Rachel began CrossFit one year ago, here is her reflection on that year.
One year ago today, I was 24 hours away from investing in CrossFit -- and investing in myself. Through CrossFit, I've gotten stronger, gained new skills, and gained a community of friends.
I want look back and say goodbye to the person I was on March 31, 2013. Because on April 1, 2013, I decided to invest in myself for once.
While I've gotten physically stronger and gained new skills, the most amazing change for me has been the mental strength I've gained. Correction: the self-respect I've gained -- and the ability to hold on.
This past year, many people told me that I've been inspirational to them. I want to be that person, but first, I want to be honest. This past year has been a hard and difficult fight for myself. I want to start by getting something off my chest, because as I mark this year of change, I want to let go of the person I was. I want to be that person people believe I am, and to do that, I want you to know who I used to be a year ago.
The old Rachel was bulimic and depressed. I am pretty sure I have spent more time facing a toilet than I have putting on makeup in a mirror these past six years. The number of people I have lied to, or made excuses as to why I needed to use the restroom again, is insane. For that, I am sorry.
I battled through the worst of it three years ago, but it never really left. I never truly escaped the purging until this year. While I ceased vomiting after every meal, in the last few years, it would still happen on occasion. It became a comfort to purge; it would allow me to feel control. When I felt fat or stressed, I would purge. When I hit a depression swing, I would purge -- hoping that would somehow right the wrongs. It never did. That mentality of what order to eat food in to optimize purging, or constantly weighing myself to measure how I felt about myself that day was always there. There was always a voice telling me I was fat and not good enough. I sought comfort in the control of the purge.
Where is this all leading? To a place of self-respect. I had no self-respect or self-confidence when I walked into CrossFit on the morning on April 1, 2013.
This past year, I found a strength within myself I did not know I had. You can't purge when you need to back squat 200+ pounds or run 48.6 miles. This past year, I finally saw food for what it truly is: fuel. Food is no longer something to fear, but rather something I can enjoy and fuel my muscles with. I found that I can feel good about myself, not by the number on the scale, but by what I can accomplish with my body.
Now, when life becomes too much, or depression creeps in, I seek out a barbell. Seeing what I am capable of reminds me how far I've come.
Scale in a dumpster...GOOD RIDDANCE:
This year, I finally threw away my scale. I used to weigh myself morning, evening, and really anytime I was near it. I finally gave it the boot, and now I wake up and go to bed much more relaxed and happy.
I also ran in my underwear! As someone who was uncomfortable in my body, that was a huge step.
Do I still have days when I don't feel great in my own skin? Yes. But now I don't run to the toilet. I go to the gym and lift, or I run, or I phone a friend. I've learned to reach out.
Find good people and life seems so much easier.
To the Future:
So on the anniversary of the eve of me starting CrossFit, I want to say goodbye -- once and for all -- to the person I used to be. The person who did not think she was capable of much; the person who hid what was really going on; the person who did not respect herself enough.
Being bulimic has affected me, and that voice will always be there. But now – now, that voice is drowned out by the fight within me. I have caused damage to my body that I can't undo, but I've gained the strength to stop hurting myself and instead grow into an amazing, strong person.
Sure, I still get frustrated with myself or upset when something doesn't go well. But instead of beating myself up about, I take it as a challenge. I cannot wait to see what this year holds for me, because I believe in myself, and I want to fight for myself.
My new happy place.