Member Spotlight: Maju Ribeiro Pflasterer

My journey started for real on January of 2017. After our annual check up, my husband David and I sat down at home and discussed our visit and the bad results from the lab. We talked about making a life decision, if we would continue going down our current path and live a "whatever life" until we were 40, or do something to make us better once and for all. I have been overweight since 15 years old and over the years I kept going up and down on my weight. Every time I lost weight I would gain it back and more. 

Maju Ribeiro Pflasterer

I came up with the suggestion of doing bariatric surgery, suggested even by doctors in my family from Brazil. David was a little hesitant at first, but he ended up agreeing that the surgery could be a good tool to help us to lose weight. We immediately joined a program for Bariatric surgery through Mount Carmel Hospital and they put us on a 6 month trial diet where we had to figure it out on our own what we were supposed to do. I had already dieted several times throughout life, so I knew what to do. We started strong and steady from the beginning, and luckily I started to see good results. By June of 2017, I had lost 53 pounds! I never let the fact that I was overweight get in my way of doing things, but we were still very heavy and not motivated to exercise much. We would go on walks daily with our dogs and also started a construction project in our backyard tearing apart our wood deck and then building a brick patio on our own, parallel to lots of yard work.

It took us almost one year to conclude the project, working hard every weekend. By September, the health insurance had approved both our surgeries, but I decided to keep going on my natural weight loss journey. I had already lost 68 pounds and if I couldn't go any further losing weight on my own, I had in mind that I would do the surgery earlier in 2018. Instead of the surgery, I decided to sign up for a Wellness Coach, Jenny Pitcher, that helped me to adjust my meal plan and hold me accountable, but she always gave me freedom to work the way I wanted. 

On December 7th, David had the surgery and his recovery was amazing. The last piece of my puzzle was still missing though. I had to be consistent about exercising. I have never had any gym background, I hated working out. Running on treadmills was never my thing. I was always very active, taking care of the kids I'm in charge and my life has always being busy. Living my life in America and taking care of my family and businesses in Brazil, but that wasn't enough, it was time to seek for more. 

CrossFit was always in the back of my mind, since the beginning of my journey. It was a goal that I wanted to achieve long term, but I was resistant for a while, afraid that I wouldn't be able to do anything because I was still too heavy. On the first week of January of 2018, my boss and great friend Sunny Ruanphae told me about the opening of CrossFit Bexley, and she signed me up for the orientation. I attended to a Community class on Saturday prior the orientation. I confessed that I was super intimidated when I first walked in. I was scared to not being able to do anything right, or not doing anything at all, but the community was so great, supportive and involving from the minute I walked in, that of course made me feel better. The class was super fun, but I was still intimidated by the work outs during the week, so I joined the Legends class 3 times a week for about 2 months, until I felt more comfortable with the whole process. I kept attending to the Community classes on Saturdays as well, and slowly transitioned to the regular classes.

After that, I started slowly increasing my workouts, attending 5-6 times a week. Within 6 months, I had lost 23 pounds of fat mass and gained 3 pounds of lean mass. CrossFit became a new passion in my life. I started to love challenging my mind and body everyday. I couldn't wait every night to see next day's WOD. I would watch videos on YouTube to understand what I was supposed to do next. I have developed a passion to learn about nutrition and exercising like never before. CrossFit makes me understand the daily value of discipline, the importance of determination and the necessity of overcoming my fears and difficulties. It's everything I need to my everyday "routine", although CrossFit and routine are two totally different things, lol. It's the time for myself that I needed so much and never realized. It's for my sanity. When I walk through those doors everyday, it's my time, nothing else matters. I intend to never stop doing it and age with the best quality of life as possible, and this is only the beginning. I feel like getting better everyday. As I write this visiting my family down in Brazil, working out 6 times a week (even on vacation!) I feel like I want to explore new boxes wherever I go. 108 pounds later, here I am, a new woman, full of confidence, discovering the beauties of the human body, making myself strong inside and out every day. And there's no looking back.