n my experience with coaching clients and building the Body IO Coaching Team with Kiefer, I’ve processed hundreds of client assessments. Over the course of this process, we noticed a serious gap that needed to be filled. Basically, I received emails from women every day, mostly moms, who had fallen in love with CrossFit and the Paleo diet, but who were extremely frustrated that their body compositions were not changing for the better.
For those of you who know me, you know that CrossFit doesn’t appeal to me. Yes, I have tried CrossFit, but I have never felt the need or desire to abandon my current training and go down that path.
Being the person I am, I don’t try to pretend that I’m something I’m not. I’m not a mom and I don’t participate in CrossFit. However, because I believe that clients need a coach that they can relate to, Kiefer and I began searching for the ideal candidate. We wanted to find a CrossFit coach who used Carb Nite® and Carb Backloading™, who is a career-driven mother and wife, and who has overcome her own struggles with body composition, health, and nutritional views.
When I met Chelssie Urankar, I knew that she was precisely what we were looking for. After reading this interview with her, you’ll understand why.
Q: Hi Chelssie. Tell us a little about yourself, your family, and what you do.
A: I’m 29 years old, and I’m married to Nick Urankar, a competitive CrossFit and Grid athlete. I also have two daughters—Jada, age five, and Atley, age 21 months. My family and I live in Indiana, where we own and operate our CrossFit box, CrossFit 061. My life is a balancing act that includes being a mom, running a business, coaching CrossFit, providing healthy meals to my family, and helping others achieve their health and fitness goals as a Body IO coach. I coach three to four CrossFit classes a week and run our CrossFit kids program.
Q: What attracted you to CrossFit? Did you fall in love right away or did it take some convincing?
A: Truth be told, I got into CrossFit because of my husband. After my first pregnancy, most of my girlfriends had started using P90X. Eager to get in shape, I figured that I should try P90X too. My husband, a CrossFit coach, made me a deal—I would let him train me for 90 days before I started the program. If I wasn’t happy with my results and still wanted to do P90X, then he would buy it for me. After 30days of training with him, I had completely stopped thinking about P90X. Instead, I was hooked on CrossFit. I was very pleased with the results and I’ve always been inspired by the physiques of the female CrossFit athletes.
Q: What do you see as the most common mistake amongst women who start CrossFit?
A: For most women, dieting should be their first priority before worrying about adding an elaborate exercise routine. Women who are drawn to CrossFit sometimes assume that the intense exercise will compensate for their lack of attention to nutrition. Often times, this appears as one of two extremes: severely overeating or under-eating, both of which have negative outcomes.
Q: Like many women, you adopted a Paleo diet. Tell us a little about that and when you realized that Paleo wasn’t going to cut it for you.
A: Before I started CrossFit, I had been a vegetarian for four years and was heavily dosed on carbohydrates. Making the jump from being a vegetarian to adopting a Paleo diet wasn’t too difficult for me. I made sure that my meat came from high-quality sources. Cutting out grains and sugars from my diet improved my physical appearance, mental clarity, sleep, and performance in the gym, which also made the system easy to comply with. Where I began having trouble was when I discovered “paleo treats.” It wasn’t long before I found myself including a “treat” after every meal and adding sweet potatoes to almost every recipe I created.
At that time, my lack of aesthetic results didn’t seem to correspond with the amount of time that I was spending in the gym or in the kitchen creating “healthy” meals. I became frustrated, so I began doing more research about macronutrient profiling and nutrient timing. I like to think of the Paleo diet as a food quality guideline that I still use to this day, and recommend to clients, but Paleo lacks any template for how much food should be eaten or when to consume specific nutrients to achieve the best health and performance. This oversight can negatively impact results and often causes people to jump from diet to diet, who then ultimately lose hope and feel lost.
Q: What makes you unique as a Body IO coach?
A: As a female Body IO coach who has experience with running a busy life, I juggle the everyday duties and privileges of being a mom, running a business, and finding time to provide meals for my family while using CrossFit as my form of exercise. I bring a lot to the table for the CrossFit community because I have had the opportunity to work with recreational athletes in our gym and to train with my husband, who is an elite level CrossFit athlete.
Q: What do you hope to teach your clients?
A: I hope to teach my clients about effective ways to integrate a healthy balance of meeting their goals and living a balanced life. I want to reach those in the CrossFit community by utilizing and implementing CBL and CNS to support both their level, of exercise and their aesthetic and health goals.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Chelssie. I’m sure that there are many women reading this who can relate to your experience and who are eager to learn from everything that you’ve accomplished.