Healthy Happy and Sweaty

Fitness Journey of an empty nest mom and wife trying to balance a healthy lifestyle with a busy life!

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I finally did it…

Ok, so we have established that I suck at writing on a regular basis. I really want to, and I have all sorts of ideas, but time, sleep, gym etc all get in the way of me actually sitting down and writing. So, sorry about that! 

BUT I finally did it! About a month ago, I finally hit my goal weight of 150!!! It has not been easy, it took longer than I had hoped, but at the end of the day – I FREAKIN DID IT!!!!!

So what now, what’s next? Maintaining, building my strength, setting new goals for myself, that’s what! So far I have maintained my weight, going between 150 and 153, which is just fine. Building strength is still a work in progress after the stupid car accident, but I am working on it! 
But what about new goals? Once you hit that number on the scale, what other goals are there? Well, some are physical and some are emotional/mental ones. 

Physical are pretty easy to define – I want to build my core strength so that I can finally do push ups on my toes, I want to build my arm/shoulder/neck strength back up to where it was before the accident so I can lift heavy again, I want to be able to balance on the bosu ball and get faster times in races. Physical goals are a lot easier to define than the mental/emotional ones. 

No one can prepare you for the emotional side effects of a weight loss journey. People see you and say you look great and you must feel great, and really for the most part I do. But when I look at myself in the mirror, I don’t see what they see, I still see an overweight me looking back. I still feel like the “fat friend”. 

So these are my other goals, to look in the mirror and see the new me, and to have the confidence in myself that I should have. I am proud of the number on the scale and the smaller number on my clothing sizes, but I don’t see that. Inside me is still obese, and scared to put on a bathing suit in public. I am working on it, and hope to get there someday, but I know it’s going to take time. 

I have worked so hard to get here, and the logical side of me knows that everything is fine. The emotional side of me doesn’t get it yet, I still see the flaws…the abs that aren’t perfect, the arms that are still a little soft, the nonexistent butt no matter how many squats I do…I need to get over all of that and celebrate the new me, but it’s hard. 

 Kari and I were talking about it, I said maybe I just need to constantly stare at my before and after pictures, because the evidence is right there in front of me. So yeah, take pics so you can compare – it’s worth it. 

I guess on that note, I should leave you with a before and after pic right? This one amazes me every time I see it, so enjoy! 



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Trying to focus on the positive

These last two months have been rough, not having hit my goal weight STILL and having modified workouts because of stupid people have really taken their toll on my brain, heart, spirit and motivation. So today, I am trying to focus on all of the positive things that are still happening, in an effort to get my own head back on straight and stay on this path that I am almost at the end of! No, not the end of – the end of this weight LOSS path perhaps, but once I hit the end of that path, it will be time to take new fork in the road, one of maintaining my weight, building strength – both physical and mental – and continuing to challenge myself.  And if I can inspire someone else to make the commitment to themselves, well then that’s even better.

So these last 5 pounds are pissing me off, and I need to remember the non-scale victories that are out there – for instance, I no longer have to wear a suit of armor for a sports bra! Just a plain old boring normal sports bra now. And those stairs that kicked my ass two years ago, well I kicked theirs this time!


I have also FINALLY been cleared to start introducing more exercises back into my work out -started with planks last week, going to try burpees, mountain climbers and other exercises that use a tire, next week push-ups and you get the idea.

Per my doctor, this could be an injury that never goes away, it could be something that I have to deal with the rest of my life. What a literal pain in the neck! But I am making the decision that I will not let it get the best of me, I will do everything I can to ignore it, and just listen to my body. If I am having a sore day, I won’t do something to exacerbate the problem, but I can’t let the split second decision of one stupid person change my life forever. She has already screwed up the last two months, I can’t give her anymore of my time.

Another thing that has been difficult to deal with are all the saboteurs in the world, the people who just don’t get it, and will not support you for whatever reason. Some people say the haters are jealous, and maybe that’s the whole problem. Maybe it is, but I can’t let them get to me, the skin is growing thicker over here, and proving people wrong is a good motivator. Accepting that people are either jealous or just negative isn’t easy, I tend to be a positive person, always looking for the bright side, and I just don’t get that kind of behavior. To quote Taylor Swift: And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, I shake it off, I shake it off.

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There have been a few things that have been helping me keep my head up through everything though. One is looking at far how I have come. I look at pictures of my progression and shock myself! I refuse to let myself go back to where I was, it is not going to happen and I looking at the comparison is really a strong motivator! I have come so far, I can’t let the haters and stupid people or the scale get me down!

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That my friends is progress, whether the scale is where I want it to be or not.

Another key thing that has helped me has been having an incredible support system made up of incredible family and friends who cheer me on every step of the way! Really, I can’t stress how important this has been. Knowing that if I have a rough day that there are people I can talk to, that my husband is waiting when I get home at the end of the day, that I have girlfriends who I can just relax and be myself with, no matter who I am that day is invaluable. You honestly can not put a price on how much that is worth.

So yes, this journey is not an easy one, and getting frustrated and giving up would be much easier than plugging along and working towards my goals. Dealing with people who want to see you fail sucks, but I have to believe in myself and believe that I am better than that. I am trying to focus on the positive, I am trying to look at all of the good things that this journey has brought me, and to keep looking ahead to all of the good things that are going to come my way.


Girlfriends are the best!

And trust me, when I hit that goal weight, there is going to be a party! Because I have earned it, through sweat, tears, discipline and tenacity. So stay tuned, it’s coming, and it’s coming soon!

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When frustration kicks in


Ever just have one of those days where you just feel frustrated? You can’t even put your finger on one particular thing, but everything little thingis adding up to major frustration? Welcome to my world today…

I still haven’t hit my goal weight, I have only lost 4 pounds in the past two and a half months. Yes, hitting a plateau is normal, but I am tired of hitting this brick wall. I have been within the same half pound for the last month, going to try changing my calorie intake, and hopefully that will work, but I think the modified workouts from the accident may be part of the problem too, and I can’t do anything about that yet.

And that’s another thing, being injured because some idiot was texting while driving really pisses me off. This is not my fault, but I am the one paying the price. I am so worried that all of the progress I have made will go away, so far I haven’t gained any weight back, but what about muscle tone and baby steps I have made on doing push ups and planks? Will my arms get flabby again because I can’t lift the weights I was lifting? Crap! Add dealing with idiotic insurance adjusters to the mix, and the whole situation just pisses me off! The girl that hit me pulled into the gym parking lot one night to pick up a pizza next door, she was lucky and I stayed inside the gym until she was gone, the way I feel today, if I saw her, she might not get off as easy…


I wish those were the only things that were bothering me, the weight I can work on, the injury I can’t control, I can  only listen to my doctor’s, physical therapists, chiropractor and my body. I can rationalize those things, but it still is frustrating.

Overall, today is just a day to be frustrated. I need to take a few deep breaths, take a walk at lunchtime, and take all of my frustration out on the gym floor tonight. There are some things I can change, some I can’t and some I am just gonna have to learn to live with. And adopt this as my new motto. 

And sometimes, you just need to write it all out to get it out of your head… Thanks for letting me publicly vent…

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emotional eating

So this week has been frustrating the crap out of me. Not being able to do my normal workouts because of my shoulder injury, feeling like I am not going to ever hit my weight loss goal especially if I can’t do my full workouts, dealing with insurance adjusters and doctors, being in pain because some stupid person was texting instead of paying attention when she was driving, work, life in general- you name it, it has all added up to a very frustrating week.

It hit my really hard during my Sweatmood workout on Tuesday. I was so over squats and lunges instead of burpees and weights, that I actually stopped working out and video taped part of the circuit for Kari. Over it, done and really irritated – that would be the way to describe my attitude that day.

I left the gym and went to the grocery store to get milk. Well, milk was the plan anyway. I ended up coming out of the store with a quart of non fat milk, a 16 ounce tub of dark chocolate peanut butter cups, a tub of ginger snaps, a bottle of syrah and a 6 pack of beer. Yes, I screwed up. And two days later, the peanut butter cups, ginger snaps, part of the bottle of wine and 2 beers are gone – eaten mostly by me, with a little help from my husband.


I felt awful after that first night of binging. I almost made myself throw up, but I hate puking even more than I hated what I had done.  But I didn’t, I went to bed feeling bloated and gross – mad at myself and not really feeling any better about the day than I had when I left the gym. Now I was not only frustrated, but feeling guilty about the food that I knew I shouldn’t have eaten. Wednesday would be better right?

Wrong…still frustrated, nothing resolved anywhere, got home from the gym and finished off the peanut butter cups and ginger snaps that were still sitting there staring at me. I am so ashamed of myself. I didn’t put all this crap I had eaten in my food diary, I didn’t put it in my daily email to Kari. I threw the evidence in the garbage as if not seeing it would make it go away.

I woke up on Thursday so mad at myself. I have been doing so well, was I really willing to throw it all away over stress? I knew I was emotional eating, and I know that doing this is a sure way to sabotage all of my success. I made it through the holidays while still losing weight, I went on vacation and only gained half a pound – I know what to do! Was I really going to let stress derail me?

Let’s be honest, we all do it. We all seek comfort in food or drink at some point. It doesn’t have to be stress related, or sadness, it can be from boredom too. I have caught myself standing in front of the refrigerator many times, or reaching for that bowl of chips on a table at a meeting, not because I am actually hungry, but because it is there and I need something to occupy myself.

I guess the trick is going to have to be finding something that gives you pleasure or makes you feel better when you are eating out of sadness or stress. Someone told me to have sex, as it makes the brain feel just as good as the chocolate or junk food. But let’s be honest, as good as that sounds, it’s not always an option. So what to do then? Maybe calling a friend and venting about the situation, maybe having a good cathartic cry, maybe getting in the kitchen and chopping the hell out of something – there has to be an answer other than comfort food! Any and all suggestions are more than welcome.

Bored eating is a little easier. DO SOMETHING! If you’re at a meeting and you’re bored, maybe it’s time to take the initiative to wrap the meeting up.


We are programmed from a young age that food brings comfort, and we all know that. We associate sweets with parties, and parties make you happy right? That bowl of chicken noodle soup that your mom made when you were sick made you feel better, at least psychologically. So it is natural that we turn to food for comfort, this is also why we have an obesity problem in our country. I think that for myself, I haven’t always been creative enough to come up with other ways of finding comfort, it’s always been food – even cooking it brings me a sense of peace.

Back to this week, I finally ‘fessed up to Kari. Told her everything, even went so far as to figure out how many calories I probably ate in addition to what I told her. Let’s just say it was a lot…I got my workouts in, even though they are still modified, kept my food on track the rest of the week, even went to spin on Sunday morning. Thank GOD she is not just a trainer but a great friend, she didn’t judge, she didn’t criticize too much, just agreed with me that there has to be something besides food to improve my mood.

So there you have it, I screwed up and screwed up big time. Guess I will have to face the ultimate judge and jury – my scale – Monday morning.



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Staying on Track When Life Goes Crazy

So, it’s been just about a month since I last posted, and things have just been crazy!

It started with my mom and I getting into a car accident that totaled my car. Seriously people, don’t text and drive. We were very fortunate to walk away from the accident, still dealing with some soreness issues, hoping they aren’t going to be too serious. But my poor car is toast. And of course the car accident happened a week and a half before I was going on vacation, and my youngest daughter came home from college and my oldest graduated from college. Crazy month!!!

Really, it was the perfect set of circumstances for getting way off track. Between  vacation, missing a couple of workouts before vacation due to doctor’s appointments because of the car accident, and having to modify my workouts because of the pain in my neck and shoulder, the added stress of everything going on with dealing with insurance companies and celebrating my daughter’s graduation, I was sure that I was going to gain weight back. I was determined not to let it happen though. IMG_3782

With all the chaos, the only thing I could control was myself. I can watch what I eat, I can still meal prep, I can not go crazy on vacation, I can get to Sweatmood every chance I can – even if it’s modified. I have worked way too hard to let a little bit of chaos set me back at all. I mean, I still haven’t hit my goal weight, and that is going to happen dang it anyway! So that’s what I did, I controlled myself.

I meal prepped for every day I was working, I went to every workout I could, I even packed my breakfast for my vacation, and carefully read the menu when we went out. I asked how things were going to be cooked, had all the sauce on the side, and packed my running shoes so I could exercise on my trip. I am in charge of me, and no outside BS is going to stop me from reaching my goals.

I am happy to say that the crazy focus paid off. Since the Monday (my weigh in day) before the accident, I have lost 4.7 pounds. It hasn’t been easy – not gonna lie. But is anything worth it ever easy?



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I didn’t hit my goal

So I had a goal number and a date in mind, 150 by May 7th. Random date, meaningless except for the fact that is the day I had blocked off for going shopping for my upcoming vacation. But here it is, May 9th, and I didn’t hit it. In fact, I managed to gain 2 pounds this last week.

It was a pretty lofty goal, 52 pounds in 7 months, but I was determined. Now I am disappointed in myself, and trying to stay positive isn’t always easy. But I need to look at the bigger picture, I am only 10 pounds from that goal. That is still 42 pounds in 7 months, and that in and of itself is something to be proud of. I have worked my butt off to get here!


But still, I am really sad about this! I know that I am human and haven’t always been perfect with my food plan, but I really thought I was going to hit it. For every time I did screw up, there have been countless times I didn’t. I have hardly skipped any workouts, what the hell? Why didn’t it happen on my time scale? Where did I go wrong? Crap!

More than sad, I am mad at myself, I mean really at the end of the day, I screwed this up, all me. As I have said before, I am responsible for my own successes – and failures…It all comes down to me, and I have to accept that. Man, failure sucks, but what am I gonna do? Stop now? Give up on my goals? Quit after all the hard work I have put in?

OK Karin, let’s look at the positive side of things, you are a positive person, and have come so far – let’s review…

It was not quite two years ago that I was 220, with high blood pressure and was pre-diabetic. That me is gone, and my ultimate goal is that she never returns. I can honestly say that I am in the best physical shape of my life right now, and that is something else to be proud of. My cardio endurance is better, the visual shape of my body is the best it’s ever been, I am stronger than ever, and all of those things are just as important  – if not more important – than the number on the scale.

And while the disappointment is very huge, there is almost a small sense of relief too. I know, it sounds weird, but hear me out! For the last 7 months, my focus has been on losing the weight – what happens when I do? Do I shoot for a lower weight? I’m 5’8″, much lower and I will be too thin. Maintaining a weight sounds daunting and frightening, what if I screw up? I know I now have the tools to lose weight if I need to, but do I have the tools to maintain a healthy weight? For now, I don’t have to think about that.


This is really one of those times when I need to remember that I am more than a number on the scale and look at the bigger picture. I need to remember how far I have come, instead of focusing on how far I have to go. Instead of being disappointed, I need to celebrate the successes I have had, both on the scale and off. I have still lost 42 pounds in 7 months, and probably closer to 65 since I started working out at Sweatmood nearly two years ago, and that and my health are huge successes!

I will hit my goal weight, it is going to happen. So what if it didn’t happen on some arbitrary time scale that was in my head, the overall goal is to get there and maintain a healthy lifestyle so that I am never that unhealthy woman again. Breathe, move forward, and keep working on it, it will happen…


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Good friends and Good Bras

Have one thing in common – they give us all great support.


Very rarely can someone undergo a major life change and honestly say they did it on their own. Yes, they may have done the work – gone to the gym, stuck to a meal plan, graduated from college, gotten sober – what ever it may be, but I can almost guarantee you that 99% of everyone who has made a huge change and been successful will tell you that they couldn’t have done it with out the support of their family and friends.

Personally, there is no way I could have gotten this far on my journey without the support of some pretty incredible people.

Let’s start closest to home – my amazing husband. While sometimes I just think he thinks I have lost it, he is always there. If I run a race, he is at the finish line, always telling me how strong I looked when I crossed the line, and usually tracking my time too so he can tell me how much I have improved since the last race. He knows I am going to cry, and he is ready to hug me and let me let it all out. He’s a quiet man, always has been, so when he tells me he is proud of me, or that I look good, it means so much. While fairly silent most of the time, he really is my best friend, biggest cheerleader, and best supporter ever. Until he buys cookies or ice cream – but that’s a story for a different time.

And let’s not forget my amazing daughters. While neither of them live at home anymore, they are pretty incredible cheerleaders too. My oldest daughter has now joined Sweatmood with me, and my youngest is always telling me how great I look. They too have joined me at finish lines, and are always there to cheer me on. Little do they know that they are one of the big reasons I am doing this – so that maybe they won’t wait so long to take control of their health and their bodies.

My parents have always been great cheerleaders too, although tonight my mom told me I was being too hard on myself. But isn’t that what mom’s are for? We recently went on an adventure for the day with my parents, and I was probably 100 feet in front of my dad, and when he caught up to me he told me that if he hadn’t been watching me the whole time, he wouldn’t have recognized me from behind. It’s a little thing, but it meant more than he knows.

While family support is incredible, you almost expect it – I mean they are family, don’t they have to support you? Not all family is supportive, maybe I am just lucky – but as lucky as I am to have my family, I really feel I am very fortunate to have the friends I have.


My closest friends have been my friends since we were kids, some I met in elementary school, some in high school, but without their love and support, I would be lost. I also have friends made more recently – especially my Komen 3 day walking team, the Golden Gate Pink Warriors – a bunch of women all different ages, ethnicities and backgrounds who support each other through everything. We have been there for weddings, deaths of loved ones, babies being born, divorces and everything in between. These people are the ones who encourage me to go to the gym when I just don’t feel like it, and they are the first to congratulate me when I hit a milestone or goal.

I am also so fortunate to have my Sweatmood friends – who really are more like a great big amazing family – by my side. From the trainers to the other members, you feel that support when you walk in the door. We truly have each others back, and not just in gym related matters. When people talk about group fitness, this is what they are talking about – yes, you work out in a group setting, but you come to rely on these people, this group of friends and they rely on you. What are relying on each other for? That high five when you just rocked a crazy tabata set, that smile and hug when you walk in, that eye roll in the middle of class when your crazy trainer says you are doing more burpees! This support is incredible, these people who you may not see outside of the gym become so important and so integral to your training – they mirror you and support you and your accomplishments are theirs. And that’s a great feeling.

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So say thank you to your friends and family, and don’t underestimate friendships that may just be built on working out together, all of this support is so important and each different type of support system fills a different, buy equally important, need. I know I would be lost without all of them!