I have known Kharyse(aka Reesie) for a couple of years now from mommy groups in Hawaii. We would all hang out with our little ones at the pool, etc. I also had the pleasure of taking Reesie’s photos several times and she always had a happy upbeat personality. After moving from Hawaii we didn’t talk much as we both were going through personal issues in our lives at the time. Now that we have moved past that, I have seen Kharyse grow in her yoga and become stronger and more confident than ever!
How old are you and please can you share your health and fitness journey to date?
I am 24, I will be 25 in one week, on April 3rd. I started out weighing around 80-83lbs. Low appetite, no physical activity at all. I was skinny… Too skinny and in no way in shape. Nov 12th I started to eat better, July 2013 I started yoga, around Aug 2013 I started seriously meal prepping to help my weight gain journey. I don’t weigh myself anymore, but last I weighed in at 95lbs and that was about 3 months ago. I found that looking at the scale was hurting me and causing me to focus more on those numbers than how good I felt and how much I had already changed.
I’ve done yoga daily since July 21 2013. I practice for a about an hour to an hour and a half each day, while my youngest naps. Most, if not all days my 4 year old joins me for most of my practice.
I meal prep every 2-3 days, and I’m now eating about 6-8 meals a day. I eat carbs, meat and grains, but I do limit my white carbs. I stay away from processed foods and I haven’t eaten fast food in over 18 months. I also juice regularly.
What was the catalyst that sparked your lifestyle change?
I was in the middle of a divorce, I had just moved back into my parent’s house with my 2 young girls. My parents had decided to eat healthier and after realizing that my weight was steadily decreasing I thought I needed a change. I started of first with diet change, and over the course of a year a slowly changed my eating habits. It was not until I moved to California that I got into yoga. I wanted help gaining weight and I knew that to gain weight I needed muscle. And yoga I could do from home and as a former gymnast it seemed to fit.
What types of foods did you used to eat? What’s changed since then?
I used to eat high sodium, processed meals. Like TV dinners and frozen meals for two. I also used to cook with a lot of salt. I used to eat a flavored rice, pre-cooked chicken, soda, processed meats and cheeses, things like that.
I now eat more things like, hummus, kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, green beans, oatmeal, walnuts, pecans, apples, bananas, pomegranates, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, lean meats no pork, cage free eggs, quinoa, mangos, grapes, and the list can go on!
How did you stay focused and motivated?
About 2 months ago I fell off the wagon a bit. I started to lose weight again, stopped meal prepping, I was still doing yoga daily but my overall mood has just dropped. When I looked in the mirror one day I realized that I was letting my hard work slip away. And I couldn’t stand that. So now I allow myself to have cheat days, cheat meals so I don’t feel so much pressure to keep up and the more and more I go along I find that eating healthy and staying on top of my fitness is becoming a part of my life and it becomes easier and easier to maintain just it’s part of who I am.
When I stopped comparing myself to others, I found all the motivation I needed.
Were there any aspects of your transformation that surprised you?
What surprised me was how quickly I felt better, not on the outside but on the inside. My personality just grew and I felt like a new person so quickly! And that’s like my drug, even when Im sore and tired, I feel so much better after yoga and a day of eating right.
How has your health transformation affected the health of your family?
It has greatly affected my family! My children eat so much better now. They have green juice almost every morning and love it. My oldest when she plays kitchen makes quinoa and chicken for dinner. They no longer are hooked on juice and sugar and always ask for just water, even when we are out. They eat veggies and fruit with no problem. They both love yoga and I know they are going to be active for the rest of their lives. For them it’s just life. I’m giving the healthy habits now so they won’t have to develop them later.
What’s your favorite snack you just can’t part with?
I still have my chocolate and gummi bears, I know they are bad but I can’t help it!
What’s your favorite energy booster?
Can I say the sun? I don’t take any supplements but I still drink coffee every once in a while.
What are the biggest positive changes you have noticed as a result of your lifestyle change?
My energy, my outlook on life. My mental state has improved drastically. I’m more confident and working on loving myself and being in my own skin, it has brought me closer to my daughters and yoga has given me the tools to be able to forgive and let go and be ok with change.
I’m a better person to be around and that just pushes me to work harder and want to inspire more people.
What tips would you like to share with my readers about your transformation?
To go slow. It has to be a totally mindset change. It’s a lifestyle change, not a fad, not a diet. And to really make the change to make it stick you have to go slow, you have to allow yourself to fall off the wagon from time to time. Even if you have eaten bad all day, all week, that ONE time you pick up something healthier at the grocery store, you have won. It took me months to change how I ate. You best believe I still ate chick-fil-a all the time, BUT as I learned about healthy eating and started to eat healthy it became easier and easier to choose something else. Give yourself cheat meals, just don’t let it take over again.
I also suggest research what goes into your food. Not just the health benefits of the good food, but that goes into the food you are eating now. It is way easier to put the bad stuff down when you know for yourself what you are putting into your body. Look stuff up, don’t just take my word for it!
What are some of your dreams/goals you hope to achieve over the next 12 months?
Over the next 12 months I would like to become a yoga teacher and be actively teaching families and children. In addition to teaching yoga I would like to be teaching in the classroom and continuing to work on my master’s degree.
If you would like to learn more about Kharyse, follow her on her journey, or just want to learn more about yoga you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also follow her on instagram @reesielove1121