A little over a year ago, Coach Anita Bliss joined our team. Like all of our coaches, Anita certainly looks the part. But what you don’t see is the journey she undertook to achieve that enviable physique. It’s been a passion project for the busy working mother, who more than a decade ago, realized her health was a priority not a luxury.
In October 27, 2008, she had her first training session. She was 33 years old, not comfortable in a gym or in her own body, and had no previous athletic experience. That first year was spent getting familiar with training, learning how to move properly and safely, and sometimes just figuring how to get back up after attempting a burpee.
Although her boys were nearly seven and three years old, she was still holding on to some of the weight she’d gained during her pregnancies and her body fat composition was at 30 per cent. As her skills slowly progressed, she began to realize that the greatest obstacle to losing the weight was the way she was eating. While she didn’t have terrible eating habits, there was certainly room for improvement. With the help of her trainer, she decided to make small, sustainable changes. Over time, the small changes turned into bigger changes. She began to set goals and her mantra became, ‘it won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.’
In time, she learned what worked for her — what allowed her to balance being a mom, a wife and her own person. Her goals evolved as her body changed (in time, she halved her body fat from 30 per cent to 15). She focused less on weight loss and more on getting stronger. She chose to take control, to work hard in the gym, to eat food that she prepared herself, and to reward herself in moderation. Her own transformation inspired her to help others achieve the same. In 2010, she became a certified CrossFit coach.
“It hasn’t always been easy and I have not been perfect,” says Anita of her path to cultivating a healthier diet and lifestyle. “Nutrition is a huge part of my health and fitness routine, but it’s an element that I find more challenging than finding three to four hours a week to work out. But just like discovering a fitness routine that was right for me, nutrition needed to be the correct fit and something that was lifelong. The nearly 10 years since that first day has been a journey to say the least.”
Her interest in healthy eating continues. Now she’s studying for her Precision Nutrition certification so that she can help others make similar changes to their diet. This kind of personal experience is what we believe makes Anita uniquely qualified to advise most of our community on their own nutrition journey. She is heading up both the Community Group and the Complete Nutrition program we offer our members, and if you are interested in learning more, feel free to pick her brain about creating your own custom eating plan, or send us an email at email@example.com
Duncan McNeill is a coach and co-owner at Alchemy CrossFit