Our Interview with Kris

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What was life like before becoming a client?: I was just diagnosed with a second autoimmune disease. My body was attacking itself again.

I had been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease shortly after turning 40. Hashimoto’s finally explained why I was gaining weight, tired all the time, and generally feeling like crap.

Now, Celiac explained my life-long “rotten stomach” and why I was so acutely sick now. I was extremely happy that my healing was all within my control and that no medication was required. I did tons of research and committed myself to being ever-vigilant and learning all I could. As my diet healed my system and my nutritionist taught me to keep it simple, I committed myself to improving my wellness in all areas to support my body and live my healthiest life possible. I wanted to become stronger, fitter, and healthier.

At the time you enrolled, were you already exercising? What was your previous background in fitness?: I have never struggled with my weight and I have always worked in an active profession. When I approached 40, I was gaining weight and feeling tired. I asked my doctor about it, and he suggested it was my age and “what I put in my mouth”. Based on that, I joined the gym, started taking group aerobic classes, and went on a 1200 calorie/day diet of packaged, processed foods. Long story short, I lost 20% of my body weight, and felt even worse. I went back to the doctor who diagnosed my thyroid disorder and started me on medication. I stopped dieting, stopped over-aerobicizing, and settled back at my life-long weight level, but with a poor body composition. I felt much better after the Hashimoto's treatment, but I did quit the gym because I never really liked the class scene. I was relying on maintaining.

What originally prompted you to seek out HVF/ZONED?: I was feeling better and all signs were that the damage done by Celiac was healing and everything was moving in the right direction. I had done my homework, and I was a true believer in “food as medicine” and that activity and fitness are keys to wellness. I knew the chain-gym-scene wasn’t for me. My commitment was there, I needed something I enjoyed to keep me consistent and challenged.

What was your goal when you originally signed up?: I didn’t want to “maintain” myself anymore. I wanted to improve myself. I was feeling better than ever. I wanted to improve my body composition; more lean body mass and less fat. I wanted to be stronger and enjoy an even more active lifestyle. I wanted to achieve a healthy balance physically and mentally.

Why was this goal important?: For myself, I wanted to make myself as well as possible to keep ahead of my autoimmune challenges and increase my practical strength and endurance as I approached my 50’s.

For my family, I wanted my husband and I to commit to a healthy lifestyle as we work towards our retirement dreams, full of fun activities, adventures, and self-reliance. Movement comes as second nature to my husband. I have zero athletic ability; I rely on effort and determination!

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How long had you had this goal?: I have always been fascinated with health and considered myself to live a healthy lifestyle. I love to research and analyze. Learning more after my Celiac diagnosis and understanding the power of food and reading labels was very empowering; I had felt like crap for a long time! It was a great opportunity to do more. Time to challenge myself physically to improve inside and out.

What were the top 1-2 things that held you back from achieving your goal?: Taking the time to put myself first to maintain consistency in a program and finding a program I liked. I need to understand the logic and agree with the premise if I am going to buy in. I’m a tough sell.

I knew I could carve out the time. It takes effort and pre-planning, but HVF/ZONED is my priority on Monday/Wednesdays/Fridays. Since I started training with Keith, I arrange my “life” around this commitment to myself. It is my gift to myself.

What had you tried to get to your goal before?: For the most part, I thought if I kept active, it would be “enough”. I guess I had set a goal of maintaining. As the years marched on and life and I changed, that was not enough for me anymore.

Were you more driven to solve a problem or achieve a goal?: Both. I wanted to solve the problem of not feeling as well as I thought I could. Then, when I began to see what I could achieve at HVF/ZONED, I set the goal to improve my fitness. Not only at the studio, but to challenge myself with activities that I thought were beyond my physical reach.

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How did you originally hear about HVF/ZONED?: I drove past the studio every morning on the way to work. Saw the sign, checked out the website, and emailed Keith. Keith invited me to come on in and give it a try. The rest is history. Keith took the time to answer my questions and was very down-to-earth about it.

How were you feeling about your goal at that time you enrolled?: I was optimistic. I thought I knew what I wanted to achieve. I wanted a challenge. I knew the time was right. What I needed then was a program to embrace, the right people, and right vibe to get there.

What have you liked best about working with HVF/ZONED?: I can really embrace the philosophy of functional fitness. It makes sense to me. I also really like the opportunity to have several levels to work at for each workout. There are endless combinations and each one helps you work in a different way. Each day you make it your own and push hard. Keith’s atmosphere is supportive but never overbearing. My workout colleagues are the best. They have helped achieve things I never considered; two push-ups at a time! I am proud of what I accomplish at ZONED, and I really enjoy spending time with my ZONED family.

What challenges have you overcome and struggled with that kept you from progressing faster with your goals?: There is always the challenge of time. My ZONED slots are non-negotiable as far as I am concerned. I have to reinforce my commitment to forget the chores on the weekends sometimes and get out any play.

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How did you overcome them?: I committed to making the efforts needed to accomplish the “tasks of life” in a way that made sure that I was able to get to HVF consistently. I am always prepared for my ZONED time; there are no excuses. I now make it a personal challenge to add activity to my day. The New Year New Challenge showed me that I did have activity in my day-to-day, but I also learned that I can carve out more time to move.

What are you most proud of achieving since you started training?: Physically, the increases I have made in what I can accomplish with the body weight exercises. Push-ups, rows, pull ups, sit ups, etc. I think that is pretty darn cool.

Mentally, HVF/ZONED time is a tonic for me. Positive exercise stress burns off anxiety. Check your mind at the door, and get to work. My reset button.

Activity and adventure-wise, we take vacations (and stay-cations) to go mountain biking, snowshoeing when Mother Nature blesses us with snow, and our motorcycling vacation have no limits. We even mix in some kayaking and jet skiing.

Now that you achieved, or are well on your way to achieving, your goal has your view of yourself changed?: Absolutely. I no longer limit myself by saying I “can’t” do or avoid trying an activity outside of HVF/ZONED. I will give it a try. Isn’t always pretty, but it is usually fun!

Food-wise, I embrace my gluten-free diet. I now consider it an opportunity to try new things and manage the challenge of traveling and adventuring while still safely fueling my body. My confidence helps me speak up for myself and not be shy about asking for what I need to be healthy.

How do you feel about your future?: The future is bright! I feel great. My family is healthy. When you have everything you need, the rest is an adventure.

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What else is different about your life since beginning your program?: Over time, I have gained perspective on many things in life. That is empowering. HVF/ZONED has helped me build my confidence and wellness, physically and mentally, to be help me live at my best.

My husband and I have started participating in even more activities together. We started riding some old bikes on the paved rail trail, now we are spending vacations mountain biking in the Sonoran Desert! We incorporate not only movement, but healthy eating and nutrition into our adventures.

Where would you be if you hadn’t started your program at HVF/ZONED?: I would probably be still satisfied with maintaining. HVF/ZONED has pushed me to see what I can achieve. I especially like my new definition of “challenge”--- from an obstacle to overcome to a reward you give yourself for working hard!

What would you say to anyone else who might be dealing with similar problems you faced before working with HVF/ZONED?: Give yourself the opportunity to try the ZONED lifestyle to support your well-being. You deserve to be as well as possible to live the fullest life possible; whatever that means to you. I feel the best I have in decades, and I love achieving and growing with ZONED. Join the ZONED family and see what it can mean to you. Come in, work hard, have a laugh -- It’s all good. My new mantra: "TODAY IS A GOOD DAY".

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