Finding Balance with Life and CrossFit

Finding Balance with Life and CrossFit

This blog post was originally posted on AMRAPS and Baby Naps by Barbell Babes Ambassador Tanya Gillins, and has been modified.

I am hormonal. Well duh, right? Of course I am. I am a woman. Shut up. This is different.

So you have read my struggles, attempts at accepting myself, trying to understand what to change, and just trying to be content and happy with myself. This isn’t just appearance anymore. This isn’t the quest for abs. This is trying to understand how to get the right body composition to perform at my best and feel my best. I will take no abs as long as I can achieve this.

I keep in touch with a friend of mine back in North Carolina who is the Coach at my old job that I did admin for and he is also ETP (Eat To Perform) certified, and a fellow Zoner. I have corresponded with him on several occasions regarding diet and body fat and composition. Usually it involved adding more greens (done), more sleep, and less stress in my life.

I can say that I have gone back to adding spinach and other veggies to my meals as well as eating more fruit. I have decreased high GI (glycemic index–high sugar) foods like tortillas and oatmeal. Yes, oatmeal is good, but like rice and starchy carbs, it should be limited and eaten at certain times for better processing in your body. This is stuff I have heard and read and try to apply to see how it affects me.

I am getting pretty good sleep. Bed by 10pm if I am lucky and up at 7am or 8am. Thankfully the Nugget sleeps through the night with occasional waking at 3am or 4am crying for milk. So sleep isn’t an issue anymore. However, I am not sure of the quality vs quantity.

Stress. There’s a lot of that this past few months, but it will get better, just a bump in the road. I can only manage this factor as well as I can. There's a lot on my plate, but that is part of why I need to CrosFfit. It defuses a lot of emotions. So, there’s those three things done and I am still increasing body fat percentage and my performance is starting to really tank.

Cycling barbells and movements is really getting difficult and I am frustrated that I cannot keep up anymore. I usually train two times a day. This consists of maybe two WODs and some accessory work or really, bodybuilding work. I have not touched squats really since my knee gave me hell from the lifting program, so I don’t see a lot of that movement. I work out six days a week with one rest day which isn’t truly rest. I am busy with errands and other activities.

CrossFit recommends the 3 on, 1 off regiment so that your muscles get the proper recovery they need to grow and repair. Without repair there is no growth. I haven’t searched the facts, but I would assume that with greater age comes greater recovery and repair times.

I see others training multiple times on less than healthier diets or lifestyles and doing just fine. My thoughts are, I eat well and according to the Zone prescription I am eating the right amount so why can’t I train more than the 3 on, 1 off? I don’t consider that these people are usually close to 10 years younger than me and males. We are not made the same. Simple as that.

There is something that is working against me and that is hormones.

Cortisol to be specific.

If we are putting it simply then I am making my midsection to be composed of body fat instead of lean muscle. I am stressing my body out and to protect itself it is releasing Cortisol which stores as fat in the face, neck, and *dum dum dum* BELLY.

2016 vs 2017

Guys, I am over-training and not giving my muscles any recovery time. This is why I was a nice lean 145lbs a year ago. I wasn’t working out too much and I had plenty of balance. I am worried though, what will I do if I am not training? I am worried that I will feel groggy, bored and anxious if I don’t stay physically active. Will people still look up to me if I am not working out multiple times a day? Will I still impress people if I even do now? Will the hubby still think I am hot, awesome and wife-worthy if I do not train as often as I am?

Do you see what pressure I am putting on myself? I am literally being 100% transparent and telling you guys the things that are going through my head. No one is putting the pressure on me to workout so much. Only me. In return, what do I have to show for my work? Big traps, shapely quads, a lot of jiggles in the middle, and horrible WOD times.

Please, I am only documenting my experience. I am not judging any of you for how you look or how you should look or how you should feel. This is MY personal journey and thoughts only related to ME.

This is my second week of 3 on, 1 off training and guess what? I feel great. I’m happier. I’m more relaxed. I’m not feeling undertrained. I don’t feel beat up. Even better though, I don’t feel guilty.

So I really look forward to what the end of this month will bring. The changes to come. I am welcoming and embracing the relief of knowing I am not doing this for anyone else. I don’t have to prove to anyone or live up to anyone’s standards but my own.

I am doing amazing because I’m motivated, dedicated, and living healthy and in moderation. Moderation doesn’t only apply to diet. So if anyone is feeling like they are at their wits end and can’t get on the right track, evaluate everything.

Free yourself of the pressure you’re probably putting on yourself to be perfect in whatever capacity. I’m not training for the Games. I started this to be fit, buff, healthy, and sexy. Duh. I didn’t start this journey to overwork myself and hurt my progress.

There’s so much to learn and I love that this is always a growing experience.

*Tanya is NOT a nutritionist and does not suggest that anyone do anything simply because she said it. She is also not looking for anyone to criticize her for the information she is following.* 

Tanya is a 35-year-old mother of two daughters, ages 1.5-years-old and 15-years-old. She currently lives in Guam, aka paradise! Her passions are CrossFit, baking, and inspiring/motivating women, but especially moms! She enjoys learning to understand and love her body. She is currently planning to obtain credentials to educate pregnant and postpartum women on safe and effective training. Tanya is confident as a role model for her girls.

Follow Tanya on Instagram @gingerr_snatchh & use her code GINGERSNATCH for 15% off at

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