“If it was easy everyone would be in great shape”
My view of CrossFit and what I have learnt…
My background was Rugby Union and I played for various clubs for over 10 years playing over 100 national league games along the way. This involved training twice a week, gym 4-5 times a week plus a game on Saturday. To make the team I had increased my weight to over 19 stone when playing prop and then reduced it to just over 16 stone, when playing hooker.
The first point I think is the most important and that is TIME. I have consistently done CrossFit, or more specifically followed the CrossFit Leyland programming for several years. And more recently supplemented this with Head Coach Matt Dewhurst’s Competitor Development programming (CDP). Many people look for a quick fix or do not commit the time to actually make a change, you may often hear me say ‘if it was easy everyone would do it’ which could not be more true when it comes to making a change.
The next thing Crossfit Leyland forced me to do was look at my movement or lack of it due to my Rugby Union career, in fact just over a year ago I was told I had arthritis in both hips and would need to new hips before I was 40. Again, through the coaches help with mobility and focusing on movement quality I am happy to say my hips are pain free and move better than ever before. This was driven by the thought of not being able to run and play with Thomas my 2 year old son.
The next hurdle for me was that I was still carrying in my eyes too much weight to become better at CrossFit, if you ask Gina (CFL coach / owner) about the first time I ever did a handstand she will agree that gravity was not on my side and I ended up seeing part of me I had never seen before.
The first thing that I did when starting to look at my weight was to see exactly where I was, so Greg (CFL coach / owner) measured my body fat and everything else I pretended was ok. People often get embarrassed or hide away from this, but if you want to make a change you need to be completely honest with yourself about where you are, also as soon as this was done I booked a follow up for 3 months’ time, this gave me enough time to make a difference and see if I was doing the right things. I have kept getting these measurements every 3 months for 2 years now to see my progress, remember these measurements are just a snap shot of where you are, nothing more, and it what you do differently between the measurements that counts.
So here are the results;
December 2014 – 100kg 16.8% body fat
January 2017 – 88kg – 9% body fat.
So what changed… 2 years ago was something very simple, my son was born. This simple gave me a reason WHY I wanted to do it that out weighted anything else. This is the most important point I want to make through this.
I am not a person who can lose weight easily, in fact I look at chocolate and I put on weight. The reason why you do something needs to be more than just what you think people want to hear and must be something that means more to you than giving it up. This is my WHY. The rest because of this was simple, I started to make better decisions in what I ate, choosing food that I knew would add to what I was doing, its not always the easiest, cheapest or fun but if it meant I can do everything I want to with my son and I portray good habits in him.
Here are some of the lessons I have learnt…
Be consistent with small changes, my diet and weight loss happened over 2 years, I made small changes in between getting my measurements taken to see if they made a difference, the main ones where not eating anything with white in the name, then eat more veg and greens, reducing my sugar intake (stopping eating pre-made sauces and powders) and the last one was eating more protein and good fats.
I only would do one, see if it made a difference but by the time the 3 months were up this one change had become a habit so i could try something else.
How do you know if it is working? My advice is don’t go off the scales. In the last 9 months my weight has stayed the same but my body fat has come down, the main way I knew how a change in my diet was working was how I was feeling, did I feel tired? how did my work out go? Was I getting Hangry? If so I would try a little change.
Measuring success – get someone to take measurements and agree how often you will have then done again? keep a photo of you with what you look like (again there is no were to hide from this but in 3 months’ time you will see differences), is there an item of clothing you want to fit into? How do you feel about yourself?
My challenge to you would be to look into why you what to lose weight? What is the goal? How are you going to be kept accountable and be honest with yourself?
Hard work and determination gets results people!
Chris Lowden (CFL Coach)