Name: Tina Daneshmand
Occupation: Bookkeeper, Full Time Business Law Student, CrossFit Coach
Let’s face it, high school can be rough. Trying to fit in when you still have no idea who you are is an almost impossible task. And yet, so many teenagers put pressure on themselves to become what they think they are supposed to be in order to be accepted.
Tina viewed herself as an outcast in high school. She was overweight, had no self-confidence, and no idea how to relate to the other students. Instead of reaching out to Tina, her peers turned on her and not only drove her out of school, they drove her to a point of physical self-destruction.
"One morning, my junior year, I came to campus & found posters all over the school that said: “Don’t feed Tina” with my face on it & everything. I left that day & never went back. I decided to homeschool because what was the purpose of going to campus & not socializing anyhow? Three months later, I went from 150 pounds to 98 pounds (I’m only 5’ tall, so although it doesn’t sound like much when I say 150, keep in mind I’m a shorty). I threw myself into a downward spiral that was so twisted. I never thought I’d be the girl who would be skinny. I had thrown myself into a deeper ball of depression & swore to myself if I didn’t see double digits on the scale that it was the end of the world."
A False Sense of Power
"Anorexia gave me power, it put me in control. It controlled the numbers on the scale. The decision I made was to live off of vitamins and sugar water. VITAMINS AND SUGAR WATER. My family continuously worried about me, and I was threatened to be hospitalized. I tried to eat in front of them, a few nibbles here and there, but it ultimately went down the drain. I did this for months until my body finally went into shock and couldn’t take it anymore. I was always exhausted, always sick, obviously I had no energy.”
“One morning I just woke up, sat in front of the mirror and cried. I honestly remember just sitting there thinking....I am day by day watching and allowing myself to die. I felt like it was a slow suicide, and not only was I hurting myself, but I was hurting my family, the people who loved me the most. I felt selfish. I finally forced myself to make a change & began eating a little at a time."
Tina says that although her eating disorder was “short-lived”, it changed her. She was eating again but still struggled with a distorted body image and continued to look for ways to lose weight. Instead of starving herself, Tina planned to hit the gym and burn unwanted calories. Forty-five minutes on the elliptical five days a week became Tina’s routine. She did this for three months straight… and did not lose a single pound. When Tina met someone with an alternative training plan she was all ears.
Firefighter to the Rescue!
"It wasn’t till July 2010 that my life would change. I participated in the Irvine Lake Mud Run & met a firefighter by the name of Kasra. He told me I should check out CrossFit, and that one had just opened up near him in Westlake Village, CA. I figured what the heck. I walked into CrossFit Conejo Valley on July 21, 2010 where I met Steve Vanderbok."
Tina’s coach introduced her to the CrossFit methodology: constantly varied, functional movement such a squats, pull-ups, push-ups, deadlifts, and more.
"I thought to myself, holy crap - I can’t do a single pull up to save my life, push ups I was okay at, but when it came to squats, my legs were so weak & I lacked so much flexibility that I legitimately couldn’t do a full ROM (range of motion) AIR SQUAT! AN AIR SQUAT!!!!"
Progress: A Healthy Addiction
Since high school, Tina had been looking for a way to gain control of her body and have a positive self-image. Anorexia was not the answer and neither was chronic cardio. She thought her problems would be solved by being skinny even at the expense of her physical well-being. Finally through CrossFit, Tina found a way to make positive changes and gain control of her body in a completely healthy way. Instead of destroying her body, she began building herself back up. The progress she saw in her strength and conditioning was addicting and far more rewarding than the destructive methods she had tried before.
"I continuously went to CrossFit Conejo Valley, I was progressing so much. I was running a lot more, I was learning new movements like power cleans, jerks, overhead squatting, thrusters, etc. I was continuously PR’ing, but most importantly, my confidence was through the roof. I never imagined I’d feel this way. I felt good about myself, I felt great being around other people."
A Greater Purpose
With a new-found feeling of self-confidence and purpose, Tina discovered that she was ready to help others. I believe this is a true sign of being a completely healed person… when you have gained so much in terms of your own strength that you are able to give something back. Now that Tina has learned how to take care of herself, she is ready to help others do the same.
" I realized this is what I’m passionate about, this is what I was born to do, I was born to be a warrior and I learned how to do things and make changes for MYSELF and be happy. If I could do this, anyone can. A few months had gone by & I realized this is what I needed to do with my life, I needed to help people reach goals, and make changes within themselves and realize that they’re amazing. I received my Level 1 cert and I began coaching classes, watching people progress gave me instant gratification."
"I’ve been Crossfitting for about 16 months now, & I’ve hit PRs I never thought possible. I did my first deadlift in July of 2010 where I hit 105#, I now deadlift 320#, just 25# shy of hitting triple my bodyweight. I’ve completed the Super Spartan race which was 9 miles long, I’ve hit a 44# weighted pull up, I can do muscle ups, I front squat 165#, I power clean 130#, my max one handed handstand hold on a kettlebell is 51 seconds, I have a sub 5 Fran, & I’ve even done Fran at the men’s weight for fun! My most recent PR is hitting a bodyweight overhead squat."
"I’ve learned to appreciate the little things in life. I’ve learned that life really is about YOU vs YOU. Who cares what people think? Make changes for yourself. Take that first step & never look back! It’s a road to happiness, & I thank CrossFit for making me realize this because I’ve never felt better!"
Tina is receiving a customized necklace inscribed with the words of her choice: "I will. I can." Fashletics is proud to present Tina with this unique piece as a symbol of her dedication to a healthy and happy life. Thank you Tina! STRONG WINS