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Celebration Story – Karen Karnatz

I’ve been overweight all of my life, but when I hit the big 200 for the first time, I knew it was time to make a change. I had bounced around some; 170’s had been comfortable and 150’s meant I was doing well…but at 5’3, I was never what you would call fit and a size 12 was an acceptable medium.
The day I stepped on a scale and saw 200, I knew I was done letting weight gain happen to me, I was finally going to do something about it. I looked around for a place to start- what were the fit people doing? That was when I began to see running as something other than to be avoided; many runners appeared lean, so maybe there was something to it. Start up costs were cheap enough, just some shoes and some Gu (which I learned to love).
I found a couch to 5k podcast called Chubby Jones (warning, not for kids) and with the help of my headphones, I went from being able to run for a minute at a time to running for an entire 30 minutes. With all the running, moderate diet change and some whole food cleanses, I lost 50 lbs…and then I got pregnant and had my beautiful son.
The company I work for allows its employees to participate in a wellness program. If you agree to an annual health screen and to take certain steps to a healthier lifestyle, you get a credit on your medical plan. It was at my wellness screen in 2011 that I found out I was back at 200lbs. You could say I had just had a baby, but that was not an excuse I was willing to live with. For the second time, I was done letting weight gain happen to me and decided to take action. I got back into running,  reached out to friends that were runners who were all very supportive, pushing me when I needed it. I also joined a running club and the camaraderie  of the group helped to motivate me further.
I made some big goals and I accomplished them – in 2014 I was back down to the 150’s and completed a marathon – a seemingly impossible feat! How far I had come from who I used to be; inactive and unmotivated to make any physical changes. Now I could do anything!
So what was next? I had always admired strength and I now knew I could do the impossible…so why not try bodybuilding?
I have left 30 lbs amongst the free weights, cardio room and SCC at Sun Oaks, and I am grateful for the encouragement of the staff and the other early morning regulars. In just 9 months I again did the impossible; got up on a stage and showed off all of my hard work in a Women’s Figure competition.
Did I win? It depends on what that means to you. I could say I didn’t take home any trophies but I don’t think that is accurate – my transformation is my trophy. It took heart to do what I have done, mental fortitude and a willingness to push past any perceived physical limitations. I am a different person today than I was even a week ago, and I am forever grateful for the experience. The only question now is: what’s next?!
See you in the gym, fitness family!
-Karen Karnatz

Testimonial: Tribe Life

Today I finished my 6 week, twice a week season of Tribe Life. In our final 35 minute workout, I completed 134 push-ups all on my toes! I have always done weight lifting and cardio, but I have gained so much more strength and stamina doing Tribe Life. We are all challenged and encouraged by Brooke to push ourselves that little bit more. The class always fills me with energy, gives me a positive attitude for the day. I have awoken muscles I didn’t know I had. Plus I have never seen my husband below 200 lbs, 192 lbs and looking so good! I actually only started Tribe Life to encourage my husband, Dan, but I ended up seeing myself grow immensely. I love that I get strength training, Cardio and stretching all in 35 minutes. I love the weighted viper and body weight exercises, and it’s fun to be a part of a team that encourages each other to do our best! For anyone who wants to reshape their body and meet great friends, I highly recommend Tribe Life. Looking forward to trying Tribe Fit and Tribe Punch too!

Thanks Brooke!

Laurie Ryan