To tell my journey up to today, I have to fill some folks in on where I started.
Back in February 2011, a best friend was trying to get healthy and asked me to start KFIT with her. I thought I was going to Zumba….. WOW!! The first night of KFIT was a serious wake up call. I was scared of the little blond and her whistle. I used to “hide” in the closet when I was supposed to be doing pull ups. (Literally, I would stand there praying Kerrie didn’t come over and see me NOT in the pull up band!!!!)
For some reason, during all my flaws, I never felt people “watching me” or “judging me” which is how I felt at regular gyms. Sugar free was a fabulous change to my system because sweets are my weakness. I would tell myself “You will have chocolate someday, just not today.”
Within my first year of KFIT, I lost 86 lbs. I started running 5k’s, laughing A LOT more and working out 3/4 days a week @ KFIT. This new family I found was life changing. The coaches, the community of ladies of KFIT they all inspired me to WANT to be healthy. Everyone was so motivating, encouraging, strong, determined, and so much more.
Fast forward a bit. I was in love and pregnant. Womp, womp. This wasn’t “planned” and was a wittle bitty wrench in my fitness journey. I was happy to be pregnant but my body had just been through a year and half of changes getting smaller and now all I could forsee was gaining it all back. I tried my hardest to stay fit while pregnant. I worked out until I was 7 months along, much to my families protests. The coaches were all amazing during my pregnancy; they made sure I went lighter or modified when I should. Towards the end I was tired, so tired. My body was fighting me and I felt like a bloated cow. I was upset that I was gaining weight and not enjoying all the body changes I was experiencing. But, most of all I was tired. I stopped at 7 months and told myself I would rest up and come back fiercer than ever. I had the knowledge to keep my weight at bay, so what’s the worst that could happen?!?!
In May 2014, I had a c-section delivery. My KFIT ninja was here!!! My total weight gained by the end of pregnancy was 57lbs. The first time I weighed in post-delivery, I was already down 30 lbs! YES! Best diet ever, only 27 more lbs to go and I would be at my pre- baby weight.
I got into a mommy routine the best I could and enjoyed my time at home. Lingering in the back of my mind was the black cloud of having to go back to work. How was I going to leave this beautiful cherub who instantly changed my world? I was so in LOVE. How could I justify leaving her for a work day, and then longer to go to the gym? I couldn’t. How could I spend my time meal prepping when I already lost so much time with her while working? I was only getting 4 and 5 hour stretches of sleep. She was a good sleeper but it was still a change in what I was used to. My mommy duties were tripled on the weekends when her twin sisters come for the weekends. I love them as my own, but I never got a break. I was trying to get a routine down that I could keep up with and not feel like I was drowning.
I started back to KFIT the DAY I was authorized by my doctor. Being back at the gym I felt like ME as I walked back into the gym. However, that first workout proved I was NOT the same ME. My body wasn’t working the way it used to. In my mind, since the baby was gone from my belly, I imagined running the same, lifting the same and working out the same as before. AH NO! I couldn’t grasp what was “wrong” with me that I wasn’t the same. I felt like it was a shot against me that my body couldn’t do it. I didn’t get it. WHY COULDN’T I DO IT?? I felt awkward, embarrassed, slower than slow, weak, and nothing of which made me proud to be a Kfitter.
My life was changing and I was losing pieces of KFIT and pieces of my healthy self. The next 6 or 8 months, I had personal struggles taking me further away from my healthy track. I still went to the gym, but there was a bunch of new faces I didn’t know, there was a super strong circle in the corner and there were moves I had never heard of before. It felt like I didn’t belong anymore. What’s worse, in my mind I compared myself to every other person working out. Rather than doing my best and training to get back to where I was pre pregnancy, I slowly moved away from the KFIT circle. I didn’t cook anymore, I never prepped, I did my best to eat clean, but at the end of the day I never thought of myself, only my perfect baby girl. She lite up my world and she didn’t care if I couldn’t fit in my jeans? Who cared if I was living in yoga pants a year and a half post baby?? The worst part of this cycle was the mental unhealthy toll it took on me. I didn’t even want most of the crap I ate but sometimes it was just a craving I needed to satisfy. I was mentally beating myself up. That made me eat more. This made me feel more ashamed. How could I go to KFIT where everyone knows that “I know better.” I was embarrassed, weak, and tired. So, tired all the time.
Somehow, I was only getting to class to workout maybe once a week every other week. That wasn’t enough but I had every excuse. I had an awful day at work, I was tired, I was cranky, I was missing family time, I had twins with me, I had a newborn, my clothes are too tight, I’m the slowest one there, I’m the weakest one there, I was MAKING EXCUSES. Now, I see these are the BEST days to get to KFIT!
During the summer of 2015, I was in a class that I almost walked out of. I was like “I’m done. I’m not finishing.” I actually put my weights back but was too embarrassed to walk across the gym and out the door. I felt like such a disappointment to myself (and to my coach.) I chalked it up to heat exhaustion.
Trying to move on, I went to another class. I remember clearly the workout was burpees and kettle bell swings. KETTLE BELL SWINGS!! A basic move and one of my favorites, I was using a 20lb weight and I couldn’t lift the kettlebell above my head without feeling like I was going to pass out. (All I could think was “You were using 25lb pre baby. What is wrong with you?!”)
A lot was wrong- I was not eating healthy, wasn’t staying hydrated and my head wasn’t in the game. WHY would I think this would work? Why was I there? What was I doing wasting KFIT’s time and my time?? A light went off and I thought “I’m done. I’m never coming back to KFIT after tonight.” On the way home I cried in my car and was mentally saying goodbye to my coaches and the fabulous ladies I met over the years. GOODBYE.
I got home and sat to play with my daughter. I was looking at her sweet smile and she looked at me like I had all the answers. I had NO ANSWERS at this point besides knowing I needed help. That night, I sent an email that changed my life. My subject was “I choose to fight.” I asked for help and explained I was at a cross roads. I was ready to walk away but I had to FIGHT for my daughter. I knew leaving KFIT would be the worst decision I could make because it was the ONLY healthy thing in my life. It wasn’t about getting “skinny” for me; it was about getting “healthy” and showing my daughter healthy habits.
In August 2015, after my email to Kerrie, I had 54lbs to lose to get back to my pre baby weight. GULP. I’m the queen of talking to myself and I said “Karina, you are doing this 110% for a month. Do what Kerrie tells you and don’t stray. At the end of the month, if you want to quit, you will know you gave it your all. It’s just a month. You will have sweets again in your life but not in this month.”
Kerrie did a lot for me that I can never repay her for. She listened, she guided me, she squeezed me into her personal time. She never made me feel like an idiot, she never judged me, she never told me it was my fault. She only told me what needed to be done to fix the damage. Personal training and personal meal plans it was! She made the food prep simple because she knows how busy I am. (It was 10000% my fault because I made the unhealthy choices I made. I can’t blame it on having a baby because I gained most of my weight post baby.)
After the first month, I was feeling A-M-A-Zzzzzzing. I totally thought I had dropped 10lbs and when I jumped on the scale, I was only down 4 ounces! BUT, my body was already changing and my clothes were looser. I was eating healthy meals rather than snacking 24/7 and I was more energized. I had a new revamped, positive outlook on my future. I made other changes in my life that made sense for me and my daughter. I had to re-focus some priorities and even though I didn’t know how everything would work itself out, I took the leap! I had to start putting myself first in some situations because in the last 3 years I had lost myself.
Instead of having a mindset of healthy meaning time spent away from my daughter, I started mingling her into my fitness routine. I would take her walking in the stroller, that led to jogging with the stroller. Then, if I was doing a home workout on the floor, I scooped her up and did weighted sit-ups! I started leaving her in the highchair an additional 5 /10 minutes so I could do food prep. Sometimes she helps me with the food prep! I’m lucky because I have fed her organic/ sugar free since birth so she eats everything I eat! … Yes, I am THAT mom.
Have I had sweets since August? Yes
Is the struggle hard sometimes to “just say no?” Yes
Have I had bad workouts? Yes
When I sit at night to watch TV do I sometimes want ice cream? Yes
Am I human? Yes
Is it expensive? Yes; I remind myself that I have spent YEARS spending money on my unhealthy habits. It’s time to spend my money on being healthy.
Is it worth it? YES, YES, YES. I am down 36 lbs since August, I ran a 36min 5k without stopping, I’m using a 30lb kettle bell, 20 lb weights during workouts, big girl barbells and I FEEL FANTASTIC. I don’t want my daughter to wish she was “skinny.” I want her to wish she was strong, to be determined, to feel worthy, and above all LOVED no matter what.
There is no looking back for this Mama!! I am excited to see what’s next in (my) journey and I’m soooo super thankful that little blonde with a whistle is as awesome as she is!!!! The way I see it, Kerrie saved my life 2 times now. She was someone believing in ME when I didn’t believe in MYSELF. There is no way I can pay that back other than doing what works!! That is KFIT.
If there is ANYONE out there that feels too fat, or too slow, or too banged up, or too tired, or too unmotivated, I am here. I can listen with no judgement. I will walk with you or wog or whatever you need; just ask for help and decide you want to FIGHT for it. XO
Karina we can’t thank you enough for sharing this personal and emotional story with us. You are everyone’s cheerleader, motivator and posses all the qualities of a true fighter and a great friend. You are one of a kind and an inspiration to so many ladies! Keep the fight going.