Wednesday, October 30, 2013

7 Summits Adventure Race (SAR)

It's been too long! A while back I shared that 7SAR had contacted me about writing about their race in exchange for a free entry to the race. I can't pass up a free race entry and I was intrigued by the idea of a brand new race. I opted to do the 3 mile course instead of the 7 miles. I totally regret this decision and will talk more about that in a bit. 

Here's goes....

We arrived at 7SAR with about an hour to go before our 10 AM heat. There were plenty of port-o-potties! This is super important at any race, but especially a mud/obstacle race since there is little chance to go once the course starts. Registration was a breeze. We were given our over 21 ID verified tag and headed in to bag check. Bag check was just a row of tables where you tossed your bag (with a # on your bag). There was no one there when we dropped off our bags, which worried me, but at pick-up someone was there to verify I was taking the right bag. 

The pre-race atmosphere was exciting! You could see people completing the final obstacle (a giant slide into a pile of mud), a fire pit where post race finishers were warming up, booths with community information and food! We gathered near the starting line. There was an announcer pumping up the crowd. Waiting is always the hardest part. I could see the 1st obstacle- rolling hills. Rolling mud hills. :)

I'd be racing that day with Julia (my best race partner-in-crime), Andi (a new gym friend + her son), and a complete stranger. We start out on the rolling hills and we see this young woman stuck in the very first mud pit. Julia and I got on each side of her and helped her get her shoe out of the mud and back on her foot. She was wearing bagging sweat pants (always wear tight fitting clothing to a mud run!) and keds! We started to run together and learned that she was running by herself, doing the 7 mile course, AND this was her first obstacle course race. She instantly had my admiration! 

We approached the first obstacle and there was a huge line. Based on when the next wave was released, I'd say we spent at least 15 minutes waiting in line. It was a Tarzan swing from one hay bale to another. I was unsuccessful, but it was fun trying. After the Tarzan swing was the "African Eating Challenge". I had visions of live slimy worms, reality was that they were dead meal worms. We each popped one in our mouth and swallowed. Not too bad. 

This is where it gets a little hazy. We crawled up a HUGE hill, crawled under some rope, more hills, more rope, under a bamboo hut, more hills, through a shallow (calf high) stream, more hills, lots of mud. The last big obstacle was an ice bath. OOOOOOOHHHHH that was cold! It reminded me of the first time I tried to swim in the lake for my Sprint Tri. There was a pit with 2X4 slants. You had to duck under the slant, come up out of the water and then do it again. 

(Not me, but you get the idea. Photo credit 7Sar Facebook page)

This was my favorite obstacle. Call me crazy, I know! I loved the challenge of having to do it twice since I knew how bad it was after the first time. Also, I was able to pull two different people under the boards that were too scared to do it themselves. Working together as a team are what these races are all about. 

After the ice bath we were pretty much done. There was a tiny hill to climb up and then we crossed the finish line, except that we didn't. There wasn't really a finish line for the people who were doing the 3 miles. :( We got a dixie cup (the kind that you keep by the bathroom sink to sip water in), a buff, and we were done. 

The post race atmosphere was fun! They had a bonfire where people could buy a s'mores pack and roast marshmallows. There were plenty of showers to rinse off. No changing room/tent or even real bathrooms. Your choices were the port-a-potties or strip. I opted to strip down to my sports bra and then wrapped a towel around to change my pants. Julia drove and there was no way I was getting in to her car that muddy. Even after a rinse off, it took days to get all the mud out. 

The race was fun, but I did leave disappointed. The disappointment wasn't in the race, but in myself. There was a zip line and a giant slide after mile 3 that I didn't get to try. I should have done the 7. The 3 would have been ideal for someone new to obstacle course racing or new to fitness. I could have done more. If I do 7Sar next year I will definitely do the entire race. Someday I will stop underestimating my ability to accomplish great things. 

Thank you to 7Sar for giving me the opportunity to race! :) There is a 7Sar race in California (Jan 18th) and Florida (May 3rd) coming up in the next few month. Check them out! 


Thursday, October 17, 2013

I'm so NOT fine

My post 2 days ago was pretty discouraging. Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer. I started this blog to chronicle my journey and to encourage others along the way. Part of my quest to find balance and health comes with bad days, sometimes even bad weeks. After just "putting it out there" I felt an instant sense of relief. My community loved on me. People now know that I am struggling. I am the spokesperson for "I'm fine. It's fine. It's no problem" when I'm often not fine. I'm a fixer and currently there are some situation in my life that I can't fix. I can support. I can encourage, but I can't fix. There is a stress in not knowing all the answers. 

Since that post I am happy to report that I have slept really well for 2 nights in a row. Yesterday I tracked my food, got in my water, and had a good early morning run. I went to bed feeling amazing. Feeling in control again. 

Fitness wise I've been doing an e-course called Up and Running. It's fantastic! My goal is to run a 5K without walking on 11/3/13. I've run several 5K's but have never done it without walking. I am also lifting 3 days a week. I am on Stage 2 of New Rules of Lifting for Women. 

My Fitness Pal and I have become BFFs....again. I am cutting myself some serious slack and allowing myself 1800 net calories until I can get a Metabolic test done to find out how many calories my body really needs. 

Things are looking up. I'm refocused and aware of how work stressors have been affecting my food intake and self care (sleep, water, etc).

How are YOU?


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Just me. Just here. Just breathing.

Nothing new- life has been crazy. I've been waking up nightly with a full brain. 
Full of work stuff. 
Full of family needs. 
Full of anxiety.

I've gained some weight.
I don't know how much.
The weight doesn't matter. My pants are uncomfortable. That matters.

I called today to get a Metabolic Rate Test and Body Fat test. I need more information. I need a realistic goal. I need to know about my bodies needs today.  I don't know when I will get in to get this test done. I'm hoping sooner than later. 

I'm struggling.
I'm overeating.
I'm stuck.

I will not give up.
I will not.

How do you overcome when you get into a slump and struggle to get back in the game?


Wednesday, October 9, 2013


How does someone become "satisfied" with their weight? Do you ever reach that point where you're "good" with where you are at? I busted my butt at 193 pounds to lose weight- recording, exercising, training for a 1/2 marathon, and passing up party invitations for fear of what type of food they'd be serving.

Between my 1/2 marathon last June and this past summer (2013) I gained 16 pounds. It wasn't on purpose. It just sort of happened. I spent the summer sitting around 210. I tried recording again. I just can't get back into it. I tried eating "clean". That's HARD! I've made some improvements in that area but am still a work in progress. 

I started lifting again (using New Rules of Lifting for Women) a few weeks ago and am loving it. I feel stronger than I have in a long time. My muscles are starting to reappear. 

I get to be my sons soccer coach and I am loving it! I love playing, running, chasing those kids. It really is a highlight of my week. 

Good things are happening. I'm 18 pounds heavier than my "maintenance-didn't-know-this-was-maintenance" weight. 

My current weight does not satisfy me. Not because it's over 200. Not because it's a gain. My running is slower because I am heavier. This weekend I am doing 7Sar (super stoked!) and it will be more difficult to hurl my body over and through obstacles. 

At 193 I was "frail". To maintain 193 I was eating 1200-1400 calories a day. I would get dizzy. My nails were weak. I was malnourished.

I wish I had some great ending to this blog. Some revelation. 

I'm satisfied with my progress in fitness. I'm satisfied with the new healthy, clean habits I've implemented. I'm satisfied with my appearance. 

(Satisfied does not equal done. Just happy with the direction I'm going.)

Weight is just a number.... right? 


Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Have you been reading the Exposed blogs this week? They are incredible. Many of the blogs I read have been sharing their Exposed blog updates from 4 years ago. As far as I can tell, there was a huge movement 4 years ago for bloggers to "bare it all" to their readers. The "baring it all" came in both pictures and words and varied from blogger to blogger. 

4 years ago.... Here's my personal status update from Facebook on October 4, 2013:

"4 years ago today we lost dad. 4 years. There are moments when I have to remind myself that he's really gone. It often feels like he's on a long trip. My best memories of my dad are watching him be Papa. I love that my kids were able to know and love their Papa."

4 years ago when many of the bloggers that I love were "exposing" themselves I was hiding away as far as I could. I had recommitted to losing weight (as of June 18, 2009) after the birth of my second child and had already dropped 32 pounds, but no one knew. When you are morbidly obese it takes time for people to notice weight loss. 32 pounds on a 356 pound body is barely noticeable. I was recording in secret. I was measuring my food, but only when no one was looking. I hid my attempts to lose weight for fear that I would fail and then I would disappoint those around me. 

Dad died. He had cancer. He fought for 7 years and was in remission for many of those year. Cancer sucks. Eventually the cancer spread to his bones. He broke his hip walking down the stairs. Hospice for 3 weeks. He was gone. Just like that. Gone. The hospice doctor said he would live 3-6 months. He was gone in 3 weeks. I am SO thankful for him and us that he did not last for 3-6 months. I miss him. There are times that I ache for my dad. He smoked. I don't blame him for getting cancer. Cancer can attack the healthiest of bodies. There are days I wonder if he hadn't smoked if he'd still be here. Being healthy does not eliminate disease, but it does help to prevent it.

Dad died. I had already lost 32 pounds. Now was the time to make a choice- give up, eat away my grief, or continue the progress I'd already made. 

I maintained through Christmas that year. Maintenance after the loss of a parent is something to be proud of. In January 2010, I started tracking again. This was the beginning of my journey to lose 165 pounds. That wasn't the plan. My plan was to be below 300. I continued to hide. Some time later I posted a picture on Facebook and someone who hadn't seen me in a while asked if I had lost weight. I posted that I had lost 90 pounds. BAM! Like that I was EXPOSED! It was out there. People started to notice. People started asking questions. All of a sudden everyone was aware that Kari was on a life changing transformation. No more hiding my progress or hiding when I slip and fall. Comments like "Can you eat this?" and "I wish I could do what you are doing" started to come from every direction. There was no hiding. 

It took losing nearly 100 pounds, but finally people started to notice.

4 years ago I was hiding in so many ways. I hid my goals. I hid my struggles. I hid my successes. I hid. 

For years I hid inside a bag of chips and a carton of ice cream. There are days that I am still tempted to hide. There are days that I hide. Those aren't pretty days. Thankfully I have met some amazing people in my life that check on me. That ask me hard questions. People that will no longer let me hide. 

Interested in reading some "Exposed" posts? Check out these:
Roni's Weigh
Authentically Emmie

These 3 ladies all bring a different twist to being exposed that I really appreciate.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Coach Kari, Coach Kari, Coach Kari

If you have kids in sports you've probably received a call, email or letter that sounds like this:

"Dear Parents, we find ourselves having a shortage of coaches. If we do not find ___ number of coaches than we will not be able to have soccer this year. Please consider this opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young children".

My first reaction? BLARGH!!!!! I don't have the time to coach soccer. 

Need more reasons?

- I know nothing about soccer besides stay in the white lines and don't touch the ball.
- The parents can be difficult. I know, I'm one of them.
- Soccer is cold and wet.
- Did I mention the time?

Last fall I was an "assistant coach" for my son's soccer team. I vowed after that experience to never be an assistant anything. I'm not cut out to be an assistant when it comes to leadership. Not that I always need to be in charge, but I definitely need a clearly defined position. 

Bug needs to play soccer. He needs to be active. He needs to interact socially with other kids. He needs this. I need to be a soccer coach. 

I called the coordinator and agreed to coach. The husband was dragged into agreed to be my assistant coach. There are a few practices and one game where I am not going to be there. I am so grateful for his help. This means that Sissy has to come too, so I made her my "junior assistant coach". She's good with that. :)

Before I even started I emailed all the parents to let them know:
- I'm just a mom
- I know very little about soccer
- I know how to have fun with kids
- I'm totally open to suggestions and help

We had our first game yesterday. We had fun. They don't keep score in K/1 soccer. I kept telling the kids that if they were having fun that we were winning. That seemed to work. 

The highlight of my 1st game was this conversation that took place mid play while running up and down the field. It went like this:

Cute little girl: "Coach Kari, Coach Kari, Coach Kari"
Me: "Yes, super cute little girl"
CLG: "I sure do like you"
Me: "I like you too"

She hugged me and kept running down the field.

I don't know a lot about soccer, but I know kids and I know how to make fitness fun. 

Being active with my kids is amazing! My desire to be able to run and play with them was one of my greatest motivations to becoming fit and to staying fit. Today is Sunday. I'm suppose to weigh in. It's my day. I didn't weigh myself today. My food choices SUCKED this week. They just did. Too many sweets. Too many carbs. I don't need a scale to tell me that I overate this week. Back to My Fitness Pal I go.....

~Coach Kari :)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

9 is the new 11

Black is the new white.

Strong is the new skinny.

9 is the new 11.

The Weighting Place family is busy. You are probably busy. Kids are over-scheduled, but not really. Their fitness choices (AKA sports) happen to be on different nights which means that we having after school activities 4 nights a week. 

I still need to exercise. I need time to decompress. I WANT to exercise.

What's a mamma, wife, daughter, teacher, friend, soccer coach to do?

This week I started going to bed at 9 PM. 9 PM!

I don't want to go to bed at 9, but it's what I need to do to make it all happen. 

Don't tell the kids, but I've started putting them to bed 1/2 an hour earlier so that I can have an hour to watch a TV show before heading to bed. 

Morning workouts are the bomb. I'm done getting strong by 6:30 AM and ready to tackle the day.

I'm making it work. 

How do you adjust your life to make it work?


About Me

My photo
On June 19, 2009 I started my weight loss journey. It has become quite the journey! As of today (2-1-11) I have lost 162 pounds and have gained a whole new life. This blog is a continuation of my journey. I hope to inspire and encourage others through my process.