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About me?  Well, my name is Mary, I’m 39 years old (turning 40 during the Challenge) and I live in Albany, NY.  I’ve been Crossfitting for a little over 2 years.  I found out about Crossfit from a friend who was singing its praises.  I was sick of going to the gym and not seeing any changes, so I joined Albany Crossfit.  I’m participating in a 90 Day Crossfit/Nutritional Challenge starting 1/1/12.

One thing to know about me, as it relates to this Challenge, is that I was a fat kid.  Seriously, I was.  I was heavy from about the age of 7 through about 13.  Actually, I remember very well the point in my life that I committed to lose weight.  It was the summer between 7th and 8th grade.  You see, I went to a small Catholic school for grades k-8.  The summer before 8th grade, I started to think about the fact that in a year, I was going to be leaving my small school where I was well-liked and comfortable, and I would be going to public school.  I knew I would be tortured because of my weight.  I remember one night, going downstairs to where my mother was.  I was crying and told her about my fears.  I showed her an ad from the back of one of my teen magazines advertising a diet (I didn’t know it at the time, but it was a low carb diet).  I asked her if we could send away for it.  We did and for the next year, I dieted strictly, with the help of my mother.  By the time I entered 9th grade – and public school – I was  a normal weight.

So, I guess I could be considered a childhood obesity success story.  After I lost that weight, I never got that heavy again.  There have been points in my life when I put on weight (like in college), but I never got as heavy as I was.   And, when I did put on weight, eventually I would just diet strictly for a while and take it off.  I accepted in my early to mid 20’s that I needed to work out in order to maintain my weight, so I did that.  I haven’t been without a gym membership since.  So, I successfully maintained my weight for many years, and in some sense, I still do.  But, what I’ve noticed over the past 5 or 6 years is that it’s not as easy to take off a few pounds as it used to be (no surprise) and that I don’t have as much success in being strict with my diet as I used to, especially with sugar and other carbs.  I remember dieting in college and I would have a 1/2 cup of frozen yogurt with cool whip every night as a snack.  These days, containers of ice cream don’t last long in my freezer.  And, I have been keeping food in my house that I NEVER would have had when I was in my 20’s and early 30’s.  The result of all this is that I’ve been fighting with about 10-15 pounds for the last 3 years or so.   I’m not really heavy, but I’m comfortable at the weight I’m at.

Now, I know intellectually that “diets” don’t work and what is needed is a lifestyle change.  I get it.  In fact, I’ve had this experience before, with smoking.  I smoked from age 14 – 27.  I loved to smoke.  I.  Loved.  To.  Smoke.  I tried to quit a few times and I would always start up again after a few days – if I even made it that long.  When I quit for good, I remember it was different than the other times.  I actually remember the moment I came to terms with the fact that I had to give it up.  It was kind of like a spiritual experience.  I made peace with it.  I cried and I grieved, but I made peace with it.  Then, and only then, was when I was able to quit for good.  I’ve been hoping to have the same experience with food.  I’ve been hoping to get to acceptance of the fact that I can’t eat sugar and other carbs in moderation.  I haven’t had this experience…yet.  Now, I know food is a little different.  Since the day I stopped smoking, I never took another drag of a cigarette because I knew if I did, I’d become a smoker again – quick.  The problem with these food struggles is that…well…you still gotta eat.

So, that’s a little of my history and where I’m at now.  I’m hoping that this Challenge is going to be the beginning of my lifestyle change.  I’m hoping to have some light bulb moments and breakthroughs along the way.  I’m hoping this will help me stop struggling.  It’s bound to be an interesting journey.  Join me, won’t you?

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