What makes you put your workout clothes on and drive to the gym on days you would rather not? What makes you go to the gym on a major body weight movement day when you know it’s your weakness? Or a day there’s 200 double unders posted and you have yet to get one. That’s what I’m talking about. What makes you tick.
What would happen to your motivation if you let working out change your body image? As a CrossFitter you’re likely to run your very first mile or begin chasing a lesser time than you have ever run before. You might do box jumps for the first time or jump on one 46 inches high for a personal record. You might lift a barbell over your head with plates on either side and scream with delight. What if you let those instances change the way you view your body? What if you let your focus shift to setting goals on reps during a wod, weight on the bar and skills instead of limiting food consumption and trying on a pair of jeans you wore years ago. What if instead of comparing your body weight with your friends’ that constantly brag about how little they are, you think in your head: b***h I could bench press your body weight, and I’m working on benching mine! And you laugh because thanks to CrossFit, gone are the days of staring at the scale each morning. You have morphed into an athlete in your own terms who eats to perform in the gym according to your own goals. Something even more strange may happen. You begin to thank your body, you know, the one you hated, for being strong enough to push you through a hard workout. It’s the body that allows you to squat with the barbell overhead, in a lift set aside too long for just professional athletes. How rewarding.
So, now that we’re looking at our bodies in a different way, lets visualize doing a pull up for the first time, or let’s remenisce about your first chin-over-the-bar experience. Muscle up? Body weight dead lift? I bet you celebrated your success that day, posted a video on Facebook, tweeted a selfie. Whatever. But I bet what you did NOT do is jump on the scale to see if doing pull ups for the first time made you lose weight. In fact, you may have even reached for a tighter shirt in hopes of showing off your new biceps. You also showed everyone you know the bloody callouses on your hands caused by weeks of putting in work. Blisters like that give you bragging rights for getting through a physical and mental fight between gravity and the pull up bar. High Five! (eww, maybe later.)
Let’s do this. Let’s change the way we view our bodies and more importantly, change the negative thoughts that shift our focus away from progressing as athletes. We have discussed in previous posts (here and here) why getting better as athletes changes us for the better, now change your motives. If you need to lose weight, take some time to think about how you want to progress in the gym. Start programming your eating and work out schedule to reflect your goal. But don’t let your weight be your lone goal and reason for working out. You don’t want to miss out on the mind transformation that could take place when you search within and go for the goals you are entirely capable of… then watch your body transform into the machine you’ve been dreaming about.