April Athlete of the Month - Becky Rosati
Published April 1, 2020
Hi everyone. Looks like I’m the next in line to be your “Athlete of the Month”, which is a huge honor, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to share my “Crossfit Story”. For the most part, I’m a private person, but I’m going to get a little deep for you in hopes I can possibly motivate any of you struggling without the gym and being stuck at home.
First, a little bit about me. I’ve been at OCF for 8 months after moving to Oceanside from North Carolina. We chose OCF because my friends Ariana St. George and Jillian Feliciano were past members and they had great things to say about it. I’m a 10-year Navy Veteran (spent most of my time stationed on Coronado). Now I’m a Registered Nurse, mom to Hayden and Ben, and wife to the tall guy (Brad).
To fully understand my “CF story,” we have to take it back to the late 80’s/ early 90’s (I’m old!). I like to say I was a pioneer of the childhood obesity epidemic. I was a very fat kid, one of the few in those days. So, for whatever reason, my mother decided to put me into competitive figure skating. Picture Honey Boo Boo in a tight sparkly leotard with a ruffled skirt-that was me! Figure skating is a very brutal sport, a lot like gymnastics. Where you have to fit into a certain mold and if you don’t, you’re a complete outsider who is constantly ridiculed and talked about, no matter how old you are. So, at a very young age (probably age 6), I learned I wasn’t thin enough or good enough to fit in. This was the start of very low and fragile self-esteem that carried with me until…well…until I found Crossfit. I continued to compete until age 13 until I tore my ACL and required surgery (I was never so grateful for an injury in my life).
I spent most of my life obsessing over my weight, overcoming eating disorders, and unfortunately dealing with severe anxiety and depression. I always had a very difficult time losing weight, probably because I spent so many years destroying my metabolism. I started taking fat burning pills in the 5th grade and continued all throughout high school. The only results I ever saw were successfully being cracked out all night and never sleeping (back then Ephedrine was legal). I wasted so much money on “magic pills” and crash diets that never worked. I would lose weight just to gain it all back plus some. A vicious cycle that always made me feel like a complete failure. I tell this story in case there is someone else out there that has dealt with something similar. Where you have days/years of absolutely hating yourself. You look at other people and wonder why the hell you can’t be like them or accomplish what they have. I know this pain so well and I want you to know, I’m here for you! Reach out to me. I’m always willing to talk.
Fast forward to Becky at 18. My mom died of cancer. I was living with my father who was an addict. I was over 200lbs and at my all-time low. I met a Navy Recruiter in 2005 and he promised me an escape from the turmoil I called my life. I starved myself for several months just so I could make weight. Finally, I was free. The Navy gave me the opportunity to realize that if I worked hard, I would be rewarded for it. It also made me realize I was a decent runner, so that’s all I did. Thanks to starving myself often and running a lot, I was able to pass my weigh-ins. Not ever by making weight, but by tape, and more often than not, a “hook up” from a 1st class Petty Officer that liked me. But, hey, I was a hard worker, so they had to keep me around, even though I was out of standards. The depression, anxiety, and obsession over my weight never left though. If anything, things were worse during these years, because once again I was forced to be a certain size that I was just never capable of achieving let alone actually maintaining.
Fast forward again to 2014. Hayden (my oldest) had just turned 2. A lot of my Navy friends talked about this thing called Crossfit all the time. I thought it sounded amazing, but I was a working mother, Brad was on the drill field (never home), so of course, I didn’t have time for that. Then one day, I was walking my dog around my neighborhood and I saw a house that had a Crossfit sign out front. It took me weeks to have enough courage to call the number. My first workout was a 10 min AMRAP of the standard 5 pushups, 10 sit-ups, 15 squats. I could barely walk the 5 mins back to my house, and I was hooked. So, this is where I technically got my start at Crossfit. In a retired Navy SEALs backyard. He didn’t have structured classes. I would just show up and choose between 4 different workouts. So of course, I choose the ones that had light weights and running because that’s what I was good at. I wasn’t going to attempt lifting anything heavy! Eight months of doing my light weight/ cardio workouts, I was feeling great and absolutely obsessed with Crossfit. I was at a decent weight, good enough to pass my Navy weigh-ins with flying colors, and eating the Paleo diet-duh! But then I got pregnant and gained over 80lbs (go me!).
Now I had 2 kids, I got out of the Navy, started working towards my BSN, and we moved to a small town in North Carolina. I hated it!! I would be home with my kids during the hot summers, depressed out of my mind (I think it’s important to say..I LOVE my kids, but being a stay at home mom is extremely hard). Anyways, Ben had just turned 2 (seems to be the magic age for me). I was sitting on a park bench watching them play, so depressed I could barely move. I happened to turn to my left and saw a sign that said “Crossfit Burn”. This was my “sign” to get my ass back into the gym. Get some self-confidence back, find some self-worth. It worked for me before, why wouldn’t it work for me again? It took everything out of me to find the courage to step foot in that gym just to ask what their schedule was. I was told to come to the 0900 class because it wouldn’t be as busy. I showed up the next morning, meet the nicest people in the world, and just my luck the first workout was an odd object carry run. I carried Hayden on my back and I smoked everyone-FINALLY after 3 years, I felt good about myself again. The coach just so happened to take a picture at the end. So, this is me, after my first “real” Crossfit class in August 2017.
I started nursing school a few weeks later. Nursing school is hard and extremely time-consuming, so I only signed up for the 3x/week membership. So, from August 2017-May 2018, I only showed up 2-3 times a week, depending on how school was going. I felt great, not nearly depressed, but my weight wasn’t changing at all, and I was pissed. But by this point, I had convinced myself that my genetics prevented me from ever getting lean. I heard about counting macros from people at my gym. Of course, I was going to try it. I signed up for Macrostax (with the goal to only lose 5-10lbs) and the rest is pretty much history. I dropped 30lbs from hitting my macros day in and day. My results continued to motivate and push me, and I made a goal to workout 5-6 days a week during my last year of Nursing school. My original mindset that I wouldn’t be able to juggle both was completely false. I continued to drop weight and gain muscle while making better grades than I did my previous semesters (funny how that works).
I signed up for my first competition with my friend in November 2018. This was the first time I had ever worn a tank top in my life! (just imagine the amount of anxiety I had). Then one of my coaches came up and asked me where “these” came from, as she squeezed my arms. From that day forward, I began to focus on my mental battle of obsessing about always losing weight and being thin. At this point I was 124lbs, and people began to make comments that I looked too skinny. I would get mad and think they were crazy, but looking back now, they were right. I adjusted my macros in January 2019 in order to gain weight (for the very first time in my life!). Mentally it was tough, and it still is at times. I would have to constantly remind myself that the weight gain was from muscle and not excess fat. So, from Jan 2019 to now I have gained approximately 13lbs of muscle. I now work with Jordan who has been a huge contributing factor in that number. Not just by constantly adjusting my macros to best fit what is currently going on in my life, but by acting as my counselor when my head isn’t in the right place.
So, there you have it. This was very long and I appreciate those who actually made it through the entire thing, but I really wanted you guys to see that if something is important, then you’ll find a way. There is absolutely no excuse! Age, kids, job, school, genetics, no time, too tired-it’s all BS!
I’ll be the first to say, it has not been easy. I’ve been hungry--a lot!! I have lost out on a lot of sleep in order to ensure my food is prepped and to get some extra workouts in. I clearly remember crying at 3 AM as I cooked food before heading to school because I was just so tired. But I always survived. I passed nursing school, my kids are still alive and extremely happy and healthy. Some days are an absolute struggle to make it to the gym, but I force myself to go and I’ve never ever regretted it.
Thank you, Laura, Jason, Sigi, Stacie, and Kevin, for always pushing me to be better and forcing me to work on my weaknesses. I have grown so much with your guidance. Thank you, Jordan, for being so kind and believing in me. You’re extremely good at what you do! Finally, to all the members, I love and look up to you all! It’s honestly all of you that makes it easy to still show up when I have no motivation. There truly is nothing better than the Crossfit community.
Front squat: 135/205/250
Back squat: 175/250/300