Name: Megan Parsons
Height: 5 feet, 6 inches
Before weight: 165
How I gained it: I moved to Austinin September 2007 with my very first corporate job, a.k.a., “the desk job.” My background and degree are in exercise physiology, so I’ve always had very active jobs. The desk job was foreign territory for me. Over the next two-and-a-half years I managed to gain about 20 pounds, even though I was working out up to two hours a day. I would get in a quick cardio workout during lunch and then go back in the evening for more cardio and weight training. My thought process was, “I have a sedentary job, so I need to workout longer to balance out sitting all day.”
I always thought my diet was fairly healthy. I would eat a large bowl of oatmeal with a banana and peanut butter, along with egg whites and cheese every morning. My lunches included delicious salads, and then for dinner, I would try to get creative with some concoction. But there was a problem: many nights, by the time I got home, I would be starving and completely overeat. I consumed more string cheese and yogurt than anyone!
The entertaining thing is that I never considered myself “overweight.” I simply thought that I was a muscular person, and this was just how I was always going to look. Maybe I was in denial when I realized my jeans were not fitting like they used to or that my clothing sizes kept going up.
Breaking point: I had been at my desk job for 18 months and was sick and tired of the same boring workout in the gym. I had done some research online to check out different fitness programs while simultaneously secretly hoping I could find a new job, too. My friend told me about CrossFit Central and gave me a nudge to try it. I took the plunge in June 2008 and joined a three-times-a-week class with a coach named Big Mike. This was a huge step for me! I have never in my entire life paid for someone else to work me out because my degree is fitness. But from then on, I never looked back. The best part is that I honestly joined CrossFit Central for a new workout program and not just for weight loss.
How I lost it: In addition to my three days at CrossFit Central, I also did two more workouts on my own each week. About four months after starting my new workout routine, I decided to take a good, long look at my eating habits. I realized my diet included very few vegetables and way too many grains and dairy. I slowly made changes to my diet. I started with changes to my breakfast and snacks, then moved on to the other meals. I basically switched to a Paleo-style of eating. And now, I am all about balance. I still enjoy a margarita with chips and salsa, but I am very aware of everything I put in my mouth. Balance is key.
I attacked each CrossFit workout with vigor and enjoyed a paradigm switch with training. For the longest time I thought I had to workout for at least 90 minutes a day and always include cardio to get a complete workout. CrossFit is so different. I learned the importance of lifting heavy weights and to think about explosivness, power and strength — instead of long, slow, drawn out workouts with multiple set and reps. I fell in love with fitness all over again.
Now I’m 30 pounds lighter, dropped 12 percent in body fat, consistently wear a size four, and have a new career as a CrossFit coach. Never in a million years would I have thought I could lose that much weight and body fat! I feel that my transformation from client to coach has made me a better coach. I understand exactly where our clients are coming from at each early morning class or in the evening after a long day at work. I admire their commitment because I know how hard it can be. Now that I’m coaching, my personal training mind set has changed from weight loss to improved performance and strength. I look forward to my clients and my workouts every day!
After weight: 135
Megan has maintained her weight loss for 10 months and continues to decrease her body fat and increase her strength.