[I do CrossFit. I've been doing it for a while. I think I've gone from the point of being all "HEY LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT CROSSFIT" every waking moment to "I'm going to mention CrossFit for the sole purpose of letting you know that I did something more badass than usual today," though blogging about CrossFit certainly isn't helping this argument.]
Most people get drawn into CrossFit because they want to have an awesome looking body. That "I just want to get healthy" thing that people say? Total crap. Or the "Forget being skinny - strong is the new sexy!" thing that's floating around the internet? Also crap. I mean, maybe I would buy that strength is more valued than looks if the phrase "strong is the new sexy" weren't always accompanied by a picture of, you know, a skinny lady, but this is not the case.
No, you don't join CrossFit for health. You join CrossFit because you've seen all these before and after pics of people who have done CrossFit floating around the internet and want that to happen to you. In the "before" pictures, you will see a person who looks like she has subsisted on a diet consisting only of IHOP and Crisco her entire life. In the "two months of CrossFit" pictures, this same person now looks like Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2. It's amazing.
And shoot, who doesn't want that kind of a transformation? So after seeing all that magic, you sign up for a CrossFit class, you think you're going to die during the class, and then you don't die. And then you feel all badass, because even though those fancy schmancy before and after pics are what lured you into the gym in the first place, lifting heavy weights is cool as all getout. It's that ultimate feeling of badassery and camaraderie with the folks you are being badass with that keeps you going back to CrossFit.
But you still want to look good, you know? And for the first year or so of CrossFit, I'd say, you've got a constant "Hey now, look how great I look" thing going, which is nice. But for some of us, it finally gets to the point where you are not losing any more fat. And you're not getting smaller anymore - you're getting bigger because you're maintaining your fat but gaining muscle.
This is the point where I am at. It's psychologically devastating if you're someone who has had body image issues - and I imagine that there are lots of people like this. My suits and pants won't fit me anymore because my rear and thighs are too big. I know it's because I'm lifting heavy weights and getting toned, but I've always associated clothes being tight with being "bad" and clothes fitting looser with being "good." I know that in reality, I am NOT a bulky person by any means, but it's hard to believe that when a good ten minutes of my morning consists of finding a suit that I can still wear (and my apologies to anyone who has encountered me on work mornings where I had to spend ten minutes finding another outfit instead of drinking more coffee).
And on top of that, then rolls in this STRONG IS THE NEW SKINNY and STRONG IS THE NEW SEXY nonsense floating around every time I log onto Pinterest or Facebook, and I pretty much want to gouge my eyes out every time I see it. I'm sure it's supposed to be motivating or something, but all I see is "HEY, YOU NEED TO LOOK LIKE THIS! And if you don't look like this, then clearly you are not trying hard enough! And you pretty much fail at everything and are destined to be a LOSER OMG OMG OMG!"
I am so, so tired of trying to be "skinny" or "sexy." You know what I really want to be?
Awesome. Like, really, really awesome. I want to have an awesome life where I do awesome things and hang out with awesome people. I want to be awesome when I lift weights. I want to be awesome in court. I want to be an awesome friend and daughter. I want to be awesome when I'm cooking breakfast, dang it. And instead of worrying if I am the new "skinny" or "sexy," I want to go out and do all kinds of awesome things, because that is what makes life happy.
So forget the new "skinny" or "sexy." I have a new motto:
That's right, being awesome is the new awesome.
Now let's all go and be AWESOME.
P.S. Thanks to Melanie Runsick of WOD Style for the pic at the top of the post - she makes me look much more badass than I actually am, and sells some pretty neat CrossFit gear, too.