Hey Guys! We have a special Member’s Spotlight today from our Veteran Kellie B! And this one goes out to our Mumma’s! Listening to us kid-less Coaches squawk about how you need to find time to squeeze in a marathon and bake 3 weeks of egg muffins can surely get tiring. I’m sure you want to punch us in the kid-less jugular. That’s why we think Kell’s story is so fab. Not just because she is family. But because she is a full time crime fighter and a Mom of TWO sets of twins. We thought you could be inspired by her story. And really, if this chick can get it together, then we all can retire our excuses.
I have always been a big kid. I never thought of myself as fat, just a big strong kid. I happened to inherit my father’s build (thanks Daddy Gobotz), but these genes helped me play varsity sports in high school and rugby in college. I was never like all the other girls, never skinny and not that girly body type. No matter what I did, running, sports, dieting, I just stayed big. As you can imagine, my high school years sucked! I used humor to get me through it and couldn’t wait to get the hell out of school. (Girls are just so damn mean and judgmental!)
At the age of 18 I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), this is a disease that you are born with that affects the hormones in your body. Unfortunately one of the side effects is weight gain, and trouble losing weight. So with this fabulous addition to my body type, let’s just say I wasn’t super thrilled.
Over the years I would yo-yo diet and my weight would go up and down. Never by much. I never had that huge weight loss. I always remained within 10-15 pounds of loss or gain. I then had two sets of twins in two years. With my first set of twins I was out of work for almost a year and suffered some major health complications. I could not work out at all, not even go for a walk. I was placed on bedrest in the hospital at 25 weeks. The twins came 2 months early and it was scary being home with these tiny, sick babies. I had no time for me, or even thinking of working out. I hadn’t gained a lot with the babies, and because I was so sick I lost the baby weight right after they were born. I was actually skinnier, but the lack of doing anything I put back on 20 lbs. I was tired all the time and stressed out beyond belief! Having a new baby in the house was hard, but having two of them was absolutely insane. I didn’t have time to think of myself. There was no thought of cooking a healthy meal. I was in survival mode. I drank coffee and couldn’t even remember half of the time if I ate or not. Once the kids were in a schedule and I felt that I was not going to break them in some way I slowly began taking walks with the babies and trying to get back into working out. I joined Planet Fitness and would go at night. I did mostly cardio and some weights. It was hard, family life takes over, being a mother takes over. It is not about you anymore, it was about these two little people and you and your priorities fall to the wayside.
Shortly before the twins turned one, Kerrie had decided to open her own gym. I was super happy for her and to be honest, I was sick of working out alone, doing the same old boring routine. I needed something different. I joined her KFIT classes and it was love at first class. This training was right up my alley. I loved how I felt after leaving the class. The workouts were the best workouts I had been to in years. I actually felt like I was accomplishing something. I am not going to lie, the first couple of months, I was hurting. But it was a good hurt. I was working out muscle’s I had not worked out in years. I felt good, for the first time in a long time. I was getting stronger, but I was not losing the weight I wanted too.
I got pregnant with my second set of twins and gave birth to them 2 years after my first pregnancy. Again, I was placed on bedrest and unable to work out after about 20 weeks into the pregnancy. I gained 29 pounds with the girls. If I thought life was crazy with one set of twins, well life was a carnival with two sets. Working out was such a low priority. This part of my life was a blur. I can honestly say I can’t even remember the first three months of their lives.
I got back into KFIT about 6 months after the girls were born. That year I was the heaviest I had ever been. I needed to lose 29 pounds just to get back to my pre-baby weight. The kids had destroyed my body, in every way. I needed to start taking care of myself. I had four little ones that needed me to be a healthy Mom. I wanted to be there for them for a very long time. I had been taking care of all everyone else for so long, and neglected myself, and I was starting to feel it. KFIT at first was an escape, for my mental well-being. It was an hour that I did not have to think of anything at all, no bottle, no diapers to change, no meals to plan, no laundry to do. It was my hour of freedom. Kerrie had group events, road races, and challenges. These events kept me accountable and I ran my first road race in years.
This past year, I got really serious in taking better care of myself. I had the strength part down, I had always had that, but the food part was what I sucked most at. I had a love/hate relationship with food, as in, I love food and food hates my body. I struggled in losing weight my entire life. (PCOS sucks big time) I wanted to make some healthier changes in my diet, but I did not want to go on another fad diet that did not work. I decided to make small changes and stop looking at eating healthy as a diet. I had to look at it as one day at a time and an entire life style change. I also had to get over that hump of not feeling bad when I made a poor decision. I started out with one small change, then another, and then another, until I figured out that eating good for you does not have to be eating carrots and celery sticks for every snack.Life will always have bumps in the road. I do have ice-cream and pizza, but in moderation. I do drink alcohol (because seriously can you imagine having four kids under four and NOT DRINKING?) I just make sure that I eat normal throughout the day and when I splurge it does not become an entire day of eating crap. I want to enjoy my life, not be miserable, so if I eat a cupcake, I move on and don’t beat myself up for it. This is something that took me 37 years to figure out. I know that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a lifetime process. There will be challenges to it, but it is how you deal with those challenges in your life that will either make you fail or make you succeed.
Staying on Track
Being a mother of four little kids is challenging. Working a fulltime job and being a mother of four is really challenging. I try and plan out my menu of meals for the week. I make a giant fruit salad or cut up some pineapple and throw it into a plastic container. It’s easy to grab and my kids love it too! I prep some easy grab and go snacks. If I don’t prep I always try and purchase some healthy snacks in bulk that I can bring in the car with me or leave at work. I love the Sargento balanced breaks, and the Trader Joe’s trail mix. I know that I am more of a “snacker” and love me a good old chip and dip, so I love Trader Joe’s low fat Guacamole with carrot sticks or sweet potato tortilla chips. (Also homemade pita chips are great) Breakfast is my hardest time of day. I am out the door as early as 5 am, so I pack my meals before I go to bed. I know that I have to be quick in the morning so I do a protein shake with a lot of add-ins or I love the egg bake. It is so easy to make and each week you can throw in whatever you want (my favorite is feta, olive and spinach). I eat these cold on the way to work. I think it is important that you figure out what works best for you and go with it. I took little pieces of advice and made them work for me. I love to cook, so when I find a great recipe, I omit crappy ingredients and try to make a healthier version of it. Like If there is a will there is a way and I am going to make it taste good. If I find something I love, then I will make a lot of it and throw it in the freezer in several portion bags. Then I can whip them out the night before for the following day’s meal. The major other thing I do is make my kids eat what I eat. There are no special items for them. What I am having for dinner, my entire family is having for dinner. Some days they love what we eat, other days they might throw most of it on the floor, but it is what it is! (They do have chicken nuggets and mac and cheese, I am not Satan! But for the most part, I cook an entire meal for the family.) We also try to take a walk with the kids at night before they go to bed. It gets the entire family out and moving!
My job is busy and some days I get tied up at work for long periods of time, like as in 2-3 days. I know that I am going to be eating at some local establishment. Instead of grabbing a pizza or sub, I try and stick to healthier versions. I love Boars Head lunch meat, so I go to a place and grab a turkey wheat wrap with all veggies, no cheese, and some mustard and I eat only half of it. I always have a water bottle with me as well and try to at least drink a gallon of water a day! I have learned it is doing the little things that make the difference. Between my work schedule and family life I am always tired, no matter what! Working out sometimes is the last thing on earth I want to do. I make sure I pack a gym bag and throw it in my car at night. Before I leave from work for the day I change into my workout attire. I sometimes have to talk myself on the way home from work to get to the gym, but no matter what I go. By the time I have finished class, I am so glad that I did go and got a great workout in. It wakes me up and I am ready to go home and see my kids. If I know I am going to be tied up at work and not make class, I do one of the at home workouts at my work and then go for a 3-4 mile walk or run. I know at least I am getting something in. I make it a point to at least work out 5 days a week. I might not be able to get to the gym for 5 nights in a row, so I wait until the kids are in bed and then go for a run. It is full-time commitment! But this commitment has helped me lose 40 pounds since starting this journey.
Getting Past the Guilt
The hardest thing of this entire transition, was my guilt. As a working mother, with a demanding work schedule, I do not get to spend a lot of time with my children, and to be honest, it really sucks. I am lucky that I have my mother, who watches my kids, so I know they are in great company and they are loved. (shout out to Nanny Pauline) But because of my job I have missed their milestones, like their first steps or their first words. It was something I knew when I had my children that I could not quit my job, not because I didn’t love them any less, but the career path I chose was not one you could leave and easily get back into. In this day and age many parents have to work to survive, me included. To take time out for myself and work out, I thought was selfish. I was missing valuable time with my children, time that I did not have enough of as it was. But I know now, that this is not true. Being healthy and leading by example is so important for children. I want to show my children that even as you get older you can care about yourself. I have three daughters who I do not want to suffer from poor body image as most of us women have. I want them to accept their bodies, be independent and strong minded. I want to be a good role model, to show them that they can do anything in life, no matter what curve balls are thrown at them. I want them to love themselves. I am not skinny, I never will be, the number on the scale is just a stupid number and after all of these years I have learned to accept that fact. What I do know is that I am a mother of four beautiful children, a wife to an awesome husband who supports everything I do and I am living a healthier lifestyle for me and for them.
Most of all I want to say Thank-you to my baby sister. She has been a positive influence in my life. Kerrie treats no one differently. She is your biggest cheerleader, she wants you to succeed, like really cares about each and every one of her clients. (Let’s face it, she has to care about me, we are related and it is in the contract you sign at birth) She is always trying to help you obtain your goal. She has a great team of coaches. Kelly, Mel and Emily are always there to lend support. KFIT is really like a big family. I have never been to any other gym like it. I have met some really awesome friends, who do not judge me for what I weigh or how cool my clothes are. Working out with other ladies of all ages is so inspirational. Some are there to lose a few pounds and others are there to lose 100 pounds, but we are all in the same boat, to get healthy, and be the best we can be. This was the best decision I ever made in my life. I am glad I did it. Thank-you to Kerrie, and the KFIT team!
Thank you Kell for sharing your tips! You are an inspiration to all Mom’s! Check out Kellie’s blog TWINS THE SEQUEL for a peak inside her real life circus and for some non-filtered parenting tips.