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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Holy Crap, it’s been a year

Seriously? Where has the time gone? I can not believe that it has been a year since I started this phase of my weight loss transformation, fitness journey what ever you want to call it. There are so many thoughts going through my head right now, I don’t even know where to begin!

So to quote one of my favorite musicals, let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. Just over two years ago, I joined Sweatmood Fitness , and took the first step towards getting myself healthy. Coincidentally, Oct 12th marks two years since one of the trainers started, and she posted this lovely picture on Facebook this morning. Yes, I cropped it to just show me, but that was me Oct 12th 2014. Yes, I was the biggest one in the class, but dammit I was there and doing something about it.


Me – Oct 12 2014

I worked out for a year, and made some impressive strides in my journey to being a new me. But last year, Oct 12th 2015 marked the beginning of this stage of my journey. Weighing in at 202.4, determined to change, determined to get to my goal weight of 150, and scared to death that I would fail yet again.

I have busted my ass this last year. Worked out 4-6 times a week whenever possible, stuck to my meal prep and calorie counting, and dammit – I HAVE SUCCEEDED. But wow, the lessons learned, emotions  and crazy thoughts going through my head  – so here we go! Just the honest truth, the good, the bad and the ugly!

One of the hardest things I have learned from this is that not everyone will be happy for you. And honestly, that kinda sucks. When you change your lifestyle and people around you do not, it isn’t always pretty. People don’t always understand what you are doing, and how they deal with it isn’t always nice. I have been told that I spend too much time at the gym, had my food choices mocked, been asked how much more weight I could possibly want to lose and flat out told that I would never accomplish my goals and that since I was crazy for trying, why bother. It sounds silly, but realizing that people ridicule what they don’t understand, and act out when they are jealous is not a reflection of me but more of a reflection of them is kind of a shocking realization to come to. Fortunately, these people are the minority, doesn’t mean that they haven’t gotten under my skin, just means that I now see their insecurities for what they are, and have continued to live my life on my terms, flipping a figurative middle finger at the lot of them, and loving proving them wrong.


A good thing that I have learned is that I CAN do anything I set my mind to. I had a goal, I worked hard and I reached it. If I can do that with my health and fitness, what else can I apply it to and succeed where I never thought I could? Do you know how many windows that opens? Really, the possibility of what a human being can do is endless! I am so looking forward to what the future holds. Not just on a fitness and health level but on a personal and professional level as well.


Two years apart – lots of blood, sweat and tears to get here! 

Emotionally there have been so many highs – finally breaking that 3 hour mark and setting a PR in the Santa Rosa Half Marathon, reaching my goal weight and maintaining it since August, and most importantly the sense of gratitude that has come to define my life and relationships. I could have never done all of this without the support of the people in my life – from my husband, daughters, parents and extended family, to my amazing trainers and friends, the unconditional love and support has been so important. Realizing that there are people who have your back and want nothing but to lift you up and see you succeed, with no thought of what your success could mean to them, is such an incredible feeling. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by that kind of love and friendship, and these people have been there to lift me through all the hard times and to celebrate all of the successes as well. My people are amazing, and I am so grateful to have all of them in my life.


There have been lows too, don’t get me wrong! From my inner fat chick messing with my head and telling me I can’t do things, to not losing the weight as fast as I wanted to, and gaining seven pounds during a Disneyland trip to name a few – this journey has not always been easy. But I am learning to deal with these kinds of things. My inner fat chick is the worst, she still messes with me and makes me question whether or not I can do things, I am learning not to listen to her – she is the old me, and I can’t let her interfere with the new me. Not losing the weight as fast as I wanted has been very difficult – but I have learned to trust the process and be patient, it happened, just not as quickly as I wanted, and I do have to say that I am proud of myself for not letting the discouragement get the best of me. Gaining weight at Disneyland was an easy lesson to learn – don’t eat crap and think it’s not gonna catch up with you!


So where do I go from here? Is my fitness journey over? Not by a long shot – there is still so much I want to do! I want to maintain my weight which is a tangible measurement of where I have come, but there are other less tangible things I want to accomplish. For instance,  I still can’t do a push up on my toes and I really want to master that dammit, and I want my abs to not look so squishy, I also took my first yoga class this week and I really want to be able to do it well and not feel like an uncoordinated moose!


Another thing I would like to do, and I am still not sure how to do it, is to help others have the success I have had. I am a firm believer that success should be shared, and while I know that I don’t want to be a trainer, I do want to help people achieve their goals by sharing what have been my keys to success. I am not sure what that will look like, but it is coming in some way, shape or form.

So stay tuned my friends, because this party is just getting started!







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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…