SISU Transformation: Ellie Duffy

About Ellie

I’m a biostatistician for Boston Scientific where I work on clinical trials for cardiac devices. I grew up in the Twin Cities and have three brothers and a sister. I played several sports growing up – soccer, softball, track and field, but volleyball was always my passion. I was lucky enough to get to play volleyball in college and continue to play and coach today. Outside of volleyball, I enjoy traveling, spending time outside, and hanging out with friends and family.

Making a Change

I had gone from being a college athlete where my life was centered around working out, to a grad student who had plenty of flexible time to work out, to a normal working adult who struggled to balance job/coaching/social life with fitness. Beyond just making the time, I also really missed working out with friends. Working out went from being something that was fun and that I loved to it feeling like a chore. Even when I would make it to the gym my “workouts” were less than intense. I’m not really sure what finally clicked, but one day I realized how out of shape I had gotten and decided I needed to find a new way to stay active. I googled “places to work out near me” and the search results included an Orange Theory and SISU. From what I’d heard, Orange Theory sounded like a lot of running so I decided to give CrossFit a try! I was hooked immediately.

Finding SISU

I started coming to SISU in November 2017. When I started, my goal was really just to get in shape. As I really got into CrossFit and spent more time in the SISU community that goal shifted to wanting to be able do things like handstand push ups and muscle-ups and to actually be healthy and fit.

The community at SISU is amazing, and I felt welcomed right away by the other athletes and coaches. I loved how intense the workouts were (although I was sure burpees would actually kill me at one point lol) and enjoyed learning new lifts and movements.

Plugging in Nutrition

Coming to SISU, it was easy for me to remember how much I loved being in the gym, and (as soon as every muscle in my entire body stopped being sore) I started coming 5-6 days a week. I started hearing from people who were doing something called “macro counting” and were seeing amazing results. I decided to give it a try. I had no idea what I was doing but just paying attention to what I was eating, especially the quantities, made a big difference for me. After doing it by myself for a while and proving to myself that I could do the tracking and measuring, I started working with Coach Christina and my results multiplied! I had no idea how wrong my idea of “eating healthy” was. Not only was I losing weight but I felt great both in life overall and in workouts.

A New Outlook

Going through this process really showed me what I am capable of as a person. I have always been an athlete but was always a little thicker and just kind of accepted that that was how I was built and that there was nothing I could do about it. Coming to SISU and working with Christina challenged me to push myself further than I ever had, and seeing the results makes me wonder what else I have held myself back from. I am undoubtedly in the best shape of my life, and I wish college-athlete-me knew the things that I know now!

Words of Encouragement

It’s somewhat cliché, but my advice would be to JUST START. I spent so much time telling myself that I needed to get in better shape before I started working out around other people or that I needed to lose weight before I started working with someone on nutrition. Looking back, that makes absolutely no sense, and I wish I had started way sooner!

Steps Going Forward

My ideas about food and nutrition have changed since coming to SISU and doing the nutrition program and my new healthy habits have become just that, habits. Eating healthy has just become part of my lifestyle and coming to the gym and fitnessing with all the amazing people there has become a favorite part of my day that I definitely plan to continue!