Self-Love Reflection: People Can Change

Posted: July 31, 2011 at 4:40 pm

FFF’s weekly Self-Love Reflections have now taken a new spin – they will feature one of YOUR awesome stories of growth, self-discovery, strength, and self-love every week. I can’t wait for this new twist on an old favorite of mine because each of you inspire me every day. Let’s kick things off with Kristin from the STUFT Mama blog!

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After years of struggling with binge eating, over exercising and infertility, God graciously blessed our family with two miracles in December of 2009. Yes, TWO! My husband says we like to do things the hard way around here in the STUFT house. It’s a long and incredible story (and has something to do with a trip to Belize), but I’ll save the details. Here are my little “miracles”.

1

Throughout my entire pregnancy I was living my dream. I wanted to be that pregnant lady that kept running, working out and staying fit (big belly and all). I wanted it bad enough that I made it happen. As a fitness instructor, I continued teaching classes until I was about 7 months pregnant. I never felt that big, but I remember getting a lot of weird looks and comments and now, as I look back at pictures, I realize why. Ha!

2

When my doctor pulled the plug on my running I still kept active using the elliptical, walking and lifting light weights. I even went for a walk the morning I gave birth (with my water being broken and not knowing).

3

When I look back on my whole pregnancy, I actually think I was the healthiest I’ve ever been in my entire life those 9 months. My whole view about food changed. For years pre-pregnancy I had struggled with binging. I cringe when I think about the stress I put my poor body through. I would go from eating my way through entire bags of processed food and/or sweets to restricting calories and exercising 2-3 hours a day. I turned to food instead of dealing with my emotions.

Pregnancy changed everything. I realized that I had been blessed with an amazing gift and I needed to take care of my body and my babies the best that I could. My mindset changed and instead of having a list of foods that were off-limits except for special occasions (which added to the desire to binge), NO foods were off limits. I was focused on eating for health rather than eating to lose weight. I knew my body needed a certain amount of calories a day to feed two babies and I exercised to FEEL GOOD rather than to burn off all the “junk food” I had eaten previously or because I “had” to. Really, as big as my stomach was, I felt great.

After the birth of my boys, things got a little rocky. I thought I had left the old binging Kristin behind. I got back into my workout routine and lost the baby weight rather quickly.

4

However, after a few weeks of sleep deprivation and struggling to figure out how the heck to be a mom, my binging came back with vengeance. It felt like the only thing I could control. Really though, it just added to the complexity of being a new mom and trying to figure out what direction my life was going to go. Not only did I feel guilty that I ate that way, but I was so disappointed in myself that I had gone back to my old ways (after finally being “normal” during my pregnancy).

One thing I did do though was keep my focus on being active. I went running as my “therapy”. I pushed that stroller everywhere I could and I resumed teaching my fitness classes 5 weeks after the boys were born. Even despite my old eating habits, I managed to run a half marathon when the boys were just 4 months old.

5

Somewhere along the way I crawled my way out of the hole I had fallen back into. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t fun. It was a lot of trying to figure out the root cause of the issues, finding other ways to deal with my feelings and being creative with ways to distract myself away from the kitchen. Slowly and surely, by focusing on my boys, my health, and trying to become the mom that I wanted to be, I feel like I have overcome a major obstacle. There’s a part of me that still struggles, but I don’t act on my anxious feelings like I used to. It’s a very long process and a lifelong journey - the whole idea behind my blog and the “journey to find balance”.

Over the past two years since my boys were born, along with many sleepless nights, countless tears and a lot of wasted time second guessing myself and my decisions (rather than just trusting God in the process), I have finally

  • gotten to a healthy place with my eating habits
  • quit my full-time job as a PE teacher
  • started my own business
  • become a personal trainer
  • run my first full marathon and 8 other races (3 of them pushing the stroller and one of them being my PR for my half marathon time)

6 7

People CAN change their habits and views about food. I did and I hope to inspire some others along the way through my STUFT mama blog. I hope to see you there!

  • What is one way you have changed for the positive in the last 5 years?

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22 Comments to “Self-Love Reflection: People Can Change”
  1. Amy Lauren says:

    Wow- that was a really amazing story! I’m so surprised she was able to stay active so long, but then again I guess if you were already super active, and of course depending on how your genetics are, it’s not too surprising… since all pregnancies are different.

    Plus pushing that stroller while running… that’s just awesome! Just think about how everyone who does those races has to add 2 to whatever place they finished in for each of her kids =).

    Thanks for posting!

  2. You’re amazing, Kristen! I love hearing about women who learn to deal with their eating issues and do so in a healthy way. Also, my husband and I are attempting to get pregnant now and it can be extremely frustrating and saddening. When we do get pregnant, I fully intend to keep my workout routine so that I can be the best mom to my baby as possible. Thank you for this post!

    • Rosa- Yes, trying to get pregnant can be really frustrating. It took us years (and a lot of tears, attempts at treatment, etc.). But…. when it finally happened it was amazing! I’ll keep you in my thoughts! :)

  3. The one thing I have definitely changed in the last five years is my bad relationship with food. Basically, I hated food for fear of gaining any weight. Luckily, I was able to overcome this issue through the help of family, friends, and therapy. So glad you are doing better and in a good place!

  4. Suzanne says:

    So inspiring I cried!

    Thank you!

  5. Amazing. Such an inspiration.

    My biggest change was realizing I’m worth more than the comments made by my family as kid. Through therapy and love I know I’m more than other who are trying to bring me down.

  6. Stephany says:

    That photo of her on the elliptical is AWESOME. Ha. I love it. Way to go on her part!

    This story is so inspiring to read. I have felt like I’m never going to get this healthy living journey right so I like reading about people who have overcome a lot and learned how to be healthy the right way.

  7. Tracy says:

    Thank you so much for that wonderful post! I can sure relate, having twins and those sleepless nights. Even though they are older, it seems to still be there some nights. Thanks again for the wonderful inspiration! ~ Take Care…

  8. Kat says:

    what a beautiful and inspirational story! it’s funny how quickly things change when you’re pregnant – I’m 13 weeks and the second I found out, nights of drinking too much vodka and not treating my body the way I should were quickly over. The miracle in my belly keeps me motivated on a daily basis :)

  9. Amy says:

    A very inspirational story, thank you for sharing. It is so easy to keep judging ourselves and second guessing but sometimes we have to accept that it takes a while to sort out the balance. I’m glad that you are firmly on your journey there :)

  10. Lori Lynn says:

    Thank you so much for the inspiration! I have struggled with binge eating and over-exercising myself, and know how it feels. I have done better with less binge-eating, but still struggle with over-eating. It’s a continual work in progress, and I think it will always be there. Over the last year I have become a lot more consistent with exercising, which has helped too.

  11. sophia says:

    This…was brilliant. Thank you for the post, Kristin. I’ve never been pregnant before and I don’t want to be a mother (many reasons), but it’s quite touching and inspiring to see how giving birth to new life(ves) made such a positive transformation into your outlook in life. Those two darlings really are blessings from God, and I know they will bless your life even now to the end.

  12. Very inspirational story. Its so nice to be able to relate (esp with anxiety and binging). My blog and lifestyle are the same- finding that balance. I’ve come a long way but life still brings its challenges and I’m not as strong some days, but I’ve definitely changed for the better. Loved this post!

  13. Tina- Thanks for letting me be a part of your amazing blog. And thank you to Tina’s followers for your wonderful comments. I really am so honored to be able to share my story on here. :) I think the “journey” is ongoing as some days are better than others, but my boys and my health motivate me!

  14. Wonderful story. So glad you overcame this obstacle that resurfaced. I am in a hard binge period right now and am fighting it with all my might! I feel like I could see myself having that come back after a pregnancy too with a newborn baby. Right now with my struggles, I have a chance be resilient and overcome it. I want to show myself I can do it. I have done it before, even though it’s always somewhat of a battle that pops up now and again. I think the best way to conquer it is with PATIENCE!

  15. Jess says:

    Amazing! You are a strong and inspiring woman for every woman out there struggling with the same issues.

  16. Great post – I love reading about fitness and pregnancy! I can totally see how being pregnant could make a positive change in your food/fitness choices!

    I recently quit my job as a teacher as well and I’m pursuing a career in photography! :)

  17. Wow, I feel like I am going through the exact same process as she is. Being 7.5 months pregnant, I have realized just how much pregnancy has changed my view on health. I am no longer eating + exercising to lose weight but because it helps me feel better. I am hoping + praying that my guilt over eating doesn’t return after pregnancy, but I am learning more + more to trust my body.

    Thanks, Tina, for posting this! Kristin just found herself a new reader!

  18. [...] Self-Love Reflection: People CAN Change – overcoming binging through pregnancy and fitness [...]

  19. What an inspiring story Kristin…my past consisted of disordered eating and overexercising struggles…I know how hard it is to overcome those anxieties and battles of those difficult disorders. Thank you for your story and your twins are absolutely beautiful :)

  20. Stephanie says:

    Your little ones are so beautiful! Congratulations on your gorgeous family. Thanks for sharing your story… I’ve been trying to get pregnant for over a year now, and it’s taking so much longer than I’d expected. I have to be very vigilant that I don’t just start eating poorly as a source of comfort. I hope that I can commit to exercising and eating well like you when I finally get pregnat.

  21. Elaine says:

    I love love love this inspiring story!

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