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100 Pound Weight Loss Goal Executed in Lockdown

April 21, 2020 by
Credit: Sally Salazar
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When her gym closed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sally Salazar had a decision to make.

“Workout a lot or get fat,” said the 33-year-old Salazar, who has been training at CrossFit 808 in Oahu since she moved to Hawaii with her husband and son one year ago.

  • “It was just like this moment, where I realized my accountability system wasn’t going to be there and I’d be spending a ton of time at home. And my husband left (with the Navy) right when we were locked down, so there’d be nobody to say, ‘Get up. Did you go to class? How did class go?’” she said.
  • “It was an opportunity to test my determination,” she added.

Salazar passed the test: Since being locked down at home, she has been working out every day, has stuck to her dialed in diet, and has managed to shed the last few pounds she needed to hit  her 100-pound weight loss goal. At five-foot-four, Salazar just weighed in at 155 pounds, down a full 100 pounds from her starting point of 255 pounds three years ago.

Credit: Sally Salazar

The cruise that launched her CrossFit journey: Three years ago, while living in South Carolina, Salazar and her family went on a cruise.

  • “I was infamous for never wanting to take pictures of myself, especially full-body pictures. But they kind of force you to take those pictures on the cruise. You know, like the group picture when you first get there, and the sassy dinner dress-up pictures,” she said.
  • “When I saw the sassy dinner dress-up picture, I was really quite large. My dad was pushing 400 pounds, and I didn’t look that much smaller than him. It really forced me to face it. It was a huge reality check.”

Salazar returned from the cruise and signed up for Gold’s gym, but soon found herself frustrated, as she wasn’t sure what to do at the gym, and she had nobody to hold her accountable, she explained.

The post that changed her life: Salazar had heard about CrossFit and sensed it might be what she needed. So she took to social media asking for recommendations for a CrossFit gym.

On her second day at CrossFit Soda City in Columbia, SC, Salazar attended the 6 a.m. class and brought her son. Push-ups were on the agenda.

  • “I just couldn’t do a push-up. I was so upset. Then (coach) Josh (Lehew) came over and modified them for me…I felt super defeated,” she said.
  • “Then he said to me, ‘Look what’s over there.’ He pointed to my son. ‘This is who you’re doing this for.’ And I burst into tears. He was right. After that, I was hooked. This is what I needed. This is what was going to change my life and help me be around to annoy my son for as long as possible.”
Credit: Sally Salazar

Another reality check: For the first eight months of CrossFit, Salazar went to the gym but didn’t change her diet.

  • “I was like, as long as I’m here doing the workout, who cares what I eat?…Um, not the case,” she said with a laugh. Still, she lost 30 pounds through exercise alone.

Then in December 2017, Salazar reached out to CrossFit Soda City’s nutritionist Karen Embler for help.

  • “(She) gave me the tools to educate me not just on how many grams you’re supposed to eat. It was more like, ‘Here’s why you should eat this,’ and the benefits of that (education) have been amazing,” said Salazar, who stopped eating out all the time and started cooking healthy meals at home.
  • “The knowledge base I have gained about nutrition, as well as the weight loss, has changed my life.”

In just three months of working with Embler, Salazar was down another 30 pounds, and by the end of 2018, she had lost a total of 90 pounds since she saw that fateful picture of herself on the cruise.

More exciting than the number on the scale: Today, Salazar has no problem with push-ups, and she got her first pull-up this past year. She can back squat 235 pounds, deadlift 265 pounds and is able to kick up to a handstand for the first time in her life.

Heading into lockdown in March, Salazar said she wasn’t all that concerned with the number on the scale. She was more concerned about ensuring she stuck with her training routine and healthy way of eating, as she knew it would be easy to fall off the wagon.

Through Zoom classes with the CrossFit 808 community, running on her own, working out with her 9-year-old son who is part of their CrossFit Kids program, and cooking healthy meals, Salazar managed to drop another five pounds and is stoked to say she has officially lost 100 pounds.

  • “I’m working out more than ever. Like I went for a 5 km run on my own yesterday, and I was like, ‘Who have I become?’ I had only ever done one 5 km run in my life (before that), and only to say I did it.” she said.

Her message to others: “I remember for so many years wishing I had started the year before, and I know it sounds cliche, but if you don’t start now you’re going to wish you started now in one year from now,” she said.

  • “Change your mindset from, ‘I should do this’ to, ‘I have to do this.’ Anyone can do it. It feels good to be healthy on the inside and out. I finally feel like my personality matches my body.”

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