Tag Archive | victory

Courage In The Shame

Right in the midst of last months angst of living in the tension of what is vs what is to come and the dueling excitement and devastation of what all that means, it was time to take my monthly pictures.

I have a friend who is a photographer and a woman I trust, who has agreed to take pictures of me once a month in a semi dressed state so I can look back and see progress when the scale is not being kind to me or when my brain simply has not caught up with reality.

These pictures are ones of me in a sports bra and bathing suit bottoms and also with a tank top on(for possible future publication somehow/somewhere)

Needless to say, with all that was true for me during this time,  as the time grew closer to get these pictures taken I was trembling.  I was so ashamed of my body and all I have done to it over the years such that even my current efforts, while good and healthy for my life, will likely never yield a very pretty body in its naked form.  I was ashamed of how I have used food to cope with life.  I was ashamed of the lack of discipline that brought me to this place.  I was ashamed of not having taken advantage of all of the opportunities to lose weight before.  I was ashamed that my body doesn’t respond as quickly as others do.  I was ashamed that I needed help, that I couldn’t do it on my own. I was ashamed that I let my abuse control me for so long.  You name it, I was ashamed of it.

Amy, my photographer and friend, is amazing.  I think she could tell something was up for me and as I stood before her, naked(literally, well almost) and ashamed and telling her some of my fears, she began to speak truth over me, about who I am.  Her words began to counteract the lies I had begun to believe again.  She helped me to grasp onto a wee bit of courage so I could take these pictures that one day I may be grateful for.

This journey is hard friends.  Overwhelmingly so, at times and in ways I never thought or imagined.  This day was a day of great shame…and it was about standing up, opening my eyes, and staring down shame as I looked straight into a camera lens that would forever capture an image of my body as it is today.

This journey cannot be done alone.  This day it was a day of  having a friend stand with me as Courage rose up to defeat the shame.

I was looking for images that display courage and this one hit home for me.  The little one is the small voice of Courage standing up to the Giant of Shame.

Pardon the language, but it fits!


Dear Murph

Dear Murph,

On Memorial Day, I decided to go against my trainers instructions and participate in a Hero WOD  in your honor.  You died for your country trying to save the lives of your squad, the least I could do was attempt your favorite Crossfit workout that was named after you!

It was awful, Murph.  I don’t know why you liked this workout so much.  I swear I died 3 times as I pushed my carb depleted body through each thing and 4 men ran my final mile with me to help get me through.  My trainers had told me not to do Crossfit for a while.  I didn’t understand fully the concept of “fuel utilization” or how depleted my body really was for anything besides low intensity stuff.  I just wanted to have fun and I missed Crossfit, so I did it.  It took me 1:15 to get through it all, plus 25 minutes of laying on the ground immediately after and then I went home and slept the rest of the day.

I was proud of the accomplishment, but this workout of yours also took me out of the game for about 4 days.

3 months later, and just this week, on Labor Day, I had the opportunity to do Murph again, this time with Leif and Tate’s permission and with proper nutritional fuel to get through it.

For those, reading who don’t know, this is the workout called Murph

  • 1 Mile Run
  • 100 pull ups
  • 200 push ups
  • 300 squats
  • 1 Mile run

Do the above as fast as possible.

I set myself a goal, one I didn’t REALLY believe I could do, but I needed to stretch for something.  I wanted to finish in under an hour.  I knew it was a lot of time to take off, especially since that was the last time I had done Crossfit, but I had to try.

35 minutes in, Murph, I realized I was almost done with all of the squats.  I knew something was wrong.  There was NO WAY I had completed all of the above in 35 minutes and was on pace to finish this thing in 50 minutes.  I looked at my chalk tally marks and re-added things up, and realized…I was short 100 pushups and 100 squats!

That’s ok.  I felt good.  5 rounds of 20 and 20 and I would be done and on my final run.    I watched the clock and as I finished the squats/push ups,  the clock read 44 minutes in.

Now, if only I can run another 15 min mile, I will have met my goal.

Here is the thing though Murph.  I rarely can do a 15 minute mile.  I mean, if I do, it is usually a fluke and it is on fresh legs.  Not on legs that are burned out from 300 squats!  I headed out and kept my eye on my watch.  Unfortunately, I had to do a little walking to catch my breath.

As I rounded my last corner and was on the final stretch, I thought for SURE I blew it. My walking slowed me down. NO WAY did I make a 15 minute mile.  Something in me stirred though as I told myself I had not made my time.

“How do you KNOW you didn’t, Kim?”  “You can’t possibly know until you get in that building and see the official clock!”  How will you feel if you take the easy jog in, only to find out you missed your goal by seconds?”

Kim, you won’t know unless you haul ass down this block and run into that building to see what that clock says.   Get moving.

I moved.   I ran faster than I have ever run for that final 2 blocks and ran into the building.


I. Did. It.

Lesson:  You will never know what you are capable of or the thrill of blasting through a goal unless you are willing to push yourself harder than ever before.  And I am capable of far more than I think I am, limited only by myself.

I didn’t believe I could do this WOD in under an hour when I set the goal but I also wasn’t willing to settle for less than 110% effort.  Also, it is amazing what being 30lbs lighter and having carbs in your system will do for a workout like this.

As for dying, I went hiking that afternoon.  No dying for me this day, only extreme living!


Shopping At 22

I have never been the stereotypical girl who loves to shop.  I hunt.  I make a list of what I need and go in search of those items.  If I don’t find it within 5 minutes in a store, I walk out. I don’t typically wander into a random store and look around.  I don’t go to the mall, ever!  I know, you might be questioning whether I am a girl at all at this point, but trust me, I am.

My experiences with shopping have never been pleasant.   As a child, in 6th grade, I didn’t fit in the clothes designed for the average 6th grader.  I had to go up to the next level to find clothes to fit.  By the time I was in high school, I was already in the “plus” size section, but they didn’t really have that then.  Needless to say, finding clothes that fit and were cute has ALWAYS been a challenge.  Is it any wonder that I avoid stores at all costs, when every time I enter one I have to buy another size up and leave feeling awful about myself?

This past week, I was forced to have to go shopping.  My clothes just don’t fit me any more. I am oh so blessed with “good hips” so while the pants will still stay on my hips, despite being super loose in the waist, they just look like I am wearing a saggy diaper these days.  Way too baggy in the butt and legs.

I knew this day was coming where I would have to go shopping but I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on my transitional clothing and I have NEVER had luck at the thrift stores, mainly because I don’t have the patience to look at every piece of clothing to determine its worth.  But you know you gotta suck it up when your boss approaches you about your saggy bottom pants.

SO I sucked it up and off I went to the thrift store.   I kept picking things up and finding things I liked but when I tried it on I was shocked to discover almost everything I picked up was way too big.  I couldn’t wrap my head around what was happening.  This has NEVER been my experience.  Then I realized, I am picking up clothes in the sizes that I wore 5 months ago or MORE.

Then began the discovering of my new size.

What an adventure.

A delight really.

I have never known the experience of shopping and having things be too big.  Far too often, the BIGGEST size offered was still too small.  I have never known what it was like to have to go DOWN in size in a store. 4 years ago, I was fast approaching a size that one could only get online and was quickly getting relegated to all elastic waisted pants and oversize floral button down prints.  That is no longer the case.

I am down to a size 22, and yes that is 10 sizes down from when I started 4 years ago.  You might wonder why I never had this experience before now.  Hunting takes the joy from shopping.  You don’t allow yourself to delight in the find.  You get what you need and you get out.  Fast.

This week, I allowed myself the delight of actually shopping and discovering my new size all while knowing that soon enough my size won’t be a 2 digit number anymore.


17 Pounds Of Learning

This week was a week of epiphanies.  I feel like just about every day I came to some new realization about this journey, particularly under Leif’s guidance and with every realization my resolve and confidence grew.  Here are just a few of the things I learned this week.

I am gonna be Hungry and that is ok.  Early on in the week with a completely new and different plan under way, I was eating lunch and was done and realized that as far as hunger level went, I may as well have eaten nothing.   That is how much affect my food had on me. As I sat there I realized that I will be far better off on this journey if I just accepted the fact that I am going to be hungry on this journey from now until the end, and that is ok. By making room in my psyche for me to simply be hungry, it took the wondering and longings to be FULL to a more manageable level.  Immediately my pity party around this came to a screeching halt and I knew I would be ok.  I knew that I could do this plan this week.  It only took me 11 weeks of working with Leif to come to this realization.  I know, I can be a bit slow at times.

I am learning my limits.  Sitting in a small room with the 4 boxes of pizza my bosses bought for us is too much.  I don’t have to sit there and be tempted, I can leave and not feel bad about it.

I am learning to just get over the self-consciousness that comes with bringing all of your own food with you everywhere you go, even to parties.  My true friends will not be offended that I don’t eat their food.  In fact, several have started asking me what they can have available that would be helpful.  While anyone can make chicken or fish or a salad, it is the pre-measuring and weighing everything that adds a little complication to things that I would rather not have to deal with.  After explaining this, they understand and are glad to support me in whatever way they can.  It is not rude to stick to your commitment and do whatever it takes to succeed.  Your true friends will respect you more for not compromising your goals for momentary pleasure or easiness.

Just because I am at some social gathering doesn’t mean I “deserve” to eat some yummy something.  “Party” is not synonymous with “cheat meal”.  Shoot, if it were, I could have a party every night!

It has been a huge learning week, full of many great successes.  I navigated around pizza, a bonfire(at my house where I supplied the treats), cinnamon rolls at work, gifts of salt water taffy and fudge, a church picnic and who knows what I am forgetting and I was rewarded for it.

On Sunday I got on the scale and screamed, certain I did not just see the number I saw and so mentally thrown off I couldn’t compute beyond knowing it was a double-digit!

I ran to my spreadsheet I keep for Leif, did some math on a calculator because I didn’t trust my brain and laughed in delight as I realized I did what I never thought possible.

I lost 17 lbs of fat in one week!!!

I broke back down below the 300 lb mark.

I am now back to my all time low from the last 4 years of work and am now OFFICIALLY making forward progress on my weight loss goals and not just re-losing what I had lost and gained back!


Lasting Legacy

The way I eat is met with a variety of reactions.

People at work know I am always changing my program and that I have tried some pretty weird things.  This is a combination of ever-changing diet and being adventurous and being willing to try new things.   They however think I eat weird and ever since the accidental rotten flaxseed/grainless muffin incident, warn all new team members away from trying anything I make.  Even desserts are suspect in their eyes.  I laugh at this!  What they think doesn’t matter to me.  I can handle being messed with by them especially when they think my quite normal veggie omelets are suspect!

At home, my brothers and mom are pretty used to me rarely eating anything they cook but will rarely, if ever try anything I make.  Unfortunately, my youngest brother has mocked my healthy eating enough that his children now mock it as well and refuse to try anything I make…in case it might be riddled with some sort of healthy disease.  This breaks my heart that at 10 and 12 years old, my niece and nephew think healthy food equates to gross…not because they have tried it, but because their dad has taught them that this is so.

My oldest brother and his family eat pretty healthy and are completely supportive of me.

The other day, their 6 kids were over for the night and in the morning, I was trying to do my normal racing around, while being quiet and keeping a 4-year-old from waking 5 other kids up at 6 AM because it was “light outside”!  I was making my normal eggs and Gavin(almost 12yrs old) came in and his face lit up.  He remembers not too long ago when I would Crossfit in the morning then get ready for work at his house and make my eggs there.  He loved them, especially because they are loaded with veggies.

Gavin has made a recent decision to make good choices about food.  He is not on a diet. He has on his own accord decided to give up most junk carbs and between meal snacking.  His mom is torn because she doesn’t want him to think he can never have treats!  How do you teach a kid balance in all this?  Especially since his whole life he has had an Auntie who is active in his life but who struggles with weight and food addiction.  He has watched me the last 4 years, often encouraging me to not give up.  I think his decision may have come in part because he has seen my struggle and he knows that decisions he makes now will have an impact later…and if he never gets fat, he will never have to know the struggle to lose the fat!  I am proud of him for this mature decision!

Now back to breakfast.  His eyes have lit up at the thought of eggs for breakfast…my eggs!

I told him  I didn’t have time to make him some but Nana could….and My current eggs are not the same as he remembered since it was mostly egg whites.

I told him that Nana would make him some after I left.

His eyes widened with disbelief and skepticism as he quickly whispered…”but Auntie, Nana doesn’t cook ANYTHING healthy! AND I want all those veggies in mine!

Well buddy, I know, Nana doesn’t usually make things with veggies, but you can use my veggies and she can make some healthy eggs for you…

Of course Nana pipes up at this point declaring herself unable to make healthy stuff!


Gavin decided, he could make them himself.  He has watched me make them lots after all!

I don’t know how his eggs turned out.  But I love that THIS is the legacy I am leaving for him.

1.  Never give up on your dream.  Persevere no matter what!

2. Healthy is good.  Enjoying whole healthy and real foods is not a bad thing.

3.  Choices you make now have a lasting impact.

4. You have the power to control your life.

Now, I just have to take him out on one of my cheat meal nights so he can see that it is ok to have treats every once in a while.

Difficult, Not Impossible

You all might be wondering how the last few weeks have been going with the new guy.  I wasn’t going to write too much about him or his plans until after 10 weeks or so (aka the second trimester) since EVERYTHING I have done works for at least 8 weeks, but….things have been far different than ever before with this one.

I am moving through my 4th week and am already down 13ish pounds. Every week has been different.  I don’t count calories.  Mostly I count macronutrients (not unlike Daniel’s plan for me).  Everything gets weighed, measured, or counted in some form.   I get cheat meals (he calls them re-feeds) on Friday nights! This guy is very scientific in his approach and what we do the next week directly depends on how my body responds in the current week.

Currently, he has me in a test phase (which is actually quite difficult to push through, but I am doing well).  He is assessing my body to determine how quickly it basically stops burning energy and starts storing it.  Remember that starvation mode I have written about?  He is trying to determine how quickly my body reverts to that…at which point he will be able to very accurately feed my body what it needs, when it needs it, so that it NEVER goes back to that place again.

This, my friends, is the single most thing that has been happening, even over and above the weight loss, that has astounded me the most.  Someone who recognizes that out bodies do this AND knows how to recognize when it is happening and how to keep it from happening.  For this, I am grateful.  Even though it is hard.

Last week, when the test phase started (on Saturday), by Monday I was cracking.  Literally, I was half crying half laughing over the craziness of it and how I honestly did not think I could get through an entire week of this somewhat extreme plan.  On my way home from work that night, I was just praying(aka whining) about how I didn’t think I could do this and suddenly a verse came to mind.  “I lift my eyes up to the hills, where does my help come from.  My help comes from You , make of Heaven, Creator of all things.”

Yes, yes, that is where my help comes from…He created my body.  He will get me through this because His grace is sufficient.

and that is how I got through my most difficult week ever.

And…the test phase is being repeated this week.  A week when all I want is chocolate.  But I got this yo!  And on Friday, I will be in GR celebrating the life of Erin with a well deserved cheat meal!

So, that is a brief bit about how it is all going!

Difficult at times, but certainly not impossible!