What an incredible story. Thank you Kristine for taking us through your journey and sharing your story! WOW, what an journey it has been. SO proud of you for not giving up on yourself, life and your potential. Because of your devotion to our lifestyle and YOU, you are where you are today and that is an amazing place! Big hugs!
My Journey through weight and fitness by Kristine Armitage
As I begin I want you all to know that it is very difficult to know the exact beginning of my fitness journey. It could have been in my childhood where I developed faster than other girls and was a bit chunkier. It could have been in my teen years where I ate very little and tried diet pills. Was it when I ate ice cream for breakfast and skipped lunches or only ate lettuce with pickles? Was it my late teens after my mother and I were in a fatal car accident that took her and left me behind, which has caused a life battle with PTSD and mental health issues?
Was it the brief years of college where I ate terrible food and made excuses as I compared the heavier pretty cheerleader to myself and said it was okay. Was it through my first marriage that I had 2 children and put on a whopping 68lbs with the 1st pregnancy and 45lbs with the 2nd. My top weight was 205lbs. Was it the extreme weight loss during the divorce of a verbally abusive husband which led to an attempt to take my own life? Did I start when I found happiness with my current spouse who supports me in everything I do? Was it when I found time to challenge myself after the 4th child and did Body for Life? I lost weight and gained muscle. I finished that challenge at 128lb. Was it when I lost time to chasing 4 kids to countless activities and forgot the fitness and went back to old bad eating habits. Was it when I had to go back on antidepressants and put on 40 plus pounds again? Was it when I decided to finally take control of myself and started researching nutrition because I developed food allergies and hormone changes? Was it when I searched Fitness and saw countless successful women looking so remarkably fit that I wanted to be part of that? Was it when I first joined a running club? Was it when I found Gina Aliotti, and purchased the UAP fitness plan?
The answer to these questions is all of the above. This is my battle, my journey, and my continued life.
When I found Gina online in 2014, I had already started back to eating cleaner and working out, but wanted more structure. I had joined a running group, was lifting weights in my basement, and was attempting to eat cleaner. I shed the gained antidepressant weight, quit smoking, and removed the main food allergens from my diet (dairy, gluten, and some other food intolerances). I bought the UAP plan for a Mother’s Day gift to myself in 2015, but held it in my documents on my computer. I contacted Gina countless times with questions, but could not take the leap into the 6-week journey. I always had something in my calendar that made it impossible in my mind to follow it 100%. We travel often for business and pleasure and are gone sometimes for weeks at a time. Finally, in August 2015, I decided it is better to something at 90% than at 0%. I started the UAP challenge and started seeing the results. In October, I decided to try the newly released Devotion products and to my surprise my GI handled it well (quality with probiotics). I finished the 6 weeks and continued following the meal plan and circuits. I bought the US365 as well as the 7day BB and I am now looking forward to utilizing the Breakthrough program I purchased. In August 2016, 1 year later, I had a better grasp on things and decided to really focus and do the UAP, the best version I could. I did fasted cardio in the morning, followed the UAP without changes, no refuels or cheats, and did my circuits 1 by 1 through the book. The biggest thing I did was started posting progress pictures. That was the most successful thing I had done with my fitness. Gina chose me as the winner of the UAP challenge and offered me a consult on the phone. WOW-I was thrilled.
This was my weekly progress,
Beginning 119lb 18.5%bf
Week1 118.6lb 16.8%
Week2 117.3lb 16.4%
Week 3 116 16.9%
Week 4 116.2lb 16.5%
Week 5 114.5 16.5%
End 113.9lb 16.8%
Now I have to stay consistent. I am so scared that I may fall backwards, that is the thought that runs through my head. I worry I will slip up and go back to my old ways. What I have learned is I have a supportive group of women (and some men) in this group that are extra special and willing to help each other. I continue to utilize the UAP meal plan with added refuels as I travel so frequently. It makes it easy for me to remember what I need to take. I travel with a full suitcase of food staples including; Devotion, oats, Broad beans, tuna, mustard, stevia, flex flavors, rice cakes, homemade breads and cookies made with Devotion, and protein bars. There are no excuses for me to let myself binge just because I am away from home. Trust me, I still have my extras, but I keep my drinks clean; Tanqueray, Tequila, Rum, or Vodka with fresh muddled lime and maybe a flex flavor to add a touch of a fruity twist. I don’t indulge in a lot of desserts because of my dairy and gluten allergies. That has actually been more of a blessing than a curse, because I have learned to enjoy more natural foods. I especially enjoy a wide variety of vegetables. It’s amazing what you can create with vegetables alone. I have created sweet indulgences like faux applesauce using zucchini or cauliflower rice with monkey bread or cinnamon and stevia.
If you take anything away from what I have shared it should be this. This is for you and not for anyone else. We are all individuals and what one person shows you on the internet may not be what is actually behind closed doors. I battle everyday with my mental health. Many days I cry through my workouts, but I do them. I do cardio to create positive endorphins and weight training makes me grow stronger both on the inside and the outside.
In the past 4 years I have managed to continue to drop and now am holding my weight, even with 4 surgeries that took me out of my fitness routine for 8-16 weeks each of the 4 times. I’m not going to lie, it was difficult and scary that I was going to regress, but my body was receptive to what it knew. I kept my food choices clean as Gina coached. She always says, “Trust the Process”. So I did.
I peaked at 160lb with the antidepressants. I managed to drop to 140lbs relatively easily after removing them, but I had to work at the remainder. I started to see results in 2012, little by little, but had to have emergency appendectomy in October that set me back. I started using a Fitbit at Christmas 2012 and logged in at 128 lb. and 29% bodyfat. In Feb 2013 I quit smoking and in August I found out my intolerances to several foods and had to change my diet dramatically. I had a major abdominal surgery in December 2013. At this time I was getting more serious about staying in shape and did not want to lose my gains. I started following Gina, but only watched. In December 2014, I had to have 18” of my colon removed, yet another setback. In May of 2015 I took my 1st leap with Gina, I purchased the UAP. I was scared so I waited to start until August 2015. In December 2015, I had yet another surgery and in November 2016 a fourth surgery. Let’s hope I’m good for a while now.
I am currently holding close to 112lb average with 15% bodyfat. I would like to maintain weight and still grow muscle definition. I am trying to increase my food intake a bit which is extremely scary, but I know it is the right thing to do. Change is necessary, or your body will adapt. Looking forward to Jan 2018 to complete the new Breakthrough with VIP group.
I am fortunate to have a supportive husband that works out with me daily. I can not say the same for other family or friends. They make the usual comments well you look good, you can splurge, you don’t have to workout all the time, you are too skinny, you need to eat more, and so on.
As you can see has been a very long journey for me. I have had many ups and downs. It is a process where you continuously improve. You can improve your eating habits, your workouts, and learn to make this a lifestyle. It is about consistency and working toward a long term goal. Often it is 2 steps forward and one step back, it’s not always a straight line. Life sometimes gets in the way and then you have to push it aside and refocus on your goals. Remember your goals, do not judge yourself by others. They may have different goals, challenges, or opportunities.