I will never be at the Crossfit games. This is not a goal of mine. When I was first introduced to Crossfit it was because my best friend had started working out in a box and loved it. That year I turned 31 years old with "baby fat" still hanging around from my last pregnancy and my baby was almost three. I decided I better do something. My first day the coach asked me if I had any goals. I responded whole -heartedly with a four letter curse word in Crossfit and said, "my goal is to tone." Apparently "to tone" is not something good Crossfitters do or say. I had stuck these workouts out for a few months and started feeling a little more confident in my "Crossfit" abilities and then one morning it all came crashing down, the class was talking about "Rich Froning." While huffing through kettle bell swings, I asked a very sincere question, "Who is that and why do I care?" Yes, the shock you just felt was the look I got from those guys and gals as well. (And if you just read that and have no idea who he is either, we should be friends) I started Crossfit because I needed a change. I knew I needed to do something drastic for my health. But within a few months, I also realized moving heavy weight and finishing a metcon was not enough. I began to realize that fueling my body with proper nutrition was just as important as RX-ing the workout. I began to notice how my body responded and how I felt after eating certain foods. The synergist affect of exercising and proper nutrition should not have been mind blowing to me. I know how important exercise and nutrition are for overall health maintenance. I talk about it every day, all day. By profession, I am a family nurse practitioner. I currently practice in a primary care setting. In primary care, we see well, you name it. We are often patients first stop which is an honor and a challenge. My goal has always been to treat my patients like family. So, at times, we get to have difficult conversations regarding weight, diet, exercise and overall health. Recently, I have started to notice more and more external factors that people "think" are barriers to exercise and nutrition. The most common excuses are that gym memberships and eating healthy are "expensive." My response is always the same, "Yes, they are but let's talk about the diseases that we know you are predisposed to for being obese." I have began to do a little research (this Crossfitter is a nerd at heart). Let's take the top two most common diagnoses that are linked to obesity. Can you guess them? If you guessed Hypertension (high blood pressure) and Diabetes (elevated levels of glucose) you are correct! Do you know the average associated costs with Hypertension and Diabetes? The average cost for a hypertensive patient is between $1100.00-$1600.00 per year*. The average cost for a diabetic patient is between $12,000.00-$13,700.00 per year**. Read that again. These are just associated costs, this has nothing to do with what the disease actually does TO your body. Do you know what the first line treatment is to both of these disease states? Proper nutrition and exercise.
If we can change our minds on what our health is actually "costing" us, we will start thinking about health preservation and disease prevention. And then our box membership and healthy eating doesn't seem so expensive after all.
Here are some ways that I incorporate budget friendly "expensive" nutrition:
Water is free. It is amazing it comes from a faucet not a bottle. Drink half of your body weight in it daily.
Buy frozen vegetables. I know, I know, they should be fresh, but fresh grows mold before I can ever get to cooking them.
Meal plan BEFORE going to the grocery store. What is this absurd thing I speak of? I promise it saves money because you are thinking through what you will be eating and will not buy unnecessary junk. (Unless you go to the store hungry or with children). Plan to eat ALL meals and snacks at home.
Here are some ways that I incorporate budget friendly "expensive" exercise:
I don't. I crossfit. :) But when I think of all the health preservation and disease prevention and the fact that we have the most awesome box. It is worth every penny.
But seriously, our box is open ALL the time. Ok maybe not every second of every day but our coaches are there a lot and If you can't find a time to get there - that's on you. So, just like meal planning COMMIT to certain times that you will be at the box. Like on the planner and nothing is taking that slot.
If you are STRUGGLING with nutritional options. Let the coaches know. There are meal plans available.
Four years and 3 months into this Unyielding world and I wouldn't trade one second. Well maybe that one second when my shin ate the box but those are my battle scars and I don't even notice now because I'm "toned."
- Amber Foster
*/** stats taken from the American Heart Association and the American Diabetic Association.