“It is strange to me, how you can live so much of your life and until you’re faced with the truth (in my case, the truth would be the before photo in this picture) you don’t see a problem growing right in front of your face. During a particularly harsh period for me, from 2013 to 2017, I started to gain a lot of weight. A series of unfortunate events, coupled with a lack of healthy coping skills, a career I absolutely hated, and major depressive disorder, and I was eating my feelings and all #treatyoself on a daily basis. Because I ate ~relatively healthy~ and was pretty active (mostly just a cardio bunny) I didn’t really think I was doing a disservice to myself, but looking back and reflecting, perhaps a bottle of wine every night wasn’t the best course of action. I didn’t realize how it was affecting my sleep. I didn’t realize how crappy I was feeling, because feeling crappy became the norm. That before photo was taken over the summer and I remember looking at it, and my heart sank. I had to do a double take, as I didn’t even recognize myself. By that time, in addition to killing myself on an elliptical seven days per week, I was also doing CrossFit, and basically starving myself and then binging and following some half ass paleo/primal diet. Carbs were the enemy, and while I had two coaches tell me about flexible eating/programs like Eat to Perform, I also heard how much food you had to eat on them and I was turned off by it. After losing my job December 2017, I decided to focus on myself for a bit. I knew at this point I was changing careers, and hopefully starting nursing school in September. I didn’t want to be a large nurse. I wanted to be able to run around floors, squeeze behind small spaces, be strong enough to assist my patients, etc. The highest I ever weighed in at on a scale was 285. I could have gained more weight, but as I stopped weighing myself after seeing that number, I will never know. I was able to lose about 20-30lbs on my own.
From ETP to now
I finally bit the bullet and joined ETP when I was at a plateau yet again, and wanted more help in regards to nutrition. I sit here and I’m laughing to myself as I was so resistant to carbs! I remember thinking having to eat 99g/carbs per day was so much and really dug my heels in with my (amazing, wonderful, can never thank him enough for all he’s done for me) coach, Ed. But then the weight started to come off. And it kept coming off. And it wouldn’t stop. Sleep got better. Breathing got better. I noticed certain movements pertaining to Oly lifting (which I started doing through CrossFit and decided to focus on because it was so challenging and fun!) got easier and I started developing more physical literacy in my chosen sport. My mood improved and when I’ll never say I am “cured” of major depression, I have been able to manage it a lot better. While it sounds cheesy, I truly feel that unless you learn to love yourself, and continue to tell yourself ever day you’re friggen worth it, stuff is going to be really hard to accomplish. I get asked a lot what my secret it. There really is no secret. You plan and you show up and you do work. And you remind yourself you’re worth it. For me, that was sitting in front of my mirror looking at my reflection and telling me that, over and over again.
Progress is not always linear, there are good days and bad days
There were days I was screaming it at myself, while bawling, and really had to fight some tough fights with my inner demons who quite enjoyed telling me I hated myself. This ritual helped more than anything, and I believe also helped to send my mental health issues into the longest remission I have experienced in my entire adult life. While I know I put in the work and I did the hard stuff, I really, truly need to hand it to Ed for being with me literally every step of this journey. I know at times I’ve been really difficult, especially when my anxiety is high and life happens and gets busy, but he really has been a constant for me and wouldn’t give up on me even when I wanted to give up on myself. He is truly a dream coach and I have always appreciated his positive approach to coaching me, even if I didn’t always vocalize it 😉 While I was truly at the point in my life where I wanted to and needed to and was ready to change, I think having personal coaching and having someone there who was truly invested in you made all the difference. It’s all possible. You just gotta show up and do the work. Oh, and eat allllll the carbs :)”
Ed Pace is Karina’s coach, here are his notes
“I am so thankful to be working with Karina. She has been a coach’s dream – she has been extremely consistent with following the plan (nailing her macros, getting in her steps, and getting 7+hrs of sleep), always communicating very well in her journal, and always asks for tips when she needs it if she is traveling. It’s been awesome to see her progress since starting with us about a year ago. She is down about 85 pounds and not starving herself. Most of the time, she was consuming more than 2,000 calories/day. Despite being very busy with school and work, she is also prioritizing her nutrition and training. Her dedication has been outstanding and I couldn’t be more proud of her. Starting at 285 pounds and now at about 201 pounds has been a testament to all of her hard work. She is still losing and was just in a mini reverse cycle where we built up her macros and calories before we do another fat loss cycle. We are anticipating to get to about 196 pounds at the end of this short fat loss cycle, and I couldn’t be more proud of her. I am so excited for her and all of the future progress she is going to make this year! She has been amazing and I am just extremely thankful to be the one helping her on this journey.”