A THROWBACK CAST! KO, Amanda Pettas, Tera Pettas, and Jenn Ryan sit down to share their fitness journey over cinnamon rolls… is there any other way? We get to life as we know it and how fitness has played a major role in the journey- from training, to career inspiration, to self-discovery, to sacrifice. When we find the balance in too much and not enough… it just might not be about fitness after all!:) Here are 4 different perspectives on navigating life inside and outside the gym and how staying mentally and physically fit (most days) complimented our lives thus far. Two married, two CrossFit games athletes, all sticky, sugary, carb lovers.
The joys of eating, cinnamon rolls, balance, love, life, fit biz, dedication, pulling back, the CrossFit Games, fitness making friends, self discovery. Priorties, this cast might help you organize your list!
My story starts as a teenager, obsessed with playing sports and kinda being one of those people that just never quite felt like I was good enough, like there was more I should be doing. I was the kid that would play a sport every season of the year, and after practice each night, would go run for an hour on the treadmill in my grandparents’ basement. As much as I was concerned with my athletic performance, I was paying a lot of attention to my body image as well. And it wasn’t a good one. Sure, I had an athletic build, but I didn’t like the way I looked in my school uniform and I would rather wear stretch pants than jeans. I thought cutting out certain foods like milk and red meat would help me be ‘healthier’ and ‘skinnier’ – of which this did neither. I lived through some of the crazy fad diet times and believed them all at one point or another throughout my 20’s. You wouldn’t find many days that I skipped going to the gym, but that doesn’t mean I had the best lifestyle habits. I was a student and a bartender, and there were more often than not late nights of heavy drinking. Sometimes I would eat very little, sometimes I would binge eat because I restricted myself so many other times from the foods that I thought were ‘bad.’ All the while, I stressed about the way I looked and couldn’t do enough working out (a.k.a. cardio) to make the changes I wanted. I read every magazine and article out there that I could find during all of this, yet wasn’t putting it all together. I started doing Crossfit the Summer of 2009, and during my second year, I competed in my first Crossfit-style competition. I was hooked. I loved being an ‘athlete’ again, and focusing on my performance. I learned more about the Paleo and Zone diets that were the big things in Crossfit nutrition around that time. I finally started to understand that I should be trying to put on some lean muscle mass and learned how to get stronger with both bodyweight movements and the barbell. Things were starting to make more sense, and my body composition was changing. But I was still lost as to what my body truly needed, a bit scared of eating too many carbohydrates, and still having many days when I didn’t want to ‘overeat.’ I was definitely too self-conscious to be the girl at the gym or competition working out without a shirt on. In 2014 I started focusing more on fueling my body for performance, learning about macronutrients, and how food could be viewed as fuel instead of something to be afraid of. Finally!! I had a breakthrough in what led to me breaking the cycle of disordered eating and a low self-image. I felt empowered, and my performance in strength and metcons went up, as well as recovery and mood. Lots of areas of my life were benefitting from this, and with the structure I now had, I found what I was looking for: freedom. Freedom from being afraid of food, freedom from a negative self image, and the freedom to teach others as well. Looking at food from a performance standpoint was such an exhilarating experience that I was set on helping anyone else interested in finding a healthy relationship with food and consequently themselves.
Tara is a head coach, personal trainer, NASM certified nutritionist, and helping sell all the stretchy pants over at a local lululemon here in Pasadena, California! She loves being able to share her knowledge and her story with anyone who is willing to listen and learn.
Amanda is currently a 3rd year Doctor of Physical Therapy Student at the University of Southern California. She got into Physical Therapy to help people get back to their lives following an injury, no matter how big or small. Outside of her passion for Neurologic Physical Therapy, she loves fitness, trying new restaurants, and hanging out with her wife and pup!