“For a long time I have struggled with my mental health. At a very young age I was diagnosed with anxiety. Then later in life started suffering with some difficult bouts of depression. These two things paired with my general dissatisfaction with my body and the way that I viewed myself led to some very dark times. I found myself in holes that I really struggled to pull myself out of. I lacked consistency with my health and taking care of myself. I’d go from working out super aggressively and starving my body, to barely leaving my room and eating foods that I thought in the moment would help me feel better. It was the most contradictory thing… I wanted so badly to be healthy, but wasn’t truly putting in the work to make new healthy habits. I wanted the instant gratification. I wanted my weight loss to be this easy, quick thing. At a point I considered cool sculpting, I had tried weight loss pills, unfortunately I even developed an eating disorder. I became obsessed with the scale, regardless of how much I would convince myself that the number on the scale isn’t what it’s all about. There came a point where I stopped checking the scale at all. I was nervous to even go to the doctor, because I didn’t want anyone to know what I weighed. It wasn’t until I began the the Challenge, that I overcame that fear, recognizing that regardless of whether or not I know the number, that’s where I’m at, and it’s better to know so that I can work towards making changes. I knew the things I had to change, but I struggled to make those healthy choices on a daily basis. I’d go from starving my body to then binging on the less healthy things. I wanted so badly to get to the gym, but I was worried I’d be judged on what I looked like, which for a period of time kept me from getting to the gym much at all.
Fast forward to today, I have been a member of CrossFit Credence since January, still with some bouts of inconsistency and not changing much with my eating habits. Most days I wouldn’t eat much until around dinnertime, at which point I’d be starving, and tend to over-do it, picking the wrong kinds of things to fuel my body. Even though I wasn’t eating much food, I was eating foods much higher in calories. I also made the choice to cut out alcohol – I know the physical and mental toll alcohol can have on your body, so I made the decision to rid of it as I focus on a healthy body and mind. I have done this before, and noticed what a difference it made. Even though I had been doing CrossFit for some time, I feel like the real changes came when I started the 6-week nutrition challenge. I committed to being consistent with my diet and exercise, and worked hard not to stray from that. For the most part I was making it to the gym 5-6 times a week, as well as being active getting my puppies outdoors for walks and runs. I stayed on top of my meal plan, and even though I didn’t always hit my numbers, I worked hard to stay consistent with the types of foods I was putting into my body. I took full advantage of the CrossFit community and everything they had to offer from encouragement and accountability, to friendship. I hope they felt the same from me. I relied heavily on the coaches, and their feedback and pointers for me. I am in a place now where I have greater mental clarity, I consistently get excited about going to the gym, and I miss it when I’m not there. I love meal prepping, it has become this fun thing we do every Sunday as a family. I’m so grateful to my family for taking part in this challenge with me and for being some of the greatest supporters I ever could have asked for.
My hope is that I can sustain these healthy lifestyle changes and keep the momentum going, because I’ve seen such great results. I reached a couple huge milestones. By the end of the 6 weeks I was down 25 lbs and 4% body fat, not to mention, I just started moving a lot better in the gym and in life in general. I re-discovered the energetic Karina that I had been missing. I know the journey will never end, and even when I hit one goal, there will always be another one to reach. I know that even for the most fit in the world, it’s still about maintenance, because it can be far too easy to backslide into old bad habits. Knowing that I put all this hard work into getting to where I am now, I would never want to fall back into old unhealthy patterns. My relationship with food has completely changed, and I rarely crave some of the unhealthy things I used to crave. I am proud of where I am, while also knowing I’ve got a long way to go. For me, it’s no longer really about the number on the scale, but more about living an overall healthy lifestyle. I want to live a life as long as possible for myself, for my pets (I love getting them outdoors and running around with them), for my family, and for any future family that I may have. As someone who grew up playing sports, I also missed being a part of a team, and with CrossFit a team and additions to my family is what I’ve been given. Thanks to CrossFit for helping give me such a big part of my life back! This past year has without a doubt been one of the most difficult for me. When I moved home from California after the loss of my childhood dog and best friend, I was paralyzed for months, and still struggle to this day. Without CrossFit and the friendships I’ve made there, it’s hard to say where I’d be. While I may not yet be at my end goal, I’m focusing on feeling great about where I’m at.”
See more of her story below!
1. What was life like before you became a member?
– My life before I became a member felt like it was at a standstill. I felt paralyzed by the loss of my dog, other illnesses in my family, and circumstances that were out of my control. It’s so hard to come to terms with, but most things are out of our control, and it’s about how we respond to those things that makes all the difference. I felt lost and was desperately seeking community when my mom, Carrie Heimer, and Scott encouraged me to join them for some classes. I then made the decision to join, and it really helped turn things around for me. There are still tough things that arise in life, but I feel like I’m better equipped to cope with those things now.
2. At the time you enrolled, were you already exercising? What was your previous background in fitness?
– I wasn’t very active at the time I enrolled. I would take my puppies out for walks, but wasn’t involved in many high intensity type workouts. I have a heavy sports background. I have tried just about every sport under the sun, but the two I really stuck with growing up and all through high school were soccer and basketball. Some years soccer was like a year-round thing for me. I continued with some intramural sports into my freshman year of college (basketball and flag football), but other than that, my fitness regimen was kind of inconsistent. I had a tendency of going really hard one week and then burning out the next.
3. What prompted you to seek us out?
– I had tried a few CrossFit classes in the past and also knew someone who owned a box out in San Diego that I did a few outdoor workouts with. I had also watched Scott perform in the open a couple years back, and I just loved the vibe I got from the community. It was community that I was really searching for. I also just wanted to get back to a place of good health.
4. What was your goal when you originally signed up?
– My goal was to of course cut weight, but that wasn’t the biggest thing. I wanted to make new friends and find new ways to make my workouts fun. The accountability from others also really helps. Overall, I just wanted to become a healthier and happier version of myself.
5. What would you say to anyone else who might be dealing with any similar struggles you did?
– I would tell them that anything is possible. That might sound cliche, but it’s true. I really doubted my abilities to stay consistent with CrossFit, because I knew the coaches take you through some really tough workouts, but I’m getting stronger everyday, all while learning a lot! Never give up on yourself, we are capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for.
6. What have you liked best about working with us?
– I love the atmosphere, the community, and all the friends I’ve made who have had such a positive impact on me! I love being surrounded by people with similar goals – to be healthy and happy!
7. What are you most proud of achieving since you started?
– I am proud of the sense of confidence in myself that I had lost and now rediscovered!
8. With everything that you have accomplished, has your view of yourself changed?
– I’m less focused on the negative, and trying to stay focused on the positive things I have achieved. While I still have a long ways to go, I have already come so far.
9. Do you have any special moments/memories?
– Some of my favorite moments are in the times when I’ve finished last in workouts. In those moments I see just how many people are in my corner cheering me on! You also have those extra special people who have already finished their workout and they still go above and beyond to finish with you so that you don’t feel alone.
10. What is your favorite movement/lift?
– I love the deadlift!
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