I’m Krysten, from “The Misadventures of a Darwinian Fail”.
I am health nut and fitness enthusiast,and am generally in love with all things running, spinning, and yoga related. This year I am trying to overcome my less than stellar genetics by dedicating 2012 to eating a clean diet and focusing on my general well being. I plan to beat heart disease, breast cancer, and genetics all while striving for coveted half marathon and marathon glory.
Q1. What is the #1 wellness practice you live by?
Because of my surgery and because of this zany little journey I have been on, I have really changed the way that I look at my body and my life. Its not about how you look, the number on the scale, or what size pants you wear. Its about being healthy! I have had to fight really hard to be healthy, and I am not taking my all hard work for granted. I just try to make healthy choices everyday.
Q2. I know you’ve gone through some recent surgery and was wondering – how did you deal with the changes to your body and your lifestyle as you’re quite the active person? And how are you feeling today?
The changes to my body, despite all the anticipation, where actually not that difficult to deal with. I expected meltdowns, grief, sadness, and a long struggle with my body image post-op. But in reality it was the anticipation that was the worst and the fear I felt over the unknown. When I woke up – while I obviously no longer had boobies or nipples for that matter – I was still Krysten. I was just a healthier version of the person I have always been. And I was just so grateful to be able to be in control of my health in this way and to be given this opportunity.
It has been harder to adjust to the healing process, because mentally I feel ready to tackle my old routine. I want to get back into training, so it hard to accept that my body isn’t quite there yet. I am trying to be present – a struggle for me. But I am trying to listen to my body, and push it accordingly. I know that it is going to require hard work and patience to be able to rebuild both the strength and endurance I lost over the last few months. But generally, I think I am feeling pretty darn good!
Oh gosh! So I am assuming you are referencing some my “darker” posts. I was hesitant to write about the darker days during this process. But I also pushed myself to share that side of this process. To say that I felt like an empowered woman who was just so happy to making the choices I made would have been inauthentic. I felt confident and happy with my decision most days, but there were dark days too. And if I wanted to be honest about my experience then I need to share that part too. It was my way of accepting the darker side of the process, acknowledging it was there, but also showing that that darkness was not all consuming. It is part of the process, but it does not have to define the entire process
My blog was actually never intended to be a platform for BRCA or breast cancer, but this struggle has obviously become a prominent fixture as my life unfolded this past year. And my goal when I started blogging was to share my own experience – the whole process (physically and mentally), information, and education in hopes that someone might read it and find it helpful in someway. It is hard to experience these major changes and questions alone, so I hoped that I could be there for someone. Show that there is a light at the end of all of this and that you can be healthy again.
Q4. What were your earliest influences regarding living a healthy and balanced life?
I was a pretty active kid growing up. I danced and swam competitively for most of my childhood and teenage years. I think both sports help show me the importance of training, dedication, and determination. They always taught me to love the burn of a good workout!
Q5. What is the #1 healthy food you love? The #1 indulgence you give into once in a while?
I love black beans! They pack a protein punch, and they are definitely a weekly staple.
I am a huge chip lover! I know they are horrible for you, but I love the salty delicious-ness! I can not control myself in front of bowl of salt and vinegar.
Running! I feel powerful and strong every time I lace up my sneakers.
Q7. What is your favorite running/ workout gear?
I can not workout without my Ipod. I love a good girl-power ballad! I am also obsessed with my Mizuno sneakers. And when I really want to kick my training up notch I have this awesome weighted-vest that I special ordered from Self.com that I love!
Q8. What is the one mantra or quote that you live by?
Challenges are what make life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes life worth living.
Q9. What is something you are most proud of?
Running my first half marathon was pretty huge for me. It was proud day, not only because I ran 13.1 miles, but also because I didn’t allow my circumstances hold me back. It was a big triumph in mind over matter. (*note I ran my half the day before my bilateral mastectomy)
Q10. What do you hope to accomplish in 2012?
A lot! I want to train for 2 adventure races, a 15km race, my 2nd half marathon, and my very first full marathon.
I am also going back to school full time! So I want to finish my psychology degree, write my GRE, and apply for grad school. I think 2012 is going to be a BIG year for me!
Thanks Krysten for being part of my Wellness Warrior Series!! Good luck with all your plans for 2012, I know you’re going to do great!