So while my hubby Match was looking back through some old photos on his computer this week he discovered some “before” photos that we took back on 19 January 2009. At the time, we were living in Aspen, Colorado. It was the middle of winter, we were living above the snow line and although I was mad for skiing and snowboarding it was actually difficult staying fit during the winter months. Plus not to mention the cravings (of which I gave in to daily) for chewy cookies the size of your head and hot chocolates!
I realised that the extra winter layers were creeping up on me from year to year and decided that 2009 was the year to make a change. Enter CrossFit.
My friend Stacey told me about a new CrossFit gym that had opened in the valley. She’d done that type of training whilst on the USA Winter Olympic Biathlon team and said it was a fantastic way to train. So we joined Roaring Fork CrossFit and under the guidance of coaches Vini Shimp and “Paleo Nick” Massey I was hooked! Early on in my training I remember Nick videoing my technique and him saying “everything’s looking really good Kirst, now it’s just time to lose the gut”. I was a bit hurt, but when I watched the play back I realised it was true – I resembled an apple on legs. It’s funny how your body self-image can be so misaligned, especially when spending 6 months of every year covered in big jumpers and ski gear!
Not long after starting CrossFit, Match and I completed our CrossFit Level 1 Certificate under the all-star CrossFit HQ Coaching Team of Pat Sherwood, Chris Spealer, Matt & Cherie Chan and Miranda Oldroyd. One of the key topics was nutrition and this thing called “The Zone Diet”. I paid attention to the chicken and salad the team ate for lunch and quizzed them about how they all looked so “ripped”. Immediately after the course, we starting “Zoning” all our meals and meticulously weighed and measured every meal for a month. I started the month at 140lb (63.5kg) and 4 weeks later weighed in at 130lbs (58.9kg).
To give you some background, I should have known better… I’ve got a BSc in Sport Science, have been a Corporate Health Coach, Personal Trainer and now CrossFit Coach, and have always done sport and some form of daily exercise but I never had quite got to grips with how important NUTRITION was in the equation.
The penny finally dropped: The 80/20 RULE actually means body composition transformation is 80% nutrition, 20% exercise.
With that initial weight loss I discovered that my workout capacity and the ability to move quickly was so much easier, I slept better and had far more energy in the day (goodbye afternoon sleepy time), my skin shone and eyes sparkled again, my libido bounced back (happy husband), but the biggest plus was that I felt GREAT in my own skin and just felt like ME again : ).
Match and I got the “CrossFit bug” pretty badly (a good thing) after that transformative year of 2009. So much so that we decided to moved back to Perth in 2010 to set up our own CrossFit gym – Cooee CrossFit. I’ve consistently trained at least 5 days a week since starting CrossFit and now crave exercise instead of cookies & hot chocolates. I’ve also spent a great deal of time researching and experimenting with my nutrition and have found that a combination of The Zone and Paleo/Primal works best for me AND our athletes.
Over the years we’ve refined and tweaked our nutrition education for our athletes and have created the Highway to Health. This is how I eat/train/recover all year round now. I’m human though and just like everyone, fall off the wagon every now and then but find I can reset and get back on track easily with the 21-Day Highway to Health. See pic to the left taken at the end of Winter 2014 BEFORE the spring-edition of Highway to Health and AFTER photo taken in November 2014.
Now at 43 years of age, I feel younger, healthier and more vibrant than I did at 33!
I’d love to hear your story and help you achieve your health and fitness goals. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or better still, jump on our next edition of the Highway to Health – click here for more details and to register!
Co-Founder, Cooee CrossFit & Highway to Health
Want to start your own Highway to Health journey?