Cristi Henk Smith
Name: Cristi Henk Smith
Occupation: Licensed Professional Counselor
When did you join BPC: July 2013
What made you want to give Crossfit a try?
I had a few friends who have raved about it but they were really fit so I was still intimidated. After giving birth to my second child in 3 years and having gained a lot of weight I decided it was time to find something I could commit to. I knew that trying to work out on my own wasn’t working and since I am an older mom it was important to me to get healthy.
Why did you choose BPC over all of the other Crossfit boxes in Austin?
I pass BPC twice a day every day and knew that the location was perfect for me. I then looked up hours and found a time that would work in my busy schedule as a working mom. I signed up for Elements and loved Katie. She was so encouraging and since joining Emily, Sara and Katie have been encouraging and amazing coaches.
Where you hesitant to try Crossfit before joining? (If yes, why?)
Absolutely!! I associated Crossfit with super fit and insane people. Coming in with no athletic training, not having had any real exercise in years and being at the heaviest weight I have ever been I was terrified of being judged and embarrassed by my weight and limitaions. No one wants to be the slow and overweight person but my experience proved to be something completely different.
What would you tell others that want to give Crossfit a try but are scared or haven’t taken the first step?
I would tell people to just show up and try. I did cry after my second class because it was so difficult and felt I was in over my head. Later that afternoon I sat down and emailed Coach Emily my personal situation and said I needed more modifications and she reassured me that we could do that and encouraged me to ask questions when I needed. After that I continued to show up and modified to my skill level. I would have never dreamed I would be able to do the things I can do now like handstands and kip pull ups with low resistance bands in only 6 months. Just face your fear and stick with it. The people there are encouraging and only want to see you succeed.
What is your favorite part of BPC?
I love the diversity of the WOD each morning and working harder in that 45 minutes then I could possibly do on my own. I also LOVE the environment and the friends and workout buddies I have made in the process that keep me accountable.
How have Crossfit and BPC impacted your life?
Crossfit and the BPC community have changed my life. I know that sounds dramatic but that is the only way I can explain it. I don’t want to miss a class and I look forward to going. I feel more capable and stronger. I have more energy to give to my kids and am modeling for them the importance of health and fitness.
Anything else you want to share about your experience?
I personally have struggled with weight off and on my entire life. Once I started trying to conceive my son I was diagnosed with PCOS and the medications only increased my weight. Over time and with fertility medications it continued to rise and then in my first pregnancy I gained 45 lbs. After my son was born I struggled to lose weight thanks to PCOS, hypothyroidism and a lack of dedication to my efforts. I then got pregnant with my second and topped out at my heaviest. At the end of my pregnancy in February 2013 I weighed 245lbs. I lost some initial weight after giving birth but it wasn’t until May 2013 weighing 208lbs and in a size 18 that I changed my eating habits, starting with Advocare 24 day challenge and then switching to the Paleo diet. I then joined BPC in July 2013 and started Ideal Protein in August 2013 and all of these life changes have made me a different person. I now weigh 143lbs and am in a size 6/8. I feel better than I have in years and would have never dreamed that a year after having my daughter I would be over 100lbs lighter and be as fit as I am. The community at BPC continues to encourage me and my progress on a regular basis and keeps me motivated. It has changed my life!!
Kari Wright and Livi Henley
Where were you before you started training at BPC?
Livi: I wasn’t working out at all. I was a college athlete but then I stopped, had a big break and wasn’t working out at all. Kari joined 1rst then a month later I started. I wasn’t doing anything for about a year. I got up to 263 lbs. I knew I needed to do something and to start eating right again. We stopped eating meat 2 years ago and got into a rut w/ eating too many carbs like bread, pasta, rice…
Kari: I was a year out of knee surgery. Before my knee surgery I was running. I ran a marathon and was in really good shape. Then after that, I didn’t do anything for a year. I laid around and moped. Like Livi, I was also at my heaviest when I started BPC, 220lbs. I let the frustration of my knee keep me from getting out there and doing stuff. I felt like I was in a workout depression.
What has been the impact as a whole? What differences have you seen? Results?
Livi: At my most recent weigh-in, I was 209 lbs (lost 54 lbs!). I feel like I still have a long way to go but I definitely feel better about myself. Now clothes are falling off of me. I am having to go and buy new clothes. My self esteem and confidence is better. I’m eating a lot better. I drink a ton of water and we stopped drinking soda and tea. Our habits are so much healthier. Doing it together is so much more powerful than if we tried alone. I like seeing the results. I am even able to do hand stands! When you are working out you are driven to eat better – if you eat bad it cancels out the work you’ve already put in for the day. You want to maximize the work you’re putting in. We do have our cheat days though.
Kari: I’m at 170lbs (lost 50 lbs!) now. What I’ve noticed is that since I work out in the morning, I am happier during the day. I have more energy to teach and I am able to do more. If I skip a morning workout, I can tell, and whats funny is that my kids can tell. They’re like, “You didn’t work out this morning did you? You’re grumpy.” I do focus more on what I’m eating. With my fast paced schedule, I tended to grab a quick bite to eat at a fast food place, but not anymore. If I don’t have something like a salad or something that is in line w/ my training and goals, I don’t put it in my body. I don’t want to workout for nothing. I used to down large quantities of orange juice before realizing how much sugar is in it. Diabetes runs in my family. Before BPC, I was pre-diabetic. I am no longer pre-diabetic. My doctor also notices a huge difference and comments as well.
How are your family/friends noticing?
Livi : Last time we went home we had family photos. Family was use to seeing us in our baggy t-shirts and shorts. However, this last time we dressed up in normal clothes for the photos. That’s when they really noticed the difference. Especially in our faces. They were all overly excited and just glad that we are getting healthy. They want us to be healthy. They are very happy for us and happy that we are doing it together because doing it together is easier.
Kari: I talk to my mom everyday and she always asks, “Did you work out? What did you do? What is your body weight down to? Are you eating? Are you drinking water? Are you being healthy”? Our whole family supports us in this journey together. That feels great.
Livi: My brother is doing CrossFit in Houston and would always tell us about it. He loves it. All his friends are doing it too. He’s very competitive now. I went to one of my brother’s competitions and it was just such a positive atmosphere. It makes it enjoyable because we are all working our asses off together.
Kari: Team camaraderie is what makes it great. I think that’s what I missed so much. I was a college athlete and then all of the sudden I didn’t have that anymore. Now Crossfit is my sport, I have that TEAM back again.
How have you all surprised yourself at BPC?
Livi: I’m surprised I can do it. Some WODs I say, “Oh there’s no way I’m going to finish that.” Then I’ll either get really close to finishing or finish it all together. I remember the first time I completed a benchmark workout. And then I did it for a 2nd time. I think it was “Fran” (21 Thrusters / 21 pullups – 15 thrusters/ 15 pullups – 9 Thrusters / 9 pullups For time.).
Kari: I did a box jump instead of a step up. I just knew how far I’d come. The 1st pullup I did, I had to use the green band. Now I am able to do them w/o any bands. I can get things done now. Now I tell myself that if I can do 10 unbroken this time, next time I’m going to get 15 unbroken.
whats your favorite move?
Livi: Anything w/ AbMatt Situps w/ a Kettlebell or Medball. I really like pullups now too! I can’t wait to not be using a band at all. I also love deadlifts.
Kari: I like push press. I love Kettlebell swings.
Livi: Anything that is a chipper, where there are a lot of movements for time, and doing lots of different things.
Kari: Hands down, my favorite WOD is Fight Gone Bad: 1 minute at each station X 3rds of…
Wall-ball, 20 pound ball, 10 ft target (Reps) Sumo deadlift high-pull, 75 pounds (Reps) Box Jump, 20″ box (Reps) Push-press, 75 pounds (Reps) Row (Calories)
What would be your advice to someone that is still on the fence about starting Crossfit?
Livi: My biggest fear was coming in here and not being able to do anything. However, my brother said that it didn’t matter what shape you were in and that everything could be scaled down. He also said that people won’t judge you, just do it. They’re glad you’re coming in and want to improve yourself. You need to be open minded. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
Kari: Even if you are scared to come in. The minute I walked in I was welcomed. BPC is a very welcoming atmosphere. No matter if I was having a good day/bad day, it was like a family unit/atmosphere. You will not be turned away if you can’t do something.
Livi: I think when people see the competitions, like the CrossFit Games, on TV they might be intimidated. That is the extreme side of the sport.
What weaknesses have you developed into strengths?
Livi: The fact that I am pushing myself even more because I am seeing the results daily. I know I am going to keep losing weight and be where I want to be. I have a vision for myself. During the workout I look to compete w/ my classmates more, especially Kari. If I’m keeping up w/ her or chasing someone else, I push myself more.
Kari: Staying positive w/ myself. I am also a coach/teacher and I am a role model for my athletes/students. That’s one of the things that keeps me coming back. When I look back I was a 220lb woman trying to get kids to see the importance of working out. They probably would look at me and think, “She doesn’t work out, why should we?” Now, when they are going through a hard workout, I’ll start naming off the things that I did in my workout that morning. That helps them get through. I tell them, “I’m 33 yrs old and I did this, that, and this in the morning. You’re 12 – 13 years old! You can do it!”