Only 8 months at MadLab so far but what a shift in all aspects of her life!
When I first asked Kristin to be a Transformation Tuesday feature she replied
Me??? I don't know that I've had any sort of transformation. I'm getting stronger, and I have a serious love-hate relationship with the workouts, and I want to be there everyday, but I don't have any amazing stories to tell... yet. "
But I dug a little a turns out Kristin has an amazing story that is so empowering it brought me to tears the first time I read it. I am so proud of what MadLab is able to give Kristin (and the rest of the community) but more so proud of Kristin for sharing her story.
Kristin - Keep doing what your doing! You are a joy to have at MadLab, your smile and genuine happiness brings a joy to all of those around you!
Read her story below and please share! Everyone needs to have a happy and healthy relationship with diet, exercise and life!
My whole life, body image and weight have been major struggles. I remember doing Jenny Garth’s aerobics videos at age 12/13 in secret… I was embarrassed that I was trying to lose weight, I probably only had 5 pounds to lose. Then my mom told me it was time to start watching my weight. Talk about destroying a kid’s view of herself and setting me up to never love my body. I was a clumsy kid and I wasn’t good at sports and so I didn’t want to play. Physical activity and fitness was a chore. Needless to say as an unhappy overweight teen, food became my comfort.
Every 3 or 4 years I would go all out, cut my calories down to the minimum I could tolerate and do cardio like it was going to save my life. I’d quickly lose 15, 20, even 30 pounds, and gain it all back a year later.
It wasn’t until early in 2015 that I decided to spend the year focusing on me and my health. I joined an all women’s gym, got a personal trainer and started seeing a naturopath. Working with a naturopath has led to me devoting a good portion of my free time to learning about nutrition, and eventually to pointed me to paleo. I told my trainer I wanted to learn how to lift weights. Over a few months she helped me drop over 40 pounds and learn some basic weightlifting. But having a personal trainer devote all their time to you is very expensive, so I decided to try to keep it up on my own. It was very exciting hitting PR’s every week, as my strength increased. But after a few months, this excitement wore off. Workouts got boring. Standing and waiting for the only barbell in the gym got old very fast as well. I lost the drive to keep it up, but was terrified of gaining even an ounce back. I was still losing weight – nearly 55 pounds all together, but I was stressing out- tracking my calories diligently, tracking every workout, and worst of all, injuring myself on average every 6 weeks or so. I knew I needed to work with a trainer, someone to tell me what I am doing wrong and help prevent me from hurting myself so often!
In learning about the paleo ways and adopting them into my own life, calorie tracking stopped. I ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was full. I ate only calorie dense nutritious foods and I felt great! All the paleo books I was reading and podcasts I was listening to were talking about crossfit as though you just can’t have one without the other… If paleo was working so well for me, maybe I should look into crossfit. In September of 2015, I checked out a crossfit gym (NOT madlab). I felt very intimidated and unwelcome. After thinking about it, I contacted them and asked to join. I was told someone would contact me to set up my first session and never heard back. I contacted them again… and again. I got brushed off, and decided I was better off on my own.
In October of 2016 I moved from the west side of Vancouver to the east side, I needed a new gym. I found MadLab in November of 2016, and it seemed like a great idea. I had an intro session with T-Bear, and with everything he had to say, I nodded eagerly along…. Let me in! Let me play! There were unlimited barbells! Coaches everywhere to help correct your form! An expectation to check in with your coach on a regular basis to help you work on whatever you need! And best of all, no more programming my own workouts. I just show up, and I get to play. It was literally everything I was missing from my gym. Every day that I go toMadLab, I get to play. Most classes, a coach will give me a tip or help correct my form. I love the assistance… I might still not get it right, but I love that there is always someone there, trying to help me become a better me. I have yet to hurt myself in a class, and from the strength I have gained along with the help of some physio my old injuries are healing. The workouts are anything but tedious and boring, and there are progressions every step of the way. So even though I can’t do any of the advanced movements, I have a progression to help me get there.
For the first time in my life, I love exercise. You might hear me swear about how much I hate it right after a workout, but inside I can’t wait to come back again tomorrow to the playground. For the first time in my life, I don’t care about my weight, I don’t track my calories, and I am completely and totally happy about it. The only number I track is the number of days I visitMadLab each month. And in all honesty I might be carrying an extra 10 or 15 pounds of fat, but I am growing stronger every day and have a very healthy relationship with food, exercise, and loving my body just the way it is.
Thank you MadLab for coming into my life exactly when I needed it.
This pic is a before and after of me before I came to MadLab…
Left is me fat and happy in March 2015, already down about 15 pounds. Right is me thin and unhappy about a year ago… on the scale!!! I am probably 10-15 pounds heavier now…
Kristin & Leonard at The MadLab Beach Day