One Year Later: Checking In With Three CrossFit Athletes Who Lost 100-Plus Pounds

January 26, 2021 by
Courtesy of Sally Salazar
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A 2016 study that looked at the popular NBC series The Biggest Loser discovered that almost all of the contestants from Season 8 had regained the majority of the weight they lost while on the show.

  • Data like this has led to a movement in recent years away from short term restrictive dieting and toward slow and steady lifestyle change for the long term. This is exactly the approach Sally Salazar, Jason Wiese and Cheryl Lathrope all took when they joined CrossFit gyms in their respective cities. It’s an approach that helped each lose more than 100 pounds and considerably improve their health and happiness. 

Remind me: Wiese, who at his heaviest weighed 397 pounds, said he took “small steps” to improve his health. When we spoke to him last February, he had lost 130 pounds and was gearing up to compete in the beginner division at Wodapalooza in Miami, FL.

  • Salazar, a member of CrossFit 808 in Oahu, HI, took a similar approach. Over the course of three years, she lost 100 pounds, a milestone she had just reached when we featured her 10 months ago.
  • Finally, Lathrope, who joined Landmark CrossFit in Ottawa, Ontario in the summer of 2018, had lost 183 pounds when we spoke with her one year ago. This weight loss also helped her restore her blood sugar and blood pressure levels to well within the normal range. 
Courtesy of Cheryl Lathrope

Where they are now: A year later, we decided to check in with Salazar, Wiese and Lathrope to find out where they’re at on their journeys today, and whether COVID-19 threw them off course.

  • Salazar got her first chest-to-bar pull-up this month and has continued to see “awesome progress” through the Renaissance Periodization Strength Challenge and has no intention of stopping. “With my first chest-to-bar under my belt, I immediately reached out to one of our coaches at CrossFit 808…to begin one-on-one gymnastics coaching. I’m so excited to make (more) progress in that department,” Salazar said. 
  • Lathrope took her lifestyle change to the next level in 2020 through completing two nutrition coaching certifications — Precision Nutrition and the Working Against Gravity Nutrition Certification Program — and has been coaching nutrition at her gym for the last nine months. She credits the knowledge she has acquired since starting CrossFit and the community support with keeping her on the path of healthy living for the long-term.
  • Wiese, who trains at Together We Rise CrossFit in Indianapolis, IN, too, focused on education in 2020 and completed his CrossFit Level 1 certificate course. On a personal level, he achieved many of the goals he listed to us a year ago, including getting his first pull-up and putting 200 pounds over his head. And when his gym closed for four months because of COVID-19, instead of falling off the wagon, his commitment to fitness for life simply led him to shift his focus, he explained. This meant improving his lifting technique, mobility, and he even “found some joy in running,” he said.

The big picture: For all three, CrossFit and the supportive community it provides, continues to play a role in their accountability to be healthy, not just to win a 30-day nutrition challenge, but for life. 

  • Salazar is getting married this year and her first coach from CrossFit Soda City in Columbia, SC is officiating her wedding. “Needless to say CrossFit is (still) a huge contributor to my health and happiness,” she said.

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