Teena Travis of CrossFit Invictus in San Diego

A Year From Now You’ll Wish You Started Today
Written by Invictus Member Teena Travis

I struggled for some time on whether or not to share these photos, (and not just because so much of my butt is hanging out in the before pictures!) but rather, because I was truly ashamed. When I look at these pictures I really can’t remember when or how it all went wrong. I had no idea how truly unhealthy both physically and emotionally I had really become.

When my husband and I joined Invictus in January of 2014 all I knew was that I was sick and tired of being overweight and feeling like garbage. Not having a single inclination as to what CrossFit even was or that Invictus was “Invictus” when we signed up. I had finally hit my rock bottom and decided that if I wanted to get out of the hole I had dug for myself, I had better call out for some help. Invictus was that help for me. I could go on for hours about how I have learned to set aside my pride, how humbled I am to be a small part of something amazing, how much I love the members, and respect my coaches (seriously the admiration I have for them and what they do is unparalleled). I know that there are about a million other people out there who feel just like I used to, sick and tired of being sick and tired but not knowing how to make a change. It is my hope that by humbling myself, and sharing these pictures maybe there will be others who will find the strength to ask for help.

I want to convey the importance of proper nutrition. Healthy bodies do not happen by cutting calories, quitting red meat, and eating low/no fat. They come from eating real food and plenty of it! (Seriously I eat a lot of food!) There is this common misconception that in order to lose weight you have to starve yourself and cardio the heck out of your day. I would ask how effective is that, really? Sure, you can get weight off your body by sheer force of will (starving yourself and running into the ground at the gym) but it never sticks, and before you know it you’re no longer on that treadmill (because it’s tedious as heck) and all the weight you lost is right back, plus a few extra pounds for good measure.

It was because of Invictus that I decided to try a Whole 30. It was then that my life just flat out changed. It didn’t take long before I noticed that I felt like a million bucks. I could sleep through the night, train harder, run faster, and lift more. You cannot out train a poor diet, and frankly in my opinion you can’t train at all on a poor diet!

This isn’t to say that everyone should do CrossFit, and never again eat a doughnut. I guarantee when I go to Italy I’ll be eating gelato, and when I visit France I’ll destroy a beignet. This is just to say, find something you love to do that keeps you active, stop eating processed food and watch as your body changes. Enjoy how marvelous you’ll feel eating full fat, high quality protein and pretty green vegetables! Our bodies are meant to run on real food and exercise and when we treat them right, learn to love who we are, and how we were made, they are capable of doing amazing things.

Personally I love picking up heavy things and putting them back down. I love that strong is beautiful and I love the people I have been blessed enough to surround myself with. I have learned that I am afraid of most things, and most days I am terrified that I am going to fail. But then I fail, and it’s not so bad or scary anymore. I’ve learned to let my fear motivate me, to stare down the bar and decide that today I own it and it doesn’t own me. I have finally developed a real relationship with food, where saying no to a pizza is easy because I don’t like how bad my stomach feels afterwards. Where cooking is a joy and trying new vegetables is fun.

I still get frustrated when I can’t string 15 pull-ups together, but then I look back at these old photos and remember that when I started this journey I never thought I would get so much as one pull-up in my life. It’s then that I am reminded that I’m doing just fine! It’s been an amazing journey and I am looking forward to continuing the journey for the rest of my life and seeing where it takes me.