Starting a new path in life is really, really hard.
This is the story of someone looking to start getting healthier and live longer, as they told it to me. “Jim” is a pseudonym, and he doesn’t like the internet, or writing, or even talking about himself. But this is his story, through his eyes. If you missed Part One, read it here.
This is my three-month checkin. It might be the last time I write about working out at Catalyst, because I’m starting to sound like a fan boy.
When I did my first workout–the intro–we did a scan on a body fat machine. It’s this $10,000 thing that looks like a scale attached to a rocket ship. And today I had to get on it again at my check-up. I was more scared of that machine than of starting the gym in the first place.
Here’s the thing: we’ve been working really hard. I’ve never been this consistent with exercise. Yeah, it’s fun and all, and we made new friends and feel great–but if it didn’t show up on the scale, I kinda felt like it would all have been for nothing. Catalyst isn’t cheap. My friends keep asking about it and they always seem to get stuck on the price, but they keep paying for gym memberships or doing these diets for like a week at a time and never getting anywhere. That’s their problem. I’m not going to fight with them. But I do know I want to see some results here.
Yes, my pants are looser. I had every reason to feel confident before getting on the scale. But it was like judgment day anyway. I told coach I was pretty nervous before I took the test, but I went in anyway: I wore the same clothes and had the same breakfast as the first time.
The scale measures body water and a bunch of other stuff, like how much muscle I have. And I know I’m not supposed to care about my weight, but really–if I’m not losing weight, what’s the point, right? Anyway, here were the results after 3 months:
Bodyfat – down 7.2% – that really surprised me
Weight – I gained six pounds of muscle. That REALLY surprised me because my doctor said my testosterone levels were low
Fat – I lost twelve pounds. So net weight is down six pounds, but fat is down double that.
That means my calorie-burning rate is also up, meaning I can eat more and just burn it off even when I’m not exercising. So the coach tweaked my nutrition a bit.
I won’t share my wife’s results (maybe she will) but I was even more impressed with her. Especially with the stress she’s under (one more month)! But here’s the best part, and I’m pretty embarrassed to share it: after the scan, the coach goes, “Hey, I’m proud of you, Jim. Not everyone gets these results.”
Then she tells me that the Incubator program is actually pretty new, and that before 2018 people at Catalyst didn’t do all the nutrition stuff, or have the videos or the little badges or homework. They just did some personal training sessions and then chose to continue with 1:1 or group classes. Honestly, I’m not sure if I would have stuck it out without all the daily lessons. CrossFit really forces you to change your diet (and even take some naps.) If you eat badly, CrossFit sucks.
But here’s the big part: my WIFE says, “I’m proud of you” when I show her my results sheet. First I think, “I can’t remember the last time she said that–maybe when I graduated college.”
THEN I think, “When was the last time I told HER I was proud of her?” and I totally got choked up. Like someone was cutting onions in there. We love each other, and I’m proud of her: she makes more than I do, lots of people look up to her at work, and our kids call her almost every day. But I just never said it. Jeez, I’m getting misty again here.
Then I think: screw the scale. Even if I didn’t lose 12 pounds of fat, hearing “I’m proud of you” from my wife was worth it. I’m just under 500 bucks into my fitness here (I broke down the math a couple of weeks ago, and I think we might actually be saving money) but if you’d told me three months ago: “You’re going to lose 12 pounds of fat, gain 6 pounds of muscle, feel a hundred times better and your wife will say she’s proud of you” I’d have signed up for sure. I probably wouldn’t have believed it, but would have thrown money at you anyway.
Her friends really got us into this. So when my coach asked who we’d like to thank for our progress, we pointed at them. I don’t know if they get a reward or something (maybe) but then Coach asked if I wanted to bring my coworkers in for a private workout. I almost laughed out loud — yeah, right –but my wife took her up on it. She’s going to set up a date for her staff and coworkers to come into the gym on a Friday night, do a little workout, and possibly drink some wine afterward. I’ll let her tell you about that.
My last news: she signed us up to do some kind of run in the spring. It’s 5k on St Joe Island, in the bush (where nobody can see me.) I’m possibly more terrified of this than the scale, but so far fear’s really been my friend, so we’re going to give it a shot.