Behavior ChangeKiller KurvesMindsetMomsMothersStrengthUncategorized

How a Mom Overcame Divorce, Back Surgery, Multiple Jobs and High Risk Pregnancies to Get Her Life Back

By April 13, 2015 No Comments
I love hearing stories from everyday people, just like you and I, who have decided enough is enough and have done something about it. Andrea is about to share her story.  She just completed 10 weeks in our Killer Kurves lifestyle weight management program. ->-> Click here to learn more and join her next week as we kickoff our new 12 week session <-<

Take it away Andrea:

I have always been an active person, but also a person who has struggled with my weight since adolescence. I grew up in a family that did not encourage my participation in sports (other than skiing). My parents were also overweight when I was younger. They were also a bit old fashioned and seemed to feel that sports were for “just for boys”.  
 
After growing up on the East Coast, I moved to WI in 1998. I had just received my masters degree and took a teaching job at a smaller town just outside of Madison. In 2000 (at the age of 28), I got married (even though I knew deep in my heart that making my marriage work would be difficult). At the time, most of my friendships I had established in WI were with colleagues at work.  
 
 In 2005 I began a weight loss journey and by 2007, had literally run off 70 lbs.  At that time, I began to have trouble with my back and sciatic nerve. I lost sensation and motion in my legs and feet. By the time I was admitted to St Mary’s Hospital, my sciatic nerve had been pinched off by my L4/L5 disc and I was in need of emergency back surgery. I was rushed to the operating room and concerns that I would have permanent nerve damage were high. That same week, I also finalized my divorce. Both of these events were turning points in my life….for the better! I was pain-free and in control of my own life again. Sure, stress was high – I was working multiple jobs to make ends meet, but I also felt confident and HAPPY! I began to date and met a wonderful man who I married in 2007. He had also lost a significant amount of weight (165 lbs) and was training for his first Ironman Wisconsin race.  (He has now completed 2 of these!)
 
Due to the nerve damage from my back injury, it took me about a year and a half to recover. I did return to running and was able to keep the weight I had lost off until 2010 and the birth of my first child (at the age of 37). I was considered a high-risk pregnancy and also became preeclampsic. I gained a significant amount of weight back during the pregnancy and struggled to loose it after my daughter was born. It only became harder after maternity leave when I returned to work as a teacher.  Just when I began to make some progress, I found out I was pregnant again. During this pregnancy I was also diagnosed with preeclampsia and was put on bed rest for 5 weeks.  After I gave birth, my recovery seemed much slower and I made little progress loosing the weight I had gained. My girls are close in age, and my maternity leave was much shorter.  
 
My daughters are now 5 years old and 3 1/2.  In January I turned 42 years old.  After my 2nd pregnancy I felt more anxious and found myself worrying about my health and whether I would live long enough to see my daughter become adults.  During this time, I tried to run the weight off several times – but struggled to maintain the running consistently. I also found that the demands and workload associated with teaching was growing, making it even more difficult to find time to take time for myself. Even I was able to run consistently, I didn’t seem to be loosing much, if any, weight.  I joined another weight loss program, and although the education piece was helpful, I still struggled to fit in the actual exercise. This past summer, I decided to run my daughters to daycare when they went there twice a week. It was 4.2 miles round trip. Still I did not lose any weight and (after rolling my ankle at the end of the school year) began to have increased pain in the heal and arches of my foot.  However, I also wasn’t feeling well. I was tired all the time and one of my biggest concerns was that I felt like I was in a “brain fog” all the time.  I didn’t feel like I could think clearly. I worried that I was becoming diabetic and was also fearful that I too would have complications from heart disease like other members of my family.
 
I ran one time in September. Then….I gave up.  I was tired of failing. I would learn to love myself and the way I looked. I could overcome the self-esteem issues I was having. The fact that most days, I was so unhappy with the way I looked that I didn’t want to leave the house.  I’d get over it, right?!
 
I decided to do a Google search and see what types of workout and weight loss programs were out there. I had done one of your outdoor bootcamps during the summer of 2013. I enjoyed the workout but was not a big fan of the early morning hours.  When I read the Killer Kurves description on your website, I was immediately interested. I emailed Shelly and after 3 communications, I found myself signing up for K2!  
 
I was nervous and excited when I signed up! I did not want to fail at another exercise/weight loss program! Yet, I knew I needed to a clean slate – something new! I was also joining K2 mid-session so I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up.  I feared I would be overwhelmed trying to balance motherhood, work and now the K2 program. Would it be added stress? Would I stay committed?
 
The biggest obstacle was just committing to something new – putting myself out there.  Leaving the house and joining a group of people I had never met before was out of my comfort zone.  My social anxiety was high….but I knew it was the right thing to do.
 
I enjoyed my very first workout at K2 and every workout since! The time of the evening and Sunday sessions worked out well. My husband was extremely supportive and full of encouragement.
 
I have been with the K2 program for 10 weeks and have lost about 9 pounds. I have lost 1.5 inches off my arms and legs, and just over an inch in my waistline. At my annual doctor appointment last weight, my weight is the lowest it has been in 4 years, my blood pressure was in the normal range (opposed to borderline).  Blood work showed my glucose and cholesterol also in the normal and appropriate ranges. Even more noticeably, I have more energy!!  I was bringing a travel coffee mug of coffee to work each day along with a small thermos full. I had been drinking every drop and still felt tired.  
 
During the first week of K2, I noticed I was returning home after work and my thermos was still full – I wasn’t reaching for any additional cups of coffee!  Overall, I have decreased my sugar/carb intake and am working on adding protein to my diet. In addition, I am managing stress more effectively. My confidence is increasing – the outgoing and determined woman that I knew has started to return!  
 
I still have a long way to go on this journey, but for the first time in a long time I feel like I am in control. Even when I chose to “indulge” in a “treat”, it is a conscious choice done in moderation – rather than something I am unaware of – as if on autopilot.  For the first time in a LONG time I feel as if, “I’ve got this”.
 
I have decided to keep my journey fairly private at this point. People are just beginning to notice that I have lost a few pounds.  My husband is extremely supportive and is on board with me. He would also like to lose weight and my work at K2 has been motivating him to exercise, eat better and prepare healthier meals for our family.
 
I have a strong sweet tooth and I love carbs! Before K2, I had very little self control – I would eat these foods until they were gone! K2 has motivated me to decrease my sugar intake, limit carbs in my diet and increase protein. I have added the protein collagen to my diet and have been able to decrease caffeine. I am working toward increasing my water intake as well.
 
That being said, I am still working toward my nutrition goals and eliminating prepackaged “easy and convenient” foods from my diet.
 
I absolutely LOVE the K2 program and would tell my friends to DO IT! There is no other program out there quite like this one. It provides both the nutrition/education piece and the workout all in one hour, making it very efficient and effective – perfect for anyone with a busy schedule! The trainers and other K2 participants are very supportive and can understand/relate to all aspects of this journey.  K2 is worth every penny!

-Andrea Nichols

Thanks so much, Andrea, for sharing your story! If you live near Madison and would like to join Andrea in our next Killer Kurve session that starts next week, sign up now or reply to this email if you have questions. ->-> Click here to learn more. Killer Kurves is for men and women who have tried it all and realize the futility in fad diets, pills, and extreme ways to lose weight and know it comes down to making some lifestyle changes.  That is Killer Kurves. It is a 12 week group for making small life-style tweaks so that you can live the healthiest, and highest energy version of you. ->-> Click here to learn more.