Deirdre, D for short, is a perfect role model for anyone trying to balance responsibilities in their life. She has a full-time career that requires continual travel, a young son and family at home, and still makes time to get to Pennant and focus on her nutrition. D has been crushing the nutrition game recently and has made some amazing progress. Awesome work, D! We asked D some questions, and we hope her answers can provide some inspiration to those of you in a similar position.
When did you start CrossFit and why?
I began Crossfit in August of 2012 as a way to cross-train for running. I would try to go to the gym and do “weights” but despite having trained in college when I played sports, I didn’t really know what to do or if it would work. As a result I gave up quickly each time I made renewed efforts.
I grew up running track, figure skating, swimming, and just being very active. In high school, I had trained with Mike Boyle at MBSC and when I was looking for a rough equivalent, I stumbled upon CrossFit. I walked into CrossFit Fenway for my very first WOD and scoffed at the 14 minute AMRAP. I remember thinking, “are Saturdays like their short day or something?” An hour later, I lay covered in dust and sweat on the floor wondering what hit me. When Tyler, my husband, and I moved in together in Waltham, we both joined Crossfit Newton and have been hooked ever since.
What do you like most about CrossFit?
There are a number of things I like about CrossFit but it all boils down to the fact that I am coming up on 5 years and still look forward to every workout! CrossFit is my therapy for the stresses of life and has been there when running couldn’t be. In 2013, I was 20 feet from the second bomb that went off as I was nearing the marathon finish line. The things I witnessed that day were so horrific that it launched me into a deep, dark depression and overwhelming sadness. I couldn’t function and couldn’t be around loud noises for almost a year afterwards. I look back and thank my lucky stars that I had the community in CrossFit, as my friends dragged me back into the gym, were careful not to drop weights while I was around, and slowly got me back into loving life when I didn’t see the point. With the help of the CrossFit community, I even ran the 2014 Boston Marathon.
How have you progressed towards your goals and where you are now (how many times a week you workout, how you may have changed your diet, etc)?
I feel like since joining Pennant, I have been making progress towards my goals. My main goal is to lose the weight I gained (80 pounds!) during pregnancy despite WODing up to 39 weeks. But secondarily, I want to get back to that marathon finish line. My goal is to run marathon #14 (the Marine Corps Marathon) this October in Washington D.C.
So what has changed since I joined Pennant about 8 months ago? NUTRITION! I love to eat. Sadly, there is not a single food I will not eat. Prior to having Carson, I was stuck in an endless cycle of over-training to overeat. While I wasn’t overweight, I was always tired and burnt out because I never took days off. I would occasionally try to count calories and knew that eating chicken and broccoli was probably better than ice cream, but was always too exhausted and burnt out to be able to maintain anything for more than a few days.
Dan is always talking about nutrition and always posting about how it fits in to accomplishing goals. I started hearing about macros from him and some of the other coaches and decided to give it a try. The first, most shocking thing, was I realized how averse I am to protein, and how much I love carbs. The problem is, carbs don’t fill you up! Now that I am eating a high protein diet, I have conquered my binge eating and am slowly but steadily getting that weight down! So far, I have lost 72 of the 80 pounds I gained. I have no doubt that I will lose the rest and then some AND have better body composition than before!
What do you know now about CrossFit and fitness that you wish you had known earlier?
Since I covered nutrition already, I will move on to the next thing I wish I knew before: nobody gives a shit if you RX or not. No really… nobody does! While stuck in my endless cycle of over-training and overeating, I would also force myself to do almost every workout at RX. It was neither enjoyable nor accomplishing anything. Looking back, I was really only doing it because my ego was so big I thought people expected me to do RX. Pennant offering the “Performance” and “Lifestyle” workout versions was the best thing that could have happened for me. It takes my mind off of the pressure to do RX and focuses me on getting a good workout that will help me achieve my goals without destroying me.
I have also learned the importance of rest days. Being a wife to a police officer with a crazy schedule (fugitive unit), a mom to a 19-month-old, and having a full-time job that requires travel, I have been forced to take days off and “only” workout 3-5 days a week. Between rest and nutrition, I am finally seeing results! Who knew?
What are some goals you hope to achieve in the future?
Aside from previously mentioned goals, I want to be able to do all of the gymnastics movements. I want to be able to do strict pull-ups, Toes-to-bar, and handstand push-ups. I want to get my mile time back under 7 minutes and all that good stuff. But, what I really want, is to be able to maintain fitness and the ability to accomplish these goals by eating well and working out in a smart fashion for many years to come!