Kristen McBrien

November 2019

What did life look like before you focused consistently on nutrition and fitness?

I had been an athlete in high school and had regularly exercised throughout college, but had basically stopped doing anything once I got my first teaching position. (Those first few years of teaching required 80 hour work weeks and there was no time or energy left for exercise.) Then my husband and I started a family and things got even busier and I found lots of comfort in food, particularly the unhealthy stuff! I was tired, cranky, stressed and unhappy with my body. I made a lot of jokes about my weight and general “squishiness” and tried to find clothes that hid my body, but really I was constantly thinking about how much I wanted to change. I tried to start exercising and eating better a few times on my own, but could never stick with anything.

What made you decide to make a change?

Finally, after 12 years of basically ignoring my body, around the time my youngest son was turning four, I decided I needed to make some changes and I needed help. I joined a program that helped me clean up my eating (focusing on a high protein/fat and low carb diet) and got me exercising with a coach 3 times per week. I did this for 6 months and lost 30 pounds! I felt great but wanted to maintain this new me. So I tried a few different workout studios, looking for a good fit and settled on one that fit numerous pieces of practicality criteria. And, then I started adding running, biking and swimming to my summer workouts and did my first YWCA Women’s Triathlon in the summer of 2016; it felt amazing!

I met some great friends and was enjoying the workouts at my previous studio, but the classes offered were limited in number and scope and when my favorite instructor decided to leave, my friends and I decided it was time for a change. We wanted something close, with a variety of workout options, that wasn’t overly expensive. We had heard great things about The Warehouse and decided to do a 1 week trial; I was ready to sign up after my first class! Every instructor provides a tough, yet fun workout experience and there are SO MANY time and type options that sometimes I have a hard time deciding and just do back-to-back workouts! To have the flexibility of working out when it fits in my schedule and how it suits my needs as an athlete is such a gift.

How did focusing on health and fitness help you during a difficult time?

As a busy teacher, mom, wife and friend, being able to workout regularly each week, regardless of which nights we have activities has kept me sane. Exercising regulates my mood, decreases my stress, helps me feel energized, motivated, and really extends my ability to be patient with my family and my students. I feel supported through my conversations with Warehouse instructors and the new friends I have made. I feel pushed (in a good way) to work hard, to get strong and yet to find balance in my life. Most importantly, I feel good about myself!

I have continued to do the YWCA Women’s Triathlon each summer and have a personal goal of getting as many of my athletic friends to do it with me as I can… let me know if you are interested, I will tell you all about it! I have also started running 5K races with my older son, who has found a love of running through the RMS Cross-Country program, and I even got my whole family to do a 5K race last fall and we all had a blast. My goal is to stay healthy, both physically and metally, and to be a role model for my children so they stay active and healthy as the grow into adulthood. The Warehouse is helping me meet this goal in every possible way!