When Karrie Parr hit the 100-pound mark, she started focusing less on weight and more on strength.
“I just wanted to be stronger,” Parr said. “I moved into not spending all my time on cardio and more on strength training.”
But her path to the 100-pound mark started in Seattle, and it came with nothing short of an epiphany that led to major life changes that included moving across country to Destrehan.
Seattle is where she decided she wasn’t happy.
In the five years she and her husband were there, she started a business and had two children.
“I completely let myself go,” Parr said. “I battled really hard postpartum depression after my second child and when she was 1-year-old I said I wanted to move back home, I’m unhappy and just want to be back with my family.”
Home was Metairie in Jefferson Parish, but the couple wanted a residence with more house and land. They found it in Destrehan.
“We have our forever home,” she said. “We have our dream house.”
It was just the beginning of the major changes that would make way for bigger ones.
“I used to believe I needed an A-to-Z plan, but now I let go and let God,” Parr said. “Everything fell into place. Our house sold in Seattle in two days and then my husband said he’d move tomorrow. When we came to Destrehan, we found four houses on the market in our price range. On the first day of looking at houses, I found a place and announced, ‘This is my house.’ Then I said, ‘this is time for me.’”
But she did have a plan, one aimed at losing weight until she learned she was pregnant with their third child in November of 2017. She couldn’t really diet, but she could start the mental process to ready for one and it came in January of 2018.
2018 became her year.
“I just started with my Apple watch, closing every ring every day,” Parr said of using the rings as goals and the one she was closing in on was exercising at least 30 minutes a day.
At this point, she weighed 294 pounds.
“I’ve never been a tiny person, but I’ve always been in good shape and good health. When I became a mom, it just all went away,” Parr said. “I gained 80 pounds with my first child and never lost that and with my second I gained more and I never lost that weight.”
Added to the stress of running her own business, she was working long days and eating whatever was available and that was usually takeout.
“It’s not like you suddenly wake up and weigh 300 pounds,” Parr said. “There was no time to do anything. I knew I was unhealthy, but I didn’t know how to break free from the bad habits. It was through a lot of soul searching that I looked at my unhealthy habits, and I had this breakthrough – I didn’t want to do this anymore.”
Bottom line – Parr said she started following her heart instead of her head.
By January of last year, the plan to focus on herself went into high gear.
Parr started exercising every day even though she had an eight-week-old baby, two-year-old and five-year-old. Social media played a role in her maintaining goals, which she did by issuing challenges online like doing pushups at home. Others joined in and soon she had numerous people participating in them and then messaging her their thanks for helping motivate them, too.
Her life flipped from a big cup of coffee at Starbucks and two hours of shopping in Target in Seattle to going to the gym.
Although her diet changed to calorie counting, she stayed on the exercise track and that helped her lose another 10 pounds in two weeks. It was a “game changer” for her, which allowed having items like fast food or wine, but in moderation.
“It felt really good and I had gone to buy new clothes,” she said. “You have those small wins and 50 pounds lost is a big accomplishment no matter what your size.”
By June of 2019, Parr had lost about 50 pounds.
In January of this year, she found nDurance gym, just a few streets away from her residence and it was an important find because she was stuck at 80 pounds lost. Gyn owner Brandi LeBlanc took her the next step forward.
“It completely changed the game for me and I went from 80 pounds lost to over 100 pounds in six months,” she said. “When you get closer and closer to your goal, it gets so much harder, though.”
But, mentally, Parr was already in a better place.
She became more ambitious and ran in a marathon two weeks ago, although she learned a person can work out too much. She took a break and returned ready for still another step up in her plan.
“The next milestone was when I hit the 100-pound mark in May,” Parr said. “I was so happy with myself just for getting to that number.”
Now, having met her goal, she is focusing on being stronger and more toned, and she knows herself.
“Fight every day to find your joy, then fight every day to keep it because no one else will fight as hard for it and your families happiness depends on you having joy in your heart,” Parr said. “I found mine … now I’m just working on keeping it and focusing on it one day at a time.”