Karen Egan's past year of Crossfit & Paleo

 In Nutrition, WOD

I have no idea how Maddogg got me to agree to this but here goes …

Rewind back almost a year – I’d just gotten sick for the third time in as many weeks, generally felt like crap and to top it all off, the dreaded 6 month mark was quickly approaching! (For the guys out there – the wedding dress needs to be picked and ordered AT LEAST 6 months before the big day … cue panic stations!)

So, during my sick day off work I thought “Right, I’ve had enough.” The laptop was booted and I googled what gyms were close to my workplace. “Crossfit?  Ok, I’ve nothing to lose so I’ll give it a go!”

I got in contact and my intro session with Ian was arranged for Monday, March 5th at 7.30am.

Arriving towards the end of the 6.30am class, my first experience of Crossfit was watching the whole class collapsing on the floor after finishing up this thing they called a “wod.”

Wtf was I getting myself into?

Intro over. Paleo chat over (and I quickly realised that Ian likes to talk about food, A LOT.) Session times agreed.

It’s probably time to start talking numbers now, so – this picture was taken the day after the intro session and I weighed 74kg.

March 2012

6 weeks later, after 3 sessions of Crossfit per week & strict Paleo from start to finish, I was down to 65kg, having dropped over 9kg. Back to the shop to try on that dress again.

April 2012

Dress ordered – result!

I continued with strict Paleo for a few more weeks but from June onwards, I started to follow an 80/20 Paleo/non-Paleo routine.  During this time I started putting on some weight! Eek… but for the first time in my life I wasn’t bothered by this because:

  1. My clothes still fit, and some were even getting too big!
  2. My body shape was changing, and I liked the results
  3. I felt healthy for the first time in ages.
  4. My dress arrived in the shop in September, and it fit (Phew!)

So, after 9 months of Crossfit and semi-Paleo, D-day had finally arrived.

Admittedly, one of the funniest memories of the day was when one of my wedding guests came up and informed me that while my dress was gorgeous, the talking point at their table was the definition in my arms.  “Great,” I thought, “all that money on a dress …. Should’ve just worn a tank top and shorts!”  In all honesty, it was probably one of the nicest comments of the day.

December 2012

When I heard there was a Reform to Perform challenge starting in January, my initial reaction was to say “excellent, perfect way to get rid of that honeymoon weight!”  However, my attitude quickly changed.

I found that while I was losing weight (currently down 5kg), something else was happening.

I have a shoulder injury from playing basketball as a kid, and last year a week of heavy Oly lifting or a lot of overhead work would have had my shoulders screaming at me for mercy, to the point that putting an 8kg bar over my head would be agony.

Since starting the strict Paleo again, I’ve had no problems with my shoulders.  And that’s not from me going easy in the gym. Seeing me there, working out twice in one day, is practically the norm at this stage.  I even managed to get my first strict pull up… apologies to the people in the gym that had to witness my shrieking and dancing about that day!

So, in the space of just under a year I’ve lost over 9kg and gained muscle and definition. I fit into the same clothes as I did 4 years ago when I was 10kg lighter (crazy!). But the main change I’ve seen in myself is my attitude to nutrition and exercise.

–        I’m no longer the girl who orders rabbit leaves in a restaurant

–        I no longer spend 2 hours on a treadmill / cross trainer and think it was a great workout

–        I no longer count calories (and trust me, I’ve tried every diet out there!)

–        I no longer care what the scales say


The Open is upon us. Are you ready?

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