From Coach Matt

Ok, I’ll start.

I never, in my entire life, remember a time I’ve been comfortable with my weight. It’s something I’ve struggled with since elementary school. I was (am?) the chubby, funny kid who loved to play sports but was never especially good at any of them.

I played basketball, football, and baseball growing up, and I loved the competition. I didn’t particularly pay much attention to what kind of food went into my body; I exercised just about every day, so while I was never “skinny”, I was also never unfit.

Then college came.

I continued to eat as though I played sports everyday, and it quickly caught up with me. By the time I graduated in 2001 from Fresno State, I was up to 237 pounds. I remember distinctly the embarrassment when I’d try on clothes in a dressing room – seeing myself in a mirror and wondering how I’d let myself get this way.

I started running, and eventually got into adventure racing, and dropped weight quickly. I began doing P90x in my garage, and discovered again how much I actually liked working out.

There have only been spurts, however, short periods of time in my life where I have actually paid attention to what I eat. I’d try a diet, drop some weight, work out hard, drop some weight, only to put it (mostly) back on due to bad eating habits.

For me, working out has never been the hard part. I’ve always enjoyed sports and being active. When I discovered CrossFit (almost 6 years ago) I knew instantly I’d found something I could enjoy for the rest of my life. Problem is, I also know that I love donuts. And beer. And Cheez-its. And I will for the rest of my life.

So when a couple of our coaches mentioned we should do another Paleo/Primal Challenge for CrossFit Merced, I immediately knew 2 things. First, I NEED to do this. Second, I’m scared of failing – of doing something I know is good for me, but something that would truly reveal who I want and need to be.

Ironically, in every other part of my life I enjoy challenge. Having four kids, two jobs – those are things I dive head first into, and love it. Playing guitar and singing in front of hundreds of people? No big deal. Changing careers at the age of 36 didn’t scare me at all. Food is about the only thing that has had its hooks in me my entire life.

It feels a little weird for me, and pretty vulnerable, as the owner of a CrossFit gym to say this out loud; putting the right fuel in my body is, and has always been, a challenge for me, and I need YOUR support to do this well. This is an open invitation to you, CFM member, to ask me candid questions, to hold me accountable to what I eat.

Every day in the gym I challenge you to do better; I help refine your movement, teach you how to snatch and clean, how to keep your midline tight, and how to understand how your body works. These next 6 weeks, however, the shoe is on the other foot. You get to bust my chops. I’m giving you permission to ask what I had for lunch or if I had a beer on Friday night. I’ll need it. We need each other.

Let’s do this together, CrossFit Merced.

-Matt