Badass Body Cruise, Participating in Big Brother Season 19, Fighting a downward spiral, Letting femininity show up, and more.
Guest: Christmas Abbott
Christmas Abbott is a professional athlete, a CrossFit Games competitor, an olympic weightlifter, and NASCAR Pit Crew. She is also a branding advisor, working with individuals and teams to craft their own unique brand, helping them to put their best foot forward and share their passion with others.
Christmas is also a transformational guru, creator of Christmas Abbott Nutrition, Oxygen Magazine Trainer Challenge Head Trainer, Badass Body Diet Creator, online fitness foach, motivational speaker, keynote speaker and national bestselling author.
In this episode, Christmas opens up about her pregnancy and her relationship with Ben Bunn. She also shares her experience participating in the TV show Big Brother, why 2017 was a tough year for her, and much more.
Badass Body Cruise
Badass Body Cruise is a six days, five nights cruise where you can have the opportunity to train, be coached by, and explore Europe with Christmas Abbott!
It’s six days worth of fitness and fun aboard one of the newest 5-Star ships along the Rhine River — The MS Amadeus Silver. An all-inclusive experience with destinations that will leave you speechless. It includes daily WODs, food/wine tastings, excursions, seminars and more!
“What I’m excited about for my cruise is that it’s not just about sweating and stretching. I really get to give some history about my heritage and my life and what I do on a daily basis.” — Christmas Abbott
Battling depressing times
Christmas has been battling depression since she was a teen. She learned how to navigate depression by following her day-to-day fundamentals: gratitude, movement, community, service, and reflection. If she implements her fundamentals a lot, she can battle the darker side.
Although Christmas knows how to cope with tough times, 2017 was a very tough year for her. It started off with a devastating heartbreak, when someone close to her OD’ed in front of her. Later on that year, Christmas ignored the pain from that tragedy, and participated in the TV show, Big Brother (Season 19). She joined the TV show because she thought she needed a challenge, but it turned out she didn’t need one at the time.
“I compartmentalized the shit out of my life.” — Christmas Abbott
Participating in Big Brother Season 19
Christmas walked into Big Brother when she was already broken, and it didn’t help that Big Brother is an isolated environment that feeds on distrust, conspiracy, and paranoia.
Big Brother is a social experiment where you’re completely disconnected from the outside world, and you can lose your mind. It’s known that the worst thing you can do to a prisoner, or any human for that matter, is put them in isolation.
Christmas spent 92 days in Big Brother, and a total of 99 days in isolation from society. On the 13th day into Big Brother, she broke her foot. When production asked if she wanted to stay on the show or go home, she decided to stay, as she’s a competitor at heart.
Christmas thought her injury wasn’t that bad, but the decision to stay at the house set back her foot recovery immensely. She was in extreme pain, to the point that getting up from a chair was dangerous, let alone go to the bathroom. She tried to hide her struggle with the injury as she didn’t want to become a hassle on others and get voted out.
The series of unfortunate events in 2017, and the lack of dealing with them, got Christmas to lose passion for her work and get into depression.
“I’ve learned the difference between quitting and knowing what’s best for me.” — Christmas Abbott
Fighting a downward spiral
When Christmas got out of the Big Brother house, she was shell shocked. She felt not OK, very strange, and very traumatized. She couldn’t get herself to talk to people on the phone, only face to face.
She spend a lot of time sitting at the back of her house, writing, listening to music, reading, meditating, and smoking pot because to ease the pain, as she refused to take xanax or other pharmaceuticals that could mess her up even more.
Not being able to move and workout got Christmas into a downward spiral, and she got depressed. Despite the pain and mental agony, she did whatever she could. She would take yoga classes where she would sob the entire session. She cried more than she ever did. She let her emotions flow and stopped caring what people thought about her. It’s not that she didn’t have self-esteem, she was broken.
“My therapy is CrossFit, my therapy is movement, my therapy is sweat. Now that suddenly my only form of therapy that I find in this house is gone. And I wasn’t OK with myself enough to sit still and meditate.” — Christmas Abbott
In the last quarter of 2017, Christmas had some happy moments. A big breakthrough happened when she took an impromptu trip to Florida. She decided to kayak to an island to write about all the BS she went through in 2017, burn it, and start 2018 fresh.
When she bought the ticket, she already started feeling relief, she started laughing, and it was pure joy. That was a big turning point for Christmas after a lot of work. Then, January 2018 was one of the best months of her life.
Christmas is inspired by the movie Collateral Beauty:
“It’s so beautiful in a sense that through every tragedy, if you’re patient, if you’re aware and willing, that in a long enough timeline, you are gonna see the collateral beauty of it. That comes with death, that comes with loss of anything and everything. We kinda tie ourselves to these tangibles, but ultimately we need to tie ourselves to ourselves, and finding our own inner happiness and connecting to people on a level that you can’t explain.” — Christmas Abbott
Letting femininity show up
Christmas has a very masculine personality, but in the past year, life has showed her she needs to connect with her feminine power more often to move forward and grow.
When she broke her left foot, all this femininity flowed into her. She feels more vulnerable, patient, kind, and understanding now. It doesn’t means Christmas is giving anything away, rather she can be more of herself and more powerful.
Her relationship with Ben Bunn
Meeting Ben Bunn was a breath of fresh air in Christmas’ life. Ben is a strong, masculine guy, who helped create a space for Christmas to blossom in being more feminine. He’s not a macho guy, else a confident man that takes care of things and he has big empathy to understanding where people are and what they need. They had great conversations that allowed Christmas to put her guard down, and he helped a lot in coping and getting out of the house.
Although they had great chemistry, work, distance, and Ben’s residuals from his past relationships were in the way of them staying together. Around the end of 2017, Christmas and Ben decided that it wasn’t going to work for them, and Christmas decided to get out of Raleigh, NC, and move to St. Petersburg, FL. Then, she found out she was pregnant.
Christmas delivered the news “badly” to Ben, but it didn’t matter. All he cared about from the first moment was to be a good father to his unborn baby. He has been exceptionally supportive of Christmas and the pregnancy even though they are still working on their relationship.
“This is unplanned, but it’s not unwelcome.” — Christmas Abbott
Ben Bunn is the most incredible man Christmas met in her life. Before they throw romance into their relationship, they’re working on the fundamentals. They are trying to avoid fast-forwarding things, so they can go through the real stages of a relationship. They don’t want to repeat their parents’ mistakes.
Both Christmas and Ben has a strong desire to be involved in her child’s life in full capacity. They may become a strong family unit or they may become co-parents. They’re aware of the situation and they’re letting things play out slowly and naturally, instead of forcing themselves into a romantic relationship just for their kid.
“It’s better for the kids to see healthy adults as their role models and the people that are raising them. And for people to have their parents be miserable because they are trying to stay together or whatever… I’m not a parent, but I think it’s really important to show your kids that you are happy. Because they’re gonna do what you do. If you are forcing yourself into situations to look good to the public, and to people, and friends, and so on and so forth, then they’re gonna end up doing the same thing, and you don’t want that for them.” — Mike Bledsoe
Following a tough year in 2017, the new exciting pregnancy, and the new relationship, has changed Christmas immensely. She used to be more aggressive, she used to drink, and she used to power through being tired. Now wants to be held, she wants to take her time, she is more curious about things, she is fine with taking a break, and she feels more child-like than ever before.
All she’s doing with her body now is preparing it for her child, so he or she can become the healthiest, happiest, most well rounded kid in the world.
Training while pregnant
When it comes to training while pregnant, everybody is different and needs to take a personalized approach. A lot of doctors recommend women to avoid lifting over 20 lb. or 25 lb., but you need to make your own calculation. If you are an athletic strong person, 65 lb. or even more weight could be just fine or even healthy for you.
Christmas has been advocating for people to ask their doctor about working out and lifting while pregnant. Doctors also recommend not going upside down because of the risk of falling down and hurting the baby, which again doesn’t apply that much to women with very strong core, who are comfortable being upside down.
Christmas’ doctor has been advocating her to not push to the limit and just be smart about working out. She slowly increased her training intensity during her second trimester.
Post pregnancy best practices
Christmas is trying to prepare as much as possible for her future kid. She wants her baby to be as healthy as possible, and she wants to be as healthy as possible for her kid.
One thing she took note of is postpartum practices. After a baby is born, it’s best to get the baby to the mother as soon as possible, while the cord is still connected. Rather than cut the cord and wash the baby first. Studies show that babies that stay connected for longer after birth are much healthier.
Also, around one in seven women will experience something more extreme than the typical baby blues. Women that give birth and struggle with sadness, anxiety or worry for several weeks or more may have postpartum depression (PPD). While the baby blues tend to pass quickly, PPD can be long-lasting and severely affect a woman’s ability to get through her daily routine.
Christmas Abbott Nutrition (CAN)
Christmas Abbott Nutrition (CAN) is an online version of Christmas’ nutrition seminars, where her job is work herself out of a job. She offers nutrition coaching, including weekly lesson plans, and one challenge per week. It’s about small changes that lead to massive results, building a program tailored to your lifestyle.
Christmas is focused on education, setting realistic expectations, and empowering people to know why they are following the nutrition plan.
“It’s a bout a living, moving understanding of where you are.” — Christmas Abbott
Every two weeks, members get their macros recalculated and get a new daily allotment including food and water intake.
There is also a cool app, called the CAN platform, which is powered by Solid.Fit, and allows you to track your nutrition, exercise, sleep, and water and to communicate with Christmas and her team in REAL time from an Android, iPhone, desktop, or laptop. You can even take a picture of your food, which gets auto scanned and makes the tracking work much easier.
“No matter where you are today or how you got here, I believe one thing to be true: every day you have the opportunity to change your story. But — epiphany or gradual change — you have to be relentless about your desire to become the person you want to be.
I created BOURN Relentless out of this belief. I want to live healthier, push my limits, and dominate each day. I want to make sure that everything I put into my body does, too. Each product is carefully formulated to keep up with the demands of a Relentless lifestyle, and I’m excited to share my journey with you.” — Christmas Abbott
Firefly Sleep Aid — FIREFLY promotes relaxation and recovery through deep, restorative sleep, ensuring that you start each day refreshed, replenished, and ready for peak performance.
INVOKE Pre-Workout — Designed to maximize effort and enhance performance.
RE+ BCAAs — Provide 5g of fermented Branched Chain Amino Acids (as InstAminos™) in a scientifically dosed 2:1:1 ratio to meet every athlete’s essential needs.