April Athlete of the Month, Brooke!


Published April 1, 2019


ATHLETE OF THE MONTH

Brooke Hallstead

 

  1. What was life like before you became a member?

Before becoming a member, life was pretty chaotic. As long as I can remember I’ve had a disordered relationship with food. Since I was 6 years old, I can vividly remember feeling like my body, its shape, and its weight were the only things that made me worthy. Of anything. Because of that feeling I allowed life to get me down, I never stood up for myself because I truly felt that I deserved all the bad things happening to me. I’ve restricted, binged, and dieted my life away in order to feel as though I was enough. I forced myself to exercise constantly and hated every minute of it. The few months before becoming a member were really rough. I ended up having to drop out of (what I expected to be) my last semester in school and moved back home to get the help I needed and to heal my relationship with food and myself.

 

  1. At the time you enrolled, were you already exercising? What was your previous background in fitness?

At the time I enrolled I was doing my own light weight and cardio stuff at home, but through the process of recovery I needed a way to work out that I WASN’T in control of. Instead of using exercise as a punishment for eating an extra cookie, I wanted to move in a way that was fun AND challenging. I had always been active in gymnastics and volleyball as a kid, but as I grew up, I missed the more challenging aspects of workouts, and also the community. I spent 130 days hiking in CA last year and besides CF, that’s my favorite way to get moving! With an added bonus of sleeping outside.

 

  1. What originally prompted you to seek us out?

I was drawn to CrossFit by how strong and, to be honest, a little crazy everyone seemed! I had watched “Fittest on Earth” on Netflix a few years before and was blow away by the strength that the human body could possess. Since then I wanted to join a box but traveled too often to plant roots and get committed.

 

  1.  What was your goal when you originally signed up? 

I told Tim during my first session that my goal was to feel good. I had been in recovery for almost 2 months at that point and had already noticed a shift in my perspective. My body and its shape no longer determined my worth or my happiness, instead I wanted to be amazed at its abilities and strength.     

                             

5. What have you liked best about working with us? 

I love the community. Everyone was so welcoming when I first started, it’s always so comforting to walk into a space that truly feels like a second home. No judgments or bad vibes here! Only support and tough love. I also love how all the movements were broken down into their basic principles, I felt comfortable trying more difficult lifts with a coaching staff that’s so incredible and dedicated. I love ya’ll !!

  1. What are you most proud of achieving since you started?

I’m proud of my first ever pull up! It happened during 19.4 and I was really surprised. It’s ugly, don’t ask to see it.

 

7. With everything that you have accomplished, has your view of yourself changed?

Joining KCF was one of the best decisions I made. I have been challenged to my own limits and pushed to be a better version of myself every day. I now view myself as more than my body. More than the number on the scale or how many calories I consume. I am more than the shape of my legs or my stomach. I accept myself now. I accept the body I reside in and I will continue to fight against diet-culture and the expectation to micromanage our bodies into weights/shapes that they are not naturally meant to be. I’m more comfortable with who I am and carry myself with more confidence both in and out of the gym. It’s been a year of simultaneous CF and recovery for me and I’m looking forward to my birthday (which is also in April) and eating my mf cake as a stronger and happier person!

8. What would you say to anyone else who might be dealing with any similar struggles you did?  

All bodies are good bodies. If you believe that you “aren’t sick enough” to get help, then you need to get help even faster. True health doesn’t come at the bottom of your kale juice, or with enough cardio. It doesn’t start when you weigh a certain amount or start to see certain muscles pop. It starts when you realize that your health is not equal to your body. Health and happiness come from acceptance; moving and eating in ways that feel good to you. There are so many influential factors to health, yet certain aspects get extra attention because they are, ‘with enough motivation’, in our control. What a complete load of bullsh*t.

Watch: Embrace. Documentary on Netflix about body acceptance, smashes cultural ideas about weight and health.

Read: Body Acceptance by Linda Bacon and Lucy Aphramor. Includes scientific facts and studies, in case you still don’t believe me.  

Seeking help? Look for dieticians/therapists with knowledge and experience with HAES: Health at every Size.

Unfollow body shamers on social media and surround yourself with an uplifting, diverse, and informed community.

 

9. Do you have any special moments/memories?

We were doing an AMRAP this summer and I decided to do pushups on the ground instead of the box to make it challenging and I did them! I remember thinking, “I just did 10 in a row! This is so cool!”

10. What is your favorite movement/lift?

I love everything, except squats, but my favorite is the clean and jerk!


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