Adventures in Fat Girl Fitness

Working my Way to a Healthier Me One Burpee at a Time

Crossfit and the Shy Girl — July 3, 2018

Crossfit and the Shy Girl

I experienced this situation for the first time last week. I was working on a WOD that was, for lack of a better description, killing me. It was a basic 2k on the rower, 1.6k pu the ski erg (since I still can’t run with my achilles), and 120 calories on the assault bike.

Yeah, you read that right. 120 calories on the ass bike.

So, as you can imagine I was the last to finish. So far behind that I had not only my class watching, but the next class watching as well.

This meant I rode my last 30 calories to the simultaneous sounds of cheers from the other athletes and my coach telling me to not give up.

It was… awkward.

I’m a naturally shy person who generally hates being the center of attention. Hell, I didn’t even want to walk down the aisle at my own wedding because people would be looking at me.

But what i found this time was that while the cheering may have been the most awkward part of my workout, it was also the part that made me want to work harder.

So I pushed hard on the bike, pushed through the pain, and finished to hearty congrats and first bumps.

While I may never get used to the cheers, I can get used to the feeling of finishing strong and if my pride keeps me from quitting, so be it. I’ll take whatever push I can get.

ARGHH — June 25, 2018


frustratedI’m annoyed with my body today. It’s not doing what I want it to do. I eat right, count my macros, hit the gym, and… the scale isn’t moving. It’s been weeks. It’s getting… well… frustrating.

I mean, I know I’m not doing this just for weight loss, but damn it, if my body is going to stay here with or without big piles of pasta, I’ll take the fucking pasta!

It’s frustrating and defeating. Especially since I don’t know if I’ll be able to make it to the gym this week at all (husband is out of town and someone has to be with the kid). So now I’m frustrated and don’t even have an avenue to burn off the frustration. Top that off with solo-parenting a threenager for a week and… *see gif*.

Sorry, this is whiny, but I’m bummed today.

Grrr. Arghh.

Four questions, four answers — June 19, 2018

Four questions, four answers


This morning I received a text from my awesome trainer and coach, Mel.  She occasionally sends questions to her clients and today was my turn.  Instead of responding to her in a text, I’m responding here, for the entire world, because apparently I’m a bit of an attention whore. Who knew? (everyone who knows me can be quiet right now, thankyouverymuch!)

Question 1: What makes me feel strong? Powerful?

Lifting heavy shit. This was true even before CrossFit, but is doubly true now. I’ve always prided myself on being strong like bull, able to lift and carry a couch up the stairs, if need be, but since starting CrossFit there’s nothing better than the feeling of a barbell in my hands.

On the days when I’m not in the gym or the WOD isn’t strength-based, I miss the feeling of lifting a barbell. Of holding it’s rough grip in my hands, covered with chalk, and sweaty from exertion.

On days like today, when the WOD is mostly barbell work, I am giddy with anticipation of getting into the gym and feeling that strength and power (even if I’m lifting the lightest bar in the bunch).

I’m slowly developing callouses from my classes and I occasionally find myself rubbing them, like tiny badges of honour to my power. I keep testing to see if they’re bigger, more pronounced, further evidence that I’m a badass.

Truly, every woman should try lifting weights. There’s nothing that makes you feel more like Wonder Woman than picking up something heavy, putting it over your head, and doing it again and again. Seriously, try it sometime!

Question 2: What’s the best advice I have ever been given?

Be present in whatever day you’ve been given. 

This was given to me as work advice when I moved to a new, frenetic, unpredictable job, but it’s served me well as life advice too.  I tend to be a planner and a forward looker. Those can be great things when it comes to retirement planning and kitchen renos, but it can make it hard to sit, quietly and comfortably in the present. It can also make it hard when the present doesn’t end up looking like the plan. So I am slowly learning to simply accept the day I’m given, however it may look, and then find the best in that day, knowing that the plans and perfection can be dealt with tomorrow (or the day after that).


Question 3: Name one thing you want to change in your life?

How I see myself. I have always struggled with liking who I am and who I see in the mirror.  So much so that I genuinely have a different picture of “me” in my head than what mirrors and pictures tell me I am. I’ve dissociated from the truth. I want to change my mental image so that it reflects who I truly am, right now at this very moment; not when some magical perfect weight, or hairstyle, or fashion is reached, but now. I have a long way to go on this one.

Question 4: Name 3 things you are grateful for.

First, among all things is my daughter. She makes me laugh every day. She challenges me. And she makes me want to be a better version of myself. She’s the reason I am working so hard to change my life.

Second, my mobility.  It was only 8 years ago when I was in a serious car accident that left me wondering if I’d lose my foot or have lifelong severe mobility impairments.  I’m lucky. I had good doctors and therapists and have reclaimed about 90% of my pre-accident life, but those months where I was in a wheelchair, or on crutches, or using a cane made me feel for all the people who struggle every day to just accomplish basic tasks. And I’m grateful I was so lucky.

Finally, my sense of humour.  There’s not much in this world that I can’t find joy in (current politics notwithstanding). My humour is what keeps me grounded. It’s what brought me to my husband. It’s what shapes who comes into my life and stays here. It’s entirely who I am. And I love it.

The Grind — June 15, 2018

The Grind


I haven’t posted about my WODs as much here lately, but they’ve been going well. I’ve been going to the big kid classes and if not holding my own against the rest of the class, at least holding my own against my former self (which is really all that matters).

Last night was a particularly grueling workout.  I call it The Grind. Because that’s what you had to do to get through. Just don’t stop. For 35 minutes, keep moving. If you stopped you’d never get started again.

When I first read the WOD in the morning, I thought, oh, that looks doable. Then I did what I always do, I added up the time it would take me to finish everything. I calculated 45 minutes. This had a 35 min time cap.


Well, I suppose I didn’t need to worry about how I was going to substitute the double unders, since it was unlikely I’d ever make it there.

It was a WOD heavy on rowing and cardio (bike, skierg, burpees, etc.). I modified the burpee box jumps to dumbbell clean and jerks because burpees aggravate my ankle, but otherwise I did it as prescribed.  It was hard.

So hard. We all looked like we were going to die by the end.

But it was also fun. There was no measure yesterday, just you against the clock to see how much you could get done in those 35 minutes.

And friends, let me tell you that 35 minutes flew by. I barely even noticed the time. How could I? I was just trying to stay upright and complete my section.

It’s a funny change to suddenly think a hard workout can be simultaneously a fun one. I’ve never had that feeling much before. Never felt the feeling of accomplishment or camaraderie that comes with grinding through a workout alongside someone else. Never thought I’d be the person you see on the side of the road drenched in sweat and carrying kettlebells. Never thought I’d be excited to see what the next day has in store for me.

It’s been a slow transformation but it finally feels like it might stick. I’ve not skipped a planned workout. I’ve pushed myself in the classes. I’ve bought into the lifestyle that is clean eating and exercise.

And it feels amazing.

Here’s to the grind. May you always be as fun and kick my ass and keep me coming back for more.

It’s all about those macros —
Run? Am I being chased by a bear?! — May 30, 2018

Run? Am I being chased by a bear?!


Last night at the gym was a minor miracle.

Very minor.

But a miracle nonetheless.

I did cardio.

RIGHT?! I know! Me too!

So here’s the thing – a while back I had tried to take up running. I started one of those couch to 5K programs and thought, yeah, this looks doable.

Cut to me doing my first run where I had to run 1 minute. 1. One. ONE.

I thought I was going to die.

I couldn’t even run a minute without wanting to throw up. What the hell had I let myself become? No wonder I was tired all the time. I couldn’t even move my fucking body at a slow, lumbering clip for 60 seconds.

It was embarrassing. It was shocking. It was humbling.

So imagine my dread when I walk into the box last night to find that I’m going to do multiple sessions on the rower last night.

Fuck. Fuck fuck fuckity fuck. I can’t do cardio. I’ll throw up. I’ll cry. I’ll pass out.

But just like in baseball, there is apparently no crying in Crossfit (or if there is, no one is cutting you any slack for it). So I jumped (stumbled) onto the rower and started in on my first 45 calorie row.

It took me 4 and a half minutes.

Without stopping.

I moved and breathed and pushed for 4 and a half minutes.

It’s legit the longest stretch of cardio I’ve done in years. Like… 20 years.

Then I did another 4 minutes. Then 3 and a half. Then 3. Then 2 and a half. Then 2…

… And then I got time capped, but I made it!

It was no Olympic quality performance. I mean, my stomach is so big my knees bend out when I row and I drenched that machine in sweat, but I made it. At least until time got called and I got to die.

I wobbled off the rower like a baby giraffe learning to walk and you should see me today, but hell, if that ain’t improvement I don’t know what is.

Graduation Day — May 25, 2018

Graduation Day


Today I did my first ever big girl Crossfit class. My trainer felt I had gotten the hang of the basic moves and wouldn’t hurt myself (or my ankle) so I signed up for a 6:30 am class and headed to the box.

Only to find that it was Hero WOD day. Oof.

DT. Scaled for me, of course. But first, 15 minutes to build up to a 2 rep max on a Hang Power Clean. I made it to 95lbs before the time ran out.

Then DT started. It’s one of those WODs that looks easy on paper, but kicks your ass by round 2. I was prescribed a lower weight because I’m new (but I wasn’t the only one in the class using 55lbs rather than the 85 or 105 lbs that were prescribed for women at the performance and competitive levels).

So I chalked my hands, grabbed my poker chips (for round counting, but of course), and started in on my 12 deadlifts. I finished the first round in just over a minute. I had allotted 2 and a half minutes.

Oh fuck.

I’ve been here before. Going hard on the first one and finding out quickly that while this is only a 15 minute exercise, it’s a marathon of 15 minutes, not a sprint.

I’d been sprinting. This is going to catch up with me.

Round two I took it a bit slower because I knew I was screwed.

By round five I was counting individual reps knowing that I only had 14, then 13, then 12 more to go before I could collapse on the floor.

And internets? I made it! I completed my WOD in 12:45. I didn’t get time capped. I made it!

And not only that, but it was fun! Hard, but fun.

I’m going back Tuesday.

Bring on the barbells for I am a motherfucking unicorn who cannot be stopped. Arghhh (or something).




Who Am I? — May 4, 2018

Who Am I?

I just messaged my trainer seeing if she had any openings for the weekend. Because I didn’t want to wait until Tuesday next week for another workout. Because I like working out? This is a thing now? I don’t even recognize myself.

Really, I blame my friend/colleague who told me to try crossfit. She changed me. Made me this… person. It’s all her fault.

But I’m excited to go back tomorrow. Last night was my first barbell workout where we first worked up to my max 1 rep strict overhead press and then 5 rounds of 12 lower-weight presses. I maxed out at 85 lbs, which I think is good for a beginner, but who knows, maybe it’s pathetic. I then did my 5 rounds at 55 lbs which got hard fast. By the end I was managing two, maybe three presses at a time before I had to rack the bar. But I finished them all (plus 5 rounds of 16 calories on the skierg and 14 abmat situps).

That workout made me feel strong and badass. There’s really nothing in the world like the feeling you get when you first pick-up that barbell. And now I’m craving it. I want to feel strong again.

Fuck yeah, barbells!

Crushing it — May 2, 2018

Crushing it

I’ve been struggling with my workouts lately. My head hasn’t been in the game and my muscles have seemed to agree with my head. It’s been more than a little discouraging.

But today I walked into the box with a determination to, if nothing else, give it all I had. To fight through the pain and keep going rather than giving up.

And internets? I crushed it. I finished my first WOD in half the time cap and then when my trainer decided I wasn’t done I crushed her second mini-WOD in less than 7 minutes (with a 15 min TC).

It felt amazing. Was it a super hard workout? No, but it did challenge me. And more importantly I truly gave it everything I had. Even on the damn Assault Bike.

If this is what it feels like to not give up, then I’m hooked. What an awesome feeling of strength and accomplishment.

So for today, go me! You did good.

100 Day Challenge – Update — May 1, 2018