When Karrie came to me in Evanston in October 2012, she fessed up that she wasn't particularly psyched about getting into a workout routine but that she knew she needed to do something if she was going to have a long, healthy life. She'd tried dieting before and, like so many, had gained back the weight plus more. Instead of getting Karrie to change a bunch of things at once (which, let's face it, rarely works), we started small. One-habit-at-a-time small. Her first new habit: Adding one serving of vegetables to her day. That one habit snowballed into many and for over a year, Karrie has averaged a weight loss of half a pound every week. She is a perfect example that consistency is key if you're going to make a life-long change. So without further ado: Meet Karrie!
How old are you and please tell me about yourself.
I am thirty, and I have spent approximately most of my life overweight (with about three years as morbidly obese). My main interests are reading and watching movies & tv (passive activities that do not require any movement). I also have several nieces and nephews whom I adore; they inspire me most days, even though they live in other states.
What were your initial goals when you started training?
My very first goal was merely to start moving and to get to the gym. It was as simple as starting to become mobile. My secondary goals were for health and weight loss in general: I wished to move out of the morbidly obese BMI category as a start.
How do you think your sessions have helped you?
My sessions help me beyond what I imagined when I started. Since starting, I am more active, more mindful about the nutrients I put into my body, and I am much stronger physically and mentally. I did not really consider gaining strength as an important aspect to training when I first started and it was not part of my goal set. Now, I am really happy that I discovered that I like knowing that I am growing stronger and that I can do more with each session in the gym (along with small feats at home or on my commute). Learning that I am capable of making progress bolstered my self-esteem and motivates me to set goals and continue working towards them.
What have you enjoyed most about your training?
With Izzy, working out is fun, so I always look forward to it. I like that she helps me try new moves, identifies which moves I really enjoy, and incorporates them into my workouts. This is how we discovered my love for deadlifts. Crushing my birthday deadlifting goal will be one of my most memorable moments in life (not just in the gym). Izzy encouraged my goal, motivated me to work up to lifting 100 pounds, and rewarded me in her awesome way with optimism and encouragement along the way. She conveyed that this goal was possible and that I will reach it (and I did)!
Do you have any fitness goals for this new year?
My goals involve continuing to lose weight and seeing if I can challenge myself to lose more total pounds than I have in the past year. Also, I am considering aiming for another deadlifting personal record… so maybe 150 lbs sometime in 2014?! That would be cool!
How would you describe your philosophy about exercise and nutrition?
I aim for balance in order to maintain my sanity/willpower, weight loss, and schedule. This means balancing healthy eating with room for some not-so-healthy options on occasion (e.g., chocolate). This also means balancing nutrition with work in the gym. Since I have spent my life overweight, I know that a couple of months of unhealthy food restriction will not produce meaningful, sustainable results. Not only did that kind of food plan lack nutrients and make me gain weight after giving up, it also did not provide me with enough energy to hit the gym. So, today I try to make sure I reach my daily water goal and if I think I want chocolate, I eat a little chocolate. Then I follow it up with a session with Izzy to make sure I’m getting stronger and staying active.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
If you are wondering, I beat my morbid obesity in early 2013, and I have not crept into that category since! Yay!