Hi! I’m Kristine, I’m married to my handsome, easy going husband, Butch. And I’m an at home mommy to my 5 year old daughter and 3 year old son. I love the Lord, my family, fitness, and eating clean. People have different ideas about what “healthy” is. And there are so many ways you can go about having a healthy lifestyle. My views have changed immensely over the years, and they continue to change each day as I educate myself on what it is to live “clean and fit”.
As a child I was a sugar junkie. Every Sunday I would get my allowance. In church I would sit dreaming of what candy I would buy. Then after church my father would visit the local handy man store and I would b-line it to the candy aisle to see just how much candy I could acquire on my $5 a week. My dad enjoyed that he could get lost in the store and I would contently pick and choose from my own personal little candy land.
In my awkward middle school and high school years I began to have serious body image issues and that’s when the slew of diets and skipping meals began. I was fed the marketing lie of choosing low fat high carb options (which were also highly processed) and wondered why I had my lovely little belly (which really wasn’t much of a belly at all but to a self conscious young girl it was the end of the world). I played soccer throughout high school (and my freshman year of college) which aided in keeping me fairly thin and of course I was young so I could get away with my candy love affair to some extent. I always enjoyed some form of fitness, but I continued to struggle with a low self esteem.I felt like I had to work out most days and was often on a diet or skipping meals in order to attempt to stay thin. I was also under the assumption that as long as the “food” and candy I ate was labeled fat free I was good to go.
Then college hit, and like many students who were newly set free from under the thumb of their parents, I drank a lot and ate terribly. I quit soccer after freshman year in order to focus on my grades that were plummeting fast. And I gained the cliché 15… or maybe 30 lbs? After a couple years of feeling empty and lost, I came to know the Lord. Sure, I had grown up in the church but I didn’t know Jesus as my Lord and Savior as a child. It was not a knock me down with lightning experience. I can’t even tell you the exact day I accepted Him into my life. I rode the fence for a good year or so (wanting to continue my past lifestyle yet wanting to love the Lord). It took me over a year to realize I couldn’t have both. God wanted all of me.
So, I gave up the drinking (due to personal convictions… I’m not saying people can’t drink and love God) and my weight began to drop. I was a new creation who valued myself as a daughter of the Lord. Another huge event in my life that changed my perspective and my nutrition was when my father was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I was trying to cope emotionally with the news that my dad had this disease that could potentially take his life. My college roommates and I had a tradition of taking each other out to get ice cream whenever one of us was down. There were 6 of us roomies so someone was “down” a lot. Needless to say we ate a lot of ice cream. They made the offer for our ice cream outing when I found out about my dad and I replied that I was tired of finding comfort in food. I also wanted to rid my life of cancer causing activities which included tanning, and eating certain foods etc. I chose to look to the Lord for comfort for the first time in my life. And I praise God that my father is still in remission (he was stage 4 at the time).
At that time, I still held true to the idea that fat free was healthy and that processed was okay. I was more focused on calories, fat, etc. But it was a turning point when I began to educate myself on proper nutrition rather than what the latest fad diet was.
Eating organic food was the next revolution in my “love for real food journey”. A friend of mine commented (in a loving way of course) on how the list of ingredients on my low fat snack food was a mile long and that maybe I should choose to eat food with ingredients I could pronounce… and how organic would be even better. She and her husband turned me onto a book called “The Maker’s Diet” written by Jordan S. Rubin. This is an amazing book that opened my eyes to so many myths about nutrition.
I had also taken up running at this time and thoroughly enjoyed it. I ran a marathon in college and have run a few half marathons since as well as a 5K. I enjoyed just running for fun as well. The running helped me to drop the pounds but I still had my trouble spots.
Finally, my biggest nutritional changes started almost 2 years ago (in 2012). A good friend of mine had talked to me about the “Live Fit” plan by Jamie Eason on bodybuilding.com. I was bored in my fitness routine so I thought it would be fun to do something new. Little did I know that it would kick my sugar loving butt, and transforming how I look at working out. I also started reading some amazing books out there like “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon and Maximized Living Nutrition Program by Kimberly Roberto and Dr. Lerner. But “Live Fit” was the beginning of my love of heavy lifting and super clean eating (which included nixing out my beloved sugar). Live Fit is a 12 week program which I intended on doing for just that… 12 week. But by the end of it I felt so good, I enjoyed real food so much more, and my cravings for sugar were nearly non-existent. So, I stuck with it (well, I stuck with that type of lifestyle, not the exact plan). Now, I don’t agree with every bit of advice they give. For example: I eat whole eggs now rather than egg whites and you would never find me adding Splenda to a recipe for sweetener-but they do give other choices like Stevia and honey as well. And the protein powder I choose to use is of the “cleaner” variety. The Live Fit plan (and the other books I mentioned, among others) really taught me what my body is capable of and how I could transform it inside and out. My favorite thing Jamie Eason (and many other trainers) say is “abs are made in the kitchen”, meaning you can do crunches all day but if you don’t eat right you will never see those abs under that layer of insulation.
So now, in 2014 as I write this I feel better than I ever have. I have a love for the Lord that I believe is alive in every aspect of my life (although I have so much to learn and so much room to grow in that journey, and I am so thankful for God’s grace every time that I fall). I have an amazing, God loving husband, and two beautiful children (age 3 and 5), and I am more healthy than I have ever been in my teens or 20s (I’m 32 years old now). I am far from perfect, I have my ups and downs, I still struggle with anxiety from time to time, and there are still days I look in the mirror and don’t necessarily love the person looking back at me. But I feel like I am finally starting to “get it”, or at least I’m on the train headed in the right direction… or so I hope. Who knows, maybe one day they will prove that genetically modified foods are the future of longevity and sugar is good for your memory (wow will I be embarrassed then, ha). My hope is that you might find inspiration and join me on this journey of learning more about physical, as well as spiritual, health and fitness.