Our member of the month for April, Kris Rieger, has had quite the journey with its fair share of blood, sweat, and tears. However, she has kept going even when the going got tough. When she was younger, Kris biked everywhere. It was her only mode of transportation as a teenager. She would bike from Fruitport to Nunica and all over Muskegon County. Other than biking, she also played a couple of seasons on the basketball team. Although a very tight-knit family, Kris’ parents did not have the best of health. She knew she didn’t want to go down that same path.
Struggling with a weight issue and portion control, Kris tried a number of the popular “diets”, including Nutrisystem and Atkins, but, they weren’t sustainable and they didn’t last. In 2005, Kris went through the Health Management Resources (HMR) program. After losing a significant amount of weight through the HMR program, she decided to try her hand at running. In 2007, she ran the 5/3 Riverbank 5k in honor of her parents, who passed away earlier that same year.
Kris acknowledged that HMR helped somewhat with her portion struggle; however, the program only allowed her to be able to see what correct portions looked like, not how to portion on her own. In 2014, Kris injured her knee. That same year, she started working at L3 in a very sedentary position. She had gain back some of the weight she had lost, realized that she didn’t have a lot of energy, was working a lot, and was often tired.
During a group camping excursion, one of her friends, Joni Kiel, was talking about an event that was happening at SNW Fitness called the Thinner Winner challenge. Teams of 4 compete against each other trying to lose the highest percentage of weight, to win $1,000. Kris wanted to learn more about SNW Fitness and this challenge so she went to our website, www.snwfitness.com.
After looking through our website, she decided to join the Thinner Winner challenge in the winter of 2016. After taking a few of the classes and coaching sessions during the event, she knew this was the place for her and she soon became a member. Shortly thereafter she suffered a severe twisted ankle, which lead her to wearing a boot for 6 weeks. After approval from her doctor, she was able to come back to working out IN HER BOOT!
This injury could have easily thrown her off course; however, she kept her “WHYs” in focus and overcame the obstacle before her. Her “WHYs” included wanting to lose weight, lead a healthier lifestyle, being healthy in honor of her parents who did not lead the most healthy life, to have more energy, and to not be tired all of the time. These were her reasons for her journey and they were stronger than the obstacles that she faced.
Kris’ goals have somewhat changed to include maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle along with her husband who has also made significant changes and progress. For example, in the beginning, both were certain that carbohydrates were the devil and took every measure to avoid them. Over time, with education and understanding, they both now understand the vital role carbs play in proper nutrition.
Kris has persisted and been consistent since she started with SNW Fitness. Even now, when she is on vacation, whether it is a video that she brings with her, a pre-written workout from a previous personal training session, or in the fitness center at the hotel, she makes sure that she gets in her workouts.
She stated that the staff is why she stays with SNW Fitness. Kris conveyed one piece of accountability that she has come to appreciate is our MindBody application. She knows that if she registers for a class and then goes into the application to cancel, not only will the SNW Fitness staff members see it; she feels a sense of guilt.
Kris also loves the camaraderie and community that SNW Fitness members have created. The challenges are also a major reason why Kris stays. She said they seem to come around when she needs them most and they give her a renewed sense of motivation to keep going.
She is most proud that she has continued. Kris stated that she’s proud of the fact that she finally made herself a priority. She views herself as more confident. Kris has also noticed that not only does she have more energy, but also that, when she runs, she can notice the benefits from her strength training. She feels that her future is much brighter.
Kris’ advice to anyone in a similar position would be to think outside the box. Do the free week that SNW Fitness offers. Kris stated that she loved that we weren’t pushy and that we have answers whenever she had/has a question. She loved that we give so many alternative options for moves in our classes. If the exercise move that she was doing did not work with her fitness level, or with her boot, she would be given an alternative move that targeted the same muscle group that had initially been intended. Kris wants you to know this,
“You will get there, give it time. It didn’t take overnight to get where you are today and it won’t be overnight to get you to where you want to be. It’s all a mindset. Get it in your head and make yourself a priority. Stop the excuses!”
We all have a story it may be like Kris’, and it may not. Each of our health journeys is different. One thing is certain though, there will be obstacles, life happens. Kris is a great example of how through support, motivation, accountability, and the refusal to throw in the towel, you can be successful. Kris has a solid foundation for her health and fitness journey, which makes her a true success. Her tools will never be lost and she is sure to have a bright and healthy future.