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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Meet Kristen!!

Almost a year ago this amazing lady came into my life as a client at LA Fitness.  We clicked pretty quickly since she's just as "spunky" as me.  Yes, the universe made another person as "spunky" as me!  LOL!  I'm so happy to say now she's a close friend and grateful for the friendship.  In the time we've gone down the journey of Kristen's fitness I've been fortunate enough to see her change and grow into the amazing person she is.  

Recently Jimmy and I put together a team for the Spartan Race here in Tampa FL and Kristen used the Spartan as a goal.  We started training for it in January and Kristen jumped right in!  Needless to say, she killed it!  Below is Kristen's story with some fun photos.  Enjoy!!!

What made you decide to take your first steps on your fitness journey?
            I have always been one of those people who have struggled with her weight, ever since I stopped playing soccer 3 years ago. I’m not really sure what happened, but I think I lost motivation and drive to work out because I had no reason to without soccer. I slowly gained weight, but it was not that much. After I moved to Tampa, I already started noticing weight gain and I did not like my body AT ALL. So the first winter break back home I got a trainer for the month and lost 9lbs. I was very excited and determined to keep my weight loss journey going. However, that is not how it played out. I came back to school and relied too heavily on other people to work out with me that I would only do it if someone came with me. At the same time, I was trying to juggle school and a social life. Looking back on it I don’t know why I made it seem so hard. Anyways, the spring semester after having a trainer did not go well because from then until last year I kept gaining weight until I reached my weight of 191lbs. During this time I became depressed and mad at myself that I could get that big and that unhealthy. I started trying to do lose weight the wrong way, such as, skipping meals. When I realized that wasn’t working I did the opposite and started binge eating. That mixed with barely working out at all landed me where I was before I went to LA fitness and met Nikki. I just couldn’t handle the way I looked anymore. It was hard for me to like myself or even look at myself in the mirror. All I wanted to do was sit in my room and do nothing. After many failed attempts at weight loss and getting tired of feeling down; I decided to join a gym and look into getting a trainer. I knew I needed a trainer to push me and provide me with the knowledge of how to balance working out and eating right to meet my goal. 

What was the most difficult part of the switch?  
            Once I started training with Nikki I had very high hopes that I would drop the weight in about 6 months. Well that was not the case at all and I could not understand why I wasn’t seeing changes after about a month. I thought I was eating the right way and I knew my workouts were good, but there were no results for my hard work. Then it was brought to my attention that I really wasn’t eating as healthy as I should be, so Nikki started me on a nutrition plan that has been the secret to my success. Food was the reason I got as heavy as I did, so I had to retrain myself to eat healthier and have smaller portion sizes. Also, I have such a sweet tooth that I used to eat candy and ice cream whenever I wanted and when I started I was cut off from all of that, so it was definitely an adjustment to change my eating habits.

How did you overcome it?
            It was not easy at first because my body still craved the “crap” food. The only thing that got me through it was the fact that I knew someone was watching exactly what I ate and I had to weigh myself every week. I had to tell myself that I needed to stick to the nutrition plan or else I wasn’t going to lose the weight I wanted to and I would let down my trainer. At the same time, that is why I wanted a trainer because they would hold me responsible for my actions. It makes you think twice about what you eat or whether you should skip a workout or not.

If you could give advice to anyone trying to make the changes in their life like you have what would it be?
            If I could give any sort of advice to people just starting out, it would be to keep your head up. You will go through periods of weight gain and weight loss and you just have to remember that there are different reasons that could be happening. If you are doing the right thing that you have no reason to be down. It is not all about what the scale says, but instead about how YOU feel and how your clothes fit. There is no doubt that the journey will be hard and it takes a lot of will power, but nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it!

 If you could be a superhero who would you be? Why?
            I am actually really bad at answering these types of questions, but if I HAD to pick a superhero I would probably be….superman(or woman, whatever) because he is a powerful being and that is how I want to be on the inside and out. I want to not only look the part of superman, but I want to be able to be confident and proud of my accomplishments.

What goals have you made for the future?
            My ultimate goal is to be happy with my body and do it all in a healthy way. If I had to pick a target goal weight it would be about 140lbs by June of 2014. Also in June I am going to be competing in a tri fitness competition, thanks to Nikki. It includes bench press, box jumps, and shuttle runs that are all timed. I am very excited about this goal! I believe it will give me the end result I want and I will have something to motivate me to get me there.  I also would not mind running another mud race sometime soon, but ultimately I want to be able to continue this lifestyle I’ve been taught and try to teach other friend and family members because I know how rewarding it is to accomplish milestones in your life.

Give us a sample plan of your day.  
            On a typical day I eat six meals. Breakfast is usually oatmeal, ½ a grapefruit, and egg whites. For my first snack I will have P28 bread, peanut butter, and a bell pepper. At lunch I eat 5oz of turkey meat, brown rice, and a small apple. At my second snack I have 2oz of shrimp, rice, squash, marinara sauce, and little bit of olive oil. For dinner I eat a spinach salad with chicken, shredded carrots, and tomatoes with balsamic and olive oil dressing. Lastly, before bed I usually have a meal replacement shake. I recently started using advocare products as well. I did the 24 day challenge and currently I take a pre workout that consists of mass impact and arginine, alone with a catalyst, and a post workout (some days). Since I’m in school and need help with energy I drink spark! It does wonders! When I have a 6am workout I also take Pro20 before the workout instead of eating a full meal. Feel free to check out advocare at www.advocare.com/140148496 : ) I HIGHLY recommend it.

How did you feel running the Spartan Sprint on Feb 15th in Tampa?
            Wow. I did it! I just wasn’t sure what to expect and how I would be at it even though I trained for a month for it. I got more and more nervous the closer the race got. It didn’t help that before the race started I had to “jump” over a mini wall…I thought it was going to be trouble from there, but I am VERY proud at what I accomplished and I did it for ME.

What was the most difficult part?
            The race was not easy by any means, but I think the hardest part for me was climbing over the walls because I am afraid of heights and I can’t jump to save my life. The other part of the race where I wanted to quit was running up and down ALL of the stadium stairs. That got old REAL fast. Oh and of course the burpees were no fun after the first 30. I thought I would be okay with those from doing so many in training, but it was different doing it outside in the heat.

Would you run it again?
            I would most definitely run the race again! I am actually ready to run another race this summer. It was such a major accomplishment and so much fun to be able to say I completed the Spartan Race that I wanted that “high” again.

Any advice you'd give to someone looking to get ready for a race like the Spartan?
                Anyone doing the Spartan Race should definitely do some sort of training for it before just going in “blind.” However, the most important thing is just to have fun and try your best. There is no one judging you, so don’t worry about how you look or anything like that. It is a HUGE accomplishment just to finish the race. I think everyone should try at least one mud race in their life just for the experience. 


December 2012



Kristen is BatGirl

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