I first attempted CrossFit in 2009, but only on an on again, off again basis. I was terrified of the larger classes, and had so much anxiety that just signing up for a class was daunting.
I'd try to pack my fridge with primal friendly food, but most evenings I'd crave a pizza and have a fancy drink (or more, usually more, because go big or go home right?) to go along with it. Let me tell you, doing WODs hungover is no picnic!
I finally hit bottom. I was the heaviest I've ever been in my life and I was sick and tired of people asking me when I was "due" whenever I went out. I went into a deep depression, stopped going out, and I drank even more to keep my mind off of things (which of course just piled on more useless calories). I had ulcerative colitis, a fatty liver, swollen joints, severe anxiety and hair loss.
I actually live right next to another nice CrossFit facility; however, since I was a part of ACF previously, after seeking treatment I sent a message to ACF admitting my issues and asked for help.
The support I received from ACF was overwhelming. So I returned to Albany, sick and swollen from head to toe. I met with one of the coaches and explained my illness. He customized a plan where I would attend 2 classes a week for a month to establish a routine, and then up to 3x for another 2-3 months, 4x for 4-6 months and then reevaluate, etc.
My diet was to strive for mostly primal (with no gluten whatsoever). Meats, vegetables and fruits along with some nice local cheeses and fresh yogurt with nuts, with a cheat day once of week of some chocolate. The process of gradually introducing these lifestyle changes is how it finally stuck for me.
In the past, whenever I had tried cold turkey I would get tired of it and revert back to my old ways. This time, following "The Perfect Health Diet" (sort of like paleo-lite) and going to Albany CrossFit regularly – made it so easy for me. In fact now that I've grown so comfortable with this lifestyle I may even try to take it up a notch and give "The Whole 30" a try.
Somewhere along the way signing up became less daunting, and after my month of 2x a week I was excited for 3x as if I could feel my body needing it. Sure I have a little bit of a drive, but I'm there 1 measly hour of my day and I'm out! I lost 30lbs just by taking one hour of my day and eating better. It didn't take me all summer either, I actually got to enjoy wearing a two piece swim suit for the first time in years.
The coaches make it very comfortable for folks who are new to CrossFit. They ease you into to the workout regimen, the routines, and do a good job of making what seems overwhelming at first, seem possible.
I used to be so scared and think, "Oh, all of these people are really good at this and I'm going to be the last one!" Now I realize that everyone is new at some point, and the more you work at it the better you get at it.
More importantly, I see that even though you're surrounded by people of vastly varied skill levels, the only one you're really competing with is yourself.