Happy Monday 🙂 Let’s jump right into this. My desire is for all people – including you –  to feel great about the way they feel and look. 

 photo by  Luke Tevebaugh    @LTevebaugh

photo by Luke Tevebaugh @LTevebaugh

I almost didn’t want to post the above picture. Despite it being an awesome picture, I first was like, “holy moly- my muscles look massive”…like in the worst way. But then I was like “Nah, that’s pretty BA if you ask me. I worked hard for those muscles, and I busted my butt trying to do that workout as fast as I could – without dropping that sandbag on my head. So, I am thankful for this picture, because I worked hard for it, and I’m thankful someone was there to get a picture of it. So, the point of me even telling you that is because perspective is everything.

You only have one shot at this life. One body. One chance. I want for you AND me to make the most of it by fueling our bodies the best we know how, so we can live a full life- confident in how we look and in how we feel. (I just came up with that, but maybe that should be a mission statement or something). 

Over the past couple of years- ok, really over the past year…I’ve taken it upon myself to make better decisions in what I eat. And yes, I am working out more, but my workouts are more like training, and not “let me go run for 60 minutes and kill myself slowly on the treadmill.” OR “Dang. Ate too much cake last night, so I’m going to go burn off 1,000 calories on the elliptical at 5 am.”

I want to inspire others – and with that comes being confident in how I look, and more importantly, in how I feel. I’ve come a long way. Yeah, I’m a dumb girl. There’s a lot about me that I don’t particularly love, but I am at a place in life where I can honestly say that when I put the work in, I am proud of what my muscles can do. I don’t want to dwell on what I can’t do, but on what I can do, and although I’m not perfect, I want to be a good role model for other girls in that. It gets me when girls walk around being negative about the way they look, and I want to stay away from that, because you never know who is listening. I’ve walked down that road too many times myself. Whether you’re 8 years old or 50 years old, that’s going to be a battle that as girls, we’ll always be fighting.

But today someone told me something that was said about me – totally harmless (and I’m not overreacting, I promise. Also, words get twisted around, I know)….But it was something along the lines of… “I want to burn fat and do CrossFit, but I don’t want to get big, like Alison.” Whether those were the exact words said or not, I dunno. But it tested me. 

Right before that, I had a friend tell me this morning that some dumb girls told her yesterday that she looks like a man. The crazy thing is, 9 out of 10 girls would probably give anything to have the body that this girl has. They just don’t want to put the work in. 

Also, about a month ago, a friend told me that some guy asked him if I took steroids… lol. I’m sure if he saw my olympic lifts, he would take that statement back. And just for the record, the only supplements I take are a Progenex Recovery shake after I workout and Pure Pharma O3 (fish oil). Although, in a perfect world, I would be taking in more protein, but good protein is expensive. But that’s not the point of me telling you this.

See, people like to say dumb stuff, but they don’t want to put the work in to make their own life better. This goes for guys and girls.

I’m thankful for muscles, because overtime my muscles have helped me to do things that I’m proud of – both in the gym and in life. I’m thankful for what I get to do because I have muscles, and Lord willing, I hope that as I get older, I still have muscles so I can do great things in this great life – in the gym and outside of the gym. 

In just the past two weeks, I’ve been able to do cool things like run up and down a field with this 95 lb atlas stone on my shoulder

 Crush Games 2016 - photo by  Jorge Huera   @JorgeHuertaPhotography

Crush Games 2016 – photo by Jorge Huera   @JorgeHuertaPhotography

And I’ve been able to stand here and look at this bar (and eventually pick it up) and push it over my head, over and over and over and over again. 

 Crush Games 2016  Photo by  Barbell Militia Photos  -  @BarbellMilitiaPhotos

Crush Games 2016 Photo by Barbell Militia Photos  –  @BarbellMilitiaPhotos

 And I’ve been able to do these double unders…

 Greenville Games 2016 Photo by BucketHead.Media - @buckethead.media

Greenville Games 2016 Photo by BucketHead.Media – @buckethead.media

And I’ve been able to do these muscle ups… struggle through them, obviously. But I can do them.. because I have muscles. Also, shoutout to dbthump for this picture and all those girls that cheered me on while I was on the struggle bus trying to do these muscle ups. (Despite that struggle and doing terrible on those long strap muscle ups, this was one of the highlights of that weekend for me).

 Crush Games 2016  Photo by  dbthump  @dbthump

Crush Games 2016 Photo by dbthump @dbthump

Ok, you get the picture. Sorry for the picture overload.

But the point here is: Perspective. 

Fitness is a great thing. You have a choice every day if you want to make your life better or worse, based on the decisions you make. Be thankful for what you can do. And if there’s something you can’t do (inside or outside the gym) take steps to figure it out. 

I work hard. I eat good food that I know will help my body, not hold me back. And with the exception of just trying to be a social person who likes to have fun every now and then, I eat clean. The best way to describe it is that I eat meat(good, real meat when possible), veggies, good fats, carbs to support exercise, and as little sugar as possible (but I am an avid lover of dark chocolate chips- nestle or ghiradelli. I don’t care). I’m not perfect, but I can promise you that the more I eat like the above says, the better my body feels, and the more confident I feel — because I’m doing everything I can, with the body God gave me, to live a healthy life.

As I’ve cleaned up the way I eat and moved more to weight, gymnastics, aerobic AND anaerobic training, as opposed to just running my little heart out, I’ve been able to build more muscle, which has led to fat loss, a better way of life, and more confidence because I’ve done the best I can with the body that’s been given to me. That’s something I want for everyone. 

I wrote a little about my transformation several months ago in two separate posts-  here and here

3 take aways here:

  1. Love your body for what it can do. If you’ve worked hard for those muscles, be proud of that. Some people won’t get it, but allow what you can do in the gym translate over into how you live your life. Use it to spend more time with your kids outside, or to actually be able to hike up a mountain with your husband, or friends, or whoever…
  2. As girls (and I guess all you guys too) let’s make sure that we remember that words do matter. If you have something nice to say to someone, say it. Sometimes it’s better to not say something negative – even to a friend’s face. Words are still words, even when you’re joking around. If you’re a guy, this includes telling a girl that her muscles are bigger than your’s while the expression on your face looks like you’re scared she’s going to eat you (not that it happens to me or anything). 
  3. The way you talk about yourself to other people is contagious. It sets the tone for your family and friends. I don’t want other people to feel awkward or weird based on what I say about myself, and I can only hope and pray that one day I get to have a daughter that knows that she is beautiful – not based on the way she looks, but in the way that she carries herself. 

Just to put things in perspective, I did this local competition this past weekend called “The Greenville Games” with my friend, Marlie. (Side note: It was a great competition.. a lot of fun and great people. It was Marlie’s second competition ever, and she killed it!)

 I also did the Greenville Games a little over 3 years ago with my friend Kelly. It was my first competition, and I had only been doing CrossFit for a couple of months. At this time, I still had a HUGE fear of lifting too heavy and ditching all my long distance running because I didn’t want to get fat. Well, pics don’t lie. 

 Greenville Games 2013 - several months into CrossFit

Greenville Games 2013 – several months into CrossFit

 Greenville Games 2013 - lookin' good on those KB swings :)))

Greenville Games 2013 – lookin’ good on those KB swings :)))

 Greenville Games 2016

Greenville Games 2016

 Greenville Games 2016

Greenville Games 2016

 I’m not saying that the above pictures from 2013 are better or worse than the ones from 2016. I’m just trying to show, again, that CrossFit does work, and most importantly, it’s a process. You don’t just wake up one morning with muscles like the Incredible Hulk. 

As always, thanks for reading my blog. If you ever have questions about anything I say on here, you can always DM me. 

Have a great week, be thankful, and love people.