I started doing CrossFit one year and a couple weeks ago. Even though I have two children, I weighed the most I had ever weighed in my life one year ago. That’s right. I weighed more than I did at nine months pregnant.

I was wearing a size eight and weighed 144 pounds. My sister says I have to add that because I’ve painted a different picture in the first paragraph. Even though I was “fat” by my standards, I wasn’t obese or even overweight. I was puffier than I wanted to be.

My goal in starting CrossFit wasn’t really to lose weight, but it was a secondary goal. I used to play an inordinate amount of racquetball and was quite good at it. I had muscles and stamina and could whip that ball around a court and meet it for a volley. I was, in fact, fairly good at the game. I wanted some of that fitness back. I also wanted to be able to open my own jars. There were a couple times when I panicked after not being able to immediately release the emergency brake on the Miata and I needed to stop doing that.

I don’t know how muscled I am after one year. But I can open my own jars, admittedly sometimes still needed that rubber grip thing, but still – they get opened by me. I can release the emergency brake with one hand. I’ve also lost twelve pounds.

But here’s the deal. I eat everything. I have chocolate every single day. I eat potato chips. I love Velvet Fudge Sauce over really good high fat ice cream. My food choices aren’t always horrible, but I don’t restrict what I eat. I restrict how much of it goes in. One serving of chocolate lasts me from three to five days. I eat only a small bowl of chips at a time. Ice cream is also a small less-than-a-serving dab (the ice cream says 4 servings and I get 5-6 out of the container).

I have never actually been on a “diet” although as a nurse, I realize we are all on a diet. When anyone comes into the hospital, the doctor has to order a diet for the patient or they get nothing at all to eat. Most people are on a “regular” diet which means eat whatever you like. That’s the diet I have always been on. I have never really obsessed about food.

Until yesterday. Well, okay, the day before when I finally decided to go ahead and sign up for the Whole Life Challenge. The biggest obstacle for me was the diet. I thought that would be it, but I may be wrong in that assessment as well. Water is large amounts is also scary.

Anyway. The list of things I can’t have even as a Beginner is simply astounding. No potatoes unless they are sweet potatoes or yams. No wheat, barley, or regular rice although I can have brown rice. But even when something is gluten free, I can’t have it because it is usually made with rice flour and that is badness. I can’t have any dairy, either. That means my cheese and cracker lunches are forbidden with both the cheese and the crackers. Or sugar, unless I usually put it in my coffee or tea (but milk is still forbidden) so I assume the people who made the rules drink black coffee with sugar.

I think I understand the angst of a diet. It is obsessing about food ALL the time. Every trip to the kitchen means thinking “can I eat this?” or “what is edible for me now?” kinds of thoughts. Naturally thin people do not do this. I have never done this before in my life. I walk into the kitchen, look around, grab a small portion of whatever looks good, and enjoy it. But not for the next eight weeks.

I stood in the kitchen and twirled around and hunted in the pantry and the refrigerator. I could have made a salad for lunch, but I eat those four days a week at work and I like a bit of variety. I couldn’t even just have the cheese for lunch. I couldn’t have a sandwich even though I almost never eat one of those because I’m not a real sandwich fan. I do like a good egg salad sandwich and that wasn’t an option even though eggs are allowed. Bread isn’t.

I would have been a total mess except the lifestyle portion of this challenge was drinking enough water to float an armada. I was so full of water, that I didn’t eat enough and around 4 PM I had a headache that I assume came from too low of a blood sugar. So far I had had a banana, an ounce or less of unsweetened almond milk in my coffee (30 calories per cup, so that was nothing, I’m just being complete here), a gala apple with peanut butter, and a handful of almonds. I had also just finished my 66 ounces of water and was water logged, but still headachy. This is also the first day in I don’t even know how many years that I have not had a bit of chocolate. I’m still alive, but it’s scary.

I ate a hardboiled egg which means I have to do more before the end of the week. Part of my problem yesterday was the WOD for basis time. I had completely forgotten about this task when working on my food lists the day before. I usually wake up at the crack of the middle of the damn night and get to the box before my head knows what I’m doing to my body. But there is no 6 AM class on Saturday at CrossFit Summerville. There is 9 AM open gym and that’s it.

So I had to wait until then and when I got home, coffee was more important to me than food. By the time I had coffee and showered and gotten dressed, it was really time for lunch and so I sorta missed a meal in there. And then I had to keep drinking water. And because I kept drinking water, I had to keep going to the bathroom.

I have looked and there are nearly 14,000 people participating worldwide in the Whole Life Challenge. If you want an insider tip, buy stock in toilet paper. There are many, many women doing this and so … a roll per day would be my guess. I was up twice in the middle of the night to pee and I finished with the water at 4 PM.

At least there isn’t an imperative to sleep eight hours at the same time as there is a rule to drink all this water.

This is definitely a challenge. I shall meet it. I can. I hope. No, I can.

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