When I had observed the changes that Katie has gone through over this last year, I asked if she would consider sharing her journey. This is truly an inspiring story. Katie has gone through and carried more than most, yet she has come out the other side more than a conqueror. This girl is on fire. She is beautiful, stunning and model of what can happen when you have a tenacity to take charge of your life and health. Oh, and when I say “model”, I mean just that. This young women is a model of true beauty and what healthy is all about.
Katie’s Success Story
It can be a really hard task to actually sit down and write about a journey as important as creating a healthy environment for your body to live in. But here goes…
I was always the chubby kid. My older brother and I were always confused for being twins (he is two and half years older) because of my size. I have always been really tall … you know … the kid that get stuck in the back row for all the school pictures. Yup, that was me. Every kid has to be picked on for something, right? Four eyes, long arms, being chubby. Well, I was picked on for being a head taller (more than a head in most cases) than everybody … boys my age and a few years older included — and yes, being chubby.
Growing up I always played sports. I never sat at home and watched TV on a Saturday. I did everything from swim team to softball to basketball to yearbook photography. Anything you could possibly think of, I am sure my parents forked out money for me to try. If you can believe it … I even did figure skating. Imagine a tall kid on roller skates. Yup, that’s how you give your mother a heart attack. You have twice as far to fall!
But at the end of the day, I was still chubby. I never did like my body. It was just a thing that people made fun of. No matter how many sports I did, I would always offset it with what I ingested. I would wake up and eat terrible food for breakfast, like Dinosaur Oatmeal loaded with butter, head off to school, eat a horrible school lunch, go to practice, eat a snack and a soda or sports drink loaded with sugar, come home eat dinner followed by dessert … and then probably another snack. Why? Because it was how I coped with being unhappy with my body. Growing up is tough as it is. Being chubby makes it worse. By the time I hit my senior year in high school I weighed in around 270 pounds. If anyone has a BMI calculator they understand why someone who stands at six feet tall and weighs that much has a major problem.
At the end of my freshman year of college I got married. I made some really bad choices and found myself in Arizona on an Army base 2300 miles away from everything I knew as home. In that same year I was diagnosed with cancer. At this point I had ballooned all the way up to 326 pounds. I had trouble walking up and down a flight of stairs. I had trouble sleeping. I had trouble breathing and sitting in a chair. I barely fit into Lane Bryant clothing. I began treatments in December of 2007. My parents came out to visit in January of 2009. In a one month span I had lost almost 20 pounds just from not being able to keep food down. Not the best diet. However, I saw a change in my body. Something hit me that I had to do things differently. Obviously, no matter how much I ate – that was not going to allow me to lose weight. Through the course of my treatments I lost a total of 110 pounds. This was in a combined effort to also eat better and attempt to work out when my body could physically allow it.
May 17, 2009 I was re diagnosed as an “In Remission” patient. Since then my weight has yo-yo’ed. October 4, 2009 my life would forever be changed. My husband passed away at 11:09 am. I began to eat again. A lot. In July of 2010 I met Brian. I never thought I would find someone who would love me in only the way that he possibly could. This broken person. Brian has helped me fight through the worst parts of my life and has given me the best parts and whatever is still yet to come.. March of 2012 I gave birth to our son Brian Jr a month early. He was a beautiful 7lbs 15oz and 20 inches long. I was back up to 261 pounds.
A few weeks after I had my son my parents walked into the doors of CrossFit Pinnacle. We were all severely overweight. I started to see changes in my parents that I had never seen before. It wasn’t just physical variations that began appearing … it was mental changes as well. My parents began seeing their bodies as a vessel to a happier and healthier life. They changed so significantly that Brian and I had to give it a try. I remember that first day. We couldn’t sit down. We were so sore!
But in June of 2012 we decided to make an official commitment to change our lives. We wanted a permanent solution. However, this isn’t where my story ends. I worked so hard! I changed the way I was eating … but no difference on the scale. I was now months and months out from having my son and I was still in my maternity clothes. I was urged to go to my doctor. I did. They initially told me I had problems with my heart. Oh great. What else could get thrown on my plate? Even with all of this there were some pretty amazing people who gave hugs and support when I needed it most (Josh O.)
Then I met someone at our gym named Paige. She worked at a cardiologist’s office and told me to go and get my thyroid checked. I did. No heart problem. Thyroid problem from pregnancy. Easy fix. With all of that sorted and out of the way … I started seeing changes in my body. I fell in love with the support I received at my box. The members of Pinnacle held my hand for the first five months I was there going through all this nonsense. I began to understand that making changes in your body comes both from within but also from the support you receive from the outside. I was shown that the mental part of changing your lifestyle was just as important if not more so than the physical.
I have come to the ultimate conclusion that God will never give me more than I can handle. God loves me no matter what size I am. I am so fortunate to have such a wonderful support system surrounding me. To anyone who knows me personally and knows my family … knows our family routine at Pinnacle. My parents go at 6 and Brian and I go at 7. We flip flop our baby And have dinner together almost every night … full with conversations about CrossFit and Paleo food! I am now down 136 pounds from my heaviest weight and I am down 71 pounds since starting CrossFit. I still have some more weight to go, but I no longer see that as what is important. Making sure my body is happy and healthy doesn’t mean I am a size 2. It means that I can run a mile (row a mile) and deadlift double my body weight. It means I can do box jumps until I want to throw up. It means that I am finally happy being me … stretch marks, scars and all.
To everyone who has been there for me (and my family) at Pinnacle … there are so many I can’t name you all (Nick, Lou Bell, Matt, TK, Diana, Kristen, Michelle (and Ryan), Josh, Lori, Kelly, Nellie, Mom, Dad and everyone else … You have helped me change my life and I could never thank you enough for it.