I wrote this at the end of the summer, before I knew I was pregnant but as you can tell- it was definitely on my mind!
It wasn't until at least a couple years into CrossFit training that I realized how negatively I viewed my body. Through high school it was torso too short, knobby knees, pale skin, love handles, blemishes! Then about six months into CrossFit, I added these to the continuously running inner dialogue: boobs too small, torso still too short, traps too big, flat ass, wrinkles and blemishes and from someone I was dating at the time: "manly abs". Joining a CrossFit gym, then being a part of the CrossFit community in competition and online, I started training in a way that was more exciting and effective than anything I'd done. I set performance based goals, I ate well and ate a lot and what mattered to me most was progress and being competition ready. I slowly started to realize that I now cared much more how my body functioned and felt and how I could work to optimize it for CrossFit performance. I finally felt that my body was mine alone and no one else has the power to make me think it should be something else. Seeing my body change based on the type and volume of training I was doing, more muscular and "thick in the middle" during strength cycles in the Fall, leaning out as the volume increased after the Open, softening up a bit in the month or two of recovery after the Games- it all helped me embrace the impermanence of my physical shape. Our bodies will change over and over again as lifestyles change, injuries come and go, as we have kids and as we age. I'm very grateful for the many examples of this that I see in CrossFit gyms. We encourage eating and training in a way that will sustain a strong, healthy body while also highlighting the beauty of movement with different shapes and sizes. This acceptance that "I'm not always going to look just like this" has helped me start to detach my self-worth from how I look. It has been and continues to be an evolution to do that. Part of how that acceptance happens is finding the ways to appreciate what my body can do right now and how it looks right now. And knowing that by continuing to take care of my health and fitness, I will appreciate what it can do in the future. Now that Tim and I are trying to get pregnant, I know I will be placing very different demands on my body! I hope from my experiences in training, that even though I will have to accept a total (but temporary?!) change in fitness level, I will likely be just appreciative of what my body is able to do and fascinated to observe and experience the changes.