Kari Walker is short on time and long on responsibility. She is, simply put, a mom. She works as an RN three days a week from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. She has a nearly 2-year-old daughter. And, like most moms, she found herself months after she expected to lose the baby weight shaking her head in the mirror.
“I was disgusted and hated what I saw in the mirror. I was depressed because I felt so out of shape that I just couldn’t see how I would ever like my body again,” Walker says.
Kari Walker with Lindsay Bower, who is engaged to the owner of
She initially lost a good amount of weight after Stella was born. And then she plateaued and stayed at a size 14 while she did Weight Watchers and worked out at a traditional gym. She was slowly watching the number on the scale but seeing little change.
Then in July, she realized she was 17 months post baby and not making the progress she wanted. Where and how she would find the time was the mystery every mom faces.
“I woke up one day and changed. I decided I didn’t want to wish for it,” she says.
After becoming friends with a woman whose husband owned a CrossFit gym, Walker felt inspired to give the intense method a try.
“I saw her pictures from a competition and realized how strong my tiny friend was and I thought to myself, ‘OK, you could do that if you really tried,’” Walker says.
She made it a priority and her family followed. Her husband helped out to ensure she could make her workouts and what started as three days a week at Ragin CrossFit soon turned into four or five. She finished her first competition recently and plans for another one soon. She’s lost more than 20 pounds and wears a size 8. And the woman who was once too nervous to go to a CrossFit class for fear she couldn’t keep up hates missing a day.
“I like that I can compete with myself and see myself improve by watching my strength, stamina and speed increase,” Walker says. And while she struggles with the idea of missing out on time with her daughter, she knows that staying healthy does make her a better mom. A mom that will live longer and stronger. To that end, she’s also gone Paleo. Around the time she headed to CrossFit, she began the diet that eschews grains, dairy, legumes and processed foods. It is, at the core, an ancestral diet.
“Paleo is basically eating like cavemen ate,” Walker explains.
And while it’s not always easy (and she does have cheat meals), Walker feels better than ever.
“I felt fuller longer and had less ups and downs of energy in between meals and I didn’t feel like a ton of bricks was sitting in my stomach all day,” Walker says.
“Life isn’t going to slow down until you die. And that’s what I’m trying not to do: die. I want us to live long, healthy fit lives.”