SISU Transformation: Emily Peterson
I was born and raised in southern Minnesota. I grew up playing sports but really fell in love with softball, which I played for around 18 years. When I went off to college, I opted to focus on school and put softball to the side. Needing to fill a void, I started running and that quickly became my physical outlet. After college, I met my awesome husband, got married, and now we live happily with our two dogs. When I’m not at the gym, you can likely find me either at our house cooking and/or playing with our dogs or on the golf course.
How She Found SISU
Funny story…I first visited SISU back in 2016, after my sister kept talking about this thing called CrossFit, and I wanted to give it a try to see what it was all about. I tried out a class and left more sore than I’d ever been in my life. After that, I got cold feet and didn’t return until 2018. When I came back, I was fully committed to sticking to it this time. My workout regimen at the time was less than enjoyable, and I needed an outlet to physically challenge myself. CrossFit was exactly that challenge.
Ready for a Change
For years I have struggled with body issues and disordered eating. To make a long story short, high school and college were challenging years where my disordered eating was at its peak, and the internal dialog I developed during those years is something I’m still working through. About a year ago, I started working on shifting that dialog and experimenting with different “diets”, but I hadn’t found a method that I felt like I could really stick with for the long haul without having some of those thoughts resurge. That’s when I reached out to coach Christina and asked her to teach me the ways of macro counting. After we talked, I was confident it was something I could implement for myself.
A New Mindset
Apart from being committed to getting to the gym and following the nutrition program with the help of coach Christina, the biggest change came from shifting my internal dialog and view on food. Historically, I’ve always looked to food for comfort and also looked at it as something that needed to be offset by working out, rather than something that could be used to fuel my workouts. Shifting my mindset towards looking at food more as fuel and tying fewer emotions to it has really made all the difference.
Food as Fuel
This whole process has provided me with a new sense of accomplishment and confidence I didn’t think I would ever find. It has also reshaped my view of ‘healthy’ and what that means to me. It no longer means going through cycles of disordered eating mixed with using exercise as punishment. What it means for me now is using food as a tool to fuel my workouts – workouts that I actually enjoy, rather than loathe because they are no longer an attempt to negate my poor eating habits.
A Word of Encouragement to Others
Being consistently good is better than being inconsistently perfect. I heard this in a podcast I listened to not that long ago, and I wish I had heard it when this whole journey started…well, frankly, I wish I had heard it years ago, but here we are. There were a handful of weeks where my routine was off, which in turn threw me off my game, and I mentally beat myself up about it, but Christina was right there to encourage me and remind me that it’s okay to have weeks that are off. It was about building up the willpower and mental toughness to push past that frustration and get back on track.
Reminding myself why I started this journey is the best way for me to stay motivated and push through the hard days. The main tools I learned from the nutrition program make it easy to apply during everyday life, and what it really comes down to is my own motivation to be the healthiest version of myself.