30 Aug September Member Spotlight: Michelle
Meet our September Spotlight Michelle! Michelle has had a lot of ups and downs leading her to her fitness journey. Her “come to Jesus” moment last year is one that many Mother’s can relate to. We are beyond honored to have this boss Mom as a member of our tribe. Beyond her weight loss wins, she has grown incredibly more confident with every class. Her positive attitude is inspiring to be around. We are SO proud of you Michelle! If you see her in class, please thank her for sharing her personal journey with us!
There is no denying how heavy you are once you are tagged wearing a bathing suit on Facebook. This picture was taken Labor Day Weekend 2016and haunted me for more than a year after. Still does to some extent as we approach the two year anniversary.
I was never a “skinny” girl, but in my mid-twenties I gained a fair amount of weight. I was working full time and going to law school four nights a week. Halfway through law school, my mother was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of leukemia, which resulted in her being hospitalized more often than not for seventeen months. While she was sick and in the aftermath of her death, I survived largely on takeout. As for exercise? Unless you count staggering half asleep to and from work, a hospital and classes, it was nonexistent.
By the time I turned thirty in December 2005, I had lost all of that weight using Weight Watchers and walking. I maintained a comfortable weight for me for two years until I started getting a little twinge in my left ankle. The twinge became more frequent and more painful, leading to the diagnosis of avascular necrosis, AVN for short, in January 2008. In the most basic terms, it means part of a bone in my ankle had died. I did not know bones were alive never mind that they could die! Over the following three years I wore a boot about 75% of the time and went through two very painful surgeries, the last replacing the dead bone with a graft. It is unknown what the future holds for that graft, but it was the best option out of a bunch of really bad options. Add in a bout of meningitis and the weight really packed on as I went through my mid-thirties.
Life, after getting married and having my daughter in November 2012, was hectic and did not leave much “me” time to exercise or eat healthy. I had to prove at work that I was the same lawyer as I was pre-baby, which took me away from home more than I wanted already. Losing weight just wasn’t a priority.
Just as the fog was clearing and life was settling down, my gallbladder came to a near complete halt in the Spring of 2015. Seven weeks after that surgery began round two with meningitis. By the time I turned forty that December I was physically drained in every sense. I could barely function never mind exercise and make healthy eating choices, so I gained even more weight.
Which brings us to the Labor Day 2016 photo. What did I do when I saw it? I let it define me. Instead of doing something about it, I let things get worse. About a year later I had to sprint a very short distance to stop my daughter on her bike. I was so winded I thought my heart was going to burst out of my chest. That is what it took for me to FINALLY make a change. I immediately started researching programs and settled on KFIT. When I confided in my sister-in-law, (one of my biggest cheerleaders) what I was about to do, it turns out she grew up with Coach Kerrie! I took that as it was meant to be and went through my intro classes with Coach Em. I had doubts during those first three sessions, but Coach Em’s support and guidance made me stick it out. Just before Thanksgiving, I began Bootcamp classes and the results started showing very quickly. As my SIL told me, I can do hard things. I just had to commit myself and have my husband commit to helping with the “mommy guilt” associated with missing bedtime two nights a week and leaving for a bit on Saturday mornings. Admittedly, I do not always make the three times a week (see above – demanding job and an increasingly busy child), but I make it as often as I can.
After months of progress and a 35-pound weight loss, I had a little incident. I was always very cautious because I knew any injury to my ankle could put me back in the dreaded boot. So, instead of jumping over the bar for burpees, I stepped over it with just a tiny hop. I landed perfectly wrong and by the time I sat up, it looked like a golf ball was growing out of my ankle. By the time I got in my car – a tennis ball. By the time I got to the hospital – a softball. Thankfully it was just a bad sprain on a joint that has had two surgeries and more injections than I care to remember.
In the past, that would have been the end of my fitness journey, but this time was different. Rest, Ice, repeat…and in four weeks I was back. I still cannot jump rope or run without pain, sw
elling and/or bruising in my ankle. Honestly, I am not sure I ever will be able to do those things again, but the coaches always fin
d an equivalent for me with no judgment – the opposite in fact.
The encouragement from even the fittest KFITTERS is so motivating. I was skeptical that a group of women could work out together and not be judgmental, but it is 100% true. There is no judgment if you do a scaled workout. Regardless of your age, size, or physical limitations – show up, work as hard as YOU can, and you will have a gym full of cheerleaders.
KFIT is a community I am proud to be a part of and it has truly changed my life. Now when my spirited little lady defies me telling her to stop, I can easily catch up to her. She regularly challenges me to push-up and squat contests, which makes me so proud because I know that I am setting a good example for her.
I’ve dropped another five pounds since coming back to class in June, but more importantly, I gained a new mindset. It is not just about what the scale tells me, although from a health perspective there is still a lot of work to be done there, it is about feeling strong, healthy, confident and comfortable in my own skin. My body is a work in progress, but as long as I keep making progress, that is all that matters.