CrossFit helped Amber develop a healthy relationship with food and exercise

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 What brought you to Townie?

I was a member of another Crossfit gym that closed. I was working out at home for about a year or so and decided to try out Townie when my boyfriend began coaching. I really missed the comradery and what it felt like to be part of a group of people lifting each other up through exercise. That’s exactly what I found at Townie and I couldn’t be happier!

 What was your first impression? How has that changed?

I was definitely nervous starting out, but the other people in the class made me feel welcome every day and did a really awesome job with helping me celebrate my accomplishments. My first impression hasn’t changed, and I try to treat other new members the same way I was treated. I know that it’s extremely nerve-racking when you’re new, so I try to welcome everyone the same way that I was. 

 What was your first bright spot or accomplishment?

The one thing that comes to mind here is gymnastics. Since starting at Townie, I’ve come such a long way with things like pullups, toes to bar, and handstand pushups. Those are things that I never thought I would be able to do so easily, so being able to do them in a workout was a big win for me.

 What are you working on now?

The thing I am working on now is having a better relationship with both exercise and food. In the fall of 2012, when I was a freshman in college, I developed a very unhealthy relationship with food. I thought that in order to be pretty I had to be skinny. I thought that food was bad and I was literally afraid of calories. I would constantly exercise, but would never eat much. I weighed myself multiple times a day and constantly looked at myself in the mirror. My body dysmorphia turned into anorexia, and led to me being hospitalized at a treatment facility. I remember there were days that I would only have a granola bar for breakfast and be so afraid to eat anything else. After treatment, I started attending Crossfit classes in Cairo. My idea of what it meant to be healthy slowly began to change and I learned to view food as fuel, and not as poison. My diet has gotten much better and I have learned to see myself in a much different way. Strong is the new beautiful. I have won my battle with anorexia, and I want anyone else that struggles with the way they see themselves to know that you too are beautiful. It’s ok to be strong. It’s ok to be fit. Most of all, it’s ok to be healthy and to love yourself.

 What’s your favorite thing about working out at Townie?

The challenges are my favorite thing about Townie. It’s so exciting to be able to try things that I never would have thought I was capable of. I just got my first bar muscle-up, and that is definitely something I never would have tried at any other gym. The coaches at Townie are always encouraging and help me to feel like I can do anything that I put my mind to.

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