Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Former Fat Girl....Claim to Fame

Here's the deal....the first 1-2 years after losing 120lbs, and looking, if I must say so myself, freakin' was a blast seeing the look on the faces of people, I've never met, in shock (and horror) that a former fat girl can look so freakin' fact, looking better than they did! I had a long time friend of mine actually say to me, I never thought I'd ever hear myself say, "I want to look like Tracy Reifkind!" That's a true statement.

For some reason the past couple of years I've tried to downplay my former Fat Girl self because the longer I maintain this weightloss, the more unimpressive it becomes. Kinda weird, but here's what I mean. The longer I stay thin, fit and athletic, the further from the truth it seems to be.

The Truth. I am a woman that spent most of her life overweight. Most of her life overweight when it wasn't "normal" to be overweight. I was the last one picked for any team sport in school, even though I showed some athletic and determination along with a bit of athletic talent, still no one wanted me. The "tough boys" targeted me in dodgeball, and most of my Elementary years were hiding in utter shame. In fact I think I was the only fat kid in school, all the way through high school, and that's one of the reasons, feeling alienated, that I dropped out of school only completing the 10th grade.

I was never asked to a dance, or even when I went to a dance with girlfriends, I was never asked to dance. I was judged as "less than" because of my weight. I could never wear clothes that other girls were wearing. I could only fantasize what it would feel like, playing with Barbie dolls until I was about 14 years old.

I'm even judged by my own mother....if I'm fat, then one of my other sisters becomes the favorite, but when I'm thin, my mother is much more proud that I'm her daughter.....(but she treats most of my sisters the same way too)

So, here I am. Just releasing my first DVD on training the kettlebell swing, and I still don't feel respected by lots of people in the kettlebell community, as I first did when my claim to such a tremendous weightloss seemed so impressive by many. Am I just imagining it? Am I still looked at as "the fat girl"? Because I let myself get so fat in the first place does that negate the fact that I've developed a training system, while I was losing the bodyweight, that is the one of the most effective ways of burning the most fat and calories while at the same time build the most amount of muscle that can be done....although it works, it's hard to do! You still have to swing the bell....alot! No one was using the term "high volume" when I started training kettlebells. In the process I become one of the healthiest and most fit people I know, not to mention that I still practice what I preach everyday of the week.....but what do I know? I just swing, right? (I've heard that said about me many times from different sources)

Training is hard, it's not for everyone. Cooking, preparing and being responsible for all of the foods and meals, daily, in ones life is not easy for most. But these things are easy for me because these are the things that get me out of bed in the morning. These are the things that I look forward to everyday, but especially on new favorite day (blogpost to come). There may come a day when I quit training, or have to quit training, but it will never take away what I know. I will never forget my experience and my discoveries about how to move toward, and acheive a healthy and strong body.

This is what I know. I don't really care about the "Skinny Minnies" of the world. I was tortured by their judgements all of my life. What I know is this....I was really fat for a long period of my life, but not anymore, being unpopular doesn't bother me....much. I'm still going to keep doing what I do, and maybe I'll start bragging about it more.

In the words of my completely devoted husband Mark, "You live the life of the rich and retired!" If I do two yoga classes in a day, it's my job. If I teach 4 kettlebell classes or do 1000 swings in one day, it's my job. If I spend the whole day prepping and cooking our food for the week, it's my job. And I have to thank this luxury in my life to being a "Former Fat Girl".

I will always been proud of my past, and if I have to play the "Former Fat Girl" card then so be it. But I'm feeling as if my "Claim to Fame" is still to be determined.....


Mark Reifkind said...


your claim to fame hasn't even started yet. the methods and principles you developed and originated will help more people transform their bodies and spirits than you can imagine.

what you figured out is revolutionary and could change it all. you rock.

Tracy Reifkind said...

My Love,

Transforming "spirits".....much more important than anything the work, the body will follow. Think the thoughts, nothing else matters. Create your own reality.

Christine said...

You are amazing, period. I have looked up to you since I started reading your blog, and it's not solely because you lost a bunch of weight. In fact, that's not even a tiny part of it. You're inspiring, insightful, and you motivate people.

Dirigo said...

I think you must be harder on yourself than others are.
In the Kettlebell world, in my opinion, you are a goddess. So many women look up to you and respect you. Your workouts have added a whole new dimension to the way we train.
I love the fact that you lost weight and you are an inspiration, but the real reason I respect and look up to you is the fact that you are honest and tell it the way it is. You let everyone know that the kettlebell doesn't work itself, you do the work.
You are a strong, smart women and Mark is right, your claim to fame has not even begun.
I don't know you, only through what I have seen on Dragondoor and this blog, but I do know that you are someone who keeps it real, and why be anything other than that.


Fatguy said...

Another inspiring post, to a current fat guy. Thank you

Roland said...

Both as a kettlebell guy AND a formerly fat guy, you have my respect.

Haley said...

Anytime anyone asks me if kettlebells can help them get into shape, your name comes up in my explanation of why and how. Everytime. You have my respect....100%...

Tracy Reifkind said...


"You're inspiring, insightful, and you motivate people."

Takes one to know, if I could only write as beautifully as you do!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Aren't we all our own worst critics? One of the points I was trying to make is how I'm going to stop apologizing for having been so fat, as if that takes away from being a competent trainer.

My life is about to take on a whole new a most deserving way.

Biggest lesson learned these past 6 months? Smile more, you never know when you'll be on camera!

Tracy Reifkind said...


If I could only work with one group of people, it would those of us that have had this experience.

The "experience" is not necessarily that of only people carrying too much bodyweight, but bodyweight "issues" in general, including too little bodyweight, which can present it's own problems.

I will always be a cheerleader for those willing to cheer for themselves too......I can't do it alone, and neither should anyone else that needs support.

So thank you for yours.

Tracy Reifkind said...


Thank you for your comment and kind words.

I knew, from the day I was born that I was special. Little did I know that being fat was part of the Plan.....I don't mind at all.

Tracy Reifkind said...


Goodness girlfriend.....

The hardest thing about exercising on a regular basis? Starting to exercise regularly. The second hardest thing about exercising regularly? Consistency....because if you have to, again, do THE hardest part over....starting up again.

Let's all be easy on up, swing, lift, run (yep, if running is your thing...), bike, walk, row, whatever.....keep showing up.

leslie said...

You're amazingly beautiful. You're amazingly talented. And I kind of do a double take when you remind me that you're a FFG, cuz I think of you as a kickass trainer.

Don't know what the KB community thinks, as I'm very removed from that world. But holy shish kabob -- you just released your first DVD. That's AMAZING (and it's really really good!).

Gabby Eborall said...

You have no Idea how much you have inspired me personally. I can honestly say that if it wasn't for you and your blog I don't know where my own training and career would be. I fell and fell hard for Kettlebells and a primary reason is you. A woman in her 40's (like me) just killing it every day....and sometimes not, and that's okay, that's why we love you.

RJ said...

Had no idea you have lost so much weight. That makes your high rep swing teaching very inspiring. Budd Jeffries just lost a ton of weight with h/r swings as well. This is the kind of example we need to hear more about,not less.You take a KB backseat to no one. And you're a babe to boot.

kettlebells_n_sunshine said...

As the former (and still) fat girl... I read your blog and I am inspired. I feel empowered and know that in my I am not alone in this struggle I have been fighting my whole life long. You are more real to me than some of the people that surround me on a daily basis.
I train hard with my KBs, I have trained especially hard for the last few month to prepare for the RKC.
I am proud of the fact that I have gotten stronger, even if the scale hasnt budged and my belly isnt flat.
I look to you for inspiration... you help to bolster my confidence, because I know that at some point - the not so fat girl within me will come through.

Stay the way you are - absolutely beautiful & strong!!

Tracy Reifkind said...


You are the "golden girl", and I'm sure your clients feel the same way about doubt. That's part of our have clients that want to be like us...success stories.

Hey, I want to be like us, lol!

Thanks for your support all of these years!

Tracy Reifkind said...


"Killing it everyday" ain't that the truth! I plan on killing it, big time, tomorrow morning!

I'm not going away, I'm getting stronger, more confident, and less caring about the opinions of those who don't train.

Tracy Reifkind said...

RJ...the magic of my training is the exact comment you made and one that I hear often...."I just thought you always looked the way you do"

I get complimented all the time for my focus to my training (both KB's and yoga practice) by people that have no clue about my history with obesity.

I spoke with Bud Jefferies a couple of weeks ago in a teleseminar arranged by Legendary Strength, and was honored to be the only woman on their list of guests. It was only after the interview that I realized the exteme differnces of opinion about high volume kettlebell training that we both have....and I would have addressed my opinons a bit differently had I known.

Missed opportunity? Maybe.

Thank you for your comment and the compliment.

Tracy Reifkind said...

KB's and Sun....

What RKC are you training for?

You know.....there's no shame in training hard. What your bodyweight is comes second to the question, do you show up and train?

Why is it that a man can weigh 300 + pounds, but lift heavy shit and be considered a champion?

Now I'm not into lifting heavy shit and weighing 300 lbs, but I'm also not into weighing 110lbs and being weak as a kitten....not to mention looking sick and hungry.

Skinny is not strong. Skinny is not even pretty after the age of 29, for most. But feeling good is pretty.

No matter what you weigh, how much you can lift, if you feel good about yourself nothing else matters.

Mark Reifkind said...


so true,and my babe, to boot.

Juci said...

when I came across your blog, I didn't know you had been a fat girl before.
You're overall amazing, you look great, and whenever I am in need of inspiration, I just check your blog. I like your posts, your honesty, your dedication, and I can't wait to have a look at your DVD.

This idea here about "transforming spirits" is sooo true, so important and so concise. Think the thoughts, do the work, the body will follow.
That's it. I love it. Thanks :)

Rock on!


Papucs orrĂ¡n Pamutbojt said...

You Dear Jalapeno-Girl,

In the Hungarian blog community when I comment posts later than Judit I just only say "I agree with Judit,as always" :-)
I agree with her again-as always- very much. You really can't even imagine how many of us read you and are motivated by you regularly in this my Hall of Fame, Tracy, you have a really distinguished, elegant place- and I know I am not at all alone with this.

Maurice said...

Hey Tracy,

Kudos for a fantastic DVD!

Be proud of your achievements, you have inspired and have the utmost respect of many more people than you realise.

If/when an RKC is ever held in Australia I hope both you and Rif will be coming, I'd love to meet you both.

BTW: I thought I noticed a different in opinion with the Legendary Strength interview...

Igor said...

Dear Tracy

You are a lovely, strong woman.

Kind regards

Tracy Reifkind said...

Juci Judit,

Looking back at my trip to the Hungary RKC, it's hard to believe I felt so intimidated and out of place. I didn't realize anyone knew who I was, or what I've done (except Aniko, lol), and I wish I could do it all over again....

Whoops! I can! Next year! I'll be back and next time Mark and I will have so much more time to really get to know our Hungarian commrades. I'm counting down the days.

Tracy Reifkind said...


I still have the video of the two of us (jalapeno lover's unite!), that I'll have to post soon....we're so cute together, the two of us! Anyway, as I commented to Judit, I'm counting the days when Mark and I return to Hungary.

Maybe I can find a couple of training partners for a "TracyStyle" workout while I'm there!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Hmmnn...Australia... I met Andrew Read, RKC, in July at Level 2, and he was "courted" by many to teach, some kind of Cert, in your country, an HKC first? (RKC to follow?). It seems Dave Whitley won the the first round! LOL

You'll have to listen in on my current podcast here at:

I think you will hear a more confident woman....I learned alot from my first interview!

There seems to be a huge difference (no pun intended!) between Bud Jeffries and me, in our approach to training kettlebells "high volume". It's all good.

Thank you for your comment and support!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Thank you for taking the time to comment. To me, comments are the only reward I get for the time I spend blogging.

B2 KRAV MAGA said...


I've been reading your blogs for as long as you've been posting them. I totally get what you're "feeling" right now .... and you're entitled to those feelings. I just want to thank you- because of you sharing your journey and your feelings (so honestly) ... I better understand how to deal with my clients who hope to accomplish what you have with your transformation. And Tracy, you look more and more amazing every year. Healthy, fit, and full of life and joy! Congratulations to you!

Bambi Christman