Weekly Round Up

It's been a while since I've done this but the further that I space it out, the better things that I find to share with you so I have some really great ones to share today. 

1. CRANE & LION (instagram: @craneandlion)

I'm not just saying this, but these clothes are QUALITY. If you are looking for really nice (in my opinion better than Lulu-sorry did I speak those words), then this is your company! Absolutely love my active traveling wrap. 

Excuse the background-I was washing the sheets (that's embarrassing LOL) 

Excuse the background-I was washing the sheets (that's embarrassing LOL) 

2. FINIS Swim Equipment

So I have SERIOUSLY been searching for a swim cap that could fit my long thick hair into it and not be super tight and uncomfortable. This was FINALLY the one! #THANKYOUJESUS It's the silicone one, and only $7.99 so how nice!! 

One other thing that I love is that they have an affordable under the water ipod. If you are anything like me, the water can get really boring and try as I might to sing "just keep swimming" with Nemo, there's a point where I'm over it. HAHA! They aren't nearly as expensive as the Apple one (just sayin ;))

Lastly, they have training equipment for adults. I know as a kid on swim team, you get all the cool things but as adults, you only can have access if your pool has these things. 

3. G2G BARS

If you've tried them then you get it. If you haven't, then I'm so serious that you should. They are packed with calories which is exactly what I need right now during training. They don't have the yucky taste of normal protein bars because they don't have any artificial sweeteners or fake coverings over the bar like some do. They are about 300 calories each (14g F 25g C 18g P) and I've had one every single day since I got these! My favorite flavor is the peanut butter chocolate chip. Kenzie told me about them in Utah and I'm so glad she had some for me to try. They gave me a discount code for you guys to get 20% off with the code "Katies" and yes that's with the "s" at the end. 

4. THIS BED FRAME

Someone posted it to the Trail and Ultra running group that he had made it!! How freakin sweet right?! Someone want to make this for me? LOL! 

5. My Watch Face with Garmin 

If you haven't downloaded it yet, here's the link!!! It's been downloaded 181 times which honestly is crazier than I ever could have imagined! It makes me smile so big! Thank you! 

https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/1eb0d740-21e1-420f-8d2b-6847b7def28f

6. Elliptical for cross training while injured 

I did a post this week about what to do when you have a small something and don't think that you should run during the week. Well, ellipticals are my top choice and I typically do the elliptical for whatever time that I was going to run. It isn't ideal, but it does the trick! ;) 

Reviews.com, a website dedicated to conducting unbiased research on products, recently reviewed 58 elliptical machines by comparing specs, key features, and core functionality, to find the best elliptical machines on the market. They took a hard look at the ergonomics of each machine, evaluated their customization options and even had a competitive triathlete personally test 19 finalists. They created a guide to help navigate the buying process and found four top picks: best overall, best fitness programming, best budget and most portable. Here's all of those evaluated for you if you wanted to look into one:  http://www.reviews.com/elliptical-machines/

HOPE YOU ENJOYED TODAY'S PRODUCTS!! Let me know some of your favorites if you have any to share!!! 

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Adoption Part II

If you have followed me for awhile then about a year ago, you might have seen me post THIS.

I'm a huge fan of adoption and that grows and grows as the years go on. A few months ago, I got really emotional one night because I genuinely felt like my child (a child that I will later have) was born and being neglected somewhere. Is that weird? PROBABLY. I CLAIM IT. IT'S OKAY. 

About a month ago, Tanner came to me and was just like "I want you to know I'm fully okay with adoption like 100%" and it's not that he's ever been against it, but he actually meant like he could only adopt and be okay. I was like WAIT HOLDUP REALLY? We talked for a long time about the needs in the world for adoption and how sometimes we felt like with this on our hearts, why not be open to God's direction in that for our lives. Lemme throw some stats on ya real quick that blew my mind and have changed my life as I sit on them, wrestle with them, and decide what I want my family to look like. 

Photo from: http://www.afromum.com 

Photo from: http://www.afromum.com 

There are currently an approximated 140 million orphans right now. There are 63 million that suffer from acute malnutrition. Three million kids die per year from hunger. 5.9 million children died in 2015 with 45% of those being malnutrition but all kinds of different reasons. (birth complications, malaria, etc)

Now don't get me wrong-I can't go saving the world and I feel that on a heavy level. I recognize that there are children that can't be reached due to government restrictions, and that even if money is provided, sometimes the government is not going to give the resources to certain people in certain areas. That makes me emotional, but I have to push it from my mind thinking about starving babies. 

In the Us, there are approximately 415,000 children in foster care as of 2014. I'm sure this number has only increased, and there were 253 children in Cleveland County (where I live in 2013) that are in foster care which is really high for our area. Our area has a large need for fostering. 

All of these numbers just stare at me, and I'm just like UHHHHH. I can't stand it. 95% of those in foster care are over the age of 5, and I will be 100% real that adopting outside of infancy terrifies me in that there is a lot of neglect experienced by the child and thinks that can happen that makes for a really difficult raising of that child. I'm no saint here, that's for sure and not sure that's my calling. 

I think it's CRAZY how long it takes to adopt from other countries...it's frustrating and expensive, and I'm not sure I'm ready for that either, and I guess I'm asking for experience if anyone has it to share in that. But as I said, there is a grave need in my own community so why not start there? But then I think about the living conditions of those in developing countries and I wonder if they need it more... I'm not prioritizing children here but I'm just saying. 

My mom made a post about how to not have entitled children and while the article has nothing to do with what I'm about to say, I was thinking about how entitled I feel that I am. I'm entitled to be able to complete an ironman. I'm entitled to have a house and a car and all of these things that seem so basic but yet are SO huge to so many of this world. I think it's normal to have a mom and a dad and a family that loves me. But in reality I'm just really blessed because of where I happened to be born. That brings me to my family that I'm wanting to build (not yet-we really aren't ready for children just yet so I post this now in terms of future years down the road). I think about how entitled I am to have a family that looks like X-Y-Z and maybe that's not the route that God has chosen for me. Maybe I think about a child that I'm supposed to have one day that is 11 years old when I adopt him/her. That's not really what I saw for my life, but who am I to say ya know? Why do I feel entitled to have 4 children of my own (I used to want that) if there are so many that need me and I can provide for that. 

I also feel like I can't miss out on what it feels like to have my own, but then again maybe I can and I just don't even know that yet. 

I feel as if even this blog post sounds almost like superior like I think I'm going to go save the world or something. That's not it AT ALL, but rather just thoughts that go through this crazy brain of mine while I'm working out basically 3 hours per day at this point in ironman training. 

If you've adopted or are adopted, I'd love to hear your story even if you email me (katiesfitscript@gmail.com) or if you want to share your thoughts in the comments below. I asked for stories on the last post and loved reading every one. I know the process is so difficult, and that I have a very "bleeding heart" romanticized type mentality right now so I don't mean to be naive or immature about any of it. I'm just trying to be prayerful in our decisions as we build a family eventually ... one day .... not now ;) 

 

 

 

 

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Small Injuries-When to Push / When to Stop

So I think they call these "niggles." 

I legit had not heard that phrase until I went to Utah and now I feel like I've seen it like 100 times all over the internet. Is that a thing? Either way, in case you don't know the definition of niggles: 

This is a thing that is bothering you that feels like it could be an injury but isn't quite an injury but you gotta be careful with it because what if it does become an injury and then you gotta sit out for months !

This is such a tricky line, and for once in my blessed life, I don't have a niggle. I think I need to hit myself over the head with a 2x4 for good luck (knock on wood) so that I don't jinx myself right now, but I'm the queen of these. I feel like they never go away to be honest, and sometimes I wonder if that's just part of the game. I've thought that until recently when I made two changes: 

Sleep & Less Stress

I am the queen of "ohhh it's not a big deal if I don't sleep. It's not a big deal if I do this and that and as much as humanely possible for a person to do." It was biting me in the butt time and time again. I got to a point where I was just super stressed out and I started eliminating things in my life to where it was just my job, family and training for the time being, and for the first time in 2 years, I have been niggle free for 5 weeks now. This is huge, and now I'm going to be the biggest advocate for those small things that you think are not a big deal but are in fact A REALLY BIG DEAL! I make absolutely certain that I'm getting 7 (at MINIMUM) but hopefully 8 hours of sleep per night, and then as little stress as possible. That's just a tip from the pro of niggles. 

But the blog is meant to be about when to push through them and when to stop. I think that this is not something that I'm really educated enough to really write a blog on, so I'm just going to throw that out there. I'm not a physical therapist, and I'm not trained in this area so take my word as a grain of salt in the health professional world and just from experience. 

From my experience, there is a big difference in the pain that I feel that I know is from actual injury and then the pain of something that I know is going to go away. You just KNOW. I would get really upset when I knew that whatever I was feeling, I knew was there to stay for a while especially when I was going into Boston because I knew that I had already paid for everything, and I wasn't just going to stop running. 

At the first sign of any pain that I feel to be an injury, I stop. I take the rest of that week off from running even if that's on Monday. I know that might seem extreme but I've done this enough times that I know that pushing through pain is just not worth it. Your endurance will resume ASAP from just a few days off whereas if you push through then typically you'll end up being out for weeks. The other week (if you follow my blog pretty closely), I said I felt a little something in my calf and so that Monday after that run, I didn't run the rest of the week. Yes, I continue to cross train (biking/swimming more than usual with the same amount of hours spent training) but I don't do the thing that's hurting it. I resumed that Friday because I felt from walking around that it was fine. And it was. I can tell the calf thing is just a knot so I mean it's kinda still there, but it's a knot and that's very clear so I know it's not a big deal. 

If taking time off during the week was something that hurt your performance or ability to do marathons, then I'd be about the slowest and unable to complete any of them. Two of my taper weeks (first and second marathon), I didn't run at all. I did elliptical and thought "well I'll just show up on the day of and see if it's gone" and it was both times. If I had pushed it and told myself I HAD TO RUN then I probably wouldn't have been able to complete those marathons. I'm like a seasoned niggler so I KNOW it's not worth it.

It's also not worth the mental anxiety that you give yourself. 

I fuss at Tanner LOTS if he has something of this nature. He gets SO down because he can't progress (he actually has had months now injury free-HOLLAA) but I know that so many others do as well. For some reason, it just doesn't get me down. Time is ALWAYS going to keep ticking and I never plan on stopping this so therefore the time spent off my feet is not a big deal as I know I'll be back in action sooner rather than later if I just sit out a few runs. The one time I got REAL upset was before Boston because my "niggle" had lasted 12 weeks (Can we stop calling it that? I have decided I do not like that word. It sounds too close to another word that disgusts me...). I went to a chiropractor who said she thought maybe I had early stage osteoarthritis (I don't), and I legit went home and balled my eyes out. I thought I was going to have to give up running for good, and MIGHT AS WELL THROW ME IN THE GRAVE (I'm jokinggggg....kinda). 

Now, I will say that I know myself and I know that I have a high pain tolerance. If you are someone that gives up easily (I don't mean that mean but I just mean that we all know how to evaluate ourselves), then it might not be something that you should always just give up the run. You have to keep a steady training program going or you really aren't going to be able to keep progressing, so it's that fine line of being able to recognize that. I know myself in that I push REALLY hard all the time, so if I feel something, I know it's something. 

I know this is SO vague, and doesn't provide any clear real understanding of what you should do, but I guess my point is that it's OKAY to stay off your feet sometimes. I came back from Boston and after the marathon, things felt fine and then I was able to run an ultra pain free 4 weeks later. You never know what your body is going to do. I haven't felt a pain in that area since, so clearly it's gone.

When I do have an injury or feel like I have one, I typically give it two weeks before I go see someone. It really might just go away on it's own and then you don't have to go through the hassle of the appointments and the copays. Blah blah. I don't just jump immediately and go see someone. It also depends on what it is. I would NOT go see someone even if my calf issue was here in 2 weeks. It's a KNOT. They will just tell me to rest. If they are just going to tell me to rest then I don't need to pay them to tell me that. If I feel I need an Xray to figure out the issue (like my stress fracture) then I will go see someone. 

I know it sounds like I'm a big walking mess, but I think it's important to realize that when you are marathon training or training for ultras/ironmans, this is VERY normal. I was talking to the Barlows about this while I was in Utah. He is currently working towards the Grand Slam (4 100 milers in 11 weeks). Do you think he has niggles? UHHH CONSTANTLY. Your body can only handle so much, and so when your hobby is pushing it to the limits, you just have to be mindful and careful! :) 

HOPE THIS ISN'T USEFUL TO ANYONE BECAUSE YOU'RE ALL MINOR INJURY FREE!!! 

 

 

 

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Learning to balance the unbalanced

Have you noticed I've been blogging less? Tanner always tells people that all I do is blog and jog! HA! But now a days, I'm blogging, jogging, swimming, and biking. I've always kept that tri element to my training even when I'm not actively training for a tri just to keep some cross training but obviously this is WAY different. 

I went to a friends house on Sunday night for her birthday/graduation, and there was a girl there that has done 2 ironmans. She commented that it was "impressive" that I was doing a full after having only done one half (and I told her how I crashed and burned at the half HAHA). I know what she was probably thinking "THIS GIRL IS CRAY!!" Haha no I'm kidding, she was so sweet! But really, I know that it's intense that I went from not really being a good half ironman triathlete to doing a full and I explained to her that I think that's why this training feels SO intense. 

IMG_3341.JPG

I'm sure that many that follow this blog also follow NYCRunningMama or Michelle, and she made a post a little while back about how being a full time working mom and a marathon runner (especially with how far she commutes to work) is just not balanced. It's just not. We can make it look like roses and peaches and at the end of the day, she loves it or she wouldn't do it, but the truth is, it's just hard sometimes. 

I'm going into two months out from the ironman, and this is the heaviest month of training period. For me, that means time. Time is so precious and every single ounce of my time is going to be spent training (to give a picture-it's at LEAST 2-3 hours per day with 5-7 hours on Saturdays). My husband is so great and has basically put his life on hold for this training period because with marathon training, I could make things work. I could run different places if we traveled, I could hang out with friends no big deal, but with ironman, it's just not happening. Tanner is always so great, but of course he has to be willing to sacrifice that as well (it's just for a short time so it's really not a big deal I know). 

All of this to say, we are ALL busy. We all have those things that we feel like "How in the world am I going to get this done?" and it's stressful. I had a moment yesterday where I was like "I'm just not going to do my bike ride today. I have client check ins. I need to finish this. I need to finish my RRCA run coaching certification and this is just too much." But then, I snapped out of it. Every single time that I look at these situations as overwhelming, I look back and say "Katie, this is your dream and you choose this. You WANTED this. You WANT this." 

That's the dang truth. I do want this. So deeply. 

We all choose how we spend our time. We all rant about how busy we are as if busy has become some badge of honor (that's another blog post) but at the end of the day, you have a certain amount of minutes every day and you choose how you want to spend them. You go through seasons of life where things are a little bit crazier than others. That's where you find your true character, resolve, and strength. You prioritize. You organize, and you make it happen. I don't even have kids y'all. GOD BLESS THE IRONMAN WOMEN WHO DO! I bow to you women! ;) 

Training is not what is overwhelming to me. For some reason, I'm a crazed lunatic, and I genuinely could train all the time. Each workout that I do (for example on Friday I did 14 miles followed by 3000m swim), I think of them differently. I'm not in the pool thinking about "I just ran 14 miles" but rather just like it's almost a new day. The thing that gets me is the time and how I can't seem to shake this crazy ridiculous guilt that I constantly feel that my friends are all judging me that I'm not hanging out with them enough and then my husband is upset we can't go camping or something. I know that I'm the only one that is actually thinking about it though so I give myself a pep talk and get over it. 

During this time frame, I knew that things would be different. This is not new news, but it needs to be a realization that when you set a goal, the reality is that it's not always hashtag balanced, and you just have to make it work. In pharmacy school, things weren't balanced, but you just make it work. I DEFINITELY don't have it figured out. That's for DANG sure, and that's the reason that I'm making this blog. I'm just simply trying to be real that sometimes when you have a dream, and it's a dream that most don't even understand or think is important, you do what it takes to make it happen even when life is not balanced as we all try to perfectly portray on the interwebs. 

Closing in on 8 weeks out-WOWZA!!! LETS DO THIS!!! 

P.S. I did complete my RRCA run coaching certification yesterday!!! Holler ;) 

P.P.S. If you didn't hear, Garmin worked with me to get a watch face that you can download that is specific to the phrase that I use all the time "Life without Limits!!!" Tag me on facebook or instagram is you get it. I'd love to see!! :) https://apps.garmin.com/en-US/apps/1eb0d740-21e1-420f-8d2b-6847b7def28f

 

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Macros VS Calories

I get this question A LOT! What is the difference between counting calories and counting macros?  Can I just count calories? Do I have to worry about getting the perfect little balance and grams? 

The answer is yes and no. 

Our bodies need two things: 

  • Calories 
  • A balance of many different macros and micros to get all of the needs to help our bodies function in an optimal healthy way 

Those macros and micros make up the calories and on a cellular level the body doesn't know the difference and we all know that at the end of the day, calories in vs calories out are going to get you where you want to be for weight loss, weight gain or weight maintainence. 

However, I am a firm believer that there is a big difference in calorie counting vs macro counting, and here are some reasons why:

1. It teaches you SO much about the actual nutrition in ALL foods

We tend to aim towards certain groups of foods when calorie counting. When you start looking at labels and macros, you recognize that anything and everything is not off limits. It seriously happens to everyone, and is a new form of liberation. There's the WOW factor on a lot of different items like "WOW this has a lot of carbs or fat that I didn't realize" or "WOW this is a lot better than I would have ever thought." 

2. It allows you to get a balance in your diet

I think that there are few people that would be able to do this if they were counting macros. MOST of the time girls lend towards eating mostly protein fearing carbs and fat and don't recognize that they really can have both of those in their diet and then on the other extreme, if you are just counting calories, then you might not realize that you are eating VERY little protein and may need to get more of it. Those are typically the two ends of the spectrum, and there's rarely the in between person that has never counted and somehow ends up with a great balance of macros. 

Your body DOES respond to the balance. If you are eating a diet in 100% carb and you switch that to a balanced split then your physique will change. You want to learn what that looks like for you. 

3. You will never learn the best ratio of macronutrients that works best for you.

There are many different bioindividualities that come into play with this one. The place that you are from and your genetics can determine whether you metabolize carbs well or if you do better with a high fat diet. You won't know any of these things until you try them out. I heard once that there are about 15 different diets, and you should try them all before you decide what works for you and that it's something that you can sustain to remain healthy in the long term and I think that's the truth. I find Whole 30 and paleo to be extremely restrictive and those diets do not work for me and my lifestyle. Macros did, and so it stuck. However, there are many that don't want to count a thing and it makes them crazy and obsessive and that's okay. However, my point of this article is just to state that until you track for the first time you will never be able to know how your body does with one vs the other. 

I also want to plug the fact that there are MANY that don't also give certain diets a chance. Tons and tons of women add lots of carbs into their diet after restricting them for a long period of time, and freak out because they feel puffy and like they are gaining weight overnight. There has to be an adjustment period for this, and it's highly encouraged that you stick this out while your metabolism adapts to what you are doing. 

4. It's easier to make manipulations and get progress. 

In my coaching experience, it allows the client to reduce carbs while maybe keeping protein higher while dieting and still get results with calories remaining higher because protein is the most thermogenic macronutrient (burning more calories during consumption). While I don't think that people need an exorbitant amount of protein that is pushed to the masses (aka I don't think that we need 1g/lb but more like 0.8g/kg body weight but that's another blog post), I do think however that it's okay to supplement calories back in protein to make up calories. For example, if I was to do 0.8g/kg for myself, then I would be eating 38g protein! HAHAA! I eat way more than that. That's the minimum to maintain the muscle mass that I currently have, but I definitely have more than that. 

All of these reasons are reasons that I would choose for a client to count macros over calories when trying to progress however, I don't think that means that someone should force themselves to do macros if it's not working for them. If you are feeling obsessive and like this doesn't work for your lifestyle and that you are going out to eat and not able to pick anything on the menu because you are obsessing on making it work to hit those numbers perfectly then that's no way to live. You have to pick something that is going to be sustainable for you, and that's what it's all about folks! 

If you have any thoughts on any of these topics, feel free to share in the comments below as well! :) I'd love to hear what has worked or not worked for you. I'm not here just to talk to myself if you'd like to join ;) 

 

 

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Conscious Eating

So I've only told a few people this term as I wasn't trying to start some fad, but I was trying to explain to someone the way that I eat, and this was the best explanation that I could come up with, so why not make a name for it right? ;) This is something that I've been doing for over a year now with that random "I'm going to do a cut and reverse that didn't last because #life" so I thought I've been doing it long enough to explain what I mean.

Intuitive eating is all the rage right now, and I think it's wonderful. As ALWAYS though, I think that it's a process and to get from point A to E, you can't skip B-D so sometimes I think that many girls are trying to go from low calorie chicken and brocolli to intuitive and it doesn't work. The reason, IMO, is because with macros and reverse dieting, they are able to see that they can eat anything within their goals, then they see that they don't need to fear certain foods and they get an idea of what a full day of eating looks like in a balanced and calorically dense way and then they can move into intuitive eating. 

I remember when I first heard the words intuitive eating 3 years ago when some people were already talking about it and were already doing it, and I thought "Well if I intuitively ate, I'd eat cheeseburgers and french fries all day" and unfortunately that's still the truth. I was born and raised on that kind of food and it gives me comfort. There is that hashtag balance, and of course I'm not saying not to have those things but I'm just saying that the signals of what I crave and want are not what is necessarily what is best for my body and fueling my training so yea. I know though that I feel AMAZING when I eat a whole foods plant based diet (I told yall I was going to try to go all week and I'm holding strong-haha) but I have to make the conscious decision to eat those foods. Even with macros, I've realized that I started eating foods that didn't make me feel good inside just because I could. 

Again, I'm still going to eat foods that don't make me feel amazing inside. Who doesn't? And who cares? It's life. Some days you're like crushing it with healthy foods and the next thing you know you're eating cheesy bacon fries like what just happened? But I think it's more than intuitive. Intuitive relies on what you grew up on and what stage of life that you are in (possibly pregnant craving different foods) so I think it's important to be aware and conscious of what you're eating. 

However, that's not really the golden ticket of why I came to talk about this. I use this term mostly in reference to full and hunger signals. It is highly unfortunate, but MOST women don't even know their hunger and full signals anymore and even those that do macros. They feel that they have to stay within their macros so they may stuff their face to reach them if they are reverse dieting or they may feel extremely hungry at night but feel that they can't break their allotted macros for the day so they don't. They might decide to go out to eat with friends or start moving into intuitive eating and they are like "What do I even do?"

THINK about it. Everything that you want to make a habit (just like macros/just like organizing/just like reading my Bible/prayer/running), I had to intentionally do first and then it becomes more natural. I did not become a runner just by intuitively running #NOMSAYIN. If I intuitively ran then I wouldn't be a marathon runner because we all know that every day is not easy. Nothing that reeps reward doesn't take some form of conscious thought. When you look at a menu and you are trying to move into the intuitive eating phase, then really ask yourself WHAT DO I WANT?! If you find that the thing that you want is a cheeseburger and fries and you feel like you are really hungry and that you would feel fine at the end of that, then by all means-have at it! If you have ate like crap all day and so you think "UH I've ruined it already so why not finish off strong with this nasty meal" then NO! In my opinion, that's not what you should get. You should have conscious awareness that it's going to make you feel like crap, and then have the maturity to get something that will make you feel good. I say maturity because it's not about will power or any of that. You KNOW it will make you feel bad so don't be dramatic about the rest of your day...you can still eat a balanced dinner. 

We as women and food...we are DRA-MATIC. DRAAAAAAAAMATICCCCCC. DEEP BREATHS. NOMASTE. You're going to be alright. Lol! I love you guys but just some real talk ;) 

When you choose whatever it is that you decide is best for you, then you sometimes have to think about it. Eat SLOWLY. Eat with intention. I know from working with girls on a day to day basis that they have their macros and they scarf the meal down without thought of fullness or hunger. When they get to a meal when they start intuitively eating, they don't know when to stop and sometimes they just eat and eat even past what they even really want. THINK ABOUT IT!!! Eat a little, THINK ABOUT IT, Eat a little, THINK ABOUT IT. Are you full? If you are then STOP. You aren't just going to stop without thoughts about whether you should stop. Should you be like all up in your head and thinking every second of your meal so that you aren't being present with family and friends? No. But again, this is a process so in the beginning, think about it. When you are at home and you are making your meals for the day, do you know that the foods that you are choosing are going to make you feel great and rejuvenated and ready to take on the day? If not, then why would you keep doing that to yourself? I know it's not that easy. I know that food is comfort and many women have a relationship with food, but spend some time really evaluating and working through those things. If you just leave them as they are, then they are going to just fester and become bigger issues. Deal with them. THINK ABOUT IT. Work through it. Be present. Be conscious. But don't be dramatic. ;) 

#CONSCIOUSEATING (I know I know it'll be the next big thing so you can feel free to start hashtagging it HAHA)

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How I Organized My Life

So sometimes, I don't know what I did before I had my team facebook group. Seriously. haha! We are like a little family and talk about everything under the sun, and so a little over a month ago, I was going absolutely crazy and I wrote this message in the group: 

DRAMATIC MUCH KATIE?! hahah! I was just having one of those days where my house was a mess and I was like AH! I've always always been one of those people that loves a clean house or room growing up but like I'll clean it, next day back to normal and it's like I never keep it up... UNTIL THIS MONTH! 

The girls gave a lot of really great advice and I wanted to share that with you guys. There are a few apps that they mentioned so I'll go ahead and throw those out to you but I actually have not used all of the apps. I'm more of a paper writing person no matter how much the rest of the world moves to computers. 

  • Evernote 
  • Wunderlist 
  • Mint (budgeting app) 
  • Grocery IQ 
  • Google Sheets 

Ok, so the first step in all of this is that you have to originally take some time up front to set yourself up for success. Organization is not just going to happen just by deciding that it will is what I've found. You have to have a plan in action. Someone in the group stated something to me that honestly hit home and made me feel guilty. I had made a status like 9 years ago to someone that I wished I could be as disciplined as them and be a runner, and now here I am. The same goes for organization. If you want to be organized...like truly want it..then you'll figure it out. Wow. Conviction and so true. And I did want it last month! 

I sat down and cleaned up my life. I deleted all apps/notes/pictures off of my phone that I don't need. I cleaned out my purse and my bags that I take to the pharmacy/bookbags different places. I cleaned out my desk that I work on with all the papers piled high. I deep cleaned my kitchen and my office and my upstairs bedroom. I did all laundry. I cleaned out my Google drive. I cleaned out my closet (my family had a yard sale coming up so perfect timing). This took like an entire Saturday and IT.FELT.AMAZING. I was like I CAN BREATHE. 

I made lists. Again, I will state that I did all of this up front because you HAVE to get organized before you can continue to be organized. I made lists with priorities highest to lowest. Did I really did to scrub the baseboards of my hardwood floors? NO. That leads me to the delegation list. Time is money. What can I pay someone else to do that would take me hours? Uhhh...my baseboards. It's not that I was even concerned about that in the slightest, but it gets the point across that there was a list made with the things that I could pay someone to do instead of trying to do everything myself. 

I also pruned other stressors. I really had to have a come to Jesus with myself about creating boundaries in my life. Like it had to happen. I was literally having mental breakdowns and I just can't do it all. I have learned my lesson on a lot of things that I can and cannot do and that there is only so much time in the day and I'm so thankful for those awakenings that were really tough to recognize, but have been really good for my mental health.

The one app that I did start using was Google sheets. I created folders for all of my running clients and then I have a calendar that my mom and I both can add stuff to so that if something for the family comes up, she can add to this. The google sheets app is so user friendly and I can go in and update information for my running clients super easy peasy from my phone if needed. I like to do most everything from my computer, but it helps if I'm on the go and one of them texts me/emails me with a question. 

I do also like Grocery IQ. You are able to put the groceries into your phone and it calculates how much the bill is going to be. I categorized all the apps on my phone into folders as well. 

Here's the biggest piece of advice that I got from someone who actually emailed me because she didn't want to sound like she was being rude, but she stated that it's just something that every single moment of every single day, you just have to do it THAT second. If there's a sock on the floor, you pick it up. If there's a counter to be cleaned, you clean it. If there's a load of laundry to be done, you do it. Nothing piles up. You never feel overwhelmed. So, I started following that advice. My car NEVER has trash left in it. I get it out every single time I get out of it. If a bill comes in the mail, I pay it. I know a lot of people do autopay and we do for most stuff, but for some reason we just haven't set it up for others (so that's another thing that I'll add to my list now). Literally, the second that Tanner and I get out of the bed in the morning, we both fold the sheets back now and make it up. 

I also have my North Face bag that I keep all of my workout stuff organized for swimming/biking/GoPro/etc.

I also have my North Face bag that I keep all of my workout stuff organized for swimming/biking/GoPro/etc.

Every single Sunday, I run my car through this $3 car wash in our hometown, and I got a hand held vacuum so that I can run over the stairs/corners because we have hard wood floors and dust bunnies are REAL. I know it sounds like I'm being psychotic, but there are A LOT of things in this life that we have to take care of. It never EVER ends, and unless you stay on top of it, it will drown you. Once you are drowning, it's really hard to get out of and like I said will take you days to really get things in place again. Just like I tell people with macros is that it takes TIME in the beginning but then it's easy. That's how this is. It's also just like a diet program in that you have to be committed. You have to make yourself do everything in that moment. I know that it seems like it would cause so much of a time suck but it actually ends up creating more time and more space. 

Every single Sunday I sit down and write out what meals that I'm going to make for that week. With us being super relaxed about that stuff and not having kids, we kinda have committed to 3-4 dinners per week together me cooking and one of them is always a crockpot meal. I just plan those out before going to Walmart so I have all the stuff when I go to get our normal stuff. At the same time that I do this, I also write out my workouts for the week. That is something that I will not compromise right now with the ironman so I know that I have to have a plan in action and work that around whatever else we have going on. It's all written out with meetings and deadlines for blogging projects, seminars, collaborations, clients, etc. I don't want to miss anything because there is so much swirling in our heads so it has to go on paper. 

Another HUGE piece of advice that I realized myself is that I have to be PRESENT in the moment. I'm constantly like doing crap on my phone, losing my keys, blah blah blah and it always just ends up being more stress added onto my plate. If I have a place for my keys, and a place for everything then things don't get lost. I've not lost my keys once since I started this. This might sound like none of you but I bet if I spent 20 minutes per week searching for keys. That's 20 minutes I can be reading a book now. Maybe that's an exaggeration, but when you get it done...it's done. You can sit down at night with no worries about all the things that you need to clean and do because it's done. 

Typically I run a load of laundry every few days because of how much we work out and especially with the way that the heat is right now. I do dishes every 2 days even if it's not completely full. If we eat something, I immediately put it in dishwasher. No sink dishes-they just don't go there. They go directly into the washer now. I wrote out the days that I would wash our sheets (which I do every month). I went ahead and wrote the day in my planner (wash sheets today) and it takes two seconds. You know I don't have kids, so I'm sure some of this is laughable on the time clock that y'all run but it's the same mindset shift.

We create habits and conditional responses and if you can create the response of that everything has a place and that you are "bothered" by it if it's not in it's place then you can keep it up. I saw something somewhere about fighting food addiction and that person said that in order to put the oreos down, she had to convince herself she was disgusted by oreos (even if that's not really true). I have to be disgusted by the pile of mail. I have to be disgusted with dishes in the sink. Again, this sounds extreme but sometimes it takes extremes to illicit change until it becomes more habitual. 

It creates space in your brain to be more present with family. When meals are planned, I actually sit down with Tanner to have them (that used to never happen sadly enough). It's the little things that add up. When I'm done with an app on my phone, I swipe it off. It helps me save time and it helps me save money. I have lots more planned to get more organized and it feels so good.

What are your favorite organizational tools?

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Best Version of Yourself

So today my plan was to do a blog post on organization...stay tuned as that's coming tomorrow. 

Today, I wanted to share an email from a client that I got yesterday. As I sat there reading it, I thought "Wow, this reads like a monologue that someone would read on a stage and I know that SO many women could relate." I emailed her back and asked if I could share, and she said she didn't mind at all. I hope it touches you like it did me.

I've had a few days to think about our previous discussion about reverse dieting, not being able to lose, etc. I've also had a chance to read your post of August 3rd, "The Constant Chase for Weight Loss."  Before I read your post, I had just read a people.com article about what Aisha Tyler eats in a day: chicken breast, spinach, maybe some brown rice (if she was in a "carb kind of mood," avocado).  All of this added up to the perfect number of one thousand, two hundred fifty-eight calories per day.  That is 1,258 calories for a woman that is 6'0 tall and "likes to work out occasionally."  Okay, I thought,maybe.

Then, the next day, as I was getting dressed and ready for the day in the gym locker room, I heard Good Morning America tease their upcoming segment with "don't go anywhere, folks! When we get back, how to get Jennifer Lopez's bangin' body!"  It was a dance cardio workout that people could allegedly do right from home.  Yeah...no.

And then I had an hours-long conversation with one of my dearest friends who is completely in the throws of an eating disorder and who is already naturally thin, but is starving herself to be "better than what genes gave her."

And then I checked in with my uncle as to the status of my 62-year old aunt, who has struggled with disordered eating forever, and who recently became so involved with a group doing intense yoga and "eliminating her body from toxins" by eating 700-800 calories per day that it caused an eruption of her already incredibly fragile abdominal aorta,  and she almost died.  Again. But, while the doctor was trying to save her life by putting in a stent, you know what my aunt was saying? "Look! I'm so tiny they have to use a stent they would use for a child because my veins are so small! I finally did it!"

I kid you not. 

And then I chatted with my mom last night, and inevitably during our conversations, I always ask her "what are you eating this week, Mom?" And, she'll respond with the usual "oh, you know - an apple, some peanuts, protein bar that I munch on throughout the day."

And she wonders why both me and my brother struggle with disordered eating.

And I thought about the horrifying words my husband uttered at least 5 years ago when we were discussing having children: "I don't think we'll ever have biological children because you are too afraid you'll get fat. Not pregnantFAT."  Those words hurt, Katie - let me tell ya.  Yet, here we are some 5 years later.  We are 35, we've been married for 11 years, and we have no children, though we want them.  And I realized something totally and completely terrifying that I think I've known all along, but was too afraid to admit to my husband or out loud at all: he's right

There is this woman at the gym who is probably close to my age, although smaller in beginning stature.  And I think she might be training for a fitness model competition, perhaps, because I have seen her go from fit to ripped in approximately 5 months.  I mean, she is a tightly formed ball of muscle - holy cow!  And as we are both lifting weights in the same mirror so often, I think "ugh - you will never look like that.  You're gonna work as hard as she is and you will never.look.like.that."  And what do you think happened to my workout when I allowed myself to have those thoughts? Yeah...

So.  Let me get right to the point (I know, I know...you say in your mind "girl, you could have done that 10 paragraphs ago!").  I read your blog post.  And I thought.  And then I read it again.  And again I thought. And then I realized what I want to do.

I want to be the BEST version of myself.  

Does that mean I can get back down to my wedding-day weight of 118 pounds (when I was 24 and actively starving myself)? Nope.

Does that mean I should be content to let myself gain and fear reaching (or actually reach!) my highest weight of 205 pounds (when I was 18 and on Zoloft and being treated for serious anxiety disorder)? Nope.

Does that mean I want to try every new fad diet that comes out that promises, promises?  Nope.

Does that mean I want to spend 2 hours in the gym every day getting "ripped?" Nope.

(I sound like I'm in a conversation with my 3-year old nephew: you want to do this? No. Will you pick up your toys? No. Can you stop screaming and throwing a fit? No.  Side-eye, "wait till your mother gets home, child.")

What does that mean, then? Perhaps I am currently the BEST version of myself.  Ohhhhh....nope. (Sorry - so close!)  :-)

Truth is, I don't like this weight (which is back down a pound this week to 152.8 - oy). I don't quite like these measurements.  My body just doesn't feel quite right here.  It feels - off. 

That being said, I don't particularly want to go crazy with lowering macros, because you are absolutely right: my mental health, especially given my history with obsessive weight loss, truly cannot handle that.  It just can't. 

But, I feel like there has to be some kind of middle ground to allow me to get to a more comfortable place  safely while still maintaining a mental health balance. And, perhaps the macros we are currently at will do that, now that I've added spinning 2-3x per week back in (since that piriformis muscle if finally starting to release its stranglehold on my sciatic nerve - good grief! I went to my physical therapist who did some kind of nerve release thing by pressing on the area right behind my ears.  And once she peeled me off the ceiling and I stopped shrieking like an idiot I was like, "oh! that feels a bit better!"). 

I don't really have a solution here, Katie.  But, I feel in my heart and soul that you can help me find it.  I don't know you, and you could never pick me out from a lineup (to be clear, I've never actually been in a lineup, I promise), but somehow, I know you are the right coach for my life as it is right now.  And you know what? The "right now" is all I have to make a change for tomorrow. 

You know...no pressure.  :-)

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Long Training Recap + 9 Weeks Out Training

This weekend was what we like to call a "key workout" in that I needed to complete it to feel emotionally, mentally and then preparing my body physically for the ironman. It was exactly that and I'm so glad that I made it through. I never fear giving up, but I fear crashing on my bike and not being able to get up. HA! This is my longest ride EVER with no crashing, and I think I know something that helped that I'm going to do in the ironman....breaks. 

Breaks keep me alert and focused. I knew this would take me 5 hours which means that the ironman is going to take me near 9 hours just on the bike (holy freakin moly) and I can't be sitting my tush on that bike and not getting off for 9 hours. It also starts to hurt my traps as I've mentioned before (but praise Jesus that is MUCH better than the trap cramps I used to get after only one hour of riding). I took a break every single hour. I did loops back to my house and stopped, stretched, checked in on Tanner doing yard work (ha), and went back out again after getting water and food. Each stop probably took me like 2 minutes tops and that means if I make 9 stops in the ironman, that's 11 extra minutes. UM WORTH IT! I am not in this thing to win anything but my name called out "Katie Ringley, you are an ironman" so I could care less how long it takes me. This is more like an adventure versus a race. Every single time I got back on to do another hour, I felt refreshed and ready to go. My legs never hurt, my traps didn't hurt until the 5th hour and I was hydrated and fueled. PERFECT RIDE. 

During the rides that I do, I always try to stay on flat ground (my race is flat so no reason to do hills). I can't always guarantee that but somehow with the loops I made it work. I didn't do the same loop every time of course but I did 3 different ones that I alternated and it was just perfect. One of them goes through downtown Shelby and that's always stressful but also really good for me to practice with clip ins. I have to get used to getting in and out of them if something were to happen race day and there are times when you have to stop and start back up and I'm getting better and better. I honestly feel so natural on the bike these days, and I think thats why last week when I crashed I was so upset like DUDE WILL IT EVER END!? haha! 

I spent a lot of time thinking (obviously). I actually sang songs too. Adele's new one was stuck in my head a lot for some reason. "Send my love to your new lo-o-o-ver....treat her bettttttter. Gotta let go of all of my ghostssss...we both know we aint friends no moreeee" 

Can yall imagine seeing me out there singing? The other one I kept singing was Jingle Bell Rock. Like what? Random. Whatever, I'll take it to pass the time. I spent a lot of time talking to Jesus, but talking to Jesus means closing my eyes most of the time so it's this weird thing to pray with your eyes open. HAHA! I also think it's good practice though because I love to be in constant communication and that's what keeps me grounded and learning to do that in the mundane moments and how much I think Christ loves to be apart of those! :) 

I also thought about how much I've changed which I wrote about on my instagram last night. It's such a good feeling to be where I'm at currently, and just when you feel like all of the pieces of life have come together, there's this extra layer that falls into place that you didn't even know you needed and you feel so at peace. It's been wonderful to see the Lord work in my life and in my marriage, and learning to trust in areas that I wasn't sure about. 

So, let's get to the run post bike. How did that feel for me you ask? Totally fine! I was super pleased about it. It was super hot by that point, but I knew I wanted to do the run outside because that's the way it will be on the day of. Tanner wanted to run with me but I was just flying out and he was feeling heavy so he told me to go ahead. I wanted to take advantage of how well I felt and see what that meant for shaking out my legs. Did I feel 75 miles on my legs? Yes and no. I mean I didn't feel normal, but I also didn't feel like I had just rode for 5 hours...maybe 2 tops. My first mile was 7:54 and I wanted to try to speed it up for more of a tempo style workout off the bike. I did the next 2 at 7:25 and then decided to back off and not get myself hurt and did the final 2.5 miles at 7:45 pace for a total of 5.5 miles. 

With it being super hot, I felt super amazing to be done, but absolutely so hot I thought I might crawl out of my skin. I couldn't breathe much with the humidity towards the end of the run and felt like I had a heater blowing straight in my face. There was so wind or air movement at all..ew. haha! FALL PLEASE HURRY. WE MISS ALL OF YOU AND YOUR PUMPKIN GOODNESS!! However, I had kept hydrated and didn't feel any signs of dehydration.

Thennnnnn, I went and helped friends move. hahaha! I get myself in the funniest predicaments. I realized on the way to their house that it might not have been the greatest plan to do but it all worked out and I love helping out friends when they need it because I know I sure will need it one day! 

So, let's get to this weeks training. So last week, I posted about the training and I got an awful calf situation on Monday. Uh. I was so annoyed, but I thought that I would just bike and swim extra and then try it out on my long run on Friday which is what I did. That's also why I tacked on a few extra miles to the end of the bike on Saturday than planned just because I only ran 8 on Monday and then nothing until Friday's 14. It was fine though so I think I'm in the clear...I hope. ;) 

Monday (today)- 8 miles speedworkout (like I'm doing it after this post) + 90 min interval cycling (I'll do this after client check ins so much later today) 

Tuesday- 2000m of swimming intervals + 5 miles EZ + Lifting (if I actually have the time-I don't prioritize this right now just keeping it real-I'll gain muscle back later)

Wednesday brick (I make sure to do these back to back not 2 workouts)- 2 hours cycling + 6 mile tempo 

Thursday-strength session before going into the pharmacy + 6 miles EZ after 

Friday - 3000m swim + 14 mile run (going to try to speed up at the end of this run and challenge myself vs last week just making it through)

Saturday-50 mile bike (about 3 hours) + 3 mile EZZZZ run (deload type week) 

Nutrition: I'm not counting macros currently and I've challenged myself to eat 100% plant based this week. As yall know, I'm like a wanna be vegan who never actually follows through. HA! I CAN DO ITTTTT.... #staytuned #gonnatryrealhard 

I'm very hopeful to get all of these workouts in. I know I'm in the home stretch and even though this takes up every waking extra moment, we are almost there. Thanks for cheering me on y'all!!!! WE ARE ON OUR WAY!!! WOOOO!!! 

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Health is your own individual assessment

There are SO many routes to health and fitness that when someone new comes into fitness, they are so confused and don't know what they should do or eat or any of that. My goal has always been to prove that there is really no right way but that there are principles to follow, and if you align your goals with those principles then you can see the results that you are after. Some things are more important to others, and some people feel passionately about what's "healthy" and what's not so this information gets spread about and eventually lands to the people that don't know much about fitness and becomes mainstream knowledge and it's unfortunate because many times it has no scientific backing. 

Then, there is the line between your body weight and then actually eating food that's good for your body because sometimes those are not the same unfortunately. I want to share a few examples and discuss them so you know what I mean! 

Egg Whites VS Whole Eggs 

Which do you eat? You hear that eating egg whites are healthy but then you hear people say to eat the whole egg because there are nutrients in it that you would be missing out on. It is very hard to find information about the safety of egg whites other than that you could possibly get Salmonella. Egg have a very high protein bioavailability meaning that you get a lot of the protein that you are eating, and that is the case with the egg white or the whole egg.

The whole egg has more protein in it. The whole egg also has vitamins and minerals that you can't get in the white such as choline, biotin, iron, vitamin B12, vitamin B2, Vitamin B5, phosphorus, vitamin D and vitamin A! WOW!! That's a lot of vitamins. But how much of those? Just for time sake, I'll go with two common ones: Vitamin A and Iron! In one whole egg, there is 5% of your recommended minimum daily amount of Vitamin A and iron. No one ever eats just one egg, so if you ate three then you're getting 15% of those two so that's great. 

However, the whole egg also carries a lot of saturated fat. There are back and forth arguments about saturated fat, but the fact of the matter stands that there is 5g of fat in one egg. This means that when you have a normal type serving of 3 eggs then that's 15g fat. I'm trying to stay objective here, but for comparison, that's the same as a Chickfila fried chicken sandwich OR Bojangles fries. HA! The amount of cholesterol in one whole egg would satisfy your cholesterol needs for the day, so if you eat 3 plus all of your other meals then you are going way beyond this. 

Nutritionfacts.org talks a lot about the safety of eggs, so I thought I'd link that up here: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/who-says-eggs-arent-healthy-or-safe/

My choice: I choose to eat egg whites because I personally like to get my fat from other sources (avocado, peanut butter, coconut oil) and it's all about having a balanced nutritional profile. I can rack up fat pretty fast, so I don't mind just eating egg whites so why not? I'm also all about not being afraid to eat anything. Would I eat 3 whole eggs with all it's cholesterol and saturated fat? ABSOLUTELY. I believe that ONE decision that I make about a certain food choice if I keep in good health is not going to make or break me.

What you have to decide for yourself: There are some that would vehemently oppose someone not eating the yolk. It's like....a thing. But why? They value the vitamins and nutrients and protein that it provides OVER the lack of saturated fat and cholesterol. That is THEIR individual assessment on their health. 

Full Sugar Coke OR Diet Coke 

I have talked about this in detail, but essentially if someone tells you (which you hear this ALL the time) that full sugar coke is better for you than the diet drinks, then they are saying that they personally value you the avoidance of aspartame over the grandiose amount of sugar in the full sugar sodas. Obviously, when we break it all the way down...none of it is great for us. However, the truth is that we all enjoy them (most of us-not all I know). 

There have been study after study after study done on aspartame.  There are some that find no statistical significance in all of the claims and then there are some that make me say "eeeek I should really work on giving up Diet Sundrop and Diet Pepsi." The way that I approach it is the same way that I approach fast food restaurants. When I roll up in Wendy's drive through, do I think that I'm making a good decision for my overall health and longevity of life? No. Duhhh. I CHOOSE to drink diet soda because that's my one vice, and I get to make that decision. 

However, there are some that would think I'm CRAZY as someone into health that I would do this. I don't know why but for some reason in my hometown, people LOVE to tell me how unhealthy it is. Almost every single time I buy one, the cashier thinks she's saving my soul by letting me know about that dreadful aspartame. I'm like...."Yea I got it ma'am. K thanks."

WINE 

So, the typical thing you hear is that if you have a glass of wine per night, then this is heart healthy. We all have heard that right? That is true. A small amount of alcohol every night has been shown in clinical trials to help arterial function and improve heart disease. The other side of that coin is that wine has a compact amount of calories. In one 5oz glass of wine (which is like the same amount that when you order it at a fancy restaurant and you pay $12 for it and it comes out and the glass is half empty and you're mad you got nothing but that's like the unwritten fancy rule of wine), there is about 130 calories which I'm not going to get into the full nutritional macro counting of alcohol-REFERENCE HERE-but that breaks down to about 30g C in one tiny glass of wine. That is alot of calories, so for someone that is trying to actively lose weight they may not want to drink 5oz that is also 130 calories. If you are a consistently healthy person then that's not a problem at all!!! Alcohol in excess has been shown to cause cancer and liver inflammation leading to cirrhosis of the liver or a fatty liver and many types of cancer, however are we all drinking THAT much? Probably not. That's the individual health assessment that you have to do. 

My point of all of this is to say that you can see that this is the assessments that you should be making for everything. Should I wash my hair everyday for total hair health? Should I do cardio vs weights for longevity of life health? Should I eat this cheesecake? These are just daily decisions that we make that really mean VERY little, but it's that overall consistency of health mind, body and spirit that matters. Taking care of your stress levels is one of those things that is most ignored but yet one of the most profound in longevity of life. 

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Bloated VS Full // Proper Digestion

I'll just start this off by saying that the reason for this blog is that I feel like there is a grave misconception between being bloated vs being full. I think that as a whole in society we are taught that in order for us to have the goals that we want to have, we must be hungry. We aren't allowed to fully fill ourselves up or that is an association with weight gain and that is just simply not the truth. Our bodies are meant to go through cycles of hunger and fullness. After meals, your belly might even be distended because that's what belly's do when they are full. This does not mean that you are bloated.

Bloated is a completely different thing, and the actual definition of bloating is to be filled with fluid or gas. Your belly will be big even if there was no food in it. Even if you eat A LOT in complete overabundance, you are still not necessarily bloated. Bloating is a very uncomfortable and sometimes painful situation, but it's so very different than being full. 

When you are a child and your parents give you food, you eat it until you don't want it anymore and then you stop when you are full. However, we have really changed the way that we think of fullness and what that means for us personally. Typically in society, we are told that we are supposed to eat 3 times per day and so most people eat in cyclical ways that allows them to be hungry and full at these specific moments during the day. I personally believe that there is really no number that should be placed. I think that eating small meals is great for digestion, but I don't think that you have to do this if it's not what you prefer. The thought that eating 6 meals per day will speed up your metabolism is completely false, and the research just simply doesn't support that. It all comes down to caloric intake and macro distribution. If you decide that eating 3 meals is what you want to do then you have to be FULL in those 3 meals. Let's say that your calories are 2000 then that's 666 calories at each meal which if you eat a relatively healthy diet, then that could be a lot of food. 

The key is what you're eating. If you are eating McDonalds then no, you might not be completely satisfied and full on a 650 calorie meal. If you are eating from your house and something clean that you prepare then you will most definitely be full on that many calories. You might actually feel bloated from that meal because it's full of fiber, and fiber causes gas. But you need to learn to distinguish between that and the actual feeling of fullness. Being full is good. Being full is GREAT!!

Proper digestion is the only way that you'll be able to not be bloated though if you are eating large meals that are full of fiber. You want to eat tons of fiber, but you also want to be going to the bathroom. I'm going to link up an article that I wrote a while back about bowel movement issues. It's something that is very present in my life, and has been since I was a little girl. Some simple steps that I think that we all know but that I'll go ahead and share that you should do are:

  • Make sure to drink plenty of water 

There are calculations that you can figure out how much water you need, but the biggest indicator of your hydration status is your pee. Are you peeing clear? If so, then you are hydrated. There is no need to force hydrate if you are peeing clear already. 

  • Eat fiber but not too much fiber 

Fiber is good but there is a limitation to when you are just going to feel ACTUAL bloat because of the gas formation from eating too much of it. I personally feel this whenever I eat a quest bar because it's such a dense source of fiber, and many girls say they can have a quest bar and immediately go to the bathroom. The typical recommendation is around 25-30g fiber per day so if you are struggling and eating less or more than that, then maybe track and see if there are some changes you can make. 

  • Take something if you are in a situation that you need it but don't continue to take something if you have not consulted your doctor 

Laxative abuse is a real thing and sometimes unintentionally, you mess up the muscles and nerve endings in your colon and have to retrain yourself to go to the bathroom again. This is not a situation that you want to be in, so if you have been taking something for a two week period and feel that you need to continue to be regular, then you want to consult with a doctor. However, truthfully, I feel lots of frustrations with literature in the world of GI issues. I think that they are doing a lot of work and studies to try and find medications that help those with idiopathic constipation since birth, but it's still a growing area so it's hard to really get much accomplished.

  • Make sure that you don't have structured malformations 

This might require a procedure, and it's like really a last line step, but you just don't want to have anything wrong and not know about it and think it's just constipation and bloating. 

  • DONT EAT TOO MUCH PROTEIN-Make sure you are eating plenty of soft carbs 

This is SO SO common. When girls are dieting, they keep their protein super high and then they can't go to the bathroom because they don't have enough carbs to make things soft in there. They don't go to the bathroom which in turns makes them feel bloated, which in turn makes them want to eat less and diet more, and it is a TERRIBLE cycle. I see this legit all the time, so it really does take like a month long span where you are focusing on eating more carb and working your way out of it even if you feel uncomfortable for a few days. 

  • Take something daily that's gentle until you can get a regular cycle going (such as Fiber supplements or Miralax-I think food is medicine but sometimes a sister needs a little help).

I know that GI issues are very common and bloating can be very real, but it is important to know the difference and know that being full is a healthy process for your body to go through and it's great for your mental and physical well being. If you are hungry all of the time, then that is no way to live and that is your body telling you that it needs more fuel. Those signals are there for a reason. 

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To the starting freshmen that feels she needs to have it together

So I am watching all of the facebook statuses about parents taking their kids off to school, and I can't help but think about the time that I went off to school for the first time which crazy to think was 9 years ago. WOW! Tanner told my cousin Tyler that he will never forget the moment that you are all moved in, everything is done, and you just lay down on your bed. Tanner described it as one of the best moments knowing he was officially in college, and almost just felt free. I can totally see how one would feel that way. Let me explain my side for those that might not feel that way and feel that you are alone because I never had felt more alone in those moments. 

The adventurous spirit that I have now didn't exist then. My love of the mountains wasn't non existent and I went to college in the mountains (Appalachian State). I'm so sad about all of the fun times that I missed while I was there, but I was in such a bad state that I didn't once go out on the parkway. I didn't once go skiing. Uh-so sad! Tanner always says "What if we had both went to App? That would have been fun to go to undergrad together!" and I quickly tell him that we would not have connected the way that we did because I was entirely different and in a bad place. If I was the person I am today, my mom would probably be begging me to come home from New York City, California or Colorado! hahaha!

When I moved into App, I'll never forget the day either. My entire family came up and helped me move in but mine was different because I was a cheerleader. No one else was moving in. I had to be there a week early so that we could have practices. I was dating someone at the time, and he would be going back to our hometown. It was around 6pm when they drove off after moving me in. I didn't have anything to do until the next morning when I had cheerleading practice, and I didn't feel close enough to the girls on the team at the time to reach out to any of them that night. I didn't have a TV and the dorms were empty. Everything was set up and organized perfectly so there was nothing to clean. Social media wasn't what it is today although it did exist (I had JUST gotten facebook because at the time that was only for college kids and I was officially in college #HOLLA). I didn't have a car because I was a freshmen (I ended up getting one my second semester so that I could come home more). I'm not trying to be dramatic, but this was also in the HEAT of anorexia so of course I wasn't going to eat any of the food that was left for me either which causes you to be mentally really bad off.

I'll never forget the moment that I just sat on my bed and cried....and cried...and cried. I didn't want to come to school, but I knew I had to. I didn't want them to leave, but I knew I had to grow up. I remember getting out my Bible and reading something in the gospels, and I journaled. I still have that journal of course. I journaled for hours until I got sleepy. I prayed that I would find my way and that this would be such a good thing for me.

The biggest thing about college when you arrive is that everyone is like "Oh what are you studying? What are your classes? What are you majoring in?" ... AS IF AT THE AGE OF 17 (I was young) I HAD ANY IDEA THAT I ACTUALLY KNEW WHAT IT MEANT TO BE A PHARMACIST. SHAKE MY DANG HEAD. I get so frustrated at the notion of needing to decide a career path that early with kids most of the time having never shadowed anyone of the prospective career they want to do. It just seems silly to me, but that's what everyone wants to know and if you don't know, they'll tell you it's okay but you know you better be thinking about it and figuring it out. I felt I had to be perfect when I went to college even though no one else cared.

In high school, I was very social. When I got to college, I was going through a really hard time because for some reason I just acted like I didn't even know how to make a friend and so I just didn't make them. It wasn't that I was ever rude to anyone. I just felt like I needed to study all the time to get the perfect grades to get into the perfect pharmacy school, and so I just never even tried. The first weekend we were allowed to go home, I did. With being a cheerleader, I had to stay some weekends because of games. My mom would come up to the games on Saturday mornings, but on Fridays I would get out of class at 12. I would go to the library and study until it closed at 6 and because I didn't even want to try to make friends, I would go back to my dorm and just do laundry or something random (and cry).

Don't get me wrong. I had a few friends that I had met in classes. One of them was from Shelby as well (Erica Aguero Gardner) and we hung out a good amount but she went home every weekend too and so if I had to stay for a game then I was alone. But truly, she is still one of my best friends to this day and I would have NEVER made it through freshmen year without her.

9 years of friendship going strong now <3 <3

9 years of friendship going strong now <3 <3

Sundays, my mom/stepdad/boyfriend weren't there, so I would wake up, go work out and then spend the entire day in the library. I can remember specifically one time I called my mom walking home from the library and she must not have been able to hear a word because I was just heaving crying. I wasn't eating. I wasn't sleeping well and I was straight up DEPRESSED. I wanted to come home, but that was never an option for me because I was "too focused on pharmacy school." I knew I had to suffer through. 

They told me college was supposed to be the best years of my life, and I honestly felt stupid so I just kept quiet about it. I cried all the time. 

I also am so very thankful that I stuck it out. 

When you are 17-18 years old, you do NOT have to have your life figured out, and you also don't need to be afraid to reach out to someone if college is really hard for you. Don't keep quiet like I did those first two semesters. I heard from so many other freshmen similar stories of girls in my own dorm that were also sitting in their dorms crying. I know that for most, it's an easy transition. This is not to say that all college kids/girls feel this way because that is just not true. My cousin Celeste fell right into college and has flourished and I absolutely love it. However, I think that with the hype and excitement we forget about the people that are really struggling and I know that the same thing that happened to me happens to so many. 

At the end of my first semester, I'm pretty sure my mom started like figuring out people that went to App that were from my hometown to be like "PLEASE HELP MY CHILD" hahaha! I ended up hooking up with a group of people that one of the girls from my high school had met and they became my closest friends for the next 1.5 years until I transferred to Gardner Webb (a school back home). I got closer to Erica and we became best friends and got an apartment together that second year. It was really only the first and some of the second semester but it's a time in my life that I will never ever forget. 

So thankful for the timing of these girls in my life

So thankful for the timing of these girls in my life

I see all the joy as kids are going off to school this month but my heart aches and breaks for the girl that no one knows is struggling so deeply and maybe, God willing, she will read this blog and know she's not alone. It's okay girlfriend. Stick it out. You'll come out on the other side! You can't see it right now, but there are so many that love you. There are so many that want to be your friend. There are so many other things in this world besides your grades and obsession over food. Don't be afraid to see a counselor. That doesn't mean anything is wrong with you. When you feel you can't cry anymore, lean on others that want to be there for you. And then one day you'll look back and wonder how you landed in the happiness and joy and abundance in life that I feel now. 

 

 

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Fall Down 7 Times, Stand Up 8

So, some of you may have seen when I posted to my instagram or on the Women For Tri facebook page about my crash on Saturday's bike ride. I would like to give the disclaimer that it was in fact what I'd classify as a "crash" and not just a fall. I fall like all the time. I'm over that. It's no big deal...junk happens. Crashing scares me, and makes me super emotional. It leaves me feeling confused about what I'm doing, and in those moments questioning everything to be honest. Then I think I shouldn't share about these things because people will just think I'm crazy but I just get so tired of the internet only being able to be this positive experiences with everyone left in their own time feeling beat down like they are the only ones experiencing this. 

So, I just want you to know that you ARE NOT alone if you are training for something and feeling like you weren't cut out for it sometimes. In the moments after I had the crash, I kept thinking "It's not that I want to give up but is this safe for me? Am I putting myself in danger here?" Essentially, my tire went into train tracks, whipped the front end and handlebars around super quick and hooked under where my bento box is and I slammed on the right side in honestly the middle of traffic (it's shelby so traffic is never that serious). 

I immediately jump up, grab my bike and go to the side of the road. All these people got out of their car and this one guy "DO YOU NEED AN AMBULANCE?" hahaha! I was like "No sir-I'm unfortunately used to this so I'm good." I can only imagine what I looked like to them just BAM hitting the ground full speed. I have road rash and a huge shiner on my right hip with some surrrrrrrious whip lash this morning. I called Tanner crying to just tell him what happened, and that I was going to continue. He convinced me to finish on the trainer because he didn't want me so shaken up and continuing to ride the roads so I obliged but not without some discussing ;) 

My point of all of this is to say that I'm fine and I know that crashing and falling is just part of the gig of biking. I came home to the trainer to find the Olympics, and these guys are the absolute best in the world and two of them crashed shortly after I started watching. It was kind of a wake up call too that I'm not just a total klutz! LOL! 

When I started this fitness journey, I was a girl who lifted weights at the gym and maybe did some elliptical (ha). I decided I wanted to train for a marathon, and I absolutely fell in love. I did 5 marathons and 1 ultra, and realized that endurance sports are something that I can't really explain how much that I love it. I had always had these dreams of doing an ironman, and as time progressed the timing was natural for this to be that year. My point of all of this is to say that it's not like I have some background in cycling. I have to EXPECT there to be a learning curve. 

After I was done, Tanner asked me if I wanted to go for a run with him to wrap up the day with what I love. He knows my love language ;) 

After I was done, Tanner asked me if I wanted to go for a run with him to wrap up the day with what I love. He knows my love language ;) 

When you are trying for goals in life, things get HARD sometimes. I relate it to pharmacy school in that there were times where I was like "Girl why did you even begin this process? This is just ridiculous." and it was. I seriously dreamed and dreamed of the days when I would be done with school, and then the day came and I graduated. Fitness goals are the exact same. No one can be expected to enjoy every single second. No one can be expected to not have days where they think "Uh, what am I doing? This is ridiculous and just too much and maybe even possibly dangerous." That doesn't mean that you throw in the towel. You focus all the negative energy into figuring out how to make yourself better in those areas. 

To reference school again, when you are struggling, you put in more hours studying to perfect the art at which you are trying to achieve, you go see your professors to see if you can get help, you ask friends that are better to help you and you figure it out so that you can do well because your degree means something to you. 

There is meaning to me behind this ironman to me. I feel it builds character and resolve to be able to get through the training. I feel the moments of crossing the finish line will make every second worth it, and so I can hit that ground 50 more times and I'll keep standing back up. I might give my husband a heart attack in the process, but he'll make it through too. ;) haha! 

I am enjoying the push so much. The amount of training volume going into the coming weeks is so incredibly high, and it's like really weirdly exciting for me. I thrive on this junk. haha! 11 weeks to go!! I'll update my training schedule for this week below so you can see! :) I guess what I hope to show you that if you have a dream, you can make it happen. It doesn't have to look pretty, and you don't have to be the best, but you just keep on fighting. There will be people who think you're a little coo coo but just focus on your goal in the short term, and then you get to carry those memories with you for a lifetime.

I will say though... the day after my ironman I'm going to see Carrie Underwood with all of the girls in the family in Charlotte, and then Tanner and I are headed out to the Dominican Republic for a week at an all inclusive, and it's going to be a WELCOMED "Do not move for a week except for excursions"! hahaha!

Monday - 8 miles + 60 min cycling intervals

Tuesday- Swim Intervals (2000m) + 5 miles easy 

Wednesday brick- 120 min cycle + 6 mile tempo 

Thursday-morning lift + 5 miles easy 

Friday- 14 mile run + 3000m swim 

Saturday- 75 mile bike 

Sunday-rest 

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Ratio of Carbs and Protein in Muscle Gains

So this is a common topic and confusion in many people, and I'm going to do the best that I can to explain this situation. 

I'm not sure where to start this other than carbs are demonized, and protein is seen as the end all be all with muscle. Everything must be done in it's right time and understood or you will just be spinning your wheels for years. We aren't going to debate about how much protein that we actually need today because then we could be debating all day. That's not the point of this, but to help others recognize that just having a super duper high protein diet, and no carbs is not going to benefit them in the muscle gains that they want. 

We all know that protein is a factor that helps us to build lean muscle mass and  keep the muscle mass that we have. However, how much is too much? There are certain guidelines and recommendations that you hear for how much protein that you need. You'll hear the bodybuilding community tell you that you need 1g of protein/lb. This was passed down from the fact that these MASSIVE men needed more protein for their muscle mass, when in reality the literature does NOT support that amount of protein for the general population whether for gaining muscle or maintaining muscle.

The typical guideline recommended amount is 0.8g/kg. Do you know how little that is? It's like nothing for what most people would be used to being told for how much protein that they need. But like I said, I'm not hear to talk about whether we need 50g or 150g of protein and which one of these guidelines or where in the middle this falls but the role of protein and carbs on your amount of muscle mass and how to achieve the goals that you are after. 

The typical scenario with me as a coach of mostly women is women coming to me eating 150g of protein and super low carbs, and when I give them their macros that are the complete opposite of this, they kinda freak. THIS CAN'T WORK FOR MY GOALS!!! "I want to lose fat and gain muscle." 

Is that even possible and is that really even what they want? 

First, I'm convinced that all of them even though they do want weight loss just want stability with food. Psychology is HUGE in dieting, and I'm not sure there are many people that actually WANT and desire to eat 150g protein. It's always forcing it down leading to sugar binges in the future, so then it was purposeless to begin with. We always like to ignore the psych factor, but it's SO so huge. The only way you can "make this a lifestyle" is if you actually can live your lifestyle within the parameters of your diet and that just simply isn't sustainable. If you have at least 1.2mg/kg body weight of protein then you are pushing the upper limits of what you need for maintaining or gaining muscle mass. 

Does that mean that you shouldn't go higher? 

No. That's not what I'm saying. Typically, I will make protein a little higher than what the calculation might be just simply to supplement calories. If I was to give girls macros of 50g protein and 250g carb, they would never want to work with me and most likely their bodies wouldn't respond really well. The studies are only as good as what we have on paper, but when we get into real life, you have to take these things into consideration and the numbers and calculations sometimes have to be thrown out of the window. 

Typically if they say they want to lose fat and gain muscle, they really don't want to gain muscle but rather they want a lean toned physique which probably wouldn't even take muscle gains, but rather just leaning them out with the muscle mass that they currently have. We all have a base of muscle right this second, and I think that most women just simply want to see what they are working with, so they go the high protein, low carb approach but the problem is...they never come out of this. 

They might cut to a point that they are moderately satisfied because it's depressing but almost always girls are never satisfied (uh) but then they want more results. You can't stay with high protein and lower carb and expect to ACTUALLY gain quality muscle tissue gains. You have to have calories in order to do that. The very first time that you pick up weight lifting and high protein dieting, yes you are going to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, but after that it's a lot harder. 

If you want muscle gains, you are going to have to accept a surplus of calories and some fat gains as well because it's just simply part of the bargain, but that's not ACTUALLY what girls want. They want to stay lean as a bean with abs all while increasing muscle mass. The reality is that it's not that easy. You can do a lean gain type system in a reverse dieting fashion and that's probably the easiest and most effective way to stay lean while increasing muscle mass. 

The question that I want you to ask yourself though is what are your TRUE goals. Like are you GENUINELY interested in gaining muscle because if so then you have to deal with fat gains and then lean back out later. If you simply just want to be toned, then most likely you just want to lean out where you are. 

The internet is so misleading ESPECIALLY with girls. They see all these high profile bodybuilding girls that are so lean and so muscular, and they just don't look at the big picture. I had a really muscular base from being an athlete my entire life. When I leaned down for the very first time, I had a CRAZY amount of muscle underneath. I also was lifting for the first time. Brittany Dawn for example, did not. She has had to have a couple of cycles of strict strict dieting, then reverse dieting, the strict dieting again then reverse dieting again and now she's landed where she is. Em Dunc is the same way, and I use these girls for examples because I know that they have physiques that everyone would die for but they've done many cycles. 

Also almost every single person that you see has done some form of extreme dieting at some point or another, and all of that matters in the long term. I've heard of some of these girls eating as little as 20g C per day (I'm sure their fat and protein was super high as well) during some of their phases of leaning out and then they build back through reverse dieting. You see that at the other end of their reverse diet where they talk about how free they are and forget about the journey. 

Do you genuinely want to do that? I mean obviously we all know that it's unhealthy. Do you genuinely think that you could even do that? Would your life situation allow that? Would your psych and relationship with food allow that or would you just end up binge eating? I don't say this in an accusing tone, but just that these are questions that you have to ask yourself when you decide which route that you want to take.

The route that I take with most of my girls is SUSTAINABILITY and longevity in life. I want them to be HAPPY. I want them thriving in their athletic endeavors. I'm not in the business of getting my girls to be the leanest ever, although sometimes that does happen. If they are able to do it realistically with a sound mind and heart, then yea we can continue to do that, but otherwise, it just doesn't make sense and the primary goal that I try to reach is just being able to be happy in your life and food.

I hope this helps clear up some of this, and it's hard to explain so I hope that my points came across well. 

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The Constant Chase for Weight Loss

I know that as a "fitness person" and being associated with that, people feel like some need to tell me that they want to lose weight. It's like they feel comfort in letting me know that even though it might not look like it, they are concerned. It always makes me mildly uncomfortable because I do not want it to seem like I'm just out here thinking everyone needs to lose weight or something. I also can always tell when people don't actually know what I'm about, because they'll ask why I'm eating certain things or say how it "must be a cheat day" when I'm just living my life. Lord have mercy...I won't rant there. ;) 

However, I think that it's a common well known thing that almost every single person (most of the time women) are constantly on this never ending desire to lose weight. They live in a perpetual state of sticking to it during the week and then life happens a few days out of the week or they can't ever stick to it because some coworker brings in food or the kids keep them from being able to go to the gym. Week after week-month after month-year after year-a constant search for weight loss and it just never happens. There are a lot of ways that this could go down. It could be that they mentally struggle with food and want so desparately to be able to stay on their nutrition program, but then they binge and then feel instant regret and it just happens again and again.

We go to our instagrams and because everyone is mildly interested in fitness, we follow these accounts that even though they have no idea that they are doing it and their intentions are nothing of harm, they make us feel like crap. Let's say someone stumbles across my page, and they don't know what I'm about. I'll get comments about "Wow-that was a long bike ride" or something about my runs, and I can tell it's almost this air that they feel guilty that they themselves haven't gone out and done that. Or let's say they had come across my page months ago and seen all of the ab selfies that I used to post. Yea-they are like "Wow. That girl has abs" or they may think "Man that girl must not eat" or unfortunately they may think "Dang, I really need to get on my diet. I need to get back to it. Gosh-if this girl looks like this then surely I can get my act together."

We are constantly bombarded on social media with perfect images, and we all know it's not all real, blah blah blah but I can tell you that there is not one woman who is 5lbs to 100lbs overweight that can look at an image of a perfect body and not think "Uhhh-why can't I have what she has???" She may do it for her job so we tell ourselves that in our heads. She may not have kids, so we tell ourselves that it was worth it to carry those precious babies. We tell ourselves in our heads that we would never want to live our life the way "she does" judging her for being "too skinny", when in reality deep down these are coping mechanisms to make us feel better. 

Thennnnnn, that girl talks about body image. She tells you to love the skin you're in, and you're like "Please tell me you're joking." Then, she takes a picture that's like slightly imperfect and is like "Look at me-I have flaws too-just like you" and you're all like "YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW!" It's a hot mess the way the fitness industry is. You don't see fashion bloggers wearing cute outfits saying "Look-I'm not perfect either even though I have on the cutest outfit around." It's this game of them putting themselves down to show they are "real" and all it does is keep up this constant feed of people indirectly telling you that you're not good enough. I always envision a young girl who genetically is overweight at age 14 looking at her "role models" that are stick thin saying they have flaws and she's like "Wow, if that's a flaw then what am I?". These images of girls imprint on her mind of what is normal because they are the only ones showing their bodies on the internet, and therefore this image becomes what she thinks she needs to obtain when only EXTREME EXTREMES will get her there. So, she chases....her entire life. 

{{On a side note, THAT is why I stopped posting so many images of my body. It's not that I think it's "wrong" and the ones that do it mean absolutely no harm and I don't think they are wrong for doing it. It's just such a sticky situation being in the fitness industry, trying to actually show people that fitness and health does not equal restriction, and the possibility of young girls seeing my body before knowing what I'm about. People aren't going to come to my page and read through my entire blog. They see one image, and one caption and that's all the time I have with them. I don't want it to drive them further into the chase. I would rather focus on what the body can do.}}

What if? What if you just took where you are RIGHT now and said "Okay I'm good with it. I'm done with the chase. I'm done with the self loathing. I just want to live." That doesn't mean that you have to give up healthy eating. That doesn't mean that you have to stop counting macros if you do that. It just simply means that you quit chasing the lower weight. Live your life in the happy place of peace. I posted about this on my facebook team group yesterday, and I wanted to share something that came to my thoughts that others seemed to enjoy. 

Always....always....fighting for the chase to be smaller. What if you just took a deep breath and let it go. Just let it go, and even if it's just for 1 month of your life...JUST LET IT GO. I feel I have to always say this in case this is someone's first time reading my blog, but by letting go, I do NOT mean to just go ham and eat everything in sight. That's not a peaceful place to be. I don't mean to start slamming Hardees every night. I mean to truly be at a stable place with food where you just maintain. You stop the rat race of trying to get to this image or this weight that you have of yourself. I would almost venture to say that everyone reading this blog post thinks "I'm fine, but I could stand to lose X amount of pounds." Again....chasing. What if you let go of X amount of pounds and just chilled out? What if you don't know what that looks like and you still want to count macros? That's cool. I think macros are fantastic, and I think that even when letting go, you can raise your calories, and still count if that's where you are personally. It's all whatever stage that you're in. I promise you it's worth the fight to end the chase. 

 

 

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RRCA Coaching Course

So, if you don't know anything about getting certified to be a run coach or if you've ever been interested, I just thought I'd share my experience. I also think that it's so cool for anyone to get certified, but I will say that there is TONS of things that I know from experience that weren't taught or that we didn't get to, and I say that just to say that continuing education is a beautiful thing. There are TONS that I don't know I'm sure about coaching running, and I plan to read every book mentioned during the class. So, just knowing that you can't learn everything in a 2 day time frame OBVIOUSLY and that has nothing to do with RRCA but just life in general. 

With that, getting into a class is really difficult. There are very few hosted around the US and they can be found at  THIS LINK. I'm also really shocked at how many say "Open" currently and how many are added that are in my part of the US. hahaha! Well, I got a trip to Utah out of it so whatever ;) It was worth every single penny and I'm going to the dentist today expecting to have to get a crown on my tooth (this is so unrelated), but I think that it will cost more than my trip to Utah, which makes me want to literally scream. I think I'll just take the broken tooth and traveling the world approach! ;) (I'm kidding). 

So, maybe you'll be able to find one that is open but it's hard, and that's why I snagged the one that I did when I saw that it was open. You don't have to do this before you go but just know that you will have to be first aid and CPR certified before you can actually get the certification so keep that in the back of your mind if you have that opportunity before you go to the class and want to get that out of the way. 

I mean clearly I was looking GOOD at class HAHA

I mean clearly I was looking GOOD at class HAHA

The class is held by someone in the local area that has interest and they plan the event then RRCA comes out and teaches it. I'm assuming that Randy, our teacher, is the one that travels and does them all but I'm not 100% sure about that. He's quite the character so he keeps it interesting the entire time! haha! The host gets breakfast, lunch and snacks for us the entire time that we were there so we didn't have to bring a thing, which was nice to know not to even worry about that. 

Our class was super diverse because like I said, it's hard to get in and so people came from northern Canada, Florida, New Mexico, North Carolina, Tenneesee, New York and New Jersey just to be able to get into it but it was a really great group full of some experienced and some not as experienced runners which was neat to bounce thoughts off of one another. It was also so interesting to me how many opinions there were on the different styles of how they do things and the truth is time and again-we are all different and just because an approach works on you doesn't mean that it's always going to work for a client. That's one thing that I want to be REALLY cognizant of is that "The client is not YOU" meaning that just because you coach someone in what works really well for your body does not mean that it's going to work for them in terms of macro counting, nutrition or running and it needs to be customized to what they are communicating to you. I digress... 

The course was 8-5 on Friday and Saturday and we were given a book which was the slide set that he goes over in a spiral bound book with some other neat resources at the end. It's a huge book meaning we had MANY slides to review and we didn't get to all of them. I'm not sure if that's normal or not (he said that it wasn't so maybe our class asked too many questions/talked too much), but we didn't get through all of the material and I'll have to go through it myself which is fine. I honestly enjoy individual learning and was never one to study with friends in college. 

Essentially, he just goes through the slides and we talk through the different topics. There was one part on the second day where we spent an hour with 3 other people and built a marathon training program and then dissected what each group did. Again, they were all very different and had reasoning based on scientific things that we had learned and how their way was what they thought the best. There were of course learning points of what not to do and how things needed to change to optimally get the client ready for their goal so that was really cool to see what everyone did and how to change it based on what we were taught. Otherwise, it's just sitting in a chair. I really REALLY love running so I was intrigued the whole time but you could tell by 4pm on each day, people were really restless. haha! 

After you take the course in person, then they send you an email with all of the information on how to take the test. It's a 100 multiple question test that you obviously can't use friends, but you can use the materials that you are given in class to answer the questions. I have not yet taken the test but I plan to this week and the passing rate average is a 91% so I don't think that it's anything to worry about. 

The course itself was broken down into a lot of different topics: 

  • Categories of Runners (Novice to Experienced and how their plans will differ-5K to marathoners and how their programs will differ)
  • Multi Sport athletes (Triathletes, Crossfitters, etc) 
  • Physiology (VO2Max, Lactate Threshold, Mitochondria, Muscle Fiber Recruitment, Muscle Adaptations)
  • Sports Psychology
  • Heart Rate Zones 
  • Heat and Altitude
  • Periodization of Programming
  • Mobility and Flexibility 
  • Defining Terms (negative split, tempo, fartlek, strides, intervals, mesocycle, macrocycles)
  • Business & Client Management/Taxes & Insurance
  • Nutrition 
  • Injuries
  • Pacing Tools 

That was just me going through the book just now so I know that there are plenty more. I wanted to share one piece of information that I learned this weekend that I thought was WAY COOL. So, if you are a marathon runner and you feel fatigue, you have a burst of free energy that your body allows you every 5minutes (although obviously you wouldn't utilize it every 5 minutes) that you can use that won't create waste biproduct that helps you mentally and physically to get back in the game by sprinting for 4-6 seconds. So, I know this sounds bizarre but studies have shown that if you are falling back in the pack then if you will sprint for 5 seconds then it like almost recharges you and doesn't create lactic acid build up that you might be afraid of. So, I'm definitely going to try this on my long runs and see how that goes. 

There were tons of other facts I learned, but that was just one that I thought I'd share. You also get the Daniels Method of Training book at the end to take with you which is nice and I can't wait to read that. I hope this helps for those that have thought about taking the course and want to know the steps to do that. 

I also am going to outline tomorrow how I'm going to structure my run coaching program, pricing, and I will obviously only take a certain number of clients so I'll let you guys know when that fills up. If you are interested in working with me on just a program that will lead you into your race that's either day to day coaching or just a program written out customized to you, I'd go ahead and email me so you can secure a spot. 

 

 

 

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Utah Trip-Where to even begin?

How does one summarize what turned out to be one of the most fun and adventurous weekends of my life? Wow. Okay, I'll try though.

I was planning on working. I was planning on blogging. That’s why I didn’t do that much in advance (although I didn’t really have time). This wasn’t supposed to be a vacation (although I know it looked that way). I was just taking a weekend trip to get RRCA certified. I had asked The Barlows to stay with them, but then thought the class filled up so I was like SHOOT then Tamarynn said a spot was opened because Ashley (@ahappypace) was going to go to support her husband (@mattydtri) in his ironman, which by the way he QUALIFIED FOR FREAKIN KONA! So awesome. I was bummed though because one of my besties (@triandrungirl) Heather was going to be doing her first ironman and she lives in Salt Lake so I couldn’t see her.

I looked up flights on Frontier (I promise this is important) because I have their discount den program for the year to get cheaper flights (of course also sucky flights but I’ll do anything for cheap travel LOL). I found a flight that had a day long layover in Denver on Wednesday, so then I hit up a friend of mine, Mallory to see if I could spend the day with her there. It was 9am-6pm layover. #yikes

Mallory and I had the best day together. She picked me up and we first went to eat at this amazing vegan restaurant called Watercourse and talked FOREVER, then headed to her apartment to change and go run. We ran 5 miles together (which I TOTALLY forgot when adding my weekly mileage this week until just now-oops-guess I hit 46 then! WOO! LOL!) We ran on a trail around Denver, and her neighborhood then went and hung out at the pool until she took me back to the airport. My flight got to Salt Lake at around 8pm and I had to get my rental car and get out to The Barlows. They misplaced my luggage temporarily so I got to their house around 930. Even from my one day gone, I somehow had 35 emails so I did that all morning on Thursday until we went for our first run in Utah.

The first thing we did when I woke up after working on some emails was to go to the gym where I met a few girls from instagram (@hungrymotherrunners) and we got in a good core session. This gym she goes to has a workout of the day kinda like you would at a crossfit gym, but just not the typical crossfit type workouts. It was great!

RUN 1- FARMINGTON CANYON

The way Utah is set up, most people live in Northern Utah. The areas I was in were Farmington and Cottonwood Canyons, which were 45 minutes apart. This was a 6 mile easy run (up 3 miles and back down 3) with a total elevation gain of around 1200ft on the 3 miles up. I got to talk with Tommy a lot that run about full ironmans and ultras and he just really did confirm that it’s one step in front of the other-it’s not NEARLY as overwhelming as it seems if you just hunker down and keep going if you keep in that zone 2.

This was his second run post Vermont 100 (he had done 10 the day before), but he was good which is awesome for him going into Leadville 100 in 3 weeks! Can’t wait to see how the continuation of the Grand Slam goes for him (4-100 mile races in 12 weeks)

FARMINGTON STATION

Right beside of their house is Farmington Station so we went there after for a sushi lunch and to show me Tommy’s work, which was TOTALLY worth seeing. His workplace is freakin awesome but I won’t go into all that. Lol!

Farmington Station I hit up quite a few times for Chiptole and Starbucks and froyo! It’s just a shopping center super close to their house so that was super convenient.

BARLOW LAKE

That’s what they claimed it as ;) It’s a lake in Farmington Canyon (which is the picture you see below floating on the mattress). We took the razor up with tinfoil dinners full of ground beef, potatoes, carrots, and onions with cream of chicken soup cooked on the fire. After that, Kenzie took me through the Wasatch 100 course area and the sun was setting in the Canyon and I posted the video on my facebook but it was UNREAL! So epically beautiful. We also stopped on our way up to look over the ledge where people will drive their cars off and so there are cars there from like 40 years ago. It was very interesting and of course super sad. When we got back, they had smores ready for us and the girls (they have two PRECIOUS little girls 11 and 7) and they had made up choreography to some songs, so they showed us their routine. HAHA!

RRCA COURSE

I want to do a full blog on this so I'm going to save it for tomorrow and give you the full scope of how to do it, what it's all about, and how the class was, but the class was Friday and Saturday from 8-5 in Cottonwood Heights which is about 45 minutes from where I was staying. I went some of my girls for breakfast the morning on Friday and that was so so wonderful. I've been coaching them both for around 2 years (not actively but they've been on the team). I could have talked with them for hours and hours but had to cut it quick to get to class. I'm SO SO excited about being a run coach and offering that now. More details to come.

I also was able to meet two girls that I knew from instagram!! @sugarruns and @tamarynnleigh both were there getting certified and are absolutely the sweetest girls, and I'm just so thankful for the instagram community and all the beautiful people that it's brought into my life.

RUN 2- LAKE BLANCHE

Tommy left on Friday morning to go to Leadville to run part of the course (16 miles) so that he could see what it was like and took their son with him so it was just us girls the rest of the weekend.

Lake Blanche is a 6.9 mile out and back with 3K feet of elevation on the out 3.5 to the top of the peak where you can see the lake, and oh my goodness gracious it was so beautiful. It was also really tough. Kenzie is super amazing to watch going up and down the mountain. I just followed the leader and of course it was really difficult on the climb. This is not a hike folks as maybe you are thinking, but rather like legit jump/running up big steep climbs. It was really fun (and my glutes and quads are REAL sore haha). We took pictures at the top of course, then headed back down. Each time that we went into the Cottonwood Canyons, we would meet at the park and ride which is apparently what a lot do and then Kenzie would drive to the base of the peak that we were going to run up. 

RUN 3- ALTA BRIGHTON

I was honestly pumped the entire day to spend the evening in the Canyons again. Kenzie was so great to take this time with me because typically she runs in the mornings, and this obviously left her having to make arrangements for her kids and things of that nature but she wanted to show me the ropes, and I appreciate it to the fullest. This trip would NOT have been the same without her. I wouldn't have known about any of this and definitely would never have done it on my own. 

This is 9 mile loop trail that hits a lot of highlights along the way and we definitely stopped for a few seconds and would take pictures along the way. I mean I'm sure you couldn't tell from my instagram/facebook that we took a lot of pictures though ;) jk jk! Because my legs had been so trashed, we decided to take this one super easy. Her friend Chelsea came with us and honestly we just had girl talk for a solid 2 hours while we were running. She was SO fun. I genuinely thought everyone I met was just so great this weekend. This loop also had 3K of climbing but it was over more miles and we power hiked vs running up some of those. When we were coming down out of this climb, you could see so much or going around the ridges and Kenzie would yell. Sometimes she would say things like I LOVE THESE MOUNTAINS or she would just yell out a happy yell and it just made my freakin day. haha! Like the amount of endorphins it creates to do things like this is out of this world and no wonder people get addicted to running. It's a freakin high.

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With not starting until 6pm, we didn't really get finished up until 915, and then it was 45 minutes away. I stopped at Wendys for a frosty on the way home and got back at 10pm. I was BEAT, and I had told Kristen (2:54 marathoner that I'd run 8 miles with her at 7am on Sunday morning-help me lord jesus hahaha). I took a quick shower just to get the dirt from the Canyons off of me, and went to sleep asap! My whole body was so sore. 

I woke up at 4:30am STARVING and sore, so I went and made food and put on the recovery boots that they have which are boots that massage your legs. I thought I was going to have to bail on Kristen but I really did want to run with her. 

SOOOO, I sucked it up and by sucked-I mean I was literally sucking air. haha!!! We learned a fun fact in run coaching class that at higher elevations, the worst time frame for not being able to breathe well was 3-6 days in. This would have been the 4th, and even though with climbing, I felt the elevation change, this was even worse. I felt like I was running so slow and we finished 7 miles at 7:58 pace. That felt like 6min/mile so definitely not the best recovery run. Oops! Totally worth it to get to run with Kristen-we actually met in the Athlete's village in boston when she was like HI I FOLLOW YOU so that was fun to see her again!

I'm doing all slow slow cycling today to help work some waste product out of my legs and get back into ironman training. Obviously, running trails wasn't on the training program but who cares? Once in a lifetime opportunity that keeps my fitness up super high and now I jump back into tri! :) 

I legit feel like I just went into some other world for the past 4 days. I had NO idea that this trip was going to be like this, but I'm so so glad that it was. I was able to meet so many people that I knew from online and have been friends with for a while, and they are all just as wonderful in person. The internet is such an interesting place, but it allows for these connections with people with your same interests that you would normally never even know were out there. Then, you get to meet, stay in their home and see what they are really like and become even more inspired. 

I guess just all around, I feel inspired by this weekend. I feel inspired by friendships that leave me wanting to be a better friend. I feel inspired to be adventurous and really go out into the world that's around us even if it's not always in our comfort zone because pushing outside of that leads us to the most beautiful places. I'm inspired to really just be a good wife. I really missed Tanner, and wished so badly that he could be on the top of those mountains with me. ONE DAY!!! 

This is a trip that introduced me to TRUE trail running, and it's a trip I'll never forget. I absolutely love Utah. I will go back for sure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Big Shift in Training

And just like that, I'm on my own again. 

I know that this will be something that people notice eventually so I thought I'd go ahead and clear the air. There were a lot of reasons for this decision but they were all personal. I still FIRMLY believe in the programming that they do and think that they do a phenomenal job. This is one area that I'm not going to be super transparent in, and just move forward. And yes, I'm okay but life is about changes and sometimes change is okay and needed. I'm having to do that with a lot of things in my life but it's really really good change for me. I have learned so much that I can carry forward with me now. 

So, I'll be programming the rest of my training leading into the ironman. This is new for me but I'm also ready for it and excited for it. The volume that I had reached is high and I know my body in that I have to listen to it constantly to give me cues when to push and when to back off because it will certainly let me know. So, the programming that I am going to do is going to be based on what I have been doing, the steady increases in volume leading into the ironman and also knowing that it's tentative and to back off when needed. 

For example, this past weekend I woke up with a little hip pain that I knew was from the repetitive motion of the bike so therefore I didn't do my long bike. I know that seems crazy to some that get in every second of training, but I know my body better than to push it then be out for 5 weeks because I just "had" to get that workout in. 

I was able to start off this week strong yesterday with 60 minute cycle and 7 mile run and all is right with the world again! ;) 

This week is going to be very different because I'm traveling to Salt Lake City. I'm not going to have access to a pool or biking. Yes, I could have probably figured that out and planned accordingly, but that's just not my style. I'll be running a lot with the people there so I'd rather just focus on the fun to be had running trails then carting myself all around trying to find a pool and such. I'm probably going to take a bathing suit and bike shorts just in case I end up at a gym that has like a spin bike and I can get some cycling in. I literally have no plan other than "try to run as many trails with as many people as possible." I know that everyone thinks I'm psycho about training but I'm probably one of the most chill. haha! I know that I'll make it through on race day and that these workouts 13 weeks out aren't going to affect me that much. Life is too short-okay I won't rant.

When I return, I'm going to have a heavy week ahead. I will get to Charlotte at 5am on Monday morning which will be my client check in day so I'll probably come home and work on those until the afternoon and then get in 25 miles on the bike with intervals to an 8 mile speed work. I have written out all of my workouts all the way to race day as of last night. It kinda feels good that the first official day of all of this will be August 1st! 

Aug 2- Swim Intervals (which is also what I'm doing tonight after work at the pharmacy before I leave for SLC in the morning) and easy 3 miles with upper body 

Aug 3- BIKE 90 minutes, Tempo 6 miles + Legs (Long Day) 

Aug 4- 5 easy miles 

Aug 5- Long Swim (3000m) + 12 mile run

Aug 6- 65 mile bike + 15 minute run 

This wil be the general structure of my weeks with building progressively each week. I'm only doing 2 strength training days per week and of course the miles on the weekends as well as the bike rides will get longer and longerrrrrr. I really love Tanner because when your wife decides to do an ironman, that affects him as well and I appreciate that with all the hours on the bike and training, he is still so supportive of me. We are in the final 3 months. How exciting!! 

Thanks for supporting me through all of these changes, and I'll keep yall posted on all of my new training. 

 

 

 

 

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Weekly Round Up

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

1. Pure Goodness Whole Food Superfood

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

2. Garmin 735XT  

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

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

3. Field Guide for Marriage

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

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

4. Tasc Performance Apparel

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

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

5. Hobby Lobby World Map

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

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

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

Happy Weekend of adventuring yall! 

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Ranch & Cream Cheese Chicken Quesadillas

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

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

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

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

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

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