CrossFit Queen

Nothing could stop Athena Perez from losing weight to save her life.

Everyone has their reasons for setting a particular goal. It was Athena Perez’s “why” that kept her pushing to lose weight when she decided against bariatric surgery in favor of diet and exercise.

Back in 2016, Perez was facing two surgeries, one bariatric and the other to treat Blout’s disease, a bone disorder of the lower leg. Perez couldn’t walk without the help of two canes. Unable to go visit her family for Christmas, Perez spent her holiday watching videos made about people who went through bariatric surgery. “I saw how other patients regretted having the surgery,” Perez says. The following January, Perez decided to change her life without surgery.

Perez started by focusing on her diet. She cut out all dairy and sugars, and mostly ate veggies, meats and nuts. “In the second month, I was down 50 pounds. I was more mobile,” Perez says.

The next step was reaching out to a friend who knew a personal trainer in Lakeville who also worked at a CrossFit gym. One thing led to another, and after doing a boot camp at the gym, CrossFit became a big part of Perez’s workout routine. Now, Perez does CrossFit five days a week and has added power lifting at CrossFit White Bear to her regimen. She entered her first competition in June.

Today, Perez has lost over 200 pounds. “I don’t recognize my old life. You learn who you are, and what you’re capable of. You can do more than you think,” she says. “I can do the simple things now, like grocery shopping. I couldn’t do that before. My quality of life has improved hundreds of times over.”