Tag Archive | coach

NYC And Coach!

It is 1 AM and I have to be up at 4AM to get ready for a 7 AM  flight (ironically as I type this I hear a plane flying over my house-I don’t live far from DTW).  Where am I going?

New York City!

I have never been there before and if I m honest it has NEVER been on my list of places to go.  But I am a woman of relationship and one of my most significant relationships moved there last fall chasing his dream of being a world changer.  Coach started grad school last fall and since then he has written about and posted pictures of such delightful places in NYC.  He has made NYC, which seemed like a very overwhelming place to visit, sound absolutely delightful!

I decided I wanted to go to see his new home and to visit the friend I have seen once since he left.  I cannot picture Coach in this city.  My perspective of him does not fit into my perception of NYC.  Yet, there he lives and thrives…and does his Doctoral research.  I WANT to go, but there is a part of me that MUST go so that when I think of Coach I can picture him in his lab or on the subway or in his apartment.  All of these things don’t make sense to me, I have no context for them…so in a few hours I go to NYC.

SO many have asked me what I am going to see and what I am going to do there.  I have no idea except to cherish my time with my friend.  Statue of Liberty?  Central Park?  Empire State Building?  Ground Zero?  Coney Island?  Time Square? It would seem wrong to go to this city and NOT see those things so I suppose I will.  But what I really want to do is see the things that Coach has discovered about NYC.  He has a knack for discovering all sorts of hidden interesting things and learning the history about them, then telling that history in a super fascinating way.

Yup, my way of traveling is pretty laid back and has nothing to do with the typical tourist stuff.  The stuff I want to see is ALWAYS tied to a relationship or a person in some way.  If I were to go to Paris, I wouldn’t care f I saw the Eiffel Tower or not…but I would love to find some obscure coffee shop and meet some stranger and find out the things they love about their city…then go see those things!

Now, yes, I am going on vacation.  But I am NOT taking a vacation from my nutrition plan.  I aim to prove that one can stay on plan while on vacation!  I have asked Leif to help a girl out and work traveling into his plan for me this week.  I asked for SOME wiggle room for NYC delights but that I didn’t want to go overboard.  He will be sending my full plan soon, but what I do know is that he told me that this trip is coming at a perfect time in my journey with him and it will actually be a blessing in disguise.  Then he asked me to trust him.  Hmmmm specific requests to trust someone usually make me skeptical, but I suppose he has earned some measure of trust that he knows what he is doing.  I know that ice cream has been built into my plan as well as carbs.  What I know of the coming plan baffles my brain.  I don’t see how it would possible work, but I ain’t no expert.  I just plan to follow whatever he says to do, and I am certain Coach will make me stick to it as well!

So, I am not sure if NYC is ready for me, but my bags are packed and I am ready for NYC!

Oh Coach says that I will “lose my shit!” when I see NYC.  I have been laying off the fiber supplement this week, just in case! (not intentionally, I just always forget that nasty stuff!)


Emotional Storms

It is amazing to me how quickly an emotional storm begins and ends.  There is no weather man to forecast when one of these things is going to hit or the potential for damage or really how bad it is going to get…and certainly not how long it will last. No wonder I feel crazy when this kind of stuff hits!

I ended the week before last in a good place with a healthy view of the big picture.  I was excited to move on to the next week and see what comes.  I was not upset by the scale but rather I laughed at it.  Then, the storm came.

It took about 2 seconds for me to go from being in this great place, ready to conquer the world to a place where I felt like I was hanging precariously on the edge of a mountain…

…except that I was being beat by gale force winds and torrential rain and as far as I could tell in the moment, I had no belay line attached to me.

As you read earlier this week I lived the last week in a lot of fear and trembling and literally just tried to hang on.  Going forward seemed impossible so it became a battle that meant waiting out the storm without getting pushed backwards.

Here is just  a sample of ONE of the battles I faced in that crazy week.

On Monday, I already knew that my tolerance for being around foods that were not in my plan was VERY low.  I KNEW this like I knew my own name.  I also have house mates (2 brothers and mom) who choose NOT to eat as I do and so we make separate meals.  Up until this week, I have NEVER asked them NOT to have something specific in the house if I am around.

Monday night, mom and bro and I were driving to my nieces dance recital when we passed a KFC.  Now some of you long time readers might remember that I once put my friendship with dear Aaron on the line over some fried chicken.  If not you can read about that HERE!  Mom suggested we stop and pick some up.  As I looked over at her, aghast that she would even suggest that I eat that, I clearly told her the following.

KFC(aka fried chicken) will NOT be in my car.  I am not stopping.  This is a tough week for me and I cannot be around it.  In fact, I am asking that if you really want it, that you get it on a night I am not home and that it all be gone before I get home.

I think I was pretty clear.

Tuesday, mom was watching all the kids and I managed to run the gauntlet of fast food choices back home without stopping anywhere, to the safety of my home where I had a planned and approved meal waiting for me.   As I pulled in I breathed a sigh of relief that I was home safely and without incident.

Until I walked in the house and smelled…fried chicken. Homemade. The stuff I grew up and fat on. The stuff that even beats out KFC in my book.  But that is ok, it is just a smell.  With 6 kids plus 3 adults in the house, it has gotta be all gone by now.  As I walked through the kitchen to my room to put my stuff away, I knew instantly I was wrong.  Not only was there some left, there was so much left it looked as though no one had eaten yet!  There was at least a DOZEN pieces of beautiful fried chicken on a platter on the counter.

Are you F%^&*ing kidding me?  Really?  Did we not have this conversation the night before?  Was I NOT clear that I needed help this week and having that around would NOT be helpful?

Mom comes in the kitchen and smiles and tells me how she made it because she knows the kids like it.  I reminded her of our conversation last night.  She laughed and said…But it is NOT KFC!

Really?  Really.

Bro, who was with us the night before and who keeps talking about needing/wanting to lose weight and has offered to pay me to prep meals for him, laughs and also points out how it is not KFC.

I went in the bathroom and cried.  Balled really. This…is my family.  This is how we support each other…or not.  This is why I have friends…to help me deal with them.   I sat in the bathroom, KNOWING full well that I wanted that chicken and knowing that would be the worst decision I could make and yet I had to go back out there and share space with the chicken while prepping my own meal all the while hungry physically and in a really tough emotional place.

When I felt ready (after having texted Aaron and Coach in a panic), I went back out and tried to prep my meal on the other side of the kitchen.  Unfortunately, all of my usual stuff I use is kept in one cupboard, right above where the chicken was.  I moved the chicken around to wherever I was not.  I did a ton of self talk.  I thought about Aaron and how fried chicken was the root of a lie that could have cost me my friendship with him (thankfully, he is a pretty gracious guy).  I thought about Coach and how much time he and Aaron have invested into supporting me through the last 4 years.  I thought about Leif and Tate and how disappointed all 4 of these men would be if I gave in.  I thought about myself and what I wanted, what I was working for and how this would NOT support my vision for my life.  I thought about how hard I have worked and how much I didn’t want to lay all that aside.  I prayed.  I cried.  I got angry.  (ALOT goes on in my head in the 12 minutes it takes for me to do final prep on a meal that is pretty much prepped)

and after all of that…

I didn’t win this night.

This was just one of the million battles I fought the last week.  I happened to lose this one.  And while in the moment, this storm felt like it was never going to end (it lasted about 4 days, 4 awful days), Thursday I woke up and it didn’t feel so crazy.  It felt like perhaps just a strong breeze was blowing.  It didn’t feel emotionally/nutritionally dangerous for me to simply get out of bed.  By Friday, you wouldn’t have been able to guess that anything crazy had happened this week.

Yep, this is why I feel crazy at times.

It’s A Choice

Over the last 3 years, but more specifically the last two years, many people have told me things like this:

“Kim, I wish I had your level of motivation”

“Wow, I can’t believe you haven’t quit!”

“I don’t know how you do it!”

“Your perseverance inspires me!”

I could go on, but the sentiments are the same.  Many people want to change but are waiting for the motivation to hit them upside the head and suddenly they will WANT to get up each day to work out.  They will WANT to give up all sorts of yummy foods in the name of health. They want these things, but I often feel like they are waiting for it to be easy.  Sometimes I feel like people watch me and think it is easy for me.

Let me set the record straight.


This journey has been one of the hardest journey’s I have had to face.  It is not and has not been all about weight loss for me.  It has been an ongoing search for overall health and balance and healing in my life. It has required facing myself in all of my ugliness and wrestling with my demons…again and again.  The thing about demons though, is they are relentless.  They may back off for a time, giving me a reprieve, but they come back with a vengeance and I have to fight the same battles again, sometimes on a daily basis.  No, this journey is not easy.


Let me explain. 10 years ago I DECIDED I did not want to be fat anymore and that I did not want my history to determine my future.  It took until 3 years ago to realize that knowing what I DIDN’T want was not enough.  I needed to know what I DID want.  I wanted health.  I wanted to be happy.  I wanted to run.  I wanted to be able to ride a roller coaster again. I wanted to be able to keep up with my nieces and nephews as they moved from infancy to crawling to running.  I wanted to feel beautiful.  I wanted to wear a sexy as sin dress.  I wanted to go hiking without fear of not being able to keep up.  I want to kayak.   Do you get the picture?  I had to replace the thoughts of what I DIDN’T want and replace it with what I DID want.   It is that vision of doing those things that has carried me through the last two years of intense struggle with what appeared to be no numerical results.

I feel like motivation is an ever elusive feel good feeling that comes and goes with no rhyme or reason.  My journey began with a CHOICE.  Every day, I make choices all day long, regardless of motivation, that either line up with my vision for health or it doesn’t .  When my alarm goes off at 4:45 AM, believe me, the only thing I am motivated to do is chuck the rooster crowing device across the room and cuddle back down into the warmth of my bed.   As I lay there, I wrestle with the things I want.  I WANT to be warm and cozy for another two hours…but what I want MORE is a lifestyle of good health.  Staying in bed (most days) does not promote good health.  It will not produce the results that will then produce that motivated feeling that will make me want to do it all again.  Results provide motivation.  The last two years has been choices.  Daily choices.

I am not perfect.  My nutritional plan for life is a Paleo diet.  My workout plan is Crossfit 5 days a week and living an active life that includes running, swimming, biking, and anything else I decide to try.  DO I still eat poorly from time to time?  Yep you betcha!  Some days I eat so unbalanced.  All meat and no fruits or veggies.  Sometimes I choose to eat pasta or sugar which is so NOT Paleo in nature.  And I am so far from perfect that sometimes I even eat McDonalds.  GASP!!!  See now you can take me off the pedestal some of you have me on.  🙂  When I do those things, while I am learning to not beat myself up about it, my body lets me know quickly that it does NOT like these things in my body nor does it like to eat Paleo approved foods in unbalanced proportions.   The occurrences happen less and less as in the moment that my mind wants something it remembers as being oh so delicious, I am able to remember how awful I felt after the last time I ate poorly.  I am getting better at this…one day at a time.


I could not do this without community.  I am not talking about the friend who will cheer me on when I am doing well and say nothing when I slack off.  I am talking about people like Coach and Aaron, who are willing to call my butt on the carpet when I am slacking off .  People who are willing to press in when I am struggling to find out the root of the struggle so I can deal with that.  Not everyone in my life has permission to question my food choices or my exercise schedule.  They and a couple of others do.  They have earned that place in my life and I know that  when they question me, they have my goals at the forefront of their minds…and that they love me, regardless of my weight or size.

I also have Daniel, guiding my nutrition and monitoring my progress and for the first time in 2 years I would say I am FEELING motivated, because I am finally seeing results.  I don’t expect that I will always feel this way.  However, my choices for health will not change.

So, to those who look at me and wonder if you can do it too or look at me in wonder and awe and think there must be some kind of magic involved in my ability to stick with it, trying new program after new program with little to no results, there is no magic. It’s a choice.That’s it.

What choice will you make, what is it you want and are you willing to set aside those things that get in your way.  Perhaps it will mean going to bed earlier so you can wake up before your kids?  Perhaps it will mean a conversation with your husband asking him to get up and work out with you or perhaps he can get up with the kids while you go to the gym.  I don’t know what it is you want.  I just know what I want, and come hell or high water, I will get there.

My encouragement to you would be this.  If you look at me in wonder and are waiting for motivation to strike.  Quit waiting.  You might as well be waiting to get struck by lightning.  Chances are slim.   Instead, decide what you want and make the necessary choices that would support that desire.  Find a friend who is willing to do whatever it takes to help you.  Fellow overweight friends are great to have and can be a great support, but my greatest support has come from people who already live the kind of life I want to live.  They are not in the struggle themselves so they have a different perspective.   A fellow fatty may just be waiting for you to slack a bit so they too can get a reprieve.  Just being honest folks.

Lady Hawks

Long time readers know of, Coach.  You know Coach.  You know, one of the men in my life who has been a rock in keeping me going. He is always encouraging me to keep going, to not give up, to go big or go home.

Well, Coach is like this in all of his relationships.  Recently he sent me a link to a blog to read.  It is part written by him and part written by a REAL Coach friend of his.

Coach has a friend who is a Cheer Coach.  I met this woman last night at a party I was at. Charity is her name.  From what Coach has told me and what I gleaned from my brief conversation with her, Cheer coaching is far less about teaching girls to tumble and shout and jump up and down all while rhyming, than it is about taking an activity that these girls like to do and and stepping into their lives.  It is about life change for these girls and for Charity.  Teaching them things like discipline and teamwork, perseverance and dedication.

Charity coaches at a school in GR, where the girls come from stressed financial situations.  Being part of cheer is a big deal and to be able to do things like go to cheer camp comes from hard work or Charity taking out loans to pay for it.

Well, Charity wanted her girls to go to camp this year and as a team they were able to raise about 50% of the cost so far.  Fortunately, the cheer camp extended the deadline and allowed the girls to come to camp and pay the rest back, by the end of August.

So off the girls went…and they won an award!

I know, cheer camp.  What does that have to do with my journey to beautiful?  Not much.  Not directly.  But it is someone else’s story of beauty.  A woman working hard to teach these young women some of the most important life lessons she can while she has their attention and the ability to speak into their lives. THAT my friends is beautiful.

So take a moment, would you, and go read about Charity and her team and the value that she provides to these girls and if you are so inclined, consider a small donation to help them reach their goal.

More About Hope

So yesterday, after processing through all of my conversation with Daniel, I sent this email to Coach and Aaron.  I thought I would share.  This is just highlights.

1.       Daniel is nothing like I expected.

2.       His role is more of a mentor, my co-worker likens it to an AA sponsor.  Someone who I will talk to regularly about food, exercise, where my head is at, how I am feeling, whats going on and he will slowly walk me through making the changes as we do them.  Sooo like you guys except a pro about diet, nutrition and exercise!

3.       Today I am changing one thing.  No processed grains or sugars.  SO no breads, cereals, pastas or rice.  He is leaving oatmeal alone for now.   When I master this change and feel comfortable living in it, he will make another change.  I will then continue to live with the first change and add the second to it…and on and on we go.  So this morning I had eggs and sausage for breakfast.  Probably not the BEST thing I could have eaten but I DIDN’T eat the bagel offered at our weekly meeting, so in his method, I was successful for breakfast.   I need to ask him for breakfast ideas that are not always eggs…J

4.       I do not count calories.  He will explain this as we go along…

5.       Did I mention he is not charging me.  He considers this paying it forward from the goodness he has received in life.  His idea is that what good is his knowledge if he doesn’t share it. He said he works at a mega gym for a paycheck, but this stuff  he does for purpose.  So why not bring me into LA Fitness??  Because it is not the best for me.  Hmmmm

6.       He said not to expect major changes in the first month.  My body will be adjusting to a LOT of changes in workout style, nutrition and the whole shebang…but after 3 months I should see a major difference…soooo by Aaron’s wedding in September….I might be smoking!!!

7.       He said by 6 months He will begin working with me on skin care.  I looked at him quizzically.  What does skin care have to do with all this…I was thinking perhaps he wanted to help me with acne???  Umm no…he said that by 6 months I will begin needing to plan for tightening up loose skin and he knows of things to help with that.  WHAT!!  Seriously!  He knows ways without surgery to take care of that…OMG…I thought I would just forever have an ugly body even if I am fit and at a healthy weight for the rest of my life…

8.       As for workouts…number of days per week and all that…He said start with one day and see how you feel.  If you need to skip a day then skip a day.  Over time I will get better.  The ideal workout schedule with crossfit is 3 days on 1 day off.  1 hour per day. Beyond that, go live an active life.  Swim, bike or run as I wish…no restrictions…with exception to stay off the races (because of the stress factor) for this year so I can focus on mastering this diet and workout lifestyle.  Its not that I can’t but to add it back in could be overwhelming and he is all about keeping me underwhelmed.  So far he is good on this front.   He said this time next year, I will kill it at BLT  because I will be in such a different place physically and mentally.

9.       He will take new measurements each month.  I will weigh myself at about the same time.  He sent me my measurements and they are awful but he has “ordered” me to not worry about them.  They are just for today.  I am reminding myself of this constantly.

10.   Some suggestions he has made for me to consider is of course keeping a food journal, but better he said is to make it a photo journal that I post somewhere.   He said if I find myself not wanting to take that picture or post it, I probably shouldn’t be eating it in the first place.

There were several times as he talked that I literally felt the breath exhale from me in relief as whatever he said just felt comforting and ok and like this is all possible again.

I don’t know if Crossfit or Paleo diet is the best thing or the right thing or if I might end up hurting myself more than hurting.  For all I know this may not work at all….  I don’t know any of that…but what I do know is the hope I am feeling and for now I am following the scent of hope.


You all have read about the amazing Coach and all the ways he has encouraged me, motivated me, and gently chided me over the years all in efforts to see me succeed.

Well, there is a new guy in town who is proving to be an East Side version of Coach.  His name is Steve and he looks NOTHING like Coach, except they are both incredibly tall.   However, sometimes, he says things, texts things, or does things that is soooo incredibly Coach-esque that I have had to double-check the source (text address etc) to make sure I am responding to the right person.  It is weird.

So here is a recent thing I have been wanting to blog about and since I don’t really want to get ready for work yet…now seems to be the perfect time.

I am a slow runner.  I know this. 17 minute miles is NOT gonna win any races, but it WILL get me to the finish line, which is ultimately all I care about.  Steve does NOT like when I call myself slow.  Some mumbo jumbo about what you tell yourself becomes the reality(I am teasing you Steve about the mumbo jumbo, I get it).

We have gone back and forth with him trying to get me to stop calling myself slow.

He would tell me why I am not slow and I would come back with proof that I am.  For me, it turned into somewhat of a joke as I tried to convince him that I was and am in fact SLOW!One night, I was meeting Steve and Sharon(she will be getting and introduction of her own soon)for dinner and I had just posted on his FB wall that anyone who takes 2.75 hours to run 8.5 miles CERTAINLY qualifies as slow, right.

His response was somewhat threatening and ominous as he simply told me he had words for me…at dinner.

I show up to dinner, somewhat nervous because, well I don’t know Steve that well and I have no idea what kind of words he has for me and since he is Coach-esque, this could be really funny or it could be a truth in love kinda talk(which with Coach I end up crying)

It was funny.

Steve showed up and handed me 4 pages of web definitions of a word that he believes describes me far more accurately than SLOW.  I got a good laugh out of this and a good head shake as I had to double-check WHO just gave me this….Steve or Coach.

The word you may ask?


some of its many definitions include:

  • proceeding or progressing by steps or degrees
  • Moving forward; advancing.
  • Proceeding in steps; continuing steadily by increments

Steve and Sharon(introduction coming soon)

So progressive I am…oh and in Nashville this year….I was ULTRA progressive 🙂

Demond, thanks for introducing me to these wonderful folks, they have been a great encouragement to me.

Kensington Fears

In preparation for Nashville, I had two more really long runs scheduled before I begin to taper off.  Today was one of them.  In my typical fashion I procrastinated all day finding all sorts of things to be doing instead of just getting out there, but I am ok with that.  I really DO like running in the evening.  However part of my day was spent going back and forth between where to run my 9 miles at.  I could go to Kensington Park where it is a very clear 8.5 mile path around the park…but it is constant rolling hills with a few really big ones thrown in for good measure.  My other option was to go play a guessing game with mileage and run trails, which is my absolute favorite place to run.  Hills and guaranteed mileage would be great training for Nashville, but trails make me oh so happy and are such fun!

I chose Kensington and the hills.

It was a fantastic choice.  I forget sometimes the beauty that is to be beheld at Kensington. Not to mention, there are so many runners and cyclists and walkers out there, you can’t help but feel part of some sort of group even when running alone as you greet and encourage each other along the way.  And I must say, it was nice this year to be ABLE to greet and encourage other runners.  I remember last year not having enough breathe in me to even acknowledge there greeting to me!

As I ran, I had a plan in my head that to do my 9 I would run out 4.5 miles then turn around and come back.   In my mind, by doing this I could do 2 things.  1.  It might help me to avoid the “hill from hell” by turning around before reaching it. and 2.  I wouldn’t have to fight the battle of passing my car to go an extra 1/4 mile and come back to make it an even 9.  This was a perfectly acceptable plan.  I mean, I am doing constant hills so who cares if I manage to skip the “hell from hell”, right?

Well, as I ran, I realized I have NEVER run completely around Kensington.  Last year I ran here but the most I ran here was 6 miles.  3 out and 3 back.  So I didn’t KNOW that the “hill from hell” came in at mile 3.5!  There was no avoiding this hill.  Ironically, just as I was climbing it the park ranger happened to come down the road and stopped  to watch me get up it.  I wonder what he was thinking.  Was he concerned?  Amused?  I was determined to give him a show, so I kept running when I wanted to walk.  I kept running when I thought I had no oxygen left in me.  And after I got to the top, he waved and left.

So now I am thinking to myself, so why not go all the way around, Kim?  You made it up the ONE hill you didn’t want to hit.  Besides, once you hit mile 4.5 you are more than halfway around this place.  Just keep going forward!

I found myself having an argument with myself.  1.  That wasn’t the plan!  I can’t just change the plan mid run!  Or can I?  2. I found myself filled with anxiety because I know what lays behind me.  I know the path I have just run and even if it meant climbing back up the “hill from hell” it is familiar territory to me.  It is now my comfort zone and oh how I don’t like to be uncomfortable.

I realized, the only thing stopping me from moving forward was fear. Fear of the unknown.  Fear of an unknown path.  What if there is ANOTHER “hill from hell” that I don’t know about?  What if it gets dark, how will I know the path to get back?

I began to wonder how often I let fear of the unknown stop me in this journey.  I know fear stops me all the time on the stairmaster.  I wonder how fear is stopping me from achieving my goals.  How often do I return to the familiar and the comfortable out of fear instead of pressing forward and gaining new ground.  How much of this plateau is not really a plateau but my own fear and my own affinity towards comfort?

Well, this line of questioning just pissed me right off!  And I decided, at LEAST for this run, fear would not stop me.  So as I came upon the 4.5 mile mark and my previously planned turning point, I gave that marker the finger and said out loud, “Fuck being comfortable!”  (Coach, you would be proud, it was such an appropriate use of a word I rarely use!)

I ran on past that marker and as I ran I did get a bit scared as I ran on paths unfamiliar.  I ran up some big hills and some little ones.  I ran along the lakes edge on one of the few flat stretches on this whole course.  I ran in the dark and missed the 8 mile marker.  And when I finally got to my car and the newly planned point of going past it to the 1/4 mile marker, I found the park ranger waiting for me so he could clear the lot.  So I stopped running.

Despite fears, I ran 8.5 miles of hills straight without stopping to walk. I did stop to dig my shot blocks out of my bag and once to let some geese cross my path.  But there was not one hill I walked up.  I ran head first into unknown territory and I lived to blog about it.

What does this mean for the rest of my journey?  I only hope that I will recognize when I am being stopped by fear and that I will have the courage to press on through the fear and anxiety to new territory, to new Beauty.