Diary of a Fat Crossfitter

Diary of a Fat Crossfitter – Getting Started

I started CrossFit last week, and it is both as awesome and as miserable as expected.  That is to say, I feel like a million bucks after a workout, and then the next day, I can’t walk.  Or lift my backpack.  Or really, even crawl out of bed.  I made a four month commitment to my neighborhood CrossFit gym box*, and you, dear readers, are going to suffer right along side of me.  Well, perhaps not along side of me.  Probably a day or two after, once I’ve started to recover and manage to haul myself into an upright position and get some typing done.

Because I’m obsessive about researching expensive life decisions, I spent several weeks looking into CrossFit and the gyms boxes relatively near my home.  I queried friends.  I spent hours on seedy Internet forums.  And I finally checked out the box closest to where I live.  After two classes, I’m pretty confident I made the right decision.  I’ve been to a lot of gyms before where most of the people there are fit.  And slender.  And are confident they know what they’re doing.  And I feel completely out of place.  Even if people are patronizingly welcoming about this fattie joining their gym.

Here’s the thing that impressed me the most about this particular gym box.  All of the workouts are completely scaleable.  Unlike even in say, Zumba, where there’s a minimum level of capacity to dance and do an aerobic workout, every single CrossFit movement can be scaled up or down to meet your individual capacity.  Can’t master the push jerk with the 15 lb training bar?  NO PROBLEM.  Here are two 5 lb dumbbells.  Can’t figure that out?  Back to the PVC pipe.  Need it broken down even further?  Put down the pipe and let’s go through the motion with nothing in your hands.  In a Zumba class, a teacher never would have stood with me to break down the movements into individual bits and pieces because my clumsy ass couldn’t figure out when to dip, when to push, and when to press.

And there’s no shame in scaling.

Although I was certainly the most out of shape person in my class, my fellow CrossFitters were all quick to reassure me that they too are beginners.  And look at how quickly they’ve improved.  The class was a motley crew indeed, and everyone was incredibly friendly.  Real people.  Doing real workouts.  Together.  Team fitness, so to speak.


I don’t have a lot of patience for “my workout is better than yours” arguments.  I’ve been fat forever, and believe me, I have tried it all.

Right now.  Today.  At this moment.  In my crazy frantic globetrotting life, CrossFit is working for me.  I spent a fair amount of time debating whether I should write about working out and diet and obesity and all of the RAGE I feel about being so insanely successful elsewhere in my life, but finding myself absolutely incapable of changing my body composition (code for: less fat, more muscle).  Whether any of the changes I’m currently making in my life can do anything about that is up in the air, but here’s what I know: I am happier today than I was two weeks ago.  And two weeks ago, I was happier than I was two months ago.  And it has to do with changes in what I eat and how I move.

And whether I manage to change my body composition or not, happiness is a win in my book.

Four months.  Damn.  We’ll see how it goes.

* CrossFit gyms are actually called “boxes”; however, I feel like an asshole every time I say that I attend a “box”.aracer

5 thoughts on “Diary of a Fat Crossfitter – Getting Started

  1. I had been doing Crossfit regularly up until coming to dc in January for a-100. I just returned to a box in the area and am paying for my 4-5 month break. It can and will get easier and it’s incredibly addicting! Looking forward to reading more about the soreness and WODs as I go through my own challenges.

  2. Very very proud of you. I understand exactly the frustration and bravery to take the first steps. To encourage others by writing about it – you are an inspiration!

  3. Yessssss. I had a similar experience and am so glad you’re writing about it. I’ll come work out with you anytime!

  4. Good for you! Crossfit is a great workout, and you’re right – it’s easily scaleable. If you keep at it for 4 months, you’ll definitely notice changes. First few days are the hardest…

  5. FWIW, I am a relatively skinny person–or at least I used to be–and whenever I see an overweight person at the gym I have so much respect for what they are doing. It about kills me to lose ten pounds–I cannot imagine the determination and work it takes to lose more. You GO!

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