NOW Bromelain (same).

      Tina and Tessa, best of luck to both of you! <3 Scoliosis truly sucks, but at least it forces us (eventually….) to be kind to our bodies. 🙂

  5. I had surgery 43 years ago (I’m 60 now) for scoliosis. My curve was at a 45% angle. I have one Herrington Rod fused to my spine. I have had no trouble with it at all. 🙂

  6. Just started following as a result of guest post on PaleOMG! I have just started cutting back on Crossfit because for me personally it is too much stress on my body! I was working out 6 days a week and 5 of them were hour-long Crossfit workouts. I have cut back to 3 crossfit, 1 swim, 1 run, and 2 REST days. I already feel better.

  7. Tina, I have used a great chiropractor to help with my imbalances and age! You are doing the right thing, as sometimes certain “philosophies” think its all or nothing. Besides, the best thing I did was to broaden my idea of what “being in shape” meant. I cant do those hard workouts 6 days a week anymore. I can still do them, but allow for different recovery and active recovery.

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