Mat M. - Desire To Push And Be Better

Mat M: Current.

Mat M: Before. 

I started coming to CFCL one year ago. I'd been working a desk job for about 2 years at that point and I wasn't exercising at all, so over time I really just blew up. The final straw for me was seeing some pictures of myself from my friend’s wedding that July. I was in awful shape and really just wasn't happy at all with how I looked. For the first few months I'd make it in to class probably 2-3 times per week, but even with that I was noticing huge differences. I was losing weight, feeling a bit more comfortable in my own skin. It was more than just the weight loss though, I also just felt better in general. I wasn't as tired throughout the day, I was in a better mood most of the time, and I had more energy. As all of these things were improving, as I was noticing all these little differences, I just wanted more of it. So, around late December/early January I buckled down and started getting to class more like 5-6 times per week depending on how my body feels. I stopped with the little excuses that I had been giving myself the prior few months, I found myself like almost guilt tripping myself - I'd make an excuse and skip a class in the morning, but then by mid-day I'd have sufficiently scolded myself and decided to go after work. I stopped cherry picking WODs, which is something that was far easier to do when I was only going 2-3 days per week (oh look, burpees today, guess it's a rest day). Besides, the more I noticed the improvements, the more I've found myself wanting to improve. It really feeds off of itself, and as I've progressed it's become easier and easier to kind of dedicate myself to it a little more all the time.

So, right around the time I started Crossfit back up I also did a month of Whole30 at a friend’s urging. I honestly thought it was going to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Giving up bread, pasta, and cheese (it’s the Italian in me I guess) and switching to drinking my coffee black were by far the toughest parts of it. After a couple of weeks I kind of acclimated to it, and while I allow myself cheat days here and there, I’ve largely stuck to a Whole30 diet since then. The only thing I’ve really added back in on a regular basis is rice. After the holidays I got into counting macros, which was amazing because I discovered that I hadn’t been eating nearly enough! The first few weeks were tough hitting my numbers, but once I got used to it, it wasn’t hard. One thing I did notice though was that to make hitting my targets easier I was eating a lot of really plain meals. I didn’t mind it at first, but more recently I’ve needed to mix things up and incorporate some different foods, start using more marinades and sauces, that type of thing. It makes balancing meals out a bit tougher, but I’d say it’s definitely worth it to keep me on track and not getting sick of eating the same old things.

Somewhere along the way I’ve found that my priorities and my goals have kind of swapped roles. Initially, I got back into Crossfit and I started counting macros and being careful about my nutrition in order to lose weight. Now, I’m careful about nutrition primarily in order to enhance my performance. What’s driving me now is the desire to push myself in workouts, to increase the weights I’m able to move, to improve my technique, increase my mobility, and learn new movements. With these things as my focus, I know that I’m going to continue to lean out and steadily feel better about how I look, but now that’s more of a convenient byproduct rather than my main focus. My immediate goals are really just to improve my performance, and really what I’m striving for right now is to be able to do as many WODs Rx as possible. I want to gradually get closer and closer to that point whether it’s getting stronger, fine tuning my technique, or getting a new movement down that I’d never been able to do before