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    Interview 1 - Jen

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    Basic Stats:

    Age: 39 years old.
    Height: 5’10”
    Starting weight pre hCG: 200 lbs
    Current weight: 170ish
    Health conditions: Lyme disease (confirmed through blood testing), hypothyroid

    Jen's Story

    Do you have any reservations about trying Crossfit?

    Heard it was a cult
    The truth? Yeah it did kind of turn out to be a close knit community cult - but in a good way! She loves it and feels very welcome there and she realized why people get so into crossfit- because it works and it feels good.
    Heard everyone who tried it got injured and she would be next!
    The truth? Trainers go over proper movement for each part of the workout, at every single workout. You lift only the weight you feel comfortable lifting. She had envisioned someone yelling over her “more weight! More reps! Longer!” but it didn’t turn out to be like that. Injuries usually occur when people start trying to lift too heavy and compromise their form and don’t use common sense (which I know YOU won’t do that!) 😉

    A little background story:

    Was never super fit, but not really overweight either. Just your normal average looking gal who worked out to not gain weight.

    What was your experience as a beginner at crossfit? How did you see yourself progress?

    Wow, crossfit was TOUGH when I started. I’m lucky because I chose a really great gym, and they have an Elements program for beginners to help you learn the movements at a slow pace. I think I spent the first couple of months feeling like I was going to die…and that was just the warm up! But over time I started to become more comfortable with the movements. I stuck to 3x a week for the first 10 months or so that I was doing crossfit.

    How has crossfit effected your metabolism do you think? How do you eat in every day life with crossfit being part of it? Like do you eat any carbs, and if so, what types of carb foods and how often?

    After my last course of HCG I definitely struggled to find a way to eat that would work for me. A friend of mine had a lot of success with counting macros (If it fits your macros) so I’ve decided to try that. I have a tough time following it, to be honest. I always felt safer just eating mostly low carb and I still struggle with food and food addiction. I’ve managed to maintain from my last loss within about 4-5lbs.

    On macros, the carbs that I eat are primarily protein plus carbs – so protein added oatmeal, pancakes (power cakes), and yogurts and other higher protein items. I recently discovered Halo Top ice cream and I’m obsessed with it. I also eat limited fruits and sometimes eat pizza or corn.

    I couldn’t say whether crossfit has altered my metabolism, but I won’t deny that building muscle clearly helps a body burn more calories which is great. I have a goal of continuing to burn muscle, and I hope that will help me be able to continue to eat a good amount of food in the long term.

    Any other beneficial effects from doing?

    I feel much better – not just my physical well being but also mentally. I am so proud of all I’ve been able to accomplish. I had lyme disease and spent a year treating that before I started crossfit. It’s pretty amazing to see how far I have come. I have also made a lot of friends through crossfit. I know people view it as a cult but it’s really a great community. Not every crossfit gym is amazing, but I was lucky to find a great one.

    Did you have any mental or physical hurdles to overcome to feel comfortable doing crossfit and weight lifting?

    As above, I had lyme disease and it took me a while to recover. I felt very weak when I started crossfit as I hadn’t worked out in a year. I also felt self conscious about my weight, but I did a round of HCG a few months after I started crossfit which helped me shed 20lbs and that helped a lot with my workouts.

    I didn’t know much about free weights but they show you everything and coaches help a lot. I never felt like I was on my own.

    How does the atmosphere at crossfit feel to you as far as feeling comfortable, accepted, etc. even if you are not all "super fit" (maybe you are super fit in which case this wouldn't apply lol! I guess mainly what does the environment there feel like to you?

    At my crossfit, there are a lot of different types of people. Sure, some are elite and super fit but most of us are normal people. There are a lot of ages and our gym is incredibly good about modifying workouts for everyone’s level of ability. I have never felt judged actually at all. Sometimes I wish I was faster, or stronger, but we all have our own abilities and I just keep working toward my own goals.

    Are there some movements you cannot do and how do you scale them to make them doable for you?

    Absolutely. I can’t do strict pull ups – at all. I’m still working on my muscles and hope to achieve that goal in 2016. For the moment I either do negatives or I use bands to support part of my weight for pull ups. I also can’t do muscle ups, which I don’t plan to work on for quite some time. I need to continue to gain upper body strength. I can’t do double unders because I’m not coordinated, but I am working on them. I do singles. I substitute knees to elbows in place of toes to bar. I still modify a LOT of movements – and that’s ok.

    How long have you been crossfitting and how frequently do you go?

    I started in November 2014. For the first year I averaged 3x a week. However after a year, I increased to 5x a week and now I almost always hit 5x unless I’m sick.

    Comparison of pre and post crossfit as far as your abilities in everyday life- how does your increased strength improve your life in other areas?

    I’m a wedding photographer so I carry heavy cameras and other gear and I can be on my fit for long days. Crossfit has DEFINITELY helped me with that. I’m less tired and I’m barely sore after a wedding, whereas in years past I would have almost a hangover feeling after a long work day.

    I can also do things like hiking – I went to California recently and we ended up accidentally hiking Muir woods for three hours. It was almost all uphill! I never could’ve managed that with a good attitude before crossfit.

    As an aside, I also happened to meet the love of my life through my gym! That’s something recent, but to say that crossfit has brought great things into my life is a real understatement 🙂


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