In the fall of 2010 I was the heaviest and unhealthiest I had ever been in my life – 265. I had always struggled with fitness and health but this was rock bottom for me. My right knee was always hurting and was the worst it had ever been. I was suffering from severe osteoarthritis from an old basketball injury (torn meniscus) and was getting to the point where it was difficult to put a sock on that foot.
I don’t know what was restricting me more, the lack of bend in my knee or the big belly blocking me from bending at the waist. I then ran into my old friend (CFD and CFB owner) Jason Caldas who told me something that stuck with me – he said that if I don’t start moving that knee, it’s just going to get tighter and tighter and tighter. I asked him “how will I be able to squat?” And he said, “With pops and clicks and grinding in the knee. You have to move it to improve it.”
It hit me then that I was headed towards not being able to walk up and down stairs or tie my own shoes, and I was only in my mid 30s! He told me to come to his gym called Crossfit Bridgewater and that he would show me how to start reversing the effects of my condition. A few months later I decided to take him up on it.
The first few months were painful and discouraging at times. I realized just how far gone my health and fitness had gone. The pain I felt in the gym was tough but it didn’t outweigh the pain I was feeling in my knee every day. I stuck with it and also took on a Paleo lifestyle.
I decided to enter into the CFB Paleo challenge in June of 2011. I was 238 when I started. 4 weeks later I was down 20 lbs and ended up winning. That summer, I got my first unassisted pullup, first full rope climb, and first unassisted handstand push-up. After that I was hooked and decided that I would never look back.
Today, I’m down 50 lbs and am a coach and love to help others who are in similar situations to what I was in. After a few years of training myself to eat paleo, it’s become second nature and I am able to eat healthy without feeling deprived.
My best advice to new members is to stick with it. Don’t get discouraged by a setback in your diet or training. Tomorrow is a new day. We are all trying to work on our weaknesses and get better every day. Stay the course and the rewards will be bountiful!
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