Last week when I weighed in on Day 90 of my 30 day Paleo Challenge, I learned in I have lost 23 lbs and about 4% body fat. I was pleased with my results and I did what any red-blooded American would do. I posted it on social media. Since then I've had several people ask me how I did it. I give them the short, but what seems like a cheap answer--CrossFit. There is more to it than "CrossFit" only because CrossFit itself contains so much. If I had to break it down simply there are three things that attract me to CrossFit and have helped me on my journey.
1. Fitness-- When people think of CrossFit they think of the CrossFit games. The problem is, they imagine shirtless behemoths doing crazy workouts that should not be humanly possible. Yes, a large aspect is fitness. But the images men and women who could stand in as Greek God's should not be what you think when you think of CrossFit. The image you should picture are average people of all ages, genders, shapes and condition getting off of the couch and doing "constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement" and doing it across "broad times and modal domains." Simply put-it's a variety of physical movements that help us get healthy and be able to do what we need to do to function in life and keep us out of the nursing home done in a way that anyone can do.
2. Nutrition-- While people think of working out when they think of CrossFit, they are missing a big part of it. The foundation of CrossFit is nutrition. Yeah, you'll get stronger and faster if you just workout but you will not make the gains that you want without focusing on nutrition. The nutrition component is very simple but not necessarily easy. I requires us to stop eating bad carbs and the sugars we are addicted to. Eat meats and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. And to take it to the next level--keep intakes to levels that support exercise but not body fat. I had been back to the gym for several months, but my journey did not start in earnest until I focused on nutrition.
3. Community-- The third side of the triangle of CrossFit that has helped me on my journey is "community." The CrossFit community is all about support and encouragement. The mutual suffering everyone goes through in the daily workout creates a bond and that bond creates a community. It's a community that does not leave anyone behind nor forget anyone. In many gyms you may go, everyone is in their own world, ear buds in plugging away on the treadmill. In my community, I can count on everyone to encourage me to do my best and keep moving on. I can rely on messages from people when I've been gone awhile wondering where I am and encouraging me to get back to the gym. It's this support structure that has encouraged me.
CrossFit is pushing me to get healthier. It is encouraging me to get fitter. And it is making my journey a fun one.