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Zach Mitchell 07-28-2008 08:04 PM

From no confidence to CrossFitence
Hello fellow CrossFitters. I have been struggling with my CF and Paleo compliance for the majority of the past 3 months. I fear I am on the slippery portion of the slope. I began to change my diet in December '07 and I started CrossFitting in February '08. I don't always eat perfect and I don't always have a steady CF schedule. Combined, those two are the recipe for disaster. When I started Paleo I was 3 biscuits and some gravy (302.4lbs), by the time I began CrossFit WODs (scaled) I was in the ballpark of 280 (give or take 5). As of today I am just under 2 and a half biscuits (245.6lbs).

I have had little to no confidence with myself for most of my life. Always struggling with my weight and not feeling good about myself. The motivation to change came in the form of me being lonely. I blamed my loneliness on the fact that I felt unattractive to the opposite sex. Losing weight the CrossFit way and getting sexy was the only option (Greg crush).

I can't seem to get away from the social portion of eating and drinking. Every weekend there is some event where I have to choose. I said previously, I have been making poor choices. I aim to change my decision-making process soon! I think I have to become a hermit. I am toying with the idea of getting rid of my cell phone. Ofcourse now, amidst my trying-to-get-back-on-the-CrossFit-bandwagon, I meet a girl who does not share the same fitness ideals as I do. AllisonNYC says she'll never date anyone outside of the CrossFit community. I think that is a damn good idea. Feelings have already started brewing between myself and my new friend. I fear that I won't beable to convert her. I don't know what to do about that. Any single CFing girls out there in the Lake County, IL area...? (I'm not that smarmy in real life...)

Recently, a close friend of mine posted her progress on the board. She has been getting such a tremendous response and it has really ignited a fire within her CrossFitting soul. In the past month she has been on a mission and shows no sign of slowing down. She gets email from men and women all over the country who have used her progress as inspiration and motivation to make change in their own lives.

With such a great response to her post she has been urging me to post my progress. So here it is, however, I just want to say that I am extremely proud of my progress. If it wasn't for the community and the people at CrossFit Fire I would not have had this success. I know that I still have very far to go but hopefully getting this out there and reading the comments it renders will light my fire. it goes...I have posted a collage of my progess at this site:


Not only has my body composition changed but I have made the so much progress with my squats. When I started I could not get below parallel without holding on to something. Even then I would round out my back. Now I have the form and I am working on speed and strength. I couldn't do a pull-up now I can do 5 @ 245lbs. I couldn't do a handstand and now I can hold one for over 10 seconds. I am sure there is more but I don't like to toot my own horn...

Please comment. I need to be ***** slapped out of this funk that has been lasting weigh (see what I did there?) too long. I need that epiphany. That sudden switch that turns on. One thing is for sure though, I can't do it alone. I either need to meet a CFing girl or convert the one I am currently seeing before it gets serious and I go back to the DARK SIDE!!! (is this a copout?)

Oh yeah...and it happened to me too! CrossFit made me more tan just like my friend...I was actually on a boat this weekend...getting ready for the photo shoot...hah!

Jennie Yundt 07-28-2008 08:32 PM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence
AMAZING! Zach, you have come so far on your journey. There will be times when all of us will struggle, but you gotta get back in there and keep fighting. Remember your goals, and keep one eye on the prize at all times. The rate of your progress will be driven by your desire to reach your goals. Want it bad enough and you'll get there REAL fast!

I am so proud of how far you've come, and how much tanner you've become! You have really made amazing strides on your journey to becoming Greg Amundson 2.0.'re looking GREAT! Look how far you've come in only a few months. Imagine where you'll be in February 2009!

<<HUG>>Congratulations Zach. Thanks for sharing your story with CrossFit.

Nick Hanson 07-28-2008 09:44 PM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence
Zach, we all struggle with it daily. I have lost 30 lbs since starting crossfit in November. I guess I am lucky because I am dating a girl who doesn't do crossfit, but loves the fact that I do it. She is also crazy enough to try the zone/paleo diet.

Here are my only thoughts, if this person you are with can't love the fact that you are trying to do something that is going to help you live the life you want to live, than you have to ask yourself if she is worth the time.

You have done an amazing job to lose that much weight. I know that the temptation with food and drink is tough sometimes (well maybe a lot of the time). But just by judging your progress so far you are doing amazing. If you jump off the wagon for a meal or two. Don't sweat it. Don't feel guilty, just know that the next meal you are going to start eating right again. Congrats on everything, I have nothing but the utmost respect for the changes you have made in your life.

Alix Clark 07-28-2008 10:27 PM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence
way to go Zach! I'm with Nick - if the person you're with doesn't support something like this that is really important to you um... i think that's a bit of a problem. I'm lucky enough to go out with someone I met through CF so never a problem when either of us want to go to the gym or do a workout. We're not perfect (or even close to it) on food, but hopefully together we'll get there - it's nice to have a buddy to do that stuff with. Good luck with the rest of your journey!

Jason David 07-29-2008 05:23 AM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence
Good job! I was in the same boat as you. Recently I told myself that I am only going to go boozin' 1 day per week. No matter what...Just pick 1 day. If something comes up and it's completely necessary for you to be there that's fine. Just don't drink for a full week.

Drinking, as part of a cheat day can turn into a cheat weekend if you're not careful. This is what kept happening to me...

If i went out on Friday night, I would eat bad and NOT make my 10:30 Saturday CF class. This just ****ed me off. So I just stopped. If i have to go out on a Friday night I make sure I hit it pretty hard Mon thru Fri.

At first it feels like you're betraying your friends. Now it's gotten to a point where I'm proud to tell them that I'm not going out tonight because I have CrossFit in the morning. I feel like I'm setting an example!!

I started at about 250...I'm under 200 now. Still a long way to go but the journey is fun!

Brandon Oto 07-29-2008 05:57 AM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence
Is it bad that you look happier in the first one?

Jennie Yundt 07-29-2008 06:14 AM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence

Originally Posted by Brandon Oto (Post 361315)
Is it bad that you look happier in the first one?

I believe that facial expression is "Jolly". He went from "Jolly" to "bad a**".

Zach Mitchell 07-29-2008 06:32 AM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence
They are all looks of "not knowing any better".

Thanks for the responses.

Zach Mitchell 07-29-2008 07:33 AM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence
I am looking for continual improvement. It isn't going to be black and white for me. I wish it was. I think I am happiest when I am in the gray. Which, for me, is eating and CrossFitting enough to keep making progress. My progress isn't as fast as I originally wanted but I guess that is a testament to the fact that I ease into change better as opposed to cold turkey.

Just some more thoughts...

Jason Scheffler 07-29-2008 10:15 AM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence
Hey Zach, first off congratulations on changes the you've made. And who doesn't want to be Greg. Come on the mans a freaking monster. :notworth:

Don't worry too much about the social events, I too have those and go to them and fully enjoy myself. Now the trick is to do it in moderation both eating and drinking. But the people I hang out with know me well enough to know that when I say no thanks I don't want another pint I mean it. :)

As for your significant other, don't try to convert them, if it happens it happens if not it doesn't. Often trying to convert them will do the opposite or worse push them totally away.

Your girl may not want to exercise and diet or understand why you're doing this but I suspect she does like the result on you. I know mine isn't too crazy about the time I spend at the gym and planing meals etc. but she does like the end result so is more then willing to put up with it.

"One thing is for sure though, I can't do it alone. I either need to meet a CFing girl or convert the one I am currently seeing before it gets serious and I go back to the DARK SIDE!!! (is this a copout?)"

Sorry but yes that is a copout, if you're doing this for someone else you'll likely never have the motivation to stick with it. This journey is for ourselves (for the most part) but it's certainly not one you have to take alone. Just check out the forum for example.

Hopefully that made sense, it's tough slacking off on the forum when you're at work and they expect you to actually be working.

Polo Lopez 07-29-2008 11:57 AM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence
First off, congrats on your progress so far. I think you're beating yourself up a bit, which is understandable. You're trying to find a blend of becoming a new person outside, the new found love, and the challenges of old life habits versus goals, which in this case involve the need to sacrifice to obtain those goals.
In my years I've come to discover that when you make a goal, there will not only be the challenge of accomplishing that goal, i.e. hard work, but also the opposing challenges, such as a new found love that doesn't share the same goals. Think of an alcoholic that stops drinking. How many friends does he/she have that still drink? Does that person find new friends or do they accept the fact that their friends drink but that they must not in order accomplish the goals they set forth? Sacrifice, challenges are around every corner. No goal worth while is ever easily obtained. There must be those challenges going against us to make the sweetness of accomplishing goals that much, well...sweeter.
So to answer, this new found friend is a challenge. She may not share the CrossFit lifestyle but could it be that your success could be her light to get her into CrossFit? How many people followed your CF friend's accomplishments? They used her as inspiration. You're possibly inspiration to someone and not even know it. Converting someone maybe the last thing you need to do. "If you build it, they will come." Focus on you and your goals. The rest will come if you stick to your guns.
Food, as always, is a challenge. Social life is a challenge. What are your goals worth to you? That's what you have to come to grips with. A suggestion: commit yourself, more so than you have, for a specified period of time. Make all the sacrifices necessary to stay on the track but just the things that you are battling with now, food, drink, rest. Go out and have fun but make the sacrifice to yourself to eat healthy, drink in severe moderation, and go to bed on time. Think of all the soldiers, policemen, coasties, and firefighters, that sacrifice to keep us safe. How much do they give up so that we may live free? Stay with CrossFit and realize progress is never really immediately recognizable. Others see it in you but for you to see it, may take time.
You have a toll to pay in order to have what you want. Americans tend to want results immediately following any work they've done. How many people have you seen flexing in the mirror after one workout and say, "that workout made me more cut" ,or weigh themselves after each workout? Do they really think they're not going to gain back the water weight or that one workout took off bodyfat? It's the long hard journeys to reach new places which make us stronger. You gotta want it kid. Doubt, injury, fatigue, and life are things that are going to happen. How we react to them is what makes us who we are tomorrow.
Good luck. 3, 2, 1, Bust'm.

Jason David 07-29-2008 12:24 PM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence
Great post!

Zach Mitchell 07-29-2008 12:51 PM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence
Thanks Polo. I especially appreciate the portion in which you say "you may be an inspiration to someone without even knowing it...".

I haven't ever considered that.

Polo Lopez 07-29-2008 01:22 PM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence
Jason- Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it.

Zach- Also thanks. Realizing you may be or are an inspiration to someone isn't easy. I had one of my athletes write down his goals. One of them was to challenge me to a CrossFit workout. At first I was a little annoyed, but after some counsel from my fiance, I came to see that I should take it as a compliment. In this person's eyes I was what he wanted to be. WOW, me? I would've never considered anyone would look up to me. I grew up the skinny, un-athletic kid, with a disability. I later played sports and did well in a couple but not to the point of great athleticism. CrossFit has enabled me to have the athleticism I always wanted.
Stick with Zach. I guarantee there are hundreds with your story that have been too intimidated to start CrossFit. Not only did you have the desire, but also the courage to take on this challenge. It takes big eggs to say, "Hey, I need some help." Good job.

Tirzah Harper 07-29-2008 02:40 PM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence
this is a good time to sit down with yourself and go over ALL of your priorities. Like Polo says above, you get what you pay for - and you pay for what you get.
I'll never be a top XFitter because I'm not willing to pay for that; too many other passions. But while I'm working out, I'm 100% paying for it. That's a big key.

You don't necessarily need a partner who's into CF, but I do heartily recommend a partner who's as into health and fitness as you are. My husband doesn't CF, but he places his health and fitness as high priority in his own life and supports me as I do the same in mine. (This carries over to all areas of your person in a marriage as well, IMHO.)

Richard Macaulay 07-29-2008 02:43 PM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence
I think ur doing a freaking awesome job zach. Dont even know u yet bro and im proud of u.

And like polo said, ur are already and will continue to be an inspiration to those around u, and to everyone who hears ur continuing story of success.

Fight the fight.


Zach Mitchell 07-29-2008 06:12 PM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence
Thanks Ricky. I love your quote by the way. So freakin' true. I appreciate the support.


Richard Macaulay 07-30-2008 02:20 AM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence

Originally Posted by Zach Mitchell (Post 361984)
Thanks Ricky. I love your quote by the way. So freakin' true. I appreciate the support.


No problem my friend, keep at it. Get yourself a logg on the go (coming from a guy who deoesnt have one lol). You'll find you will get good feedback from alot of great people.

haha glad you like it. Its a good one.


Dominique Keels 07-30-2008 06:07 AM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence

Originally Posted by Zach Mitchell (Post 361710)
Thanks Polo. I especially appreciate the portion in which you say "you may be an inspiration to someone without even knowing it...".

I haven't ever considered that.

Yeah, you better use you own disires to go hard for yourself. Because I am going to uses your story as inspiration to go hard for myself today. A CF chick linked me to your thread for motivation, and it worked.

I am going to give you this jewel for your inspiration: A woman only studies a man for one of two reasons, his rise to greatness or his demise.

First, do what's right. Then do what's best for your. Keeping in mind that doing what's right is doing what's best for her.

Jennie Yundt 07-31-2008 06:41 AM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence
So? Will you keep all of us informed of your progress? I'd love to hear if you are able to convince your new girl to come try CrossFit. I'm sure she'll love it.

Stories like yours are truly an inspiration Zach. Take new pics in 3 months and post again so we can continue to share your journey!

Jeff Bowser 08-01-2008 08:35 PM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence

First off, congrats on your progress. I read your entire first post, but will admit I didn't read all the followup so if I repeat something here that others have already said I'm sorry, but here is my 2 cents!

First off, DON'T USE THE GIRL AS A COPOUT! To really "GET" crossfit, you need to be with other crossfitters, and if your significant other doesn't do crossfit, they have to be supportive of you. This is a must. I'm surrounded by CF'ers and even when I have to do some WODS at the globo, I have 2 other fire breathing dragons that I do it with, and we get to our affiliate as often as our schedule allows.

My wife watched me do CF for about 4 months before comming on board, but in that time she supported what I did and was very proud of me, as was I.

Keep up the good work, make it clear to your girlfriend that she has a choice to do one (or more, but at least one) of the following:

1.)support and encourage you but not participate
2.)join you and start CF
3.)Leave you.

For you to be sucessfull at CF, your Significant other must do one of those 3 things. In my opinion it is that simple.

The 3rd option may sound harsh, and i'm sure others will agree/disagree with it, but in my opinion you have to look after yourself first, if you're not happy with yourself, or your life, how can you make someone else happy? Heck, and if worse case she leaves you, crossfit chicks are HOT! Get immersed in your affiliate and spend as much time with others from it as you can.

Just my humble 2cents!

Zach Mitchell 08-02-2008 09:46 AM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence
Thanks for all the responses thus far. This was an eye opener. I posted this in hopes of something "just clicking". But I have realized that I am going to have to make it click for ME. No body, no posts on this forum, no miracle is going to MAKE me start CrossFitting and eating clean. I have to make the choice just like I did 6 months ago.

Reading all these posts I feel like a gym treadmill runner..."Oh...this is too hard...somebody make the decision for me..."

Not anymore. I am choosing for me. This is what I want and I am going to make it happen. Some way, some how. The next set of pics I post, you won't beable to recognize me. You will all think they were photoshopped or something. The next three months are going to be the hardest and MOST REWARDING 3 months of my life. A promise to myself and everyone here that has been supportive. Robb Wolf made a post the other day just so he would have to own up to a particular goal. He posted his deadline for a book (if I remember correctly). His theory was to make his goal public to keep his motivation strong. That is kinda what I want to do here. I am doing this for myself but now I know in the back of my head I have a whole community rooting for me.

I am not going to let anyone down...INCLUDING MYSELF. Girl or no girl this my journey!

Thanks again.

Jeff Bowser 08-02-2008 10:11 AM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence

Originally Posted by Zach Mitchell (Post 364939)
I am not going to let anyone down...INCLUDING MYSELF. Girl or no girl this my journey!
Thanks again.

Now THAT is the attitude you'll need.

Go get em, train hard and breath some fire!

Quinn McCutchen 08-02-2008 10:38 AM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence
Hey Zach,

People with stories like yours are as or more inspiring than Greg A and the other crossfit stars to me. You should be really proud of what you have accomplished and are going to accomplish. Imagine where you'll be in a year.... Congratulations and good luck!

Arturo Garcia 08-04-2008 08:59 AM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence
We'll be waiting for your next photos, so try to impress us :p

Great work, keep it up. We share a common goal with the Greg A. stuff, heh heh. Who doesn't!?

Jennie Yundt 08-07-2008 02:03 PM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence
CrossFit stories like Zach's are my favorite. He didn't find CrossFit as an elite athlete, or someone who had even been working out regularly. He found CrossFit and was incredibly out of shape, and had very limited strength and flexibility. Seeing Zach wander into the gym yesterday and casually crank out a few pull ups is just inspiring.

If anyone needed DEFINITE proof that you don't need to "get in shape" before trying CrossFit, here's your proof! (points to Zach)

Polo Lopez 08-07-2008 06:36 PM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence
3, 2, 1....Bust'm

Get Fit or Die trying.

Steven Matheson 02-13-2009 10:18 AM

Re: From no confidence to CrossFitence
I'd LOVE to see where this thread, and Zack, have gotten to as of today? Is there more inspiration to flow from this hard working young man!?

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