Weekly Round Up

I haven't done one of these since the end of June and I've been wanting to get back around to it, but the blogging just hasn't lined up just right because I really do like to do it on Saturdays! :) This obviously makes sense with it being a round up of the week! :) Also, I'm really not trying to spam you on this stuff. I genuinely want to share with you things that I love. I'll tell you if they sent it to me, yadda yadda. I'm not trying to be untruthful in that but my opinions are honest.

1. Pure Goodness Whole Food Superfood

One of the first things that I want to share with you guys is a supplement (I know can you believe it) and it's a whole food supermeal that I've been using every now and then. I've kinda stopped tracking macros as it just wasn't realistic to my life and all that I do (wrote about that on my blog about how I do things now adays) but anywho, I know that I'm lacking on the protein. This product has 30 GRAMS! That's in 2 scoops which also contains 27g C and 9g F but honestly that's a perfect post workout for me! :) It's made with pumpkin seed protein and all kinds of other stuff, but it has natural vanilla flavoring. It's SO good (unexpectantly to be honest lol). 

2. Garmin 735XT  

Oh man yall! This is the new mac daddy! I love it because the watch face is smaller, and it has the heart rate capability in the watch. That's my favorite part because I don't have to hook up the waist reading for my 920XT. I have been switching them back and forth just because I do still love the 920XT but the 735 is FANTASTIC so if you are in the market for a tri watch, this is definitely the newest latest and greatest! :) 

This isn't a number but if you don't know about Momentum jewelry then you should because you can customize yours to say all kinds of things, and they are so cute and you can wear them during your races or anything really! :) 

3. Field Guide for Marriage

http://shop.valmariepaper.com/products/a-field-guide-for-marriage-set

I'm not going to lie-this is probably one of my favorite things to share EVER! Oh my goodness, I just adore it. Tanner and I have really been focusing on spending quality time together. We just tend to get busy and not make it a priority and we haven't like seen effects in our marriage, but we just value our marriage a lot so we want to change that. We have been hanging out more just us and it's been so so great and we love hanging out with each other (go figure right lol). This is a book that has you write out how you met, what you love about one another, things you can pray about your spouse for, how do you fight and how do you make up (so that you can identify what's different about one another and be cognizant of that), how do you like to handle your money (luckily we are so similar in this), how clean do you like your home, etc etc! It's honestly a perfect book for those thinking about getting married but fun for those that already are so you can look at these things and make changes to help better your marriage. You both get a book! I'm such a dork but I thrive on this junk! 

4. Tasc Performance Apparel

 Okay, they sent me some stuff and I'm really really REALLY pumped about finding out what bamboo linen feels like. My aunt told me that you could get sheets made out of this material because when I got these clothes in the mail, I texted my family to ask them if they had ever heard of such. It's material made out of bamboo and it feels like a mixture of cotton and silk. It's so so soft, but yet meant for working out because it absorbs the sweat really well. It's the bees knees. Yall know how I'm a sucker for a workout dress too so holla for a dolla.

https://www.tascperformance.com/collections/womens/products/womens-market-dress?variant=10044803909

5. Hobby Lobby World Map

I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR THIS FOREVER! I posted about it on facebook/instagram and my best friend, Rachel texted me that she thought they had one at Hobby Lobby. I had already checked there so I asked if it was the laminated ones and she said no. They had gotten some new stuff in and this was one of the items. I had a coupon for 40% off so I was able to get it for $35. We went immediately to Walmart (I told Tanner there were no options otherwise lol) and got map pins and then we came home and pinned everywhere we have been. It was so fun! The way the map is laid out, you can pin so many different tiny little places, and make it look like you've been more places ;) I can't wait to fill up this map over the years including Salt Lake City (leaving on Wednesday) and then we are going to the Dominican Republic in Oct, and then we are hoping to go to New Zealand for our 5 year anniversary! :) 

You also can order them on Etsy and get them personalized which I know a lot of people do but it's typically $100-150 and my family has one of those machines that you can make vinyl monograms and such (I can't remember the name-I just tell them what I want LOL) and so I asked my aunt to make me a sticker that said "Let's be Adventurers Darling" to put underneath on the wall.

This is one that isn't a product but rather a life thing I'm doing. I've decided to put some focus into what people are doing that inspire me. For example, one of my clients told me that she picks up everything in the  moment that she sees it so that things stay organized. I've kept up with this all week and it feels so great. All dishes, laundry, etc are done. My friend Steph said that she makes up her bed because that means that she accomplished the first thing on her to do list immediately upon waking and it really does feel so good. I've been watching Grey's anatomy on the bike and it reminds me so much of pharmacy school rotations, and how I weirdly miss the drive in that and how much I was learning constantly. The show inspires me to be a life learner and so I'm really excited to learn about all the specifics of running at my certification class this coming weekend! :) 

Happy Weekend of adventuring yall! 

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Ranch & Cream Cheese Chicken Quesadillas

I'm really excited to share this recipe with you guys today as typically I know that I share a lot of dessert type recipes and this is one that is just for lunch of suppertime! :) 

The best thing about these is that I don't have a quesadilla maker, but I do have a panini maker which I got this year and it's been one of my most favorite things ever. I cut up egg plant and zucchini slices all the time and add cavenders greek seasoning with reduced sugar ketchup for chips! It makes me feel super healthy! LOL! ... as if I'm not healthy already I know. But really, if I have a green smoothie, I'm like "LOOK HOW HEALTHY I AM YALL!" 

We are largely (and when I say largely, I mean like all the time) vegetarian/vegan/plant based in our house, however I do think that it's good to add in some non vegetarian options for those that aren't as this is a new thing as of the beginning of 2016 (hard to believe it's been that long but feels much more natural now). ANYWAYYYYY... here it is ;) 

TWO THINGS: People pick on me all the time for my directions "Throw in oven" or things of that nature, so if you don't understand something, let me know. I just make these up! haha! Also, there is no reason for why some things are bolded below. I'm working on that tech stuff currently.

These are the macros for 1/2 of a large quesadilla with the insides mixed between 4 large quesadillas. You can just have the inside on toast or however you want to do it and calculate the macros that way but this is for 1/2 quesadilla! As usual, let me know if you make it or tag me on instagram!!! :) I paired it with salsa and some baked kettle chips! :) They have a new kind that has half fat so 6g per serving! HOLLA!

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Katiesfitscript is growing!! - Customized Personal Training

So I shared this with my facebook team about a month ago so that they could have first dips. They already know, but I am SO excited to announce the addition to Taylor Cartee as part of the Katiesfitscript team. Officially now, she will be offering customized personal training. 

Up until this point, what I do is nutrition focused and I have a workout program that goes along with that. It's not tailored to your goals or anything of that nature and I'm forward about that from the start. This is 100000% customized. I've asked Taylor some questions so that you can get to know her better, but I also wanted to share a snapshot of what she does and who she is. 

Taylor is such an amazingly talented, smart, and passionate person. That's why when I was choosing someone to do this job, I knew I wanted her. She has been working full time in a physical therapy clinic now for 3 years, and can create custom programs from the ground up based on equipment, time, etc from powerlifting to at home workouts. She is a wife and dog mom and plans to continue towards her degree this year in exercise science. Here's her sweet family! 

I'm going to link up her website NOW and let you know that the price you are getting is CHEAP for what she provides...like extremely cheap and I don't say that for myself but for Taylor. She's really good at what she does, which is why I'm so thankful to have her on board. You can also follow her instagram @taylorcarteefitness ! If you didn't catch that link, here it is: http://taylorcartee.com/personal-training/

Here is a snapshot of what she provides for her clients.

I wish this were more clear, but week by week, she does changes based on the prescribed exercise, the actual weight that you got and provides videos/picture links as well. Here are some of the questions that I asked her and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. 

What is your background story in fitness? How did you decide you were going to pursue personal training?

When I was 15 or so my sister and I would go to the Y once or twice a week and do three sets of ten on every machine, do some core, run a mile, then go home. I remember that there were a couple personal trainers there who just seemed so cool! I fell out of the habit of lifting when I transferred to a four year school my sophomore year, but I kept running and I played a lot of intramural soccer.

Three years ago, when my husband and I were dating, he introduced me to lifting free weights and I was hooked.  I found strength training to be incredibly empowering! I already had enough physical therapy background to understand basic biomechanics and good form, which I think really helped, but gosh I was weak! I couldn’t bench an empty bar without him spotting me! Because I’m naturally very inquisitive I started researching all things related to strength andconditioning and I’ve never looked back.  That’s actually how I found Katie! I was super frustrated that no one seemed to lift and run and then BOOM- Katie quickly became my favorite IG-er (and still is one of my faves!) I love hybrid training and I’ve personally trained for and completed two half marathons while continuing to lift heavy up until my taper.

I love sharing what I learn, so over the past few years I’ve helped train quite a few friends and I thought about pursuing personal training for quite awhile but never wanted to cough up the cash to get certified because I’m cheap! When I decided to go back to school, I realized that personal training would be much more feasible than continuing to work in a physical therapy clinic, and I do believe it is important to have appropriate credentials so I got my NASM CPT this past May.

What did you do before?

In 2008 I started working part time in a physical therapy clinic which exposed me to tons of different exercises, from super basic post-operative stuff to return to sport protocols for athletes.  I’ve been a PT exercise specialist full time for almost three years now, I’ve worked with patients from as young as five to as old as 96. I’ve worked with people with severe disabilities, D-I college athletes and even elite masters marathoners and triathletes, and everyone in between. Recently I even worked with a professional snowboarder! I’m still working in a PT clinic three days a week, but soon I’ll be transitioning out of that as this fall I am going back to school to get my BS in Exercise Science at George Fox University. Thankfully I have enough related coursework that I only have one year of classes between me and that degree!

What are your goals with your training? (online and in person)

My goal is to empower clients to meet their goals (strength and aesthetic) in a way that is enjoyable and fits their lifestyle. I also encourage them to view their strength and conditioning as a way of enriching their life, not adding stress to it. In weekly check-ins I ask them to reflect on what they learned about themselves over the course of executing that week’s workouts. I hope that through working with me clients gain a strong understanding of how to maintain their body through proper warm-ups and mobility work.  Personally, my goal is to sit for the CSCS (certified strength and conditioning specialist) exam this coming May, which is a more advanced certification than the NASM CPT. I hope to start a doctor of physical therapy program next year and eventually practice as a hybrid physical therapist/strength and conditioning coach. I’m also getting my RRCA (running coach) certification in October. Although I’m a middle-to-back of pack runner, it’s something I absolutely love, especially the injury prevention aspect of training.

What makes your programming special?

A lot of people do custom programming but that often just means custom reps/sets/weights. Because I have such a broad background I’m comfortable building every client’s program from the ground up so that it reflects their goals, time constraints, and any existing weaknesses. I have one client who has run 20 marathons, including Boston, and others who hate running, and that’s fine. I’m a firm believer that the best way to exercise is the way you most enjoy, so long as you include some sort of strength component.

The running joke in my team facebook group is that we’re #teamnoburpees because multiple girls on the team hate them and I will not program an exercise you hate if it doesn’t relate to your goals. Unless you want to win some burpee contest, there are other ways we can strengthen your core/upper body and get your heart rate up!

Some clients follow a powerlifting style programming with main lifts followed by accessory circuits; others do home-based workouts with resistance bands and dumbbells.  None of my clients strength train more than four days a week because that’s just not necessary. If you’re a total gymrat, great; this frees you up to spend some quality time with the foam roller, or maybe leave your phone at home and just take a nice walk outside. If you want your body to perform like a high end sports car, you have to give it top-of-the-line maintenance! All my clients are encouraged to send me form check videos so I can catch any muscle imbalances or poor movement patterns before they become problematic.  I also include very specific warm-ups and mobility work for each client.

What’s your favorite part about online training?

This will sound super cliché, but I absolutely love it when my girls share their successes. I don’t achieve success for them; my job is to give them the framework and empower them to succeed.  Sometimes that’s a massive PR, like Amanda D. whose goal was to squat 135 for one rep by April 2017 and she hit it for two reps in her fourth week with me. I didn’t give her magic strength programming; I just opened the door for her to discover that she is already way stronger than she realized. Another client recently shared that since she’s been on a regular workout schedule, her depression and anxiety are much more manageable. Again, that’s all her. I’m just here to cheer her on and give her some guidance in the gym.  

So, this is available to you guys now anytime!! :) Let me know if you are interested. 

 


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Inspirational Youtube Videos

I'm obsessed with really inspirational youtube videos. They really inspire me and keep me going on those hard days. This is one of the ways that keeps me motivated. It's just short videos and I'll go through old ones or I get on channels I follow that I know will inspire me.

After watching these, it encourages me to share this with you. I think you are incredible. I don't know what your dreams are, but I truly think that you can get there. Are you in school? You can finish. Are you training for something?I know you can finish it. Are you struggling with eating issues? I KNOW YOU CAN BEAT IT! If you want it, you do it. There is absolutely nothing stopping you. You will have set backs, but that doesn't matter. You just keep going. You make yourself DIFFERENT and be everything you've ever wanted to be. I'm so so passionate about this. I mean it. Never give up.

Here are some of those: 

Your World Within Channel: 

If you haven't seen the new Katy Perry video, uhhhh, you MUST. Like, I don't care if you read my blog at work and don't a minute, you have to go to the bathroom! LOL!!! It's THAT good! I cried and got chills when I saw it for the first time.

This guy is homeless and recovered from cocaine and a runner. I can't. So good.

This is talking about how greatness exists in all of us, and boy do I believe that. 

I LOVE the voice of the ironman guy! His voice alone is inspiring so you can follow this channel, but this video is the best! 

This one is really famous but that's because it's so good but you might have seen it. This is one I come back to though because it always inspires.

What are your favorites? 

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Budget for a first time Ironman (and ways to save)

They always say that tri is a rich man's sports, and while I don't know who "they" is, I have to agree that it's very expensive. However, I think that it's hyped up to be more expensive than it needs to be because everyone becomes obsessed with getting all the fancy gear. I'm going to give you the costs of the bare bones essentials, but then maybe some add ons that might make things more comfortable. If you've never done a tri, then you are going to need a bike and obviously that's going to be your biggest investment but I feel everyone knows that, so we will start with that. 

I will say this. I was VERY frustrated with the "tri world" while training for my first half. It's like people have a chip on their shoulder because they have the fanciest stuff and always trying to tell me what I "have to buy" when I would post on instagram/facebook. I got really stubborn and did my half ironman in tennis shoes on the bike almost to make a point. Not everyone has thousands of dollars to drop at once and just want to race and that's okay. You can still be an athlete and do it even if your income doesn't support what some may throw down.

BIKING

  • BIKE ($800-$10,000)

I think everyone knows that there are tons of different levels, but I just refused to spend thousands of dollars. I got mine for $880 at a local bike shop and it's a wonderful bike that I'm so very happy with. You want to really research bikes and see what things that you think are essential to your success but quite frankly, if Tanner would have let me, I would have done it on my pink lady cruiser as I'm a huge fan of building the machine and not all of the fancy gear. Butttttt, admitably, it's been the best present that my team ever gave me (they did a Go Fund Me page to raise money for me to get a bike almost a year ago now and it was pretty much the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for me) and I don't know how in the world I rode anything different before. 

There is also a website called Bikes Direct that has great bikes for cheap.

  • CLEATS ($50) - obviously this depends and someone gave me cleats (I've been very lucky with the costs I've had to spend and I'm so very thankful for that)
  • CLIP ON PEDALS ($50) - I did my half ironman without these but some would call this essential
  • Helmet ($20+)-I put $20 because I've worn my walmart helmet and yea it's ghetto and yea, I've been made fun of but it works and not everyone wants to spend so much on everything!!
  • TRAINER ($200-300) 

I honestly am going to say this is essential because I don't know what I'd do without a trainer. I use it constantly with the bike because you aren't going to be able to do it all outside (maybe you could I guess so that's an area to save). I would search Craigslist and if you are a girl then join the Women for Tri group and sometimes there are Wednesdays where they do a thread about selling stuff so you might be able to find something. Tanner already had one from when he used to ride so that was something I didn't have to buy. I did find one on Amazon listed below for $55!! 

  • Bike Shorts ($50+)

I was stubborn during my half and trained for the entire half with no bike shorts. HAHAHA! I couldn't find a deal and if I don't find deals-I'm not buying so I stuck it out. I mean-it was fine as I knew no different. One of my clients gave me bike shorts and a top for Christmas this past year and it was the best thing I've ever been given. I wouldn't trade those bike shorts for the world, however that's still the only pair that I have and I wash them every other day and wear them like 3X per week! HAHAHA! Speaking of-I really just need to get more and going to go look for some deals now! Point being-you only need one pair if you are on a budget and you can make it work!

Total approximately: $1120 for the cheapest stuff out there, $320 if you have a bike

SWIMMING

  • Goggles-$10 (got the cheapest pair at Walmart but I would say it might benefit you to maybe get the $20 ones because these suck LOL) 
  • Swim Suit-$20 (Nike outlet-I only have one suit and I just wash it and wear it twice weekly during my swims)
  • Swim Cap - $10 and you can get free ones at the races (Silicone is where it's at!!)
  • Wet suit - I rented mine out of Charlotte! My goal was an ironman so I wasn't interested in doing a bunch of halfs/olympics/sprints so I didn't invest in one and knew my two races would be my half and my full. Wetsuits run around $250+ and the rental is $50. I figured I was saving even by getting the cheapest wetsuit that isn't guaranteed to fit if I buy it online so I opted out of purchasing. However, if you plan on doing a lot of racing then this is something to consider.
  • Tri kit - ($30-$200)when I took off my wetsuit, this is what I had under it and wore for the rest of the race. I didn't change after the bike and only wore this under it. I found it on sale online for $30 so look for deals until you find them!

Total: $170 (includes 2 wetsuit rentals)

RUNNING

  • Shoes ($100) - but you might already have them! With ironman training, you are obviously going to be running a lot and if you do this sport then you probably run tons anyway and have to buy new shoes every few months. This is a reality I've faced that I was stubborn with at first. I said "oh these shoes are fine" and about 4 shoe related injuries later, I got over that. ;) 

Total: $100

RACING

The three essential things that I knew I needed before a full ironman was a half ironman. Before a half ironman, I knew I needed to have one open water swim as I didn't know what that was like. If you have friends that could meet up with you and go swim open water, then that makes for such a fun day. I did an olympic tri (and my cheap pink bike broke down on this course haha) but I got the open water in which is what I wanted. 

  • Olympic Tri - $100
  • Half Ironman - $300
  • Full Ironman - $700 
  • AirBnB (I basically don't do hotels anymore)-$40/night (but obviously this could be a lot more if you get a hotel but I think the price shows you why I don't)
  • Flight travel if you aren't close (however I'm within 4 hours driving distance of mine)

YEP YOU HEARD THAT RIGHT!! The logistics of an ironman and the set up I know has to cost them a lot of money. You pay a lot for the brand "M-Dot" as well. I'm sure they are making tons of money as it's a business but I do understand that things of this nature cost money and it's very important to me. My brother thought it was INSANE but then he spent $700 on a bow that I would never ever do. So, it's just all where you want to spend your money. 

There are full distance ironman tri's (140.6 miles) that aren't the brand "Ironman" that cost less, but they are hard to find. Some are run well and some aren't. Beach to Battleship is what Ironman NC was called previously and it was run extremely well, but when that happens Ironman comes in and offers the big bucks to make it theirs, and that's what happened. So, now this year for the first time, it's Ironman NC! I'm very excited that it is the brand though so that when I finish they say "Katie Ringley, you are an ironman" - $700 worth of glory right there! hahaha! 

Most everyone will want to at least do a half ironman before the full. I know that many would recommend I do a half while training for my full right now but like quoted above, it's $300 and if I need that for training then I'll just go in my town and do the same distance! :) Racing is obviously good for tons of reasons and getting used to all of that, but it just didn't work out this time! 

Total: $1040 (yikes) 

ADD-ONS:

Garmin watch-($400-500) If you don't have one then I know that this might not be a priority but when training for an ironman, I would say it's pretty close to essential. I got the Garmin 920XT (which is the tri focused watch). I don't have to focus on my laps in the pool as it counts them for me, I can get all data on my runs and bike rides, and it's just that I don't know how I'd do without. Garmin recently sent me the 735XT and I'm just warming up to it and going to do a better review soon but I love it so far. The face is much smaller and it's light weight and records wrist heart rate. 

The 920XT used to be $500 and now it's $375 on Amazon so if you wait a little bit and get the older version then you can save there too!

  • Underwater MP3- ($90) The water can be boring so this is something to consider if pool training is hard for you.
  • All the biking/swimming/running gear that makes you a cool kid that I don't have ;) 

A great way to get started on some of this is if you ask for these things for birthdays and Christmas. You might get a much nicer helmet if you put it on your Christmas list that you want an aero helmet that's around $100 if the timing is right for your race, or you could buy the $20 one and then do that. If you are serious about the race, then obviously it's going to be a majority of your life during that training period...like that's all you'll be doing in your spare time. So, if it's the only thing that you are spending money on then it's worth it to make yourself comfortable. I try to live frugally right now with how much school loan debt we have and how we are trying to pay it off, but not buying bike shorts before a half ironman is a bit silly! Go ahead and invest in those kinds of things! :) 

TOTAL FOR EVERYTHING ESSENTIAL: $1630 (if you already have a bike but if not $1000 more AT LEAST)= $2630

WOW-I'm so grateful to my team for helping me with the bike, and so many others gifting me things along the way! It could be MUCH more also if you spent hundreds on your tri kit, wet suit, helmet, bike shorts, etc. Hope this helps give a good picture! 

 

 

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My Inspiring Friends

So, I don't talk about all of my amazing social media friends enough. I feel like I've been in this gig for long enough that even though they are technically social media friends, they are also real life friends and many of them, I have met and adore just as much in person. Also, this is NOT COMPREHENSIVE. I've seen some bloggers do lists and I always feel bad for those not included and of course try not to care when my name isn't on the list LOLOL!!! So, if you aren't on here, I still think you are amazing but had these few on my mind! My friend Steph (@runtrimom) made a snap about how watching her friends just gives her so much joy for their success and I feel the same way. Bethany and I (@babfitrunlife) talk about this too and how we want to support all of our friends in their triumphs.

I'm going to Salt Lake City next week and I'm staying with one/two of those people. They are married! ;) If you aren't familiar with Tommy and Kenzie Barlow, you should be. LOL! I followed Kenzie first just because I'm obsessed with people who run trails and how beautiful their pictures are and I quickly started to love her humor in all of her posts (@sarcasminspandex). She was training for her first 100 miler, and I was just hooked on her page. Tommy (her husband) is now on the journey for the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning which is 4 prestigious 100 mile races in one full calendar year. He just finished the second one(both under 24 hours). Like legit, he's my hero. There have been so many to attempt this journey and only around (I think) 300 to complete it since 1986 from what I could find online, but I have faith he's going to make it through the next two!!!! 

Second, is my good friend Gina Crosswhite (@happytrigirl). There is seriously not many people on the Earth quite like her. She's so genuinely kind and positive. She's just the real deal. She's a TRUE friend and will text me just to say "Have a great day!" sometimes!! She has also been an amazing athlete for years so I just feel so honored to be her friend <3 She is currently training for the Wasatch 100 and did a random training marathon up Pikes Peak last week. LIKE WHO DOES THAT? LOL!!!! She also is doing the Squash 50/50 which is two 50 milers two days in a row. She's like my spirit animal with her being the more tough and cool part of the animal. 

Third, (and these are not in order) is Heather Scott. She's currently entering a taper for her ironman and gosh I just love her pictures. She has such a way with her photography that just makes you feel like you are there or wish you could be there and be as cool as her. LOL! She swims ungodly amounts of distance all the time (like busted out 5000m this weekend followed by an 11 mile run with a 70 mile bike ride the day before). Her insta is @heatherrosescott! Thank me lataaaa for this gem.

It's also of note that all of the above are really beautiful people too. Like how you so tough and so pretty? SHARE THE MOJO FOLKS! ;) 

Fourth is my good friend Gregg (@nycsweat). So first, he crushed an amazing PR this weekend of 6:54/mile on a 5K (20:56) followed by a half marathon the next day! He's honestly just another one of those GENUINE people. He makes such a consistent effort in friendships texting me to tell me that it was the day to dress up as a cow and go get chickfila because he knows I love it. I know it's so little, but I feel like genuine thoughtfulness is so rare. He THINKS of others so much, he's always meeting up with runners from all over all the time, and last year he ran a 53 mile race and gave every dime he raised to a cause. He just cares for people, and it's cool. 

Last (but not least), is my really wonderful friend Heather Jenson (@triandrungirl). She is in the final stages of preparing for her first ironman, and I'm just so excited for her. She's a mom of three and has always put them first knowing that she could totally do a full ironman but felt that she would be taking away from them, so she always did halfs. She loves people like it's going out of style. You'll never meet another one like her! I am so thrilled to watch her on the day of her ironman (when DEPRESSINGLY ENOUGH she's from Salt Lake and I'll be there staying with #1 on this list-The Barlows) and she'll be crushing her ironman at Vineman. I'll come back Heather, I promise. I wouldn't miss getting to hug you one day for nothing! 

Okay, I'm done gushing on my friends today. Hope you enjoy following their journeys!!! 

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Losing Weight Fast is NOT ideal

Everywhere you turn there is some new program that promises that you are going to lose weight fast. If you look to google searches about weight loss, you will see that to be one of the most asked questions. If I post a transformation picture to instagram, there are many that will say "How long did that take?" as if doing it slowly is not okay. 

Everyone knows the saying "Slow weight loss is the best weight loss and you'll keep it off that way" but why do we say that? And is that even true? And why don't we listen to it when we know it? 

The truth is that you can lose weight fast, and keep it off if you are diligent enough. That's craziness though and not a life of happiness and fulfillment but I just want to put it out there that IT IS possible. The truth is though, you back yourself into a corner.

When you diet like that continually over years and years, which unfortunately many women do, the place that you start to cut calories from gets lower and lower. You think that you can only lose on 1000 calories, but that's because you've never given your body a break to do otherwise. Breaks do not include binge eating on a vacation for a week and coming back home to a 1000 calorie diet. The body doesn't know what to do with that. 

Yall I just found this gem-it's my VERY first fitness selfie LOL!!! I remember telling myself I was going to go in my basement because the light shined on me for a good picture and I prepared all week for this picture I took! LOL!!!!! (aka I ate nothing) I think I was 21 so this was 5 years ago...oh how things change.

Yall I just found this gem-it's my VERY first fitness selfie LOL!!! I remember telling myself I was going to go in my basement because the light shined on me for a good picture and I prepared all week for this picture I took! LOL!!!!! (aka I ate nothing) I think I was 21 so this was 5 years ago...oh how things change.

The women that I see that are the most successful are those that have never dieted before in their lives or restricted at all. They have a healthy metabolism, and all is fine. But that also doesn't mean that you can't fix it. However, that's not what today's blog is about. 

It's really quite simple, but I wanted to have a blog explaining it. When you lose weight fast, you most likely are having to diet on low calories. When you diet on low calories, your body only has so much to pull from in that amount of time frame to lose the weight therefore, you WILL lose muscle. It's not really an if but just that it will happen.

If you never work to build that muscle tissue back then you are left with the amount of muscle that you lost when dieting super hard which means that you have to eat LESS to be able to lose in the future. Let's say you lose super quick, lose the muscle, don't lift because you "don't want to get bulky" and then over the next few months you gain back that weight but this time it's all in fat because you aren't lifting to get that muscle back. Now, your weight is higher but with a lower muscle mass. 

You do this over and over again until you are 50 with a really crappy metabolism and then they tell you that you lose metabolism with age and so you just chalk it up to that and never even think it's possible to fix the whole issue to start with. 

Your body is tricky, but really not all that tricky. When you lose slow, the reason that it's more sustainable is because you didn't sacrifice your metabolism and your muscle mass in the process. I always say to start high with calories, and do that for a little while and then dial it back.. It makes things so much easier. This might mean that in the first few weeks that you decide you want to lose weight, you don't lose as much as you would like but you are doing it the smart, non miserable way. 

At the end of the day, that's always going to be the case where women just want to "get it over with" or they have some event that they want to prepare for to just get the weight off. If you choose that is to be your route, then you will lose muscle and it's important to incorporate resistance training into your routine so you don't drive yourself into the ground. 

On the contrary, there is always going to be more loss in the first week because of just water loss, taking down carbs in a diet in general so if you lose quickly that first week then it might just be that and it's not something to freak out over. Another situation that quick loss is appropriate is if you have ALOT of fat to lose. I just don't want you guys that lose 5lbs the first week to freak out too much but if you keep losing 4+ pounds every week then honestly, I'd up your calories and save your metabolism. My mom lost 30lbs. It took her 30 weeks basically, but I preached to her over and over again on the days that she was trying to be "tough" and diet harder that it was only going to screw her over in the long run. I'm glad she listens to me sometimes ;) She now also has those tools of nutrition to carry with her for the rest of her life versus the typical "don't eat anything unless it's gross health food" mentality! :)

If a program is promising a quick weight loss, then you know to run. They aren't out for your health. They are out for your money. 

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Is Counting Macros Mentally Healthy?

So yesterday in our facebook team group, we started the discussion on this topic and boy, I had way too much to say on it and just wanted to go ahead and make an organized blog out of it. There are so many different factors that go into this, and many different personalities so I want to touch on a few of the situations that could come up and maybe one of them are you and you can relate and know that you aren't alone. If you follow my blog, then you are either a fan of macro counting, endurance races, trolling, etc but we will start with someone who may be contemplating counting but things that might be obsessive. 

"Macro Counting is too obsessive" 

This one typically goes along with the "It's all about the quality of food" that you are eating. haha! There are those that eat very healthy, pay no attention to how much they are eating, and just eat good wholesome foods. That doesn't mean that they confine themselves to certain food groups, or restrict at all, but just eat healthy. Weighing food seems absolutely out of the question and completely ridiculous. Tracking intake seems obsessive and quite frankly ridiculous. 

This is also typically someone who looks down their nose at unclean foods and associates macro counting with oreos and poptarts. I'm totally stereotyping, but stereotypes are sometimes that way for a reason.

"Macro Counting makes me become obsessive"

There is a difference between those that think macro counting is obsessive from the get go (most of the time before they even will give it a try) and then those that do macro counting and it makes them crazy. They won't go out to eat, they have to have everything perfectly weighed at home, and they make sure that every thing is zeroed out at the end of the day. They genuinely feel like they are suffering through the perfect tracking, but yet they do it because they feel one mess up will cause crazy things to happen.

"I use it as a tool-I don't track that close always" 

Not gonna lie-this is my territory but I don't want to get into how I feel until I'm done explaining each section (I know that I started a series about cutting then reversing but I just don't like being meticulous with numbers in life these days so I just started eating more and didn't worry about all of that to be honest).

This is the one where you have numbers that are set for what you think is great for you and your activity level, but if someone invites you to dinner or you just want to run to Bojangles cuz life is short-well you do that. haha!

"I'm a meticulous macro counter and it doesn't affect me mentally" 

This was me for so so long, and I am 100% all in favor of that life. There are so many that especially when they first begin macro counting, they truly have life altering things happen mentally. I am SUCH a huge fan, and think this is such a beautiful and critical time. I feel it's such a great time to reach goals as well. You are so dedicated to this new found passion and so you hit your macros like a freakin champ. You love every minute of it, and you are able to cut really well. I got lean as a bean when I started macro counting because I hit those targets like it was my job. hahaha! I'm not so good at that anymore. 

This was me when I first started! I was so good at hitting macros then LOL!!

This was me when I first started! I was so good at hitting macros then LOL!!

Here's the truth. Macro counting has it's place and it's time. If you've never done it before, and don't know what it is then I think that it's genuinely only fair that you give it a chance. You could be one of those people that it changes your life. You also could be one of those people that you hate it so much and never want to do it again, and that's okay too. Everyone is not going to agree on this so I can give the opinions of how I feel all day but that doesn't mean that I'm going to solve the divide on this. 

I truly believe it's the easiest and most carefree way to the goals that you have in weight loss and the goals that you have when preparing for a race. I, for one, would still probably be eating too little, and then there are others that are the exact opposite and would be eating too much. Knowledge is power and unless you are someone who has genuinely studied nutrition then just saying you are going to "eat clean" isn't going to get you very far and will only create relationships with certain kinds of foods that you think are the only ones that you can have. Even those with the best of relationships would tell you that bread is "bad for you" but if you look at the nutritional break down of it, it's really not at all. It's all these things in society that have made us think a certain way and that's why I think macros are so vital and so helpful. They really help teach you. 

hahahaha I liked my own picture! #guilty I could have deleted this but it was too funny! I wanted to show what I know happens when I track macros semi consistently and back when people actually liked my pictures on insta LOLOL

hahahaha I liked my own picture! #guilty I could have deleted this but it was too funny! I wanted to show what I know happens when I track macros semi consistently and back when people actually liked my pictures on insta LOLOL

However, we all know that you don't want to be counting macros when you are like 87 years old remembering the days when instagram first came out and you learned about it from the girls eating doughnuts with sculpted abs. hahaha! Am I the only one that thinks about these things? Can yall imagine what the world will look like and what we will think of the days we are living now? It's quite hilarious. I just hope and pray I haven't revealed so much of my life online that I'm just shaking my head like "girl what in the world?" LOL!!! 

The transition that I've made out of tracking meticulous was a lot easier than what I see online with a lot of girls. I just had some things come up in my life that I couldn't really do it. This is almost embarrassing to admit but for the entire first year of counting macros (even during my reverse), I didn't own a food scale. I didn't ever weigh my food so the thought of doing it down to the gram to zero out my numbers just didn't cross my mind. I went by like "half cup this", "tablespoon that" and I thought that it was perfect enough to me. It worked gloriously so I have no regrets about that. I think it also didn't make me obsessed when I went to restaurants that didn't have food listed. I was just like "eh well this looks like the 1/4 cup that I use so it'll do". I'm also like a wanna be type A but not actually type A so that helps. I was still being "perfect" on my macros at this time.

Life started happening and events and I would track things and then wouldn't be hungry at the end of the day so I was like "eh whatever". There would be some days where I was hungry and thought "well this one day it won't hurt" and of course it didn't. Then came the real kickers. There were days where I thought "ya know what? I want some fries, and I don't have the fat for it...like not even close but I want this and I work hard" so on random nights (NOT CHEATS/TREATS/YADDAYADDA), I would go value that. 

and then this is what I look like a lot of days (forgive the just woke up feels) because Bojangles > abs 

and then this is what I look like a lot of days (forgive the just woke up feels) because Bojangles > abs 

In my head, I was like HECK YES YOU GO GIRL! I know it's so dumb, but like really, that's a transformative time to be able to decide what I WANTED not what fit my macros. When I would go out to eat with friends on weekends, I would look at a menu and say "Okay Katie, what do you really want? Wait, no, what's the most macro friendly option? NO KATIE WHAT DO YOU WANT?" It's a conversation I had to have with myself. 

There was no "I am quitting macros forever now" moments. There was no deleting of the app. There are still meticulous days most of the time during the week. There is still 100% belief in what macro counting is about and thinking that if you have a goal that you want to get to, it's the best way. However, I just didn't let it get to me. I have no name for my eating. It's not intuitive eating. It's just sometimes I could and sometimes I don't. And then sometimes, I get good for like a week and remember what I can achieve from just a little consistency.

This also doesn't mean that with intuitive eating, you can't keep your physique but just that I got a little lazy on the nutrition as of late. haha!

Maybe I'm making this up but I feel like sometimes we obsess with things because we see others obsess. In real life, I'm always around people that think macro counting is crazy to be honest (they came around and all lost weight using it lol), but I never had the choice to be neurotic about it and so therefore I never even thought to be. I thought flexible dieting meant for us to be flexible, therefore when I go out to eat and I want to track, I pick something that fits. If I go out to eat, and I don't want to track because I have no specific goals at the moment then I don't. It's really that simple. I feel we make it much more complicated than it has to be. 

Some days I under eat. Some days I over eat. Some days I meticulously count and vow that I'm going to set big goals (and then I don't follow through because #life). When I'm training, I use myfitnesspal to make sure I get in enough calories for the day to support that.

I think of macros like I do cleaning my house. I'd love to clean my house every day. That'd be nice and would look lovely, but sometimes that just isn't going to happen and that's okay. The house will get dirty then one day I'll clean it all and it's all good.

I'm not here to act like I'm perfect or that my way is the best, but just how I feel on it! :)

I know that you see that my mindset is relaxed about it however if I had goals and weight that I wanted to lose as I know that many do and I was not progressing, then yes I would count meticulously. It's temporary. It doesn't mean you are obsessed. Just like I'm having to grind for the next 15 weeks in prep for my ironman, there are just some times in life that you have to grind to a goal and that's OKAY!!! If you find it makes you mentally unstable, then that's one thing and then maybe macro counting is not for you. 

End of story: You have to find what works for you but even though I don't track meticulously, I'm a huge fan of doing it and think that it doesn't mean that you are obsessive, hate yourself, are crazy, etc.... and don't let anyone tell you otherwise! 

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Things to Pass the Time in Endurance Training

That's probably the number 1 question that I get asked is what do I think about during endurance events. I have said that many times I can't even remember what I've thought about which is just odd I know. I think back on things during races especially and I have no recollection of what I've thought about. However, there are tips and tricks that have gotten me through those dark times of not really wanting to continue, being bored, and what do I occupy my mind with. 

For those that aren't into endurance, you might be thinking, "this is why I don't do it because it's so boring" and that's valid as I used to be that person. Every second felt like an eternity and I thought it was purposeless to life. I really do believe that getting out there and doing hard hard races is what changed my life. If doing cardio is a means to an end for weight loss, it's almost always miserable. If your running is a means to getting you excited to complete a race that you have planned and knowing that you will cross that finish line, then it makes those miles a lot easier to endure and more happy thoughts will enter your mind. 

Treadmill Runs: 

  • Magazine 
  • Kindle 

I know that not many can read on the treadmill, and maybe I'm just rare on this. I've heard it makes people seasick from the bouncing up and down, and I totally know what you are talking about, but you kinda have to stare for a minute to let that pass and then your eyes adjust to what it is that you are trying to do. It's like they all of a sudden get it. LOL! 

With the kindle, I find it so great! You can use an ipad too of course with your kindle books on it. I love to do easy miles on the treadmill and read or even sometimes I like to do long runs on the treadmill. I can finish up a book that way. haha!!! I know that running on the treadmill is not ideal though and shouldn't be something that you do all the time, but I could never stare at a wall while I run on a treadmill! Yikes! 

Outside Runs (obviously this applies indoors too): 

  • Podcasts (I should do a blog on my favorites but I love Serial, No Meat Athlete, Rich Roll, The Gimlet Show) 
  • Audiobooks
  • Music 
  • No Technology and just thoughts 

Many times during my week day runs, I don't like to have tons of attachments to me and things that I need for my run and I simply just like to get out there with just me and do it, but what in the world do I think about? I go through a list of things that I think about: 

  • My Day

 What do I need to do when I'm done with my run?

What's the timeline of how I need to shower--> get to the next thing that I have to do-If I already know the timeline, I review lol

What am I going to have for dinner?

What is possibly something that I forgot to do and need to follow up on?

Are all clients taken care of? 

  • My life as a whole 

Am I doing this thing well? 

What are some things that I could do better to be a better wife? 

I really should start being a better daughter/granddaughter and go see family more! What are some fun things that we could do together this weekend? 

How can I draw closer to God? What are some areas in my life that could use some "pruning" that would help me to develop a deeper relationship instead of just flying by the seat of my pants with what I want to do and not listening to the direction and His will on my life? 

Who are some friends that I haven't seen lately? Remember these people to write down on a list later. Text them, ask how their day was, see if you could grab dinner with them! 

Have  you read a book lately? You should read a book. You like to read books, and you always busy yourself to not slow down for two seconds to read a book. (This is a frequent one lol)

  • My Training 

Am I ready? Will I ever be ready? 

What is my next race going to be? 

What is my goal time for this ironman? That would be a DON'T HAVE ONE-Just Finish Goal! 

Am I training well enough? (As in right now-Focus girl, focus) 

I wonder what I'll train tomorrow. (my coach uploads daily-sometimes I like to think of it as a nice surprise every morning, sometimes it stresses me out lol) 

  • Race Day Visualization 

Seriously, I do this almost every run, every ride, every swim! I envision myself on the race day. Having done the half ironman, I am fully able to know every single part of what I'll be up against on race day for the full ironman, so I'm able to think about myself in those moments and how that will feel. I try to focus on the finisher chute and hearing my name called out that I'm an ironman. I think about how all of this that I'm doing currently will be worth it because of that. 

  • Travel 

Where would I like to go next?

I'm going to Salt Lake City in two weeks (with a one day stop in Denver to spend the day with a friend), Chicago for the marathon and Bethany's 30th birthday (woooo), Wilmington for the Ironman, Dominican for a week long sit on my butt post ironman trip, and then NYC in November for the marathon! 

My top places to visit soon are: Ireland, New Zealand (we have decided this will be our 5 year anniversary trip), California (I'm like DYING to go and just need to plan a trip maybe in December to do a 50K with my friend Meredith that I met in Boston!!), Boulder (for a non young life camp trip to Colorado), Grand Canyon (but I really want to do rim2rim and run it), London -- These are top but I have so so many more I could make a blog on! 

  • Procreating (ha) 

Are we ready?

Do we want them soon?

Do we want to wait a little longer?

Do people think we are crazy?

Does it upset my mom?

(Again, this needs to be a blog itself so we will stick to the purposes of this post) 

If I'm listening to a podcast or a song then I think about obviously the story line or whatever the song is saying. Typically, I don't think that we even think when we hear songs even when we sing along, but while I'm running, I most definitely think about the words and what the song is saying. There are a million other things that I think about, but I think that this is a good list to get you going. The last thing that you want to do is just wallow in the run. Don't think about the actual run. Force your mind to think about other things and the time goes by so much easier. You also can run with friends which I obviously didn't mention, but that helps too. I just train alone most of the time! :) 

What are your favorite things to do?

 

 

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Does Your Anxiety Benefit You?

Let's talk about anxiety. Let's talk about you and me. Let's talk about all the good things and the bad things that we see.

Okay I'm done. 

But really, I probably choose a topic because it directly affects my life/has in the past. And here we are with this one. 

I come from a long line of familial depression/anxiety and I know how real mental illness is. However, there are some things that have helped me along the way to deal with the anxiety that I'm presented with at times. 

First off, anxiety definitely comes in waves and seasons. There are times when you're like "Heck yes-life is cruising-things are great" and then all of a sudden "BOOM!" and there are tears rolling down your face and you are like "Wait when did this happen?" HAHA! I also never want this blog to seem like a joke as this is a very real issue for people, but I also want to keep it light here folks ;)

I always ALWAYS come back to the question that is in the title. Does my anxiety right now benefit me? What is the cause? What is the reason for it? What am I genuinely anxious about? What is the worst case scenario in this situation?

I have journaled A LOT in my past with anxiety. It's not something that I struggle with like I used to, but I'd be a dang liar if I acted like it didn't creep up it's ugly head here and there. When I would journal, I would take these questions that I mentioned above, and I would write out answers to them. I know that you may think that you can just think about them or even think it's dumb in general but I PROMISE that it helps. Visualizing things on paper helps us to process them, and so that it why I say WRITE IT DOWN. When girls are struggling with motivation-WRITE IT DOWN! You'll see when you do it just one time that it provides so much benefit. 

So, I want to give an example. I have an ironman in 15 weeks, and when I was like 17-20 weeks out, I was not training the way that I should have been. I had some little tweeks of pain here and there that came up that I knew I just needed to rest them instead of pushing it which is what I did and then they went away (holla). During this time, I was a bit anxious that I was supposed to be taking my body across 140.6 miles in the coming weeks and not doing as much as I thought I should be. 

Here's what I went through with this in my head. Does this anxiety benefit me? Nope. Still can't do the training I want to. What is the actual reason that I'm anxious? Well I'm more upset that I wanted this training to go flawlessly but that's just not life. What is the actual fear that is associated with this anxiety? Uhh....that I'll croak out on race day? What is the worst case scenario? I don't finish. Is that the end of my life? No. What can I do THIS moment to make this better? Train what I can.

Okay, let's move on then. After that point, I say "Okay the worst case scenario would be pretty sucky but it would not be the end of my life so we move on. There is no longer utility in letting that take space in my thoughts." 

Is this making sense? Also, with the ironman, I know that if I just keep putting one foot in front of the other I will finish. I know that people have done crazier things, and trained less than me and still made it to the finish so for my example specifically, I knew that I would be fine. 

We create these MOUNTAINS in our brains. The biggest thing goes back to the title question "Does your anxiety benefit you?" We all know the answer is no, but how can you flip that so that it does benefit you? If you are anxious about something, do not think about the entire picture. It's too big for you right now. What is your next move? What is the next thing that you can do moving forward that will work towards the goal or whatever it is that you are anxious about? 

Let's take weight loss for example. The food that you are eating at lunch today and the decision that you make with that will determine your progress moving forward. Most of the time if you are anxious about this you think to yourself "Uhhh I'm never going to be able to eat XYZ again in order to lose this weight. Uhhhh I have so much to lose, this is going to be such a long journey." You get yourself so worked up that you DREAD what you have planned and it becomes this huge issue. Girl, slow ya roll and take it back a step. Stop thinking about the future and the mountain. Take the one next step on the hike, and before you know it, you'll be at the top of the mountain. 

Sooooo, anxiety is not that easy. #AMIRIGHT? I know that. Believe me, I know that. And that's where this releasing of the mind comes in. If I have one thing that has changed my life, it's the ability to do this. Once I go through my questions, that topic is done. Forgotten. Moving on. If it's something that presents itself on a routine basis (I say that in relation to like weight loss and food and meals), then it's something that you have to learn to navigate well. But the thoughts in between meals are something that you can release yourself from. If it's something for me like the fact that I have work to do and I'm in a situation where I can't get to my email for my clients (yea I'm neurotic about it and working on that flaw lol), then I just let it go. There's absolutely NOTHING that can be done therefore it's so dang silly to continue to worry about it. You get all jacked up for nothing, and for me in the past, it affected me in those moments. I was rude to Tanner for no reason just because I was strung out on an issue that had nothing to do with him. 

How do you do this releasing of the mind? Purposely think of something else. Write down your to-do list. Busy yourself with your work. Go for a run and think about the music playing. What is something that I can learn about today? Do I have a book I'm wanting to maybe take 10 minutes for? Fixate your brain on other things.

Lastly, anxiety likes to hide in the dark. It also makes you want to stay in the dark and not hang out with people and that's the exact opposite of what you want to do. You want to get that junk out of your thoughts, and the best way to do that is with friends!! :) Surround yourself with people and the people that you love and just have a great time and you'll be so shocked how quickly you forget everything going on! <3

The one and only thing that anxiety does for you is cause you stress. It never moves the situation. It never creates a better environment in your head. It just simply stresses you out. Therefore, it needs to go. 

So, your anxiety is gone now right? haha! I know this isn't a cure, but these are little things that have helped me talk myself through all of this long ago! :) Let me know if you have any tips that have helped you!! 

 

 

 

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A Walk in Someone's Shoes

Yesterday, I had SO many thoughts on everything that is going on in our world. I didn't know how to articulate it very well, so I just didn't say anything. It's not like you HAVE to say anything on facebook for your opinions to count, but I think that we all want to articulate what we feel and that's why everyone always uses facebook to express these emotions. We want others to say that they agree with how we feel, but that's the entire issue in the first place I think. I spent an hour writing a facebook status. I'm not even kidding, and it might seem silly that I even spent that time but I saw someone say that the opposite of love is not hate but indifference and some other friends say that the silence of their friends hurts as if they don't even have the time on facebook to stand up for injustice. 

I didn't want to be the person who pretended that it's not going on, but I just couldn't quite put together the words I wanted to say in that little box. 

So, I'm not saying this is good, but this is what I came up with.

It's really hard to focus on the good in the world with all that's going on and we are all sad. Any logical person is sad, and some are even scared of what is going on. It's impossible not to have emotion, and that's okay. Some are mad that it's all you see on facebook but how can you expect otherwise? We can't just let these things not be talked about. They NEED to be discussed and people not to be ignored because that's why we ended up in this place by ignoring other's feelings. 

However, I saw the quote that was being passed around by Mr Rogers, and I think it's such a good point. 

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.
— Mr. Rogers

We have to see that in the midst of all of the bad, there are still SO many more good people then there are bad people. That's why we are having all these discussions because we want change. We want GOOD things. At the core of who we are, we want good. We all are born good and then through our life experiences, we formulate judgements, opinions, prejudice but for the most part, if you are open minded, you can recognize those things and think through them to change them. 

We also want justice and truth though so we continue to argue. We continue to fight. We do the thing that we hate because we so deeply want this all to end. I've seen people saying that you have to just live life and not think about all of this, and while that's true, I think that these people deserve to be talked about and their families want to talk about the injustice.

I know that there might even be people reading my blog that are personally affected by the things that are going on, and I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry to all those that have to endure this. 

If we could just all walk in someone else's shoes for just one day and see what they go through then I think so much would change. But we have to focus on the good. We have to focus on the helpers, because there is more good than bad and you'll find it in the simplest of things if you go looking for it. If you can't find it, then YOU be the good in your community. Be the change and good will follow.

For me, I focus on the truths of Jesus that I find to be so true for my life. It brings me comfort and joy. I know that He is good, and that He is SO very sad with how we are living. I know that He weeps with those who weep and He wants such good things for us, but that we also have choices to make on our own. So, as they say, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord and what comes with that is peace that surpasses all understanding in a world where there isn't much peace.

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June 2016 Income Report

So, as you guys know, I've been on a mission to really make this blog better for the past few months. One of the things that I wanted to do was to start sharing more tips in order for those that are wanting to start blogging can start doing so. I've changed some things, and tried some things, and each month that I do this, I will share with you what I did the month that I think allowed me to have these opportunities. The reasons that I share this with you is not so that I can flaunt what I make. That would be WEIRD. I recognize that this is very odd for someone to do, and I also recognize that some may not agree with it. I share this to show you that you can do this as well. I share this so that I can be candid about how this whole gig works, and that you can move forward with it yourself as I'm always trying to be as transparent as possible with the experiences that I've had in life. 

I also share for those that are nosy as heck and want to know what I do. I will break it down into categories, and give some tips along the way. As of right now, I'm not going to share what I made in terms of coaching income. I don't think that it's pertinent to the point of these posts, and I'll share more about how to become a coach and some income reports on that at a later time, but I'm not going to do that today. I will say that it's where the majority of my income comes from. There are about ZERO people in my niche of the industry that share these reports, so I hope that I don't get a slew of hate for this, but I do know many that do in other spheres of blogging, so here we go! 

Let's get to it! (Things you might not understand will be explained below)

  • Affiliate Income - $ 800 
  • Collective Bias - $ 654 
  • Google Adsense- $ 150 
  • Sponsored Ads on my Blog- $350
  • Commission from those I refer clients to-$128
  • Macro Starter Guide E-book Sales- $500 
  • Marathon Training Guide E-book Sales - $150
  • Half Marathon Training Guide E-book - $80 
  • Devotion E-book (Strength from Within) - $60
  • Home Workouts - $40 
  • Redefining Fitness Workouts - $120 
  • Recipe Ebook - $48 

TOTAL = $3, 080 

There are fees that go into this. One of those is the 5% charge that is charged through Stripe which is who I use to do all of my sales. The are also the ones that I was able to generate incomes to be able to even come up with these figures, and they provide quick books, and a lot of my tax information so that's useful as well. I also have to pay monthly for tax services as well as the time that my mom works for me. I pay for programs that help me with producing different programs, and I've paid for some programs lately to help me with Pinterest and growing on that media. 

Let me explain what some of the first couple of items that as a new blogger, you might not understand. First off, I have a good base that I'm starting with in terms of working towards blog monetization. I know that many will be starting from the ground up and that makes the figures smaller obviously, but just be patient with this and it will grow. 

The affiliate programs that I'm involved in right now are Amazon Affiliates, Bluehost and Thrive Market. An affiliate program means that you refer someone to their website and if someone purchases on that website, then you get a small commission from this. I hope to be completely candid in this because I would never EVER reference something that I didn't actually use and love. I'm not going to just make it up that I like it is all I'm saying.

Amazon Affiliate allows you to set up full shops on your blog if you'd like, but I haven't done that yet. That's on my to do list and to set up some of my favorite products. Two of my friends that are bloggers, SweatStretchEat and FitandFaithfulFitnessConsulting both have an amazon store, and I love looking at the favorites that my friends choose. I might even sometimes buy from them. In all honesty, sometimes if I go on a friend's blog, I click all over their ads. I know that they get pennies from those clicks, and I just like to support them. It sounds so silly, but it makes me happy inside, and I want all of my friends to succeed (part of why I'm sharing this because I want my friends who read to succeed as well!!! <3) I also try to link up some of the favorites that I'm using in my blogs, and I always try to do the Garmin sales from my Amazon affiliate. 

Thrive Market is a website that Tanner and I use religiously, so I was HAPPY to participate in an affiliate program with them. In Shelby, there are not a lot of places to be able to buy the types of food that we eat so therefore we have to order it online. We typically order seitan, cliff bars, vegan protein powder, and Mung Bean Pasta (which is pasta with great protein and macros). It's priced at wholesale value, so much cheaper than Whole foods, and when you sign up for their yearly service (kinda like an Amazon prime type deal) then it helps to feed an unfortunate family. I'm ALL ABOUT THAT LIFE! So, I just link up to them when I think it's useful and share how much I love them, and so when others sign up, I get commission on that. 

The last one is Bluehost, which is the blogging service that I've been referencing. Their affiliate program is great and one that many bloggers use as they are great to work with and give you a better commission rate than you can find much anywhere else. In order to get started making money on a blog, you have to have a blog (duh right) so this is the step by step that helps you to do that through bluehost.

Collective Bias is a program that is much like a lot of programs out there, but I've found it to be the one that has the most opportunities and the ones that will pay the best. I wish I had more time to spend on applying for gigs, but I digress. Essentially, they link up to the analytics on your blog and then you apply for campaigns. They link bloggers with companies, and they are only going to give you "shoppertunities" that align with what your blog is about (for the most part). You can choose to apply, they look at the people and their blog stats, and then let you know whether you got chosen. If you were chosen, then you have like a 3 day turn around so it's very fast to get the work done, so you have to be prepared. There are a lot of gigs for "High instagram reach" but in all honesty, I don't apply for those because I have realized that my instagram following is very fickle. It's sad, but I have to post specific content or people are like "bye felicia" and defollow on a whim. I think that we are just so oversaturated with perfect images all the time that it's a lot harder to "make it" on insta if you will. If I spam with ads on instagram, then obviously people will defollow and I don't want to do that and it's not worth it. I'd rather just be genuine with people following along on my journey which is what I've always done. 

Collective bias is definitelyyyyy not the only company that does this, and I'm hoping to get involved more with others. Some of the others are Fullbottle, Mode Media, Revinfluence, Sweat Pink, BlogHer, and so many more but for some reason my mind is going blank right now. I'll come back and edit this! 

Google Adsense is something that I shared how on another blog about blogging how I increased my sales by 600% last month simply by changing where my ads were. I make sure to put them at the end of every blog post, and then one on my side bar. That's the only difference, and it changed overnight. You want it to be a long ad and you don't ever want it to look spammy. If it does then people will not like the layout of your website nor will they want to come back. It has to be aesthetically pleasing, so you can determine that yourself, and Google Adsense gives you tons of options of which ads to choose from. They will give you a code, and you can put that right into your blog post like below as an HTML code. 

Typically, the way that I run my macro starter guide is as a challenge for a month. The way that I advertised for this was on instagram. I noticed that people HATE ads of any kind on instagram-again cut throat out there these days folks. I used to be able to post about the challenge and people would jump on board. That's not the case anymore, so people just stopped purchasing my Macro Starter Guide. I always constantly update it so that it has new information that can be useful for people that maybe someone has mentioned to me along the way, and I also worked really hard on it. When I run it as a challenge, the facebook groups don't seem to be as active as I want them to be. Sometimes I'll get a good group, but it's hard to keep up with no matter how hard I try on those challenges, so I just decided to market it differently. I'll go into all of the details on that, but essentially I just started selling it as it's own entity because it stands alone and doesn't need a challenge to go with it. 

I also created a landing page for it, which allows people to see what it's all about and decide whether they think it's useful for them or not. I also really reduced the price because when it's not run as a challenge, there is less incentive for people to purchase on the spot, and if the price point is too high, I noticed from my analytics that tons of people were coming to the landing page but never converting to a sale, and that's never what you want. 

A few just random tips as well with blogging and making money through this is that I genuinely try to treat everyone with kindness and respect. I never ignore emails or messages-if you have been ignored that means that it somehow slipped through the cracks. I've been ignored SO SO many times in my life as a blogger, and honestly I just get really sad with the way our culture makes that okay so I never ignore. Even when I get the most ludicrous emails, I always kindly respond that I'm not interested in promoting their skinny tea. Maybe that doesn't help anything, but I think trying to build things with integrity goes a long way. 

I also give out TONS of free information as well as even when people email me and ask me about programs, sometimes I'll send them the program for free if I feel that they are in need of money and tell them that if at a time that they feel they can afford the e-book and would like to purchase then they can do so. If they never respond to me again, then I just let it go however I would say 9 times out of 10, they are able to see that it is what they wanted, and it might be months later but they'll come back and pay me. Maybe it's a guilt thing..I'm not sure...but either way it makes me feel good to be able to help out some that really might need help in those moments and try to make money an afterthought. 

I know just from talking with my husband that I get gipped a lot. There are tons that will ask to do a payment program, paying for 1/3 of the program, I'll send them the program, and then I never hear from them again. To me, that's on them, and I just let it go. It's not worth fighting it and recognizing that not everyone is going to be honest in this world is DEFINITELY just part of the battle. 

Some of the goals that I have for this month are: 

  • Become more active on pinterest as this drives a lot of page views which drives clicks on ads and more sales obviously 
  • More passive income sales --> As I stated, I do mostly coaching which I love (and super DUPER excited about becoming a running coach at the end of July) but it just is silly to not try to drive more towards passive and not work around the clock constantly 
  • Work with more companies to do sponsored ads on my blog 
  • Work with more of the companies that match brands and influencers (I just never apply because I run out of time) 
  • Work towards growth on my personal instagram! Although Katiesfitscript is what made me what I am today-I just have so many other interests that I love to share so I'd love to focus on that page for a little bit) 
  • Collaborate with more bloggers/companies --> I tend to grind in my little box and forget that we are all here to help one another out! That's what this is all about and I think it's awesome to share with one another about the awesome people that we find in our own spheres as well as other fun ones! Obviously, you don't want to be spammy, but I think there's this silly mindset that we shouldn't work together and I disagree! :) 

Let me know if any of this doesn't make sense. I hope it helps those starting up a blog! :) 

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Choice + Consequence = Meaning

I kept asking for this phrase that was used so much on our talks in Colorado, and we were finally able to figure out the exact phrase that the speaker used, which is the title. If you are just reading the title, you are probably very confused, so let me dive right in and explain. 

When you make a choice that has a consequence associated with it, then that means that the choice that you were making has meaning to it. The example used during camp is about the relationship between a man and a woman. If a woman was to cheat on her husband, and he was to catch her, there would be consequences and that is because their relationship has meaning. If he were just to say "Oh it's okay honey-just try a little harder next time not to cheat on me" then that would mean that their love was very superficial. There is a healthy balance of this of course, but the analogy was used in order to explain our relationship with Christ. When we do things that we shouldn't "cheating on Christ" which can be a lot of different things-our lives might not always be perfect and rosy and that's because the choices that we're making have meaning. 

I think this can apply to our lives in so many different ways, but I wanted to bring it back to training for today. I had a client, Jamie, whom I love and adore who emailed me something that resonated with me so much. I hope she doesn't mind me sharing her name. She said that when she woke up for her long run on the day of her anniversary, she sometimes wished that she was "more normal" and didn't have to do it. Boy, can I relate to that so much on those early Saturday mornings when I question my sanity. She had already worked through that emotion, but I shared with her how I felt on it. 

In reference to the relationship analogy of choice + consequence = meaning

In reference to the relationship analogy of choice + consequence = meaning

When I get in these moods, I always go back to the races that I've had in the past and how wonderful they were and how they would have never been possible had I not had those moments of sacrifice. Every decision that we make every day to train is a sequence of events leading up to those moments where we do the races that make it all worth it. If we just went to the day of the race and hadn't been training for months, the race wouldn't mean near as much. If you are someone that has never done a big race that you have trained for, then as always, I recommend it at least one time in your life so that you can experience the high that you get from pushing yourself to the limit, figuring out a new level and limit that you can reach, and just ultimately being so proud of yourself and your body for all that it is capable of. However, it all comes back to the title of this blog post. 

if the choice to get up and train didn't have consequence with it (pain, fatigue, annoyance, time away from loved ones) then it most likely wouldn't have as much meaning. Those sacrifices that you make are what give it meaning in the end and make you so proud of what you've done. Some people that are quote "normal" as she put it will never have those moments that you can get if you spend a little time building up training for an event. It's worth it, I promise. 

The same can be said for nutrition. The choices that we make every day have meaning. Some may not see it that way and that's totally fine too. However, I think that the foods that you eat (meat vs no meat, low carb vs high carb) all have meaning to your life. If you are vegetarian for certain reasons, then you believe that the consequences from not eating meat give you meaning to life, and vice versa for those that choose that they want to eat meat. They believe that the consequences of not eating meat are worse than the consequences of eating it which give them meaning (which their meaning to life might look totally different than someone who is vegan). 

If you are someone who is training for a huge event, then you might be eating high carb to be able to support that training and the consequences of not eating high carb are that you are going to bonk and that has meaning for the race that you have set out to do. It applies to every facet of our lives. 

Yall, I'm finally getting good at the bike and I couldn't be more excited about it lol!

Yall, I'm finally getting good at the bike and I couldn't be more excited about it lol!

The point of all of that is to say that it's okay if there is something that is hard, and that has consequence if we don't do it right or that we don't do at all. If that wasn't the case, then it might not have meaning in the end and so much of life is about finding meaning. We are fortunate in life in America that we are always searching for purpose, fulfillment, and meaning. I honestly feel guilty about this sometimes in that I'm so fortunate to be able to even be worrying about those things, when there are those in the world that are only focused on where they are going to find the money or resources for their next meal. So, I am thankful that there are things in my life that have consequences as this keeps me grounded. 

In our world, there are some that recognize that there has to be sacrifice in order to have something that has meaning while there are others that make you feel as if you should just sit on your rump all the time and never go after anything. They tell you that you are "just fine" and to just be content. While I believe that you should be content, and live life to the full every moment of every day, I also think that as I always say "it's okay to be a responsible human" and that it's okay to have these sacrifices in order to produce something that has meaning. 

Am I a broken record sometimes on this blog? Probably. I guess after 3-4 years with a fitness and health blog, it's kind of hard not to be at times ;) hehe! Tomorrow is going to be my first income report for the month of June, so make sure to subscribe if you want to learn all about how I turned this thing into making money by making tons of sacrifices that had consequences that now have meaning. 

 

 

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Carb Cycling

Carb cycling can be a very tricky thing but something that I feel is super prevalent and that needs to be talked about in detail so that you can see why you would do this, how it can be effective for your life and your training, and also some of those that might not want to do this. I will share some client experiences along the way as well. 

First, what is carb cycling?

Carb cycling is essentially exactly what it states. You cycle carbs through high and low days. If you are tracking macros (carbs, fat, protein) then you can have some days of higher fat, lower carb and then some days of lower fat, higher carb. Let's get into the specifics of why you would want to do this and when it's appropriate and if it works.

Some of the reasons that you might carb cycle are: 

  • Fat loss 
  • Marathon/Ironman Training (different volumes on different days) 
  • Figuring out how your body best responds
  • Restore hormone levels to normal amounts

All of these are valid reasons, however I would like to address one thing. If you are someone that is eating 1800 calories, and some days you are doing this low carb, high fat and then the other days with the exact same calories, you are eating high carb, low fat then the data in all clinical trails shows that this is not going to do anything for you. At the end of the day, it's calories in vs calories out. Before I go into all of this, I do want to say this. There are many things that are shown in clinical trials that maybe you have tried for yourself and seen success. If that is the case, then you know personally that it worked for you and you should honor that. Science is only as good as the study and those studied, and if you weren't in the study then you need to do what's best for you. I don't want this to come across as me telling you that what you are doing that has worked for you is like crap or something, because that's not true.

Bio-individuality is a very real thing, and there are people and families and cultures that process carbs better or don't process carbs well at all, and that needs to be taken into consideration. If you want to find what diet works best for you and your bio-individuality then in all honesty, the only thing that you can do is try all of them. Trial and error is truly the only thing that works in the end.

There is a wide spread thought that if you are having trouble losing weight, add in a refeed day.  A refeed day is essentially a carb cycle where you are eating lower calories for most of the week and then one day per week, you jack up your carbs (most of the time you keep fat and protein moderate) and this is supposed to restore the hormone levels that affect your hunger and metabolism (specifically leptin and ghrelin). The refeed day however doesn't hold up in the tests of clinical trial. The hormone changes are not statistically significant, and the body fat changes are still only the same as someone who took the same calorie amount of the refeed day + lower days and averaged them out to a middle ground across the entire week. 

At the end of the day, as many times as we want to beat around the bus in a million different ways, weight loss is simply energy expenditure. In vs out. 

When you eliminate carbs from your diet, you are also eliminating something that comes along with carbs-WATER! So therefore, if you have a day that you do a low carb day then you are probably experiencing something that feels like weight loss when in actuality, it's water loss. When studies are put head to head with high carb days and low carb days but the same amount of protein and matched up fats to create the same caloric intake, there is NO difference in fat loss. The important thing that we want is fat loss. We don't really want water loss (it's nice to see on the scale but it's only transient) and we DEFINITELY don't want to see muscle loss. 

So many times, we only focus on the scale and not the free fat mass or the lean muscle mass lost. If you are losing weight at a rapid pace (unless you are really overweight), then this is probably not a good thing at all. This  means that a lot of the weight that you are losing is muscle, and that is the last thing that you want. That is not going to give you the body composition that you want, that is going to lower your metabolism so that you have to eat less in the future to be able to lose, and it's not good for you in the long term as well leading to complications. Long story short that isn't really related to carb cycling-you want to lose weight slowly and steadily and keep as much muscle as possible.

Will carb cycling help this? Possibly but probably not. Many studies have shown that increased carbs help with retention of muscle, so therefore you are going to need carbs to retain muscle mass while you are dieting. So, maybe the addition of a refeed day will allow you to get carbs in however again, you could spread those carbs out all throughout the week, and the results should be the same, and you might be happier every day. 

There are some people who just genuinely enjoy carb cycling. They may not like to eat a lot on certain days and then they like to load on other days that they may have a heavy workout, which is totally useful in it's own place, and totally fine. 

I just don't want people to think that carb cycling is magical. 

If you are someone that is an endurance athlete and you have a large swinging amount of expenditure on different days, then carb cycling is obviously going to be something that you should implement (that's what my Advanced Endurance Program is all about). This is carb cycling, however I honestly don't even think of it as carb cycling, but rather just eating to what your needs are for that day. I know that there are tons of athletes that do not track their nutrition and don't worry about how much they are getting on these longer workout days, but that is why I love tracking so much for endurance athletes. It really gives targets so that they are able to get ENOUGH nutrition. Most of the time, women are not going to eat the amount that they should for the amount that they are expending in ironman training. It's almost difficult to eat enough, but as I stated before, it's so important to not lose muscle mass, and in order to not lose, you have to eat carbs. Once you have burned through those carbs, your body will start to break down muscle. 

So, do I ever put my clients on a carb cycle? Rarely but absolutely! 

I'm never going to start someone on a carb cycle unless of course they have a large range of expenditures on different days. You want to just get stable on a normal amount. Having cheat meals is not my thing, but some want that for their mental state. That is the reason for it - mental stability. A cheat is not going to help you with weight loss other than to just give you a break but it's a really wide spread belief by some that having more one day per week helps them to lose weight quicker, but it's the same concept as carb cycling-there is no proof when put to the test of this. I like to get clients on an amount of intake that they can maintain every single day even into the weekend so that they are able to get stable and stay stable and just live their lives while also reaching goals. 

There are times when carb cycling is useful, and if you are someone that has tried it and loved it then I'd love to hear about your experience because as I said, I'm not trying to put it down. I hope this is helpful for those though that might be considering it. 

 

 

 

 

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Demonizing the Full Feeling

As I was writing a big long message to the girls on my team last week, I thought to myself, "Self, this would make a good blog post." So here we are.

In the emails that I get from a lot of girls on my team, I hear the words "I overate last night" or even if I give them macros to follow, I hear a lot "This is too much food. I'm so full."

I'm not saying this is bad, as this is very very typical. There are people who genuinely hate the way that feels. I know that my cousin Tyler since he was a baby has always said he HATED that feeling of being full. However, there are some (and many women) that are more of an emotional connection than it is a true "hating the full feeling".

Think about the phrase "overly full" in relation to anything other than food. My life is full. My marriage is full. My friendships are over in abundance. What a beautiful thing! It's meant to be such a positive word, but yet when it comes to food, we have demonized it. 

I challenged the girls on my team to think about why it is that they hate being full. Do they hate it because of what they think it's associated with? Do you hate it because you truly feel uncomfortable or because you associate it with weight gain? I think we all know the answer. Being full is a BEAUTIFUL thing. Being hungry IS NOT.

I think unfortunately after working with many many women of all variations of "relationships" with food, the feeling of fullness is associated with lack of weight loss or weight gain. I hear from many women "I can't believe I feel so full, and I'm losing weight." We are taught in our society that in order to lose weight, we have to be hungry and not full and in that same respect, it makes being full a bad thing. You WANT to be full. In our dieting culture, we have also begun to not be able to recognize the difference in our God given signals as well. 

We aren't even able to tell if we are hungry and full. We may think that we are "overly" full when in reality we are just satisfied and full. Our bodies NEED fuel. They need energy. There is a NEED for the fluctuation between hunger and fullness. Being hungry is okay too. That means that your body is working through your food. That means that you have a strong metabolism. That might mean that you are trying to lose a little bit of weight.

If you go out to eat, and you TRULY overeat, I am told by some girls that they get an overwhelming sense of anxiety. EEK!!! That's not good. You never ever want that feeling of fullness to be associated with a feeling of guilt and anxiety. That is something that you need to work through before moving forward with much of anything. I think that sometimes we need to THINK about our anxiety instead of just accepting that you are anxious. WHY is that so upsetting? 

The thing that we all need to recognize is that our body's are a swinging pendulum. Let's say you did overeat that one night. Uh, well, that's going to go away, and your body is fluid. It's going to bounce right back. Many times I think that we get SO worked up about our fullness that girls/guys end up just being like SCREW THIS and then go NUTS. That's so so so common. The feeling of fullness creates a "screw it" mentality for the rest of the evening and then the binge happens. 

When I used to binge eat, this was 100% my mentality. Thank goodness, I'm years free of that. It's the worst, but sister I totally feel you. It's like "I work so hard, and now I've already messed up so let's just make tomorrow a new day and forget today." DON'T DO THAT. Even though tomorrow is a new day and you can start over, accepting the act of binging is just not okay for your life. It's really not. Working towards a healthy relationship with food at all times is so important. It doesn't matter if you are halfway through a binge, if you stop, that's better than going all the way through with it. Okay I'm on a tangent, but I think this all goes hand in hand. 

All of this ties back to the relationship that we have formed with the feeling of fullness, and how that's this "bad thing." LET.IT.GO. 

If you are someone that has never thought about this, then I really do challenge you to sit down and even write down what it is that causes this to give you anxiety? Do you associate that with something bad? Write out your "worst case scenario" of what could happen from things that give you anxiety. This is what I do for EVERYTHING that gives me anxiety. I write out the WORST things that this means for my life. 

At the end of the day, the job you didn't get, the money you didn't obtain, the school that didn't accept you, and the boyfriend that left you is NOT the end of your life. Time will go on, things will pass, and if you had just not worried about it, you would have ended up in the same spot, so you might as well not even let it give you anxiety. That's what this is all about. Just let it go. Your worst case is maybe gaining like 20lbs or something. As I always say, you are STILL the same person. You ALWAYS have the decision to wake up every morning and make it a new day. 

Being full is NOT a bad thing. Being full is a very good thing. I hope that so many things in your life are extremely FULL!

I hope this helps. Be blessed girlfriend. You got this! 

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Crooked Creek Ranch

I have never had so much adventure, fun, love and Jesus packed into one week as I have the past week. It will be hard to pick and choose what I tell you about because every day literally from the time that we woke up (630 most mornings for me to get training in) until the time that we crashed at 12am, we were having a blast. When I say that we were having a blast, I'm not joking. I have never laughed and loved so much. If you've never had the opportunity to go to a young life camp, and you have the chance, then definitely do it because when they say it'll be the "best week of your life", they don't lie. 

This is all of the leaders that were on the trip! There are many more in the Cleve Co area, however it was SO amazing getting to stay with Anna (far left) and bonding with all of these amazing people! Forreal, one of a kind type crew!

This is all of the leaders that were on the trip! There are many more in the Cleve Co area, however it was SO amazing getting to stay with Anna (far left) and bonding with all of these amazing people! Forreal, one of a kind type crew!

Burns had a small group go (4 kids-2 guys/2 girls) so we stayed in the cabin with the girls from Crest. The schools in the area that went are Shelby/Crest/Burns, and Shelby had their own cabin of girls. When the leaders met every day and talked over things, I just feel like we had the greatest group of kids go..I truly mean that. They are all just so sweet. We brought a total of 36 kids I believe. 

When we arrived in Colorado and came up those mountains, it was like nothing I had ever seen before. The pictures don't do it justice, and Colorado is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life, and I've traveled to a good number of places. The entire week it never got old and every night when the light was just right at dusk, I was just in awe of the world that God has created for us to see. 

If you aren't familiar with Young Life but you follow my blog, the ministry is meant to show the fun and full life that you can have in Christ through meaningful relationships. It's meant to show high school kids that it's not about rules and legalism of faith but it's about the relationship with Christ. So many times, we get so caught up on the good vs bad things that we do when it really is not meant to be about that. We try to show kids that they can come as they are, unashamed bringing all their pain and baggage and whatever it may be, and they are accepted. They don't have to dress a certain way at camp or anything of that nature. 

OUR ENTIRE GROUP! Look how good they all look!! LOVE LOVE!

OUR ENTIRE GROUP! Look how good they all look!! LOVE LOVE!

Every week we have what is called "club" and at camp, we have one every single night. It's meant to be clean humor, and the guys this past week, I wish had a youtube channel or TV show and I'd watch them all the time. They.were.hilarious. The best part is-it's all 100% clean humor but based on pop culture, so the kids are just absolutely in love with it. They make up new lyrics to popular rap songs, we sing popular top 40 songs at the top of our lungs and at the end, the speaker gives a message for about 15 minutes. Each week of camp, the message builds on itself and at the end they have the opportunity of course to accept this truth for their life. It's not pressed upon them in any way. If they leave and haven't, then it's no big deal. That doesn't mean we love them any less, and that doesn't mean that we stop hanging out with them all the time. That's the entire point of Young Life. REAL RELATIONSHIPS. LOVE. ACCEPTANCE. 

I know sometimes to those that might not be Christian and follow my blog just for fitness&health advice might be thinking it's some convert camp or something, but that's truly not what it is at all, but just hard for me personally to put into words. It was just a group of people that put their hands together and said we are going to make a camp that brings what we believe to be heaven to Earth so that these kids can experience what that truly looks like.

After this week, I have realized that it is more true than ever that we all struggle in different areas, but one thing is true and that is that we all want to be loved and accepted. We YEARN for that and we all want meaningful connections in our lives. Before going to camp, I knew that was the heart of the ministry but time is hard for me to give up. I feel that every moment of every day is about being productive, but sometimes the most productive thing that I can be doing is spending time with one of my girls. When I get to the end of my life, I don't want it to be about how productive I was, but that I loved well and that I had meaningful relationships. It's like my eyes have been opened so wide this week. 

Crazy behavior is encouraged-we want all of them to TRULY be themselves! The kids run into the cafeteria while the leaders dance on chairs. They RUN into club screaming popular songs at the top of their lungs and dancing like crazy. As they get off the bus the very first day, we let them know that we could NOT be more excited that they are there. I was nervous about the amount of energy I was going to have to keep up for an entire week, and it most certainly was the case but SO rewarding and SO fun. I never once thought "Oh this is annoying!" and nothing felt like I had to, but rather I was just like a kid again. We always want to be the craziest goons in the room to give each high schooler the opportunity to fully be who they are and not be embarrassed by anything. 

This week, there was a continuous skit from the team. It had nothing to do with Christianity. It was just pure hilarious skits and they would do games and call up different kids each night. Whoever won, they would play "ALL I DO IS WIN WIN WIN" and that kid had to dance on stage. Because everyone is crazy constantly, these kids danced fully and without fear on stage in front of 500 peers because they could. 

Here's a link to the videos from this week: http://scrapbook.younglife.org/video/Rodeo-and-Pool-5;Crooked-Creek-Week-5

This was at the top of the peak of our hike (please see Gopro in my hand behind Tanner's back hahha)

This was at the top of the peak of our hike (please see Gopro in my hand behind Tanner's back hahha)

Every detail of camp is designed to let them know they are loved. Every detail about them is loved and taken care of. There were leader meetings every day so that we made sure of that. No one ever dances alone. No one ever sings alone. The only thing that we ask them to do alone is twice we ask them to sit in silence for 15 minutes under the Western sky. This is not meant to be for prayer but it can be. It's just meant to be to do something that in our culture we never do. Every napkin, every plate, every cup, every meal is planned down to a science. There is summer staff that comes out full of energy and feeds us all week. It's endless amazing food, coffee, and snacks! 

Every detail is also a secret. We never tell the kids what is next. They don't have watches. They don't have phones. We just want it all to be exciting. We schedule out their entire days and they just follow along and have a ball. There are different themes each day, and different tournaments. For example, we had a volleyball tournament the first afternoon, pool olympics, rodeo, western night with square dancing, Christmas in July and different rides. The rides were the zipline, ropes course, horse back riding, Ridge Runners, mountain biking, and a big swing. This was all scheduled for each cabin to do at different times to make sure that each cabin got to do each activity. The speaker jokingly said if you didn't know better, you'd think this week was fat camp in disguise. HAHA!! It really was-we were so active!

This was our first day and our Volleyball tournament where my girls were the "Dunkin Doughnuts" HOLLA!! PINNACLE BEAS (don't ask but that's our cabin name)

This was our first day and our Volleyball tournament where my girls were the "Dunkin Doughnuts" HOLLA!! PINNACLE BEAS (don't ask but that's our cabin name)

At the end of the week, the activities slow down just a little bit so that the adults can have more time to just spend with them and talk to them. We talk through the things that they are feeling, how their home life is, how we can help in whatever that might be. If they decide they want to live a life full in Jesus, then we help them to see what that's all about. 

This week is meant to be all about them, so I definitely gave a lot of myself this week because my number 1 goal was to make sure that all of my girls were loved at all times. And somehow, as much as I gave, I have never felt so poured into. It's such a beautiful thing. One of the last nights, there were certain leaders picked for cardboard testimonies. Two of our leaders were chosen, and basically they just walk out with a phrase to describe their old life and words to describe their life now in Jesus. When our two walked out, I was quite literally sobbing. It was things that I didn't know about them, and just seeing how transformed they are, I was just blown away. 

Pictured above is me with the only two girls specifically from my school that I'm a leader at! This week was SO amazing to be able to get closer to both of them, and they both just make me feel so at home as if I've known them forever! I could go on and on about how wonderful they both are, but just know that they both are lovely <3

As much as I try to live my life in a positive way, I've realized that in some ways I have a lot of things a bit backwards. My husband deserves more of me. My family deserves more of me. My blog and my instagram and my business deserve the best of me in their place. They deserve to be done to my utmost potential IN THEIR SPECIFIC TIME FRAME. As we all know, this is something that all business owners struggle with, but after that last night I just cried in Tanner's arms. I want to be too many people at one time and I want to do the best in all of those things leaving me completely dry at the end of mostly 12 hour work days. 

In all honesty, the day before we left, I was like "AH! I do not have time for this trip! I'm so behind and it would be better for me to just not go." WOW-how much of a mindset can change in a week! I'm so excited to get back to routine, but I'm so excited for my routine to look completely different to be honest. I read about a study that was done showing that there are psychological positive changes when one leaves their current routine, goes to a different one spending time in nature and just to relax. You come back refreshed and renewed and inspired to be a better person. 

This was the two guys from our school. I think that they would both be okay with me telling you that they both decided to accept Christ into their lives this week, and I get emotional just thinking about Tanner getting to pray that prayer with them. It was SUCH a special moment for all of them.

This was the two guys from our school. I think that they would both be okay with me telling you that they both decided to accept Christ into their lives this week, and I get emotional just thinking about Tanner getting to pray that prayer with them. It was SUCH a special moment for all of them.

Colorado specifically made me feel this way. The camp was in Fraser, CO kinda out in the middle of nowhere but the Rockies were in our backyard. It was absolutely breath taking. I would go running on the trails that were perfectly crafted around the camp seeing nature in a completely different way. Yes, the atmosphere was different and my pace was slower but I didnt' pay attention to that at all. I just didn't care. All I wanted to do was move my feet through those mountains and I tried to do as much as I possibly could. Training really didn't happen much to be honest. They had weights and a spin bike and I did some lifts and biking, no swimming and some running. It was minimal. I'm super behind on training, but I'll figure it out. Life is just so much more than that, so I'm not really concerned about it. 

I know I'm the tough girl slave driver at times, and I'm so thankful for Jesus bringing me to reality sometimes! ;) I most definitely need it and I can't wait to get back now! <3 I could write pages upon pages on this week on all we did, but it just wouldn't do it justice.

 

 

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Living in the Moment

Ever look to someone's life and think "If only.." 

If only there were a way out of my current situation. If only, I was in her shoes. If only I could get to this end point or this end point. I can see the end of the tunnel and once I get there, I will be okay. 

Let me tell you, I have been slapped in the face over and over with the reality friends that this is just not the way that life is. Each place that you get, you will only be waiting for the next step. Each step that you take, you are looking for the finish line. The finish line becomes a rush and a fight, and we long for the days we won't be studying, the baby will be older and won't be screaming, the training for this race will be over, the money is in our pockets. Where does it end? The truth is, it doesn't. 

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This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
— Psalm 118:24

I'm gonna get a little preachy on ya today, but I hope you'll bare with me. The problem is that until we learn to live in the moment, we aren't going to ever enjoy a single moment of our lives. I've seen this to be true even in my spiritual walk, my finances, and my racing. As I grew closer to the Lord, I realized that I could never be close enough. He was this never ending light that I felt like I was getting towards, and the closer I got the further away I felt because as I learned about Jesus more, the more I wanted to get to know him and felt guilt over the things that I wasn't doing. 

The more money that I've earned just as the natural progression of life happens from college into adulthood, it always feels like I'm chasing my tail. I feel as if I will never see the light at the end of our student loan tunnel (I really contemplate frequently writing to college students about how dangerous student loans are and how NOT talked about they are and the implications of how they affect your life post graduate but I digress). I have now run 4 marathons, done a half ironman and an ultra, I've ran the Boston Marathon and I'm doing a full ironman in October and yet somehow, I feel inadequate some days in my running career. I know, I know, I'm too hard on myself but it's always that reaching emotion. Those things are behind me now and so now I must look forward only... 

There are all of these quotes about never looking behind and always looking forward. While I do agree with this, and obviously what they mean is not to live in the past, I think that it's most important to live in the here and now. Like, the right now. Like, the sitting at your desk right now. I think that it's important that we honor ourselves and we honor one another in those moments. 

After looking at the way things are on this earth, here’s what I’ve decided is the best way to live: Take care of yourself, have a good time, and make the most of whatever job you have for as long as God gives you life. And that’s about it. That’s the human lot. Yes, we should make the most of what God gives, both the bounty and the capacity to enjoy it, accepting what’s given and delighting in the work. It’s God’s gift! God deals out joy in the present, the now. It’s useless to brood over how long we might live.
— Ecclesiastes 5:18-20, The Message

Do you watch the clock every single day waiting until it's 5 and you get off? What if you honored the moment that you were in and did the best job that you could at what you were doing? How would that affect your performance for your job and the way that your boss felt about you? How would that affect your relationships with your co-workers? 

I think often times we think of living in the moment meaning YOLO, PARTY ALL THE TIME and that's not what I mean like at all. I think there are many times where you are up late at night working on some project for work when you really shouldn't be bringing work home, or you are in college so you are working late regardless, and your friends text you and say "Hey wanna go out?" and you have to tell them no. You feel as if you are not enjoying life, and you are not enjoying the moment because "BLAH I HAVE TO DO THIS!" But no, that defeats the entire purpose of this. That's still looking to the future of "Oh wait until I finish this project for school/work and then I'll be able to go out with my friends." No. Honor that moment. If it's for school, do you really hate what you are doing? Is this class for something that will eventually lead to a career that you love (and if you haven't chosen a career path for something you enjoy-back up right now brother or sister because you need to re think that thing you are going to be doing for 30+ years)? Is this for your job that you thought was going to be a dream job but is actually a sucky job? 

What if that project in your sucky job goes well and that leads the sucky job boss into thinking you are awesome giving you an awesome resume into your actual dream job? Every single decision that you make and every single attitude that you have with people is a direct reflection of the trajectory of your life. "But my boss is a butt hole, you just don't understand." NO NO I DO. I've been there and had those. 

Work hard. Play hard. 

You cannot expect to go through life with no responsibilities. It's about honoring those responsibilities and the commitments that you made and enjoying each moment as the responsibilities present themselves. 

Let's say that you have a screaming 2 month old, and you think "If I could just get to the end of this phase, I could sleep and then everything would be better." You know good and well that that baby is going to be 18 before you know it and you're going to be crying wishing you didn't wish their life away. Yes, there are phases that are better than others, but just stop and think. You love that baby more than life itself. You chose that responsibility (most of the time) and you honor that and you ENJOY that time. 

I kept doing this to myself thinking it was at this point or this point, and I am now at "that point" and I have days where I'm like "IF ONLY AT THIS POINT!" which is just plum ridiculous. Honestly, while writing this blog, I wish time would slow down. I cannot believe that I am 26 years old. I know that's young, yall but dang. I was 21 a hot minute ago, but I was also a hot mess so it's probably for the best that we made it to here fam. LOL! I'm currently in Colorado, and wishing I could just freeze time in these moments where I feel like I'm truly living every moment to the fullest 100% in Jesus. 

That's me in the front (HA) with all my girls! We are the Dunkin Doughnuts just to clarify! LOLL! Love these girls!

That's me in the front (HA) with all my girls! We are the Dunkin Doughnuts just to clarify! LOLL! Love these girls!

There has been A LOT of heart ache in our community (Shelby) lately. We had a car wreck that killed 4 wonderful people in their 20's, another car wreck that killed another 12 year old, and a lady in her 30's die from cancer. I know this happens everywhere but Shelby is small, so it feels pretty intense. It just goes to show you that life can be taken from you in the blink of an eye, and there is nothing that you can do about it. I'm not afraid of death because I know where I'm going. I won't know about the life that I didn't lead once I'm gone because I'll be rejoicing with Jesus in heaven, but don't you want to leave behind a legacy? What if your legacy was that you painted a picture of who Jesus was every single day in every single way? What if your legacy was that you enjoyed every single moment and didn't let your hard job, your screaming kid, or your endless studying get in the way of your joy? What if your light at the end of the tunnel was today...and tomorrow...and the next day and that you weren't always reaching but instead you were grasping.

We see verses, and we read them and we've seen them a hundred times if we grew up in the faith but we don't let them sink in. I know that today I took a moment to just think on them and what they mean to my life. 

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
— Romans 12:2, ESV

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Weekly Round Up

While I'm gone this week, I have prepared some blogs for you guys! :) I'm not sure if anyone else cares about my weekly round up, but I sure think it's fun! HAHAH!

I just have some really cool things to share with you this time. 

1. SCARLET AND GOLD

YALL! I find companies sometimes on instagram that I just absolutely SWOON over and this is one of those. This is MY STYLE to a tee, and we partnered up on their newest release of their tank top. It's different than most tank tops that you wear. They don't order their stuff. They make their own, and it's a thicker material. I know that sounds odd for a workout shirt, but it's so great and comfy. 

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2. PLANET BOX

This have been super trendy on instagram so of course just like everything else, I was like "Well, I gotta have it now." haha!! Basically they are an eco friendly lunch box. I know that their website references more towards kids, but that's most definitely not the case. Wednesday is National Waffle Iron Day so I had to do a waffle themed box of course! :) 

I personally didn't get stickers for mine, but you can personalize it if you want. I just liked the plain ones, and they come in a really nice bag to carry your lunch box in as well. They are all about riding the world of plastic just because of how plastic affects the environment which I'm all about stuff like that. I'm becoming such a hippy yall. LOL! 

Lastly, they come with metal containers that you can put various sauces in, so I put walden farms syrup and peanut butter. You can see the bigger one to the right of this last picture. I used my typical waffle recipe for these waffle. I MEAN DUH ;) 

3. PASSION PLANNER

I was on the hunt for a planner for seriously FOREVER AND EVER. It was driving me nuts. I didn't want the spiral bound as that always gets messed up in my bags, and I like to have room to write lots of things in lots of different areas. Passion planner honestly was FINALLY something that I found that I loved, and I stinkin love it. It's super chic design is functional and looks so nice and professional as well. 

4. ROMPERS 

I feel like it's of course the thing of the season, but I'm loving rompers this year. It's like sun dresses but even better and easier. It's one outfit that you don't have to think about matching anything to. It's always one of those things that people say "Oh you look so cute!" and I'm like "Yea this took two seconds" haha! ... until you have to pee and then it's complicated ;) 

I got both of mine at Marshals (of course lol)

5. MUDROOMMMMMM 

WOOP WOOP for a finished mudroom! This seriously took so much work for Tanner. He worked probably a total of like 100 hours on this. There are just so many different tiny pieces like in the boxes and around corners and crown molding, and hooks and painting every nook and cranny. It just honestly took forever also because it was our first project and we wanted to do it well. But, it gives Tanner more confidence going forward to do things of this nature so I'm excited.

6. One Piece Bathing Suit 

So, I had to have a one piece for Young Life camp as a leader, and I just wanted to get a cheap one so I got this at Walmart, and I think it was really cute to be how cheap it was ($10) so I thought if you guys saw it in Walmart and wondered what it looked like on someone, well here ya go! 

Can we look at where I was wearing tall socks for a run or bike and the indention on my leg? HAHA!! 

Anyway, hope you guys enjoy these new fun items! I'll do some next week of some of my favorite endurance products like my new goggles!! YAYY!!! 

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IRONMAN TRAINING 17 weeks out

Apparently I've been miscalculating how much time is left because I just counted and we are still 17 weeks out. I totally thought we were 16 weeks this week, but that's BETTER news because I've been absolutely psyching myself out. While I know I'll finish, I just simply kept thinking there is just NO WAY I'm going to have the time to train the way that I needed to, and that is unfortunate because I wanted to be in the best shape of my life and do this right. This week I'm going to be in Colorado, but the cool thing about the camp that I'm going to be leading for Young Life is that there is an AMAZING gym. 

The story behind the gym is that Young Life is all about removing barriers for kids to go to camp, and there was a school that they wanted their entire football team to come but they were already in season for workouts. The school they were at ended up raising money and got a full gym at this camp (I'm talking squat racks, dumbbells up to 100lbs, treadmill, spin bikes, pool) just so that these guys could train while at camp. UHH YES PLEASE! LOL! I know that I can still train while here and that's comforting considering how not prepared I feel. I had someone explain it well that I'm probably more overwhelmed vs underprepared but the mind plays tricks on you for an event of this caliber. 

I felt a little something in my foot last Saturday so I've not ran at all this week. I REFUSE to deal with another injury so I'd rather just not run. All of my clients will tell you how I am about injuries. You don't lower your foot intake, you don't do all these things to make up, you just keep doing what you can and wait until you are better and it'll all work out. There is no reason to freak out. So anyway, that's why you'll see no runs this week. Here's the screenshot, and this is of this PAST week.

As usual, I know it's impossible to see so the days are: 

Monday: Leg Day + Bike Intervals (75 minutes)

Tuesday: Upper Body + Swim Intervals (2000m)

Wednesday: Maximum 1 hour on bike 

Thursday: Full Body + 90 min cycle intervals

Friday: 90 min cycle, 3000m swim 

Saturday: 2.5 hour cycle (this didn't happen-we left for Crooked Creek at 6:30am and yea I'm not the type to wake up at 2am to get a workout in-not my style LOL) 

Sunday: REST 

I'm going to be resting Saturday and Sunday. We are driving to Colorado so it's a 30 hour drive. We just got on the road (there's wifi so I'm blogging on my laptop-HOLLA) and then we will get to camp at 5pm tomorrow. I asked if I'd have even an hour to get in a swim but they said I probably won't which is fine. I thought I might could squeeze it in but no big deal. However, you can see with not running and camp-the psyching out on being un prepared happened. 

I'm genuinely not concerned though. I have nothing planned until the race after this (except for my weekend in Salt Lake City to get my RRCA coaching certification WOOOOO). In Salt Lake, I'll be staying with Tommy and Kenzie Barlow who are both ironman athletes/ultra runners so I'm so so excited to train with them. I'm beyond thrilled to get to go out west twice together like this. I love the west so so much. 

I'm also really thrilled to be getting RRCA coaching certification so that I can start doing customized run coaching which has been where my heart is for a long time. I'd love to be able to provide customized running and customized nutrition together so you guys can have the total package. YAY! :) 

The blogs won't be plentiful this week but I'll be blogging some! :) Happy Weekend Yall!

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Protein Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

I'm excited to share another fun recipe with you guys today, and I've realized something about these fun little protein items is that they are going to be best if you eat them within a few days. I know that a box cake can be left for like a week and still be good, but these are going to be best like the day of and the day after but typically the macros are typically really great, so why not eat it all in one sitting right? If you don't care about things being dry, then leave out the butta, but I think it helps to really kick it up a few notches. 

Let's get to it! :) 

I mean look at that! YUMYUM it was good! :) I always have these with a side of almond milk!

These macros are for 1/8 of the recipe!

I'd love to know if you guys try these recipes and I keep getting tagged in them on instagram which I love to see!! I'm going to be trying out some different plant based protein options soon and I'm excited to see how they taste in the recipes to give those that are vegetarian/vegan options and recipes as well! :) 

If you are curious about this macro counting thing and don't know what it is, reference my Macro Resources Page for tons of free articles to get you started!

Learn everything in one place and how to make this work in your diet everyday, you can find out about my ebook by clicking the button below. It's half off this week which is honestly something that I haven't ever done before, so it's definitely a great time to think about this one! :) 

Don't forget to subscribe so that you find out about important info and don't miss a recipe! :) 

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