Friday, October 25, 2013

October Member of the Month

Meet Kim! 

Hi all, my name is Kim Watson, or KDubs, or Wat Dawg, or my favorite, Liam's mom. It's an honor to be Stroller Strong Moms October member of the month.

I have been an active person my entire life. As a child growing up in Northeastern Ohio, I played numerous sports. I spent my summers being behind a boat on one ski or sometimes barefoot and swimming in anything bigger than a puddle. I continued staying active in high school by playing varsity tennis and snow skiing in the winters. My passion for tennis continued in college and I played Varsity tennis for Ashland University. Even though I was active and athletic I always struggled with my weight and my body image. I was taller than all my friends and just bigger. After college, I focused more on my career as an Interior Designer than I did on my exterior body, but I continued to stay active by walking my dog and practicing yoga.

In 2008 I met a tall, handsome man who has changed my life. On our third date my now husband, Chris, informed me that at the "young" age of 36 he decided to join the Army. Growing up I never met anyone in the military and had no idea about military life. I did know that this was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. So I packed up my fabric samples, color chips, married this man and moved to our first duty station Ft Stewart, Ga. Chris deployed within a month of us moving, getting married and me packing up my passion of interior design. I spent the first month of this year apart never leaving the house. Some days I didn't get off the sofa. One day it occurred to be that not only was I depressed, but I was also fat and lazy and it was time to do something about it. I started walking my dog, joined a gym, fell in love with Spinning, got back to yoga and running. By the time Chris came home for R&R 9 months later I lost 30 lbs and felt great. I kept the weight off an stayed active and healthy, and became a certified Spinning Instructor. When Chris came home from his first deployment we ran the Savannah River Bridge Run together and continued to be a healthy active couple. Chris was home a few months before he was recruited by the 160th. We had to move from Ft Stewart to Ft Bragg for a year of school. Once we were settled in I was hired to teach Spin on post. Two weeks into teaching Spin I found out that I was going to finally be a mom. I was a high risk pregnancy because I was 39. But the doctors weren't worried because I was healthy and fit. I loved teaching and think that is why Liam loves loud music now. 

On January 9th, 2012 I was on my way to teach Spin when my doctor called to tell me that I was having a baby boy with Trisomy 21. Needless to say I did not teach that class. But I was back in front of the class and on my bike the next day. I made a commitment to my unborn baby that day. That I would NEVER give up on him or myself. I WOULD live a healthy life and be a positive role model. The end of my pregnancy was difficult I developed pre-eclampsia and I made the Good Year Blimp look like a bath toy. I had to stop teaching Spin and I was so swollen I couldn't walk and was on bed rest. I was MISERABLE!

After 31 1/2 hours of labor Liam was born via C-section on June 8th, 2012. I started walking that day. Two laps around the nurses station. The day I had my staples removed I was excited to get on the scale. I just had an almost 9 lb baby. I couldn't wait to see the scale move at least 20 lbs (in my mind). I got on that scale and.......WTH I gained 5 more lbs? Who has a 9lbs baby and gained weight? This girl! But I didn't pout too long. I looked at that beautiful baby and remembered that promise. I ate healthy, I walked everywhere I could as often as I could in that hospital. Once we were all released I continued walking everyday at home. Everyday a little farther. My first recorded walk after I had Liam was June 26; I went 2.05 miles and my pace was 19:49/ mile. I was slow but I was going. Liam did have some complications at first. We were busy with lots of doctors appointments and adapting to being new parents. But I never made an excuse I walked everyday. I went back to yoga four weeks after Liam was born. I was losing some weight but it was slow and I was getting frustrated. Chris graduated from school and we were moving back "home" to Savannah. My friend Jill McCabe told me about an exercise group that was just starting that I would love. It was called Stroller Strong Moms.

Once we moved back I wasn't even unpacked and I had my baby in the BOB and was at Forsyth. I thought how hard can this be. Ummmmm HARD! But the people were so nice and helped me. The first person I remember meeting was this sweet, kinda shy girl named Kelli. She had a rockin bod and her baby was only a month older than Liam. So I thought this class must work. I joined right away. I noticed some weight loss and my fitness level improving. But it was still slow. I was going to yoga on Mondays and Stroller Strong on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I thought that was enough. WRONG!! So I bumped it up to Stroller Strong everyday but Mondays and Thursdays Things started changing a little faster. But then I heard about the Get Fit Challenge. That's when things really started changing.

During the Get Fit challenge, I put 100% into it. I would look at Liam when a run hurt, and I would run harder. I know he is going to have challenges in his life. I will not allow one of the challenges being teased for having a fat mom. I would think about this and run faster, do one more push up. I ended up coming in 2nd in the challenge. I was proud of all I accomplished but my journey wasn't over. I overheard Alexa talking about a Triathlon. I have a close friend that competes in many and I thought she was crazy. My idea of a triathlon was running on Friday, swimming on Saturday, and going to a bike ride Sunday. But I just kept thinking about it being a good challenge. I trained for over 2 months. I would go to Stroller Strong 5 days a week and swim 2-3 and bike 2 and run 2. With the support of my girls Alexa, Cassie and Elyce we rocked that triathlon. 

Before and After 100 pound weight loss! 
And my journey is still not complete. Stroller Strong Moms has changed my life completely. I've lost 100 lbs since the day I had Liam. I can't go a day with out working out and not feel guilty. I think about everything that goes in my mouth and if its worth it. The instructors and other Moms at Stroller Strong are such a support network and I wouldn't have made it where I am without them!
Thanks for with me!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Stroller Strong Moms Celebrates SLAMiversaries!

The month of September was a VERY EXCITING month for SSM. We had two HUGE parties! Columbus celebrated its TWO year SLAMiversary  and Savannah celebrated its ONE year SLAMiversary!

SSM Columbus 
Columbus celebrated two years with a Carnival Class! Mom's rotated through six carnival themed stations including corn hole, obstacle course, dice, bocce, gravitron and three-legged and wheelbarrow races! As moms shuffled through stations they collected tickets to be used at the raffle at the end of class! Kids enjoyed everything carnival, from water balloons to parachutes to cotton candy to popcorn and more!!! There were over 50 SSMs who celebrated two years of SLAMing with us! We recognized two SSMs who have been with us since day one on September 12th, 2011....can you guess who they are? Diane Molstad and Ashley Necessary! There were tons of prizes at the end of class including Big Dog Gift Cards, headbands, D'Allens Hair Salon vouchers, Sweet Frog coupons and more!

SSM Savannah 

Savannah celebrated one year with a Field Day Class! Mom's came dressed in a shirt from their 'glory days' whether it was a treasured t-shirt or uniform from sports, band or cheer, math camp or Pac 12 Champ, they were sporting it! Moms split into three teams and rotated through six fun field day stations including bean bags, long jump, obstacle course, sponge relay, three-legged races and chariot races. After class, moms and kids enjoyed a fabulous potluck and popcorn! There were tons of prizes including a gift card from Fleet Feet and a 'surpise and delight' from Lululemon Athletica Savannah Showroom of 5 headbands and an awesome yoga mat!


Looking back on the past two years, I am so proud of what SSM has become. I am grateful for the wonderful SSM team in Columbus who have kept my vision alive and taken it far beyond where it was when I left. Both the instructor team and the members in Columbus continue to amaze me on a daily basis with their drive, enthusiasm, motivation, teamwork, loyalty, and desire to be fit and healthy mamas. Savannah mamas and instructors can be described in the same exact words and I am so proud to be able to see ridiculous amounts of fitness improvements and growth over the past several months. There is no doubt that SSM changes lives and allows moms to develop lasting friendships with other women who share a common goal: to become fit, healthy and happy moms who set an example for their children on a daily basis. Go mamas! I LOVE SSM!!! Keep SLAMing!!!!