I’ve always been the fat kid and have struggled with my weight my entire life. It wasnt until i started to get really serious with Crossfit and a lower-carbohydrate existence that I started to actually transform not just my body, but my mindset as well. I remember in 2007, I stepped on the scale at nearly 260lbs.
I remember talking with my wife about joining some cardio-kickboxing class that was going to cost FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS for 10 weeks (that seemed like a lot to pre-Crossfit me 🙂). I did some work on my own prior to starting to actually start to get the weight down, and entered the “program” at 234 pounds, with a nearly 40-inch waist. Cardio-kickboxing was my life for a couple of years, and I even ended up instructing. At a certain point, I got tired of using resistance bands for strength-training, and found a more functional place that used kettlebells, pullup bars, and other pieces of equipment that seemed more “real” to me.
My goal was to run and complete a Tough Mudder (a 13-mile obstacle course race). While at this new place, one of the coaches said “Tough Mudder, huh? Have you ever heard of a GORUCK Challenge?” No, I hadn’t. He told me about it…it’s a 12-14 hour endurance challenge led by current and former Special Forces to give you a taste of their training. You get the hell beat out of you for at least 14 hours, and oh yeah, you have a backpack full of 40lbs of bricks the entire time. Who the hell would do that? Me…6 months later, that’s who. And I’m still actively doing these events…even completing a few of them back to back (in consecutive nights with about 3 hours of sleep). It’s amazing how much your outlook on life and “hardship” changes when you put yourself through something as difficult and soul-crushing as a GORUCK Challenge…it’s honestly been one of the biggest change agents in my life.
Well, it was around this time that another friend told me about “Crossfit,” which I could only assume was one of those cheesy “Lift weights for Jesus” type gyms. I did some YouTube searching and saw people dragging sleds, flipping tires, and using real barbells. I saw thrusters, squats, and…”wait…what the hell kind of pullups are those!?” Within weeks I was hooked. I couldn’t do a single pullup. Power cleaning 135 off the ground was a milestone for me. Double-unders were basically an exercise in self-flagellation. But, it brought out this competitive spirit in me that I had NEVER felt before. I felt…awoken…alive…better.
It’s been 5 years doing Crossfit now, and it’s transformed my life and helped me to be a great role model for my children so that they never have to go through the bullshit of being the fat kid…because it sucks a lot.
Doing the Lurong challenge at MBS Crossfit was an amazing experience that helped to catalyze some physical changes that had been just out of reach for the better part of a year. My body hovered around 195-200 pretty much all the time, but one number I’ve wanted to see for YEARS was “185.” This 6 weeks gave me a short timeframe in which I knew, if I dialed everything in correctly, I could have the thing I’d wanted for so long.
The Ketogenic diet has been what I’ve found to allow me to perform and feel the best, so I stuck with it. This time around, for this challenge, I counted each and every macro, calorie and molecule going into my body. No more “lazy keto” for me…this was “lazer keto”. I followed the protocols from the “KetoGains” community (Google: ketogains), set up my trusty Excel spreadsheet for my weekly meals, and got to cooking.
I’ll never forget the day I hit 185…5 weeks in. Let’s just say this was a very good day. I woke up, hopped on the scale and almost wept at the number staring back at me. I did it. My son heard me yell something in the bathroom and came and looked…”MOM!! DAD DID IT!!” Having him see that I had a goal and I worked hard to achieve it is a lesson I continually try to reinforce upon him. “You’ve gotta work for it, son” is something I probably say too much to an 8-year old. In addition to hitting my goal weight, we found out our house back in Iowa sold for well above asking price, and my wife got news of a bonus at work. This was a “holy shit, we’re celebrating with wine” type-of-night.
So…was the Lurong Challenge completely life-changing? No. Was it a great time period to allow me to focus on a goal and attack it with everyhting I had? Hell yes. Here I sit…at 184lbs…where I’m going to stay for awhile. I did it, and the support of my team and the love of some friendly competition made it fun the entire time.
If you’re curious to see some photos of a shirtless fat dude transforming into a shirtless less-fat dude posing in the mirror…knock yourself out:https://photos.app.goo.gl/rTXXAcIUUEhYc4JN
Way to go Kasey. We are so proud of you!