Hey guys…please meet my girl Kristi!!
Kristi joined my very first 21-Day Fix Challenge Group about 7 months ago. I still remember our emails back and forth before she wrote back with “I bought my challenge pack! I am so excited to do this!”
And now…this beautiful + amazing woman is serving as an inspiration to us all today as she shares her story…
Tell us about YOU!
I live in Minneapolis, MN. I am the VP of Finance at Regency Beauty Institute. I have an accounting background and love that I found a way to use my knowledge and skills in an education company within the beauty industry. I prefer to spend my time selecting nail polish colors and choosing new hair dryers and straightners for our students, but sometimes I actually have to pay attention to the financials too!
I have a super sweet boyfriend who came into my life during my fitness and weightloss journey. He is tall, dark and handsome – but more importantly he is extremely supportive of me – including my daily workouts and my commitment to nutrition and healthy eating. We prepare meals together and I know this is simply a way of life for both of us!
My dog Tucker is a 16 pound Yorkie that likes to give me plenty of dog kisses when I collapse on my yoga mat after finishing an awesome workout. Yes, he weighs 16 pounds! So I’m hoping Beachbody introduces a pet-friendly program very soon as he can clearly stand to lose a few pounds!
Everybody has a “fitness story” so to speak. What is yours?
My fitness story… I was never very athletic. No team sports for this uncoordinated girl!
I was a swimmer my entire life – from age 8 through college. I was also overweight my entire life. Go figure – the overweight girl wore a swimsuit in front of people her entire life! No one else in my family was overweight, so I definitely felt alone.
I was also the the biggest person in any group that I associated with – my family, high school friends, college friends, etc. I tried to get used to that and accept that role, but deep down I knew that wasn’t who I was supposed to be! So I swam for several hours a day 5 days a week as a child. In high school I lifted weights and got strong, but was still big. I remember graduating from high school and feeling very sad that I weighed 180 pounds. In college along with swimming and lifting weights, I started running, but I was still big.
I remember crossing the 200 pound mark in college. I ran a marathon the year after graduating from college and I weighed 207 pounds. Seriously – even after completing a marathon training program I still weighted over 200 pounds. The goal to run a marathon included a goal to lose weight – but that didn’t happen. Hindsight is certainly 20/20. Despite my activity level I was somehow able to eat enough so as never to lose a significant amount of weight. That’s a lot of eating! My family didn’t necessary eat healthy meals. Lots of carbs and very little veggies – but to me fair to my mom – I think that was pretty typical for that point in time! I also ate snacks that were very unhealthy!
After college I worked in public accounting for a few different firms. I traveled throughout the US, worked 80+ hours a week, ate out, drank and managed to gain about 40 pounds during 10 years. In 2011 I got a new job and lost 40 pounds by doing a fitness program that included clean eating and kickboxing and strength training classes. I felt better then ever! During the summer I did a triathlon and injured my lower back and fell right back into my bad habits and gained all the weight back. Looking back, its sad that I threw in the towel on my healthy eating just because I wasn’t able to workout for several months. I guess I was an “all or nothing” type of person. If I didn’t eat healthy on Monday, I would simply give up on the week and eat crap all week long telling myself that I would start over again the next Monday. While there is definitely some truth to starting the week out right (like never miss a workout on Monday!) I used this an excuse! My self esteem was not great. I can’t say that I was ever really depressed, but I certainly wasn’t happy. I didn’t date anyone for almost 10 years. I watched all my friends get married and have kids and while I want both of those things in my life, I didn’t believe that I deserved them because I was disgusted by how I looked and felt.
What made you want to take action? Tell us about that day/moment…
I have thought a lot about this question. Sometimes I simply don’t understand how it happened and why now?! It’s easy to get frustrated by the fact that I couldn’t make this happen sooner. But I very much believe that we don’t control the timing in our own lives – so this is my timing!
After much thought I believe that the motivating factor for me was the fact that I am 35 years old and I’m certainly not getting any younger. If I really wanted to spend my life with someone and have a family I needed to make it a priority! Then my youngest sister got engaged last April. She is 9 years younger than me! It kind of stung that she was that much younger than me, but had “caught up” to me as far as timing in life. I realized that everyone I know is married. Every single one of my high school friend, every single one of my college friends and every single one of my public accounting friends. Now my sister too. That left me. Overweight. Unhappy. I think I probably sulked about it for a few weeks.
My sister encouraged me and told me she knew I could do it. She looks up to me and for some reason I didn’t want to let her down! I was trying to kick up my running in the spring and my body was simply not having it. Let’s be honest – what 240 pound body wants to go for a run!
Over those weeks, I came to realize that this one life I have to live was going to pass me by if I didn’t take some sort of action. I spent lots of time thinking. It was evident that I was successful in every other aspect of my life. I worked very hard at my job and had been promoted and met all of my goals in that area. I have amazing friendships with my sisters and many other friends – I felt successful in that area. As I looked around at my life was the one area that I had allowed myself to give up on. I didn’t like that. I realized that I simply couldn’t stand for it any longer. I was allowing myself to not be successful at health and fitness and that needed to change!
Why did you choose a Beachbody program to help you?
I was lucky enough to have “met” Marion through her style blog several years ago. Funny thing, is that we hadn’t really ever met. I simply looked forward to her posts and felt like she was my friend and she had no idea who I was! But I was a follower of her for a very long time. I even have the same watch and bracelet as Marion does just to prove out friendship! I would look at her posts and think to myself I could never wear what she does!
So she did the 21 Day Fix and while her goals were very different from my own, I felt like the program would be a great fit! She talked just enough about the program and she offered up her own experience with the program so I didn’t feel like I was relying on an informercial like so many other products! She was very open and honest about how she had fell off the wagon in her own fitness goals and that she wasn’t feeling very good about herself. I really appreciated that and felt like this was a safe environment.
What about the process worked well for you?
The 21 Day Fix program is simple. Sure its overwhelming in the first few days, but after that its very simple. I could not find an excuse for missing a 30 minute at home workout. I didn’t need to drive to the gym, park, walk to the locker room, wait for a machine, or get there 30 minutes early cuz that one instructor’s class always fills up fast! Instead I just roll out of bed in the morning, throw on my clothes and hit play. The workout is half over before I am even fully awake! There’s no time for me to change my mind! And its an awesome workout. As in sweat dripping down my face within the first 10 minutes. That is such an awesome feeling!
Then there’s the nutrition – which is 80% of the equation for me. Remember, I used to sabotage my workouts in the kitchen each and every day! I just learned how to fill the containers, I bought the right groceries and I ate my containers and was never hungry. Yes, I have to plan ahead. I have to make a meal and snack plan for the week and grocery shop. I do this on Sundays. I also spend time prepping – like making kale chips, cutting fruit and veggies and boiling eggs. This process has become very theraupetic for me.
I know that I can be successful if I do this – so I look forward to each and every week. Sure there are weeks where I don’t spend as much time and sure enough, those are the weeks that I don’t make great choices and I’m reminded that I want do better next week. I love that Marion asks us to rate ourselves each week on workouts and nutrition. It keeps my honest and reminds me that this isn’t about being perfect. This year I learned that life is more about having grace and being graceful and grateful than it is about being perfect! I also really love Shakeology. Shakeology is full of some crazy good ingredients – super fruits and veggies along with protein and its about the closest thing I’ve found to a magic pill. It curbs my sugar cravings, gives me energy, keeps me full for hours and has had a big impact on my immune system. Now my fingers are crossed – but have been healthy despite all the nasty bugs in MN this time of year!
How do you feel today and what are your goals in moving forward?
I feel incredible! I feel like I’m living a dream life. Sometimes I wonder if it will all end. If its a dream and I wake up, I’ll simply be thankful to have lived it for a few months. Then I look around and pinch myself and I know its real! I worked really hard to be where I am today. And you know what…. I’d do it all over again! I think that’s why I love being a coach now. I want to do it all over again with everyone in my challenge groups – because its worth it!
I am so proud of myself! So many people share their congratulations and many kind words and its fun to hear that. But what really matters is that I finally did this for myself. I made my health and fitness just as important as every other goal in my life! I finally held myself accountable. I did it on my own, but with the greatest support network! Oh and by the way, my sister is very proud of me – she tells me all the time! And I will proudly stand next to her when she marries her best friend in May!
I have already far exceed my initial goals. At first I wanted to weigh less than 200 pounds by the new year. Then I wanted to lose another 20 pounds before my sister’s wedding. My goal was to stand next to her at the wedding and look and feel great – with really buff arms! Today I weigh 173 pounds. I’m in awe of that! So my new goal is lose 1 more pound and make it an even 70 pounds. Let’s be honest I’m an accountant and I just really like round numbers! Then I want to be in a healthy BMI range which means I need to be at or below 165 pounds.
I want to continue to tone my legs. I couldn’t even run a mile without walking in May. I was at a 13 minute mile pace. In July I ran my first 5K without walking – at about a 12 minute mile pace. That was a huge goal for me and I remember crying when I did it! Yesterday I ran a 9:30 pace and finished a 5K under 30 minutes. Another milestone. I’m going to run a half marathon in 2015.
I also want to help others be fit and strong – that’s a big goal for 2015!
Thank you so much Kristi for sharing your story with us! So excited to see how many people you inspire + help in this new year!
xo – Marion