How Kelly Kolicko become so strong, she pushed through things she never thought possible.
Q. How has your weight see-sawed?
My weight fluctuated from having three babies, with different cravings for each pregnancy. I also had lupus during the last one!
Q. What was the turning point?
I set goals I wanted to accomplish before I turned 40. One was to finish a full Ironman, the other was to do a fitness competition. My husband said the only way he’d come to watch was if I made nationals, so I always pushed myself. In 2011, I entered the 140.6-mile Arizona Ironman, and finished with a time of 12hrs 24mins.
Q. How did you change your diet in the beginning?
You have to have a good mindset, think positive and push yourself. A good amount of sleep is key, as is a good diet. I also did triathlon training with a group, and hired an ex-fitness competitor to get me into the shape I needed to be on stage.
I gradually cut things from my diet: I didn’t do it all at once, so I wouldn’t binge. One week, I cut all fried foods. The next week, pizza. The week after, it was fast food, then sweets. I love wine, so had one glass a week rather than a bottle.
Q. What was the first step you took toward gaining control?
I met Karen Mullarkey in 2011. She’s trained me through two pregnancies and an amazing bikini fitness competition. During my second pregnancy, I constantly felt sick. I had a hard time walking up stairs, and even opening water bottles. After my baby was born, my joints became stiff and I constantly felt like I had a sore throat. My hand swelled up and my ankles were so big, I couldn’t put on tennis shoes. I had systemic lupus, which also took my father’s life.
– RELATED: Karen Mullarkey Proved That She Could Make It –
Q. When did you get serious about your training?
My doctor developed a good medication plan, and my trainer tailored my fitness and nutrition program. Days training outside are long gone now. Lupus patients shouldn’t be in the sun because it makes the condition worse, so training indoors is my best option.
Since the Ironman, I’ve competed in a fitness bikini competition, where I placed third, had two amazing boys and have learned to live with an autoimmune disease, how to be strong and how to push through things I never thought were possible. It’s been an amazing journey.
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