Anna Dyroff, 39
Director of a Before and After School Program & a Preschool
Favorite Olympic Lift: Push Press
Favorite Fitness Activities: obstacle courses
Least Favorite Exercise: anything with overhead squat in it, and rowing
Favorite TV Show(s): This is Us, Grey’s Anatomy, Will and Grace and Chopped
Guilty Pleasure: sleeping for 12 or more hours every Sunday night/Monday morning or eating a piece of chocolate chip chocolate cake from Hoff Hut with a cup of coffee.
Other Fun Fact(s): I have an identical twin sister, I was prom queen in high school, and I love doing obstacle course races even though I am afraid of heights.
Passion Project/Hobby: I would say my hobby/passion project would be taking care of myself and my family. When I find time for myself it is usually spent on bettering myself physically, mentally or emotionally. It has taken me a really long time to realize that I cannot take care of the ones I love if I am not well myself. I am very passionate about my family and raising my children in the best environment possible.
What were your eating & fitness habits like previous to coming to CrossFit 1440?
I had been working on my eating habits off and on for many years. I had been doing weight watchers since 2010 which was helpful in teaching me portion sizes and getting me started in the right direction but I didn’t work the program to its fullest. I was still eating too many carbs, processed foods and drinking too many cocktails. My fitness right before I started CrossFit 1440 was mostly running. I would go to the gym and try to do things I remembered from previous training but had a hard time pushing myself and sticking with it.
What are three words that would have described you physically, mentally, and/or emotionally before you committed to your fitness journey? Physically – unhealthy. Emotionally/mentally – Frustrated and depressed
What types of exercise or physical activities have you always enjoyed?
Weight lifting – leg day! Hiking but was too overweight and out of shape to do it.
What was your first impression of CrossFit?
Scary, but intriguing
What month & year did you join CrossFit 1440?
September 2014 – I joined after harassing Max for three days while I was drunk at the Lomita Fair. LOL! Thank God he has a sense of humor!
What inspired or convinced you to join?
I wanted to really get more into doing more obstacle course races, especially the Spartan Race, and knew I needed more intense training to get the job done. I hated that I couldn’t pull myself over walls, or how hard it was for me to complete even the simplest of obstacles. I knew that CrossFit had a lot of the movements–such as monkey bars, bucket carry, and rope climb–that would help me build towards obstacle. I felt that CrossFit was something different and more extreme than I had really ever done, and that it might be just what I needed.
What do you love most about CrossFit 1440, our coaches, & our community?
I love the family feel of CrossFit 1440. I love how everyone jokes around and pokes fun at each other but also we really care about each other. I know that I can come in happy, mad, crying or just a crazy mess, and it’s ok. I am a comfortable and down-to-earth kind of person, who likes to be around good people. As for the coaches, what can I say? They have helped change my life! Max is great about pushing me when I need to be pushed and also helping me scale workouts when I am not feeling my best or injured. He always says not to stay home because you don’t feel quite up to it all or if you are injured, because we can work around things. I love how he can keep everyone laughing through the toughest of workouts. I also love how Max is so into reading up on new things and bettering himself beyond working out. Although Alice is not a coach that typically is at the box training me, I feel she has been a life coach for me. Alice has such an amazing spirit and I have learned so much from her open and honest personality. From her Facebook post of lunches for the kids, to freak out mom moments, or to her quest to fulfill her own passions, I have learned how to be a better mom, wife and friend. LT has a great way of tapping into my competitive side to get me to push a little harder. She also has a way of explaining some of the Olympic lifts in ways that I can really understand. LT is a really great person and I love her lighthearted, fun and spunky attitude.
In the past, what have been your obstacles to getting fit & staying fit?
In the past I always did extreme things to lose a lot of weight fast then I would stop whatever it was and gain it all plus more back. I always wanted a quick and easy fix but didn’t want to permanently change things.
What good habits have you now built & maintained?
I eat mainly meat, vegetables, nuts, seeds and fruit. I really don’t eat bread, pasta, rice, dairy or even beans on a regular basis. I try to stay away from processed foods, and I no longer drink alcohol. I also try to work out 3 to 5 days a week and only miss when life pops up, and I really can’t.
What or who has helped you most in sticking with your fitness & eating habits now?
Being a part of CrossFit 1440 has helped me to stick with my fitness and eating habits. I am at a point where if I go off diet or stop working out, I feel it! I mean I feel sick to my stomach after eating bad foods, and I get into a funk/depressed if I don’t workout consistently. My husband, Matt, will even tell me that I need to go workout because I not being a very pleasant person. He knows that two days a week is a bare minimum, or I turn into Scary Mommy.
In what ways has your body changed?
I have gone from a size 16 to a size 8 over the last 3 years. I am stronger than I have ever been and can wear clothes that I only dreamed of before. I mean, I have a collar bone and my face doesn’t look like a chipmunk collecting nuts for winter. LOL!
What are the changes you are most excited about?
I feel good about how I look, and I am more confident. I am more consistently happy now than I think I have ever been. I feel like I am a better role model for my children because of the changes that I have made both inside and out.
How much weight have you lost/gained?
I have not weighed myself in a while because I cannot find my scale after recently moving, but I have lost around 30-35 pounds. I love to see the number on the scale go down, but I am not afraid to weigh more if it means I have more muscle and look healthier.
How many inches have you lost/gained?
Not sure, I just know that I have gone from a size 16 to an 8.
How has working out & eating clean changed you mentally & emotionally?
My thinking is sharper and clearer. I am more emotionally balanced. I find that I take life at a more even approach with fewer dramatic highs and lows. I am able to think through and accept the issues I am facing.
How has working out & eating clean changed your life?
It is like night and day! I am doing the things I have always wanted to do but could not because of my weight. I have gone paddle boarding, and I am no longer afraid to go hiking.
What is or used to be your food kryptonite?
I hate smoked foods of any kind and cream corn.
What are your favorite meals & snacks now?
Snacks: frozen strawberries, low calorie popcorn or fresh fruit.
Meals: I love steak (there is just no way around it), but I love it served with at least 2-3 different vegetables. I also really enjoy spaghetti made of zucchini noodles or taco salad with lots of grilled peppers.
Is there anything you miss eating? How do you deal with avoiding unhealthy foods?
I miss eating nachos and seafood alfredo and enjoying them. I use to love to eat both those dishes and would probably still love the way they taste, but they make me extremely sick now, so it’s just not worth it to me. All I think about when eating them is how I am going to be sick after. As for avoiding foods, I feel most things are ok in moderation. I mean if I want to have something off diet, I will have it, but I know that consequences may follow, and I have to decide if it is worth it or not.
What changes have your loved ones noticed about you?
Family members and friends are all blown away by how different I look. A very common thing said to me is, “I never thought of you as overweight before, but seeing you now . . .,” or that they saw an old picture of me and didn’t realize it was me in the picture. Also, I am hearing a lot that I just seem so much happier and less angry.
What would you tell someone who thinks that CrossFit is too hard or scary to try?
I would say that if they feel it is scary or too hard then Crossfit 1440 is the perfect place to try it, because Max is so amazing about scaling the workouts so that everyone can participate at their own level.
What would you say to encourage someone who thinks that they can’t change their lifestyle or diet?
I would tell them what worked for me. I would say that the key to making a change in my lifestyle and diet was doing one or two things at a time. For example, I didn’t give up bread, rice, pasta, or dairy all at the same time. I chose one or two things to focus on and became accustomed to that before moving to the next thing. I also set small obtainable goals for myself. Rather than saying I am going to go from overweight to a bikini in six months, I would say I would like to lose 5-7 pounds over the next 3 months, then I would only focus on the 5 to 7 pounds, not the 40 plus more I also had to lose. I also didn’t make all my goals about the number on the scale. I would focus on increasing the weight I was lifting or the distance I could run. Finally, I would say to sign up for a race such as a 5k or fun run and train for that. I find that I am more likely to make working out a priority when I am signed up for an event in the next few months.
What or who inspires you to stay fit?
I am super inspired by Joe de Sena, the founder of Spartan Racing. I read his story it really inspired me. I like a lot of what he believes in. I am also inspired by my children, especially my daughter. When I see how she pushes herself through the pain of the monkey bars over and over because she is determined to get a skill, I think to myself, “That is the kind of determination I need to have.”
Do you have a favorite motto or inspiring quote that keeps you motivated?
I like to say to myself a lot, “You can do anything for one minute,” or “this pain is only temporary.” A friend of mine once told me that in life you have to “choose your hard,” so when I think about how working out is hard, I also think about how being overweight and not happy with myself is hard–then I have to choose my hard. Finally, I like to think that I am going through what I call a “midlife transformation,” which is better than a midlife crisis, lol. I have wanted to change who I am for so long, and I am finally doing it.
What three words would you use to describe yourself physically, mentally, & emotionally now?
Stronger, happier and sharper
We’re so proud of you and all the progress you’ve made! We love your humor and spirit, and we are so grateful to be a part of your journey! Much love to you, my dear!
Max, Alice, LT, Derek, Illy, and the entire 1440 Family!
(for today’s New Year’s Day Workout click here)