So You Don't Want to Count Macros?

Many times, people start on the track of healthy eating, they hear about macros, and they think it's for them. They begin to count and then they realize quickly that it makes them obsessive, or they just don't like having to take the time to count. They email me that they are frustrated, and so I always say to stick for at least 3 weeks before making the official decision. Macro counting can be very daunting at first, and normally I refer them to this blog post HERE.

This explains some difficult things that happen as you are first starting to count and how to address those issues and make things a little easier. However, even after this, some people find that they really just don't like it. I have had to get used to this outlook because at first, and still admitably, I can't quite comprehend it. I had a fried Chickfila chicken sandwich last night, Wendys nuggets the day before, doughnuts the day before, and of course the rest of the day I had healthy meals. If my family goes out for seafood, pizza, fast food, or birthday parties, I'm able to join in on the fun without ever feeling like I compromise my goals. I know that many people eat in many different ways though, so I totally understand when you feel that macro counting is not for you.

So, then, what do you do? 

I think that it's hard to quantify, which is fine but I think that many times people want me to create a program in that way and I find it very difficult with the very different needs of individual people. If there is a program that is created that has a specific meal plan for each person, then that just doesn't even make sense to me. There are VASTLY different needs for each person. I can say "Pick one carb, pick one protein" from this list type of thing, but again it most likely is not going to be near enough for some and way too much for others. So, I find that unfair to sell to people.

However, you can totally do this on your own and just eat to hunger every day in whole healthy foods. It's all about small changes in the right direction over time that lead to a healthy life, and one of those changes is making sure that you are getting a balanced diet. If you decide that macros are not for you, then just make sure that you are cognizant of the different food groups that you are consuming. What I mean by that is don't eat a diet full of only grilled chicken salads or only fruit or only almonds; it needs to be all three.

If you have protein pancakes for breakfast then throw some PB on top for fats. Fats are going to help you feel ever more satisfied than those protein pancakes alone. If you have a grilled chicken salad for lunch then make sure to have a piece of fruit and almonds as well. You will stay full longer preventing you from indulging in the afternoon. You should aim to eat smaller meals every 3 hours. Is there some rule of the body that means this will help you get results...No! Will this "speed up your metabolism"? No. It just simply is a good tool to help you not just have a free for all at 3 separate meals.

If you are like MOST people, you don't want to eat organic and healthy all of the time. Work hard, play hard. As someone who decides not to count macros, should you have a cheat meal each week? That's obviously for you to decide, but I'm a personal fan of not. I think that "cheat" has a bad connotation which leads to food anxieties. I believe in living every day at baseline normalcy because this should be a lifestyle not a restriction&deprivation on the weekdays to go crazy on the weekends. I want my clients to feel satisfied EVERY day.

To do this without counting, just be mindful again of the daily distribution and balance. If you have a doughnut at breakfast (or whenever), just know that it has a moderate amount of carb but a large percentage of fat, so if you go to dinner, I'd opt out of the steak and butter. If you want that steak though, then maybe enjoy a treat with carbs only earlier in the day. If you have pizza, then this is high fat so you want to aim for something like pasta with chicken for dinner. This is the method that Tanner follows, and that I'm trying to teach my brother to follow. It takes away from worrying about every morsel you put in your mouth, but still allows for treats. If you decide you want a full sugar soda, then you should skip pasta for dinner. That's two very carb heavy items in one day.

Obviously, aim for protein in all of those days as best as you can. It may sound bizarre but on days I'm not counting, I stop by Subway to get one of their grilled chicken salads as a snack, or I stop by Chickfila to get their grilled chicken nuggets or I carry tuna packets in my purse (don't judge me!). I'm not doing these things to restrict myself but rather to get that protein in to keep me satisfied therefore I can have an enjoyable dinner with family not tracking but will stop when I'm full because I'm satisfied the rest of the day. Sticking to a meal plan all comes back to satiety. You've got to be happy with what you are eating or you aren't going to want to continue. It's never about restriction. It's about being smart with your choices, letting go of food anxieties but also having discipline to pay attention and taking care of ourselves because it's so important for your overall general health and wellness.

I know this may seem vague, but I hope that it can helpful for those that decide counting is not for them! 

With love and NO macros,

Katie

Let's talk poop

HEY YO HEYYYY! 

What a title right? I have NO SHAME on this topic. It has been something that I've struggled with literally my entire life, and so I'm a PRO on the gastrointestinal system. Actually, not really, if I was a pro, I would be more regular but I have a lot of knowledge to spit out at you as a fellow struggler, pharmacist, and who doesn't love a little poop talk right? Okay, let's dive in. EW. {I'm gonna save pictures for another blog article HA}

Today, I'm going to discuss constipation. If you are someone that struggles in the opposite direction then this blog may not be for you. Many fit girls and many unhealthy people struggle with this issue. The gastrointestinal system is very complex, and honestly not the most understood so normally if you are chronically constipated then the GI specialist is going to tell you that you have IBS-C. What this translates to: You are constipated all the time, and miserable all the time and we really don't know how to help you but we are going to give you a disease state to make you feel better about life. 

Can you tell I've been through it all? My first big encounter was in the 7th grade when I passed out in California Dreaming bathroom from an impacted bowel. There was a nurse in the room who told me that my appendix had ruptured and they got the ambulance and took me to the hospital. What do you know? I was constipated. True story. HA!! I was on a mission trip, and they were praying over me. Hilarious. Okay moving on.. 

I was told to start eating more fiber. And by fiber, they must have meant more chicken fingers and french fries and more cheese. I ate so horrible. My next hospital visit was in college. Same situation-passed out, impacted bowel, "eat more fiber". I begged for more testing, but they said it wasn't necessary. Years later, after struggling literally every day with it and just learning to live with it, I was scheduled for endoscopy and colonoscopy. I didn't go through with it. We were going to have to pay out of pocket, and I was convinced after much research that we were going to pay for it, and then they were going to find NOTHING and I would be back to square one. I can almost bet all of you reading have been through this. It's so common. Colonoscopy-STILL NOTHING! So, they tell you IBS and send you on your way. 

Lately, in the pharmaceutical pipeline, there have been some drugs to be used in constipation. They are called Amitiza and Linzess. They take about 6 weeks to begin working, and the trials look really positive. If you have been through all other options, this is definitely something to look into. However, I wanted to offer you up some tips that have changed my life. 

Step 1: Start with diet 

As usual, nutrition and diet is not stressed enough. They tell you to eat more fiber so you start eating fiber one bars and wonder why it's not doing anything. I truly believe that our GI systems are super funky and thrive on consistency of diet. My problems were the WORSTTT when I was restricting during the week and gorging on the weekends. The body just doesn't know what to do. So get consistent with diet with an adequate amount of fruits and veggies for fiber. Eat as whole as possible. Don't obsess about it, but just make some positive changes.

Step 2: Start taking Metamucil or Fibrocon. I personally think that you could skip this step if you are really changing your diet for the better, but this is going to be what all physicians recommend that you do. This is just simply a fiber supplementation. 

This is stepwise, so if that doesn't work... 

Step 3: Stool softeners 

There are many different brands but Docusate is a good one, so just take them for a week to give it time to get in your system and get things moving and if it isn't working then move on because in my personal opinion, it probably won't work. 

Step 4: Osmotics (Miralax)

DING DING DING!!! Okay I'm such a fan. If you ask me, this will be my go-to first thing. Miralax changed my life. It's a powder that you add to coffee. Give it about 7 days and it is NOT a laxative. It simply pulls water into your intestines (and you can't even feel it-it's just natural movement) and softens the stool. Again, give it time!! If you are using this for more than 2 weeks at one time, then consult your physician to make sure that you can continue taking it. I use it every single day in my coffee! :) 

Step 5: Stimulants

This is going to be your last line option. This should not be your first line. I really screwed myself up and got my body addicted and the muscles in my colon really weakened by weekly use of laxatives. I even got to the point where I had to take 4-6 at one time to even produce a movement. I look back, and I honestly thought it was because I had a "problem" but I never took them unless I hadn't went for 2 weeks. It's pretty necessary at that point regardless. This is going to be harsh. It's going to hurt, but it will work. It should get the job done. Again, you do not want to take these on a regular basis AT ALL. It's so dangerous for your health (electrolyte imbalances are no joke). 

Many times if you go to the hospital, they may use an enema, and I've had to use one many times. This is like last last line as in "This shiz has to come out NOW". An impacted bowel is a very serious issue. Fecal matter only has so much space to fill up the intestines. After your intestines are full then it has to go somewhere else. If it gets into your bloodstream, then that is bad news bears. Impaction can actually be fatal so this should be taken seriously. Sometimes, I will still have weeks where I haven't gone all week. I can FEEL it. I always tell Tanner I feel toxic, literally....and I am.

Again, check out Linzess and Amitiza. I think that they are going to be more frequently used in the future for gastroporesis (slow movement), but not many physicians even know about these yet so mention them and they may could look it up and write you a script if they feel it's appropriate for you! I've heard awesome things!

You need routine. You need consistency and you need to find what works for you and stick with that. However, I think that if you get your diet consistent, your life will change. Let me be the first to tell you that I totally understand how awful this problem is, and how much it can affect your daily life so I hope this helps you to find some different options. Don't skip right to colonoscopy and expensive doctors visits. Try nature's way of fixing things and over the counter first! :) 

With love and poop,

Katie

UPDATE: It was mentioned through a comment below that I COMPLETELY agree with. While I joked that many times a colonscopy is done and nothing will be found, this is just simply what seems to happen a lot. However, also as I mentioned, the gastrointestinal system and constipation needs to be taken seriously. If you are experiencing continued discomfort then it is important that you reach out to your physician and make sure that there aren't other issues that you could discover that could be life changing for you! 

Reversing VS Cutting-Where to start?

As many start down the road towards macro counting, they hear these words and they get really confused by what they mean. It's quite simple, but it can be confusing for those that might not have a base of knowledge. They see girls online that are "reverse dieting" and losing weight so what is the difference between that and cutting. I wanted to break down the different scenarios and which approach is appropriate for each person. 

Cutting is going to refer to just simply losing fat or losing weight. Many times people will say that they don't necessarily want to lose weight but they just want to tone up. The simple fact is that "toning up" means decreasing the amount of fat that is on top of your muscles. Decreasing fat sometimes can be a simple change in body composition in which you don't really gain or lose weight however most of the time if you are leaning out to show that muscle underneath, you are going to lose a few pounds. 

This is what I would call cutting. I was just eating whatever on the left (still living healthily) and then I dieted down for shows

This is what I would call cutting. I was just eating whatever on the left (still living healthily) and then I dieted down for shows

Reverse dieting is not meant for cutting weight. Reverse dieting is meant to increase your metabolic capacity so that can eat a higher caloric intake but also stay lean (er). It is a very real possibility that you will gain weight during this process as this is very common. The overarching goal of reverse dieting would be for you to not gain weight at all, and if you do gain weight for that to be lean muscle that you've built through eating more carbs! There are some that lose weight but when you begin a reverse diet, you should know that this is for your future. This is for increasing your metabolism. This is for getting your calories higher so that you can "cut" on more calories. If you lose weight during the process then that's just icing on the cake. 

If you are someone who has really unhealthy eating habits, and you are eating 1000 calories and then going all out on the weekends, then reverse dieting would probably cause some weight loss for you. I'm not saying someone with an eating disorder but just simply someone who restricts during the week and then goes crazy on the weekends. I think this is about 95% of the female population based upon the emails I receive unfortunately. Just simply from observation, I've noticed that these women tend to lose weight. Our bodies crave homeostasis and when we are not keeping that, the cells in our body don't know what to do. Sometimes, an all out weekend affair can take up to 15 days for everything to come back to baseline which by that point, you've probably started again. This is the hamster on the wheel effect. Therefore, if you are getting some consistency even if that means way more calories during the week, then my guess is that during reverse dieting you would lose weight.

{Please remember, this is a blog and not a science experiment. The things that I present to you are simply observation, and there is no data to represent my opinions.}

If you read my blog regularly, you will see that most of the time I will recommend that you cut first and then reverse diet. The reason for this is that I feel that this gives an extra cushion. Some of my clients lose, some gain, but most just maintain on the reverse therefore whatever place that you start at a reverse diet, I like to think of that as a "set point" and you are either going to maintain that or gain. I normally would never tell someone that they are going to lose on a reverse (although it happens quite frequently) because I simply can't promise that. 

Some different reasons that you may reverse diet are : 

  • Increase your metabolic capacity and caloric intake 
  • Prepare yourself for a future cut 
  • Create healthier eating habits
  • Building lean muscle (lean bulk)
Reverse dieting progress pictures; Note: stayed same, wasn't cutting

Reverse dieting progress pictures; Note: stayed same, wasn't cutting

If you are just starting out and don't know whether you should reverse or cut, I think that you should ask yourself a few questions: 

1. Are you at a weight that you are comfortable with? 

If you have weight to lose, then I would recommend cutting first. Many times (pure observation), the leaner that you start the reverse, the more likely you are to stay lean. I have discussed this with my husband many times because I just watch this with many of my clients and we think that it may just be a fat cell number. If you have more cells to hold onto the extra food, then you are going to hold onto it. If you have less fat cells to start then you have less storage space already set up for that food and more lean muscle to gobble it up.

This does not mean however that if you are not at your goal weight that you can't reverse diet because that leads me to point 

2. Your calories are too low

I don't care if you are at your highest weight ever, if you are eating 1000 calories a day and are wanting to lose weight, I'm not going to help you cut until you reverse. I saw Layne Norton mention once that he has so many clients come to him that mention that they are eating 1200 calories and want to diet down for their first show. Where are you going to cut from that? That just simply isn't going to happen. You have to build your metabolic capacity to be able to handle a cut. Therefore, if you are eating nothing no matter your weight, you need to reverse. 

3. Are you in a situation where you can reverse? 

I feel I have to keep repeating this but again this is all observational, but the closer you hit those target increases each week, the more likely that you are going to be successful in maintaining weight during a reverse. I know that it seems silly to hit within a few grams every single day but that's normally what the girls have done on my team that are the most successful that haven't gained any weight. I have been wanting to reverse for like over a month now, but I knew with traveling, moving, and staying at other people's houses, this was simply not possible to hit macros every day and it was unrealistic. I would have put a lot of pressure on other people to fit my needs and that's not okay. So, I put off the reverse.

I think the only reason that the lines get blurred on the difference between these two is simply because many people advertise that they lost weight on their reverse, when if you look at the population at a whole of who has completed a reverse diet, most either maintain or gain. My clients almost always lose weight. I promise you I'm not advertising and I don't really understand it. The only thing that I can come up with is that I go slow. Very very stupid slow. I had one coach mention in a facebook group that my method was "ridiculous" because it was too slow. HA! Anddddd, I don't care because I've watched it work time and time again. If you are wanting to lose weight, most of the time you are going to "cut" which simply means "cut calories". If you are looking to increase your metabolism, then reverse dieting would be the better choice.

With love and nutrition

Katie

Clean Eating VS Macro count

I touched on this a little over a week ago when I posted a popular status that basically touched on the fact that I was tired of all the gimmicks and fear of food. If you eat a Mr. Goodbar or you eat a banana with a tablespoon of peanut butter, your body is going to process this the exact same way: as 30g carb and 8g fat.

I wanted to explain this in detail. 

First, what is clean eating? That's such a vague term but we all know what that means. It means eating all foods that mostly come from the ground and lean meats. It mostly means eating a bro diet for those that claim they "only eat clean" which is chicken, sweet potatoes, oats, and veggies. There is this list of food that has been deemed appropriate and those foods that have been deemed bad over the years, and no matter how hard I try, I feel as if it's impossible to pound this through everyone's head that there is more to life than the 5 foods they think they can eat.

If this is your first time reading the blog, then just quick recap of what macro counting is (sorry for all those that know-skip this paragraph) but this is just simply having a set number of fats, carbs, and proteins and no matter what the food is-it has a nutritional value. The calories in every food is made up of macros and therefore whether it's "unhealthy" or "healthy" your body will essentially metabolize it the same way.

However, this is not the full story. This is only half of the story so I wanted to make sure to give the full discloser. Foods have a glycemic index. Most of the time, carbs that you would think of as bad for you would be those with a high glycemic index. This simply means that it causes a large insulin spike when you have these foods. However, some fruits have a high glycemic index as well causing the same insulin response. Every person is different with how they respond to foods of this nature. Some people are insulin sensitive which means that they may have to eat more "clean foods" to see more fat loss. Studies have shown that when you keep insulin levels stable, it can help with fat loss. {I am also aware that there are MANY other factors that go into the bioindividuality of people, bioavalabilities of foods, and metabolism of whole foods and the difference between cooked and uncooked foods. I'm not disregarding all of this, but just want to keep it simple}.

Let me interject this paragraph to tell you about myself. I like to think of myself as a realist. Some may call me naive. Some may say I don't pay attention to detail. I just like to think that I don't like to stress myself out if I don't have to. If I run to the store downstairs for 5 minutes, I probably won't lock my door. If I want to do something in NYC, I may set my purse down if it's right beside me because I'm pretty sure some maniac isn't going to just run by me and steal it. If my dog swallows chocolate, depending on how much, I'm realistic enough to know that he's probably not going to die in like 5 seconds. I think this is why when I miss a workout or I eat a bad meal, I'm kinda like "ehhh whatevs". So, with that being said, the difference it will make in keeping insulin levels stable for fat loss is not worth not having high glycemic index foods to me. EAT THE FREAKIN DOUGHNUT.

I like to say follow the 90/10 rule but really what I mean is "Follow the don't be silly rule". If your family is having dinner, make that dinner fit even if it's not what you would prefer to fit your precious macros. You have plenty of days to make your favorite foods fit. If you are out and about and you are hungry and Taco Bell is beside of you, grab that myfitnesspal and find a taco that is pretty macro friendly and eat it. If you decide you want Wendy's, McDonald's, or Bojangles and it's not a weekend or a special occasion, just eat it. I'm becoming stubborn about this. Living life in fear of certain foods is just silly. Absolutely 100% silly. I just refuse. 

Again, let me swing the pendulum the other direction. This is by no means a reason to be lazy. This is by no means saying that you should fill your days with chemicals, GMO's, and processed foods. The majority of your foods should be from the Earth and full of micronutrients. This is so important. If you watch any documentary, you can see the value in this. The things that are put into foods these days are unreal, disgusting, and quite frankly unethical. But are you seriously going to avoid everything. Are you going to ex yourself out of social events because of your special diet? 

Now, let me address allergies. This is ENTIRELY different. If you have a gluten allergy or soy or nut or dairy allergy then this is an ENTIRELY different subject and I'm not talking to you so please don't be offended that you have to eat well 99% of the time. I'm talking to the normal "I can't eat this because it's going to make me blow up like a rhino" person.

Last but not least, vitamins and minerals. That is the huge difference. If you take the Mr. Goodbar and the banana + peanut butter, the banana is going to have more vital vitamins and minerals that are needed for functionality of your cells and organs. These are very important, and they are important on a daily basis. My sanity is also important on a daily basis so I really believe in having one "treat" per day. This doesn't just mean sweets but just simply something that is outside of the box and considered a little less healthy. 

Bottom line is that if we were going to get technical about things then you would need to eat completely raw, uncooked food. If you are able to do that and you are happy doing that, then that's incredible. However, if that's not your idea of a fun time, then you can certainly live a long, healthy and fulfilling life with a little moderation in there. I absolutely do not agree with eating junk to fill your macro numbers. I'm absolutely not a fan about being so concerned about your body image and macros, and not concerned about your overall health. I think that all of those things are really important, but I think that mental health and happiness with food enjoyment is very important too. 

Opinions are like butts. We all have them, and some are stinky. {Translation: If you don't agree, then my opinion probably seems pretty stinky to you but it's just my opinion so I wanted to go ahead and apologize for offending anyone.}

With love and macros,

Katie

Supplements

I think that if you follow me for very long you will see that I don't use any supplements, and when I say none, I really do mean none. There are some that I don't have a problem with, but I just know that I'm fine without so I don't even worry about it. I'm a firm believer in that food from the ground is all that you need. Call me a quack, but I'm good without all those chemicals. 

You may wonder what I mean by which supplements I'm okay with (but yet am too lazy/ too cheap to actually use). 

  • BCAA's
  • Protein Powder
  • Creatine 
  • Good quality vitamins

I have done a post in the past about micronutrients and taking a multivitamin daily to get in all those extra needs that we most likely do not get in during our normal dietary intake. (I really should take a multivitamin but I've gotten lazy). I think that you need to be particular about which products you choose. I don't have a big long list of recommendations but just do your research and make sure that the company is a good company. If it is advertising 500 pills for $3 then you probably should look elsewhere. You get what you pay for.

As for BCAA's and creatine, they are the two of the most researched supplements out there. They ACTUALLY show significance in the studies to help with muscle recovery and growth. I'm not going to get into the science of each one of these and will save that for a different post on each individual supplement but rather to say that the data on these products are real and worthwhile. 

Obviously, protein powder is going to be a supplement worth getting if you are not getting enough in your diet and you need supplementation on this. I don't even really think of it as a supplement but if I say I don't use supplements and then people see protein powder in a recipe, they are like UMM YOU ARE SUCH A LIAR! HAHA! #HATERS Truth be told, I never use protein powder and even my mother-in-law was shocked to here this the other weekend. I get all of my protein from egg whites (mostly), cottage cheese, greek yogurt, chicken breast (but only once per day), ground turkey, lean beef, beef jerky, protein bars, and then from various carb sources such as beans or fat sources like peanut butter and nuts.

I find it actually hard to stay within my protein requirements because I love it so much, and I hate the taste of protein powder. I use it in recipes but otherwise, it just isn't good. Do you agree? I'm all about a lifestyle change that is not about misery but about flexibility and if you don't like it, you don't like it. I don't like asparagus so I don't eat it ... ever. I don't like celery, carrots, or protein powder so ... I don't use it.

I'd rather have this over protein powder any day of the week and will wake up however early I need to for time just to be able to eat it! 

I'd rather have this over protein powder any day of the week and will wake up however early I need to for time just to be able to eat it! 

Back to the topic at hand..

Supplements are in short.....a waste of your time and money. Please don't hate me for this because this is my blog so this is just simply my opinion. Supplements are crazy expensive. There are some that may make a small difference. Pre workouts will in fact get you jacked up, but I just simply eat a carb heavy meal 30 minutes before and I don't need extra chemicals in my body. If you go back to the primary literature, you will most likely find that almost every single supplement has some shady article that shows "statistical signficance." I have read through many studies on various supplements and most of the time you will find that they don't control for any variables, they have no power because they only have like 20 patients (like 10 in each arm of the study), and the study will be WAY biased in the design to make sure that the product shows some sort of difference. 

For example, and this is not from an actual study but just an example off the top of my head to give you a picture of what I mean. If you have a fat burner product and they run the study, they aren't going to be able to control for every single morsel that each participant puts into their mouth however, they will do some study with like 10 people that shows that they decreased weight by 0.000001% over the course of 15 weeks. They will also tell them to "eat well and exercise" (SO OF COURSE YOU'RE GOING TO LOSE WEIGHT DUH) and then the next thing you know, they have the miracle pill of weight loss and fat loss. 

People hate the pharmaceutical industry because they feel that they are stealing money from people, when these trials are actually legit and regulated and can help with disease states. But yet no one says anything about your local supplement shop "scientist" who sells you $200 worth of products that are going to make maybe a 0.00001% difference than if you were to just start dieting and exercising. I feel that many times people combine all of these together and give the credit to the pills and supplements. This goes for any weight loss gimmick whether that be a shake, supplement, or wrap. It always recommends to combine with diet and exercise. Of course they tell you that because they know that the product is not going to work unless you do that. 

Simply stated, work hard and the results will come. We all want an easy way around this. There is one answer: eat well in a good balanced format and exercise. Take that one to the bank. 

With love and lack of supplements, 

Katie 


Faith and Fitness

Yesterday when I wrote the blog about my racing bucket list, I got so many emails with races to add to that, and ones that others are excited about doing. That's what I love about an online community. You can inspire and motivate one another, and then sometimes you even get to meet and it's such a beautiful thing! 

I wanted to talk today about my faith and how that relates to this crazy world of fitness. Let me tell you, it can be challenging. I talk about this a lot at my community group and I think it's my perfectionist personality but I struggle so hardcore with what I'm doing and making sure that this aligns with the purpose that God has for my life. I truly believe that it does, but I want to make sure to point it all back to Jesus and make sure that I don't get caught up in making this about me. 

I also find it challenging because many times I feel that in the fitness world, your product many times is your body. I want mine to be so much deeper but if you get to the root of things, I get a lot more followers when I post my body versus my bible but that's just life and I get that. I know that as a believer you are going to have these stumbling blocks and we all will struggle but I just want to have check points. I think I need them hourly. //I need you, oh I need you. Every hour I need you. My one defense, my righteousness, oh God how I need you.//

I start every day with a quiet time. It's such a great way to start the day. I sound like I'm sounding so "Christianese" right now, because let me tell you how I never did a quiet time until this year. I liked to pretend that I did, but I was never actually in the word. It radically changes you. It helps you to walk every day in your faith. I have this book that I write prayer requests for friends, but actually mostly for clients. They have heartaches, injuries, failures, setbacks, praises, joys and I want to make sure that they know they are covered in love and grace. I've never told them I have a list of their names, so SURPRISE! haha! 

I get disheartened by a lot of things that I see on the internet in the fitness community. I see way too many booties and boobies. I see way too much hate, way too much obsession, and I become immersed. Let me tell you... I get so frustrated that it causes me to say mean things about people who I don't agree with their motives or path but that's not glorifying in any way....at all. So, I openly admit that. 

As a Christian, it's not about what's the black and white line. There are many topics that you could get into like "Why can you show your abs and I can't show my butt?", "Does counting macros and concern over weight make me a sinner?" "Where do you draw the line in tipsy and drunkedness which is a sin?"..."What is sexual sin? Is that kissing too because that's just crazy?" I think as people we want laws, we want black and white, and when God gave us laws in the Old testament it didn't work well. People are people and we are going to sin. The purpose of the faith and walking with Jesus is not to see how close you can come to the grey line and say "Oh what I'm doing is not quite a sin because of this disclaimer" but rather about making sure that your life, your actions and your purpose are pointing you to the cross and knowing that you WILL mess up and there is grace to cover that, but it's not a get out of jail free card. 

I think that one thing that you have to be careful of aside from showing too much of your body is the obsession with your body {obviously}. Anything that is an idol has got to go. I think we all know my background and how much of an idol I made healthy eating. I had to run far from that. Well how much is too much? I count macros on most weekdays. I train a lot, and will have to up my training to 12-15 hours per week for the half ironman, I run marathons, and I want to do an ironman {maybe}. THAT'S SO OBSESSIVE KATIE. YOU ARE MAKING AN IDOL. I disagree.

That's not for you to say. I'm different from you. That may be obsessive for you. That's what gives me life. What works for me is not going to work for you and that means even in the health and fitness industry. I know that two of my dearest friends think that macros makes them feel obsessive by counting. I know that for me, it gives me complete liberation and freedom to eat whatever the heck I want. One of those friends wants to eat very healthy during the week and have one big cheat meal. I don't like cheat meals at all because I want my overall days to be so wonderful in food that I don't even need a cheat meal. Her way is not wrong. My way is not wrong. Our idea of what makes us tick is just DIFFERENT. 

For some people, kissing is too far. That seems a little intense but that's what they believe. Some believe that eating meat is wrong in the faith. I don't agree. The point is that all of these laws, all of these rules are just that: rules. What you have to ask yourself is: Am I pointing this back to Jesus? Am I running to the cross every day? Am I making this an idol within my own individual life? Am I being a good friend? Am I in community with believers? Am I showing God's love, grace, and mercy daily? Am I a good wife, sister, mom?

If the answer is something that you are not happy with, then you can make changes. I've evaluated myself time and time again in this world, and even though I go around in circles, I always come back to the same answer from God. It's like I can feel him speaking to my heart and that is "I gave you this passion for a purpose. Direct everything back to me and you're good." 

I think that many times, women get caught up in the notion that "I NEED TO JUST BE A GOOD MOM AND THAT MEANS THEY COME FIRST!" ABSOLUTELY! I COMPLETELY AGREE! Time is limited, and you aren't going to take the time to do the things that you used to do for overall health. However, I think that showing confidence and pride in feeding your body well completely separate from body image is the best thing that you can do for your babies. Show them that health DOES matter. Body image, no. Health.

To give you more insight into who I am and how I live that out, I'm going to tell you how I do that. I'm not saying this is right, but I'm just saying this is how I approach things to not make an idol but also to be dedicated.

1. I count macros during the week. On the weekends, I normally go out to eat at places and don't really count but just make sure I get an overall balance of foods. If I get a chicken and cheese quesadilla for lunch then I know that has a lot of fat so therefore I may not order the steak for dinner and go with pasta instead to get more carbs. 

2. The only time I talk macros is on the blog, on social media, and if people ask. I never bring it up...ever. I never ever choose restaurants based on my preference but rather the experience with friends. I never ever tell a friend that I can't eat whatever they are cooking even if it's during the week. Tanner and I never talk about macros or our food. We just kinda do it. It's second nature at this point. 

3. I write out a training schedule, and I just do it. It's not hard. It's a habit. I just run the miles, bike the miles, lift the weights. It's not hard or obsessive and it always makes me feel so wonderful. 

4. If I miss a day of training, I'm really bad because I honestly could care less. I'm just like WHATEVS. Tanner's parents came into town, and I missed 2 days of planned out training. I'm not going to do that while they are here. That's just silly. Yes, it's on my schedule to run but it'll be okay. It's not that serious. If I go on vacation (like when we went to Europe), we ran like one day and found a gym to lift one day out of the 10 that we were there. It was fun to do in Europe, and that was that. I didn't think "Oh I can't wait to train. Oh I'm so depressed I can't train." I just didn't, and knew I'd get right back to it later. 

I hope this sheds some light to some on how I balance these two worlds <3 

With love and faith,

Katie


My Racing Bucket List

I think that every runner/triathlete should have a bucket list of all the races that they want to do in a lifetime. Many of the people that I follow on instagram completed the St. George 70.3 Pro Championship Race this weekend in Utah, and it made me so on fire and wanting to complete this one day. I think that race-cations would be a fun tradition to start. I'm not sure how Tanner would feel about this, but maybe once in a blue moon! 

So, the first one on my list will be St. George's, which is 2 hours from Las Vegas so my thought would be to complete the race, and then spend a few days in Vegas on vacation. 

Since, I'm moving to NC, there are going to be a TON of NC races on this but then I'll do the non local dreaming ones. I have at least 74 more years of life to complete all these (I plan on living to at least 100) so I'm good ;) 

Local Triathlons: 

  • Kings Mountain Sprint Tri (hometown tri so I'm excited to race May 30th of this year)
  • Beach to Battleship -Wilmington (to be completed Oct 17 2015)
  • Lake Lure Sprint (Aug 15-we shall see how I'm feeling and I might do this one) 
  • Greenville Sprint Tri
  • Market commons Tri (Myrtle Beach whoop whoop)
  • Carolina Beach Double Sprint (this sounds so fun-Swim//Run//Bike//Run//Swim)

Local Marathons/Races:

  • Grandfather Mountain Marathon (to be completed-July 11) 
  • Asheville Marathon 
  • Tobacco Road Marathon 
  • Umsted Trail Marathon
  • Rock N Roll Raleigh
  • Raleigh City of Peaks Half Marathon (I don't know why but I'd rather not use a marathon on this one so I think I'll just do the half) 
  • All Shelby 5K's (try to improve time; PR:19:20)

Traveling Triathlons: 

I haven't yet decided if I ever want to do a full ironman. I think that how the half goes will tell. I have always said that I wanted to, but that is a HUGE commitment, and by the time I'd be ready, I plan on being a mom so I'm not sure I want to take the time out to do it.

  • St George's Pro Championship
  • Oceanside California 70.3
  • Disney World 70.3
  • Norway 70.3 

Traveling Marathons/Races: 

  • Las Vegas Strip Marathon 
  • Rim to Rim to Rim (Grand Canyon Ultra Marathon-42 miles)
  • Boston Marathon (multiple times hopefully) 
  • NYC Marathon 
  • Grandma's Marathon 
  • Marathon in every state (that's a big to do I know)
    • especially somewhere out west like Colorado or Utah
  • Goofy Challenge (thinking about doing this in Jan but not sure) 
    • Half Marathon on Saturday, Full Marathon on Sunday at Orlando
  • Big Sur Trail Marathon 
  • Paris Marathon

This is all I can come up with so far off the top of my head, but I can promise there is so many more. These are obviously going to be over much time, much money saved, and much training. It excites me to think about the future, and actually putting in the time and work for this. I've found what makes my heart beat, and that's competing in endurance sports. I have went a lot of avenues in health and fitness but this one.... I just don't know how to explain it. When you are doing something that you feel you are meant to do, it's hard to stop thinking about it. I hope everyone can find their passion.

With love and racing,

Katie

Healthy Shaming

Fat shaming, skinny shaming, body shaming... it never ends right? I'm sorry to be that girl that's "offended" because I'm truly so used to this at this point, but I wanted to address a topic that I'm FINALLY confident enough to not let it get to me... 

"Katie's the health nut"...."Katie, are you going to eat that?"...."You probably won't eat that, you're too healthy"...."We all know she will have to work out." ... "Ew what are you eating?"..."I could never be skinny like you... I like food too much."

I seriously could go on and on. It never ends, and it probably never will. I think that health and fitness are becoming more and more accepted, but it is seriously something that people do not like. It makes them uncomfortable for you to eat healthy in front of them. It makes them even more uncomfortable if you don't come to things because god forbid, you are dedicated to your training schedule. 

They tell you that you CAN in fact miss your training run. They tell you that you are skinny enough already and don't need to work out anymore. They tell you that you can in fact eat the burger and fries (and they'll say that tomorrow even if you ate the burger and fries that night). 

Yea yea, I know people will comment "Oh they are just jealous". Well, its frustrating. I know from talking to many many girls that they literally are embarrassed to order a salad at a restaurant. There is this constant pressure in our society to be perfect. We have to look fit but not really actually eat well. It's much hotter when a girl can THROW DOWN THAT FOOD and have no discipline and still have an amazing physique. Yea, that would be awesome but there's something to be said for a girl who isn't scared to take care of herself without the fear of someone thinking she's restricting herself and "doesn't know how to have a good time."

I'm well aware it's not just girls. Tanner gets the same reactions when he turns down some things. We both eat. We both eat a lot, but we eat a lot at specific times and in specific macronutrient breakdowns to fuel our bodies, our goals, and our lives. We aren't in fact obsessive ... at all. We are made out to be obsessive by those that want to always point out what we are eating. "Oh sorry I'm eating this cheeseburger." DUDE I DON'T CARE! I'm not restricting myself here. I'm simply taking care of myself. Tanner and I don't talk about macros. We just eat to fuel our performance, and we talk about our sports not food because it's simply a vehicle to help us do better.

It's cool to drink beer. It's cool to eat cheeseburgers, pizzas, oreos, doughnuts and that's all awesome in moderation. Good lord knows I'm so huge on actually eating these things (and probably eat them too much) but I'm just a little fed up with people making healthy people "nuts". I personally think it's a little more nuts to have diabetes and heart disease but just not care and continue eating horribly. I don't throw out comments about anything that anyone eats...ever. I simply don't care what they eat. I do me. You do you. I just wish that people would be more understanding and accommodating for those that actively live a healthy life...not a restrictive life. That's not what this is about. Why does health=diets=restriction? NO! 

If you are a girl that goes out to eat and all there is on the menu is crap and a salad, order your dang salad in pride. Don't be afraid to stand for health. Don't be afraid to order what YOU want to order because it makes you feel good and fits your goals not the goals of those around you and you feel the peer pressure to want to "socially fit in". Be proud. 

Over and out. 

With love and health nuts,

Katie


Harvest Granola

So, I'm excited to share with you guys today about Harvest Granola which is a company that's near to my heart as the owner and chief is a wonderful friend from Young Life when I was in high school. She has opened a small batch granola business, and let me tell you guys, this stuff is amazing. I assumed when I was going to taste it that it would be just like every other granola, but this is just seriously so delicious. I don't know what she puts in that stuff. ;) We will let her keep the secret ingredients! :) It's all locally sourced, no preservatives, and specific to ones dietary needs (gluten free, paleo, vegan, allergies).

The reason that I love this granola is because of how portable it is in many different sized packs for my endurance athletes. It also comes in large sized packages for events you may have! It's a delicious carb filled treat to take with you on any of those long runs without all the hassle. Not to mention, you feel super chic. ;) While Blair works with endurance athletes, ultra marathoners, cyclist (land run 100), triathletes, she also works with sororities, weddings, corporate retreats and boutiques because it is packaged so cute!

Blair has seriously taken time and attention to not just throw some product at you but to make sure that everything is perfected. Everything is such high quality and the taste is just amazing! I think I've raved enough, and I will provide the nutritional info below for each of the 4 different flavors you can choose from: Pecan Crunch, Paleo Crunch, Fall Spice, Quinoa Crunch! 

harvest granola.jpg

I thought you guys might want to hear Blair's story about how this company came to fruition! In the meantime though, take two seconds to click this link and see what all she has to offer. I PROMISE you that you won't be disappointed if you order. 

HARVEST GRANOLA

Hi!  My name is Blair and I'm the creator, head chef and general bossy pants at Harvest Small Batch Granola.  I wish I could claim to be a classically trained chef or a third-generation restauranteur, but the truth is this: I'm just an average girl that was sick and tired of decoding the nutrition-label nightmare. 

I grew up in an active family and played a variety of sports growing up.  But, as the years passed I grew less active and more social (sorority softball anyone?)  It was in 2005 that I looked in the mirror and couldn’t recognize myself!  Sure, I was happily married and loving my new town, but I’d lost myself in those identities.  Does this story sound familiar? 

Initially, I didn’t know much about the diet world.  I knew that I needed both nutrition and fitness plans and I had great success with Weight Watchers and a personal trainer at my local YMCA.  I dropped 60 pounds and found a new source of energy and happiness that I’d never known!  I started trying new sports and found my passion in distance running.

As I became more active I realized that Weight Watchers wasn’t working for me.  It had been a great part of my weight loss journey, but it wasn’t helping me fuel my active lifestyle.  WW will let you spend all your points/calories on bread, wine and cheese (not that I ever did that…) but let’s be honest, you can’t run a marathon on that diet!  I cleaned out the fridge and pantry: no more prefab meals—it was time for real food. 

Good-bye preservatives and long-shelf-life foods.  Hello farmers market, colorful veggies and cookbooks!  I’m a (lazy) vegan runner and my husband is a cyclist living on a college-boy diet.  When I started making our food from scratch and experimenting with different recipes and ingredients, one of the staples in our house became granola. 

We used granola plain and with yogurt for breakfast, in no-bake “cookies” to take with us on long runs and to top our parfaits for dessert.  Our friends began asking me to make some for them and before I knew it I had a little side-business. 

My family and I moved, for my husband’s job, from NC to OK in the summer of 2014.  It was during this cross-country move that I decided to take the leap and transition from part-time baker into a full-fledged, commercial-licensed, LLC-carrying, FDA approved granola guru: Harvest Small Batch Granola was born! 

We work with local farmers to find the freshest ingredients possible and then we're off to our commercial kitchen to craft custom batches just for you.  From our farms to your table.  Does it get any better than that?

These recipes are dear to my heart and it's my hope to provide you with something you'd be proud to serve to your family and friends.  We have had the privilege to serve a wide-range of customers and are truly humbled each time you choose to serve our granola at your breakfast table, Saturday brunch, baby shower, wedding reception, 5k, conference, and more.  

 with love and oats,

blair

Morganne Testimonial

As you all may have seen, Morganne is my client/friend that is officially in Germany for deployment. She's such a sweetheart, and wanted to share her experience and story with you so I thought I would share.

How do I even begin to explain how much Reverse Dieting has changed my life? The past 20 weeks have honestly been more than I ever could have imagined. I remember the day I received my workouts and my metabolic build-up 20 because I was filled with anxiety and nerves, but at the same time absolute confidence that this is what my life needed!

I started with Katie on her Fitness Prescription plan before starting my Reverse Diet to do a mini-cut (3 weeks long LOL), but mainly find maintenance. At the end of this I asked myself, what’s next? Where do I want to be in the future? The answer was to reverse and build up my metabolism!

In the 20 weeks I reversed, I have upped my carbs by 85g ---150g to 235g and my fats by 10g ---50g to 60g. 15 weeks in I decided to stop increasing my fats because my body responds better to medium fat levels…if there’s anything I’ve learned it’s to listen to your body! Reverse Dieting is hard, but it is so worth it if you stick to your macros and stay consistent. My approach was to incorporate all foods daily and to omit a “cheat meal.” If I wanted sweets I would plan it in, because it kept me from going overboard on food, and in my opinion there are no “naughty foods” or “good foods.” Reverse Dieting is about finding balance in your life and this was a way that I achieved that feeling.

Along this journey there have been days where I wanted to give up and where I questioned myself, but at the end of the day I kept remembering my WHY. It’s a hard process, you will be bloated if you eat too many volume foods right after an increase, your weight may fluctuate, you might feel too hungry or even too full…but it is temporary feeling for a long term goal!

At the end of all of this my outlook on life and food has turned completely around. I see food as fuel for my body, a cookie is going to be used in the same way as an apple, which one satisfies my hunger more? I’ve slowly regained confidence that I had lost many years ago. I see the gym and lifting heavy with cardio as something I love doing because it makes me feel good, not because I need to work out to feel good.

Final stats: 235C/155P/60F and 3lbs of weight lost overall ***please note weight loss was not my initial goal, but something my body did naturally. I fluctuated within a 4lb range my entire reverse, but my ending weight is 3lbs less.

Words of advice: trust this process, trust Katie, reach out to her if you’re second guessing things, write down how you felt daily or weekly, record your measurements/weight/weekly pictures, and remember your reason why. If you don’t put forth 100% you won’t get results you want. You’ll only get what you put into this.

Below is Morganne's transformation, aka she increased her diet tremendously and didn't change. She was able to successfully reverse and now feels much more comfortable going into deployment. She also is the most incredibly sweet woman out there.

Morganne reverse before and after.JPG

With love and reverse dieting, 

Katie

Crossfit VS Bodybuilding

If you follow my social media accounts, you know that I did crossfit for the first time the other day. It was such an awesome experience, and I would like to give a shoutout to the "box" aka gym in my hometown for being a really good Crossfit gym who makes sure that you know form before you go doing all kinds of crazy stuff. 

I've had a few people ask me the difference because they haven't been able to afford Crossfit, and what that was like as opposed to heavy lifting and bodybuilding. 

Bodybuilders are haters of cross fitters. We all know this. It's like this unspoken rule (or spoken for that matter) that if you are a bodybuilder, you would never be caught dead doing crossfit. I think that it's becoming more widely accepted, but I wanted to make something clear: 

They are two different sports. 

Do you ever compare soccer to basketball and say which one is better? I guess some people would argue on that topic, but arguing about which is better for your goals is silly. Crossfit people don't care about the goals of bodybuilders and bodybuilders don't care about the goals of cross fitters. That's cool, and one is not better than the other. They are just....DIFFERENT. 

Crossfit has had some bad press in the beginning. There were gyms that were not teaching correct form and people were getting hurt. The intensity of the "WOD"(Workout of the Day) was even causing rhabdomyolysis which is quite simply when muscle tissue breaks down so much that it puts a protein in the blood that can actually kill you from kidney failure. I can only imagine how crossfit felt (especially those that were doing it the right way). It's like when someone tells me that there are people who die at every marathon so I shouldn't run them, and there are articles saying that running more than 2 miles is dangerous for you. Well, so is a bag of potato chips but we won't go there.

So, when bodybuilders talk about crossfit, they always say that injuries are bound to happen and that you can't get "gains" from crossfit. Wrong. Wrong again. I don't think that we should put down every crossfit gym just from the few that are not teaching form. And have you seen some of the girls that do crossfit? They are JACKED! Yes, bodybuilding athletes meticulously perfect every muscle fiber on their bodies to be aesthetically pleasing but again, that's not the focus of crossfit. It's a different sport. They are more concerned about the athleticism of the sport not the aesthetics, but most of the time at a high level of both, your body will look awesome. 

Another thing bodybuilders "hate" on cross fitters is their kipping pull-up. Even my husband joked with me when I showed him a video that he couldn't believe I was kipping. Cross fitters do dead hang pull-ups, and cross fitters do kip ups. They are entirely different exercises, and work entirely different muscle groups. No, kips are not dead hang and yes, dead hang is harder. Everyone knows that. If someone says they did 100 pull-ups and they really did 100 kip-ups, that's annoying, yes. However, kipping pull-ups are going to work your core like CRAZY and your shoulders where as a dead hang pull-up is going to be your biceps and lats.

A crossfit athlete is aiming for strength, speed, and agility in completing a high intensity interval type workout whereas bodybuilders are focused more on static movements, increasing weight so that in return they break down muscle fibers to grow back more aesthetically pleasing and bigger. Bodybuilders focus on "gains" with a side benefit of focusing on strength however as all bodybuilders dial into a show and are dieting, they are going to lose strength. Crossfit athletes are the opposite. They are focused on the strength with a side benefit of gains. 

I love both so I'm not saying that one is better than the other, but just simply explaining the differences. I do know however though that I have been doing bodybuilding type workouts for 2 years now, and I have never been so sore as I was when I went to crossfit! 

With love and crossfit,

Katie

Hybrid Triathlon Training Week 2

So, I promised that I would update you guys each week as I went along in my progress to the half ironman. I think that it will be fun to see how I progress, and you can look at the workouts that I'm doing every day and decide if you wanna steal them or what-not! :) 

I've really been enjoying my training. I honestly think that I could be a full time athlete and be happy. If I could just train all day long every day and eat tons and tons of food, I'd do that. However, wouldn't be all right? haha!

Surprise surprise, I haven't been blogging consistently. I want to, believe me!!! I have just accepted that when my schedule looks like it does right now, it's a bit unrealistic until I get settled in the south and that's okay! :) I will still update you guys with new information frequently!  If you have anything that you've been curious about, feel free to email me and I can write a blog on it or you can comment! 

This week I'm staying with some friends in Brooklyn. I actually am loving spending time with different people as our time ends in NYC and am so thankful for the way that it turned out. One of the guys that Tanner is staying with texted me today to thank me for letting him stay with them! Haha! So, even though it's been not ideal for us to be homeless, it's given us time to spend time with the ones we love. My diet has been all over the place, but I could care less right now. That's not the priority. I don't have my own kitchen or normal food. I'm eating out a lot, and thats just life! :) No biggie! 

The last post about my training ended with the 12 mile run that I did this past Sunday. I enjoy long runs on Sundays because we go to church at night and I like to have Saturdays as my rest day. Thats just what works for me. With being back in NYC, I actually called about getting access to a pool and it was THIRTY.FIVE.DOLLARS. per visit. Thirty.five. HAHAHAHA! NO.

People be cray. 

So I won't be swimming for the next two weeks but that's okay. My half ironman is not until October so I'm just building a base right now. Biking indoors and running it is! 

  • Monday-Light Leg Day + 25 minute bike (5 miles)
  • Tuesday-6 mile tempo (on the treadmill) and shoulders
  • Wednesday-45 minute bike, 2 mile easy pace run (to get used to this transition and the way it makes your legs feel weird)
  • Thursday-Back Workout (30 minute max), 60 min bike 
  • Friday-8 mile run 
  • Saturday-REST 
  • Sunday-12 miles 

As you can see, I'm hitting shoulders, back, and legs lightly. I'm alternating which weeks I do a heavy leg day. I'm not doing one every single week, and when I do a heavy leg day it's not for volume and I'm not including much accessory work. I find that this keeps soreness lower. I'm just maintaining strength and doing low rep, super heavy deadlifts and squatting. It's more of a power lifter approach on those days (5 sets of 5 and things like that). 

I tend to enjoy doing tempo workouts on the treadmill. I find that I'm able to train better that way. I really want to get a Garmin watch soon, but for now this will do. I track all milage on my phone (mapmyrun app). 

On my easy mileage days, I'm taking it super easy. I'm so afraid of injury so I'm running like 10 min miles no joke. On my long run days, I try to keep it around 8 min miles so just medium paced. I know I haven't mastered anything yet and this is all a learning process for me but I thought you guys  might enjoy following along in my tri journey! :) 

With love and training, 

Katie 

 

That Time I Had a Conversation with Sarah Jessica Parker

So, today I came back to New York and as I was entering the air tram, I noticed the cover of Glamour ... 

My immediate reaction was THERE'S MY GIRL!!! I have always loved SJP but after "that time I met SJP" I'm obsessed. To be beside of Michelle Obama as one of the most powerful women, I just couldn't agree more. Ahhhh.... okay let me tell you about it. Y'all, I have convinced myself that we are besties. It's ridiculous! I had dreams that we got coffee after I met her and she invited me into her home. Okay, I'm insane. Here's the story: 

Tanner and I were on one of our many adventures to NYC and one of the things that I wanted to do was stalk out every celebrity that I knew lived in the city. No joke, I googled. I had a map. We were on a mission. 

So, off we went. We went by where Hugh Jackman lives. That was anticlimactic. It was a building which I should have known they all would be, but we had coffee at his coffee shop so that felt cool. We then we went to the stoop of Sex in the City filming. They have it blocked off, but I took a picture. 

Sarah Jessica Parker's brownstone was close by so I wanted to go see that as well. It's in Greenwich Village, and I can't find the exact picture but we found the road on google and then we found a picture similar to this one.. 

I wish I could find the picture that we had because it was the entire reason that we got to speak with her. It showed the entire line of brownstones, and I noticed a vent above one of the other doors. I noticed her brownstone did not have that, so we looked up and down the road and our eyes laid upon the one that matched the picture that had to be hers.... 

and wait for it ...... 

THERE WAS SOMEONE STANDING ON THE FREAKIN STAIRS.

I paniced. My heart started beating out of my flipping chest. I grabbed Tanner "Oh my gosh that's her". She was dressed head to toe with sunglasses on decorating her porch because of course all celebrities do that in the city. I took this picture... 

So, I told Tanner we couldn't talk to her because I was too scared. Tanner was like UH YES WE ARE! So, we walk up to the bottom of the steps and Tanner says "Mrs. Parker" and you can tell she kinda ignores us. Then he sheepishly says it again... "uhhh Mrs Parker?" 

And she slowlyyyy turns around. *INSERT RAPID HEART RATE*

She is almost scared of us, and says "Can you please not photograph me?" very sweetly. I was like "oh no no no we won't. That's totally fine. I'm so sorry." And then it was like she let her guard down when she realized we weren't crazy people. She told us how she just really was trying to decorate her porch and have a few minutes of normalcy is all. So she asked us if we were here to visit, and we said we were. We talked small talk for like 5 minutes. I don't even remember. It's all a blur. Then she said "Well seriously y'all are the cutest couple in Manhattan! I hope you know that. Enjoy your time here." and then we told her bye and then of course under my breath I'm like TANNER.WHAT.IS.LIFE.WHAT.JUST.HAPPENED?

We walk around the corner, and the paparazzi were waiting. It made me sad. She just wanted to decorate her porch like we all love to do at Christmas. The next day, this was posted .. 

with THIS article

She did a stand up job!!! That porch looked awesome! And I'm forever a fan. I looked up her publicist, and wrote a letter saying that she will never know how much I love her now because she took the time to actually talk to me and my husband. She will probably never remember it, but it's something I will forever. I really don't care that much about all celebrities, but she is a fave (with Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Aniston)! 

So, now tell me your awesome story of celebrity meetings?! I wanna know! 

With love and SJP,

Katie

The Ringleys Move to North Carolina

Wow. Just wow. I can't believe I'm writing this post, but I knew that it was going to happen soon-ish. I actually didn't expect it to be happening as fast as it did, but we know that our God's timing is perfect and for that, we are so thankful. I would like to start this post with saying that man, are we doubters? We know that our God is so good and yet we constantly worry and doubt the goodness of his plan in our lives, and then BAM everything is smooth sailing again. It's a good lesson for us each and every time of His grace and how we need to trust more. 

It wasn't long ago that I was making a post about how we were going to stay in New York another year. Actually, I think that post was at Christmas so it's almost embarrassing that signed, sealed delivered, we are moving to North Carolina again. If you live in NYC, you would know that it's an ever changing decision for a lot of people daily. It's funny. You absolutely love it one second, and then you are thinking "WHY AM I HERE??" the next. I think he would be wiling to admit that I was more on the love side of the equation and Tanner was more on the WHY AM I HERE side. Haha! As a married couple though, that becomes morphed into one. That's how we roll in this household. 

Before we left for Europe, we started searching for new studios to move into. We wanted to downsize even more to be able to afford loan payments and rent sensibly. We decided the smallest we could do was 500sqft and we were going to do  it! Rent is expensive in New York City. It's absolutely-insane-o outrageous-make you wanna vomit every month type rent, but you pay it. It's just DIFFERENT there. Everyone hates it but we do it and we make it. We all make it work. We do community laundry, we wait for elevators, we ride in cramped crowded subways to not be late, and we are late for almost everything because it takes forever to get anywhere because you have to walk. Country people are always like WHYYYYYY?? Because you love it. There is an energy, a thrill, and there is just SOMETHING that always brings you back for more. I can't explain it but it's a different world up there. I am forever changed because of this year. 

I do not know the exact turning point although I could tell you a story or two about what Tanner has had to go through this year but he works 330-1130pm and he misses everything. I feel like I can't explain how much this affects someone unless you live in the same house. All the good of New York-the friendships, the nights out with friends, dinner dates, bible study, and even our church meets in the evenings (and he works every third weekend), he missed. I can't tell you how many times I've heard "Where's Tanner?" .... "He's at work." All he got to experience was the hassle of NYC (walking miles and miles, packed subways, carrying all groceries, community laundry) and it wasn't fair to him. I don't want this to sound like we are complaining. He loved the job and the people and constantly said he just wanted to be thankful to be working but the time was just NOT going to change. With the union, it's impossible to get another job and all hospitals are going to start you on evening shift for the first 5 years anyway to "pay your dues". This affected me to because I literally would say Tanner and I have had dinner in the city a total of 8-10 times in one year, maybe less. We did the breakfast/lunch date thing but it's not the same. I didn't always want to go to events because I wanted my stinkin husband there! haha! 

Soon after, he fell upon his dream job in Charlotte. I have to say that I was like "but we are staying one more year" until I just realized how Tanner was just putting his life on pause for me. He was grinding day in and day out just to make me happy in a place that he wasn't happy. And quite frankly, I can be happy anywhere. That's when I knew it was time. I told him to apply. He said he wasn't qualified by what they posted. I was like "dude, apply anyway" with an emphasis on the dude. He applied to other jobs in the meantime and didn't hear anything for a few weeks and got really defeated. He finally decided to just go for it. WHY NOT? YOLO!!! They contacted him the next day. CAN THE WIFE GET A "I TOLD YOU SO" POINT? ;) 

The process has moved very quickly. They did a phone interview, then flew him down for a day long in person interview. This was about one week ago. He got the phone call yesterday that he was officially offered the position as the new Clinical Oncology Pharmacist position at CMC's extension in Shelby. So, he will be training in Charlotte for the first three months and then will be the first pharmacist at their new Levine center in Shelby. This makes me a very proud wife! :)

For those that are familiar with pharmacy, he only has a PGY1 and so to fill in the gap of that PGY2 oncology specialty, he is going to get board certified in oncology (BCOP).

Have you been wondering why I'm in North Carolina? Now you know. Our lease ran up in New York and originally we were going to get a new place, but this happened way too fast. We are so thankful for that, but it's also bittersweet. I didn't want to inconvenience anyone, so I have been sleeping at my moms house. I'm going to go back up for the final 3 weeks to spend time with friends and church family. 

That brings me to my personal emotion, which is the most bittersweet feeling I've ever felt. New York City is glamorous but it's not always glamorous or nearly as romantic as it seems all the time. It's HARD but it's also amazing. My love is so big for this place on the map. But what's more glamorous is getting to kiss the chubby cheeks of my nephew as he grows up, and to hold my grandmothers hand whenever I want when she's sick. It's exceptionally glamorous knowing that I'm going to be eating dinner with my husband. We have yet to have a "real life" type life together as we have been in pharmacy school, residency, or him working evening shift and it's so exciting to think about just living life with my husband. AHHH BLISS! 

As I'm typing this though, I'm in tears. Brandy Whitley is the best friend I've ever known, and we will finally be separating and know that we won't be living in the same place again. I have made so many other best friends that I just can't imagine not seeing all the time. There is no explanation for how much we love our church-Apostles NYC. It has CHANGED us. Apostles is the reason that we will be the people that we are for the rest of our lives. I'm so sad to leave but I'm also so happy for the opportunities ahead. We are going to buy a house in the foreseeable future, and we want to eventually start our own family! This is all SO exciting!!!!

So with that, I'll leave you with the fact that no matter what, I'm now the hugest fan of taking a leap of faith and going for your dream. Always. Never think it's not possible because you can and will make it work. We doubted God this entire process, and he had everything lined up just perfect. It's about time we start listening. We have had the time of our lives, and we will remember this year for the rest of our lives.

With love and big moves,

Katie 

Building a Booty

Hey guys! I'm not going to lie. I'm blissfully busy but unbelievably busy and that's why the blog posts have been a bit sporadic. I basically spend all day every day helping clients and then I started the apparel line. Okay, enough excuses but just so you know I still love blogging with all of my little heart and soul but I'm already working like 10 hours+ a day! SHEESH! 

This blog post is really out of character for me but I really wanted to clear the air because I feel that there is A LOT of confusion on getting that booty lift that we all want. 

It's totally obtainable for everyone, but it's going to take a lot of work. However, that's like trying to grow your biceps overnight. It's not going to happen. You have to be super duper patient. I can remember taking a picture of my quads the first day I was lifting and thinking "this will be my before" and now it is! But I have been lifting 2 years to get where I am today. Your glutes are a muscle, and they are also fat. Fat distribution is going to be different for every person. Some people get wider hips when they gain weight. When I gain weight, it actually goes to my glutes. Most women gain it in their thighs and in their stomachs (great right?) 

Either way, the glutes are a muscle that you are going to have to develop. Even worse than biceps or quads, they are actually REALLY hard to target. Muscle mind connection for glutes is probably one of the most critical. Just simply doing the exercises can end up working your hip flexors or your quads or your hamstrings, and if you are doing glutes then you need to focus on the actual side glute muscle as you are doing them. 

The reason that I'm writing this blog article is not to tell you what you already know about glute workouts but rather to defend a common myth...running will give you a pancake booty. I'm sharing this picture to defend running and that is the only reason. This picture was taken in the middle of marathon training after 4 months of training and running a minimum of 30 miles per week with a peak of 50 miles per week.

The reason that there are pictures of girls while running and they have a pancake booty is that.... THEY HAD A PANCAKE BOOTY BEFORE! They were genetically born with a flat butt and then they started running. Running didn't cause that. Running is NOT going to build your booty and that's not the claim that I'm trying to make (unless you are very diligent in doing spring work) but running is going to vaporize it either. I keep going back to the bicep but it's a good example. When you started running, did you expect your bicep to grow? NO! Many people utilize running for the wrong reasons. It's a sport. It's not meant to shape and define your muscles. Your muscles are in fact going to be worked, and slowly over time you will build shape but that's what the gym and weights are for. If you are runner, GET IN THE GYM! If you are in the gym, don't be afraid to run! And not just aesthetic purposes, but because they both are a great compliment to one another!

The before and after picture is the difference between running only with ZERO nutritional knowledge and then the right is lifting and running and dieting. The second picture was taken when I was only averaging about 10-15 miles per week so it was nothing heavy by any means, but I was still in fact running. I haven't really ever stopped completely, but when I was competing I did lay off a little. The left even has a slight delt on the left arm and I have no idea why unless my beach body insanity worked my arms enough to give me that because I didn't lift haha! 

My point is this: If you want to be a runner, and you feel that you want a butt more then don't feel like you can't have your CAKE and eat it too. Oh my gosh, that's so perfect and I just made it up! For those that may not know young people lingo. Cake = booty HAHA! If you are a runner and refuse to lift, then yes you are going to remain the same but if you properly fuel your body and you get in the gym with a leg and glute day every single week then slowly over time you are going to build that muscle group.

Squats are the cliche exercise to build the glutes when in fact, they really work your quads a lot, unless you are going full range of motion which most people are not going butt to feet. To target your butt, focus on pushing through your heels as you sit complete back. Some key exercises that target the glutes are: 

  • Glute Kickbacks (you can do this with weights or you can do this with bands) 
  • Abductor Machine (If you don't sit completely down in the seat and leave your knees at 90 degrees instead of 135 and put the weight up super high, you will feel a KILLER burn in your glutes) 
  • Sumo Squats 
  • Lunges
  • Bulgarian Split Squat

If you add these in (heavy heavy) every single solitary week of training then slowly over time, your glute muscle will develop that shape that you are looking for! Nothing worth having ever came easy, so get in there and work that BOOTAYYYY! 

With love and glutes, 

Katie

Triathlon Hybrid Training

This week has been a bit different than normal, so it makes it hard to stay in rhythm and routine.  I am in fact STILL in North Carolina (full discloser blog post coming soon so stay tuned) but I'll be going back to NYC this coming Tuesday or Wednesday is what I'm hoping and planning. During this week, I called the printing company and had them ship the tank tops to my mom's house so that I could get those out to you guys. I sold out within the first 24 hours, so that was exciting and then I just ordered more of course. ;)

I'm planning on doing the Beach to Battleship Half Ironman in October. This is in Wilmington, and I'm really excited about it. I think that tris are going to be something that I really love, but this is a no joke type of race, and I tend to get lazy even with marathon training thinking that I can skip certain runs and still be fine. This is going to be completely different, and I'm mapping out every single day. I have realized in the course of being into fitness that having a plan for me is definitely what I need. I'm so bad about not making one, and just planning out at the beginning of the week what I think I might do that week. I never write this down, I never even really discuss it with people. I never really do actual workout runs anymore. I'm just running for mileage. This is going to stop MONDAY! I'm training for a purpose and I want to prepare in that way. I'm going to walk you guys through each week and give updates as I go along once I begin my true training which will begin May 17!

The plan that I'm doing is only a 16 week plan so technically this is not until June 24th, but I don't swim and bike AT ALL so I want to ease into building a base with an 6 week Base Building Plan. I have bought a Kindle book called "IronFit Secrets for Half Iron Distance" and I'm hoping that this will teach me a lot as it had some great reviews on Amazon. A "competitive" triathlete will train for an average of 12.5 hours per week so let the fun begin. I won't tell you the hours of the "just finish" because that's not really my style. I want to do well if I'm going to do something. In the beginning, honestly there's not much to it. This means that I need to get my butt ready to rock and roll this coming Monday. 

I'll be honest and say that I wish I could give you an exact plan of what the next 22 weeks were going to look like, but I don't know. I am actually aiming to run a marathon on July 11th, and I want to maintain muscle so I'm going to be working out a lot. I enjoy it so that sounds like fun times to me. I'm aiming to just have one overall arm day and one leg day and these may only last 30-45 min. It's going to be tough with everything that I do, but I'm willing during this time period to sacrifice so that I can do this as it's always been a dream of mine. Normally, the first that you do in something it takes the most time then you figure out your groove and how you can do it without sacrificing as much. 

I'll tell you how I plan to do my next week, and then we will go from there? I'll come back each week with these updates. I'm going on a short bike ride here momentarily

SUNDAY-Long Run (10 MILES)

MONDAY- 3000 meter swim 

  • I'm going to have to find my groove here as well. There are many different workouts to be done in the pool, so I'll be pulling from different sources and will let you know what I end up doing.

TUESDAY-Run 6 miles tempo, Arms

WEDNESDAY-1000 meter swim, 45 min bike, 2 mile run 

Thursday-60 minutes on the bike , Short Leg Day

  • I have no idea my speed on a bike so we will just have to see and I'll probably do this on a  trainer to start 

Friday-Run 8 miles followed by 1500 meter swim

Saturday-REST

Sunday-LONG RUN (12 MILES)

This plan may not work, and I'm going to reference Alex Viada's new book The Hybrid Athlete for most of my training splits. This is NOT from his, so I really might modify as I know he's taken years and tons of research to perfect the hybrid training method. I hope you guys enjoy following along, and I hope to have this more organized and outlined in the soon future. I know I have a LARGEEEE learning curve, so I apologize to those that are not newbies and know better ways! :) 

With love and half ironmans,

Katie


What is Binge Eating?

Recently, I've noticed this trend. 

We are binge watching Netflix. 

We are binge studying for an exam. {and still worse when an exam "rapes you"}

We are binge eating on the weekends with our friends. 

I have to be honest. I cringe at that word. I don't want to be "that guy" that gets offended. I'm not offended, but I just truly know what that word means so my stomach does that little flip where it tenses up like when your ex walks into a room or something. //Play it cool. Everyone's watching. //

Binge eating is an eating disorder behavior. It is specifically defined by an exorbitant amount of food consumed in a short window of time. There is no specified caloric intake amount, but it's an out of body experience where you feel as if you lose all control over yourself and you cannot stop eating and it ends up being things like entire cakes eaten or like 20 bananas. It's things that just don't make sense.

This is followed by a period normally of extreme guilt. This is a guilt that becomes all consuming occupying your every thought and sometimes immediately after a binge episode, you are compelled to "purge" or throw up. 

This is a rapidly growing disorder {unfortunately} and even more rapidly so, a misused phrase. 

I touched on this yesterday in my team facebook group and someone mentioned that it would make a good blog post. I just wanted to clear things up for a few reasons. 

I'm a part of many facebook fitness forums, and I'd say the three words most commonly used in all of these are "macros", "doughnuts" and "binging". It's sad that so many women struggle with this, and how I have even seen someone say that they didn't even know what a binge was until they heard so many women talking about it and then they started doing it themselves. That's just sad. But also, are you self diagnosing correctly? 

When you go out to dinner with friends and decide that you are going to eat the bread, the appetizer and your meal, you did not binge. When you go to the movies and you end up eating an entire bag of popcorn, you did not binge. When it's Easter and you ate 5 candies too many, you honestly didn't binge. You overate. You REALLY overate. You ate to the point of feeling sick. Binging is different. It's all out of control episode with an exorbitant intake, and it shouldn't be taken lightly. The term shouldn't be thrown around. It's very detrimental to our health and our society. 

Binge also gives a really negative connotation, and sets one up for a world of guilt. The more serious we make a "cheat meal" and always call it a binge then the more those anxieties of food are created. It's a vicious cycle.

Lastly, if you are truly struggling with a binge eating disorder which I do believe that many women are, there is really no grey line. Counting macros is not going to solve your problems. I'm the first one that will stand here and say that macros was the most liberating moment of freedom in my journey but it is not going to change a severe mental disorder. This is something that you shouldn't hire someone online to fix. This is something that you should seek professional therapy in someone who is much more qualified in this specialty. The line gets very blurred between fitness&health and your cheat meal vs a binge eating disorder.

If you are binge watching Netflix, can you just call it a Netflix marathon please? I like marathons much more than I like binges. Please and thank you.

With love and freedom from food anxiety, 

Katie

 

How To Run Faster

I get asked this question quite often. How do you increase your pace? I don't have all of the answers, and I'm not a running coach but I thought I would share some insight into what has made me a faster runner. I have always had some speed under my feet, but it was never for a long period of time. I was a soccer player, so I would run in short spurts. I wasn't a fan of the loops around the soccer field at the start of practice. Running was meant for punishment, not for your actual athletic event. Oh how the times have changed me. 

So, how do you do it? 

1. RUN 

Well isn't that insightful? What I mean is, if you want to be a runner, you are going to have to start running. And if you want to be a fast runner, you are going to have to be consistent. I understand that there are off seasons but if you sign up for a half marathon, train then take 3 months off not running at all and then start training again, you aren't going to be super successful on getting faster. If you continue to run all throughout the year keeping your base and then adding as races come along, then you are going to be able to focus on your speed more.

2. FIND YOUR PURPOSE 

So, why do you want to get faster? That seems self explanatory as I think that we all would love to better ourselves and our running speed. Maybe it's just me but I have to have an intrinsic reason that I'm doing what I'm doing. I have found my passion and my calling and I love the sport of running. This is deep to my core, and means so much to me. If I'm just superficially running just for the glory of getting a faster speed, I feel that my heart wouldn't be entirely into it. This would mean that at the end of the half marathon that I was running 7 min miles, I would have lost heart. This definitely means that at mile 20 of my marathon, I would have lost heart because my entire body was screaming at me to just stop running. It took passion and PURPOSE to make those times. 

3. DON'T JUST RUN TO LOG MILES

I think that with training for anything unless you are a serious athlete (this is including myself), you look up a training regimen online and you don't worry about getting in those special kinds of runs. You just hit mileage on the days that you are supposed to. You do all of your runs at medium pace whatever your feet feel like on that day versus specified slow vs fast paced training runs working on different things.

4. EDUCATE YOURSELF 

Learn about tempo runs, fartleks, hill repeats, speed interval training and negative splits. As I mentioned above, you want to have variety in the speeds that you are doing each run. You want to train your body to work harder at higher mileage. You want to train your body to be accustomed to what normally would feel like sprinting but what becomes a pace that you can hold for endurance races. You want to make sure that you know what your race is going to be like. Everyone knows that the Boston Marathon has a lot of hills so you are definitely not going to be able to improve your speed at the marathon if you are not training hills. Look up the races that you are going to do and be familiar with the track. If you have it available to you, then it would be awesome if you could train where you were going to race. 

5. FUEL APPROPRIATELY

This is huge. I think that runners tend to be the type to just eat whatever whenever and that's awesome to an extent however I have found when I target my nutrition to my runs, then I have MUCH better success. Just yesterday, I didn't have food ready right before my 10 miler. I had ate breakfast, but I always have a second breakfast, and I wasn't able to get that in. I was FEELING it big time by mile 6. I go to every run, and every race with the mindset that I'm not going to do anything that is going to jeopardize the success that I could have so that means that everything that I put into my body is used as an instrument to how well I can perform.

I got really bad about feeling my macronutrients with crap (aka doughnuts and poptarts and such) and I realized how I need to be aiming so much more for micronutrients. I am beginning to take supplementations so seriously to avoid injuries. I think that women should be really cognizant on getting in Calcium every day, and I also take a multivitamin. If you run for over an hour (8+miles) then you should be supplementing a lot more nutrition. I tell my clients 50-100g extra in 100% carbohydrates but if you don't count macros, it just important that you are hydrating and refueling.

Everyone is different but I DO NOT carb load the night before a race. I eat more carbs for sure, absolutely! But, there is this notion that you should go out and slam an entire plate of pasta. HECK NO! I would feel like absolute crap the next day and be sluggish for the run. I add in extra carbs that I know that I will utilize but it's much more calculated. 

6. LIFT WEIGHTS 

This is one of the single most important things that I have done to increase my pace. For me personally, I gave up running for a while and for 6 months to 1 year I focused on lifting. This was also during the time that I was into competing so it gave me other goals to focus on rather than the lack of running. I really was able to put size on my legs and build my strength in my calves. This has been huge. When I came back into the sport of running, without even trying, I was faster. It just came easier because I had more muscle. I continue to cross train because it's very important to me, and I'm a huge advocate for hybrid training combining lifting and running.

I started to pick two things out of this list that I thought were the most important, and I can't even do that. It's an all encompassing thing. It's not easy to increase speed but it's definitely possible. It is going to take time, and you aren't going to get super fast overnight but if you put in the work over months and years, then you will look back and think about the days when you "used to run" that pace and now are much faster.

With love and running,

Katie

Stop Being So Intense

I think that we all know that I love to be intense. I love extreme athletic events, and I love pushing myself to the limit. I love to see what I'm capable of, and proving to myself that I can do it. I think that in a world of fitness, the lines of athletes and weight loss get blurred. There's a huge difference. 

If you are looking for weight loss, then stop being so intense. You really don't have to be. As difficult as it seems, it's really so simple. 

A + B = C 

I think that it's very important to realize that even if you didn't walk one foot in the gym, if you have your nutrition pretty close to where it needs to be, then you are going to start progressing in the right direction. It may take more time, but you can still do it. 

If you are someone who doesn't want to change up your diet entirely, then just so much as taking out sodas can help you lose weight (my step dad recently lost 30 pounds doing just that). 

The more and more intense that you become, the more and more that your body is going to fight you and it's going to think that's what to expect during weight loss. One extreme to the next without ever truly finding happiness. You want something that you can do for the rest of your life. That's true health and happiness. Are you really going to be able to keep up with the crazy detox that you are doing? Are you really going to be able to keep up with hours upon hours of cardio per week? If not, then you need to take a step back and look at what you are doing. 

If you are someone that is caught in the midst of this insanity, then I just honestly challenge you to step back out of your situation, look at it from the whole scheme of things and say "okay what is my true goal in all of this madness?" Am I just looking for happiness within myself? Am I looking to lose weight to feel more confident? If that is the case, then breathe. It's so much simpler and requires minimal extremes and intensity. In fact, your body would MUCH rather you NOT be extreme. Even down to the molecular level, your body thrives on keeping homeostasis. It doesn't like changes. Over years and years of extremes, the body just simply says NO. I'm tired of fighting you. It takes more and more extremes to lose the weight which ends up with more extremes in the opposite direction which ends up causing your body to fight you more. 

SO.....DEEP DEEP BREATHS.

Inhale. Exhale. Namaste. 

Just be. 

For one second, just realize that if you maintain a balanced, healthy diet for an extended period of time with no extremes, your body WILL respond. I think the issue becomes that right when girls on the cusp of making huge results, they think "AH I'LL NEVER MAKE IT" and either give-up eating tons of food or try new extremes. Hold strong. Keep the faith. It will come. 

The best approach to weight loss is to not think about weight loss at all. Do what you are supposed to do in terms of tracking your nutrition and forget the rest. If you feel like working out, then that's wonderful too but do what you love. Don't just go to the gym because you HAVE to and you hate every second. If you hate it, then don't go today. Only go to the gym 3 times per week and just keep on trucking with proper nutrition changes, and you'll still see results. 

If you are an athlete, then sometimes minimal efforts go a long way. It gets really easy to get caught up in the training and think that you have to be so intense. However, I think that over training is a real issue. If your body is injured and breaking down, then it's letting you know something. You either need to change your approach or taper down on your training. This is something that I've had to learn myself. Especially with hybrid training, the less you do, the better. You want every single workout you do to be with purpose. If you are injured, is it really going to benefit you to get in that run? And especially if you are injured and working towards weight loss, is it really necessary to grind it out in the gym? The purpose of weight lifting should be functional in my opinion so that you can build strong healthy bones. Rest, recover, RELAX. 

This is a lifetime process. Don't be in a constant state of panic. Your future health will thank you. 

With love and chilling out, 

Katie 

Truths about Your Dieting Approach

I seriously think that if you added up all of the different forms of dieting and weight loss products and programs, then it would be THE MOST successful industry, and the most greedy. 

Weight loss is a very sensitive issue, and even though society doesn't like to always portray it this way, it can cause A LOT of heartache, a lot of pain, and a lot of tears. Even though there has been a wave of self love, I get emails day in and day out of women who hate themselves because of the shell that they are in. It breaks my heart. That's not really the point of today, but rather for today to be informative about how to make the best choice for yourself and to be knowledgeable in that decision. 

We know all know that weight loss normally leads to two words that we all hate hearing-CALORIES & WORKOUTS.

We strive for every short cut answer even though we all know the truth. However, I just wanted to go through some of the more common diets, and tell you what they are ACTUALLY doing in they program, so you can see that if you just get a handle on basic nutrition and health, you don't have to keep buying into. 

My point of this is NOT NOT NOT to put these programs down. My point is not to say that you shouldn't buy these programs because maybe you should. We all know that sometimes different people enjoy a different approach and THAT'S what will make all of the difference, and that's okay. I just want you to be knowledgeable. 

1. WEIGHT WATCHERS

I actually really like weight watchers. It doesn't limit anything that you eat (just like macros) and it has points assigned to each individual food. It has a community of people to encourage one another, and books that encompass every restaurant and every food item you could imagine. The point system is great, however there are some food items that have 0 points meaning you can have as much as you want. These include all fruits and vegetables. While I think it's great to not have any sort of limitation on these for micronutrient reasons, you could end up eating 1500 calories in bananas totaling 450g carb and you might as well have had 5 Large Regular Coke's. Obviously, that's a rash comparison but it's something you need to be mindful of. It's all about EDUCATING yourself, so that if you do weight watchers, you know that maybe stick with just 1 banana not limitless bananas.

2. BEACHBODY SHAKEOLOGY 

Shakeology is advertised as the mega superfood shake of the world that is the ONLY shake that you can get all in one place what you get in shakeology. I actually do agree that Shakeology is WONDERFUL for getting all of your micronutrients in for the day. If you don't want to take a multivitamin, then this will cover you basically. It has a good distribution of carbs, fats, and proteins and it's yummy. They've done a good job of creating a good product. However, in terms of weight loss, you need to realize that drinking chocoloate Shakeology means that you are consuming 160 calories 17g protein 17g carb and 2g fat. Those are great macros for a meal replacement breakfast shake. But you also can eat many other things with those macronutrients and I don't want you to feel you have to limit yourself. Again, I promise this isn't to put down the product in any way. It's just to realize that the reason that Shakeology causes weight loss is because of the GREAT macronutrient distribution. 

3. HERBALIFE 

Herbalife is another Shakeology. The beauty of this product is all the delicious flavors. They are so yummy!!!! I love them so much. But why does Herbalife shakes work? BECAUSE OF THEIR GREAT MACRONUTRIENT BREAKDOWN! 

They advertise to add in things such an extra scoop of protein, and that's great but you also could have a grilled chicken salad on top of your herbalife shake and for me, I'd rather eat 2 meals instead of one. Every extra item that's added into the shake is extra macronutrients which is FINE but just know that THIS is the reason that the product works. I choose to eat Bojangles occasionally because it tastes good. I choose to drink Herbalife occasionally because it tastes good. That should be your reason, and not because you think that it's the secret magical cure to weight loss.

4. ATKINS 

NO CARBS!!! Everyone is going to lose weight! Everyone is going to get results!!.....and everyone is also going to rebound and never sustain this! Yes, adkins will work but who wants to be miserable. Just make sure that your carbs are within reason. You don't need to cut them all out, it's dangerous to your health and metabolism, and it's not sustainable at all.

5. PALEO

I'm actually a big fan of paleo. I think that it really encourages you to eat whole nutritious foods from the earth, and I think that can really change your life and the way that you feel. However, one huge part of paleo is thinking that fats can fuel you more efficiently which I don't agree with. Carbs are your energy source and no matter how we try to spin it, this is going to remain true. I think that you will have much better lasting sustaining results if you just eat a little more balanced versus aiming for super duper high fat and no carbs and your workouts will benefit.

6. BEACHBODY 21 DAY FIX 

Beachbody has taken macros, given you colors assigned to them. I think that some people need this guidance, but I also think that people are making simple nutrition into something more difficult than it really is. 

The simple truth is this....any diet that you try is going to be a macronutrient profile. They have just done the work for you, and most of the time are going to limit you to certain food groups. If you simply learn the basic nutrition behind all of these gimmicks, then you will stop with all the heartache and money ache of spending so much money to end up confused and uneducated. 

With love and fad diets, 

Katie