RUNTRIMOM FEATURE

Meet Steph of @runtrimom on instagram and www.runtrimom.com! In all honesty, she's one of my favorite people ever that I've met online (that still sounds so creepy hahaha). She is a TOTAL rockstar, lover of life, and free spirit. I just can't explain how amazing she is, but I think you'll get a taste of it in this blog post! I'm so excited she was willing to share with us! <3 ENJOY!         

 

        Tell us a little bit about yourself (name, what you do, where you’re from)

My name is Stephanie Johnson and I was born and raised in Boise, Idaho but Chicago has been my home the past 12 years! I got my degree in Marketing at Utah State University and worked at a large Investment Management firm downtown Chicago for many years. Realizing that wasn't my true passion, I quit my corporate job and went to an ashram in Hawaii for a month to study yoga and meditation where I got certified to teach yoga. I am a single mom of two young boys who are my absolute world. I am a Reiki Master and Teacher. My passion lies with teaching yoga and energy/healing work. Between raising boys, my yoga schedule and training for an Ironman life stays pretty active and keeps me on my toes...but I wouldn't change a thing! 

What ironman race are you doing? What made you decide this race? 

Ironman Arizona! This will be my first full! I have a lot of family and friends in the west so it was an easy choice for my first. Support is SO crucial to racing and seeing familiar faces that I love on the course will give me the energy I need to make it to the finish! The terrain is similar to what I train in as well...nice and flat with lots of wind! Ha! 

How did you know it was time to take on the big 140.6? 

I don't honestly have a clue...I don't know if I even know NOW is time! Haha! My motto is Dream Really Freaking Big! I guess to live that to the fullest I just decided to jump in! I couldn't swim a single lap 18 months ago and didn't own a bike. Bob Scott, age 84 and still competing in Ironman, took me under his guidance and mentored me through my first year. He taught me to swim and helped me buy a tri bike. I owe my triathlon journey and great passion of the sport to his friendship over the past year. For the rest of my life, no matter what, he will always be my Ironman hero.  It has been and will continue to be one crazy journey but I don't know if anyone really feels "ready" to take on the Ironman distance...it is daunting! You have to learn to BELIEVE so much in yourself that you know you have it in you. I believe once you let go of the fear of failing you are really ready. With the fear gone you are ready to brave the Ironman road. With nothing to prove to anyone or even yourself, you have to see the intensity of training with determination deep within, to push through the grind every day, smile your face off while having fun, and realize no matter what...you are SO brave for stepping up to that start line. 

Have you done any half ironmans/marathons in the past? If so, which ones?

I got consistent with running in October 2012 and have done many half marathons since. The most memorable half marathon was in Kenya this March. I ran with 20-30 children surrounding me the whole time and over half didn't have shoes! When it got really hot and I was feeling the effects of the altitude and hills one 11 year old girl grabbed my hand and said are you ok? I replied I was getting tired and she smiled big and told me that I would be ok because God was with me and would help me to the finish. I will never forget the feeling of strength and peace with that simple and innocent statement.  

I have done the Chicago Marathon twice, Berlin, Germany Marathon, St. Louis Marathon, and I did a marathon on a treadmill as a training run for my 50k race in April 2014! I ran Chicago and Berlin within 14 days of each other! 

I started racing triathlons a year ago and have completed one Sprint, three Olympic, and one 70.3. Triathlons have stolen my heart! 

Do you have any races planned for the coming months? 

This year I will be doing the Chicago Rock and Roll Half Marathon and focusing on Triathlon. I have a few more Olympic distances, Ironman Steelhead 70.3, and then Ironman Arizona in November! I'm sure a few more races will be thrown in too! Haha! I am a sucker for a good race! No shame! 

Which training program are you using?

I am self coached. I do a lot of research on training and utilize all my brilliant and knowledgeable friends. I believe coaching is great for some people but it isn't my style and my life is so here and there and everywhere that I need to be able to fit training in when it is convenient for me. I did start Masters Swim class a few weeks ago and it has been absolutely amazing. I highly recommend it for newbie swimmers like myself! My number one priority is to keep it FUN so doing it my way seems to be the best route for me.  

Nutrition-What is your diet like? 

I have been eating a pescatarian diet (includes fish but no other meat) for three months now. I feel an incredible difference! When I deepened my yoga practice it lead me to this decision and for NOW it has been working very well for my body. I drink green juice and coconut water every single day and swear by the benefits for my recovery and skin. I eat a TON of nut butter and bananas. Another key component to my diet is eggs. I buy my eggs straight from a farmer every week. Once you've had farm fresh you can't go back! I eat 4 full eggs every day. Yes including the yolk! That's where all the best nutrients and vitamins are. I strongly believe in balance too! I enjoy pizza, sushi, desserts and wine with my friends as well. I never restrict food or "diet". Everything in moderation. Eat for FUN but eat to TRAIN. 

Balance-How do you balance being a mom and training for an ironman?

Prepare. Prepare. Prepare. I have breakfast and lunch prepped the night before. I don't have cable so don't get sucked into TV. I train when my kids go down at night and utilize the gym child center. When the boys are with their dad, I train. It's a lifestyle and it's fun for me! I incorporate my boys into my workouts and run and bike WITH them! I don't have the time...I MAKE the time to follow my heart and passions. My kids are involved in this Ironman training as much as me and constantly talk about it and cheer for me. They are my biggest fans and I get to teach them by example so many life lessons such as, there are no limits to how big you can dream, never give up even when we fall down, have fun but also work hard and perseverance to a goal. It's the greatest blessing to me to be their Ironmama! 

Do you have any advice for those that wish to do an ironman as a mom? 

If I can do it...anyone can. I couldn't swim. Legit could.not.swim. Couldn't bike. I learned that being a beginner is OK and quite a beautiful part of the process. You only get to be a beginner once in your life. You will SHOW your kids more life lessons through training for a race than you could ever tell them. Children won't remember what you say...they will remember what you do and how you made them feel. Get your family involved! Make it a FAMILY race where everyone can work to support your goal. Keep your significant other and children a priority and schedule time for them into your schedule. Cut out all other distractions. Learn to say NO to anything not worth your time. You deserve to follow your dreams AND be a mother. There is nothing you can't do if you only believe in your worth and your heart. 

I know that you love yoga as well. Do you feel this is important to your ironman training? 

My yoga practice is my foundation. Racing is 90% mental and yoga teaches to control the mind first and then the body. Through yoga I have been able to work toward cultivating an equanimous mind and control my breath. That has propelled me through the fear and panic of open water swimming, the lows of a long bike ride or run that inevitably creep their way in and know when I can push and when to back off. Beyond the stretching which has helped keep me injury free, the meditative and spiritual aspect of yoga is what has got me to many finish lines. I owe my racing to yoga and believe everyone should practice yoga. For the physical benefits of course but mostly to maintain an equanimous mind during intense training sessions and on race day. 

Any last words of advice? 

You are more fearless than your fears. This has resonated with me a lot in the past months. I have fears of course but I have been learning that they have no control over me and my life. Fear will never keep me from living life to the fullest or participating in a sport I love so much. Be FEARLESS! Be brave. Learn to step outside your comfort zone and taste the goodness life has to offer. Be courageous enough to boldy move in the direction of your dreams and follow that amazingly perfect heart of yours. Be open to the possibility that it may lead you to the most incredible places that you have ever traveled and you will discover hidden talents about yourself both physically and in your mind. The antidote to fear is love so move forward in life LOVING with every bit of your soul and watch fear and doubt disappear and make way for possible and incredible. Redefine your possible. Be Fearless. 

Cutting after Reversing

As time goes on, this question gets more and more prevalent. There are more people that have reversed and now are like "Okay, I did this part, now I want to get lean!"

So, what do you do? How do you cut? 

Okay, well I'm going to first say that there is no rule. As always, each person is going to be very individual. There are going to be some people that you will cut, and they will immediately lose 5 lbs, however I have noticed from coaching, weight loss unfortunately is hard even post reverse. You are able to diet on a higher amount of calories. This is the entire point of the reverse, but sometimes I would think that people would be able to lean out on more. 

Megan hasn't officially done a full reverse, but we have done lots of cut/reverse/cut/reverse with her!

Megan hasn't officially done a full reverse, but we have done lots of cut/reverse/cut/reverse with her!

When, I begin someone on a cut (before a reverse diet), I normally will calculate what their macros should be and then take 10% of their calories in a deficit with a 35% protein//40% carb//25% fat split (which is super relative because that always changes but it's a place to start). So, when starting a reverse, I normally take 10% of total calories for a deficit, but the split changes. There really is no split. Normally, with a reverse, you have kept your protein moderate while only increasing your carb so I'm not going to take from your protein. I'm going to take calories mostly from carb and fat. If someone's fat is already low, then I may take more carb and actually give them more fat (it's so hard to write this blog because I look at each person individually).  The biggest rules that I follow are : 

1. Cut calories in some way (duh) but keep protein steady or maybe even bump it up a little 

2. Carb cycle

3. Whatever you do, stick with it for 2 weeks (minimum). You've got to give your body time to work and adjust to the new macros. 

Carb cycling seems to work best post reverse. I think this helps because for so long, people have gotten used to eating so much so if you just lower them altogether, that's just no fun at all and sometimes can lead to more stress which isn't worth it. 

There's different types of carb cycling you can try.

  • Keep same ending reverse macros, and have two low carb days (on rest days/lighter days)
  • Lower total calories with a high carb day (keeping protein and fat moderate)
  • Lower total calories with a low carb rest day, high carb heavy day

The biggest thing is that you are your own human experiment and you are going to be different than Suzy and Tom beside of you. Your lean muscle mass is different. Your body shape is different. Your metabolism is different, so whatever you do, stick with it for 2 weeks - 1 month and then make adjustments according to how your body responds.

This blog is probably extremely confusing so I'm going to give you some numbers to follow for examples: 

Let's say you reversed from 95gC/155gP/30gF --> 235gC/155gP/55gF and now you want to cut.

Option 1: 235gC/155gP/55gF most days, 165gC/155gP/60gF for 2 days per week

Option 2: 2055 cals (starting) x 0.9 (reduction of 10%)~1850 calories

1850 calories (keeping protein the same)-155gP/55gF/183gC with a high carb day(refeed day) of 145gP/240gC/55gF (For a refeed, I normally take 30% of just carbs for addition)

Option 3: 155gP/55gF/183gC with a refeed of 145gP/240gC/55gF with a low carb day of 155gP/165gC/60gF (notice a little bump in fat to adjust for the 235gC to 165gC drop)

After you make adjustments, then just relax for a little bit into your new macros, give your body time to respond. If you aren't doing 3-4 sessions of 25min of HIIT cardio then I'd start up with that too as that's going to help with burning fat. And don't forget to lift those weights!!! When losing weight, no matter what stage you are in, it's very very important to keep your basal metabolic rate high. The way to do this is with maintaining a good amount of lean muscle. The way to do that is to eat ya protein, and lift ya weights. 

I hope this helps shed some light (at least a little because it's super relative and vague). 

With love and cutting and slicing,

Katie


Reverse Diet Update #2

I know that many of you are following along on my reverse diet, and I thought that I would give a small weekly update as to how things were going on Thursdays. I pick Thursdays because at this point, my body has already gotten used to the extra nutrition for the week and I'm over the hump. I do my increases on Sundays which are always a glorious day (from previous reverses). When you reverse, many times, you get very hungry towards the end of the week but if you stick it out for that increase, it's just a beautiful moment! HA! 

So, this week I went up to 260gC // 155g P// 66g F

Last weeks: 255g C // 155g P // 65g F

My method is VERY slow (5g C 1g F), but that's the way I like it! I go slow because I did one reverse that was unsuccessful and I found 10gC per week to be too fast for me. I like to barely notice the increases but then to look back over 6 weeks and think "WOW! This is so awesome!"

Weight: I don't know but I feel the same (I'm not going to track weight). I have held water some days, but I also think that's because I've been pretty sedentary this week (with work) other than my workouts, but my workouts were also a marathon taper so not as intense.

Goals: They are still the same. I want to increase as much as possible with no weight gain but my end goal is to gain a little weight. I believe that it will help me in training with injuries and I think that it will help with having babiesssss. 

Training: As I said, I'm tapering. I will do a total of 24 miles this week plus 3 lifting sessions and an hour swim + 30 min bike one day.

I know that there are always a lot of questions with a reverse.

How did you increase by only 1g fat? I never hit my numbers perfectly! 

I don't always hit them perfect either, but I try just because I really do think it's fun to make the puzzle work.  It takes changing things like I may plan out something then realize that it's going to make me go over by a little in one area or the other, and I have no shame in using 0.75 of something. But, in a reverse, do you have to hit it perfectly. No and yes. You need to be close because the entire point of it is so that your body can get used to that nutrition, adapt and then move forward. 

I'm WELL aware there is no data. I'm WELL aware that you could debate me out of town with whether you think reversing is valid scientifically but I've watched it work time and time again, so I'm gonna keep on keepin on.

Can you increase faster?

Absolutely! Many people increase at 10g C 2g F or you could do 5g C 3g F! There is no set "rule" but it's just a slow increase in carbs and fat over time to let your body adapt metabolically. 

Can you reverse without counting macros?

I'm gonna go with no. It's going to be really hard to track this. I get asked a lot "What is the difference between macros and reverse dieting?" Reverse dieting USES macros. You have to be counting macros, have a set point to begin and then slowly increase them.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask and I can answer them! :) 

With love and reversing, 

Katie 

Staying on Track during the Holidays

This would probably be a good post to do around Christmas time, so maybe I'll repost then, but I know that July 4th is this weekend so I thought it would be a good time to tell you how I approach things. 

I think the key to every holidays can be phrased with this sentence: 

Deep breaths, in and out. 

I'm kidding, but holidays give people more anxiety with their diets than anyone could ever imagine. I sometimes think that people would be better off just saying "Sorry guys, I'm not going to partake at all because I'm going to be a mental head case by Monday." I watch it happen every holiday and it's honestly sad but I've been there and wanted to share how I deal with this. 

1. Obviously you can opt out of food. 

I think this is a no fun option, however I think that we fear to be "that person" but you know what, YOU DO YOU BOO BOO! If you have goals set for yourself and you really just don't want to break them, then stick with your plan. 

2. Bring your own food. 

You could opt out of food entirely or just kinda opt out of the food that is provided at said cookout. You could bring your own 93% lean burger patty, and play it off as "I didn't want you to have to pay for my food" type thing. Factor in chips and bun and BOOM! To be honest, this is probably what I would do but that's only because with my family, we always just bring our own proteins so it wouldn't even be weird. But, I know that might be weird. 

3. Just eat the meal. 

One meal is not going to hurt you. I think that far too many times, we get in this mindset of restriction or gorge, and that's just NOT how it should be. Eat your normal food for the day, go into the meal hungry but not starving, eat until you are full, and stop. This takes practice. You are going to have to CONSCIOUSLY think about this if you aren't the type that can do this naturally. If you are drinking, then you are going to have to be even more aware. Don't let it slip up on you, and be mature enough to know your limitations. *tough love* Don't let it turn into an all night affair of food glory just because you had to go a little bit off. I know this feeling all too well from previous days of "well now everything's screwed so SCREW IT!" That is the worst mindset to have, and will only leave you feeling defeated even more the next day.

4. Once you do eat the meal, don't freak out about the meal 

Think about all the times that you've overate. Can you remember each one? Probably not. Are those cheat meals still affecting you today? No. The beauty of it is that our bodies are super fluid and when you have one of these slipups, you return to baseline and it's like it didn't even happen come that next week. The more stressed that you get about the situation, the more you are just gathering even more hormones into your body of freak out mode that just make it even harder to return to baseline. So, practice really releasing things out of your brain. I don't know how to teach this, but it's a learned art. If I'm scared about a run, I don't think about it. I just do the run. If I'm scared about a test, then I just don't think about but I do the studying. The same applies here. Just don't think about it, and continue with your healthy lifestyle the next day. 

5. Don't overanalyze it. 

Here's the harsh truth is that the only person that cares is you. No one is thinking about your diet. No one is thinking about your weight. No one is thinking about the anxiety but you. They are probably thinking about their own anxiety. So, step outside of your box for a second and remember the truly important things in life that are not the food. Enjoy the people in your life. THOSE are the moments that you can't get back. 

And maybe you think this entire thing is bogus because you don't have to cope with these issues, but as a coach, I know that many many do.

With love and holidays,

Katie 

Hypocrisy of Christians

Well, this is probably about the most controversial post I'll ever write. Maybe I won't hit that Publish button and maybe I will, but I thought I'd write it out first.

As someone who has "influence" in the fitness sphere, I interact on a daily basis with a lot of people. I'm not saying I'm influential. I just have somehow convinced 42,000 people to follow my journey (it's quite comical actually), but the more and more followers that come to my page, the more that I feel a need to keep my message clear. 

I love Jesus. I love my husband and family and friends next. Then, I love fitness and health. 

I have been sharing pictures of my Bible just a little bit more with little messages. I'm not saying I'm cool because of this, but it's just simply allowed people to know where I stand and so they have come to me with questions....questions about faith. 

I CANNOT stand here and say I know the answers. Quite frankly, I have to call the people I trust the most in the faith and be like "Yo, I've got a C- on my Christianity report card right now but I can't answer these questions". The reason I'm writing this blog is simply because I keep hearing a common theme: hypocrisy of Christians.

It's so very hard when the people that represent the God of love, grace and mercy are not full of love, grace, and mercy. What people see in the here and now are the people that claim to represent his truths, but yet are so far from it. It's so relevant in our culture right now with all the debating on facebook. It TRULY feels like a battle between the church and politics. "WELL THE BIBLE SAYS..." 

Do you think that's how Jesus responded to things that weren't of his liking? No. Should you stand up for what you believe in? Absolutely. But, how should you approach this? First off, it is of note that you are literally NEVER going to change someone's mind with a blog or a facebook post so in reality, I'm wasting my time even now. And quite frankly, there aren't many people that are going to change their minds PERIOD if they have believed something to be true for their entire lives. So, if you are never going to change their minds, could you think of what your purpose is in your ranting with the claim of "speaking truth and knowledge." Are you simply just doing it to prove your point?

So, let's throw some scripture out there shall we? 1 Corinthians 8:1 "We know that we all possess knowledge. But knowledge puffs up while love builds up." 

#dropsmic #byefelicia

That's all you need to see. Love builds up. Knowledge puffs up. I always envision a blown up chest walking around arrogantly when I think of "knowledge puffs up." No one likes that guy. You don't want to be that guy. Speak in truth, AND speak in love. 

Ephesians 4:15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ who is the head of the church.

The hypocrisy of Christians extends far beyond our current political situations. It's been happening for centuries, because as we all know, we ALL sin and far short of the glory of God. 

So, with that, I ask that those who maybe don't believe or are fed up with us, forgive us. Please. I speak without thinking way too many times. I puff up in knowledge (mostly with my husband because I'm always right-DUH! ;) ). I make my Jesus look bad when in reality, it's the very reason that I follow him because with all of my sin, all of my hypocrisy, all of my puffed up knowledge, anger, and rash words, he still loves me. I NEED him because I am hypocritical. 

"I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."-Gandi

Christians are not representing our Christ more than ever. Love. Lately, when I get angered, I mentally keep going back to "Is this of God?" and the answer is ALWAYS no. Does that stop my anger? Let's be real. No. Because I'm a hypocrite. I'm a sinner. And I'm not like my Christ. So, I hope you know that I don't represent Him. Your facebook bible slammer does not represent Him. No matter your political stance on ANYTHING, most likely we will NOT represent Him. Recognize that the truths you are spitting and the anger you are portraying does nothing but turn non believers away, and I have literally watched it happen with clients. THINK before you speak. 

This is NOT a political debate. I did not post political opinions in this blog, so please do NOT attack me or I will delete you. I'm simply asking that we do as the Bible says to do: speak truth (whatever that may look like to you) in love. 

With love and politics,

Katie


CLIENT FEATURE: Tish

When I think about Tish, I think about hard work. I think about someone who loves and gives with her whole heart, and who is an amazing member of our team. I'm so grateful for her joining me with my challenge for the switch to macros, and I hope that you enjoy her story as much as I did! :) 

For most of my life I was the “big” girl and I was really self-conscious of my body and wanted to know why I didn’t look like all of the other girls. I was genetically blessed with a bigger (muscular) frame but the way that society portrayed women made me think that I was supposed to be tiny and petite. My senior year of high school I decided that I was tired of being made fun of for being overweight so I decided to start running and eating healthier. I knew nothing about health and fitness and just dove in head first. I was super influenced by things that I read online and this led me to basically eating nothing at all while running 8-10 miles per day. Sure I lost weight, 80 pounds to be exact in just 6 short months. I went from 200 to 120 pounds in just six months. I ate maybe 600 calories a day and I ran ALL the time. I was tired, depressed, unhealthy and all of this combined with the stress of senior year led me to a lot of health issues. I went to the doctor and they wanted me to eat more and gain some weight so I decided that I was going to start eating “clean”.

I tracked my calories to make sure that I was getting enough but I would not touch something that wasn’t what I perceived to be “clean”. I wouldn’t go out to eat with friends, I wouldn’t eat something that someone else made for me and I would make myself sick if I ate something that was not up to my standards. This mentality led me to binge eating and we all know about that route so I am not going to elaborate on it but I gained weight and I gained it fast. I was back up to 160 pounds and even more miserable than before. This was right around the time that Instagram started becoming really popular and I kept seeing posts about IIFYM and flexible dieting. Being the curious person that I am and wanting to try yet another “fad” diet, I started looking into flexible dieting.

I found Katie’s page and was SO inspired by her body and her mindset. I knew that I wanted to work towards a lifestyle just like the one she was preaching about. So I did my research and I calculated a base set of macros for my activity level and it went from there. It was a huge learning process and it didn’t happen overnight.  I struggled with hitting these numbers and learning the ropes of IIFYM but once I got the hang of it, it became a lifestyle. I did my own cut and got back down to a very healthy 140 pounds but I was still doing lots of cardio. I was happy with my relationship with food but still not satisfied with my body.

I bought Katie’s Relentless Resolutions Program because I wanted start lifting weights and I wanted to build some muscle on my already large frame. I started with Katie’s workout program and at first I was scared and I hated doing the workouts but after a month of them I was in love with lifting. I basically quit doing cardio and started lifting 6 days a week. I put on muscle fairly fast and I loved the way that my body was shaping out. I realized that my broad shoulders and big quads were no longer a curse but a blessing. They helped me to run faster and lift heavier. This year I reversed my diet out from 1400-2000 calories and actually lost 5 pounds in the process. I went from 40/120/160 to 59/245/140.  I will eat anything, I can go out to eat with friends, I eat carbs before bed and I no longer have “fear foods”. I am 5’8’ and I do not know how much I weigh anymore nor do I care, I am more concerned with making PR’s every day. I am the happiest that I have ever been with my body, I am confident and I look forward to going to the gym every day. I can’t thank Katie enough for showing me the light and helping me out of the darkest place in my life. I am truly thankful for her and this group of girls that I consider family <3 

With love and amazing women,

Katie

I remember...and now it's gone.

I remember the days when I thought food would forever plague me. 

I remember the nights that turned into guilty mornings that led into guilty days because of food that I chose to eat. 

I remember hoping the stomach growling wouldn't start today or that the cravings didn't begin late at night when it felt impossible to fight them. 

I remember the tears, the heartache, and the altered life because of the simple act of eating.

Thoughts everyday that seemed to be my entire existence: 

"She's so skinny. I wonder what she eats. I wonder how little I could eat today. I feel so fat today. I can feel my stomach even. I wish I could lose more weight. I wish I could change so many things about my body. I want to escape this. How does she just eat when she's hungry? Why is it so hard when it used to be so easy? I will never gain control." 

I can vividly recall day after day after day of thinking that it would never go away. I was chosen to live this life I had decided. Every day, my husband telling me it would go away if I believed in my prayers. Every day me telling him he would never understand what I go through and that I desperately wished it were that easy. 

I can vividly remember the all aching body sobs of wanting it to all end. I wanted so much to live a life of freedom and of peace. I remember the books I read, the people I discussed it with, and the different avenues that I took and each time I felt more and more like a failure. 

And you know the weirdest part, the one thing that I can't remember is when it stopped. But it did. I can't remember this grand moment when all was cured and I never thought about it at all. But it happened. I don't have tips for you because that's not the point of this. I'm not telling you to sign up with me on some macro counting plan because that's DEFINITELY not the answer. I'm just simply here to tell you, I am someone who can vividly remember and now it's gone. And I hope that gives you hope. 

With love and healing,

Katie

Reverse Diet Round 2

So, I've been saying for about 6 months now literally that I'm going to reverse diet, but to reverse diet, I truly believe in staying really dedicated to eating exactly what your macros are so that you can reap the benefits that it offers. No, I don't mean obsessively. I still very much go out to eat, and live flexibly but just making sure that I do hit my numbers which has not happened for a long long time. I either go over or under just because I'm either hungry or I'm not, and it's been an awesome place to be. But, I want to challenge myself again with the second series of this reverse. So, I hope you'll follow along: 

I didn't track any sort of intake but just ate as little as possible so I'd say it was around 800 calories/day. YIKES POOR ME. That's so depressing. How in the world?

I didn't track any sort of intake but just ate as little as possible so I'd say it was around 800 calories/day. YIKES POOR ME. That's so depressing. How in the world?

Week 1 Stats: 155g P // 255g C // 65g F 

Weight: I truly don't know. We don't have a scale at the house and I really don't need one as I'm very familiar with the process (in my opinion). I just kinda go with how I'm feeling each week but I'm probably around 105 lbs.

Goals: My goal of this reverse diet is actually to put on a little bit of weight (in fat). I'm going to stick with 5g C/2g F increases. I am healthy, but I do take my training very seriously and I think that I might would avoid a little more aches and pains if I had a little more cushion for the pushin nom sayin ;) I would say my weight goal would be around 110-112 lbs. 

Everyone is like "WELL JUST EAT CRAP FOR AWHILE" and while that sounds all good in theory, I think it's fun to see how high I can get before I start to gain weight and then gain weight in a way that I can say "okay now I'm going to stop and make this my maintenance. Plus crap food makes you feel like crap so no thanks ;) 

Training: I'm in the heat of marathon training, but I also have tweeted my sartorias (self diagnosed). I've been laying low on running super high miles but today I'm running 8. I'll keep you posted each week on the training I do with the macros. My marathon is July 11th so just above 2 weeks out. I will obviously adjust nutrition going into that. I lift 3 times per week right now as well to maintain muscle.

I'm sure SOMEONE will tell me that I'm eating too little at 2200 calories, however I know my body and I know that I'm healthy as a horse and I add more calories on big workout days so let's just agree to disagree kapeesh? 

With love and reverse dieting,

Katie

Does your metabolism drop with age?

I know that all of us have heard this a million times. I wanted to explain what happens, and also what you can do about it!

It is of no question that there is an epidemic of obesity in the adult population. Childhood obesity is increasing which is not good, but the number of adults that are overweight is not a good thing. I know that it's a super sensitive topic so I never want to make anyone feel bad about that ever. There is ALWAYS ALWAYS a point to change. I think that many times adults get to ... adulthood and think it's hopeless. I even heard a sweet lady in the gym yesterday say "I'm gonna work on these flabby arms but I know it's hopeless because I'm so old!" 

That's not the case. As you age, your metabolism is going to decrease by 1-2% per decade approximately so that means that if you are eating 1800 calories, you would then have to eat 1764-1782 calories the next decade to stay the same weight. That's seriously not that much from 20-30 years old, but if you get to age 60, then that's 4-8% so from 1800 calories as a 20 year old might be as low as 1656 calories to maintain the same weight at 60. From what I have read through the years, and believe me I am not saying this with 100% certainty but they are very unsure of why this is.

However, the BIGGEST issue with this is not that you would have to decrease by like less than 150 calories in a  40 year period. The problem is: 

1. We become less active/sedentary and most of the time make excuses that it's okay because we are older 

2. We lose muscle mass. 

I have said it once, but I'll say it 100 times over. I'm not over here trying to make GAINS or be some muscle ball bodybuilder contrary to what everyone in the south thinks! ;) I simply know that lean muscle mass means a good metabolism. The more muscle mass that you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate is. The higher your resting metabolic rate means that you can eat more while doing nothing and burn more calories. 

Why are mens metabolisms better? They have more testosterone. Testosterone helps with lean muscle mass. Men have a great lean muscle mass and resting metabolic rate. So, LIFT WEIGHTS DANG IT! ;) 

So, as we age, the rate at which we burn calories decrease just simply because that happens. It's very minimal though, so on top of that, we lose all of our muscle mass and decrease it even more. So, that 1800 calories with lean muscle mass when we were running around as kids turns into 1400-1500 to even just maintain that weight. 

3. Women fad diet, and continue to mess with their metabolisms. 

Diets are diets and will forever be diets. It's cliche but you've GOT to find something that's sustainable for life. If you do crash diets, and cleanses, and detoxes over the years, you are going to further and further lower your metabolism. So, by the time you are in your 60s with lower muscle mass, lower resting metabolic rate just because of age sets you up to now be at 1200 to maintain that weight that you kept at 1800 calories. 

It's a slow progression. Weight is an energy expenditure thing as I was saying yesterday. Over 10 years, it could be 5 extra cupcakes that weren't accounted for in the opposite direction or 15 workouts missed that packs on the pounds. If you aren't proactive about it, then it will just continue.

So, what the heck do you do about it? 

If you are young, then you need to be proactive. Eat well, make it a lifestyle, start getting some resistance training in. Don't fad diet. Do something sustainable. Reverse diet, and get your calories high. Stay active even if it's something light. 

If you are older, then it is NOT too late. You just need to start getting some resistance training in. I would really encourage reverse dieting!! I think that it will help bring you out of the cycle of eating minimal and still not losing weight. The actual physiological decrease in resting metabolic rate over the decades is VERY small. If you do your part, increase your muscle mass and change your lifestyle, you CAN eat and eat a lot while maintaining and losing weight.

With love and aging metabolisms,

Katie

Are you not eating ENOUGH?

So, there are going to be two spins to this article because I feel that many times (actually more often than not), I get an email that someone is eating 1800-2000 calories and they tell me that they have been strict on this for awhile with no results, and feel as if the reason that they are not losing weight is because they are eating too little. Okay, everyone is very different but 1800 calories is not so low that it's going to have this effect. If you are going to go into a true "starvation" then this is going to be something that none of us have ever experienced, and honestly is a really bad way of saying things. FIRSTWORLDPROBZ, we have no idea what starvation is. 

But, what is this that everyone talks about that you have to eat ENOUGH to lose weight? Energy in has to be less than energy out whether that be through nutrition or working out. I always say that working out is completely not even necessary if you have your nutrition on point, but in the same respect if you are working out 15 hours per day then you can in fact "out train a bad diet" because at the end of the day, it's that exchange of calories that is going to either make you gain fat or lose fat. 

However, there is that place where your body sees what you are doing in restriction, and prevents that amount of calories out in order to maintain the energy balance, and there has to be some break in there to stop this. If you are someone that has dieted for a very long time and continuing with weight loss, then you are going to have to dip your calories lower and lower to be able to lose weight. There is a reduction in basal metabolic rates as you continue to lose weight, and this is your body's attempt at stopping this adaptive thermogenesis. It's quite frankly a little ridiculous that our bodies do this, and completely unfair! haha! But, if you have lost a lot of weight, and you hit that plateau then yes you can push forward. You just might need to take a break. 

The fact of the matter is, more calorie restriction equals more weight loss. But, it becomes unhealthy. You can't eat 500 and 800 calories per day (duh, don't even go there). You want to keep your metabolism EFFICIENT which is why you begin a weight loss journey, you should keep your calories as high as possible. You don't want to cut to that golden 1200 calories immediately because this becomes almost like a "set point" and then you are going to have to go lower and lower if you reach that plateau. The other option is to take a break. 

We have hormones in our bodies that control metabolism, and to keep those high, refeeds are used many times. This is a controlled increase in calories, and can play a vital role when trying to maintain metabolism in weight loss. You will retain water on these days most likely, but again, it's just water and it's better for you in the long run to have a day such as this. 

You also want to make sure that you are keeping your protein high and resistance training of some sort. This doesn't have to be heavy lifting, but the goal in weight loss needs to ALWAYS be: How can I make my metabolism stronger? How can I burn more calories at rest? (basal metabolic rate) One way to help this is through resistance training and protein! 

If you are eating 1000 calories per day and you have plateaued, then it would really benefit you to take some time and work on your metabolism whether that be through a slow increase with reverse dieting, or whether you just want to just take a break entirely or maybe just adding in refeed days. But, in order to break this point, you are going to have to either diet lower (NOT RECOMMENDED) or do something to let your body know that you are not in fact going to starve it. Sometimes lower calories like this can even make the body GAIN weight. 

There is the opposite spin however and that's probably the best frequent one that I hear about. If you are eating 1800 calories per day, and you're like "I have been doing this diet for like a month now and haven't lost weight. I must not be eating enough." No, no no. Your body just simply does not need that much for fuel, and you need to decrease your calories to see results. You can change up the macro distribution to try more protein and less carbs or just reduce overall calories in general but you don't need to increase. That's not going to work. 

Many times girls on my program lose weight on a reverse diet. I think there are two reasons for that, but one is very important to mention in this article. I think many times, the body finally breaks through the adaptive thermogenesis, and allows your body to actually believe that you are not going to starve while at the same time, you actually are intaking less than your body is burning so it finally almost releases those "fat cells from jail." 

The other reason that I believe also that may not be as relevant to this is that many times girls are restricting most days and then having an all out binge session and even if that binge is only once per week, the body is going to just hang onto everything. Many times, with reverse dieting, people are able to break that binge cycle and the consistency of diet causes weight loss.

I feel as if this was not as streamlined as usual because it can be difficult to explain, but the most important parts are: 

  • Eat ya protein
  • Lift ya weights (or some other form of resistance training) 
  • Don't eat so little that your body is fighting you 
  • If you've been dieting forever, take a small break or at least add a refeed day

With love and weight loss, 

Katie 

Anniversary Recap

So for our anniversary, we normally say that we only do experiences. Not just for anniversaries, but just in general we try to stay away from gifts, and just go for experiences. We did the same this year. We had originally thought that we were going to go to Virginia at this amazingly cool place, but then decided that we wanted to save some money because we are buying a house!!! YAY! Exciting things to come in the future now that I have a home to do things at (more recipes, more get togethers, dinners, bible study, stability to be able to do LOTS more!!). 

First, on the actual day of our anniversary June 16th, we went to dinner in uptown Shelby. It was so nice. We went to Pleasant City (and who knew it was half off pizza night ha). We got home and Tanner had surprised me with champagne (my favorite-I wish I liked wine or beer but I only like champagne and liquor drinks-I'm an expensive date HA). I gave him my time from dinner onward with no phones and all of that. I wanted to just spend time with him.

Tanner texted me one day asking me if I wanted to go backpacking for our anniversary and I just thought that was the best idea, so we decided on that. Funny story is that we ended up buying a tent so there went that! HA! It is going to be such a great investment though because we will be able to use it for years to come!

So, I'm not sure if you guys are familiar with the NC mountains, but we went to the Black Mountains which are not apart of the Blue Ridge. Mount Mitchell is the highest peak in eastern North America! SAY WHAT? And in NC! So cool! So, the way that you do all of the peaks is you drive up to Mount Mitchell, and then you start the hike going from peak to peak (Mount Craig, Big Tom, Balsam Cone, Cattail Hill, and then we stopped at Potato Hill). This is about a 4 mile hike going up and down! The hike in was not near as bad as the hike back out! That was BRUTAL! haha! 

Mount Craig was the first peak that we hit, and it was absolutely beautiful and I'm so glad that we stopped to take pictures because the day got dreary after that. 

From there, it is not really a dip down but more of a straight across to Big Tom! After Big Tom, it goes down into a valley. It's so steep that they have ropes going down so that you don't fall going down and so that you can actually climb back out. It's so fun though. I felt like it was a real life spartan race or something! haha!

We thought Cattail Peak would you know, be a peak but it wasn't. I will say that's really demoralizing in hiking and happens to me a lot I feel like. I think something is going to be a peak after working really hard to get to the top and then it's anticlimactic! HAHA! I asked Tanner if we could stop and eat because I was feeling very shaky and needed some CARBS! haha! Then, we continued on our way to Potato Hill! The camp sight was in Deep gap past Potato Hill but we found some flat places that we planned to camp before that point. Deep gap is very down deep which we knew meant climbing back out ;) 

Before we got to Potato Hill, it came a terrible storm and we ducked off in this alcove. A couple from Tennessee shortly did the same, and we were able to talk with them for about 30 minutes. IT was really cool just getting to know someone that you'll never see again but just had so much in common with. People are just awesome sometimes! (Sometimes they stink too tho hahaha!!) We finally made it to Potato Hill and decided to stay there all afternoon and enjoy the sun................. rain. Haha! We were able to get maybe 1.5 hours of terrible wind but no rain. So, we made coffee and that was really fun on a mountaintop. 

Honestly, I love these days most because of just the solitude of only Tanner and I. I get to talk to him more than usual, and just talk about how excited we are about things in life right now. We can't wait to put our little home together <3 YAY! 

Anywho, it kept raining...and kept raining so at 5:30 while I am reading and settled into the alcove again, Tanner says "I think there is a storm rolling in and we should leave." I was shocked and didn't expect that. But, that's what happened. We talked for awhile about the possibilities and whether we wanted to be wet because we didn't a pad for the bottom of our tent and we decided it would be best to just go back out. So, do you remember that it took us HOURS AND HOURS to get there? And now, we needed to get out before dark? We basically sprinted up and down mountains to get back to the car! It was definitelyyyyy an adventure....that left me with a really inflamed sartorias and a husband that feels so guilty like he messed up my training! NOOOO! It was already a little inflamed but whew, that made it bad. So, I'm laying low for a few days to let this calm down so I can resume training. I had a 20 miler this morning and I missed it dang it! Maybe one day I'll make it all the way through training injury free! I know it's part of the game, but dang I hate it. 

Either way, we did not quite have the camping trip that we wanted but we know that we will be back out there in no time! :) 

With love and fun anniversaries, 

Katie

Video below and FYI: Another plan in our new home is I'm going to have a studio which means many more quality videos to come so subscribe to my channel if you are interested! :) 

With love and happy marriage,

Katie

Marathon/Half Ironman Training Update

I haven't updated in the last two weeks, so I wanted to share what I'm training right now. I heard that some people like reading this so I thought I'd share. 

Starting July 11th, it's going to be kicked up another notch as I really settle into half ironman training. Right now, I'm focused mostly on my marathon. It is a very hilly marathon so I'm trying to make sure to work hills. The weather in NC is ATROCIOUS, reaching 100 every single day. I have to wake up so EARLY to get the runs in outside, which I don't mind getting up but it's just hard to "show up" that early and I feel super fatigued. This leads me to lots of treadmill runs if I don't get my butt out of the door (like today I'll be running 8 inside-WHOMP!) 

I'm in the final peak week before my marathon which means that mileage is really high right now. I'm running around 50 miles per week, and then finally the taper will start next week. To be quite honest, it's not the mileage that bothers me. As I put on a facebook post, I could train all day every day and be happy. The problem is that my body doesn't like it. I tend to fear injury and feel I'm like on the brink of pulling something any day because I feel my body can't recover quick enough, but yet I feel like I have to get my training in so I don't die on the course. It's a catch 22! 

Right now my hip flexors and groin area are really bothering me (and have for like 2 weeks now). I normally don't worry unless it lasts longer than one week and then I'm like "is this something I need to worry about?" I'm still not super concerned, but it definitely doesn't feel good. Tanner laughs when I tell him because he knows it will have to be an injury before I stop. And that's not because I'm crazy  (or maybe I am a little lol) but just because in marathon training, you really do have to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. In peak weeks, you aren't going to feel awesome all the time (like at all). You are going to have a lot of soreness as mileage gets higher, and fatigue and so you just have to be careful and monitor but also not be a woozy and just quit if something hurts. I make sure to hydrate, sleep (as much as I can with my schedule), and eat ALOT to make sure I'm doing everything that I can to recover.

So, for this week training is as follows: 

  • Monday-12 miles (it was brutal and made me wonder if I could actually in fact run marathons lol)
  • Tuesday-1 hour swim + Shoulders/Chest
  • Wednesday-6 miles + Back/Abs
  • Thursday- 30 min bike, 4 mile run, Biceps/Triceps 
  • Friday-8 mile run
  • Saturday-hiking 5-7 miles (the Ringleys are going backpacking)
  • Sunday-REST 
  • Monday-20 miles (slowwww and easy-last long run!!!)

I aim to at least get some form of tri training in every week obviously. I'm honestly just trying to balance everything right now, and as of July 8th, things are going to calm down and I can't wait until that day and being able to focus more on my business, clients, and training. One week I'll have two days of swimming and the next week I'll have two days of biking but after my marathon, I'm going to officially train according to a half ironman training protocol (not sure which one yet). I had planned out all of my training but you know how things change, so I just want to make sure it's appropriate for my goals. In all honesty, I want to do another marathon between July-October (when my half ironman is) so I'm just trying to see if I can keep mileage high after this race. At the least, I'm going to do a couple of half marathons if I can't do any fulls. I want to do an ultra too, and I'd love to move from my half ironman in October to begin training for a full ironman. Can you tell I'm addicted? Tanner wants me to do a powerlifting competition after my half ironman, but honestly my heart is more in the endurance events! 

Happy Training to All! I hope y'all are finding your passions and pursuing those in whatever route that may be! 

With love and training, 

Katie 


I am beautiful.

I have always felt inadequate and ugly. 

I know that was harsh, but I'm just being honest. I can remember as young as third grade, and feeling like I would never be pretty. I had really thick hair, really crooked teeth, warts all over my hands, knees, and elbows, acne, and I was very early going into what we like to call "the awkward stages." I also have a really short space between my nose and upper lip which causes my upper lip to make an arch. As much as we like to think that kids don't recognize the signals that they are in fact not that cute in their current state, there are cues that are dropped and things that kids say around you that make you well aware. 

And to top it off, I had a really funny, beautiful best friend. Icing on the cake. She was a joy to be around and I was proud to have her as my best friend. But I knew my place, and my place was that I was the best friend to the pretty girl.

I felt like I had to perform in order to feel adequate and I had to form a good personality if I wanted to fit in. I actually had these thoughts. I absolutely do not tell you these thoughts to make my little sob story. I'm telling you this because I think that we all have to find ourselves, and sometimes I think this extends far more into adulthood than we like to admit. 

I would like to thank the creator of the straightener as it literally changed my life (not even kidding hahaha). I would also like to thank the makers of Accutane because 9 months on that medication, and I was a new person. Ninth grade was my turning point. I was like "look at me look at me I'm beautiful now. I don't have acne, I don't have braces (I had them for almost 7 years), and I don't have bushy hair!!!" Guess what? I then discovered that I felt fat {{I was NOT in fact fat-but I thought I was}}. 

I don't think it will take long before you realize the point I'm trying to make. If everything was perfect, the stars aligned just right, and all the boys were lining up at my locker, I still did not feel pretty. I still did not feel adequate. Something had to change, and it wasn't something that I learned in one instance, or something that I've completely even figured out yet but I am so many leagues further along. 

Because I can honestly write this with pride, I feel beautiful. I feel beautiful everyday. This isn't about how my hair is done, this isn't about if my make up is fixed or if I'm bloated or if Tanner gives me that affirmation. I look ratchet like 98% of the time with working from home and training all the time. It sounds so cliche, but honestly I find worth and value elsewhere and I know it sounds like it wouldn't work, but it just simply pours into you and then out of you.  

Psalm 139:14  I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

When I think about that sentence, it's so powerful to my soul. I am precisely crafted in the image of my Father, and nothing can separate me from that. There is no pimple on my face, roll on my stomach, or words of affirmation from others that can take that away from me. This world is huge, and we are all very small. We all have huge emotions that really rock us daily, but yet when we look around or even if we share them with others, they politely say all the right answers and then everyone moves on with their day. You pour Him in, and I PROMISE you He will pour out of you. 

I have always prayed for a joy that exudes from the love for the Lord. I didn't know how to get it, and I still always pray this same prayer but I wanted to be one of "those people." I wanted to be one of those people that when you say them you thought "Yes, that confidence and that joy comes from the Lord." He has radically worked through me over time to have this. I feel adequate. I feel beautiful. I truly do.

2 Corinthians 3:18  So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord--who is the Spirit--makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

I like the wording of this because it says "more and more like him" and I read that as if it's a process. It's not something that's just going to happen. More and more {{over time}}, I will become more like Him as he continues to strip off the veil. He stripped me of the veil of not feeling pretty. He stripped me of the veil of not feeling adequate. He continues daily to work on me. I posted this week on my new instagram @katiespassionatelife that in the midst of struggles I ask myself "Is this burden of God?" and the answer is always no. He does not want us to feel that weight. He wants us to remove our veil and become more like him, who knows that it's not about this task at hand but ultimately about pointing it all back to Christ so why even stress over it. {Easier said than done I know}

Lastly, this does not mean that we should sit in solitude, with no stress, no commitments and become monks (unless of course you're called to I suppose hahaha). I feel I have been called to a purpose, and a purpose to help others feel what I feel. A purpose to make other women recognize the beauty from within that isn't placed on their beauty but also is NOT placed on their personality even, but quite simply placed on the fact that their worth is in Christ and Christ alone, and as you continue to pour into Him, he will pour out of you. 

My cup runeth overrrrrr. 

I have worked through that pretty thing, but I'm still working on that adequacy thing. "You have to be more. You have to do more. You have to be more for more people. You have to be a better friend. You have to be a better believer, marathon runner, triathlete, hybrid athlete, and lifter. You need more followers, and more success in the industry. You need to work on photography of your blog. You need to work on creating more programs, and streamlining work better." Believe me, I am the driver of the struggle bus. Toot toot, coming through! 

So, while I write this blog, I say that we help one another. We help each other to find worth elsewhere, and just relax, take a deep breath, and let the cup run over.

With love and Jesus, 

Katie 

Fit can be a Lonely Place

Ever go through something to see the other side, and think "Man, that was tough?" I honestly would probably never write about something in the midst of a struggle because it's just much harder to do that but after, I'm pretty candid. I've learned that if I have a struggle then that means almost always that someone else has had this struggle and that if it's talked about and brought to the light then it can make someone else feel better. 

After spending the weekend with some fit girls, it became apparent...sometimes being a fit girl can feel very.....very lonely. From the world of instagram and pictures, it looks all glamorous. No matter what though, in real life, discipline almost always is going to look like obsession to those on the outside. They aren't going to understand what you are doing, and they are going to question your motives. They are not going to see that it's your passion, and they are going to label you as having a problem. They don't see it as something that you love to do but something you are forcing and restricting yourself to do. It can be very hard and leave you feeling like your efforts are in vain, and maybe you should just give it all up.

Explaining the fitness life to those that aren't into it is like beating your head against the wall. It's just impossible to explain, and it always will be. Health and fitness is all grouped together with the "weight loss" industry when they really are separate entities. The weight loss industry is something that people really and truly.... hate. Losing weight is normally something people do for a certain time period than they drop it because they find it so miserable. So, the way that they envision your life is a constant misery. 

It doesn't matter that I eat over 2000 calories per day. I will always be told that 'I eat like a bird" because I choose not to eat the nasty food that may be offered in those moments, and eat like a horse later in whole, nutritious foods that are good for my body. It doesn't matter that the macros that I count allow me to literally eat whatever I want whenever I want and still stay on track to my goals, but yet because I track something {very loosely} on my phone, I'm obsessive. Athleticism and proper nutrition are foreign terms in the adult world, and all people really hear is "restriction, starvation, miserable" just because maybe they haven't experience the way that eating healthy can make you feel. I don't ever say a word. I just simply smile and don't bother really trying to explain it because many times, I know they aren't really hearing me. 

Then, you are told that those people are "just jealous." Maybe that's true, but that's never what it feels like. It doesn't feel like jealousy. It just hurts.... a lot. I have never had the thought ever in my life "Oh that girl is clearly just jealous of me." I'm just not that confident/arrogant I suppose.  However, I do love my body. And not because my body is perfect or flawless....but because I know that I take care of myself and I have had many hard lessons in this matter. I feel I'm part of the 5% of the female population that literally never ever looks in the mirror and thinks "Oh I wish I could change that." I just don't torture myself with the what ifs? I simply eat well, workout hard, and whatever happens in this little shell of mine is what it's going to be. 

It has gotten worlds better where everyone knows the lifestyle that I live, and honestly everyone in my immediate family is now doing it which makes my life so great! Haha! However, while I continue this lifestyle, I have come to realize, I will always be picked on, I will always be singled out, and I will always be put down because of my choices. People don't even realize the things that they say, and how condescending they are but it happens almost on a daily basis, and I know I'm not alone. My food will always be nasty (even if it tastes good), I will always appear "obsessed" (even though I'm probably about as chill as they come on this stuff), and I will always be told I don't need to workout any more (even though I'm an athlete that trains for events).  

And lastly, God forbid you post a picture of your hobby. If you like music, don't post your guitar. If you like soccer, don't post on social media about your game. If you like interior design, don't show me your new pillows. That's obsessive and arrogant and vain of you. If your hobby is fitness, then your non fitness friends will not understand you posting about it. They just simply never will. There is a difference in being completely annoying on social media, and we all know that line and that's not what I mean. It really is a well known fact that "no one wants to know about the workouts that you did" and I'm over here like ... " well I don't want to see your dog then" (but I really do want to see your dog and your workouts haha). I honestly never EVER bring up my passion (except on social media). If someone asks me questions, I'm an open book but I go out every time everyone goes out. I do everything that everyone does and never force my beliefs on anyone, ever. So, when I'm put down because of it, it's very hurtful and leaves me feeling alone.

I do want to also address that there is a fine line. If you are carrying all of your food in tupperware refusing all meals with friends, refusing all social events because you have to work out or are scared of food...OBVIOUSLY this is a problem. I'm not talking about people with a problem. I'm talking about people dedicated and passionate to the fit life who still go out for drinks, still go out to dinner very frequently with friends, but also still want to be healthy 90% of the time and get their training in.

There's no real answer to this other than that your true friends will always, always stick around and the others ... well they won't and that's okay. You pray about what you're doing, and if you know that you are righteous and true in your pursuits then you keep doing you, you keep pursuing your dreams and your passions and your goals that you have outlined for yourself. Just know that as alone as you feel (because I know I'm very lucky even to have a fit husband), you are not alone and there are many of us fitties out here feeling your exact same feelings. I know many times I questioned giving it all up. I mean completely. There was a time I almost deleted every account, started eating pizza every day, and just stop working out to stop conflict in friendships {{true story}}. I'm so grateful I didn't do that. Be who you are, and don't be ashamed. And know that I know the pain, and I sound tough in this blog, but let me tell you I've been brought to tears many....many times over this issue. 

With love and fit struggles,

Katie

Koda Crossfit Weekend Recap

So, I can't believe that my first seminar has come and gone and that I've already flown out to Oklahoma and back. It's crazy how time works because you look forward to something and then "poof it's gone!" 

Nevertheless, I created wonderful friendships with an amazing crossfit family and I couldn't love OKC more! It's funny though because OKC is not massive, but I probably stayed in whatever downtown area that it was within a 5 mile radius. The crossfit gym, the hotel, every restaurant and all the shopping was RIGHT where I was. It was cool though just staying in one spot and getting to know it! I stayed at the Waterford Marriott and if you are ever in Oklahoma City, you should stay there. It was seriously amazing. 

So to start, Blair Jones (Remember Harvest Small Batch Granola?) that just recently moved from Shelby picked me up! It was so ironic that she lived close to where I was going. Technically, Blair drove 1.5 hours one direction with a 4 year old and 2 year old and it meant more to me than she realizes just to have lunch with me. Fun story, as we are pulling out of the airport and onto the interstate Blair says "What's that noise?" and I'm just like "Oh it's the road" and Blair just calmly cool as a cucumber says "No, my tire is flat." Y'all, I love Blair. She never once said "OH SHOOT! WHAT A BAD DAY!" She just said "I can change it!" and when she couldn't, she just called Triple A. She calmly pulled out the IPads for the kids because even though they don't allow them much IPad time always, ummmm we were on the side of the interstate with a flat tire and it was gonna be a while. HAHA! Basically, long story short-Blair is an amazing woman, wife, mom and I look up to her for a lot of reasons. 

After she took me back to the hotel, I decided to Uber over to the Walmart/mall area. I forgot some things (surprised?) and then wanted to shop around. I found a dress I liked and ended up changing there before I was picked up for dinner! HA! We went to RePUBlic in OKC. It's known for a good reason. It was delicious and the company I had was even better. You know those people you meet and you're like "Yep, we could be best friends hands down." That's how I felt with Leila and Mai. It was immediate comfort, immediate laughter, and immediate understanding of the fit life which is SO incredibly nice. After hours of girl talk, I went back to the hotel and got in bed early. 

I woke up early because I'm in the peak weeks of marathon training and I knew I needed to run because this week I haven't run NEAR enough with everything going on. So, I went outside and of course it was raining so I had to take my happy butt to the treadmill. I actually started reading Pride and Prejudice and I'm pretty stoked about that. 5 miles later-I was happy to be done and STARVING! That was the worst part-the restaurant didn't open until 7:30am, and so I had to do it fasted. I do nothing fasted. Fasted is the devil. I have to have food......BUT I made it. 

Not that you care about every meal I eat, but this was the coolest breakfast ever at a hotel. It was like continental with a whole new twist. It was like a five star restaurant with normal breakfast foods that had an elegant twist. So yummy! 

Mai picked me up at 8:40 and we headed over to Koda. Normally, I would be SUPER nervous walking into a gym with all these talented crossfit athletes to speak to them. I felt like everybody was like the winner of the crossfit games in that gym. They all were so in shape! I think the only reason that I wasn't intimidated is because Mai is just the best ever. She made me feel right at home (she's one of the co-owners of the gym). We signed me in, and class started. We did snatch, and I'm hilariously awkward with olympic lifts right now. I do want to get better and I think when I have a little break from endurance training, I'm going to try my hand at it more. Right now, every time I go, I just have to focus on technique more than anything, and I basically was like .... HIGH V CHEERLEADER SNATCH! One day....one day....I want to do a competition because I just love the friendships created through crossfit and the teamwork! Every time I go to a crossfit gym, I love it more and more and can TOTALLY see why people love it as much as they do. I kinda want to just go join now, but I know with all I'm doing, that would be silly and pointless.

After class, we started the seminar and it went really well. The only part I even felt slightly nervous about was talking about myself in the beginning. I always convince myself everyone could care less about my story so I'm just like ...."let's hurry this part and get to the fun stuff." Haha! I honestly couldn't believe my eyes at how many people came, and it was cool to teach something that was really unfamiliar territory. Most honestly had no idea about macros or reverse dieting, and many were very interested. I had a packet that I had made to hand out that had a lot of notes, and places that people could jot down other things as well. I'm going to continue using this at all of my seminars (with some additional things that I realized would have been helpful to have in the packet). This was something new for me, but something that I would absolutely LOVE to continue.

//I'm going to have a seminar at the YMCA in Shelby on July 18th {{more details to come}}. I'm going to Tampa in September (date most likely to be July 12), and I'm pushing back Arizona's seminar to fall time maybe November (for a couple of different reasons). I am open to seminars in ANY location, so if you want to speak logistics then feel free to reach out to me and we can chat. I'm starting up in person consultations around Shelby, so if you also want that then email me and we can talk about that too.//

After the seminar, we headed to 501 cafe! I have this new theory in my head that Oklahoma City has the best food because goodness gracious it was so good! It's really well known there as well, so I'm sure those from there are not shocked that I absolutely loved it, and also getting to talk more with the girls from Koda. They are all SO welcoming, SO sweet, and almost all medical professionals which is funny (med school, residents, surgeons, dentists, nurses, and then lawyers). I was like WOAH SMART CROWD! haha! 

Koda Crossfit didn't just invite me and fly me out but treated me immediately like I was apart of the family, and I'm just so thankful for these women and the relationship with them. I'm super excited to kick off working with them, and this morning I'm working on putting together the programs that they will receive. For those reading from Koda, there will be a place under the Shop tab that you can purchase your program and coaching. It will be 12 weeks with me, and then you can decide at that point how you want to move forward. If you are husband/wife then I'm going to provide a little bit of a discount as I know that's a lot for one family. {Click the hyperlink above and it will take you to the page!} I will have a separate facebook group that I will send for you to join as well with that so that we can discuss topics and questions that may come up from starting up! Can't wait! 

With love and Koda,

Katie

Zucchini Pasta

My plan today was to blog about all of the lessons that I've learned in hybrid training, because there are a ton of mistakes that I've made along the way. But, one of my best friends in NYC to text me that she had an awesome recipe to share and I don't do recipes often (which I want to do more of) so I wanted to share this one.

So, without further ado ... 

Liz's Zucchini Pasta 

1 onion
6-8 mushrooms (I used portabella mushrooms)
1 chicken breast (already cooked)
1/2 cup chicken broth
2-3 cloves garlic
2 tbs. olive oil (I didn't measure just threw it in the pan)
1 zucchini (spiralized)
Servings 3-4

1) Spiralize your zucchini and set aside
2) In a pan, heat up your olive oil and add sliced up onion
3) Sautee your onion until caramelized
4) Add cut up mushrooms and 1/4 cup chicken broth (you can add more or less broth depending on how much liquid is in the pan)
5) Sautee until mushrooms are soft
6) Add your cut up already cooked chicken breast.  I used left over baked and seasoned chicken I had in the fridge.
7) Add the spiralized zuccini, remaining chicken broth, and minced garlic and stir it up.
8). Let it steam for a few minutes until the zuccini softens.
 

You can add as much or as little olive oil as you wish depending on if you care about the fat content of this or not. However, just tossing some in a pan is not going to make a big deal. And basically, this recipe turns into a REALLY fun, easy and tasty way to have chicken with veggies. It's that simple! I hope you enjoy, and I'm excited to try this when I get a spiralizer. I've been wanting one, so I think that I may ask that for a house warming gift from my hubby ;) It looks like we will be closing on a home the weekend of July 18-July 20th! YAY! 

Macros (depending on oil used and chicken used) so I would just plug the amounts into your myfitnespal however it will be approximately: 15g P 8g C 4g F if serving 4! 

Let me know if you try this recipe! I think you'll love it! 

With love and spiraling,

Katie

 

What I'm Eating

I haven't done a post like this in a while, and I've had a lot more variety in my diet since being back in NC so I thought I'd share with you guys! 

Sometimes, I feel I could eat an entire house and then other days, I'm like "I'm so over cooking." 

If I'm being honest, I'm so over cooking. Haha! I know it's just because I'm busy and I still do it but it's not without huffing and puffing about it when I normally love it! Haha! My mom keeps getting shocked that I don't want to cook because like I said, I normally always volunteer first, but I think it's because I'm very deep into marathon training, studying to get licensed in NC for pharmacy, running my blog and all my clients, buying a house and getting adjusted to life in NC. {That was literally the most incorrect grammar and the worst run on sentence in my life-I would change it but it's too good so I have to let you experience the sentence before with me. HAHA!} My life is like the most blissful chaos. I always love whatever I'm doing, so I don't want it to sound like I'm complaining. I LOVE MY JOB. So so so thankful!!! Any who, I just haven't wanted to cook but I also want to eat an entire house so what does that lead me too....processed junk #sorry #justbeinghonest

This also leads me to not hitting macros because I just really don't track much anymore. Some days I go over and some days I go under. Today, I'll probably be under because I didn't work out as much (shoulders/30 min easy bike ride) so I've just been working all day but nevertheless, here is my food with no "meals" because I just eat all the time when I'm hungry. 

Breakfast (always every single day)- PROTEIN WAFFLES with 1 tablespoon peanut butter

I was hungry immediately so I had a side of 2 egg whites + 1 piece fat free american cheese

1 rice cake with 1 tablespoon PB

3 Peanut Butter crackers

2 pieces of 40 calorie Honey Wheat Bread + 3 egg whites + 1 piece FF cheese

Protein Waffles again 

Chicken Fried Chicken Sandwich (I have this all the time and should stop but it's lots of balanced calories at once which I like for my training and easy to grab on the go-at least chickfila is real chicken right?) 

1 lean beef burger (93%lean) on whole wheat bun with 1 piece cheese + reduced sugar ketchup + 160g of white potato baked with a side of 1/2 cup cottage cheese

1/4 Protein Plus Vanilla bar with coffee

1/3 cup Kent's Froyo Ice Cream with cake cone 

Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich 

1/2 cup arctic zero 

Today's food was so weird, I apologize but here you go! :) I obviously haven't ate some of this yet, but that's the plan for the rest of the day :) 

With love and macros,

Katie

 

 

From NYC to NC

It's officially been almost one whole month since we moved home. Wow. Time stinkin flies. I wondered how this would go. I thought I would have PTSD. I thought I would seriously grieve. 

I will admit something-I stay too busy to even think about those things, which is somewhat ridiculous but just being truthful. However, Tanner and I just keep saying like "Wow, we really did that." It almost seems surreal now. Like, we actually lived in New York City for a year. Did we seriously go to the grocery store every week and walk back with the groceries? HA! Did we seriously walk EVERYWHERE and almost a mile to the subway every day? Did we get to spend a year with some of the best people ever, and did we get some of the most memorable moments of our life? So weird now. 

Every person that we meet, we have to explain how "Yes, we just moved home from New York City" and it never fails with the big country accent "OH MY GOSH NEW YORK! YUCK! Thank The Good Lord you came home from that awful place" to which I want to give them a swift kick in the shin bones. I have so much pride and love for that place, and no I didn't leave because it's just so awful. It's wonderful...in so so many ways and is home to some of my most favorite people in the entire universe. 

Does life feel as glamorous? Well no, and yes. With the job that I had, I'm pretty housed up. I work from home, and I stay really busy contrary to what a lot of people think. I have to be honest, and say that it's so nice to be able to just walk outside for a few minutes for fresh air. In order to do that in NYC, it was a 20 minute ordeal of having to take the elevator downstairs then back up again, and there was never anywhere to do anything outside other than a coffee shop that I had to walk a mile to. On the every day, NC feels like a vacation. I feel relaxed and at peace, and I really really needed that. Sometimes I felt the fast paced NYC was going to give me a heart attack at the age of 25, and I know I'm just an anxious person. That's nothing on NYC, but it just wore on me sometimes. 

However, in the quiet moments sometimes, I miss the hustle. I miss just walking around and knowing that I hardly exist to anyone but I'm like in this bubble and I don't know how to explain it but it makes you come alive. Something about walking around that city made my heart want to explode in joy sometimes. Everyone gets it if they live there. You watch Sex in the City and are like "I LOVE NEW YORK CITY" then it rains and you're like "I hate my life. I want to leave." HAHA!

I miss my church family, and my friends.... a lot. I got spoiled seeing them everyday, and I seriously loved them all so much. I wish I could just transport them here. :) I feel SO close to my nephew though, and it makes me so so happy. He pretty much smiles at everyone, but I get to see him smile at me and recognize me. I was so scared of coming home, and having to explain to him who Aunt Katie was and where she lives, but now I don't have to do that. I get to see my best friends here. Oh, how I've missed them and dinners with old friends makes me so happy and feel so at home. 

It feels so cool to be known here, and I don't mean from social media but just because I'm from here. Some people hate Shelby for that reason. They hate for everyone to be in their business, but I guess I don't have anything to hide right now. Maybe if all my secrets get out, I'll hate a small town. ;) hahaha! Every single solitary place that I go, I see someone I know and it's fun. But the new fun has been, now when I walk into almost every place I hear, "Oh my gosh are you Katie?" which is HILARIOUS! Yep! Dats meeeee! And they actually care, which is just really cool and fun and all that stuff!

Now, as for my husband, it was the best decision we could have made. In the last month that we were there, he got really close to some guys in NYC and it was really sad to leave them. However, with the job change and the lifestyle change, I have finally seen my husband be who he is. He has went back up to Bristol to get all of his fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, and any and all outdoor things. He has had more dinners with me and cooked with me more times than I can count already, and it makes every moment of moving worth it. I'm so thankful for the men that were placed in his life in NYC, but I am oh so grateful for the man that he is now that he's here and where he wants to be. I don't think people in Shelby know it, but he's actually a very country boy. I think that because we lived in NYC, they think Tanner was like from there or something and many people have asked how he's adjusting to the south. HAHA! He's from East Tennessee peoples! He sacrificed and loved me enough to go to NYC for my crazy butt! ;) 

Lastly, we have found a home. We have found the place that we will raise our children, and the place that they will run around. It's so amazing. I can't wait to show it off. I would have still been renting in NYC, and it just feels so adult to finally no longer rent and to finally buy a home with my husband so we can settle and have a baby!

I miss the glamorous nightlife and Sunday brunches. I miss the people. I miss the sights. I miss the smells (the good ones). I miss Battery Park. I miss running on the Hudson. I miss Apostles (my church). I miss cute coffee shops. I miss Trader Joes and Whole Foods. I miss the hustle. 

But, I've gained so much. Change is inevitable. Change grows us and teaches us things. I'm so happy and blessed with change.

With love and big moves, 

Katie

What You Need to Become a Triathlete

Let me tell you, I am a bare bones kind of person. I'm not really into detail, and when I decide to do something, I just jump. I don't buy all the fancy stuff, and I always am like "eh, I'll make it." This ends me in trouble lots of times, but I'm going to share with you how I just sorta LEAPED into tri training with nothing. haha! 

I never bought a pair of nice running shoes until I got injured so much my last training for the marathon, so I invested in a pair of nice Asiacs. The stinkiest part about this is that I run so much that they are already worn down, and I think I need another pair. Sigh. That's all you need for running. I know everyone gets all these cool water things, and belts and that's all fun and great but if you are stretched for money then really, all you need is a pair of running shoes. 

For swimming, you need a bathing suit and goggles, obviously. I simply went to Models in NYC (I'm sure you could go to any sportswear store-I'd stay away from somewhere like Dicks though or you'll end up paying full price). I got a Nike one piece swim suit for $20. I had goggles from high school swim team, but you can get them at Walmart for like $10. Again, it doesn't have to be fancy. It just needs to shield your eyes. Ha! If you are a girl with a lot of hair like myself, I would just get a swim cap too ($5 at Walmart). That's all. 

For the bike, you would need a bike right? Na. You don't even have to do that. I know a girl that trained almost 100% indoor for a FULL ironman. She would rent a bike for a long brick training workout, and then she rented a bike on the day of her race. This is not ideal obviously but nice bikes are extremely expensive, and if you do not want cost to be the reason that you can't do it, then this is something to consider. The bike is where a big cost is. It's actually frustrating when I tell about my bike problems and people are like "Oh you just need a new bike and biking shoes, and clips and yadda yadda" and I'm over here like "Do you wanna give me 2 grand for a nice new bike and all this stuff?" It's crazy town. I did not have biking shoes for my race. I just wore my tennis shoes during the bike, and they did just fine. I even know a girl who did a half ironman with a  mountain bike (not recommended).

However, you will need a helmet for race day. I got mine for $20 at Walmart. I also did buy a bike. I got a cheap one off bikersdirect.com. They are knock offs from the more expensive bikes, and honestly my bike would be perfectly fine and wonderful IF it fit me. It's just too big, so it's not that I need a nicer bike. I just need a different size, so at this point, I think I'm going to save and make the investment in a nicer bike.

I know this isn't a ton of information, but that's because I want you to realize that if you want to just jump head first, then just do it. You definitely can grab all that you need for a reasonable price, and start with the spin bikes at your local gym as I did. 

Good luck!

With love and tris,

Katie

The Definition of Success

The actual definition of success is "the accomplishment of one's goals." 

I love that specific definition. There are others that include the attainment of honor, money, or awards, but I don't like those definitions as much. 

Success is defined by who you think that you are, and what you think that you should become. When you start down a journey towards a goal, you wouldn't begin unless you wanted to be successful. Most people do not start towards a goal with the idea in mind that they might not make it. They want to make it. 

When someone starts towards success, that's always when emotions are the highest. You know exactly why you have begun the journey. It's not until you are in the muck and dirt of the journey that you question your reasoning and your motives. That's why you have to remain strong. That's why you have to look within yourself, and say "Why did I start this? I AM capable." 

A man with no legs during the NYC marathon going up the hill at the 8 mile mark

A man with no legs during the NYC marathon going up the hill at the 8 mile mark

God created us to be limitless, and the only limitations that we have are those that we set on ourselves. You can do literally anything that you want to do, and it all starts with the knowledge that you CAN do it. 

Success is defined by who you think that you are. 

It's when you BELIEVE you can that success happens. When you obtain the goal that you have set for yourself, that's when you are successful. It's not when you become the most elite runner. It's not when you become the best of the best in powerlifting. It's not when you get the manager position and beat everyone else out. This isn't about beating other people. This is about grabbing your life by the horns, and saying "This is who I want to be and this is who I'm going to be." 

The consistency that you will find from doing this will rock your world. When I finally believe that I'm an athlete and a runner, then that makes training for it that much easier. I'm going to strive towards that person because that's who I define myself as. I am defined in my community as someone who runs, so I'm certainly not going to stop running (not that I would want to). When I'm in the midst of a 16 mile run or an 18 mile run or a marathon, I have to chant to myself that someone will literally have to peel me from the pavement before I stop. Once I have begun, I am finished. Walk out your door, lace up your shoes, and pick up your feet. Do not let your mind take over and tell you that you should stop. You should not stop until you are finished. 

Running through Amsterdam <3

Running through Amsterdam <3

No matter what the goal is, there are going to be times that for a metaphor with running, you think that you are going to die. You think that you can't breathe. You think that it's just too much, and you can't do it any longer. But, the amazing beauty of the human spirit is that you can. You really can. You can push further, you can push faster, and you can accomplish success that you have written out for your life. 

I just refuse to sit back and let this life pass me by without standing for something, and standing for who I am and what I believe in. I believe in pursuing my goals with my entire heart. I believe in loving those around me more than they've ever been loved. I believe in letting God lead me in the direction that He has for my life, and not my own. I believe that no matter how muddy I get, no matter how down on my luck that I get, I will always stand back up, dust myself off, and most of the time lace up my shoes to head out on a run. 

Don't be limitations on your life. Be who YOU want to be. Be who you said you were going to be. In six months from now, look back on the person that you were before, and know that you are not that person anymore. Don't start Monday. Start Friday. 

With love and passion,

Katie