Jul 14
2017

Every Once In A While…

Over the past few weeks, I have sat down to brainstorm my thoughts for a post. I have sat down and scribbled thoughts. But, nothing was taking. I was feeling empty. I was lacking….everything.

If there is one thing I have learned over time is that even the most positive people in your life, every once in a while, just need to scream for a minute or two. They need you to just listen to it; let them vent. Let them get the negativity out and for that moment in time, that person just needs you to say, “yes, it sucks.” We need that time to just feel what it is we are feeling & know that it’s okay to not find the light at the end of the tunnel.

Because, sometimes we do not care anymore about there being a light at the end of the tunnel simply because we are just tired of being in the tunnel.

Once we have these moments, we let it out, we scream, we cry, we do whatever the heck it is we need to do….and then, in the blink of an eye, we go back to focusing on the light at the end of the tunnel.

This is why I could not find a blog post in me. I was trying to search for the positives so much that my soul was tired. Every once in a while, I needed to stop searching for the light, I needed to not wear a smile and I needed to not have to hide how I was truly feeling.

I found myself in a complete breakdown of tears yesterday after posting in my Facebook fit camp group about struggling with wanting to show up for my workouts. A good friend of mine wrote this back to a comment of mine about having no “why” & I lost it:

“Dig deep and find it. Even though with the pain you’re in it will be difficult to answer the question. Is it so that you get 30 mins to dedicated to celebrating YOU? Is it so that you can handle the demands of coaching and other practices? Is it so that at the end of the day if you get through nothing you wanted to do that you can still say “I did that!” Even if your why today, changes tomorrow it’s about the reason for it”.

Daily, I struggle with feeling defeated. I have lived a life in motion for that past six years. Crossing starting lines and chasing down finish lines. I have rarely sat down, I was always on the move with myself or the people in my life.

Fast forward to the present and most days, I make my daughter sit on my feet because the tingling and numbing is so strong that I truly want to cut my feet off & I cannot get off the couch. I try to workout, even if it’s just lifting weights with my upper body, but even that can cause pain and the numbing to shoot down my lower body. Yes, even yoga ignites a fire in my leg.

Yesterday, it hit me that I needed to do some serious self-reflection. I needed to do some digging, I needed to find a purpose….maybe even one I can do from the couch with my daughter or my guy sitting on or squeezing my feet.

This morning I awoke to a private message from someone asking for some advice on their own health journey despite some physical struggles they endure. This person has no idea how much a fire began to burn inside of me again simply by her asking for advice for so many reason.

It hit me this morning how much I have been FOCUSED on feeling defeated. I have never been one to ever let defeat push me down, yet, here I am allowing it. Daily. The person you speak to the most in your life is yourself; the messages I have been giving myself are so wrong.

In the middle of so many life changes, I think I forgot who I was. I forgot I was a woman who started her journey at 200 pounds & was able to change. I forgot I was a woman who finished a full marathon during the darkest period of her life that was the loneliest journey one could ever imagine. This woman is still inside me, I just forgot about her.

Today, I remember who I am. Now, the game changes.

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Until Next Time~

Jun 20
2017

I Write

Hundreds of notebooks over the years hold my words, my thoughts. Ever since high school, I wrote. I would write when I was hurting; write when I was happy. I would write to work through the dark thoughts in my mind; I would write to remember the memories I wanted to hold close.

I write for many reasons. Here I write so I can remember what I have worked through, so I can remember what I accomplished, so I can remember the uphills and the downhills on this journey we call life.

I write for me. Often I do get messages that my words hit someone right in the heart and that makes the fear of vulnerability worth it.

Today, I am writing because I need to let go of what I am holding in and I need to inspire myself to move forward. Today, I am writing because I have allowed myself to shut down and I need to pull myself out of this place.

Here is the thing about sharing — you always know someone is going to read it and laugh at you or whatever thought may come into their mind but if there is one thing life has taught me is that you never can understand anyone’s journey. Really, most days I don’t even understand me let alone someone else. You cannot judge someone’s thoughts or feelings and you certainly cannot tell them how to feel.

Honestly, I have been in a dark place lately and I haven’t been able to shake it. I have struggled even getting on social media as I would literally turn to tears at the sweaty selfies I would scroll by but yet in a weird way I needed to see them too. They still inspired me. I knew the past few years that working out and those incredible endorphins helped me greatly emotionally and mentally. But, it has been the past few weeks that I have realized how much; it’s like my anti-depressant. It gave me so many positive vibes in more ways than I can explain and I will never be able to explain how much I miss it and need it.

My frustrations have been high and a feeling of hopelessness keeps winning. A year later and seven specialists and lots of physical therapy and every day my pain and discomfort continues to grow. I do not sleep well at night because my pain is too great. I feel helpless around the house because simple things like carrying a laundry basket up and down the steps does a number on me. Yesterday I found myself with tears down my face sitting at my desk at work because I hurt so greatly. It can range from feeling like a fire inside, to a knife stabbing in and twisting to complete numbing where I feel as if I cannot move my toes or at times, my leg. It’s in my thigh, my knee, my calf and down to my toes.

I know I need to see the positive that things have been ruled out. The MRI on my knee shows just normal wear and tear with some little signs of arthritis but nothing that would cause pain in someone like I’m experiencing. In other words, my knee is fine and is not the cause of these symptoms.

I have switched to a much better foot doctor that I trust a million times more which is another positive. We are trying one more attempt at something for a few weeks and then we will evaluate if any relief has come or if we need to discuss surgery more in-depth.

Both my knee doc and foot doctors agree the leg pain has nothing to do with the knee and that my foot is also not the source of all the pain I have. I have now been referred on to yet another specialist to have spine and nerves evaluated.

I struggle because the mom that I dreamed about being for years, the kind of mom I wanted to be that pushed me daily, is not the mom I am right now. Some days I have to tell my kids “no” when they ask if I can catch them pitching. We cannot lace up together and go for a fun jog, we cannot go out and play some basketball; we cannot even go out to the drive for a fun game of four square.

Despite my hopelessness last week after getting really no answers on Friday after two appointments and the urge to just say, “I give up,” I know I cannot. I have to keep pushing, I have to keep trying, I have to keep moving on to the next doctor until I can find a way to at least go back to playing a little more with my girls in the yard.

So, today, I write so that I can work out the frustrations and so that I can let go of the hopeless feeling. I write because through my words I see that as long as I am willing to keep trying, something great will be on the road ahead. I have no idea how long this road is going to be but I know I have to keep moving regardless of how slow my body forces me to go.

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Until Next Time~

Jun 6
2017

My Next Move

If you have been following my blog or social media, you know I have hinted towards changes and making choices based off of what is truly right for me.

I have struggled with my weight since college. I have tried so many stupid things over the past eighteen years: unhealthy fads, drinks, pills….you name it.

I cannot hide the fact that over the past year or so I have slid so far backwards. My weight is higher than a number I promised myself I would ever get back to in my life.  I can feel the extra weight I’m carrying. I can see it too, but I struggle more with the “feel”
of it.

Over time I have found how there is certainly not a one size fits all approach to a healthy lifestyle. But, I have learned what works for me and what does not.

Just shy of nine years ago, I carried my two week old baby in her car seat into a Weight Watchers meeting. I joined that day and still to this day I attend the meetings: same leader today, some of the same faces, & my mom who has always gone with me.

I lost 55 pounds & I maintained it for years. At some point in the past three years I stopped following the plan even though I attended the meetings. I thought it led me to eating too many processed things & I wanted to clean that up.

Well, today, I admit that in the past three years I have tried many things and now here with thirty pounds to lose.

I recently made the decision to start following the new Weight Watchers program. The issues I had with it a few years ago have been solved with its new calculations as it truly leads us away from sugar and processed junk.

I already feel more content and in control than I have in so long. I have truly had a shift in mindset & that is what I needed. For me, this is the type of program that fits into my lifestyle. I don’t do well when I feel I am super restricted and honestly, my “on the go always” life sometimes requires me to grab things that recently I had to feel such guilt & a feeling of failure for grabbing. Now, I just track it & move on.

Today, I am doing what is best for me. I have had to close some doors & walk away from opportunities that just did not seem to fit into my life right now. But, my desire to live a healthy lifestyle has not diminished. So, now I will be here sharing my journey with no pressure to prove anything works; just my journey that is truly for me.

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I hope you find some inspiration from my journey. I hope you know that if you are in the same place as me today {back to a number you promised you would never see again} you will know you are worth starting again today.

This is my journey of imperfect progress.

Until Next Time~

Jun 2
2017

The Hustle

I have shared a lot on here lately about being in a new season. I have shared finding myself in the woods alone totally unraveling but needing to follow the small glimmer of light. I have shared that I have lost myself and making decisions for others or based on outside expectations instead of my own.

That light, that small glimmer shining down, gave me the answers. I realized lately that I had lost sight of some of my priorities, things were getting tangled up. I felt this incredible pressure; the load I was carrying was just too great.

I would read or listen to personal development daily and could not find the answers. What was it that I was struggling with?

Last week I sat at sixth grade camp as a parent chaperone free from phone service and no social media. I sat there watching my daughter: the way her smile spreads across her face, the way her forehead looks when she is focused, the way her giggle comes from her toes.

In that moment I realized the only thing I wanted to hustle after was moments like that. I want to focus on those small moments of life, the small details that get missed when we hustle after more.

That glimmer of light reminded me of what life can be like if we are not living it distracted from our true values.

I know that I am incredibly blessed because my parents worked so hard and have built our family a legacy; I absolutely love coming to work every day with my family and working together towards a bright future. This is where I am meant to hustle and when I leave work at the end of a day, the only hustle I want to live is the one with the special people in my life.

I still have many passions. I still am passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and wanting that for others. I am incredibly passionate about coaching kids and this is a piece of my life I will never let go of.

Today what I am most passionate about is not missing the details of life that seem so small but yet bring peace to your heart that words can never express. Today I am passionate about the people in my life. Today I am passionate about coaching kids and building them up for a stronger future. Today I am passionate about staying true to the type of mom and woman I want to be.

Today I am passionate about not hustling after more and just being grateful for every little thing I have in my life.

Today I will watch my daughter’s face light up with her giggle that comes from her toes and I will not be too distracted to giggle with her.
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Until Next Time~

Jun 1
2017

Unraveled…

Sometimes you find yourself feeling so lost; you find yourself having no idea about the direction you should go.

When I find myself there: it is like I am standing in the middle of the woods with no trail to follow. I’m alone; the only sounds I hear are coming straight from nature. It’s scary. There is only a tiny glimmer of sunlight shining through the tree tops. 

These are the moments where we have to look inside. We can no longer look to outside views, ideas, expectations. The only person we can rely on is ourselves. The only way to find our way out of the woods is to dig inside: you need to find that clarity on what the next right move is. You need to figure out which direction it is that you really want to go.

This moment has to be about you: your values, your personal expectations, your desires, your dreams.

Recently, I have found myself right in this place. I had to turn inward as I realized I was truly lost. What was it I needed? What did I want? What was missing?

I had to find a new way to search for answers as the old way of lacing up and pounding out the miles on the search for an answer is gone.

I have had moments of darkness. I have had moments where I felt like I was unraveling at warp speed and there was no stopping me.

Until now, in this moment, I see that unraveling was needed. I needed to unravel all the “stuff” of life. I had to find myself alone in the darkness and call on myself to find a way out,

The secret to this moment, this moment of clarity where I see I need to do what is best for me and for my family, was this:

It might have appeared dark in the woods, but there was always a glimmer of light shining through. 

That light was what I had to follow.

Until Next Time

May 23
2017

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May 23
2017

Real Talk

It’s time for some real talk. I need to hear it and perhaps you do too.

Sometimes we have to just accept that doing our best is different. My best right now might look like an absolute mess from the outside looking in. But, I have come to realize lately my best just looks different at times; it changes.

I’m in a season. A season raising two busy, active girls; the crazy that comes with this truly does rest solely on my shoulders. I don’t share that with anyone else. The practices, the games, the field trips, the doctor visits, the homework, the struggles….98 percent of that is me.

I love it. I am in a season where my girls are growing and changing so fast; they are in season of playing sports that they love. They are in a season of learning life lessons daily. They are in a season that has daily challenges; some of those challenges you win and some you lose.

As a mom, I am in a season where I do not want to miss a thing. Here is the thing: they are growing so fast. If I was to be honest, when they were babies, I missed so much.

Even though I was right there, the stress of life caused me to not stop to just take in the moments and be as present with them as I am now; present in taking in every moment and looking at the way their eyes light up when they smile.

Right now my best looks different. In the hustle and bustle of spring time, our “healthy” meals do not look as good and might not be quite as healthy as they are during a different time of year. My workouts are not as frequent. My water drinking is lacking because well, let’s be honest, I am at a ball field pretty much every night and I’m not that big of a fan of port-a-jons!

Our best changes; our seasons change. This is a season where I want to soak it all in. I want to continue being the one in the front row seat; the biggest fan. I want to be the one to be right there talking about the challenges of the day; the victories & the lessons learned.

So, for now, my best looks different. We will happily eat meals that are not completely clean or perfectly prepped; we might miss out on eating all our veggies or fruits for a day. My workout might consist of only my physical therapy exercises and nothing more.

But, for right now, I am proud of my best because I love the season I am in and there is nothing I would change.

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{and this season requires really big “mom life” coffee cups}

Until Next Time~

May 19
2017

Somewhere….

It’s crazy. Here, in the dark, after the lights go out and the house is silent is where the words come to me. In the silence, alone, with nowhere to hide.

I do not know where it happened.

I do not know how or when.

But, I know I am here today feeling lost. Somewhere along the journey, I have gotten lost.

I look in the mirror and I want to throw something at the reflection. I don’t like what I see.

I don’t see that person I worked so hard to grow into. She is hiding behind anything she can. The confidence is gone. The smile she would shine on her face doesn’t show. Her personality once shining so bright now appears to be lacking.

I didn’t see it at first. But now, its all I see. Something in that mirror, something in that reflection is missing.

I lay here in the dark and realize that I am missing. Along my journey, I have stopped being true to me.

I have been making decisions based on what I thought I should do. I have been living with this pressure to be someone I’m not.

I don’t know the last time I made a decision for me or did what it was I truly wanted to do.

I used to wake up feeling inspired. Every day. Now, I feel like that feeling is gone and I’m just trying to live up to someone else’s standards or pressure to be someone I’m not. I’m so worried about being inspiring, that I forgot you must be inspired in order to be inspiring.

The beauty of finding yourself lost is that you can always find yourself again. Now that I see what is missing in the mirror, I have the chance to move forward in a direction that is true to me.

A direction that someday soon I will look back into that mirror and there will not be anything missing and what I will see looking back will be a woman just trying her best every day but staying true to herself to do that. FullSizeRender

Until Next Time~

Apr 21
2017

A New Day

Every single day, I told myself it was ‘A New Day.’ Every new day brings a chance for improvement, right?

I will admit, I had high hopes. I was confident. I’m the kind of person who always takes on challenges with a smile.

Earlier this week, I knew I was standing at the beginning of my last test. Up until this moment, I had been hopeful I would be able to participate in a few shorter distance races this spring. I was not willing to give up yet. This was the moment I knew I needed to listen instead of denying it all.

That day in the middle of the White Pine Trail, I stood there with tears streaming down my eyes. I didn’t care that other people saw me. I could not hide the pain behind a smile anymore. I was too tired.

I have tried everything; I have listened to my body taking more rest days than I have in years. I have switched up programs when I notice my body saying, “hell no K.”

I tried a heavily modified MMA style workout but my leg could not do it. I switched to lifting & found after a while I had to put the weights down when it came to my leg & eventually I found I could barely do the moves without weights. I walked away from extra weight & switched to an extremely modified HIIT program & found the fire returning in my leg. I tried yoga & my legs wanted to scream. I ran & rarely got past just a few minutes before it arrived again. I tried walking. It just does not seem to matter.

Some days from the moment I get out of bed, I feel it. I feel the pain in my leg driving my car. I fight through the pain when I’m trying to be active with my girls. I have to cry through the pain carrying laundry baskets from the basement to the upstairs.

I lay in bed at night & see the swelling in my foot and ankle; sometimes my knee too. I lay awake at night tossing & turning trying to get comfortable while my leg feels like there is a fire burning sky high inside. Some nights, I cannot even move my toes. For real.

I stretch all day long. Every morning, every time I go to the bathroom. I stretch nonstop throughout my day….sometimes I feel like it consumes most of my day yet brings me zero relief.

The issue isn’t a simple thing that resting can heal or massaging or PT. Because my genetics gave me extremely high arches, over time, my body essentially has become deformed. The middle or inside part of my foot literally never touches the ground. The outside part of my leg & foot bear all the weight. I got custom made orthotics but even those cannot correct me as I’m still on the outside of my foot. It’s partly because my foot literally is not able to be flexible & get itself in the correct position. It’s physically impossible.

Because of the construction of my foot, my calf muscles are way too short. So no matter what I do, my leg muscles always feel tight…they are being pulled so hard every single day. I cannot even find the right words to explain the way they feel…perhaps a bit like playing tug of war all day long.

I have been an athlete all my life. I have struggled with my ankles, spraining them more times than I can recall. Still to this day, I can be walking down the road & it will give out on me. Even times I have literally fallen to the ground because of it {ask my girls, they have laughed at me}. I have struggled with my calf muscles forever. Anytime I worked with top instructors or coaches or doctors or had to attend physical therapy for injuries, all I have ever been told is how tight my leg muscles are; how inflexible I am.

This is the way my body is built. This is not something that is going to just disappear on me someday. This is a lifelong condition I have. It’s not an injury from overuse; it’s not a stress fracture to be healed. It is here & I have to find what works for my body to continue living my life.

The surgical option my orthopedic surgeon recommended is a less invasive one than the other option & would allow me to eventually live my life the way I want. It is essentially transferring a few tendons in my foot. It would also involve going in to my calf & lengthening that.

I have not made a decision yet but I also know I cannot live the way I want on this track I’m stuck on. The pain began to sideline me last May and here I am just shy of a year later. At this point, I am waiting until I see a knee specialist to confirm there is no tear or anything in there either with the level of pain I have been experiencing there.

I can tell you what I will not be doing regardless of my decision: I will not be giving up. I am still going to be here sharing my journey, doing what I can. I cannot allow this to be my excuse. My direction may shift a little, my goals may need to change. But, I am not going to sit down & say, “well, there is no point in trying. I might as well just wait until after surgery.”

No, I can make myself stronger. I can still work on me. I will also be focusing so much on my nutrition because my calorie burn is going to drop significantly.

I’m still going to be here; showing up. I’m going to be here proving that there is always something we can do, that fighting for a healthy body is worth it. Yes, I am sure I am going to have days of struggles that will make my emotions run crazy high, I will have days where the desire to quit will be high but if there is one thing I have learned, it is this:

Today is a new day. A new day of opportunities & chances. It’s a new day & you never know what you might find if you just stay open to it.

Until Next Time~

Apr 13
2017

I Cried.

I told myself I was a failure. I talked to myself as if I was alone; like no one else had traveled this road before.

I cried.

I cried when I looked at this new before picture. I did not want to believe it was me. I did not want to believe I had gone this far backwards. This picture was never going to be shown.

I acted as if I was the only woman in the history of losing weight to gain some back.

I know better. I know I am never alone in this journey.

On April 5th, I blogged this:

I had a breakthrough. It looked a lot like day one of a truly incredible comeback. I’m letting go of who I was yesterday, last year, two years ago, or who I was the day I finished my marathon. I’m looking forward to who I want to become.

I meant it. I went back to my journey being about me. I let ago of striving for perfection & aimed to just do a little better every day. I made changes. I switched to a new program that would fuel my heart & push me past my limits. I got my portion controlled containers back out for everything. I drank my superfoods every single day.

Ten days. These two pictures are just ten days apart. PicMonkey Collage

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The inside…..that transformation is even better than the outside. In ten days my mindset has shifted in so many incredible ways.

This is my journey of imperfect progress. You will never catch me giving up.

Until Next Time~