Kara's Story - We thank you Kara for being so candid with us! You are truly an inspiration!
I've been struggling for quite a while now and thought maybe sharing my story would help me with some kind of increased accountability...My story is different than Kim's or yours, Laurie...
well everyone's story and struggles are different of course...but mainly because I have yet to make it to my "after" goal...even though I started the "journey" with Integrity almost 4 1/2 years ago now.
In brief I started at the end of 2011, I was over 320 lbs when I walked in through the doors of Integrity Health Coaching Centers and my best attempt at cardio was a small amount of time on the stationary bike.
I made my way down to as low as 190 pounds at one brief point I had worked my way up fitness level wise to completing a triathlon about a year and a half ago but never made it past that.
Although I've never given up on myself...I've yet to really break the "code".
For a variety of reasons I have let myself slip back to about 230 pounds.
I'm refocusing my efforts and attacking things from many different angles and hoping that this "will be my year"
I plan to head back in the right direction with the assistance of the Health Coaches, my determination and FINALLY make it to my goal weight...
What I can say is though, I'm not a full success story yet, and certainly no advertisement for anyone who wants a "quick fix", all that I have been able to accomplish and the fact that despite a fairly long plateau and some slipping that
I've never given up is due largely because of the great support system at Integrity.
Telling this story and the details that come with it is totally out of my comfort zone, but, I feel that with any additional accountability would be a good thing for me. I believe it will help motivate me and maybe it will inspire others
to muster up the courage to ask for help so that they too can achieve their goals.
Here are a series of questions one of the Health Coaches asked Kara about and her honest answers
Q: What were some of your reasons for the slip?
I think there were a lot of reasons. Part of it was frustration, I was stuck and not losing weight for quite some time, so seeing no results led to losing some of my motivation and made it harder to consistently make good choices.
But more so I think it had a lot to do with things that were/are going on in my life. I have a lot of changes to make, not just in my physical life and what I eat and how I work out, but also other aspects of my life.
I began looking at some of the bigger issues, and though that is and will be a very good thing in the long run, it meant/means distractions as well as emotional ups and downs in the now.
I'm still working on what is probably the heart of my challenge and that is controlling/offsetting my emotional eating. So the ups and downs, meant I struggled to get and keep healthy choices together consistently.
Q: Did you realize you were slipping or was it one day you woke up and said "HEY! I fell off the wagon" ?
A little of both. I think I knew I was slipping, but I have had this way of being able to manipulate my weight loss and gain somewhat. It is a big negative... My body can react dramatically to bad food choices, and I can gain quite a bit of weight quickly,
but have often found that if I get myself back on track I can drop that gain fairly quickly. It was a bit of a constant up and down because, as I mentioned, consistently making good choices has been a challenge.
After a while, the downs didn't quite offset the ups, and slowly my weight crept up. I think I was constantly aware that I wasn't headed in the right direction, but having lost around 100 pounds, the gravity of it honestly didn't completely hit me just
how much I had slipped until I looked at the numbers and realized it was actually 30 and now 40 pounds. Also, my clothes don't fit as well anymore, which is really hard- having achieved what I did in my weight loss- though I have not yet reached my goal-
realizing that I had to buy larger clothes again was a big part of the wakeup call...And all that is unacceptable to me.
Q: What was your thought process and final decision to get back on track?
Its not something I just came to, I think I just really need this to be my year. I really need to take advantage of the fantastic support system I have at Integrity, and crack this code. The challenge has been that I feel like I've made this decision before, and haven't been able to follow through-
so I guess I'm just deciding it's time to get completely out of my comfort zone, to pull in whatever support and resources I can, to create as much accountability as possible- really attack from every angle I can to finally follow through consistently to achieve my goal.
Q: How has it felt to make this decision?
It feels extremely good to make the decision. In some ways I feel like I've made the decision a thousand times before, and never really been able to follow through-but this time I'm pulling out all the stops I can to make it a final decision.
In my back pocket I have the knowledge that I have been able to achieve weight loss in the past- so I know I can do it- just need to set my mind and heart to the tasks and stay focused.
Q: Over all how do you feel health wise both physically and mentally?
Health wise I am ok- I'm definitely not great. Though I'm still strong and have continued to work out I can feel the weight I've gained and can see how it has affected me physically, and impacted my performance in the gym.
At the same time I continue to hit the gym and work the program and just need to get my consistency down. Mentally I'm a bit up and down. I am hard on myself for where I'm at and constantly feel like a failure for not being able to consistently
make good choices and achieve my weight loss and health goals. Honestly, its hard some days to look at myself in the mirror, I'm working on changing that, and being able to be okay with who I am, however, I feel like this choice, this challenge, this goal-
is a huge one for me...one I've been chasing after for a long time- and to make some definitive changes and use my support system and realize that I am worth the effort and pushing my comfort zone and concentrate on consistent lifelong changes will be a
huge accomplishment to help me with my self confidence and self acceptance.
Here is my current NOW photo - I WILL do this!