Keri (43)
Hair & Makeup Artist

Ellington, CT

Keri has never felt good enough-- or good looking enough-- and therefore exercise and the pursuit of the perfect body has always been an addiction for her.  Keri is a divorced mom of two sons, Braeden (14) and Jackson (13), and owns her hair and makeup business, but calls her fitness life another full-time job. Keri’s body issues began at an early age; her step-father died from a heart attack at the dinner table when she was a young girl. This traumatic experience has shaped Keri’s whole life, especially how she feels about health and exercise. Keri began to obsess about her weight and joined her first gym at the age 15. When most other girls were playing, gossiping about boys, Keri was enamored with fitness. In an effort to lose weight, Keri would walk for hours on end at the local track and she hasn’t stopped since.

Keri works out 2-4 hours every day, including doing an intense program like P90x and then does another hour on the treadmill. Her goals are to do 20,000 to 30,000 steps a day with hand-weights and the occasional weighted vest. In the last month, she ran over 260 miles, the equivalent of 10 marathons! Her workout is like a “pill” that gets her high. If she doesn’t get it, she is anxious and guilty. She is constantly chasing the high, even when she reaches a goal. It is never enough. Keri currently has a dislocated kneecap and a broken finger, yet continues to exercise at the same intensity. She even removed the splint from her hand so she could lift weights! She is concerned that she is putting excessive strain on her heart and is worried that she won’t always be able to work out the way she is now.

Ultimately, Keri’s obsession with bodily perfection and her low self-esteem ended her marriage. She has been divorced for four years and has joint-custody of her two children. The two co-parent, but Keri admits that she is still searching for her ex-husband’s love and acceptance. She isn’t able to maintain any new relationships because of her all-consuming obsession. Feeling rejected by her husband, Keri was triggered to look perfect, and have control over her body.

Other than her two boys, no one really knows the full extent of Keri’s routine. She hides how much time she devotes to working out because she knows they won’t understand. Keri sees that her addiction to fitness is having a negative impact on her kids. Her oldest is becoming obsessed with working out as well and champions his mom’s “dedication.” Keri is punishing her body for an unattainable goal in an unsustainable way, but she is fearful of change and doesn’t know how to stop the crazy behavior. Keri just wants to be able to look in the mirror and be ok with who she sees looking back at her.