How to stay fit in college/grad school


In my time as a coach, I have coached countless women in college and grad school, and there is nothing like the guilt that a girl places on herself while in school to also keep up with her fitness.

I get the question a lot about "How in the world did you stay in shape while in pharmacy school?" The truth is, I just hung on for dear life knowing that I had big goals but with the way that I had to study, I wasn't going to be able to complete them until I got out of school. I remember writing out a marathon training program once (I hadn't ran a marathon at this time) and I got through like one week of training and I knew that was not going to work. Most of the time, I would set out with a goal to do 5 days of workouts per week. I skipped my alarm clock at 7am to go to the gym before class more times than I can count because I was up late studying. I ran only 8 miles as my longest run before my first half marathon and cried the night before because I didn't actually want to run that far. (lolz)

My first half marathon finish line!

My first half marathon finish line!

If you are someone who is training for marathons during college, let me just tell you sister, you are amazing. Seriously. Are you one of those wizards that don't have to study or maybe one of those that just makes time appear out of thin air?

I get asked over and over again how to make fitness work in college and just so that you do know what I did:: I kept my nutrition in check. That doesn't mean that I missed times with friends due to food (however I did because I was hella unhealthy with eating behaviors during college) but for you that can just mean that during the week you try to eat the best that you can while getting in as many workouts that are reasonable for your schedule and just like with anything, if you are consistent, you will be just fine.

The beauty is to remember though that if you have lofty goals for doing endurance events as I did, you are going to have more time after school to do those things. You do have to work more hours of the day and finding time to do those workouts gets tricky, but it's not the same as the stress of grad school where every single second of every single day seems as if it's jam packed and you feel guilty spending your time doing anything other than studying.

One thing that I did TONS of during grad school was at home workouts through a website called This is in no way sponsored, but Tanner found the website for me and I LOVED IT! It's essentially just HIIT workouts but being brand new to fitness, I didn't know this and I just thought it was great that I could feel like I got a great workout in like 20 minutes and I felt the same that I felt many times running 5 miles. I would always write like run + bodyrock in my planner knowing well and good I was not going to run. HA! Again, I would set the bar high and let myself down each week so I don't know why I didn't just set the bar low so when I got in 3 workouts, I knew I was doing good. For me though, if I set the bar at 2 workouts, I might only do 1 and that was a mess so I had to at least pretend I was going to be intense even though I knew school came first.

I wasn't "fit" at all. I was honestly just controlling my diet enough to stay in shape. I didn't discover fitness and health until my final year in pharmacy school to where I knew what it meant to "live the lifestyle". If you are one that already has the lifestyle down with healthy eating then heck yes, you are on a great path and you are rocking mama.

After sharing some of my journey, the biggest tip that I have is just to let it go. This time of your life is not for that and that's okay. That does not mean that you are doing anything wrong, and that does not mean that you need to change anything, wake up at ridiculous hours to get workouts in, sleep less to do workouts, eat nothing, or any of those crazy extremes. It's not necessary. Just know that you are in a time in your life where you might not be as fit, just like a mom knows that she won't be right after having a baby. It's just something to accept and be okay with, and then after the hard years are over, you can be a boss!!!

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Do you have a slow metabolism? (How to make it better)

Have you ever just felt like things were hopeless with your metabolism? You might even be in your 20s and you thought that this was supposed to be the golden era where your body just magically eats up everything and you stay the same size, but you feel like the second you eat a pizza slice, you can see the triangle in your stomach.

I feel as if more often than not, because of mainstream dieting, we all have done a little metabolic damage maybe even without realizing it. However, it has also swung in the opposite direction where there is a trend towards the notion that you have to be eating 3000 calories or you're metabolically damaged and that's not the case either. I think it's pretty well known but for the purposes of this blog, it should be said that everyone is very different in terms of caloric needs. I always use my mom as an example, but she is 55 with very little muscle mass and a tiny bone structure. She doesn't work out (never has done anything more than walk) and she has always had a very healthy relationship with food. She probably has never ate 2000 calories per day on a routine basis. However, my best friend Brandy, who also is one of those rare breed females with ZERO food relationship, eats probably around 2000-2500 calories per day maintaining her model like physique. Brandy has also never dieted and is tall for a female.

First, let's address the age and metabolism issue. Your metabolism declines about 10% every decade with age. That means that (using Brandy as an example) if she is eating 2000 calories now and maintaining her weight then she would be eating 1800 calories in 10 years (age 36) to maintain her weight. By the time she's 56 (my mom's age), that means that she is eating 1458 to maintain her weight. What is responsible for this? There is literature to support that this is WHOLLY due to muscle decline, so how do we combat this? We resistance train! If you are able to keep your muscle mass the same as when you are 18 then you shouldn't have a problem. The issue is that we tend to get busy with kids and don't have sports of our own into adulthood and that leads to a decline in muscle mass. This doesn't mean that you need to be a bodybuilder but just that you are continuing to exercise in some way.

The second thing that we need to look at is our dieting history. Have we gone on extreme fad diets? For women that are in their 40s-60s, I notice that a huge trend was to just not eat like ... at all. There are so many women that come to me in that age group that genuinely eat like 1000 calories per day and it's not even that they are mentally anxious about it, they just have worked themselves into a hole from all of their dieting and didn't realize what they were doing. I hear the phrase "I'd rather just get the dieting over with" and this has created a life long pendulum of 500 calorie diet days and weeks to get to a certain size then a return to normal eating. Again, this was cultural and normal for this age group in my opinion from what I've observed. The advent of the internet has allowed women to realize that this is really really not good for them in the long run.

Our dieting throughout our life is a continuum that builds on itself day after day, year after year. If you aren't working yourself out of it, then you are going to have to diet on less and less each time because your body gets adjusted to the lower intake. When you lower intake to that low and don't build it back, then you are losing muscle mass in the process. This leads women in their 60s to eating SO very little but yet not losing. Because of our culture, this age has become younger and younger. You now see girls that are in their 20s that have dieted so hard and for so long that they can't eat anything or they are gaining weight, and maybe this is you?

If this is you, then dieting really needs to be the furthest thing from your mind. I know that it feels really heavy to you right now and that you need to diet more than anything in the world for your mental state, but for your long term health and metabolism, you are only working yourself further and further into a hole.

There are so many scenarios and different ways to approach this, but you might also be someone that has been on a dieting train for over a year and you have consistently been doing great and losing. You have reached a point where you are maintaining and you don't want to lose the progress that you have made. You NEED to have a season of not dieting. Your body NEEDS and must take breaks. This is why you will find that many of the extreme weight loss stories don't stick because no one sticks with them long enough after they have had to diet down with 1200 calorie diets to build their metabolism back up.

You might be someone who has had a really unhealthy relationship with food, and you don't feel hungry past the point of 1200 calories. That DOES happen, and then it's very hard to convince these people that they need to eat more because they are not hungry for the food. You have to give yourself time to get out of this. You might feel that your metabolism is slow, and it has slowed down to help you conserve energy for what you are feeding to it but it will come back up if you allow it to.

You might be reading this thinking that you have already worked yourself into a big hole and that you are depressed and that you have "metabolism damage" but the truth is that anyone can work themselves out of this hole at any time, and the solution is easy:: EAT CONSISTENTLY MORE. Don't do the seesaw eat more then go back to eating less. If you just eat more, then your body is going to adjust to that. You might gain a few pounds in the beginning due to water fluctuations but your body will level out and you will come back to baseline where your body naturally wants to be.

I have spoke a lot about reverse dieting, and there are many situations where reverse dieting is totally appropriate for this situation as well and I am someone that helped my metabolism through reverse dieting. There are many that will argue that it doesn't need to be this meticulous process and that it can be done just by simply jumping calories and you can make the change for your metabolism over night. This is true, but this also doesn't take into account psychological fear of increasing food and I know there are many girls who would have never taken the leap (myself included in those days) because of lack of trust in the fact that your body will adjust. The slow incremental changes allow for the body to slowly get used to the intake without the bloating that comes with just jumping.

ANY PERSON THAT DIETS SHOULD COME OUT OF THAT CALORIC INTAKE AND GO HIGHER. There is absolutely NO reason that someone should diet at whatever caloric intake is right for them to lose weight and be in a deficit and then to stay at that long term. Absolutely NONE. There must be a break period, or you WILL back yourself into a hole. You have to come up and come to a place that is meant to be for maintaining weight and if you want to have other goals later then that's fine, but the body and metabolism need that time.

 The beautiful thing about the body is that it allows us this change and it allows us to work ourselves out of that. It's number 1 goal at the root of everything that we do is survival. It makes adjustments to help us survive every single day and that's all that is happening when your metabolism slows down. When you start eating less even for like 2 weeks, your body sees that as a need for less therefore it's going to not need as much. If you do this consistently for a period of 6 months, then your body is going to be used to that. You are going to have to get uncomfortable for a little bit to get your body back to a normal state. This is the one time that I recommend eating less vegetables.

Vegetables have a very low glycemic index and are full of water. If you are wanting to increase your intake then you do not want something that is filling you up that much and making you bloated. You have to give your body space to become hungry for more food and if you are consistently filling it with low glycemic index "healthy foods" then it's going to be very hard for you to get in the intake that you will need and you will feel that you don't need more when you really do.

If you are someone with hormonal issues, thyroid problems, or PCOS then there is going to be a metabolic change that happens with this as well, but the same thing applies across the board. If you consistently eat more at a consistent caloric intake higher than what you are doing now then your body will adjust.

Food intake and caloric intake is a direct reflection also on quality of life. Some don't care so much but most of the time someone with a slower metabolism knows it and thinks about it and with three meals per day, that's a lot of thinking. It is WORTH IT to gain even 5lbs to be able to live at a consistently higher caloric intake. Give your body time to adjust, and I think it will drastically change your life.



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San Francisco Trip

In the past couple of months (since July), I have traveled more than I think I ever have in my life. I remember making a status of all that I had to come and couldn't believe all the places I was getting to go. Tanner and I sat down one night and decided that we wanted to take every trip we possibly could make work with the amount of PTO that he had, and we started scheduling. One of the places that I had been dying to go was California. I had been in touch with North Face about the possibility of running the 50K, and so I knew that this was a viable option.

With all of the places that we have been, I have not been on the plane on our way with butterflies. California had the same kind of allure to me that New York City once did (and still does but I've just been lots of times). It's a place where you hear so much about but it has just never felt tangible. So, needless to say, I was excited. We landed in LA first, and just had a short lay over to San Fran. I will say that I wish I had got to stop in LA at least for a few hours because I feel that might be more of the Cali that I was dreaming of (not that San Fran wasn't a-mazing lol). We didn't arrive until 1am on Friday morning which with the time change was 4am our time so we were TIRED. We slept until 7am (which would have been 10am) and we felt refreshed for the day on Friday.

As I said yesterday, we were staying with a friend that I met at the Boston Marathon, and she is an absolute gem. She had her entire living room area set up for us with a nice queen air mattress. I wish I knew this brand of air mattress because it's certainly the best I've ever slept on and has never deflated. haha! I feel like I always wake up in a taco with air mattresses. Just me? lol.

On Friday, Tanner and I started exploring. One of the things that I had told Tanner the night before is that I HAD to have an acai bowl while I was here. Ironically, Meredith told us "You have to go to this place called Basik" and that's exactly what they are known for. We LOVE some coffee so we first stopped into a coffee shop called Saint Franks and then moved onto those acai bowls. Immediately we realized how expensive San Fran was and even more expensive than NYC (although I think we just learned tips and tricks with living there). We always find it super interesting that the day before we were in a different spot on a map having a coffee for $1.50 then we fly on a plane and then it costs $3.50 for a small. Ha!

After acai bowls, we headed to Lombard street which is the curviest street in America and we were close by. They have turned it into a garden area as well so it was super pretty. If you don't know this about San Fran, the temperature is ALWAYS moderate. It never really goes below 40, but never really above 80. I haven't decided if I love that, but I love some snow so that would make me sad to live here (but let's be real Shelby gets no snow either). We could see the Golden Gate Bridge in the background and all of the houses look like the set of Full House. I felt like I was in a dream in this place I've dreamed about for so long. Isn't life funny like that? Why haven't I just come here sooner? Who knows!

Another thing about San Fran-THE HILLS! I didn't know about it, and I'm not exaggerating that it's the steepest hills I've ever seen on streets. I feel as if they go straight into the air, and when I saw that, I was like "Ohhhhh boy" thinking about how I was supposed to be running a race on Saturday. Tanner and I wandered around and ended up at the Ferry Building for lunch. Most all of the places at the Ferry Building were very heavily meat focused, but we were able to find a place that had some options for us that was overlooking the water. It was absolutely beautiful. We came back to the house at that point to meet up with Meredith before we went to the Cliffhouse to watch the sunset. With daylight savings time as we all know, it's like super duper early and that's where my best friend Brandy met us. We had talked earlier in the year and decided that we were going to plan a trip out here, so she was staying with a different friend but we spent a good amount of time together.

We went to a place called Cliffhouse but the beach was right beside of it, so we laid out a blanket, and a bottle of wine, and just enjoyed it. It was breath taking to be honest, and the prettiest sunset I think I've ever seen. We could NOT stop taking pictures!!

From there, we got dinner at an amazing stop in place called Blue Barn that Meredith took us to and headed back as we knew we had an early morning with the race (4am to be exact). Read all about Saturday HERE.

After the race shenanigans, we showered and went down to Fisherman's Dwarf for some drinks. It was a super cool area that is one of the touristy spots so I would definitely recommend it. I thought when we came, we would need to rent a car and Brandy did because she was staying an hour outside of San Fran proper, however Meredith lives right in the heart and with the parking situations, you definitely don't need a car. We took ubers or walked to most places and found that to be the easiest. Renting a car wasn't that expensive for this week, but I'm glad that we didn't for ease of travel.

After having drinks we met up with Brandy and her friend for dinner, and as usual, we headed back early. We knew we were planning on going to wine country on Sunday so we thought we'd go to bed early. Truth is: we had jet lag the entire time and went to bed at 8pm and got up at 4am every day but we figured we would keep doing it and then we could adjust easily going back.

Sunday morning, we got up and went to brunch at a little hole in the wall and then headed on our way. I knew that west coast was much more "liberal" for lack of a better word so I was challenging myself to stay vegan the entire trip and I totally was able to easily. It's been no problem at all, and I've really enjoyed it to be honest! :)

After that, we headed off to wine country. There are a couple of different areas that you can choose for wine country but we chose to go to Sonoma. It's a little more chill than Napa. We went to three different vineyards and tried about 10 different wines none of which were Pino so then we got a bottle of Pino at the last place and split it between all three of us. Of course, we had to stop and take beautiful pictures in the vineyard as well. We had a REALLY great day at the vineyard and all kept talking about how blessed we felt to be getting to do these things and how much we love life.

We stopped at a restaurant called Soul Food on the way back, and again, AMAZING vegan food. It's so cool to be in an area of the country that values this lifestyle soyou are able to try the most amazing dishes that are all plant based. There are so many combinations and it makes me appreciate food more now that I live this lifestyle. I won't complain but I do wish Shelby had just a fewwww more vegetarian options as it basically is nonexistent.

We got back at about 6pm and no lie watched Netflix until we fell asleep at 8pm. HA!! We are party animals clearly! Monday morning we woke up somewhat wishing that we had flown out on Monday but our flight was on Tuesday so we had an entire extra day. We really didn't know what to do yesterday so we basically meandered around doing nothing pretty much all day. LOLLLL! On Monday morning however, I went to a run group called Back on My Feet. It's meant to help the homeless. They have a point system for when you come to the run club and if you come a certain amount of times then you are able to get certain benefits from that that helps them lead into independence. The program is brand new in San Fran so there weren't that many people there, but it's an amazing thing they are starting. I laughed because I've never done a huddle where we didn't pray but we did this huddle and they like started encouraging everyone, and I bowed my head and then popped back up like "Oh, we aren't praying!" hahahaha! It was hilarious in my head, but makes sense because it is San Fran after all! ;)

We have LOVED San Fran and will definitely be back sometime. We are so lucky that we were able to stay with a friend, and I definitely want a little redemption on that 50K course at some point! ;) We honestly however are REALLY excited to get back to our puppies, decorate our home for the holidays as I'm having family at my house for the first time on Christmas day, and we have big plans for fun things we want to do in our area! :) We have left the season of travel but are really looking forward to some time at the house. Our next trip is Feb 1-8 when we go to Colorado for visiting friends in Boulder and a ski trip! The beautiful thing about travel is that it's beautiful, it's exhausting and when you get a little tired of it, home is always waiting with open arms.

Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season!





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North Face Endurance Series 50K Race Recap

Okay, first things first, drop what you're doing and sign up for one of the North Face Endurance Series challenges because this race was seriously amazing. The story of my day is of no reflection of how wonderful this race was and I would TOTALLY do it again and have hopes to maybe come back to San Fran next year and do it.

If you're wondering the story of who I ran the race with, it will make you love the running community. While Bethany and I were running the Boston marathon, at mile 24, a girl ran up to us and was like "OMG I FOLLOW BOTH OF YOU!" and so we laughed, hugged and kept running together. We all know I was dying at that point of the race but she was the reason we kept a smile on and we crossed the finish line all holding hands. After running only two miles together, we became great friends, exchanged numbers and have been friends ever since. She lives in San Fran so it was only perfect that we stay with her to come and do this race! :) She has been the most perfect hostess and we are so lucky to have so many wonderful friends across the US. I'll talk about our trip and all there is to love about San Fran for tomorrow's blog, but today I thought I'd tell about race day.

Tanner and I have had bad jet lag but it's worked in our favor for getting up super early. I woke up at 4am race morning wide eyed, and we ate breakfast and left the house at 5:15 to run and catch the shuttle bus to the start line. The last bus left at 5:45, and we got to the race start at 6am. I will admit that this was somewhat awful because we had an hour to stand in the cold before the race started. It was wonderful however of North Face to have the standing heaters that we could all stand around and chat.

We were in wave 3 however the waves were very close together and right at around 7:10, we started. As I have stated, I was completely under trained for this event but knew that I would warm up, get going and be fine which I was. We knew we would walk the steep uphills and jog the other parts and make our way. After standing in the cold for an hour, everything was frozen so it took a while to get moving, but otherwise it was beautiful. The sun was rising over the Pacific and everyone was geeking out as we made our way into the mountains. It was funny how many cameras were out when that sun was coming up.



Starting at mile 2, STEEP elevation started (we did 3300ft of climb over the 15 miles). It was very weird to be walking at mile 2. I kinda wanted to jog but I knew that if I was about to run 30 miles, I had to conserve so I listened to the fact that everyone else was walking and walked. From mile 2-5, it was switching between jogging downhill and steep steep uphills. The elevation was INTENSE and there was no way we were running up this. We laughed later because Meredith said she looked over and I was like doing the push-my-knees-as-I-walk type walking up this incline, but you can imagine that we weren't really all that gassed because we weren't running. Haha!

Once we got to the 5 mile mark, I won't lie, I was in a bad place mentally. I was thinking how I wasn't even that tired but I just could not fathom running another 25 miles. I also was thinking how this was SO slow moving because of the elevation that I was almost bored. I like to run not walk so the walking was KILLING me. I kept telling myself to sink into it like I do every other run but all I could think about was how Tanner was alone in San Fran with nothing to do because I was running all day. I know he supports everything and he NEVER complained about me racing but these were just my honest thoughts.  (Negative Nancy Saturday lol)

Meredith and I finally got in a groove and started talking about other things. We started discussing deep things in life because that's what always happens when you run with someone long enough and that's something that I really love about it. haha! It's like "We are in the mountains kind of alone. We might as well really get to know each other." Before I knew it, we were coming on the ten mile mark and I felt awesome. I couldn't believe we had made it that far so fast, and the weather was finally turning to sun and I was warming up finally.

We had a lull in conversation and for some reason, I again thought about how there were 20 miles left. I started thinking about my training. I thought how little I had trained for this event, how I get little niggles really easily, and how I wanted SO badly to get back from San Fran and start seriously training intensely for Myrtle Beach Marathon (March 4) for my next attempt at a PR. Getting a marathon PR is some of the hardest training and can really tax your body. I knew that if I ran 30 miles Saturday then I was going to have to rest for a full week to make sure that I came back safely. This is NOT to say you can't run the week after a long endurance event but I know how my body responds. EVERY single time I try to run the week after, I get something that keeps me out for a month. I didn't like the thought of that. It made me not want to put my body in that place. So, mentally, I was done at mile 10.

I turned to Meredith and said "If you were being 100% honest with me, what are your thoughts on finishing this race?" Part of me wanted her to say "WE CAN DO IT!" and the other part was praying she was in my state of mind. She was like "Girl, we could stop right now and I wouldn't care." I was so relieved. We decided in that moment that we weren't going to finish. We weren't injured. We weren't hurting or breathing hard. It was just a conscious decision.

We were whispering as we didn't want the others around us to hear. hahaha! We said we would get to the next aid station (which was actually the actual mile 10 mark) then see where the next aid station was. We knew mile 10 was a literal straight up climb. I told her I at least wanted to do a half marathon distance. At mile 10 they told us that it was 5 miles to the next aid station. I remember Mere grabbing my arm and saying "FIVE MILES!?" which is hilarious because we were so done that 5 miles up a mountain sounded like a really long distance.

However, that turned out to be some of the most beautiful moments. The course map makes it look like it's straight up but it's actually switch backs so we just did all the switch backs through the mountains and made our way to the top of this mountain for the most beautiful views of the ocean and the golden gate bridge. When we got to the top, we pulled to the side and told the race officials that we were dropping. We feel as if dropping was normal because they didn't ask questions or encourage us to keep going. Ha! It was just like "okay what's your number?"

At that point, we asked where to go because we were on top of a mountain. They told us to walk to the nearest ranger station and that we could have someone pick us up there. So, we ate some food and headed on our way. We called Tanner who was super shocked but also excited to come get us early. He texted me that he would have NEVER EVER believed I'd ever stop in a race, and I can't either really, but there's a first time for everything! :)

We made it to the ranger station and had to wait on Tanner for 45 minutes where we laughed about the fact that we should have kept running and we COULD.NOT.BELIEVE what we had just done. I imagine the emotions of someone who quits a job and when you leave, you feel exhilarated like you did something wrong but also freedom but also this weird "I kinda feel a lot of regret but I'm glad I did it anyway because it was a smart decision for today" emotion.

I knew I had to explain why I didn't finish and I felt this weird emotion of needing to explain myself and then I thought, "but why?" Why do I feel the need like this is such a bad thing? I made a decision for myself that was GOOD for me...really really good for me mentally and physically, so there is nothing to apologize or explain for. I got to know a friend on a deep level in the mountains, I got to run in a beautiful place with a beautiful sunrise, and clocked FIFTEEN MILES for the day. How amazing!!!

As we left the ranger station, Meredith took us to a look out to see the Golden Gate Bridge and as I was no longer running and walking through the mountains to this lookout with Tanner and as I'm standing there looking out at the vast ocean and the world thinking how I can not imagine not believing in a God that is SO much bigger than me, I knew I had made the right decision. I almost got emotional and told Meredith how amazing it was that we were able to complete fifteen miles when there are so many people who couldn't do that.

That's Tanner and I walking out to the lookout holding hands that Meredith took right after we stopped.

That's Tanner and I walking out to the lookout holding hands that Meredith took right after we stopped.

I am so thankful for my health and this journey and for those days that turn out way different than we intend for them too..

Today started training for Myrtle Beach Marathon. I will start with a 30 mile week this week increasing by 10% each week with a peak at 60 miles/week. It's exactly three months away and after such an awesome "long run" this weekend, I feel on top of the world to really start training. I had been in a funk and this weekend was JUST what I needed.



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13.1 Documentaries (Nutrition & Fitness)

So I know what you're thinking...

I'm going to tell you to watch all of the "Go vegan" documentaries, and while those are definitely going to be on here (ha), I want to share some endurance films that are seriously A-MAZING and so inspiring. Here's my note on the vegan films. It's the reason that I made the change that I did a year ago. It was a HUGE shift because I honestly was NEVER planning on doing that. Someone asked me, "Could you just watch them and then just see what you thought? If you decide otherwise, no biggie, but education is never bad right?"

I was like "Well alright then...I can do that." So, I started watching them. Once I started, I couldn't stop, but I'm pretty extreme on most things so there's that. LOL! It's not just about animals for me, but many other reasons and these documentaries explain a lot. Some of these are also not on Netflix.

1. Cowspiracy

2. Food, Inc

3. Forks over Knives

4. Earthlings (kinda graphic)

5. Vegucated

There are actually TONS more, but I don't want you to think that I'm bombarding you with Vegan films, so I'm going to move into other ones. Here is a website that I reference a lot that has a list of all of them, and I haven't made it through them all but I do plan on watching them. It gives reviews on each one of them, so you can know what you're going to watch before hand. I'm also a documentary fanatic. I love them on any topic. Let's move on to the inspiring ones!!!

6. Four Minute Mile

This is about a guy who grew up in a rough home but found out that he was fast and decided to use running to work through his issues with poverty and inner city life through running.

7. It's Raining, So what?

This is about a guy who was super adventerous, had a crash, and became an incomplete quadriplegic who went on to be the first person to even do an ironman race. It's amazing and the human spirit is incredible.

8. The Barkley Marathons

This is about the hardest run that is out there. You have to be accepted into it, and then there are still very few that finish.

9. Running on the Sun

This is about Badwater Ultramarathon which is a race of 135 miles that goes through death valley which is at 282ft below sea level all the way to Whitney Port at 8360ft above sea level! It looks like one of the hardest things someone could ever do.

10. Running America

11. Transcend(click to watch the trailor)

This is about a Kenyan man who faces the challenges of where he comes from, and his story to where he is now which is a pro runner. YALL. SO. GOOD.

12. Run for your Life

This is about Fred Lebrow who was the president of New York Road Runners who grew the New York City Marathon into what it is today until 1994 when he died from brain cancer. Can you believe that the marathon started with only 55 people?

13. Unbreakable

This is about Western States and I think that if you do that race, you have to be pretty unbreakable! ;) Crazy to think that I have friends who did this race last year! I always think of people like that when I'm wondering if I can complete this 50K. haha!

If you saw my post about 26.2 books to read, the final 0.2 was that I wanted to encourage you to get a library card. I have LOVED having one and Tanner commented last night how I was churning through books. I don't read that much but just like 15-20 minutes at night before bed and it's so nice. So, for the 0.1 on this documentary blog, I want to encourage you to actually watch them. Take some time out for yourself to be inspired. I NEVER just sit and watch a documentary. I play it while I'm doing my hair in the morning. I play it in the background while I work (and yes I have a work from home job so I know that makes it more possible), but just making time to be able to see these inspiring films as it's totally worth it! :)

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North Face Endurance 50K this weekend!

Okay first things first, let's talk about this cute little 50K I'm supposed to be doing this weekend. HAAA! It's the North Face Endurance Series one. It's that one that has 6,000ft of elevation gain that katiesfitscript has not trained for. Yep....

Well, we are going to San Fransisco and my #1 priority is that I get to see my girl Meredith, who is also running the race, who I met at mile 24 of the Boston Marathon and also to see my best friend who is flying in so we can spend the weekend together. Meredith also has not trained for this race so we just kind of said that we are going to go run it and just see what happens. To be honest, I don't see us making it to the end but if it turns out to be a beautiful day and we are having a good time, then maybe we will.

Here's that elevation map:


So, here's the thing. Life is an adventure and you never know where you'll end up! ;) I figure what is the harm in going out and getting a little dirt on our hands and having a good time. On a 5 star difficulty scale, it is said to be 5 stars. There is single track trails overlooking the Pacific Ocean with occasional glimpses of the Golden Gate Bridge. In the personal opinion, this sounds epic and like a day of adventure. Let's throw down predictions. Will Katie and Meredith make it to the end? LOL. I'm going to go with YES but very very slowly aka lots of walking if needed.

We are flying out on Thursday night so we won't get there until about midnight. My best friend Brandy is getting there that day as well. I'm going with Meredith at 5am on Friday morning to a run group called "Back on my feet" and I'm SO excited. If you haven't heard of this program, it approaches homelessness in a completely new way using running to motivate and support people on their journey from being homeless to gaining full independence. Wow. I just love people sometimes and how they come together to create programs such as this. It's just amazing.

We are staying until Tuesday and so we plan on doing lots of touristy things as well as going out to wine country one day! I wanted to share however what I have been doing for my training.

It has been completely unstructured. Once we get back from San Fran, I'm going all in, and I will be training with 100% intention for the March marathon that I'm doing (Myrtle Beach Marathon). I have already planned out the weeks with progressional mileage leading up to it, so I'm excited for that. As of right now, I genuinely have been running what I feel like most days. I like to do 8 miles. I don't know why but it's just this sweet spot of mileage that makes me feel good so the days that I wasn't busy, I would run 8 miles. However, with thanksgiving and all of the other things going on, I haven't really had that much spare time. Of course, with training, you make the time that you want for it, but I thought this was the best time to just go with the flow.

However, I'm itching for a routine. I'm itching for paces to hit and speed workouts (which I did do one yesterday) and I'm itching for a program to help me stay focused. This down time has been fun and I'll do this 50K this weekend, but then after that, it's focus time again. I promised myself one month of just relaxing which I have done and it's been amazing, but now I'm excited to get back.

I'm also excited about all of the new run coaching clients that signed up for Cyber Monday. I love getting new clients because I know that we get time together to foster a relationship and that's why I truly love what I get to do. I have plans in the coming month for a big project that I've been working on for a long time, and I also plan on starting up social media consulting. There's always something exciting happening over here at Katiesfitscript! haha! I wanted to announce my big project last week, but it just didn't feel right so I will when I return from San Fran!

I do want to mention the fires that are in my side of the country. They are bad, and as of last night, they finally reached the town of gatlinburg (they've mostly been just in the mountains) and have ruined businesses and hotels. People were trapped but I think they were able to get out (only four injuries and no deaths). The firefighters have been working around the clock, so we are SO thankful for them and we are SO thankful for rain that came today. I just wanted to give a prayer of praise for that.

Happy Tuesday yall!





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Energy is a Decision

I feel that this can be equated to "love is a decision". 

I think that when someone describe me, they would say that I have an overabundance of energy. Most everyone that talks about me training for my events says "I just wish I had your energy." My husband has even said, "I think I just really struggle with energy."

I've said the word energy so many times in the same paragraph that the word is already beginning to seem a little weird to me. HAHA!

I think that having energy is something that you can genuinely be more accustomed to just based on genetics and what not. I think that we genuinely experience fatigue due to overload of stress at work, children, school, life, disease states, and workouts. But, I think we have more control over that then we think.

When you are completing a race, you do not have energy (especially during an ironman) but you have to pull from something deep within you to be able to finish. That's when you are making energy a decision, and you can do that. You would never stop on the side of the road and say "You know what? I'm not feeling energized now" and stop. Ha.

For the past 6 months probably, I have been trying to make working out in the morning (like before the sun comes up) something that I do. It NEVERs stuck. It was super frustrating because then I would always end up doing things in the evening and then I was having to tell people no to things due to training. I knew that if I could just switch it then I could do more fun things later in my day. But every single morning, I made the decision to lay in bed and do my workout after work. My husband started talking to me one day about how he feels that he is not energized much and I told him that I think he just thinks that in his head and if he could just get himself moving then he would be fine. However, then I was like "Wait, that is exactly the same truth that holds for me in the mornings." So, I started actually committing to it.

It has changed the structure and emotion of my day. I used to wake up and want to have gone and all day I kinda had that feeling like I had skipped my workout and would have it in the back of my mind all day. Now, I'm able to get it done, take a shower, and actually look presentable for the day and then get on with my day. It's.seriously.amazing! I can't believe I've waited so long to make energy a decision.

If you think about when you are having a lazy day at home. You are wearing sweat pants and you feel as if you could just melt into your couch and eat cheetos all day. Let's just say that you do this until 6pm. When you finally get up, you have no desire to move. It's like because you've been lazy all day, the thought of even going to the drive through exhausts you. That's the exact same thing that happens with pretty much everything in life. If you are sitting down and think "Uh I don't have energy for this workout" or whatever it may be, then you just need to get up, get your blood flowing, do some jumping jacks in place, and you'll start to feel better.

Monday mornings, I literally wake up like a gun has gone off. I don't know why but I just get so excited for another week, and especially now that thanksgiving is over and we are moving into Christmas, I feel there is a lot to do and a lot of goodness to be had every day. I want to soak it all up which means that I need to be organized and have my ducks in a row. However, I make that conscious decision that when the alarm goes off at 5am, I am up, and out of bed before I can even think about hitting the snooze button.

When people think of lack of energy for workouts or in life, they immediately think of stimulants. They think pre workouts or caffeine, and supplement companies have made millions of dollars off of this. There is absolutely research to support a boost of energy from these things, but a long time ago I decided that pre workout wasn't my thing and I was just going to go off of my own energy. My husband uses one so I'm not dogging them at all. I know that many use them, but I personally have found that I can find the energy within myself when I make the decision that XYZ is the time that I'm going to workout.

I have mentioned this before, but there is research to show that if you are in a marathon and you are feeling like you have hit a wall, force yourself to sprint for 10 seconds. That seems ludicrous in a marathon, but this jolt of energy causes oxygen to be delivered to your muscle cells in a quick punch and you are able to get some energy back. That EXACT same principle applies in life that I've experienced and it's been a beautiful thing recognizes it and being able to harness it for my use! I have had clients actually use this method in a marathon and say that it does help and work. I hope energy being a decision helps you too.



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Runner's Holiday Gift Guide

I know that I'm always looking for good gifts for people. Sometimes when you come online though and search these types of things, you find CRAZY expensive items. I searched "gifts for travelers" the other day and it had me with gifts at around $100+. I was like...woah. So, I'm hopeful that I'll be able to provide you with some solid gifts for runners today.


Any runner loves to read about other people as crazy as them so a great gift would be a set of endurance books!! REFERENCE MY POST HERE for 26 titles of books!

Inclusive in books would be COOKBOOKS! Here is one super popular one right now with runners that was written by an Olympic pro runner!


Any water bottle will do but here are some trendy ones that will let them know you got them something nice!

One cool thing you could do with a nalgene is attach a sticker of whatever their favorite distance is! 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon, half ironman or full ironman!



I am running a campaign currently with Hylete, and yall, I promise you won't regret these running pants. They have the perfect amount of give and are super comfy! Use my code KATIESFITSCRIPT for 40% which is a pretty hefty discount in my opinion! Haha!

If you like funky pants, try out DonaJo Leggings! If you enter KATIESFITSCRIPT at check out, you should get 20% off as well!

There are TONS of other running pants of course. Target and Walmart have great options and I have pairs at all of them and love them all! Obviously those don't last as long as the Lulu ones, but if you are looking for a gift, then I'm sure your runner friend would be happy with fun Target running pants!


If anyone would like to get me this, I wouldn't complain! ;) hehe! It is a foot pod that can attach when you are running on the treadmill to get correct data. Otherwise, your data is really off on your Garmin and can't record your workouts as well. Yes, you can use the treadmill data but if you like to have it all on your watch, this is a highly useful tool! I love that the link below says "food" but that's just how it linked up! HA!



Yea, you could get snazzy with it but this is $14 and an amazing foam roller that we use daily so I say go with the cheaper! :)


Umm if you are looking for a gift for a runner, then LOOK NO FURTHER! Yall, I'm so serious. If you are a runner and don't know about her, WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?! Jk, but really her stuff is so cute and amazing!


This jewelry is really neat for runners because it doesn't get gross when you sweat in it or swim in it! I love wearing it and they all have encouraging messages so you could get something for your runner friend that encourages them. Here's that link!

8. "Sole" sister keychain

I got this for Bethany for her birthday and it was cheesy but so exciting so if you have a runner bestie, then you should totally make her day with this.

Hope this has made your holiday shopping a little bit easier! Let me know if you have any fun ideas! :)



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Why I'm Beyond Thankful for Friendship

I go through a lot of phases, and one of those phases that I'm going through right now is this phase of immense thankfulness for all of the people in my life who have helped me grow to who I am now. Lord knows I wouldn't be where I am without them and I don't talk about them enough. 

I feel like fitness becomes a one man show sometimes. You are working towards your goals and dreams and when we are online, we post about ourselves. It's just human nature, but sometimes I see pages and think "I wonder who their friends are. I wonder what their friends think of them. I wonder what my friends think of my social media postings." haha!

I have so many wonderful friends. I have friends that have encouraged me in this journey and I have friends who have belittled me in this journey (it happens lol) and friends who will never understand this journey but also don't say a word! I'm thankful for all of them. EVERY LAST ONE!


I see a lot of things online about being confident in who you are and if friends don't support you in that then SEE YA LATER BUH BYE. While I do agree to a certain extent that we must find a tribe that supports us and loves us, I think it's also important to have people in your life that can look at your dirty laundry and say "girlfriend, you need to clean this up!"

Now don't get me wrong. I don't want mean friendships. I've had my share and it's really exhausting, but if we are not friends with people that are different than us then how will we grow?!! If our friends agree with everything we ever say, how will we able be able to use self reflection and improve!? The BEST kind are the ones that can inspire you with how they live their life without having to say a word to you about how you are living yours! Oh man, I have so many girls like that in my life. I feel so blessed sometimes that the girls that I'm friends with even want to be friends with me. HAHA!!!

You have to allow yourself to let them in, let your guard down, but also wait for a space of vulnerability. Not every one of your friends deserve your entire soul. They don't love you enough for that. You save your soul for the good ones!

To answer the question of my title: Why am I thankful for friendship?

I love friendship because it allows me to look at these girls who I love so dearly and become a better person because of them and in spite of me. I have a safe space outside of my marriage to be vulnerable and open. I love friendship because it opens my heart to a different kind of love for people. Sometimes I wish that my girlfriends could see themselves the way that I see them and know what beautiful souls they are.

It makes me miss the nights of watching One Tree Hill on a couch in college and talking girl talk until 2am on my best friends bed in grad school when I first met Tanner. Friendship changes as you get older and get married and start having babies, but it's beautiful in it's own way.

So, I want to celebrate my friendships now and I hope you will take a second today to do the same! There is NEVER a time that you shouldn't text your best friends and say "You know what? I love you and think you're awesome because of XYZ quality." So, I'm thankful I have a blog to be able to do just that! Family doesn't count today because if I did all of the amazing qualities of those women too, we would be here for a while! ;) If you don't care to read below, then I hope you have a great Tuesday but you should read how amazing my friends are! :) 

Brandy-You saved me. You were and will always be the friendship I never knew I would have. You are my sister. You are so much more beautiful than you will ever know. You light up a room with your energy and grace. You taught me to be adventurous. You taught me to not be so dang cheap. You taught me that life is more about fun than responsibility and that everything works out anyway. The lessons I learned from you, I think about almost daily.

Rachel-The way that you listen and encourage is something that is something that I cherish and look up to. You lead girls in Young Life in their faith in such a way that it is SO clear that the Lord pours out of you daily. You have such a constant grace about you. You radiate a calm nature and every thing that you say seems super profound to me. I'm just like "Yep. That's so dang true." LOL!

Erica-Your spiritual gift is giving. You give of your time. You give of your money. You constantly give and rarely take. You are my CONSTANT for life. You have become like family. It wouldn't matter if I fell off the face of the planet for 10 years, you would be waiting with open arms when I returned.

Bethany-Your genuine kindness inspires me. You are more loyal than any friend I've ever known. You call me on my BS, and somehow someway we make best friendship across the nation work so seamlessly.

Becca-You have such a quiet grace. People that don't know you well like me might say that you're quiet, but they don't know the becca that I laugh constantly with and tell everything to. You are SUCH a good friend and wife. If someone is in your life, it's for a reason. You will genuinely pray for them. You will genuinely be there for them.

Valerie-Every single time I leave your presence, I'm inspired. I'm inspired to be a better mom (one day hehe), a more balanced person, and a better wife. I'm inspired to be more joyful, and more grateful. You don't even mean to but you radiate all of these things so much that it makes me think. I literally leave conversations with you thinking how thankful I am to have you in my life.

Molly-Your laughter and your jokes literally light up my life. I know that if we text, I'm going to be actually LOLing by the end of it. You are so loyal through all of the years, and it's just one of those friendships that I know that even though we live in the same town and don't see each other that often because we are both like the busiest humans on the planet that me, you, nick and tanner are going to be having dinner in like 50 years together!

I feel I could be here all day if I kept going so I'll leave you guys with that! <3 I hope you celebrate your friends today as thanksgiving is right around the corner!





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So, I am working with Target for the next week and going to provide you with coupon codes throughout the week. They haven't given me all of the codes yet, or I would share them all. I will share them and post them and try to make it super obvious but definitely try to keep active on my blog this week to make sure you catch them. They are really good coupons.

And hey! Maybe if you buy a lot, they'll keep giving them to me! ;) hahaha! So let's shock 'em!


When you go to my link, today only is the 30% off ALL TOYS with the coupon code: PLAY

So, just click on the hyperlink above, and shop and put "PLAY" into the coupon code slot when you check out!

Tomorrow, you get 10% off ALL ELECTRONICS and the coupon code for that is TECH

On Monday, if you go through my link, you get 20% off KITCHEN purchases!

On Tuesday, it's beauty products with the code: BEAUTY

There is going to be deals all the way through the next Saturday so hang tight, and I'll share all of those as well!


This is an affiliate link. Thank you for supporting me always! <3




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So the time is near where we will all have family dinners, a million Christmas parties with cookies and cider, and the national average of weight gain is 5-7lbs every season. So, how do you fight that off? Honestly, I just don't think that it matters and I want to share why.

My body is a beautiful thing, and so is yours. We all have a spot that we are comfortable and feel like ourselves and most of the time after the holidays, we aren't at that place. We enjoy all of the times with friends, but with cookies staring at us in the face, it's always a constant battle of "Uh do I care or do I not care?" I was talking with a friend last night, and she was sharing some thoughts of this nature, and I realized that it's something I would have never thought she would be concerned about but that it tends to creep into the minds of all women and sometimes men, so it's more of a mental battle than a physical.

First, it took me YEARS to get through a holiday without just basically being more upset about my body changing vs being happy to be around family. Disgusting right? Yea, I know. I've shared my story many times and I can remember specifically the first time I had a mentally healthy Christmas and being like PRAISE YA JESUS! I didn't binge. I did not track anything. I did not watch what I ate. I just simply listened to my body, ate when I was hungry what was provided, stopped when I was full and all was totally fine. So, all of the tips that I share with you are going to be things that I myself have gone through at some point.


Do you think that you are going to gain weight? If you do gain weight, what is the worst case scenario? Will you not fit in some of your clothes or feel uncomfortable in them? Does that make you feel not pretty because chances are, you are still JUST AS BEAUTIFUL. Dispersing anxiety comes down to figuring out why you are feeling anxious about something and realizing that the worst case scenario is not quite as awful as you had imagined. So, you gain weight? Does that mean you won't still get time with family with love and laughter? Are you still the same aunt, cousin, mom that you were before? We all know the answer is a resounding YES.

What does the anxiety do for you? The things that you feel about it are very real but that is not going to change anything. Dispersing anxiety doesn't just happen though. You have to actively pursue it. You have to think about all of these things, and then take a deep breath and force yourself to think of other things.


I said this a minute ago about the holiday that it finally "clicked". I just ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was full. I think that getting on the scale during the holidays is a BAD idea. Sure, I probably gained some weight because the foods that I was eating were more calorically dense than the ones that I normally eat. But in all honesty, what does that mean at the end of the day? If you live a healthy life, then you are going to bounce right back after the holidays and you know that. By weighing and obsessing over the weight gain, you will never be able to truly enjoy yourself. You'll either go to one party and be able to contain yourself only to turn around at the next and eat every cookie in sight or maybe you don't enjoy any of the goods, and you think you have "control" but what kind of fun is that? Life is life, and there are going to be these times. You say no because you ACTUALLY don't want it. You know that if you were to eat it, it would make you feel horrible (not mentally but physically) because you've maybe already had 2. You don't go through the mental battle in your mind. It's a simple question that you ask yourself. Do you want it or do you not? Because sometimes the answer is actually no and we torture ourselves thinking "we can't" when really we don't like oatmeal raisin and would rather have chocolate chip.


Okay, this is something that I put as a tip but I hate the headline for it. I'm not saying that you need to bring separate food. I just simply think that sometimes parties are a little too gluttonous and they could use a little veggie tray in it's lineup. There is nothing wrong with encouraging others to eat well. I think it's so awesome to show your family that holidays don't have to be one extreme or the other, and that you can enjoy cake and cookies but also broccoli with some ranch dip.


The funniest part (actually not funny at all-more like ironic) is that while you are worried about the way that you feel after a holiday meal and feeling as if you've gained weight, no one cares about it but you because they are thinking about themselves. That sounds awful, but we all know it's the truth. So, what really is the point? To torture yourself when you know that you've been through holidays before and you ALWAYS bounce back. Use the holiday before and think about the anxiety that you gave yourself only to end up two weeks after forgetting that it ever happened! Think through things and know that it's NORMAL to have a full stomach, it's NORMAL to eat a lot more than usual during the holidays. There is no reason to be upset about this or feel that you have to do something drastic.

The holidays are meant to be enjoyed but after 2-3 years of working with women in the fitness industry, the holidays present more anxiety than fun. The holidays present weight gain and frustrating/anger/anxiety/desperation over weight gain and then a week later, all is back to normal.

I do want to leave you with the lyrics of a new song that I'm sure you've all heard.

She has dreams to be an envy, so she's starving
You know, "Covergirls eat nothing."
She says, "Beauty is pain and there's beauty in everything."
"What's a little bit of hunger?"
"I could go a little while longer," she fades away
She don't see her perfect, she don't understand she's worth it
Or that beauty goes deeper than the surface
Ah oh, ah ah oh,
So to all the girls that's hurting
Let me be your mirror, help you see a little bit clearer
The light that shines within

I love how powerful this song is. Oh so much!

NOW GO ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAYS IN PEACE!!! <3 You deserve it girlfriend. It makes me emotional because I want it so much for you while listening to this song!

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Four Revenue Streams for Blogging

It's been a while since I've done a blogger post, and I think that this can really give people a leverage point of where to start. I actually really love watching people become successful online, and hopefully helping them to do so.

The first thing that I always like to give the disclaimer is that blogging is a really hard career path. Youmight be super successful with something for awhile, and then you have a lull, and you have to kind of figure out your path from there. It takes lots of long nights and hard work that you CAN accomplish, but just know that typically the amount of work that you put in is going to be what you get out of it, so just be ready to work. If you are one of the lucky ones, then that's awesome, but if not, stay consistent and you'll get there. 

The avenue that is the hardest in my personal opinion is getting sponsorships from companies and advertisements on your blog. I think that's what is known for in the blogging industry on how to make money, but that's not so much the case. I'm not good at selling myself if I'm being honest. I have a large readership, but if a company is not invested in me enough that they want me to have to prove it to them for months just to consider me, then I'm going to move on. I want to be valued, and not beg to work with them. Know your worth! :) We ALL are worth it!!

SERVICES (Active income)

On the other hand, the most successful that I've been in blogger revenue is providing a service which is my nutrition and run coaching services. This has extended into speaking opportunities as well as in person consultations in my hometown. HERE is a good post about what all I offer, and now that I'm offering run coaching, you can see how I structure that as well. However, this is VERY active income. This is income that I have to work day in and day out to make sure that my clients are taken care of. Yes, the more work that you put in, the more money that you can make but there is a threshold. There are only so many clients that you can take on before it becomes unfair to them, and I've had my share of mishaps on that. I have put clients before literally everything in my life, and that's not the way that it should be either.

There are all sorts of coaching that you can do though. Some examples of that are: Life coaching, Career Coaching, Social Media Consulting, Home Decor Coaching (maybe wouldn't be called coaching), and photography, but this is going to be a category that you are providing a service to a client.


Another way that you can make money is through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing simply means that you make a percentage of whatever someone buys from a certain website if they go through your link or use your code to buy something. The return is typically very low, but there are some that pay very well. The companies that I'm apart of are:

Now most good bloggers would think those things up in tons of blogs for you to click on and make them money. I'm the WORST and never think to do this. I just blog random blogs daily and forget about it. That's why I call it semi passive because most of the time no one is going to be re visiting an out post where I linked them up. Now-a-days, there is an affiliate marketing for absolutely any company. If they don't have one, just ask and I will bet that they will make you a code and offer it to you.


I really enjoy this one even if I don't pursue it enough (only so many hours in the day nom sayin). I feel it levels the playing field a little better for bloggers to be able to connect with companies rather than just like seeking them out via instagram or twitter. It's like a direct set up company to blogger and then you get paid. The higher the following, the more you'll get paid typically but this goes for anything (gotta love social media whomp). The one that I really like is called Collective Bias/Social Fabric and you get shoppertunities. I feel like the pricing is a lot better than most ($300-350 for most instagram posts and $400-600 for blog posts). You have to hook up your account for them to be able to see your views so if you are just starting out then this might not be something that you could do, but if you are someone who already has a following, then look into it for instagram posts. Here are some listed below:

  • Sweat Pink
  • BlogHer
  • Liquia
  • Ignite Social Media
  • Blog Meets Brand
  • Pollinate
  • Sverve
  • Mode Media (I actually think they might have closed down not long ago but not sure)
  • Tapinfluence

Sometimes these are only worth $40 each and when you are just starting out, that's something, but that can be a waste of time if you already have an established brand, so just be cautious that you are making the money worth your time.


This is different than services in that this is something that you have physically made. Some are active and some are passive.

Passive Products:

  • Ebooks
  • Previous webinars
  • Ecourses

Active Products:

  • Selling tshirts
  • Selling books
  • Selling anything that you make (Devotions, Calligraphy, Artwork, etc)
    • Try to think outside of the box of what you could sell and do a great job upfront and you'll keep business flowing especially if you are doing my other tips for blogging to grow your pages!


Last, but not least, is the one that I said was my least favorite, but is VERY profitable if you can hit it right. I know many of my blogger friends that do this SOLELY. They feel that they don't have time for all of the other options, so this is the one that they have chosen, and it's a great one. There are many different things that you can advertise on. You can advertise on podcasts, blogs, videos (youtube), and then sponsored posts would fall within this category.

Youtube is becoming a big way to make money, so all of the people that you follow on youtube, they are making money through that! :) I have wanted to get a youtube channel going for about a year now, but editing and making sure that they are well done is really important to me and it's just not something that I've found myself capable of doing with my tech abilities right now.

There could be an entire blog posts on how to get sponsored posts, but there is a definite art to it. It's not just going to be that companies will reach out to you and offer you money. Many times they won't reach out at all. You might have to form a relationship with them, and then they start looking around your site and your instagram (if you have a following and they notice that). After that, they will probably email you and say they would like to collaborate, but most of the time they aren't going to offer you money. You have to decide if that's something that you are okay with, or you counter them and say that you want compensation for your work. I know many that will do absolutely no unpaid posts because they wouldn't have the capacity and would just be spamming people all the time. You have to have tact about it. No one wants to be spammed every day. Again, I'm gonna stop there because it could be a post in and of itself.

There is a lot of work that goes into blogging. I think that people think that once you start writing on a blog that people just pay you tons of money. LOLOLOLZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! Good joke! ;) It takes hustle, but it's rewarding. You are making your products and putting your best foot forward and then when you are able to make it work, you become so proud of yourself.

Again, some of my related blogs to this are: 

Do you have a blog? What do you do on yours?




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Six Tips for Macro Counting to Plant Based Eating

So as you all know, this has been something that my husband and I have transitioned into over the past year. It's not been a big ordeal, but we have just slowly made changes. It's important to note that macro counting can be done with plant based eating, but that is just not the route that I took. I keep hearing phrases like, "Macros didn't work for me" and the truth is that every single eating pattern that you will ever do is going to be a breakdown of macros (carbs, fat, protein) and it's just finding what you think is best for you.


I'm not someone that easily gets rid of habits, so it took me a long time to really get into plant based eating and figure out which meals to make. The thing that I did to continue to encourage myself (and still do) is that I follow tons of vegan youtubers. {{Side note: Vegan youtubers have a lot of drama within their community if you watch them! haha! I'm so thankful the running online community is not like that}} I also follow tons of plant based people on instagram and I hit up daily to see the new information that he has provided and it keeps me motivated. It reminds me why I started.

You'll hear a lot of people say this and it's SO true. The plant based eating itself is not the problem. It's society, and how weird people think that you are, and how to go about different situations of deciding whether you want to eat meat here and there because if we ate it everywhere it was provided, we wouldn't really be plant based. We don't get crazy and we still eat meat/dairy/cheese when provided but if we can get something else, we do.

For me personally, I was also tired of living a life just about the way that my body looked. I knew that there was the risk that without as much protein that my body would change. I decided that for me, my body composition meant next to nothing compared to my health, animal cruelty, starving children, and environmental conservation. Everyone has their reasoning for why something finally strikes a cord, and for me, it was all of the above, but mostly for health and starving people around the world due to the lack of resources because too much grain is being fed to animals so they can be killed for us to eat. I couldn't un-see what I had seen. As much as I would love for the world to go vegan, I do not care if anyone around me makes that decision. It's simply a personal one.


This is the most frequently asked question, and not just for me but every single person that chooses this lifestyle.

Remember how I said that I was afraid of my body composition changing? Well, it didn't. haha! I have found through much research that in order to maintain our weight and body composition as long as continue to lift, the amount of protein that we need is right around 10% which is naturally found in plants and very easy to hit. That doesn't mean that you can't aim for more than that, but I've found that the longer and longer that we do this, the more that we find it's not really necessary to get crazy with trying to force protein sources in all these different areas. As I've said before, if you decide to go plant based, there are no special tricks up my sleeve for protein choices, but they are what they are, and I'll list some of what we do below.

My husband who has a really solid muscle mass base has done the same as me, and he has actually had muscle gains in the past year. This is not to say that it's from the diet. I think that it's just the combo of continuation of a good diet with adequate calories, and a good lifting program.

The typical route to plant based eating to make it easier is to replace the meat in your meals with something that is plant based protein. The three most common are tofu, tempeh, and seitan. They have made these products in 1000 different ways to make it exciting. You can get hot dogs, burgers, bacon, etc but they are just made by these vegan companies. As Tanner and I talk about, these products don't have that much flavor, and neither does meat. In our culture, we grill, fry, saute, and marinate our meat to make it edible, so the same amount of effort goes for tofu. You wouldn't just eat plain chicken breast with no salt or flavoring. It would be disgusting, so don't judge these products until you've prepared them the same way! ;)

Tanner uses a vegan protein powder (but I don't even do that because #vomit). He searches around the internet when he runs out for a new company that has popped up to 1)support them 2) it's always cheaper because they are trying to get their feet off the ground. However I know that the big dogs in the protein powder industry have started making vegan products, and from what I hear, they are pretty good. Here are some of the ones that we use the most!

  • Gardein Beef Crumbles
  • Aldi brand Veggie burgers
  • Every kind of bean
  • Tempeh/Tofu/Seitan in all forms and variations
  • Buckwheat
  • Lentils
  • Quinoa
  • Vegetables with high amounts of protein per gram: spinach, brussel sprouts, artichoke, peas


I have never had such an appreciation for the beautiful fruits and veggies that the Lord has given us until I went plant based. It has been so fun to find, and then try in new recipes. I feel as if so many turn their nose up at quinoa, eggplant, kale or hummus in our society. It's quite funny actually. I'm like "Have you ever even tried this?!" The answer is typically no! Coming from a VERY southern culture, I promise these foods are good, yall. No fear! Here are some new ones:

  • Cavistel
  • Cucamelon
  • Jicama (starchy type vegetable)
  • Kumquat (similar to orange)
  • Pitaya (dragonfruit)
  • Romanescu (similar to cauliflower)

HOW FUN RIGHT?! haha! Just me?

DID YOU KNOW OREOS ARE VEGAN? Fun fact! lol! There's TONS of comfort foods that are vegan, and I'm thankful for my husband who jumped on board!

DID YOU KNOW OREOS ARE VEGAN? Fun fact! lol! There's TONS of comfort foods that are vegan, and I'm thankful for my husband who jumped on board!


This lifestyle is actually very hard to get into. I'm only writing about it honestly because I was asked by a few clients to talk about this transition a little more. I feel as if it's not readily accepted. I think that people almost believe that you are judging them if they do otherwise, and that is so far from the truth. I think that my family was shell shocked when I first told them, and I wasn't even going to tell but it just became obvious. Everywhere that we go, it's very heavily meat focused, and that's okay. I have made a personal decision for myself, and that doesn't mean that I need to convince everyone to jump on board. I know that some people are hardcore advocates but I'm not one of those people. I'm just going to share my journey and if it encourages someone, then that's amazing.

However, when I first started this journey, I was embarrassed. I was embarrassed that it was going to look like yet another phase when I felt led (honestly spiritually) to do so. We all have callings in different direction and feel purposeful in different directions, and I felt it in this way, but I knew that everyone else would think that I was ridiculous. It has taken time but just like anything, no one gives a dang about anyone but themselves. HA!! So, they might make jokes at you and they might pick on you but don't be embarrassed. You are doing something that you believe to be good for you and for many other reasons I'm sure that are much deeper than just what's on your plate. You know that. There is no reason to have to shove that down someone's throat, or to persuade them, but you can do what feels right for YOU!


If you are going from macros to plant based eating, then your ratios are going to be different. You aren't going to have as much protein in your diet, and you want to replace that with carbs. You'll ask yourself and me: Well then why was I doing these macros to begin with? 

When you macro count, you are given numbers based on your goals, but also based on your lifestyle. The things that we know is that our bodies need different ratios of macronutrients in a balance of some sort, and that we need the different macronutrients for different things. If you have all of the macros represented and an adequate amount of calories (or a deficit of calories if you are trying to lose) then you are going to see results with them. Macros are not meant to be a set in stone kind of thing if your lifestyle changes. The numbers CAN change, and they aren't golden tablets of numbers. Many different ratios will work for you. You have to find what is going to be sustainable for you in the long term, and if you are switching to plant based eating, then 140g of protein per day is going to be pretty unrealistic unless you want to be pounding all kinds of fake powders and soy protein which isn't good for you.

The first step in change should be that you are keeping calories the same, reduce your protein to around 90g-100g and then add those calories back to carbs. You could change your calories entirely, but I wouldn't recommend it.

As time went on though, I just started counting calories. I didn't worry about protein and I started getting 60-70g and my body wasn't changing, so I just kept going with it. Eventually, this morphed into just not counting at all with it. Everyone's journey is different. I'm not saying this is the one that you should take, but it's the one that I did.


You aren't going to be able to make the switch without some thoughtful planning ahead of time. No matter what kind of diet (and by diet I just simply mean the way in which you are eating not cutting calories), you are going to have to make changes if you are changing your diet and that takes thoughtful processing.

I always prep 3 different 9x13 dishes of veggies on Sunday, and just put them in big Tupperware dishes for us to grab each morning. Those include: mushrooms, carrots, brussels, zucchini, squash, green and red peppers and asparagus. I season them typically with garlic salt and throw tinfoil over them and bake for 30-45 minutes.

Each day we eat things like tofu, rice, and veggies which is just the same structure of meals that we would have had just instead of chicken, we might put tofu or beef crumbles. We make tacos with crumbles instead of lean beef. We make pizza with dairy free cheese. There is a substitute for every single thing. It just takes planning. Macro counting in general takes planning so you just do the same thing, but with plant based options.

I think I've talked long enough, and hopefully given you some insight into the way that we approach this. I totally am not saying that our way is the only way or the right way but just what works for us!



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Law of Attraction

If you didn't know me in the past, I would venture to say that you probably think that I've been a positive person my entire life. I really do try to see the best in every single situation and try to look from every angle to be able to do so. However, this was an extremely hard trait for me to learn. I can remember every single year that I would start middle school and high school, I would tell myself to not get so frustrated with people, teachers, and things that didn't go my way. I know that this is all part of growing up, but for me it felt significant and like something that I could never change. I was constantly having negative thoughts, and thought the worst case scenario always. "Woe is me" is the best way I know to describe this lifestyle. There are people in my family that struggle with anxiety and depression therefore the culture that I grew up in kind of made it to where negative thoughts were the norm. 

It wasn't until recently that I realized how I completely flipped this upside down without even realizing it. It all comes down to this: 

If you come to your life and see it as a place of lack, then you are always going to be lacking. If you come to your life from a place of gratitude and joy, then those things will be added to your life. 

So, yes, essentially, this is just positive thinking but it's deeper than that. It permeates into every single aspect of your life.

If you feel that you don't have enough money, then you will always not have enough money...even when you have money. It's not as if money is going to start flowing on trees if you start to think positively about it, but the stress of money never makes it grow either. If you come from a place of gratitude knowing that even if you are reading this, you have far more than most in the world then you become more thankful for the money that you do have. This might turn into you not coveting the newest trends that your friends have because you're content with what you have which could end up saving you money therefore you end up with more money. 

If you feel that you are not pretty or smart or some other word to put yourself down, then you are going to start speaking those truths into your life. My husband is very smart and my best friend was valedictorian. It was VERY hard in pharmacy school to not come from a place of lack with brain power. Sometimes they would even discuss things, and I would find myself just getting super insecure that they were able to understand things on such a deep level, and I wanted that SO desperately. The thing is though, God gave me the work ethic to make up for the time that it took for me to understand the same information, and THAT is a gift. After years of study and continuation of studying to remain ept on new guideline recommendations, I'm able to know just as much. Gratitude for work ethic NOT lack of brain power! 

I feel like with the advent of social media, it has it's good and bad, but we all know that one of the bad things is that we see others lives through their perfect angle. We believe the lies that our lives are lacking when in reality if we were to create a highlight reel of our life, someone else would think that their lives are lacking.  

Life is hard and I know that so I'm not trying to say that if something tough is going on that you can just magically make it disappear, but staying in the constant state of depression over it will never allow you to come out of the hole. If you are able to find the good, then it will  produce more good. 

So, how do you take proactive steps towards this? I think the biggest thing is recognizing that it takes effort. It's just like anything and it's a muscle that has to be exercised. You aren't going to wake up one day and think that your life is full of joy vs lack. You have to practice the thought process until this becomes habitual and normal. 

The first thing to do when these thoughts enter your mind is to recognize that they are in fact thoughts that you don't want to have, and that they are negative. This is going to sound like juju but once you recognize that it's a bad thought, acknowledge the bad thought. {{Then, sing kumbaya and all is right in the world! JK!}} No one wants to be told that the problems that they feel and the feelings that they feel are not real. Every single emotion that we feel is real to us even if it's silly to someone else, and that's the way I've tried to run my coaching business for 2 years now. I know that the way that women feel about their bodies and food and fitness is very REAL and even though I may not see what they see, I have to acknowledge the feeling and help them to reconstruct that into a positive. When you recognize it as a negative feeling, then it allows you to think of what the opposite would be. What is it that you would want instead of this lack? First, is this something that is reasonable? Can you work for whatever the lack is? If so, then be excited for the work ahead and the fruits that it will bring. If you feel this is something you will never obtain, then either write it down or start mentally allowing yourself the space to recognize the things that you DO have and you ARE thankful for.

As you begin to do this, you begin to change your thought processes slowly over time to where it's habit to immediately think of the positives. It's actually really annoying at first, and you're thinking "Why am I doing this?" but eventually the bad thoughts start to fade into the background and you only come from a place of gratitude. 

I've watched this permeate not only in my own life but the way that I view others and the relationships that I have. I have a friend in my life who does this with SUCH grace, and she breeds joy in Jesus and then she exudes that right onto me. Everytime that I'm with her, I feel that joy, and like attracts like. 

Last I wanted to share a recent example. I am an ever evolving person (as we all are), however I feel that I change a lot.  I'm interested in many things, even though the ground work may stay the same. I had been feeling some insecurities about this almost as if I was immature and "couldn't find myself". Why do I like home design, reading books, fashion, learning scripture and theology, learning medicine, learning the science of running and nutrition, cooking, lilly pulitzer but also REI, endurance sports, lifting, home town life and big city life? Like, JUST PICK KATIE!! I think it majorly shows through my social media outlets through the years as I change...then change again...then again and it's created insecurities because of feeling as if I need to stay this person that everyone knows because that's who I've been for so long.

This weekend I had a social media friend speak truth into me because she's the same way. She said that the ever evolving woman is the woman that I am, and that's okay. That's something to be happy about, and something to be excited about. I was coming from a place of lack, and I wasn't even recognizing it. She told me that I was a Renaissance woman, and the definition of this is: a woman who is well educated and sophisticated and who has talent and knowledge in many fields of study. WHAT.A.COMPLIMENT! 

I hope that you'll find this encouraging and be able to utilize it in your own life. We all have the capacity to decide for ourselves how we are going to control the day based on our thought processes, and when we put joy and happiness forward, those things will be returned to us! 



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Running Economy

I got to thinking about running economy yesterday as someone asked how to get faster in a facebook group and then I thought to myself, "Why have you not done a blog on this?"

I think many times we think that we are just born with whatever genetic capacity we have for speed and that's all she wrote, and that's not the case. There are so many ways to get faster. That doesn't mean that you can get past your genetic limit (of course) but you want to make sure that you are reaching your genetic limit. This may take you years to do which is why the sport of running is so fun. You can always try new things to challenge yourself and get better.

Running economy is in simple terms the amount of fuel (oxygen) that you are using over a given distance. The nerdy definition through Wikipedia is the energy demand for a given velocity of submaximal running and is determined by the steady state consumption of oxygen and the respiratory exchange ratio. So, in efforts to be a better runner and if you look to pro athletes, you will see that they are using less oxygen (less gas/less fuel) and are more economical in their running. When I first heard about Lance Armstrong doping, and other athletes, I genuinely thought that the was using steroids. I groped all of that in the same bunch. I was also like 12. haha! But, the reason that endurance athletes dope is so that they can become more economical. They inject epoetin delivering more red blood cells which delivers oxygen quickly from the lungs to the muscles. It allows them to not waste energy as quickly therefore being able to run quicker for longer.

However, there are ways that we can naturally do this without crossing all those moral lines, obviously. One way is to increase the mitochondrial density of your muscle cells. If you remember from biology, mitochondria are the power source for cells. The more that we put a demand on mitochondria, the more we are going to increase the density which means the more that you run, the more mitochondrial density you can bring. This is why you will see the pros running 100 mile weeks. The important thing to remember is that first, you want to build this up 10% each week over time. You also want to be reasonable with your lifestyle and recognize that mitochondrial density does not trump sleep and recovery. The pros are not doing anything else (most of the time) therefore their bodies are able to rest in other situations. We call this "stressors" and the average person is going to have more general "stressors" each week.

If you are just starting out, you want to build these miles up just as base miles. The rule of thumb is that you want to do 500 miles before you move onto interval/speed and tempo runs. That's again not very realistic, so you have to find that middle road of increasing miles and then getting to a point (40 miles per week maybe) that you stop and add in speed work and tempo runs.

So, to conclude that part: Increase mitochondrial density by increasing mileage as much as possible to your lifestyle but only 10% increase per week! If you overtrain, that will DECREASE your ability to use fuel so don't push it too far. .There's a line for everyone, and you have to find yours.

Another thing that helps running economy, shown in clinical trials, is strength training. When you are stronger, the muscles in your legs are able to utilize more energy and waste less. You also are able to utilize the gravitational pull on the ground on impact in your favor for additional energy when your legs are stronger. I know that I talk a lot about hybrid training, and that when you are in the heat of training heavy miles, strength training takes a back seat but this is why it's so important to have strong legs and to strength train. One part of strength training is also making sure that you don't have any muscle imbalances in your legs. I feel as if my calves are different sometimes therefore I work to have the same on each side so that my impact when I hit the ground with each step is utilizing the least amount of energy as possible.

Another important aspect is weight. I'm not going to gointo that very much because I talk a lot about nutrition but it's just very important to eat well and to be at a weight that your body naturally lands at. If you are trying to force your body to be smaller than it naturally is than you are just going to be tired and fatigued. If you are eating more than your body needs and carrying weight then that reduce your running economy. Take that as non emotional objective information and don't beat yourself up all day over it! ;) I know how you girls are! haha!

The change in heart rate workouts (i.e. interval and speed workouts) is a huge one for running economy. There was a coach in the 1960s (don't quote me on time frame) that had his athletes start doing this interval workouts and he noticed IMMEDIATELY that at their next performance, they beat everyone by a landslide. It was as if he had found out about this miraculous new thing to get faster, and word started to spread. The distances vary dependent on the distance race that you are performing but the same rules apply and that is just that you want your heart rate to come up, then come down, then back up. You want to extend the amount of time that you can handle these speeds for these distances (400s to 800s to mile repeats) and overtime your body is able to handle the stressor better as you get closer to your VO2max (which is kind of what I like to call your genetic limit that I was referencing earlier). We cannot change our VO2max, but we can work to get as close to it as possible.

It's really important that you practice these tools in your slow workouts so that your body learns correct form and breathing and stride and muscle balance in your slower workouts. Your recovery days and slow workouts are just as important as your fast ones, and you want to treat them seriously. You DO NOT want to push pace. If you push pace on your easy days then you are not able to recover properly for your hard days. In order to increase your running economy, you have to have those adequate periods of rest between hard workouts.

Once you increase that running economy, get mileage high, and then taper (which I won't go into the science of a taper along with this blog but will at some point) and when you combine all of these things together, it's like BOOM on race day. The most important thing to note though is that if you aren't doing certain speeds in your speed workouts and your tempo workouts, you aren't going to miraculously be able to perform those speeds on race day so you can look up pace calculations for the speed that you want to go in your half or full marathon and it will give you the training paces that you should go.

I only have a few spots open for my run coaching, but I have some clients finishing up their races so if you are interested and would like to know how my coaching works, you can read this blog! :) Hope this helps regardless!



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26.2 Books for Endurance Athletes

I wrote a blog on the election, then I thought that you guys had probably heard it from enough people, and I would just get back to maybe some other reads to keep your mind in other places! :)

I did however give yesterdays blog break as more of a "moment of silence for America." haha!

I wanted to bring you some amazing books today that I know will get you all inspired. I only own the ones that you'll see pictures of, but I have so many on my kindle. Kindle has just recently been something that I'm a fan of. I used to be all about that paperback, and I am. I love going to a bookstore and getting a fresh book and sitting down with coffee and reading however I'm also a fan of not having to lug around different books if I'm going on a trip. I also like that I can read the kindle while on the treadmill, so the kindle has won the war for now.

Backstory: I used to be a HUGE reader. Like, H-UGE. When I was in the 5th grade, I got to be principle of the day because I had the most AR points. I was also super busy with sports, but in the car between soccer games, I was reading books. My parents had to limit my book reading time because I would like take books into restaurants, and read at the table. LOL! I was obsessed. I also loved Nancy Drew which is the early stages of how much I love crime stories. But today is not about those.

This list is actually going to be my list as well so that I make sure that I've read every single endurance book there is. haha! I haven't read all of these, but I've read quite a few of them.

4. RUN!

11. Run or Die

12. The Cool Impossible

13. Always Running

14. Running and Being

15. The Ultra Mindset

16. Unbreakable Runner

17. Faster, Higher, Stronger

18. Running Away 

19. Where The Road Ends

To cap this off, I thought I'd give books that are not necessarily running books but are inspirational. Tanner is really into books about climbing simply because he believes that the mindset that resonates with these people is the same mindset that you have to have to be an endurance runner, and as someone who is neither of those two, he believes that it builds character to recognize the mindset behind the crazy! I couldn't agree more that my journey has only happened because I was inspired by those before me that believed in themselves to do more than they currently are. I love having others share their stories.

He actually just peeked at me writing this blog, and he said "Oh you're posting those books. Those are all incredible" so you definitely should read these.

20. Addicted To Danger

21. Together on top of the world

22. On the Edge of Survival

23. Into Thin Air

24. Alone on the Side of the Wall

25. One More Step

26. A Life on the Edge

What is the 0.2? Well, I tried to be clever, but I'm going to make my 0.2 to challenge you to go get a library card. We all could use some book reading instead of facebook reading and instagram surfing. We all have become so out of touch with beautiful stories just so that we can go on instagram and compare how we aren't as good as that person or get on facebook and argue over politics. I love sinking into my chair with a cup of coffee and a new book! I got a library card last week, and hope you will too! :)

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Election 2016 + The Struggle to Rest


I did however do a poll on my personal facebook which has friends from across the US and I tallied those of friends that live in the midwestern US and southwest US and on one post, she had them put their state and it looks as if MANY were represented. This is just an interesting poll that I wanted to share the results:

Mine: 133 Trump, 62 Hilary, 25 3rd party
Friend 1 (Midwest location): 75 Trump 8 Clinton 6 3rd party
Friend 2 (southwest): 256 trump 40 Clinton 12 3rd party

What I predict : Hilary will win anyway because of electoral votes and because our government doesn't want Trump (that is my PREDICTION and states nothing of opinion because again, I'm not going there).

What I found interesting: the only people who messaged me afraid to post their vote were Hilary supporters?? That's odd to me. Lol.

Maybe you'll click away now because I guess what my blog title is what you would call "click bait" but more than anything, I do want to say that I'm praying for our nation. I decided to literally sit down this morning, spend about 10 minutes in solid prayer. This isn't a "I hope so and so gets into office" but rather just all around prayer for our country.

Now, let's move on from that and go into this thing that I have realized from my client check ins that I'm not the only one that struggles with it, and that is the struggle to rest. No, I don't mean the struggle to not work out. That's not my struggle. Exercise addiction is very real, and I never want to take that topic lightly, but that's just not the kind of rest that I'm referring to today. I also am going to give you a little back story about myself before I go into how you might be able to relate (and you might be able to relate with my backstory as well).

When I looked into my future, I only saw goals when I graduated high school. The future was bright, and I was going to take every day as a new step to work towards my goals. I decided I wanted to try out for college cheerleading and spend my entire senior year devoted to going to the gym to learn to tumble (I didn't learn until my senior year). I wanted to try out as a flyer so I dieted more strict than what was necessary and wound up with a host of issues, but to me, it was the hustle (not going into that today lol).

I wanted to be a pharmacist, but that meant that I needed to make not just good grades, but straight A's and I wasn't a "natural" for lack of better words. I knew that it meant that I had to study every waking moment. I seriously was the best student. After class, I would study what we went over that day. Every single Friday night, after cheerleading practice, you could find me in the library. Every weekend, I would have a little fun but mostly with the thought in the back of my mind about the to do list for school I needed to get back to. Of course, they want you to be well rounded so I did all the leadership in clubs that I could possibly manage. Once I got into pharmacy school, the hustle became even greater. I had to accept that straight A's weren't going to happen for me, but I was going to work just as hard. For four years straight, I studied EVERY single day (besides maybe a few here and there). I had one best friend, and I met my husband but even they recognized that school of really huge importance to me and I was very focused.

I graduated pharmacy school, and decided to move to New York City. I thought I had finally made it until I entered into the busiest season of my life where I was working 40+ hours per week as an intern with two hours of commuting, studying for board exams, trying to start a business on the side because I had this social media thing going, and had just moved to this huge city. I decided after my internship that I was going to pursue blogging/coaching full time and that was obviously huge. I told Tanner I knew what work looked like from undergrad and pharmacy school and I'd put it in to make it work. I also decided this was when I was going to train for my first marathon. One year later, because of a lot of reasons that I'm still sad about, we had to move home to North Carolina. In the midst of that, it meant that I needed to be licensed in North Carolina for pharmacy so I started studying, while training for marathons, and running a SUPER busy business at the time. I literally had no time for anyone. I moved home to family but didn't hardly see family.

After I got past this stage, I decided to train for an ironman, and we all know the capacity at which this takes you away from everything. I entered into a stage where I told friends and family that I was sorry but I had to just put my head down and focus for this 6 month period and then I'd come out of the fog. I know what they all were thinking. "What will be next? She won't just rest."

I literally cannot remember a time for the past decade that I haven't had some stressful looming goal ahead and something that I had to focus on, sacrifice for, and turn away nights with friends to be able to do it. I haven't known what it's like to have free time at night. So here I am, one week in, and it just feels....weird.

I have post race blues, but not to the point that it makes me want to do another race. I have come to recognize that I have equated stress with success and when I know that deep down, I know that it's VERY important to stick to my guns to really prayfully get out of that. There is no reason that I need to be stressed in order to be successful in life, but I also have to figure out what that looks like. In our world, stress is almost this badge of honor that we get to wear subconsciously that we are "getting it done!". It's almost as if you're lazy if you aren't stressed. I have worked REALLY hard for a REALLY long time and it's okay that I have time to watch Netflix maybe even twice weekly now. That doesn't mean that I need to jump back into something else.

When training for the ironman, I had to back out of a lot of responsibilities for sheer time purposes and not being able to commit the way that was needed, and now that I don't have those things, I will say it proudly, I'm not stressed and I have a lot of time on my hands. Yes, I could pour more into my business, but I work hard 8 hours or more per day. Yes, I could jump into volunteer opportunities but I've learned that right now, in this season, this is my best yes. My best yes is to rest even as weird as it feels.

When achieving all of these goals, I always had the primary but I'm someone who has a really hard time being all in for just one thing. I'm interested in like 10,000 things. I love blogging and medicine and endurance and living a healthy life, but those were just the primaries. I also really love to read (I always won the awards for most AR points in elementary school lol), I love home decor, I love fashion (even if I'm too cheap to really make it work), I want to learn how to do my make up, I love to cook, I want to be able to shower and look decent most days, and I really love close knit friendships where I can pour into other people.

I'm thankful to all of the people that have put up with me for the past decade as I began this ridiculously, always stressful, always busy pursuit to MY goals. I hope to pour back into them during this season and spoil them because I couldn't have got here without them. I hope to really allow them the space and capacity to accomplish their goals as I take a backseat (i.e. my husband). I've realized my lack of humility in my pursuit to goals (not that pursuit of goals means lack of humility but just did some self reflection and found that in my own life). I've realized that in saying that I need to be stressed to be successful is saying that I have to be successful to be happy, and that's just not true. I've realized that I've created myself a space to think more and be more intentional, and that's a beautiful thing. I'm not sure what season that you're in, but I hope that your season of pursuit is not a decade long, and that you have some seasons of rest sprinkled in there for good measure.

I hope you'll find me inspiring in my season of being inspirational through non inspiration. LOL! I'm hoping to share more of this season as I go along because I'm sure it will present itself in many ways, and I'm sure I'll exit this season, but right now I don't know when that will be or what that will look like, so I'm just going to rest in what it is right now. 

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The fallacy of moderation

Typically, when you start a diet, you hear "everything in moderation" and while this is true, I've realized that as a nutrition coach, there are some fallacies in this especially when it comes to macros so I wanted to explain.

Depending on your background, moderation can be much harder for some than it is for others. Moderation of "getting to eat a doughnut" for the first time in years is like a new level of freedom. For others, moderation means, "You've got to be freakin kidding me that you think I'm going to count how many goldfish I have or that I'm going to limit myself to ONE oreo. That's dumb as heck." I've seen both sides, and both are valid.

There is a journey that almost every single fit girl has gone on. If you are not to the end stage then you probably are still in the midst of your journey. I could be wrong, but it happens to almost everyone. You figure out about macros, and it changes your life. You think that you are going to do it forever but you know that you'll stop at some point. You get to a point where counting numbers becomes absolutely ridiculous in your head so you want to go forward towards intuitive eating. You don't really know how because for so long you've counted numbers. Give yourself a few weeks to a good couple of months (or even a year for some) and it will become easier. You have to not give up on that though because it DOES take time and jumping back into counting never works for getting to the intuitive eating stages. No one wants to be a grandma at 95 years old counting macros (Lord willing we make it that long).

However, when you want to move into the stages of intuitive eating, if you haven't ACTUALLY learned moderation and have only gone by eating whatever numbers your macros have allotted for you, then you are going to end up binge eating. It's like CLOCKWORK how this happens to girls (and guys). You have to teach yourself to look at something like a cookie and change the mindset. If you are eating just whatever you have restricted yourself to within numbers, that kind of mindset doesn't last. You have to look at a cookie and say "That looks delicious. I want that cookie." Otherwise the mindset becomes, "I want that cookie, but I shouldn't because that wastes a lot of my macros and I'd rather eat something else. I'd rather not eat that cookie and I shouldn't eat that cookie. Wait, I'll just have one. Okay, I've had one. Uhhhh it was so good, I want another one. I'll just have one more bite. *turns into whole cookie* Ohhhh gosh now I've messed up my day. SCREW IT. I'M EATING THE ENTIRE PAN!!" That means that you have turned moderation into restriction.

Moderation essentially IS restriction and that's the entire problem. "Everything in moderation." Blah blah. We don't want a moderately full stomach. We just want to be full. We don't want to be starving in order to achieve results. But, we also have to be realistic. It's that balance.

The truth is that if we can TRULY form a good healthy relationship with food, then we are able to listen to our bodies, and our bodies will tell us "everything in moderation." Our stomachs don't want 4 cookies. That makes you feel like absolute crap, but if you aren't in tune with your body then you are used to feeling bad on "cheat days" and then feeling good on the other days of the week. Having a healthy relationship with food means having those meals that you would have on the weekend on a Monday. When you eat an entire pan of cookies, you end up associating cookies with guilt, cookies with stomach aches, cookies with weight gain the next morning and then the cycle perpetuates itself.

The other end of moderation within macros is that having ONE oreo is not moderation. That's restriction. Coach after coach that you see on the internet advertises for abundance. "You can eat carbs and lose weight" and that is THE TRUTH....however, I think that if someone is going to go into this weight loss program being told that they can eat one oreo or 1/2 of a doughnut then that's just a little silly. We have to learn to reconstruct our thought processes around food, not to be told more restrictions just to be able to get a tiny piece of it to ACTUALLY learn moderation. Many times when someone begins the journey of macro counting, they aren't able to just eat 1/2 of a doughnut and this lands them in failure. They end up eating way more than they planned for feeling guilty it didn't fit their numbers and feeling guilty that everyone else seems to be able to do this macro thing, and they can't. We all want abundance. We don't want ANOTHER restrictive lifestyle that dieting turns into. That ALWAYS ends in failure.

If you are someone that is struggling with this, then the first step towards getting out of this is to get out of the dieting scene completely, and start working more on those neuro pathways of habits that are doing. If you are someone that cannot do macros in a healthy manner, then looking into other programs (or lack of programs) is what you should do. Don't continue to force yourself down a road that leads to destruction. You have to find what works for you, and my next paragraph is not saying that this is what will but I do love it.

Everyone knows at this point that at the beginning of this year, I started towards a diet in plant based eating. It's the first time that I've experienced ABUNDANCE like never before, but I just didn't want to be abandoning ship because I feel like macros teaches you SO much, but we all know it has an expiration date. I feel alive. I feel full all the time. I'm not strict on it, but when I do it, I feel the best I've ever felt. I'm not worrying about protein or if this meal has too much carbs or too much fat, etc etc. I just eat plants when I want, however I want, and as much as I want.

The biggest take home is that you have to find what works for you, however restriction is NEVER going to be something that lasts.






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Newspaper Dedication to my Grandmother

I promise I'm not "not blogging" but turns out the week coming back into routine after two weeks away is crazy town! I'm getting all of my ducks in a row, but in the meantime, my hometown newspaper interviewed me about dedicating my ironman to my grandmother, and it's a beautifully written piece, so instead of me blogging today, I would love for you guys to check it out!

For those that don't know the backstory, when my grandmother passed away she left folders full of memories that we didn't know about until after she was gone. It was full of newspaper clippings, programs, bulletins, etc of everything that we have ever done in our entire lives from birth until now!


The Shelby Star did a beautiful job on the piece, and I'm so thankful that they were interested in talking about my grandmother!

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Goals & Plans Moving Forward

As we were driving home from the airport last night (yesterday was an all traveling day and we got home at 1am), I was reflecting on the past week. It was kind of surreal flying out for our trip after the Ironman that I don't even think the reality of coming back and not training for something hadn't hit me yet. It felt really good, and it also felt really weird.

For as long as I can remember, I've been looking into the next step of training for something big or achieving some goal. Working towards college cheerleading, working towards getting into pharmacy school, working towards somehow getting through pharmacy school, planning my wedding, starting a business, moving to New York City, moving home, buying a house, complete the Boston Marathon, complete an ultra, complete an ironman. That's just the biggest stuff. My mind for 10 years has felt it hasn't rested not even for a half second.

Thought this week: Do I do another ironman as I technically didn't do the 140.6 because Ironman NC bike course got cut short? I know I was so adamant one and done, but it wasn't a one and done. I'm SO conflicted on that to be honest. However, I know that right now, that's not possible not because of me but because of everyone else in my life. Ironman is much more than me. I also am SO excited to finally focus on getting faster in the marathon distance. However, my biggest thing that I'm excited for is just to rest my mind.

I don't need to be constantly pursuing the next steps. I love goals and I love new months and new seasons, and that's what all of that brings, but after a week of lots of thinking, I've realized that a goal of mine needs to be a season of no goals. It needs to be a season of just running because I love it and lifting because I have missed it.

Since I started college almost 10 years ago, my life has been a constant continuum of one stressful goal to the next, and I live for the hustle, and I love it. But, I need to learn to quiet my mind. I have felt that it seems that I identify with always having to have the next struggle, the next goal, and I finished a book called Humble Roots that really spoke to me.

I have always tried to align my life to where it's not all about me,  me, me but when I look at it, I'm like "Girl, check yo'self before you wreck yo'self." I'm a huge fan of introspection, and being able to critically but objectively (without getting all emotional) identify things in your life that can make you better. For me, that means pouring into others and not myself. There's so many parts of that book that I think that everyone should read it (this is not some sponsored post but rather my true heart on the matter). It's hard to sum up, but one of the things that I fall victim to is the "save the world" mentality but when I look at my life, it makes you wonder if you are doing that because of what the book calls a God complex and saving the world is about saving yourself.

However, one thing that I also took away from the book is that for so long I've felt this weird guilt about so many things. I've mentioned it before, and I think that we all can relate. The laundry is not done. Guilt. Starts doing laundry-guilt over too much stuff. Works out-guilt for not spending time with Tanner while I'm going after this ironman dream. Blah blah blah. It's silly, but it's real. Guilt comes from the manifestation that I don't believe that what I'm doing is okay, but I also need to recognize that if I'm humbling myself and listening to the call of God on my life, then these things that he has placed in it that keep me busy are for a purpose. Ironman might have been my goal, but I also have to recognize that I get email after email of people that it's inspired to go after their dreams. I don't say that as a place to toot my own horn but rather to say that humbling yourself means recognizing your platform, it's potential and it's purpose. It means that you are so NOT concerned with yourself that you are able to work hard, do great things, but that it's not about YOU. It's about them. It's about God's purpose (for me personally). Humbling myself and resting does not mean not working. I know that's kind of a backwards opposing sentence. Resting (for me) means simply surrendering more.

But right now, surrendering looks like more rest which is a cool thing. I'm spending a season of my life pouring into others, and praying over new projects that I believe to be set before me as the trajectory of things takes me in those directions. My next race is techincally the North Face Endurance Series Challenge which is a 50K on Dec 3rd which is one month away, but I'm semi approaching that with the notion that if I have to drop to the half marathon because I don't feel able, then it's no biggie.

My next A race which I will really focus on preparation is going to be the Myrtle Beach full Marathon at the beginning of March. It's a flat race, and I'm hoping for a 3:12 to qualify for NYC for 2018. I will most likely do a half marathon for time as well as shooting for PR's in the 5K and 10K during the time from now until March as well.

Nutritionally, I plan to continue to eat mostly plant based which I've been doing now since January. I seriously feel amazing, and I've learned so much about food and how it can affect your health which I love. I love adding in new foods that get me excited about all of the antioxidants and vitamins and mineral benefits as well as long term health benefits. I geek out on some of that and it gives me joy to create new dishes for Tanner and I to compliment that. I also love how it makes me feel that I'm doing well for the environment, and animals as well! :)

Tanner and I also have tons of fun plans for the coming months just enjoying marriage together. My family has our annual girls shopping weekend coming up as well as my mom and I heading to the Belong Tour. Then, we will head out to San Fransisco. It really does feel nice to just have no stress, no crazy races, and today I think I'll be too busy to work out and you know what...that's JUST fine! :)


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