By Jessica C.

CrossFit – literally – changed my life and this change was so powerful, it became the catalyst behind starting CrossFit Incendia. I was never an athlete:  I smoked and I took weight-loss drugs to remain “skinny fat.” I had this lifestyle up until I became pregnant with my second child, Cameron. Starting CrossFit turned my world upside down in a positive way. I am totally different now and my family is totally different now….because of CrossFit. I wouldn’t even recognize the person I was two years ago and the people that knew me BC (before CrossFit) wouldn’t even recognize me now. When we started Incendia, I knew there were other women just like me who would have their world completely rocked by CrossFit. When Jess shared her “Before and After” photos with me, I knew she had to share her story to inspire other moms out there that have gone through the same experience we have gone through. We’re not alone! Thank you, Jess, for your honesty and bravery in sharing your story. I am SO proud of you:) Lisa

I want to first start off my saying I’m incredibly nervous to write this blog. Lisa asked me if I would be willing to share my story/progress with you all and when she asked, my stomach immediately went into my throat. My anxiety shot up, I took a deep breath and I said “OK!!” Even more nervous because I’m revealing my pictures which I ONLY showed to a couple friends and my husband of course. I’m so beyond insecure. I unfortunately care about what people think of me and that’s something I’m working on to letting go. So…Why not start now!? Here it goes!!

My story is probably not much different than the others. From the age of 13 till now, I’ve always been a “big girl.” Eating habits were awful. Wasn’t a big drinker. But I do love my Skinny Girl cucumber vodka (thanks Mandy!) I was a full on smoker from the age of 14 till I was 27. I quit when I found out I was pregnant with my first son. I was a crazy yo-yo dieter. I tried almost everything to lose weight. 5 years ago, I came across this prescription drug called Phentermine and my weight loss dreams came true!!! I dropped 50 lbs in 5 months. Insane, right?? I was hooked and addicted! That drug is meant for a short term use (6 months at most) and I took it for 3 straight years to “maintain my weight.” I’m 5’7, and I had gotten down to 124lbs. Size 5-6 and that was smallest I had ever been. I looked absolutely horrible. I looked like a crack head. I probably was only eating about 300-500 calories a day. That’s stuff is no joke.

Over time, I became a person I didn’t like when I was taking Phentermine. But I didn’t care because I was FINALLY “skinny!” (Keep in mind ZERO muscle tone, just skin.) It was starting to hurt my relationships around me because my attitude was horrible. It starting making me crazy. I was hearing voices!! Insane, right!? You would think I would quit taking it but I couldn’t. I was hooked. I had been taking Phentermine up until I found out I was pregnant with my first son Nate. Naturally when you take diet pills to lose weight and once you stop taking them, you gain all the weight you lost and more!!! I gained 70 lbs with my first pregnancy!! I freaked out when I saw the scale hit 215 lbs in my last month. Once I was done breast feeding, first thing I did was call up my dr, get a Rx for my lovely Phentermine because I had a new excuse why I needed it! I was getting married so I HAD to lose the baby weight. I dropped about 50 lbs again. Fast forward to 6 months ago, another beautiful baby boy, Nolan was added to our family and 60 extra pounds too. My first thought was to call my Dr. again and get another Rx and I did. I took it for a month and realized I can’t do this anymore. I can’t be a good mom and wife when I’m on this stuff. I want to lose weight the right way.

My first CrossFit experience was actually watching the Phoenix Firefighter Brad Harper Hero WOD fundraiser. Nolan was just 4 weeks old. I looked at my husband with my eyes wide open like WTF!?! He says to me, “you’re doing this in just a couple weeks!! Are you ready?” I kept saying to him, “This is insane. There’s no way in hell I am going to be able to do this!!” I couldn’t even last 45 mins on the elliptical machine!!! How am I going to survive crossfit?!” He kept saying, “You can do it. You would be surprised what your body can do.” I was SO SCARED!!! The day had come for my first class. My friends, Andrea and Mandy both texted me the night before telling me I was going to do great! “It will hurt, but you learn love the pain!” “It never gets easier, you just get better.” Oh boy, what am I getting myself into???

Mandy texted me Wednesday morning, June 5th 2013 and said “Get your butt up and get to the 9:00 class! I promise it will be worth it!!” I got another text right after that from Andrea checking in, telling me “You will do great! Don’t be scared! You will hate it, but then you will love it!! I’m so proud of you!!” First class….I thought I was going to die. Hyperventilating. The feeling of puking was about to start. I think I blacked out some of but all I remember was burpees and box jumps. Yeah right!! Box jumps?? You have got to be kidding me!? Lisa walked up to me after class and told me she was so proud of me for trying. Her exact words were “This shit is no joke but I promise you, you will be great! Great job today!” It was love at first sight! 😉

Fast forward to today and 5 months later, I’m down a healthy 20 lbs and seeing muscles I never knew I had!!! Kevin and I pretty much stick to the Paleo lifestyle. I do indulge every now and then. Sometimes more than I should, But I pay for it when I walk into the gym. I’m so excited that I’m on the right path of learning that being “skinny” isn’t always healthy but being strong is sexy. Muscles are gorgeous. We only have one body, treat it kindly. I have a new respect for food and fitness.

This is just the beginning for me. I’m not a rock star. I’m usually the last one to finish the WOD. My times suck but I love crossfit so much, it’s giving me so much motivation I never had. I still have a long way to go to reach my goals but I’m on my way there! It’s also opened other opportunities for me and my family too! (Stay tuned) 🙂

I have to thank my husband for being my biggest motivator and cheerleader. I know he is so proud of me and that makes me feel good. I love what CrossFit has done for our relationship. I know that sounds cheesy but it’s brought us so much closer. A lot of our conversations now consist of how much weight can he lift (he is crazy strong!!) and how sore we’re feeling or watching YouTube of CrossFit athletes and DVRing the CrossFit games and watching them together. 🙂

Thank you so much Brian and Lisa. You have changed mine and other peoples lives by opening this gym. I would never have ever thought about CrossFit if it wasn’t for you guys!!! Thank you so, so much! Forever grateful for you both! Thank you Andrea and Mandy for really pushing me into this crazy CrossFit world! I love you guys for all your cheers and high fives! I feel like I’m giving an acceptance speech 🙂

I know everyone talks about the CrossFit community being a second family and it couldn’t be more true. I love every single person I’ve met at this gym. I know I’ve made some life-long friends here and couldn’t be more proud to be apart of CrossFit Incendia!!!

Showing 5 comments
  • Julie

    Jessica I remember that first day. I had started one month prior. You are amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  • stephen

    my precious baby girl what a blog that is so courageous what you realized and made the decision to drop the pounds naturally and with some grit and determination it’s paying off you look wonderful.I’m so proud of your decision and discipline!!!!!! I love you so much and God bless Kevin for backing you up!!! love Dad

  • Carrie

    Jess- you have always been gorgeous but it so amazing (and SUPER inspiring) to see you so happy!! I love you so much and to see you become healthier, stronger and happier is truly wonderful!! Even all the way from Ohio. Love you, cousin!!! Keep up the fantastic work!!!

  • margie

    She looks incredible!!! and apparently feels incredible too — Congrats

  • kristina

    Wow this is great and inspiring. You look amazing. I am so glad that you shared this. I needed it. People that have great success stories like you help me to stay encouraged. I just started crossfit not too long ago and am hoping to see great results like you did. Keep up the good work and I am so thankful that you shared this.