Thursday, January 29, 2015

My Journey – Kristina

I was never a small kid but I was always an active kid and a tri-sport athlete in high school. Then college came and along with it an extra 65 lbs. I worked in a restaurant for three years while in college and shortly after, with that I became very unhealthy always eating out and exercise was not even thought of.  I finally left the restaurant and pursued my career in nursing starting as an aide. Due to the tough workload and always being on my feet my lower back was a constant ache, so I decided to see a doctor in March 2011 about an elective surgery (and not gastric bypass). The doctor told me that my insurance would not pay for the surgery unless I lost 20 lbs. The nurse suggested I look into Weight Watchers and so I did. In March 2011, I joined Weight Watchers and started walking. The first 20 lbs came off like a snap of the fingers. I had my follow-up appointment with the doctor and I said to him “I am not done losing weight, I know I can lose more” so his advice was to wait until I was done losing all the weight I wanted.

I continued with Weight Watchers and walking and the weight continued to come off, some weeks better than others, but nothing in life comes easy. By mid summer 2011 I got to the point it was taking me too long to walk the distances I wanted to achieve, so I decided to start running. I truly can’t remember what it felt like to start running or how long I was able to go for my first run, but on October 23, 2011 I ran my first 5k and only walked the hill portion, which was only a small portion. I was now down 40 lbs at that point and looking forward to so much more. I ran one more 5k that year and continued running on my own and loved it! Around November, I hit a plateau with my weight loss and I was stuck around the 50 lb loss mark. At that point my sister really pushed me to add weight training into my workouts. She has a background in exercise science and developed my workout plans. I started with minimal weights, but this took me to the next level. Due to her advice and guidance I was able to shed another 30-40 lbs over the next few months. Now I can’t picture a week that I don’t get to the gym to lift.

2012 brought one of the best years for me! I am not one for New Year’s resolutions, but I made one that year. My goal in 2012 was to run at least one race a month for the whole year. I ended up running a total of 17 races that year. I am very proud to say that in May 2012 I ran my first half marathon! This was one of my biggest accomplishments, never before did I think I could ever run a whole 13.1miles. That May my friend also convinced me to run Tough Mudder with her and her friends. This was a last minute decision, but it was also another great accomplishment! 13.1 miles of obstacle courses through the mud and mountains of Vermont! These two races only began the epic year I had. That year my crazy friends convinced me to run the Spartan sprint and Spartan Beast! Some friends I have... just kidding, they are the best friends to have. Spartan beast was one of the most mentally and physically challenging things I had ever completed up till this point in my life. It was 13+miles of obstacles (with a 30 burpee penalty for each obstacle failed) through the steep hills of Vermont. It took me 6.5 hours to complete, but I did it!! I was so happy; never did I think I could accomplish such a great task. That year I also ran my first triathlon and my second half marathon! It was the best year of my life. After that year I made a running bucket list. My running bucket list consisted of one day running the Boston Marathon and running the Las Vegas, Disney and Tennessee half marathons.

The following 16months was a lot quieter race wise due to being in school full time in an accelerated nursing program. My racing and working out had to take a back seat to studying and clinicals. Never once did I fully give up on running or working out I just wasn’t able to go as often as I liked, but I still made it at least three times a week. I ran another Spartan sprint and one half marathon with a few 5ks in between, but due to the crazy schedule and lack of time unfortunately a few of those pounds (20 to be exact) found their way back. This was very tough for me, but I had to look at it in a positive note. I am still 100% healthier than I had been back in 2011 and I am still skinnier than high school, I mean how many girls can say that? And no I never went back to see that doctor.

I am happy to say that I graduated nursing school in May and have since slowly started to get back into a regular routines. Unfortunately with working two jobs, 56 hours a week and overnights, it’s not always easy, but I am happy to say I have shed six lbs of that 20 and I am determined to lose the rest. I figured eh I will just throw my name in the raffle for the Boston Marathon and “just see” what happens. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would be chosen to run on behalf of the NWH team. I have been working for the Hospital for the past three years and have submitted my number every year and finally I was chosen! Both great excitement and fear came over me at the same time! I am so excited to have one of my running bucket lists be able to come true, yet I am petrified at the same time. A million thoughts ran through my mind (well actually they run through my mind every day) of how am I ever going to run 26.2 miles, how will I train in this lovely New England weather, better get back on my diet, oh how I have a love hate relationship with the treadmill, and so many more, but I am looking forward to every step of the journey. That overweight girl of 2011 has nothing over me. I will never be her again and I love the new person I have become that has brought me to the point of running the Boston Marathon!

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