Is diet coke or regular coke worse?

This is such a hot topic that I hear about all the time, and I'm sure that there are many that have SERIOUS opinions on this, however I just wanted to really give some insight into my thoughts on the matter. I've done a lot of research on this particular topic probably because I'm so in love with diet coke and diet sundrop, but you hear all the time that it's disgusting for someone to switch to diet drinks because they are "worse for you" so I hope to at least make you more knowledgeable on the topic. 

Many times people shout that phrase without even looking at why? Why would it be worse for you to consume diet drinks? ASPARTAME!!! IT'S OF THE DEVIL! Most all diet drinks are switching out regular sugar with artificial sweeteners so that they still have the sweet taste, but without the calories (or less food energy). So, the matter at hand is:

Do we think regular sugar is worse for us than artificial or do we think that artificial is worse than regular?

WHY NOT BOTH RIGHT? ;) 

WHY NOT BOTH RIGHT? ;) 

There is widespread debate on the use of aspartame, and my opinion in short is this: Everything should be in moderation as usual. If you are drinking 2 liters of diet drinks per day well then that's something that you should look into. Do I think that diet soda causes you to gain weight? No. Not the actual drink. Sugar causes an insulin response causing your blood sugar to rise. There is no blood sugar response with artificial sweeteners actually causing you to feel HYPOglycemic so the lab studies that were done on rats show that this causes them to eat more food therefore gaining weight over time. But, that's not a linear relationship. The actual act of drinking the diet soda is not what caused the weight gain. The eating more because you are still "craving sugar" would be the culprit however, it is my belief that if you are intaking a normal amount of sugar on a daily basis, keeping carbs controlled, then you absolutely will not gain weight from diet soda. Plus I feel like diet soda is the only thing that gets blamed for having aspartame. There are millions of products with aspartame, but I digress. 

A study at Duke university which is one of the best to date actually shows that the headache claim is false as well and that NO inflammation was seen or headache frequency in a double blinded study of those intaking aspartame versus not. This leads us to think it's something else then. I really don't want to go into all of the studies about different things that are believed to be true about aspartame. Many of the studies are poorly done with showing cancer, and if you want to reference more about that, you can see that HERE

I'm not saying that I'm telling you to eat all the aspartame, and if you don't already, then why start. I just don't want people running in fear without knowing both sides of the story. Many scientists are torn on the matter, and at one point aspartame was not allowed but after much consideration, it was brought back because there were studies that showed the flaws of the previous studies and that it is actually safe. It is one of the most widely studied things that we consume.

Aspartame gets such a bad rap but obviously, it's not the only one. There is also saccharin, sucralose, stevia, and more. I write my blog for fun, and don't really want it to be like a paper that I have to reference stuff, so I really just speak out of my brain, therefore I know there are more artificial sweeteners. (And that statement right there is the reason that you should always do your own research too!!! I don't think I'm the end all know all-I'm just sharing my research and opinions) The tumors seen in rats for saccharin are because of a specific enzyme that they have therefore the same does not occur in humans. All have been shown to be acceptable in the amount that we would intake on a daily basis. There are HUNDREDS of studies on these, and I will not claim to have read them all OBVI but I do know that I'm not afraid to intake artificial sweeteners. 

So, with that, is that worse than the actual sugar that you would consume from drinking a regular soda? Many would claim that sugar is the most toxic compound that you can intake, and that you should literally eat 0 sugar. I could take every study out there, make a meta analysis of it all, and we probably would all have a different opinion on what we thought about sugar and whether it's okay to eat it or not. However, most of the general population just believe the hype. They hear that it's awful and they need to stop consuming it. Well yes, and no. The biggest reason though most of the time is for weight loss, and people think that if they cut out all sugar then they are going to lose weight. That may happen, but again, is that a linear relationship? Yes, by reducing sugar you are probably reducing calories and changing a lot of things, but is it actually the sugar? Excess sugar can cause diabetes, but that doesn't mean you can't have sugar at all.

I do however think that drinking a regular soda is about the dumbest use of sugar ever created to man? Like who would make a drink that you consume 70g of carbohydrates in one 20oz drink? WHO DOES THAT? It's just absurd and ridiculous and so Western American of us. Pick your poison but dang wang, thats like the most concentrated load of sugar you could do.

I guess my opinion is that I don't have an opinion. One study will say with absolute certainty that artificial sweeteners will kill you, and so will sugar. The next will tell you that both are great, or one will tell you that sugar is great but artificial will cause cancer. It's really hard to find consistency of data, so you wanna know what I promote? MODERATION. What do you know? BALANCE. 

But, please don't be one of those people that just says "Diet soda is disgusting because it's worse than real soda. Have you heard that it causes cancer and actually makes you gain weight?" Where did you read that? Dr. Oz probably so go home, brush your teeth to clean out your mouth, don't trust my blog or anyone else's blog and get to reading actual data. 

Over and out. 

with love and soda,

Katie

200 calorie Livermush and Cheese sandwich

Well, y'all know I'm all about getting Shelby on the map. You know, the jungle, this dangerous city that we live in. I'm seriously considering doing a rebuttal to that youtube video but NEVERTHELESS, I DIGRESS. I also am on a mission to prove the health benefits of livermush. It's always exciting when a post gets as popular as that one did, going slightly "viral" in the south, until someone starts criticizing your character because of the brand of livermush that you use. HAAA! Jenkins, macks, frank currier...I don't give a dang! Just give it to me ;) 

To reference why Shelby is awesome, see HERE

To reference the health benefits of livermush, see HERE

I'm going to go ahead and add this in so that everyone knows that I don't condone eating processed crap. However, in the south, I know for a fact that my stepfather wouldn't have lost 50 lbs and my mom wouldn't have lost 25lbs to change their lives if it weren't for recipes like this. So please don't tell me how fat free cheese is bad for you, or that you shouldn't eat bread....please. Sometimes weight loss is more important for health than making someone eat perfectly raw vegan non GMO when they think it's disgusting. #rantover

WITHOUT FURTHER WAITING (because I'm not sure the correct spelling of adu): 

The macro breakdown is 201 calories // 3g fat // 26g carb // 25g protein

Ingredients: 

  • 40 calorie Nature's Own Honey Wheat Bread (of course you can choose the bread of your choice, but I'm showing you how to make this as low calorie as possible)
  • 1 ounce livermush 
  • 1 piece fat free american cheese 
  • 3 egg whites
  • spray butter 
  • Tender Love and Care 

Directions: 

Bear with me as there are a lot of pictures, but essentially you just make a grilled cheese but with egg whites and livermush! 

First, I cut off one slice of livermush and store the rest in tupperware or to save time in the mornings, just pre cook the livermush. One ounce is about one slice, and here is a picture of about what that looks like (one slice is for one sandwich so if making for two people then of course more): 

2. Cook that livermush (I know you know how to make it perfectly the way you like it so I won't bother with boring you with that. Some like it crispy and some mushy (I'm a mushy girl)

3. Crack 2 egg whites into a bowl and add the cooked livermush to make a slop (HA)

I would never add such a vile disgusting terrible quality picture to my blog if it wasn't for a purpose. HAHA!!! I feel as if said slop is important to make as it makes the omelette for the sandwich super easy. You could always just put your piece of livermush on this but I like it to all be mixed together. So, I mix this in a bowl first before I cook it! 


4. Cook the omelet. 

5. Spray butter two ends of bread 

6. Make grilled cheese type sandwich by laying the first piece of bread down, then adding the fat free cheese, putting the livermush omelette on top, and then the other piece of bread! 

TADA! You have a BOMB breakfast! YUM YUM!!! 

with love and livermush,

Katie

How to Find Motivation

This is always something that I get asked, but also something that is really hard to put into words. I have done some research on this and I wanted to hit you with some goods today. I am a highly motivated person. I don't say that arrogantly and if anything, I say that as a flaw because I'm motivated that much. I pray about this often and I try to switch my motivation into motivation to be a better person for others and not just myself. It feels greedy to just want to accomplish all these things for none other than myself, so I try really hard to make time for family and pouring love into meals for my husband and times spent with friends. 

Anyway, how do you stay motivated? According to research, there really are some people that are born with it and some people that are not, intrinsically. I can remember from a VERY early age (like as young as 5) and having goals for things that I wanted to accomplish in my life, and it's so funny because some of the keys were: 

  • Have a tiny dog (Check)
  • Become a doctor (Check) 
  • Run a marathon (Check)
  • Get married in the church I grew up in(Check) 
  • Play a sport collegiately (I cheered in college)
  • Read lots and lots of books (I haven't really done as much as I want to) 

So, I believe that I was born with it. However, that does not mean that you can't find it. There are a few simple tricks that I think are helpful. 

1. What is your reasoning for any goal that you have? 

First, you need to lay this out. You need to write it out. This isn't the specific goal, but the WHY behind it. You always here companies talk about "Find your why" and it's so cheesy but really, do you want to lose weight just for external purposes? That's okay but just make sure that you know within your heart the reasons that you want to do something. Have you always wanted to become a runner? Do you want to be a better example for your children? 

2. What is your plan of action? 

If you are having trouble sticking to something, get out a planner and a pen and get to work. When I'm feeling unmotivated, I plan things. I look to see when my next race is, and I look to see what my scheduling for workouts is, and I know that I have to do X Y and Z to get to that point. If you are struggling with something internally that is bigger than just a goal (such as possibly binge eating) then I always say that it's really important to have a plan of action whens something might happen that is just a repetition of history that you know is self destructive. You have to have tools so that you aren't just left blindsided. 

3. YOUTUBE

This is such an amazing source of motivation for everyone, and all you have to do is search workout motivation and you're well on your way to feeling like you are a professional athlete or aspiring to be. It's quite comical how jacked up I will get after watching motivational videos, so I'll go ahead and link one up for fun and get ready because you're about to MAKE SOMETHING OF YOURSELF!!! LEGGO!

4. Do not base your goals on limitations that society has placed on you 

You are told that you can't do this, and that this isn't possible or that isn't possible! You are told that your circumstances or your capacity limits that, and that is just bull. You have all the potential that you need to create whomever you choose you want to be. If you don't know who the Iron Cowboy is, I think he puts the hammer down on this specific one. He just completed something that no one ever thought possible: he complete 50 ironmans in 50 days in 50 states consecutively. This was not for some personal gain? This was to raise awareness and to simply show his children that you can be anyone or anything that you set your mind to. You just put one foot in front of the other every day. 

5. You are not destined to be at whatever place you are at now 

No. Absolutely not. You may have disease states that limit you or genetics that hold you back but at the end of the day, that is no reason to give up...at all. That is a reason to show everyone that you can fight harder.

6. Write down your short term and long term goals 

I always have an ongoing list. The short term goals should be the ones that you can forseeably do in the next 6 months, and then from there, you can build on things that you want to complete in the future. Every day is a walking step towards those goals. 

To end, I think the first thing that you can do on jumping on the motivation train is that you have to first DO IT. Like the very first week or two weeks is going to be the hardest and then you get in a groove and the momentum keeps coming. If you just sink into your couch with cheetos and Netflix, then it's just going to be a cycle that's really hard to break. You have to want it. You can't have me write a blog post for you that's going to change the internal and your life, but it's all up to you. Just remember though that you have the capacity to change anything and everything into the person that you want to be, and there is nothing stopping you from doing that not starting next Monday but starting today. I'm not specifically referencing health and fitness but so many other things as well. It's the start of a new school year so what better time then to put your best foot forward. That doesn't mean that you are going to be the best, but you personally can be the best version of yourself if you want it. 

Sit down, write out your goals, your why, and your action plan and you can even send them to me in a email as accountability!!! I want this for you just as badly because it is such an incredible and empowering feeling to do what you set out to do, putting all that you have into something, even if you fail, and knowing that you tried your best.

With love and motivation, 

Katie 


Half Ironman Training Update

Hey guys! I haven't updated you in awhile about the training that I'm doing so I thought I'd outline a post on what my plans are. 

I'm REALLY interested in getting faster now that I have a lot of other things off my plate. I haven't always cared therefore putting in the research to figure out a program for myself has been on the bottom of my to do list and I would just make sure I hit a certain mileage and be done. I have changed my tune on that now and want to do tempo runs, farklets, intervals, speed work and easy runs and work on that heart rate training to really get faster. I always like to set long term and short term goals but a long LONG term goal would be to do a marathon sub 3 hours. Who knows if it will ever happen but I'd like to push my body to see! So, yesterday I did my first bike ride outdoors for 25 miles and it felt awesome. I'm going to do that same route on Wednesday on my own most likely and then run 3 miles after as I'm trying to get used to that brick transition. It feels SO weird when you start, but once your legs stop the numb feeling, you can start cruising. 

I'm also doing a stretching routine before and after every single workout and I can already tell a huge difference in my ability to recover. I do a hip mobility exercise before (you don't want to do static stretching before) and then I do static yoga type stretches after. I should dedicate more time but I only do it for like 5 minutes but it's still helpful.

My half marathon is 8 weeks away which is actually quite comical but we will see if we can pull this thing out of my butt. 

Sunday-25 mile bike 

Monday-8 mile tempo + 1500m swim 

Tuesday-5 mile speed work run + Arms + Yoga with mom and bestie that night!

Wednesday-25 mile bike + 3 mile run 

Thursday-12 mile run 

Friday-2000m swim + 3 mile EZ + LIFT

Saturday-14+ miles (hopefully depending on my running group)

Sunday-30 mile bike

To be honest, Im really pushing myself right now. I really want to increase mileage as I feel that as I get closer to my marathons, I'm always like "Oh yes, I need to run further" and I just grind it out and then I get hurt. I'm trying to gradually increase, and keep a steady amount of miles each week so that I don't get injured and so that I can get faster. I plan on getting in one 50 mile bike ride before the big day and hopefully going to do that on September 18th! There is no right way to do this, and honestly I'm kinda making it up as I go based on my schedule but I hope it helps! 

with love,

Katie

Lessons I wish I had known starting Katiesfitscript

So, sometimes I don't even like calling my coaching a business. It feels like I'm trying to be all super serious but at the end of the day, that's what it is. And I've learned a lot along the way. I feel like so many times, I look like I'm just obnoxious on social media but it is my job so I thank the people in my real life that deal with my obnoxious posting all the time :) As I've gotten older, it's gotten a little harder because I've matured and there are certain things that I've put out there that I wanna suck back but you know that's life! hahaha! You live and learn and roll with the punches! 

1. I'M GLAD IT WAS NEVER ABOUT MONEY 

In the beginning when I created Katiesfitscript off the top of my head one night in pharmacy school, it was never meant to be about making it a job. It just chaotically turned into that ;) That makes me happy because I know in my heart that I do love this and that it's my passion. However, that leads me to the second point: 

2. I WISH I HAD BEEN MORE STRATEGIC IN THE BEGINNING 

There's always growth pains, and I wrote a post about how to grow a business online which you will find HERE. I'm not saying that I've made it, by any means, like at all. I'm just saying that I wish I had not been word vomiting and posting ridiculous photos in the beginning. I look back at my instagram, and I would like to formally thank everyone who followed my immature, neurotic 22 year old self. WOW. LOLZ! But, that's why when I see some of these younger girls on instagram and I'm like "Oh she's gonna hit 26 and regret DAT RIGHT THURR" hahaha or maybe she won't but I'm just saying! 

3. I WISH I HAD A TOUGHER SKIN TO START 

Y'all, someone could flat out write "You are ugly, and you look like a man, you are arrogant  and you are so stupid" and I legit don't think I'd care. I always write them off as a crazy animal who shouldn't be allowed to use the inter-webs and go about my day. I've seen it all and the beauty is that I know my heart, I know my desires and the things that I do are pure and righteous so accepting yourself as a business owner is KEY. You have to STAND by what you're doing. If you don't, you're going to constantly question what others will say about you in the social media spheres. 

4. I SHOULD HAVE READ A BOOK ON TAXES AND LOGISTICS 

Y'all, it might look like I'm not running anything over here, but it is complicated with all the laws and such and taxes and paying myself to Uncle Sam (which I can't stand). I almost wish that the programs that I use, they would just go ahead and take it out like you do at a job. Yes, I know that I should make a bank account that is just for tax money but really, it just breaks your heart to see thousands of your hard earned money go out the window to many things that you don't even agree with in politics #IWon'tGoThere

5. LEARN PHOTOGRAPHY

Visual things on the internet are all you have to stand by so unless you at least have some sort of clue about photography, no one is going to visually enjoy your page. I had to learn this the "hard" way I guess, but I've had some amazing people in my life (www.sweatstretcheat.com) who have truly invested time into our friendship and me to teach me things. {{And just a plug for her...she does incredible work and should have more of a following than she does. I really pray for her success in the online business sphere so much because she deserves it!}} I'll try to do a post on SIMPLE SIMPLE photography tricks that I use to create better photos. I'm in no way a photographer but I've come a long way. 

6. FIND WHAT YOU STAND FOR

This is huge, and so vital. You are creating an image and reputation of who you are on the internet especially if you are wanting to do like full time blogging. You are forming who people think that you are, and you need to be sure that this is someone that you are proud to be because it will follow you throughout your city and anywhere that you move. When people ask what I do, and I tell them, they want to see my page and my blog. I want to be proud of that. I'm honestly still embarrassed by a few things, which I'll touch on in the lessons to follow.

7. LOVE THE LORD MORE FROM DAY 1 

I was going to do a blog post today video of my testimony but I don't think that I'm going to have all the time to edit it and all of that so I wanted to write this one. I have had a big change in my faith over the past 2 years, and it's not that I haven't always loved the Lord because I have, but I've never committed my life to him like I am now. It's just different and it filters into everything else that you do. I'm happy with where I have led it to be but it wasn't like that in the beginning therefore I think that I have some people that follow me that are not actively engaged in anything because all they wanted to see was pictures of my body and I just am not really comfortable with it anymore. 

8. RECOGNIZE THAT IT'S GOING TO TAKE A MAJORITY OF YOUR LIFE AND TIME 

If you are going to create anything that is of value, it's going to take a lot of time. It's going to take a lot of effort. I knew when starting this blog October 1, 2014 that I had to commit to it. I had to post a lot and frequently or no one was going to want to follow it and it's your lifeline. If people aren't reading this or looking at my instagram, then they don't know me, they don't know what I'm about. You have to be diligent about it, but you also have to be patient. I'm not someone who just "got famous" online necessarily. I had to work at this, and all the people who act like they don't work it, are lying. You NEVER have 100K+ without trying. Please don't read that as a judgement because I could care less and I think everyone should work it if they want to create a business. I just don't really love when people act like "Ohhhh this just happened upon me because I'm so beautiful and awesome and I (quote) post good content" You should see my best friends page. I think it's awesome but she has like 200 followers because she doesn't care.

9. DON'T COMPARE YOURSELF 

This one is a big one, and I don't mean physique wise. I mean success. Success and greed can lead to some really nasty people. Everyone is jealous of the next girls success. He or she got the sponsorship or got the gig or got the ad or got more followers or more likes or more opportunities. The list could go on forever, and the internet is a massive place. Even those that may have the same following as you may be having more success than you, and that's most likely going to happen. You CANNOT compare yourself to that or you're going to drive yourself insane...because I've been there. 

10. DON'T MIMIC OTHERS

This was such a huge mistake I made. In the beginning, I was like "Okay this worked for him or her so I'm going to try that." NO! You need to be different in order for people to want to work with you or buy your product. If you are the same, and most likely if you are mimicking someone, that someone probably has a larger following therefore as referenced in a previous post, people go to the people with a larger following almost always even if they don't know ANYTHING. It's sad but just the way the world works. So, you want to be different. You want to set yourself apart, and be proud of that. 

11. CREATE A BUSINESS MODEL BUT BE WILLING TO CHANGE

Lastly, I have an idea of what I want to do and I've had that in mind for a long time but it hasn't happened yet just because things went a different direction then I originally planned. There are going to be many growing pains as you try to grow on social media and you just have to be willing to go along with that. It's not always easy and some days, I just want to delete all accounts and cuddle with my dogs and my husband on my couch, but just stay the path and roll with the punches and all the learning curves will work themselves out. 

With love and business, 

Katie



Mexican Chicken Casserole

So, I don't do recipes NEAR enough and mostly that's because I was working on getting licensed in pharmacy. That has been on my mind and basically tormenting me for about a year now...I won't go into details but it did! HA! We also lived in New York City and have I ever told you HOW HARD it is to cook there. Like, feels impossible so we just got the weekly things that we had to have and just didn't worry about cooking. Everyone has TINY kitchens and you could pay tons of money to have food delivered or you could walk a mile with it from the subway like we always did. We lived in a beautiful location but also really inconvenient. HAHA! 

KATIE SHUT UP AND GIVE US THE RECIPE! 

okay, geez. ;) 

IMG_0242.JPG

It's super easy, but I think I always say that! I just enjoy cooking though :) 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 Flat Out Wraps 
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 tomato 
  • 1 1/2 cup salsa 
  • 1/2 cup fat free Mozzarella shredded cheese
  • 1/2 cup fat free Cheddar Cheese 
  • 1.5 lb of chicken 
  • 2 oz of fat free cream cheese 
  • 4 teaspoons of taco seasoning 

DIRECTIONS: 

  • Preheat oven to 400 while preparing everything 
  • Cook chicken in taco seasoning in BIG, deep skillet 
  • Add all the rest of the ingredients except cream cheese and fat free cheese 
  • Once mixed, add cream cheese at the end and stir and let it melt into the mixture 
  • Prepare and spray a 8x8 baking dish 

 

  • Start layering! I started with pouring 1/3 mixture into dish 
  • Add 2 flat out wraps!
  • Layer another 1/3 of skillet contents and then top with 1/4 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup cheddar cheese (You can buy regular Mexican cheese but this adds fat to the dish- some people are judgy of fat free cheese so if that's you, then it's totally preference!) 
  • Layer another 2 flat out wraps, top with the remaining 1/3 and top with 1/4 cup mozz and 1/4 cup cheddar 
  • Wrap in foil and bake for approximately 15 minutes
That would be Kosher salt crystals! HAHA #saltobsession

That would be Kosher salt crystals! HAHA #saltobsession

Macros for 1/8 of the dish (it's a serious protein load): 38g P 23g C 3g F

... so if you are like Tanner and eat 3 slices, that's 114g P!!! WOAH! haha!

With love and most delicious foods,

Katie

Paleo & Whole 30 VS Macros

If you have never heard of macros before and you start a diet, you think to yourself how it will compare to all of the other diets. You are skeptical because you've tried it all from those packaged meals they send you online to the Whole 30 to the Beachboy Reset to Weight Watchers. You are the fad dieting PRO and so you just roll your eyes at yet another "diet." 

I get frustrated at this, and just wanted to shed some light. 

Paleo is simply eating food that cave men eat and taking it back to completely whole foods. The foods that they tell you to eat are fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, nuts, and seeds. The foods they tell you to avoid are grains, legumes, dairy and of course anything processed. 

This is not everyone but for me personally, all I read when I see that is restriction. You can't have this and you can't have that. I think that it creates a fear of certain foods, and even wonderful foods such as quinoa, oats, and your only carbs are from vegetables and fruit and maybe a little from the nuts. 

Whole 30 is a similar approach and meant to be a 30 day challenge. The challenge is just simply to eat real food. It's not a weight loss program. It's a get healthy program because we don't realize how awful all of those foods are for us to which I would agree. 

However, again, all I see is restriction and it's important to recognize that if you decide to eat paleo, why would paleo help you to lose weight? 

Well, that's because the foods that you are eating have a lower glycemic index, they keep you full longer but the fact of the matter is, those foods are made up of carbs, fats, and proteins. Both Whole 30 and Paleo are going to be high in fat because they encourage lots of healthy fats, and while I think that this is a wonderful facet of health, it's important to recognize that: 

Weight loss and getting healthy are basically two separate entities

Yes, these diets will help you get "healthy" as they are full of vitamins and minerals and low on processed ingredients. However, if you are a person that has problems in the past with restrictions and food fears, then you just need to be able to see it as it is and not become addicted to the restriction and thinking it's the cure all for weight loss.

If you are wanting to lose weight it's simply an energy expenditure therefore calories in versus calories out 

There is WIDE spread debate on this, but I'm telling you, whether it be a candy bar that is broken up into carbs, fats, and minimal protein or if it's whole fruits and veggies, you are going to see the exact same amount of weight loss if you are eating the same amount of calories. The issue is that when someone eats a candy bar, they are hungry like 10 minutes later, and they eat something else high in fat and carbs. It's not the candy bar that is the problem. It's not the simple act of being a french fry that is a problem. It's that these foods are dense calories, and leave you feeling hungry soon after so it's better to get more volume from other food choices. 

Macros = calories

No matter what diet you go on, you are doing macros. 4kcal/g of protein and carb and 9kcal/g of fat! You may be eating healthy food to fit those macronutrients, but every single morsel of food that ever enters your mouth has a breakdown of fats, carbs and proteins. 

"But no, I do herbalife for weight loss" "But, have you tried Shakeology?"

GREAT BUT ITS MACROS! It's all macros. MACROS FOR EVERYONE. You know how when you say a word so many times, it starts to look really weird. That's how I feel about the word "Macro" pronounced Makro NOT May-cro which I hear a lot from people in my community. HAA!

Herbalife Chocolate Shake = 90 calories 1g F 13g C 9g P 

Shakeology Chocolate Shake = 160 calories 2g F 17g C 17g P

You don't need to only eat/drink shakes to lose weight!!! You just need to learn the simple nutrition of them!!! If you decide to fill your daily macros with shakeology or herbalife then more power to ya sister but just learning that knowledge! 

I thought an obnoxious picture of me eating a bagel would be good here! HA! Why a bagel? Because I had a long run and it has 60g C NOT because bagels are "good or bad" for you!

I thought an obnoxious picture of me eating a bagel would be good here! HA! Why a bagel? Because I had a long run and it has 60g C NOT because bagels are "good or bad" for you!

CAN YOU NAME ONE PROCESSED INGREDIENT 100% PROVEN TO CAUSE CANCER?

Call me freakin crazy here, and I know that I haven't read every study but it's just impossible to know. I'm not saying that this gives us an excuse to go eat freely but I think many times people are like HAVE YOU SEEN THE INGREDIENT LIST? And I'm like "Yea, and your point is?" They don't know what half of those ingredients are, which leaves them to say "YEA!!! You don't even know the ingredients so you shouldn't eat that crap!!!!" Okay valid, but before spewing off with all your judgments, I would first go back to primary literature and look at the studies of the specific ingredients to see what you think. Then, let's talk. I just don't like when people form these massive opinions when they are just don't even know. 

With all of that said, I'm going to start eating this way more! HAHAHAHA! 

Well, in short, because I'm not concerned about weight loss and I also am over the period in my life of restriction of foods. I know that I can have Wendys if I want it. I know that I can have ice cream, french fries, or a burger if I want it and so if I crave those things, I'm going to probably have them. However, I think that it's important on a daily basis, during the week, when you don't really have all the outings that you will on the weekends, that you make an effort to better your health. But, what do I mean by that? The only reason that I say that this is better for my health is because it provides me with specific vitamins and minerals that I believe to be good for my organs and my training. Electrolytes are so important in endurance training and I think that eating a diet more high in micronutrients and plant based is going to help with that. But hey, if you wanna just take a multivitamin, that's cool too. 

One of the biggest reasons that I'm doing this is also because I'm feeling led by the Lord. "KATIE YOU'VE LOST IT NOW!" HAHA! I'm not saying that I feel like the Lord only had certain foods that he wanted us to eat, or maybe he did. I'm not going into THAT debate. I'm simply saying that I have just praying over this, and for some reason I just feel led to do this almost in a fasting type manner. I feel that we get so gluttonous with our foods, and obsessive over taste. I will fully disclose soon about a program that I want to start called Nourish but until then, I'll just say that I feel that everything should be pointed to the cross and I feel like sometimes our obsession over taste and image (this is not eating disorder stuff, this is like everyone in the world stuff) that we forget our true purpose.

I also have felt chronically dehydrated. I wake up and when I stand up, I'm dizzy. That's not good and just simply means I'm dehydrated and so I've vowed to at least for now, cool my jets on the diet soda. I got so lazy and love it but I was getting terrible headaches, stomach aches after runs from dehydration and it just isn't worth it.

So, I'm about to be a lean mean vitamin eating MACHINE! I'm so excited about some new recipes that I'm going to try and how colorful and joyful they make me. If you know me, you know my immense love of fast food, so this is big news peoples!! HAPPY PLANT EATING! 

With love and plants, 

Katie

My Favorite Adult Beverages

Hey guys! So I made a blog a while back that has been pretty popular about how to track alcohol macros. However, it also has generated so many questions, so I'm going to make a one line simple equation for how to calculate the macros in your alcohol to clear any of those questions up while linking up the full blog if you want to read more. 

Calories listed (Alcohol=60 calories per ounce)/divide by 4=15g Carb in 1 shot(ounce) of vodka

So, wine typically has 125calories per glass (~5oz) divided by 4 = 31.25~31g carb per glass of wine

A light beer has about 100 calories so that would be divided by 4 = 25g carb in one beer 

So, take your calories, divide by 4 = total carbs 

It's going to tell you that vodka has 0g protein 0g fat 0g carb. This is because ethanol is it's on macronutrient but it's metabolized like a carb so just count it as such. 

Now, I wanted to tell you how I do things because let's be honest, who wants to spend 50g carb on 2 beers. Thats literally 4 pieces of regular bread, 5.5 pieces of low carb bread, 1 whole cup of frozen yogurt or like a cup of rice. In my personal opinion, I would MUCH MUCH rather have froyo, thank ya very much. But, I don't really like beer so there's that. I'm that girl that only likes liquor drinks to be honest. 

My drink of choice used to be white russians however, I got REALLY tired of them. I cannot tell you how much I used to drink them. It was a bit ridiculous and I would keep the ingredients stocked at all times. They are also like 60g C 20g F in one drink so there's that. HA! 

I typically love champagne. One glass is about the same as wine at 125calories/4=31g carb (Brut Zero) but if you go for Doux, it's like 175 calories/4= 44g carb in one glass (ha not worth it) 

My drinks of choice are: 

  • Diet Sundrop + 1 oz tequila = make shift margarita

(I even put salt on the rim of a margarita glass and it's amazing! My mom put triple sec into hers as well, and this did not taste as good so just diet sundrop and tequila and you're good to go)

  • Club Soda + Whipped Cream Pinnacle Vodka 

(i could really just drink straight Whipped cream vodka from the actual bottle #tooturnt but that's a little much and gives quite the hangover so I keep it classy with some club soda ;) ) 

  • Gin and Diet Tonic Water 

(Regular tonic water has lots and lots of caloriessss and carbiessss so I just get diet)

  • Vodka and Diet coke 

(not that tasty but it'll do) 

  • Makeshift Mojito: club soda, lime, mint, and one ounce (shot) of rum
  • Vodka and diet cranberry 

As you can see, the best option to go with is normally, a shot of liquor and a diet drink! Give me half of one and I'm on stage 1. If I drink the whole thing, I wake up with my clothes on backwards in the middle of a field somewhere. HAHA! Totally kidding!!!! Point is: light weight and one is fine with me #cheapdate 

I hope this gives you ideas with going into the weekend of how to make those beverages work for the goals that you have for yourself. It is of note that you will retain a little bit of water with any alcohol that you drink so you may feel a little puffy the next morning but not to fear, it will come right off and you'll be back to normal in no time! :) 

With love and alcohol, 

Katie


How to Find Your Value Outside of a Scale

So, this post may be more of a therapy session but let's be honest, that's what I am sometimes. ;) hahaha! 

I used to be that girl that lived on that scale. Every single morning and every single night, I would see where I was at. During my severe restriction days, it was normally a pretty good feeling of satisfaction. I had done my "good eating" on those days but if I ever slipped, I would have panic attacks (legit) when I would get on the scale. I remember one time hyperventilating because the scale read 96 pounds (can we forget those days existed? How embarrassing? lol)! 

Now, it has been a year, I guess, since I've not stepped on a scale. I say "I guess" because it wasn't like I broke up with the scale and have some official date that I said NO MORE. It was a gradual thing that kinda changed my life for the better. I also think that I've had to get on the scale for like doctors appointments but I can't remember what those numbers were because I'm not attached to it anymore. I just wanted to share some tips on how to do this: 

1. TRASH THE SCALE

Okay this is a no brainer, but like how are you going to say no to the scale if it's like staring at you in the bathroom. Every morning and every night just like looking at you like "STEP ON ME STEP ON ME." I swear it's like the little devil on your shoulder. Just no. Get rid of it. Sometimes if I walk into a friends bathroom and I see a scale, I want to like take it home and get rid of it for them because it inevitably always causes emotion for most women. 

2. FOCUS ON TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF 

How amazing would it be if the health and fitness industry was 100% about taking care of yourself? How amazing would it be that when I show pictures of women who have changed their lives and are more stable now with food then they ever have been, and have had ZERO weight loss that there would be as many likes on my instagram pictures? It's really disheartening when I share REAL girls, and they get so many less likes than someone who has lost like 50 pounds. Fifty pounds lost takes an immense amount of handwork but so does taking care of yourself with no change at all. 

Find value in the fact that you are feeding yourself and if your metabolism is not allowing you to lose weight at this time then work on that, and don't worry about the weight loss. 

3. DON'T HAVE A SET GOAL WEIGHT 

I think this is what lures women in. They set out on a weight loss journey with this fixation on a number. They want to be in the 140s or 120s or 160s in weight. They can't seem to get to that point and so they just want to drop calories lower and lower to get there even if it's not healthy. When they do reach that point, there's normally some other new number that they become fixated on and it never ends. Just take care of yourself. The rest will follow. 

4. ACCEPT YOURSELF IN EVERY STAGE 

This is such a loaded one. LIKE DUH KATIE, but it's not that easy. I know that. But honestly, if you don't accept yourself at 200 then 190 then 180 then you are going to hate the journey. Again, if you are fixated on that end point, you are going to feel like it will never happy. There are dozens of competitors that can tell you that they get to the leanest that they've ever been and they are the most unhappy with their bodies than they have ever been before. It has nothing to do with weight or how lean you are for how much you accept yourself. If you are struggling to accept yourself at 200 then you are still going to struggle at 125 so you need to work on that first and foremost. 

5. TAKE IT A SEGMENT OF TIME AT ONE TIME 

If you are weighing yourself twice daily, then you need to cut that down to once daily for the first week. After that first week, cut it to every other day. After that, cut it even further. Eventually, like me, you will forget the last time that you weighed. 

6. WORK ON HANDLING YOUR MIND 

Like FORREALS. I could sit here and worry about a million things right now but what the heck good does that do me? If you have a test tomorrow and you sit there and worry all day about when you are going to get to study, does that help you get to studying any faster? NOPE. If you have a marathon to run, do the nerves before help you to run that race any better? NOPE. If you are worried about your weight, does that make it magically disappear? NOPE! The constant worry literally does absolutely nothing. It helps nothing and only ends up hurting you. This is huge in my method of enjoying life always. I'm not saying you don't need to face your problems and do what you have to do, but mentally try to detach from the emotion. If I had an exam, I just don't think about it. I study of course, and I study hard, but I just don't worry about it. 

7. SET ATHLETIC GOALS 

It's not a bad thing to want to look better or feel better or to take care of yourself. I'm like 100% all about that. I'm all about you losing weight if that means that you did it the right way. But, what I'm not about is the obsession with a body fat percentage. If you find yourself focusing too much on aesthetics, I really recommend finding a sport. This is really life changing for a lot of women. They take up running, triathlons, powerlifting, or crossfit and it truly gives you a sense of empowerment of being stronger than yourself and feeling accomplished and not worrying about the weight that's associated. However, inevitably weight loss normally happens the less we worry with it.

8. LAST BUT NOT LEAST, BUSY YOURSELF 

The last thing I think about in my busy days are what my weight is. If the scale is not in your house, and you are busy all day long until your head hits the pillow with goals that you have set for yourself, then you are going to slowly not even think about it anymore. If you are just sitting on your couch watching netflix while you eat cheez-its, you are going to torture yourself with all the reasons that you shouldn't be eating the cheez-its and it's no way to live.

I know it's hard to change these habits. It's never easy but if you have emotion connected to the scale, then you need to get rid of it. I cut without it, I reverse dieted without it and you can do. Go by how you feel, how your clothes feel, how well you are doing in your sport, and you'll be a lot happier that you did. 

With love and scales, 

Katie



Where I come From

So, as y'all know, I'm from a small town in North Carolina. For those that know me personally and live here, they probably think I'm a super nerd for doing this article. For those that don't live here, I have to tell you about this place on the map because it's adorbs and I probably have 10X more readers that aren't from where I'm from, so let me begin by telling you that it has not always been this way. 

When you grow up in a small town, the last thing that anyone talks about is coming back. I always knew that I would, but it's like not the cool thing to do to go back home to family. For my family, that's different. It's like born, bred, and driven into us basically that we will be disowned. #kidding #kinda There was this youtube video made, and it is the most ridiculous video that like holds no truth to what our town is really about. It's actually comical it's so silly and makes Shelby look dangerous and awful.

I totally understand people moving away but having quite literally hundreds of people (maybe thousands) of people that I know and would have my back any day is a really cool feeling. I just bought a house and got a deal on basically every single facet of buying a house because "oh well I know so and so who does this" I can't imagine how it must be to have children when you don't have an entire clan to help you out. Haha! Tanner loves living here. He says there is nothing like it. It used to be kinda lame though. I mean it wasn't THAT bad at all, but it just wasn't what it is now however there are some people that have gotten really excited about bringing it back to life, and it has the whole town excited and just doing more and more. We keep priding ourselves on "being the new Asheville" but we don't have many hippies and we don't really care about organic foods (for now). 

Incredible photo by Jeff Adams at neofilm.us

Incredible photo by Jeff Adams at neofilm.us

Downtown is where it's at right now. There is one street, Lafayette that has basically everything.

Pleasant City Wood Fire Grille is a pizza place and bar that everyone loves. They have bands on the weekends and a lot of people come out. 

There is a froyo place beside of it called the Fuzzy Peach and then down a little further is the new brewery (Newgrass) opening up by a long time friend, Jordan that I grew up with. She will be the youngest female owner of a brewery in the nation. The entire town is SO pumped about this. Around the corner is a home owned dog shop called RollOver Pets and it has everything you can imagine for a dog as well as grooming and babysitting ;) 

Across the street, you'll find Shelby Cafe which has been there for YEARS and years. You grow up with these places and don't realize just how cute they are until you come back, or maybe it's just me. They sell lots and lots of livermush ;) and all the other local foods. If you want fine dining, we have that too at Smoke on the Square which prides themselves on Southern Soul Fare and winning multiple cooking competitions across the southeast! 

There's a specialty wine shop around the corner called Dragon fly and an adorable micro brewery roasting shop called Lilly Bean. There's a burger joint called Newt's that specializes in burgers and beer. Around the corner from that is the Don Gibson Theater. There are some really big names that come into Shelby and different events held there frequently. There's a really awesome hair salon called Hats Off where two of my good friends work (one of which is a marathon runner herself!) There's a new bike shop that opened up called Puzzle Creek and it has two really knowledgeable cyclists who will help you in any way. They have been super successful with this store and have opened up this location in our downtown (one of which will complete Ironman Chattanooga in a few weeks). Miss Molly's Boutique is a boutique opened by one of my really good friends and her parents and it has the most adorable clothes and it's so much more affordable than all the boutiques around North Carolina!

There's Shelby Yoga Center and then a crossfit gym down the street. There's a cleveland county runners club that meets every Saturday at the court square and runs different distances and paces and you just join up with those that you want to run with running all through the rolling hills of the city. Swamp Fox is a local mass general store that just opened up one street over along with Mi Pueblitos which is another bar and Mexican restaurant where bands come (guess you could say it's apart of our "night life" haha). There is also a new olive oil store that opened up that has over 45 different oils and vinegars aged from 8-18 years. There's a monogram shop right on that street as well called Logos to Go if you ever need anything adorably monogrammed.

Every second Saturday all of the stores hold specials and there is a band that plays on the court square and families can come because there's activities for the kids. 

The last thursday of every month, we have Alive after 5 which is when there are bands that come to the court square and vendors with food and beer and everyone dances and has a good time. The farmers market comes out every Saturday and every Thursday night, there is a yoga class after a short run on the square. This is all like on the same street. There's an Art Walk, a livermush festival (Mush, Music & Mutts-you can bring your dogs HA), the fair (okay its not that exciting but it's the biggest one other than Raleigh in the state), and Clear Mountain View Festival which is a HUGE musical festival all weekend long and some really big names come out. We have Owl's Eye winery (literally 0.5 mile from my house) and it's so beautiful to run down this road. 

We have the Legion World Series every year here and this year Kelly Pickler and Thompson Square are performing. The Hunger Games was actually filmed here which is actually quite hilarious because we were the 12th district. HAHAHA! #donthate #wehaveroughparts #welcometothejungle

The city park always has a Merry Go Round festival which has bands and vendors come out along with all the ball fields for the little kids. I've spent many many nights there watching my brother and friends play baseball. There's a drive in movie theater up the highway closer to my rival high school, Crest. There's just another rivalry in this town to keep us all alive with the four schools (Shelby, Crest, Burns,Kings Mountain). And when I say a little, I probably mean a lot. Sports are huge here from the time you are little. 

We have a university twenty minutes away (Gardner Webb University) and within one hour, you can reach so many different cities. That's probably one of the main reasons we picked Shelby officially is because there is Charlotte, Gastonia, Greenville, Black Mountains, Lake Lure, Lake James, Moss Lake, South Mountain, Morganton, Boone, and so many more within a short drive.

Speaking of lakes, we have Moss Lake! We also have Broad River Greenway where you can go fishing, running on the trails, or picnic with your family.  

There are so many more things and stores that I know that I'm missing but the point is that this is an incredible place to live and raise a family. It's a really small town (population approx 30,000) and everybody knows everybody. I really have nothing to hide so maybe that's why I love that. I love going everywhere and seeing people I know in every single shop. It may sound like I'm pumping up something that's really not that great, and there will probably be those people that say that there is "never anything to do" but they just must not be creative because I can find something to do every single night in this town! No, we don't have clubs. No, we don't have endless bars so if you're looking for night life, then maybe go somewhere else. 

However, if you want to live somewhere that the entire town will come together to support you or where you can raise a family or where you can always have clean, wholesome fun and activities then you would love it here. 

With love and the city of pleasant living,

Katie  



Leaning Out VS Losing Weight

So there are many scenarios of why you should read this and here are some of them: 

1. You don't want to lose weight but you want to "tone up" 

2. You think that to lose weight, you are leaning out 

There is a common misconception that if you lose weight no matter how tiny you are, you are going to look like a fitness model and have the perfect muscular structure and everything is going to be right in the world. This leads many girls driving themselves into the group to accomplish this by thinking that more and more weight loss is what's going to get them there. I was a prime example of this. When I began "dieting", I was incredibly uneducated so I just thought that meant no calories. That led me to the left side. When I became knowledgeable about how to properly fuel my body and resistance train to sculpt my body, I became the right. Now, this did NOT happen overnight and it's seriously over like 5 years so don't expect overnight changes. 

See we all have a base of muscle. When you "diet down" or "lean out", you reveal that muscle, however sometimes when girls get to the leanest that they can be, it's just not good enough so they keep dieting more. It's not normally a dieting down problem but rather a building muscle problem. I'm an extreme example. There are many people that will not end up looking like I do on the right nor do they want to. I get that, and I'm not trying to get everyone to be a bodybuilder but it's important to recognize that sometimes when you diet down, you may still look "skinny fat". The hard truth is that it's going to take a lot of time to build that muscle. 

I think that then leads girls to thinking that they need to build muscle first. Many times, girls begin a diet with a bulk. Just no (or at least I don't agree with this). They think they want to build the muscle first and then cut. I think that first you need to cut to see what you are working with (on a reasonable amount of calories) and then if you get to a point where you don't like what you see, then you should slowly add food in and start weight training. My cut and build happened at the same time to be honest. This is called "beginner gains". If you've never lifted weights before and you start, you are going to like what you see most likely. 

Here are some reasons that you should lift weights while leaning out or losing weight: 

1. It builds your metabolism. Muscle = metabolism end of story. So, this means that you are going to be able to cut at a higher caloric intake 

2. It shapes your body ("toning up"). I don't ever say this to people but when they say, they don't want to lose weight but want to "tone up", I know what they really mean is "I want to build muscle on my frame that I have now." and honestly this isn't always the easiest task and can present to be the hardest clients because it's going to take a long time to build muscle. 

Women can reasonably gain about 1 pound of muscle every 4-6 weeks. That's if all the stars align correctly with diet and workouts right on track. It's HARD. 

If you are at this point, losing more weight and doing more cardio to get there is literally the EXACT opposite of what you want to do. If you think "I'm almost there" and think that you just need to get that final extra layer off, most likely you are just going to end up burning more muscle, lowering your metabolic capacity, and ending up smaller with the same muscular structure so basically looking the same with less shape. 

Also, if you say that you want to lean out without losing weight, that's not very possible either. Most of the time, if you really do have a layer of fat over your muscle base, then leaning out is going to just inevitably equal weight loss. 

If you begin a diet, and you gain 1-5 pounds in the first week, THIS.IS.NOT.MUSCLE. It simply means that you are not in a caloric deficit and need to adjust your nutrition, NOT quit weight training. If you find that you are "bulking up" while weight training, then you need to fix your nutrition, NOT stop lifting. 

This is such a hard topic to discuss and the general population's view on this is very backwards so it's very hard to explain to people because they are already have in their minds what they believe. However, I hope this explains the difference a little more. 

With love and weight training, 

Katie 

What I'm Training Tuesday

Last week, I had a come to Jesus moment. I had a moment of "Katie, you have got to slow down."  I think that I had gotten so caught up in everything that we were doing that I just stuck my head down and dug through it all. I had to realize that this was really affecting my quality of life, and I had to put some boundaries on it. I always said that I was going to put boundaries but quite frankly, that would last for like a day and I would always just feel like there was work that had to be done so I would do it. I still feel that way and it's hard to fight it but I know that I needed to do it, so I promised myself that no matter what, I would put work away at 5pm and not start until the next day.

I knew in this that there would be certain aspects of my business that would suffer, and for the past week, part of that has been blogging. Blogging is honestly one of my favorite things that I do, but it does take time to write out these posts every day and with the volume of emails that I was receiving, I decided to prioritize that first. I would love to say that my blog makes money like I know that many do (I'm not afraid to share the business side of things lol) but I just have not had the time to look into that as much even though I do feel like I probably have enough viewers to do so. So, the point of that is, coaching is where my income is so that's what I've focused on and just wanted to be real with you guys! :) 

Another thing that I decided to prioritize was training. As crazy as it seems, even with a fitness business, I was putting training off to answer more emails. That just doesn't make sense. I am a fitness coach because I love the training and pushing myself so I decided that 1-2 hours per day depending on what I had planned for that day needed to be done, and I was actually going to follow through on my workouts. I had started skipping A LOT. 

I'm in full swing training for a half ironman. I had a tight IT band, and so I've really been focusing on stretching that daily and doing stability work on this 3x/week per a sweet client of mine that's a PT. I really thought that it was going to keep me out of the half but I was telling myself I would take it one day at a time and see what I could train. I have realized that I love to train at high volumes but in order for my body to be able to handle this, I've got to recover and rehab and stretch or I'm just going to continue to get injured. 

So, last week, here was my training schedule: 

Monday-Swim 2000m (no drills but just straight swam it straight through and was proud to be able to do this far without stopping) 

Tuesday-run 6 miles 

Wednesday-Brick workout: Bike 40 min/Run 15 minutes followed by a quick 20 min shoulder/chest workout (I do all of this at the Y and that means that I'm there for like an hour and 20 minutes. It sounds like a lot but it's not that serious so no one panic ;) ) 

Thursday-Swim 1500 meters (300m WU(warm up), 6x50 fast, 500m race pace, 4x50 fast, 200m CD (cool down) --> 4 miles later that day outside

Friday-Lifted back and biceps (I actually had 6 miles planned but I knew that I had a run scheduled with friends on Saturday morning so I kept it light) 

Saturday-planned 8 miles but got excited with my new running group and ran 12! 

Sunday-biked 2 hours which is about 25-30 miles (I did this inside on a spin bike) 

Monday-swam 1200m (I was late to the pool and got kicked out boo), leg day 

Tuesday (today)- 6 miles on deck 

I know what you're thinking-She hasn't taken any rest days and I haven't. It's not that I'm like scared of rest days or obsessive but I just enjoy working out and swimming is rest from running and very easy on my body and Friday, I lifted arms only which is honestly not a big deal.  As I posted last week, I'm wanting to do a full ironman next year so I really am trying to take things seriously. As I always say, if I could be good enough to be a professional athlete I would so do it. 

Hope this inspires you to get your booty moving! I'll keep you posted on what I'm training as the weeks progress! :) It'll probably look crazier and crazier ;) haha! 

With love and training, 

Katie 

I Think Therefore I Am

I don't know why I've been doing a lot of thinking this week, but I have and I think it's because life is finally holding some semblance of normalcy. I think for the past 8 years of my life, it's been a whirlwind just getting through to become a pharmacist and keeping my head above water. I think that I've forgotten what normal life looks like. I have forgotten what true friendships and a normal marriage looked like. I jumped right out of pharmacy school into building my own business, and for those that own small business, that means endless amounts of work (and sometimes I'm a little sad that it was the year I lived in NYC because I feel like I cheated myself from an experience I'll never have again because I worked all the time). I was always chasing that dream, and I still am but this week has just been big for me to just think. 

I was thinking about when I first got started in the fitness world, and how much has changed since then. I remember my first years in pharmacy school when I lived with a girl who was so diligent about going to the gym. She would set her alarm to get up before class and go every day. I'm still not a morning workout girl, and I would set my clock and hit snooze every day. It's funny to think I was that girl because I'm not her anymore. I was going through a really hard time, but even today, in hard times, I would never do that. Haha! 

I signed up for my first half because some friends were like "Oh Come On!! Do it!" I cried the night before the race because I hated the idea of it so much. I didn't know what it was like to push myself and if I did push myself, I was more angry about having to do it rather than proud of myself for accomplishing it. When I started to make the switch into endurance training, I never imagined it would turn out the way that it has. I never imagined I would fall so in love with this sport, but each day I just kept plugging away at it. I started to set pretty big goals, and then I realized that I could surpass those goals if I just committed to it a little bit harder. 

What motivates me? A lot of things but then at the core of it -nothing at all but what I want my life to look like. It's 100% about who I choose that I want to be. Five years ago-was I the girl that runs marathons and is qualified for Boston or planning a full ironman-absolutely not! Did I even want to be? Nope. Even so much as last year, I thought full ironmans sounded badass but a little silly. I want to be the girl that never gives up. This literally has NOTHING to do with weight loss, but I want to show people that if you want it-you can do it. Y'all, I'm this tiny little girlie girl who loves pink and frills but I have made a commitment to myself and to those around me that I will never be one to give up...on anything. ((sometimes I wish I looked a little tougher lolol)). I have said it a million times but I'm not smart and I literally fought kicking and screaming through pharmacy school. In undergrad, while most partied on Friday and Saturdays, I studied. I wouldn't want my children to ever go through what I went through for the past 8 years, so I would probably advice them on a different path (unless they get their dad's brain) but I made it, and I'm proud of myself. I was not born to be a pharmacist, but I became one (and I will be licensed in NC super soon so for those that say I'm not a pharmacist, you'll all be able to sleep at night in about a month ha).

Many times, I think that we base our motivation off these external things that get us nowhere. I know because I've been there. If only I could get this weight off....if only I could get this one body part to look this one certain way ... If only.... 

The day will never come. You will never be the fastest runner. You will never be lean enough for your own satisfaction because the second you get your leanest, you'll come up with some other body part that could "be better." You will never be the strongest man or woman in the world. You have to decide who you are going to be, and just be it. It doesn't matter what size clothes you are wearing, it doesn't matter what it takes. The only thing that matters is that every single day, you keep that focus that this is bigger than just some pounds that you think you need to shed. 

I was watching this youtube that you may have seen this morning, and it brought me to tears because it's just so dang moving.

I get so many emails of people that want to know how to get "abs" and while that's great and all and I know "I can't talk", I didn't get abs {with any semblance of a normal life} until I took the focus off of abs. I eat to fuel my training and I honestly try to train like a professional athlete. I'm not a professional athlete but none of that matters to me. What matters to me is that inside, I'm going to give it my everything. Do you think that anyone cares that I'm working out as hard as I am every day? HECK NO. No one cares but me. That doesn't make me selfish, but I'm just focused and I know that with a better me for myself, I can be a better Katie for others. Every one of these women are so dang amazing in this video and they are all so beautiful and you wanna know the only thing that matters-they are giving it their all. The rest will work itself out. 

 Decide who you want to be, and go be it. Don't let your age, your size, your skin color, your gender, or anything else get in your way. If you want to be a runner-be a runner. If you want to be a triathlete-be a triathlete. If you want to be a powerlifter-then be one. And if you are giving it everything you have, then you won't be disappointed in yourself. You'll consistently become more and more proud of the person that you've become. 

With love and thursday motivation, 

Katie 

Confession: I'm really Lazy

I know you are reading this thinking that I've lost my mind and that I am not in fact lazy .... 

As Tanner likes to say, "You are such an odd mix." 

I'm not lazy at all in the sense that I am always doing things, and getting into new things, and always training for something or always working on something. However, I think a better description is....I don't pay attention to detail. 

And it's bit me in the butt for the final time. 

I'm having some serious IT band/TFL pain and have been for about 2 months now. This isn't like some big injury so of course, I've continued to train. Of course, I haven't stretched...like literally not one time. Y'all wanna know what I did before my MARATHON UP A MOUNTAIN. I woke up...drove to the track...and just started mile 1 all the way to 26. I'm like laughing at myself for how incredibly dumb it sounds when I type it out, but if there is one person who will say "I just don't feel like doing those things", I'm your girl. 

Ever since I was a little girl in soccer, I didn't want the water breaks at half time. I didn't want the orange slices. I don't want to stretch. I don't want to foam roll. I don't want to take Ibuprofen when I have pain. I just want to do what needs to be done. Like can we get back to the game? When I need to read a book for school, I would skim because I have always felt this overwhelming pressure almost that I had SO much to do, I couldn't focus my time really on anything. I am not a perfectionist. I'm just a do-er. 

I don't have time to remember to take my Calcium and my multivitamins. I don't buy a nice bike because its too much money and "I don't have time to go get fitted" (and my bike broke on my last tri). I don't want to pay for new running shoes for marathon training so I'll just train in these random new balances that aren't fit to my foot at all (I got a stress fracture in my foot). I don't do things ever until it's too late, and I have the injury. I don't have time to look up stability and core work. I don't have time. I don't have time. I'm too busy. BLAH BLAH. I ANNOY MYSELFFFFF. 

I feel like so many times people will come to me and ask me for advice for injury prevention and I'm like "Oh yea try this stretch" that I will never do myself. I'd rather run an extra mile or have time to answer that one more email from a client then to genuinely take time to take care of myself. So, that's changing. I've been making some big changes in my life and my business and I really think that it's going to affect my quality of life. I genuinely want to be a really good athlete for years and years, and I've got to take better care of myself.  I'm going to start doing yoga (like forreal). I'm going to start stability work, and stretching and foam rolling. If y'all saw how I train for events, you would be really shocked I think. I'll take off like 5 days then jump back in at high mileage. I'll skip workouts like it's going out of style these days. I've gotten complacent, and it's not what I really want. I've just gotten overwhelmed with life. So, this is me stepping back, taking a breather and taking care of myself for once.

I have decided I want to do a full ironman before I have children. I know for some, they wonder if I'll ever get around to pro creating as I feel I get asked every other day but honestly, I'm 25. I'm so young. I have plenty of time, and I really just have a lot of goals that I know will be so much harder with children. I know that it's possible and I will continue to run marathons and do ironmans but it will just be harder. I feel as if a lot of people in my real life won't understand these goals, but their mine and that's what makes me ME! <3 When I become a mom, I want to be a good mom. I want to be a detail oriented mom who takes care of herself and takes the time to take care of the details of them as well. I'm looking to do Ironman Chattanooga (Oct 2016) or Ironman Panama City (Nov 2016) which will be after the Boston Marathon (April 2016). 

I want children. I actually want lots but we will see what happens. I want to adopt, but I also want to reach my goals that I have set for myself first. It's funny how we plan out of lives, and then we find we are led to do other things first. 

Maybe I should call today's post: RANDOM THOUGHTS! haha! :) 

As always though, just keeping you guys informed! 

With love and positive changes, 

Katie 

My Honest Opinion of Cheat Meals

I'm not sure Im even a blogger anymore! HAHA JK! I just disappeared for an entire week while I moved. It was crazy times so I just kinda took a break.

So, I know what you think that I'm going to say. "I don't like the word cheat meals because it has a bad connotation and leads to negative associations." Well, that is part of it. However, the new thing is that people are having cheat meals and calling them "treat meals" because that sounds better. I still just don't like that. 

I know that we always say that you have to make it a lifestyle and not just a fad diet to make this life sustainable and that's the truth but what does that really mean? Does that mean that your lifestyle includes torturing yourself all week to have one big "treat meal" on the weekends? 

I think it all depends though. If you are going into a competition or you are in the process of cutting and just really need a big meal to help your mindset, then by all means, yes yes you should. However, there are far too many times that I feel like we just torture ourselves during the week living for the weekend "treat meal". 

This was NOT a cheat-it was simply me eating while on vacation in Europe. I was on vacation, not gorging, not tracking but just simply....eating. It's a novel concept I know ;) 

This was NOT a cheat-it was simply me eating while on vacation in Europe. I was on vacation, not gorging, not tracking but just simply....eating. It's a novel concept I know ;) 

The further and further that I go into my fitness journey, I just feel like I'm so lucky and I realize that and I'm so incredibly thankful for that. My calories are high and I'm able to really fit whatever I want within my macros and not worry about it. Sometimes there are things that I want one day but I just wait until the next if I can't fit it on one particular day and put it in the next day. I literally have fast food everyday (don't judge me, I'm just being honest with you). I'm not saying that you should eat crap but I'm just saying that health is not about deprivation. Health to me is about feeling whole body, mind, and spirit and you wanna know what makes me feel that way....true balance. 

Balance so much that I don't need extremes in any form. The people that I know that have an incredibly good relationship with food (my best friend) don't like have a big waffle cone of ice cream on the weekends because it's the weekend and her "treat meal." She simply wants ice cream so she eats it...that could be Monday or Saturday. I have had many talks with her about food as I've worked on my own personal relationship and I've talked with my mom too (who has an incredibly good relationship with food). Like what's your mindset? How can I shape my mind to look like that? 

Let me tell you that cheat/treat meals aren't in that. They just EAT. I know it's a learned art, but it's possible to live a healthy life, eating what you want EVERYDAY in moderation not like gearing up for that crazy meal you are going to have. I know that I'm different on this, and some people may totally disagree and that's totally up to each person, but I also think that's why I'm able to maintain weight very easily. I just don't do extremes anymore. My body has had enough with extremes. I don't cut. I don't bulk. I just eat. I could truly eat my intake for the rest of my life without any epic gorge fests, and I would be as happy as a clam. If I have ice cream at lunch, I don't WANT fries at dinner. It makes me feel disgusting. It's not a matter of body image. It's not a matter of being afraid to eat ice cream and fries in the same day (because I totally would). I just simply know what makes me feel good and what doesn't.

I give my girls a cheat meal that I work with because a lot of times it's good for their mental state, but many times I'll get emails that they simply just don't want a cheat and are fine with their intake, and I'm like ROCK ON SISTA! I'm all for that. Happiness so much that you don't even need a cheat. HOLLA! 

I guess it's individual but it comes down to two things: 

1. Are you happy with your weekly intake? If not, then maybe you should work towards fixing that. (It is a process during the cutting phase so yes, this takes patience) 

2. Do you ever feel awesome after a big epic cheat meal? If so, then maybe it's for you. But, for this girl, I'm not a fan. I'd rather just have lasagna on a Tuesday because I want it that Tuesday and just eat a normal portion versus an epic portion because I waited until Saturday. 

When I express my opinions on my blog, I always feel a little bit nervous. Is this going to stir controversy? Am I going to upset someone? So, I always want to leave with the disclaimer that truly we are all so different. I have so many friends who have not been able to do macros and think it's restrictive and while I don't really understand that, I know that we all different so I hope you'll just chalk this up to that if you disagree! :) 

With love and cheats, 

Katie 

How to hit your Goal: Weight & Macros

So, I think I've done a million and one blogs on different topics pertaining to reaching your goals, but I wanted to provide a concise step by step process to maybe tie up those lose ends of confusion. 

It really all depends on where you start, but the gist of things simply is going to be Cut--> Reverse --> Cut --> Reverse until you reach your goal. I'm going to go ahead and LINK UP the difference between cutting and reversing just so that's clear from the get go.

Normally, the route that I take with everyone is to provide a cut, and then once you reach your goal, we begin reversing. This allows you to be at your goal weight but to eventually have your goal weight while eating high calories which is such an easy way to live life in a healthy manner. I'm EASILY able to live life with friends and do social things within my macros without any hardship, and that's because I took about a year to really focus on the cut and then the reverse following. I think many times people are fooled because they see my high calories and my physique and think "What the heck? It's because she runs so much." No. It's not. It's because I cut at 95g C and then reversed my way out of it. 95g C is low and I don't recommend it, but my protein was high and I wanted it sooooooo I did it. I did this for a period of like 3 months while I was preparing for one of my shows, and then after that show I reversed all the way up to 265g C. This has been a LONG LONG journey of reversing. I've taken breaks, but I've not cut since that day because when I reverse, I take it seriously. 

{{The one disclaimer is if you are already eating some ridiculously low amount of food and seeing no results. The two things that normally are the case are that you are binging every so often which is basically cancelling out all of those days of restriction, or your metabolism is SHOT and you need to start with a reverse and not a cut. Low calories and no results = increase calories in a balanced manner.}}

Step 1: Start your calories high to utilize your metabolism and activity level.

Step 2: If no results after 2 weeks-1 month on these (with no crazy cheat weekend binges), then reduce caloric intake SLOWLY. If having crazy weekend escapades then that's the first thing to fix and it will make ALL the difference. 

Step 3: If you are seeing results on macros, continue these macros. 

Step 4: Continue until you hit your goal weight or physique for that time period (this may not be your final goal).

Step 5: Slowly reverse calories through a reverse diet.

Step 6: If you reverse and aren't at your goal, cut slowly again. Your calories should be higher this time to provide more room to cut. 

I don't want this to be long winded because it seems super complicated, but it's not and I want you to be able to do this! 

With love and goals, 

Katie 



Why I'll Never Compete (in bodybuilding) Again

I wondered if this day would ever come, and I don't know why it tormented me for so long, but here is that post.

Does this mean that I have anything against competing? No. 

Is this because I never placed? Let's be real. I'm sure it helped influence my thoughts towards the industry. 

To be quite honest, the number one reason is just how convicted I always felt. I don't know why and I truly don't care if anyone competes, but for some unknown reason it just BOTHERED me. I always felt this never ending guilt about it, but just pushed it to the back of my mind because I didn't want to deal with it. 

Here's the thing about sin in my opinion. It's relative on some issues. Call me a prude, but it is what it is. The bible says not to get drunk. But Jesus turned water to wine. So where's the line? Well, I don't know. So, my life purpose to be directed to the cross so that might mean I stop at one drink but that might mean that someone else stops at 4? It's not about how close to the line that we can get. It's not about yours. It's about listening to your heart, and going with what you know you feel is okay and what you think is not...for you. Nothing is inappropriate the day of. It's done in a classy way, but my heart has just changed and I felt a calling to something different. 

{{Before I dive into this, I really do want to say that I have tons of friends that are big into competing and honest to goodness, adore them. They do it the RIGHT WAY! There is something big to be said for that, and many of them have a big following and that's probably why-they do it the RIGHT WAY so none of this is directed towards that. }}

The industry drives you to your hardest and to be your leanest. That's the nature of the game. But, it's not what I stand for.  In competing, it doesn't matter about your genetics. It doesn't matter how much weight you have to lose to get to that point. All that matters is that you are a certain look on that stage. While some do work for years and years to get a certain body type, there are some that simply diet down with a 12 week cut and lo and behold, their bodies look a goddess and they go pro. I can't help that I have small boobs, a short torso, and block abs. I even considered trying to waste away the muscle on my midsection so that I looked long and lean without abs. WHAT THE ACTUAL HECK? That's ridiculous, but it's not what they wanted on stage and it makes you question yourself. It makes everyone drive drive drive to this ultimate look that they may NEVER achieve so it just ultimately ends up in failure unless you are one of the few that look the part. 

I remember the morning of my first show, I was like the leanest bean EVER and I ate 1/4 cup of oatmeal and that's it and I started crying because I was "so bloated", and then not to mention with how it messes with your mind after. I get email after email of girls who are weeks or months after their show and can't figure out what to do with themselves. They don't even know how to eat anymore. They forget what hunger cues feel like. They forget what normal life looks like, and unless they are saved from this HELL a 12 week prep can drive them into some of the deepest pits of their lives. Y'all think I'm kidding? I can guarantee you there are many girls who will read this who have been through this very thing!

Bikini competitions are the eating disorders bar to an alcoholic. STRONG NOT SKINNY RIGHT? #RISEANDGRIND If you have struggled in the past, in my opinion, you should never begin or step foot on a stage but yet I would venture to say 90% of bikini competitors once had disordered eating in some respect (Don't get mad at me-you know it's the truth). If you are doing competitions the right way, then it really shouldn't even be that hard. I truly believe in flexible dieting, and taking things very very slow. But, the sad truth is that like 99.5% of the industry still thrives on cookie cutter diets and endless amounts of cardio with a little resistance training thrown in to shape the muscles. 

{Disclaimer: I've been one of these girls. I am in no way saying I haven't been. I'm just thankful for Jesus that I got out of it.}

I can't coach competitions because people get crazy. It's weeks away from their show, and they don't look like Amanda Latona and they start literally freaking out. They are low on food but want you to take them lower and they want you to give them more cardio. They want the peak week to be insane even if they look perfect. They want to eat grilled chicken out of baggies in the mornings after their fasted cardio because "you're just grinding towards your goals right?" I wish it wasn't this extreme anymore. I wish that everyone had actually started practicing ACTUAL NUTRITION but again, the fact of the matter is-flexible dieting has not won yet and girls are still being starved. I just refuse to be apart of that and when I try to coach girls the right way and they don't get the look that they want, they think I suck as a coach when in reality, they just simply don't have the metabolism to do a show right now. 

Lastly, I just wanted to touch on the reality of the industry. We all can't be winners. That's just the truth. Instagram makes it look like "its you against you" and almost like that everyone gets a trophy but I can assure that every single time there is a show, there is a girl in 100% last place and she gets to go home with that feeling. I can guarantee it's not a good body image feeling. There are tons of rumors and I know that some of them are rumors but I also know that some of them are not. People sleep with judges to go pro, people pay judges, people pay coaches thousands so that they can be given a cookie cutter diet just to say they are "on this team" which gives them a better chance of placing. The politics are insane. 

The cost is insane. You have to pay for the suit (hundreds), NPC card($100/year), shoes($50+), tanning ($150+), entry($80-$300/show), coaching(hundreds), and sometimes you may walk away with nothing other than a broken heart and a judge that sends you an email with feedback saying you are "holding water in your legs and not lean enough" (this was my feedback one time). Sorry, but just no. I know that I "had a bad experience" but I competed FIVE TIMES Y'ALL. I gave it a chance. I gave it many chances, and the experience was the same every time. It's not that I didn't place high (I got 6th 3 times and that's not that bad out of like 40 girls per class that normally were there). 

I kept going back and forth because honestly, I just don't think that I'm a quitter and I was dang determined to place nationally. But, what does that even do for me? I would just end up going to nationals and unless I kept at it for years and years, I most likely would never go pro. If I did go pro, what would that mean? Is that a job like football players where you get paid lots of money....UM NO! You would think that someone could at least sustain themselves as a full time income but not at all. So then it would come back to people saying they enjoy it and that's cool for you, but I just didn't. 

Lastly, who doesn't love endurance? Okay a lot of people. Haha! But truly, it's where my heart lies. I would rather train 10x as intense feeling joy every single day that I do it, and showing up the day of a race and ACTUALLY performing based on my athletic ability and not what my body looks like. I have a passion that I never knew existed for endurance sports, and I can't wait to see where it leads me. I feel like I was made for it.

I've never wanted to bash the industry but I also wanted to explain why the heels are forever hung up, and why I'll never step on stage again.

With love and bikini competitions, 

Katie

How to Start an Online Business

I'm not a pro at this, and I certainly don't have a lot of years under my belt but I will say that I've been able to not work as a pharmacist (yet haha) and become an online nutrition coach. I really do get a lot of emails not just about how to become a coach but how did I get an online business going, and so I thought I'd give you a few tips. 

First, the beginnings of the instagram was an accident. I simply posted what I loved, hash tagged some things, and people started wanting to follow. However, when I got that initial growth, I remember asking bigger pages "How do you grow?" and their answer "Oh you know, just post quality content and people will come." 

That's a load of horse bullcrappy on the side of the road. I have many friends who have no interest in growth and you know what, they don't grow. They have absolutely beautiful pages and beautiful content and photos, but they don't grow. 

I'm going to start with growth on instagram because honestly that's the new thing, and then I'll go into how I made this my income. 

Let's start with the easy one: 

MAKE YOUR ACCOUNT PUBLIC

So, if you really want to be big on instagram, I can tell you how to do that and to make enemies very quickly. Find people with the same topic as you, spam them with comments on every single one of their posts, follow them (to later unfollow them), and kiss you know what on the daily. I'm talking like EMOJIS to the extreme in their comments and do it mostly on the biggest pages relevant to your topic so more people can see your comment, click on your page, and go follow you. WHOMP. Not a fan. I would literally rather someone do a #WCW every week then do that. That brings me to another one:

FEATURES ON BIGGER PAGES

This isn't just going to be something that happens overnight. I don't have a problem with this, as we all want that moment of when some page with 1 million followers features you and your page explodes. You can pay for these, and yea it's kinda lame to "pay for followers" however I've seen many many people on pages that they have paid for and if they have a business, I don't judge them. It's just like McDonalds on your television paying for ads. You want more exposure, so you pay to have it. There's nothing wrong with that. But, there are free ones too (this happened to me a lot in the beginning). Hashtag their specific hashtag (probably for a long time on multiple pictures) and one day they may pick your photo to be featured. 

Growth is slow and steady. I've been at this game for 2years, and while I have almost 50k, I have had to actively work on it. 

BE GENUINE AND MAKE FRIENDS.

Like, just be nice but not nice just to get a dang follower. If you like something, then like their post. If you want to comment, then comment. Don't just comment just to say something but if you genuinely think someone is beautiful in their selfie, then tell them. Reach out to people and make friends. Ask people to do collaborations with you. Making friends in your topic of interest should be effortless because connecting through social media is a beautiful thing. Everyone is looking for growth to be honest, so if you become friends, then just be like "Yo girl, wanna feature each other?" There's nothing wrong with that. I hate when people are like "I don't even care about followers" while they SPAM MY COMMENTS and have like 250k. {I SEE RIGHT THROUGH YOU} I will say this though, be reasonable. If someone has 100,000 followers and you have 2,000, maybe aim for someone more with your following. It's not that there is a hierarchy but there most certainly is on instagram. It's annoying, and I hate it too, but the girls with 400K are not going to even answer my emails. However, I have 50K so if I message someone with 50K, they are going to want to collaborate with me. At 10K, I reached out to those with like 8-15K! :) Make sense?

FIND YOUR NICHE

This is important for business. If you want people to come to you specifically for whatever you are offering them, then you have to be different. This is a mistake that I made in the beginning. I watched what others were doing and tried to emulate that. But, um, if you are a smaller page, then they are not going to go to you. Point blank-it doesn't matter if you are smarter, prettier, or whatever, whoever has the biggest following almost always wins. That's the sad truth of social media. People trust the numbers.

My niche-I'm a marathon runner that lifts who used to compete. I also have had a lot of success with reverse dieting myself and other people, so that's what people come to me for. I also am very open about my faith.

They want to be lean, but eat a lot. They want to be able to run but also maintain muscle. They may be Christians and feel like other girls are too sexual for them. They want to be able to lift but also become a runner. Market yourself to a specific group of people in your particular subject matter.

DON'T BE GREEDY/SELFISH. 

You want to grow. We know that. We all do. Emailing someone bigger with this long spill of how wonderful you are and how they should feature you is not instagram etiquette. Don't comment asking them to follow you or feature you (just NO). And don't make friends with me with motives in mind. It's so sad that it has come to this, but it sure has. People will befriend you only because they are after your following. It's happened multiple times to me. SEE.YA.LATER. But also, on the off hand, don't be unwilling to participate in collaborations because you think you're too cool. Don't be spammy. No one likes a spammer, but if you genuinely like the other people then collaborate with them! The internet is a HUGE HUGE space. It's a HUGE world. You aren't taking away your business by telling people about someone like you.

NOTICE TRENDS

A good example of this is I noticed that if you have words on a photo, it looks like an ad and people HATE ads. They aren't going to like that photo no matter how well done it may be. People like selfies more than they like professional shoots. It's sad but true. People like sexuality but they can forget that with me. I'll take my losses on that. 

STICK WITH YOUR TOPIC

If you have a fitness page, your page needs to be about fitness. Throw in the once in a blue moon life picture but otherwise, make that a separate page if you want to post those. If you are interior design, post houses and your work. If you are a fashion blogger....fashion. It seems common sense but I feel many times people want to show off their real life but people honest to goodness don't care. I wish they cared but they just don't. I have an app that tells me when people defollow me. Every single time I post friends on my instagram that's unrelated to fitness, I lose hundreds. It's ridiculous but the truth.

START A BLOG 

This was a big one for me. People have to know where your content. They have to be able to trust you and see what you are about. When people visit my page, they are able to reach basically everything they need to know to be successful, but they are missing a few missing pieces where I come in. You have to let them know that you are someone that can be trusted, and honestly someone to be loved. When someone gets a large following, people start to really love them for who they are (normally or maybe hate them). People want to know about your life and who you are as a person separate from what your business is. They want to see your family, friends, and fun things you are doing so be open with your life which seems contradictory to the other. You have to be creative. Post friends if it has to do with fitness. Talk about your life, but only on your blog and only if it's actually interesting. That actually leads me to another point ... 

BE TRANSPARENT

Yes, you can make it on social media without telling one ounce of your outside life. But, that's no fun for those following you. If I'm following a page, I love to hear about their life. I love to see the struggles that they go through because we can all normally relate. On the other hand, don't be "Miss vulnerable" because the "Woe is me" thing is such the new trend. Everyone is like "Ohhhh look at me. I struggle so muchhhhh. Come follow me because I struggle." We all know the games (or at least I do). Don't play the games  in annoying ways. Just be transparent when you feel it's appropriate.

So, how do you make this a business? Honestly, growing on a social media platform is huge. You have to have some space that is your own whether that be instagram, youtube, or facebook. Once you establish one, you need to get active on the others. Like all of them-pinterest, twitter, facebook, snapchat, blog, instagram, youtube, garmin connect...I CANNOT KEEP UP. It can be exhausting but the more you market yourself and the more exposure, the better. 

POST OFTEN

Stay active on social media. That's a must. When you disappear even for days at a time and you are trying to make this an income, people become quickly disinterested. You always need something new to offer. You always need something to post. I'm always thinking of new pictures. I promise you I'm not THAT obsessed with my fitness life and my ab selfies. But the truth is, people want to see it and theres always new people visiting my page, so I rotate through different types of pictures and content. 

START WITH ONE

I made this a status a few days ago, but if you want to become a coach (or anything for that matter), start with one customer. Pour everything into that one person. Write out a business model but don't think about that. Be good to that ONE person. Whatever you create for that one person, pour your heart into it. It's a ripple effect. If you treat people well, more people will talk and more people will come. Like, be genuine though. It's hard to say "Be nice to get customers" because that's not what I mean. I just mean BE A GOOD HUMAN GEEZ. haha! 

SPEND TIME ON YOUR PRODUCT

You might have to hire a graphic designer, but make your product well. I've gotten lots of comments about how organized and well done my programs are. I'm not bragging about this. I just simply spent more time making it more than a word document. People notice that stuff. Change your product as the times change, your knowledge base changes, or the new trends change. 

SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE

Lastly, don't expect growth overnight. Like I said, I've been trying to make this my income for over a year now. There are so many ideas that I have and more ways to get more exposure, more ways to market my blog and not just my coaching, but it takes time. You want to do things slow and well versus fast and chaotic. If you grow to 100K overnight, you probably wouldn't be able to handle the volume, so just be patient and keep at it. Don't give up. I don't know if I'm ugly or what (I'm kidding and not fishing for compliments) but I grow slowwwwwwww (until recently I've been growing faster). I don't get as many likes on my pictures as a lot of people (less engagement) and y'all better believe it makes me second guess myself. But, if I had given up at 10K, I wouldn't have almost 50k now. It will come but just continue being a good human, producing good quality images and products for people to look at and buy and make the money an afterthought. 

I hope this helps because I know I wish someone had given me these tips long ago. I have had to pick them up along the way because no one is willing to share about growth. Again, maybe I'm just not cool enough to follow but I've had to work at mine. Haha!!

With love and entrepreneurship, 

Katie 

Carb Cycling

I have gotten SO many questions about carb cycling lately.

So, what is carb cycling? Exactly what it states. 

There are days that you go higher on your carbs and days that you go lower on your carbs, and then you have a baseline that you stick to most days. Many times you can use this to produce results when your body has hit that plateau, although there are many other reasons why you might carb cycle. You could carb cycle if you are trying to lose weight but also strength train and you need to have more carbs one day versus another. You may carb cycle because your activity level is drastically different on some days versus others (this is somewhat how I am but I do keep it relatively the same). 

A few reasons why carb cycling works is because weight loss is an overall net amount of energy exchange. While each day is a new day, I think to kinda think of it as a weekly total. This doesn't mean that if you overeat one day, you starve yourself the next! NO! However, carb cycling allows you to keep your calories normal and high but dip them lower on some days to get that overall net exchange of energy to be more burned than replenished and therefore lose weight. This also allows you to keep your metabolism high with those higher carb days.

When you start or continue a diet, you want to keep calories and carbs as high as possible to start. I always think of this like a "set point" for lack of a better word (maybe there is a term and I just don't know it). You don't want to just cut all of your calories immediately when you begin a diet. In the future when your body stalls, you are going to have nothing to cut from. You want to utilize your metabolic capacity and cut after trail and error if you haven't seen results. This is another reason it's important to take things SLOW and just see what works for you.

So, how would you structure this? It's so variable, but normally I like to start with mostly moderate days and then you would have two low carb days. These low carb days would be on your rest day and another light workout day. It's very common to have rest day macros. The amount that you would decrease would be relative to the amount that you are intaking, but I would say that a 25% reduction in carbs would be a good starting point. However, if you are willing to make the cut, a 50% reduction in carbs might produce even more results and you wouldn't be compromising your metabolism by coming right back out of those days. If you are eating 150g C then a 50% reduction would be to 75g C (yikes don't do that) or a 25% reduction would be to 113g C (much more realistic for a low carb day) and you may would want to increase your fats by 5-10g to make up for the loss in calories.

If you do this for two weeks, and you aren't seeing results with the 25% reduction then that's when I would try the 50% reduction. If you do this for two weeks with no results, then I would try adding a low carb day and a high carb day. The high carb day is meant to be a "refeed" where you increase your leptin levels (the hormones that control your metabolism) and you would have an increase of 50% in carbs only keeping protein and fats the same. If you are an athlete and you have drastically different workouts on different days then this is a reason that you would obviously want to have a high carb day on perhaps, a long run day. My {redundant for those that work with me} recommendation is to add 50g of carb per hour of running. I do not recommend training for a marathon in your peak weeks while also trying to lose weight. The carb cycle should be utilized to help you and fuel you and to properly maintain weight. Losing weight during this time period is going to lead to muscle loss meaning more metabolism loss and you don't want that. 

You may notice some water retention on the day after your refeed day or some actually experience fat loss. It's all dependent on the individual person and you have to find what works for you. If you do experience water retention the day after a refeed (because eating 150g would bump you up to 225g C) then it will go away and you will possibly have lower carb days to compensate for that. Again, you want to keep calories as high as possible to conserve your metabolism. 

Carb cycling is not that tricky as it's just low and high days, but it's just a matter of figuring out what works best for you. 

With love and cycling, 

Katie 

Preparation for a Marathon

I have had A LOT of questions about how to prepare for a marathon and there is a lot that goes into it and it's like I completely forgot all that until I was packing my bag for my race and thought "I should do a blog post on this!" 

I still consider myself VERY VERY new in the sport, but I'll tell you all that I know as usual! 

This blog post is going to cover the nutrition the night before and during the marathon as well as what to bring. To be 100% honest, with nutrition, the BIGGEST tips to know are : 

  • You need a lot of nutrition specifically in carbs 
  • You should know WELL in advance the nutrition that has worked for you on long runs and implement that on race day

Intra race Gus

I think that many people get confused on where to even begin though and don't know what to take even on the long run to begin training. One gu or gel normally has about 25g carb (100 calories). I personally do not even worry with it until I hit over 14 miles. I'm not saying that's a good rule to follow because some want them after long runs get over 12 miles, but I honestly don't love drinking or eating while I'm running. I just want to get it done. Normally though, when you know that you are going to be taking a gel, you want to take them early and throughout. Your body is going to run out of glycogen quicker, the faster that you are going. But typically at a marathon pace, you would run out at around 2 hours. Well, at two hours you are out of it. You don't want to supplement at that point and have to wait for it to get in your system. You want to have it ready long before. 

So, I typically recommend taking one (or even 1/2 of one) at intervals during your runs. Normally I actually will take half of a gu at mile 6 and hold it in my hand until mile 10 then take the rest. Then at mile 14, I'll take another half then mile 18, another half. I have found that this system works well for me and provides me the energy to get through the entire marathon if it were flat. I ended up taking 3 gus this time because it was uphill and I knew I need more! 

When I take half, I just simply hold it upright in my hand until I take the other half. It doesn't bother me one bit and I have found this doesn't upset my tummy like a full one does. However, many people might take their gus at 6, 12, 18 miles and be done. Again, you have to find a system that works best for you. 

Morning Of Fuel 

This is pretty simple and standard. You want to have a slow digesting carb right when you wake up. I've heard of some sources saying to wake up at like 3am to eat. Yea no thanks! Lets be realistic here. My race started at 6:30am and so when I woke up, I just had a typical breakfast. I personally do not love stuffing my face that morning because then I'm just going to feel bloated and sick. I just have a typical breakfast (1/2 cup oats, 3 egg whites, tablespoon peanut butter). When you get to the race, right before, you want a fast sugar such as a banana. Again, for me, this start time for this race was too early. I couldn't eat a big bowl of oats then eat a banana like 15 min later so I just stuck with the breakfast and the gus, but eating a bagel or banana at the start is a great idea. 

Night Before Fuel

CARBBBBB LOAD! Jk. I actually don't really like this trend of telling people that they need to just stuff their face with carbs. Of course the entire day leading up, I'm eating more than usual. I basically don't even worry with protein and just eat whatever I want all day in carbs. The night before, I have a big meal normally considering of a sandwich and fries and a dessert if I'm feeling it. I stop when I'm full. When I'm eating dense carbs, I'm not worried about eating until I'm stuffed to the brim. Again, this will only lead to digestive problems if you are eating crazy stuff that your body isn't used to. Just eat a good meal. 

Hydration/Salt/Electrolytes

Drink drink drink! But if you are drinking, you need to be supplementing salt as well, which is what I did. I try to aim for a lot of water anyway so I wasn't like gorging myself on water. I don't drink gallons and gallons. If my pee is clear, I'm hydrated. I just make sure that I'm hydrated and I take 3 salt tablets (and also salt my food like crazy but that's per the usual). I take those tablets morning, noon, and before bed. I drink Cocogo before bed, and I take another salt tablet in the morning before the race. 

What to Bring

  • Running Shoes & Socks (duh)
    •  You want to make sure that your socks are high enough and thick enough to provide cushion on your heel. You do not want to be dealing with blisters because of this.
  • Running Tank/Sports Bra & Shorts (duh)
    • f it's going to be a really hot race, then I might would wear a short sleeve shirt. Chafing around the armpits is really painful and much more common with tanks
  • All Gus & Gels (I took 3 of the Salted Caramel)
  • Flipbelt (this is to carry all gus/gels/candy) 
  • Salt Tablets 
  • Arm band and headphones 
  • Garmin watch (I still haven't got one yet because that's a big investment and although I know it will be used-I may be patient and ask for it for Christmas) 
  • Compression socks (I didn't wear mine this time simply because I couldn't find them)
  • All food if you are traveling
  • Change of clothes post race (I take sandals so that I can immediately get my shoes off)

I tried to answer questions to the best of my ability in the entirety, but if you have any questions feel free to ask! :) 

With love and fuel,

Katie