Girl Hero Kerri
Kerri is a wife, homeschooling mother, and fitness fanatic. She is the writer behind the blog FitViews where she talks about fitness, food, fit fashion, and life. Not long after turning 30 and having her third child, Kerri felt like her body wasn’t her own and decided to do something about it. She embarked on a healthy living journey that lead her to running, lifting heavy, and paleo.
Recently, her husband quit his job and they are pursuing their dream of creating a self sustainable farm. They are facing many challenges but reaping even more rewards. They even have goats!!!!!! Their 4 Acres Farm blog has me thinking about what we might do when (if) we decide to stop traveling in our RV. Check it out!
Meet Girl Hero Kerri!
How does your lifestyle now compare to your lifestyle then? In other words how do your before and after weight loss stories compare?
Wow, how much time do you have?!
I’m a different person. Completely. My husband will tell you the same. I’m not a different person because I wear a different size jeans. I’m a different person because it took changing who I was to get to the smaller jeans. For me lasting weight loss took a lot of mental and emotional work.
I used to be very negative, always expecting the worst. I hated myself. I was ashamed of myself. There was much more going on than just needing to lose weight. Food was my crutch, my medication, where I turned to numb my feelings. It was my drug, my compulsion. For me, the weight was more of a symptom of deeper problems.
I also never paid attention to myself. To how I felt. How foods affected me and made me feel. To what I needed. Beginning to pay attention was huge.
Today I’m more positive and my entire outlook on life is different. I’m more calm, confident, and peaceful. I like me. Yes, I’m more active, I eat better, I feel better, and my relationship with food is healthy, but it goes so much deeper. I’m happy.
How did you overcome your struggle with binges? Do you ever still get the urge to binge? If so what do you do with those feelings?
The biggest changes happened when I went paleo. Overall the urge just seemed greatly diminished. I think it helped that I was totally committed to eating 100% paleo the first 30 days. It’s not like I binged on meat and vegetables.
I definitely had certain trigger foods. Eating paleo these foods no longer live in my house. I also noticed that when I was over-tired I would crave carbs and binge. I’m very protective of my sleep now. I seriously get 8 or 9 hours every night. It’s been a long road of learning to take care of me.
Now the urge is rare and much less all-consuming if it does show up. It’s more just dealing with my feelings before it gets that far. My friend Carla, aka, Mizfit, talks a lot about replacement behaviors and self soothing. I have two things I do when I start feeling stressed, sad, angry, or just upset: I make fashion sets on Polyvore or I clean (which normally I despise). Vacuuming is entirely therapeutic. I have no idea why those two things help, but they do. I can sort of just go into myself.
Also, running keeps me sane and helps me de-stress, sometimes there’s just nothing like a good run to burn the junk out of my head.
Again, it’s just learning how to take care of me and what I need to stay well.
You found your “I can” through running. Can you elaborate on how running changed your life?
6+ years ago I was entirely negative and down on myself. I did not believe in myself or my abilities. I didn’t view myself as capable.
Originally I started running as a means to lose weight. Cut and dry, it was a means to an end. But then my sister in law talked me into running a 5k with her. My only goal was to run the whole way. The entire race I didn’t believe I could. The negative self talk kicked in big time. But I did it. I ran the entire thing, and that finish line forever changed me. Changed how I viewed myself. I went on to train for a marathon. Now I pretty much think I can do anything. World domination is going on tomorrow’s to do list.
You also became a fan of lifting heavy! Yeah yeah!!! How has that affected your body?
Huge changes. Mentally and physically. I have muscle, I feel strong, I feel capable. Darran is entirely sick of my flexing.
You follow a paleo diet. Are you strict paleo? How does that work when you go out or go to dinner at a friend’s home?
I’m actually going back strict paleo for a month or so, just for a little re-set. Generally though, I do a little whey protein, some grass fed butter or half and half. Otherwise, yes, strict paleo.
For me paleo was, again, more about paying attention. I never realized how certain foods were affecting me. Dairy causes me to break out. I struggled with adult acne for years and had no idea it was my diet. Wheat and sugar make me feel like crap. Who knew?! Paleo is what works for me; I have more energy and I overall feel well eating this way.
Eating out I don’t find problematic at all. I can always find something on the menu that works. It might not be perfect, but it’ll be passable. When I go to a friend’s, or a BBQ or something it’s generally not a problem either. There’s usually meat or vegetables or fruit somewhere. I like if I’m bringing a dish, that always helps. I don’t make a big deal about it. I’ll do a bunless burger or lots of salad, whatever, to make it work. I try not to do gluten or soy at all. But if there’s ice cream for dessert, well, wouldn’t want to insult the hostess...
You love fitness fashion. What are some of your favorite brands and why?
I do. I’m sort of obsessed with fitness fashion. I’m pretty smitten with DA Active lately. I love the colors and the fabric. The quality and the fit. Oh yes, and there’s thumb-holes I’m a sucker for thumb-holes.
You and your family have recently taken on a major sustainability experiment on 4 acres, growing your own food, and raising animals. Amazing! I’m so intrigued by this idea. (It’s what I secretly want to do when we decide to go off the road.) Please tell us all about it and how is it going? Are you enjoying it? Is it hard?
My husband and I made a decision in 2011 to quit dreaming of the ever elusive “some day” and live our lives the way we wanted, now. He quit his job at the end of 2011 and we began our little experiment.
I’m calling 2012 our practice year. We’ve had our share of failures. What can I say? We’ve learned a lot! I killed a lot of expensive heirloom seeds and got blasted by the south end of a northbound chicken…good times. But really, it’s been amazing. Sustainability will take a few years, but we are having the time of our lives on the way. Homeschooling our boys, learning about things like compost and how to feed chickens well without feeding them soy, and spending time (real time) together as a family. It’s more about the lifestyle for us.
I’m enjoying the heck out of it, and yes, it’s hard! Physically (Darran is a tinkerer, his latest thing is a pump we hand pump to water the garden. I’m going to be hugely buff soon) and every once in a while mentally. I was so hoping we’d be able to grow a lot more of our own food this first year. For a bit, I was discouraged. But then, I took a look around at my happy boys, my ornery goats, and my peaceful chickens and realized life is good and we aren’t doing half bad.
Thank you Kerri for sharing your story with us! You are amazing and I hope you have space for an RV on your farm! I don’t mind getting dirty!
Hugs and High Fives,
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Journey with our family on the road at New School Nomads as we travel fulltime in RV through the United States!