Hi! I’m Karen Tunkel. I am a 43 year old wife and mother of two teenagers and two very lively dogs. I work a demanding job, drive everyone everywhere, and at times I find myself a caretaker of loved ones with special needs and health issues. It’s easy to find a million reasons to put my health and wellness down at the bottom of my priority list and it’s also easy to find just as many reasons why taking time for myself is selfish or not worth my time.
This past year, I was hit with MULTIPLE reasons to give up on my health and fitness. In 2019, I spent a good part of the year in pain with a pinched nerve in my neck. I had degenerative disease in my spine and by August 2019, it was bad enough I was bedridden, unable even to type and in constant pain. I had surgery to remove bone spurs in my neck, with an incision that ran from my hairline down to my shoulders. I had only begun to recover from that when we were given the news that my husband had stage 3 Colorectal cancer. In December, my daughter was hospitalized with depression and anxiety. In January 2020, my son had surgery to remove half of his colon for GI issues he’d had his entire life and then my husband began chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
And all that was BEFORE Covid hit and had us all working from home and doing online learning!
Suffice it to say, my life was chaos and I was suffering myself from a lot of stress. I felt like I was just trying to keep my head above water. I coped by eating comfort foods and chocolate. It was the only thing that numbed the worry and kept me going. My back began to hurt in new places and my weight rose to the highest it’s ever been…over 200 lbs on my 5 foot 2 inch frame. I avoided pictures and tried to pretend my health wasn’t out of control, but I knew it was. I had little energy and was winded climbing stairs. I asked our children to carry laundry for me. I just wanted to sleep.
And then, something unexpected happened.
A friend of the family had kidney disease and was finally healthy enough to be put back on the transplant list. I wanted to help and I thought I was healthy enough to do so and we were a blood type match. Unfortunately, I was ruled out as a possible donor very early because I simply wasn’t healthy enough myself to be a good candidate. That, finally hit me.
By not taking good enough care of myself I had made myself unable to help someone else who badly needed it.
I doubled down on yoga, which is something I’ve practiced since my 20’s and I jumped into a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training. I began lifting weights and working on my cardiovascular fitness. I cleaned up my nutrition and started treating my body with love.
After a couple of months, I began to feel so much better that I began to want to share what I’d found with others. I began blogging about my fitness journey and reaching out to coach others and teach yoga.
Normally, if I’m working on a big change…I do it in privacy, just in case I mess up. That way no one has to see the mess of my process, the wobbly parts where I’m not perfect. This blog and these two new goals…that’s me stepping out of that. I’m allowing people to come closer, to see me in my process and in my imperfection in the hopes that it will help them realize that they too don’t have to be perfect to reach their goals.
Welcome to my imperfect perfection!
So…if you’re like me and struggling to make your health a priority and you’re not sure where to begin, I invite you to contact me for a free consultation. Both free in cost and judgment. We’ll talk about your unique goals and challenges and then we’ll come up with a concrete plan to help you get there. You can do this and I’m here to support you.
Let’s do this together!