January 2020

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

Before I focused on my nutrition and fitness I was the typical yo-yo dieter. You name it, I tried it. Slimgenics, Weight Watchers, Atkins, Flat Belly, my own diet plans, etc. I was pushing 230-240 lbs after my first son was born in 2009. I look back at pictures of myself then and wonder what was I thinking!? I looked terrible! I remember putting on size 16 jeans and them being tight. I remember always being tired and I remember being winded going up one flight of stairs. My “rock bottom”; winter 2010 when we bought a new car. The used car salesman thought I was pregnant. He asked, “So when are you due?”. I was not pregnant!!! That was utterly embarrassing. Probably for him too. In July 2011 I suffered a miscarriage at 12 weeks. It was devastating to say the least. My husband and I comforted ourselves with homemade dessert. We would make a pan of Paula Dean’s Gooey Butter Bars and polish it off in a couple days. Gooey Butter Bars are exactly what they sound like. 2+ sticks of butter go into that recipe along with cake mix, sugar, sugar and more sugar.

I lost some weight on my own (10-15 lbs) after that. During that time I was around people who focused on clean eating. My co-workers at the time were very conscious of what they put into their bodies. I couldn’t help but follow suit when I was with them all day long. Then our second little miracle was born July 2012. I was much smarter that time around however I was still overweight.  I spent $3500 on a yearlong personal training package at a big local gym. I lost maybe 5 lbs and the trainers were AWFUL (except 1 or 2). Such a waste! They didn’t care about my fitness journey, they cared about what time they got to go home for the day.

In September 2013, my good friend, Cayla Johnson suggested we try out the new gym in Rosemount. The rest is history!

What made you decide to make a change?

It’s cliché – but I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.  I needed SOMETHING to work. I needed it to the core of myself. I didn’t want to fail at yet another attempt at losing weight and getting into shape. It weighs on your mind after years and years of not being able to accomplish a personal goal. I was frustrated with myself and that probably came out in the wrong way, i.e., I was impatient/sharp[-tongued with my children and husband. I think a lot of it had to do with age and maturity. I was ready for a change and perhaps the other times I wasn’t. I took Jeanine’s Zumba class in September 2013 and that was it. I was hooked. I remember walking into The Warehouse that first time and being warmly greeted by both Jeanine and Nickie. I thought wow, the actual Nickie Carrigan is here introducing herself and remembering my name! Now that is a business owner that takes this fitness game seriously. She is not just the name on the door. She is as genuine as they come and that can be felt the second you meet her. The other motivating factor was that my local Rosemount friends were coming to classes as well. Cayla Johnson and Michelle Rodine joined the same time that I did. It was fun to see them on a regular basis. Now I have met new people as well and other friends are becoming Warehouse friends. I love seeing friendly faces at the gym. Members of The Warehouse are genuine too. It is a welcoming, judgment free zone. But you do need to work and the trainers at The Warehouse make your 45 minutes worthwhile.

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

I ran my first 5k in Oct 2013 with a time of 44 minutes. Then in Oct 2014 my 5K time was 33 minutes!! That’s about an 11 minute mile. And I can run the whole time! Running has become a love/hate relationship for me. I hate it at first but I love the afterglow and runners’ high. I hate the boredom running creates for me but I love seeing how many calories I can burn running for 45 minutes. I hate being last place in anything but I love accomplishing something I didn’t think I could do.  In October 2014 I ran the Monster Dash 10-miler in a time of 1 hour and 56 minutes. 1 year before that did I ever think I would run ten miles in a row?! NEVER! I could barely do 2 miles. 

Another new found love is Yoga. Yoga is the most humbling exercise practice I can think of. I love that it pushes me even further than I thought possible. It takes a ton of strength to hold poses while simultaneously contorting your body. I write this as I am currently sore from the so called “easy” yoga class. Yoga is no joke! Thank you Lisa Hobson for making me fall in love with it.  

I now workout 4-6 times per week and have introduced Shakeology into my daily diet. As a busy person, it is one less decision I have to make during a day. I know what I’m going to have for breakfast and that’s it. It is so simple to incorporate. 

I surround myself with people who motivate me and support me. I join Facebook challenges to keep me accountable on my eating and fitness goals. That would be my number 1 piece of advice if asked. You MUST surround yourself with life-minded people. 

Words cannot express the overall joy fitness has brought into my life. I am better mother, wife, sister, daughter, co-worker and friend. I am mentally “alive” for the first time in my life. I am happy. I am strong. I am flexible. I’m not trying to be the skinniest I can be. I’m training to be a badass. A happy, active, present mom of two is my #1 goal. I owe it all to Nickie Carrigan and The Warehouse crew. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART <3 <3 <3