Testimonial Tuesday: Coach Leigh LeGare

“I’m Sexy and I Know It”

I have had what I consider a “big girl” complex.  Being a big girl is reality for me at 5’9” tall. But my insecurity about my size is not just due to my height – it has been rooted in my past as long as I can remember.  I have never been a small or even an average-framed girl. I was born a whopping 11 pound, 23” long baby (sorry, Mom)! It was never in my cards to be a petite gal.  I was always naturally athletic, with more muscle mass than most girls (and guys, for that matter).  It worked in my favor when it came to sports, but outside of that, it intimidated my peers.  My broad shoulders garnered me names like “football player looking girl” and “turtle.”  At 15, puberty hit, metabolism slowed down, food intake stayed the same, and I gained weight. My athletic frame became a chubby frame.  I went from a size 8/10 to a 16/18 by the time I graduated college.  Now I was tall and overweight – a big girl.

After graduating from college and finally accepting responsibility for my weight, I buckled down.  I hit the gym harder and dialed in on nutrition.  I saw immediate results, and because of that, became a personal trainer. From 2006 to 2010, I was training others to reach their fitness goals while I was on my own journey of getting back to the athletic frame I was born with.  However, as I was losing the weight and becoming physically healthier and more attractive, my outlook was as unhealthy as it had ever been!  I fed my mind so much junk food about my appearance and desirability, that I had convinced myself that my efforts were never good enough. In my mind, I was too big to get the guy of my dreams.  It didn’t matter how much weight I lost or how well I was doing, my mental image was that of a big girl.

My “big girl” complex caused a whirlwind of problems.  My health and fitness went on its own roller coaster.  My unfit outlook brought on new insecurities leading to even greater losses of self-confidence and self-worth.  It even affected my dating life. If a guy was interested in me, I would sabotage the relationship based on the image I had of being too big for him.  It was a nightmare.

I’ve been thinking about how CrossFit Austin fit into this whole mindset thing for me.  I knew CFA helped me accomplish great results physically, but I couldn’t pinpoint that one life-altering thing. When I joined CFA, I had already been crossfitting for about a year.  I had already seen new and life-altering physical results.  And those results were consistent!  It wasn’t until a recent date with a guy when I realized how CFA has changed my life on the inside, too.

For the sake of saving this charming man’s identity, I’m going to name him Date Lesson #5347. We met for frozen yogurt (yum), and the owners made him buy me a rose (awkward). The conversation was good and we left on a positive note.  There weren’t any big sparks, but definitely worth a second date.  The next day, we had a texting conversation that went something like this:

Lesson #5347:  So, what do you think?  Blunt please.

Me:  Thank you for the fro yo!  I had a great time even though the owners might have made it awkward.  And what do you think?

Lesson #5347:  You’re def more built than I was expecting.

Me:  Not sure how to respond to that…I’m not offended and won’t be but…good or bad?

Lesson #5347:  Obviously you’re gorgeous!  It’s just not what I’m initially attracted to.

Me:  (No response)

Lesson #5347:  (after a few hours) So I know my statement might have been a lil off.  Wanna talk about it?

Me:  It wasn’t off.  It was honest and I appreciate/asked for it.  I know my frame isn’t considered the norm and I’m ok with that.  Just not sure if you’re ok with that and that’s ok too.  I’m happy with me…to each his own.

Lesson #5347:  I had fun with you.  Want to hang out again?

Me:  I don’t think there’s a romantic interest.

My responses to Lesson #5347 says it all in terms of where I am now mentally, and because of CFA, I wasn’t offended by anything he said. But because of what he said, I wasn’t interested anymore.  He no longer interested me! My appearance shows my hard work, and if that wasn’t attractive to him, it wasn’t going to work out.  After this interaction and re-reading the texts, the realization finally hit me!  My “big girl” complex was over!

What a great “aha” moment for me! The wasted emotion I spent on beating myself up over something I couldn’t control was finally over.  I finally reached the destination of my 14-year journey to physical and mental fitness! And I owe this breakthrough to CFA.  I’m surrounded daily by people who genuinely support, motivate and encourage me. CFA has become my family, where I’ve learned and conquered so many things about myself through sharing the stories and experiences of those who workout next to me.   I have to give a shout out here to our men, as they have been a huge help for me.  They have given me faith that there are still men out there who will appreciate a strong, muscular woman.  Thank you to our guys who don’t get “meatheadish” or crude around the ladies, and instead are the first to push/support us.  It has really helped in breaking down my “big girl” complex.

In these ways, CFA has made me mentally fit.  Without CFA in my life, I wouldn’t have been able to get as strong, as fast, or as toned as I have this past year.  I owe the entire CFA community for that, and I am excited to be rid of the internal junk that hindered my fitness potential and decreased my self- worth for so many years.  I firmly believe that in order to really reach your fitness goals, you’ve got to be mentally healthy too!  What I considered not to be “normal” about myself for so long is, in reality, still not normal.  After all, with all the air brushed models on magazine covers and fast food restaurants on every corner, true fitness isn’t normal.  Like I told Date Lesson #5347, I’m okay with that.  I’m a healthy “abnormal!”

Thank you CFA for allowing me to see me for me, accept me, embrace me and now OWN me!

Coach Leigh