Are diet breaks best for overall health?

So, you fell off the wagon? This is some term and phrasing that we use now to distinguish between dieting and non-dieting phases. I could get into my opinion on that but today I’d like to focus more on the aspects of eating not on a “plan” and how that can be beneficial for you.

I’m not sure if you are aware, but if you’re not, let me letcha know that dieting long term is not good for you, in any way, psychologically, physically, or mentally. Our bodies are not designed to be in a state of constant deprivation and this can lead to things such as whacky lab results and thyroid issues. Worst of all, because we all like a high functioning metabolism is that it can keep you at a lower basal metabolic rate. You will burn less NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) and you will feel run down in the process.

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So, should you take diet breaks? YES YES YES. I think that when I reference this I’m also discussing someone who might have been on a weight loss journey for a really long time, and not someone that eats a large amount of food and maintains their weight. There’s all of these variables in the type of person that you are and I have many clients that eat amble amounts of food that this might not apply to, but seemingly they are “on a diet” but that simply just meaning, a diet in which “diet” is the foods that we eat. Am I making sense? I’m talking about someone in a calorie deficit.

I have referenced it a lot in many of my blogs, but we have a hypothalamus that regulates everything. That set point range that your body wants to fall within that ranges from 5-20lbs dependent on your relationship with food can change with a weight loss journey as well however when you reach the bottom of that set point range, you will start to crave more foods, get hungrier, and your metabolism will slow down. This is in efforts of the body to restore back to homeostasis. If you hang in there past that plateau without doing anything drastic, then your body will adjust and keep on keepin on.

When you decide to take a diet break, then you get to capitalize on the OTHER end of that set point that not many people take advantage of. When you get to the upper end of the set point in which you become baffled at just how much your body can handle if you keep it consistent then you will get hot more, your metabolism will be burning strong, and you will be bee bopping around life with a much better attitude with great hormonal function (if your weight is appropriate).

When you diet for an extended period of time, you decrease your leptin which is that little hormone (again regulated within the hypothalamus), and when you take a diet break you are restoring that hormone. This hormone is also very transient dependent on the very day that you are eating so it can be restored super quickly and you don’t have to worry about that all that much if you feel that you don’t have appropriate hunger. The problem is that with chronic dieters, the anxiety produced from taking the break is almost too much and so therefore they never do, living in a chronic state of deprivation and never fully utilizing just how many calories their body can burn.

A few years back, reverse dieting became super huge. There wasn’t much research on it, and there still is not, but basically this is just the slow reintroduction of calories for minimal weight gain over time while coming out of a dieting phase. It works, and I’ve watched it work with hundreds of people however you can also skip that phase and go straight to higher calories. Most of the time, this will cause a big amount of water retention but if you hang in there and hold calories high and let your body adjust, you might gain 5lbs (WHICH YOU WOULD HAVE DONE ON YOUR REVERSE) and if you don’t jump ship then you will eventually level out and maintain there.

Some of the reasons that people choose to reverse diet instead is:

·       It’s more exact for their OCDness

·       They are able to find that upper end of their hypothalamic set point range through slow introduction of calories instead of arbitrarily jumping to what they think might be appropriate

·       It’s not as mentally challenging with all of the water fluctuations with the reintroduction of carbs

·       They don’t trust that their weight will eventually level out. They think that they will continue to gain and gain and gain

Believe me, I’ve been there. I prefer reverse dieting, so I totally get it, but I just wanted it to be known that you don’t HAVE to and you CAN jump. Many times you will see that once you figure out your ranges, you can go into a dieting phase, and jump higher out of it the second time because you are more aware of what caloric intake your body will be able to handle post dieting.

From a mental standpoint, dieting long term starts to make you a bit crazy. I think that we can look to the trends of many of the females that were long term competitors on Instagram and see what has happened there. Many of them have rebounded into higher weights than they were to start because they just kept themselves at chronically low calories, and eventually your endocrine system is just not having it anymore. Taking a break from things mentally allows you to have a good time with food, refocus if you so choose and go back to things brand new.

Of course, there is also the camp that states that we should just accept where we are, eat within hunger/fullness cues and intuitive eating principles and this hypothalamic set point will allow us to maintain weight eating whatever we choose. I am well aware of this sector of wellness, but just want people to have the information that they can choose to utilize or not :) 

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BOOK REVIEWS

I would say I'm going to start some grand monthly book review, but I officially prioritize the reading over blogging these days, so we shall see what happens ;) I have read way too many books within these two months to add them all (no one likes 25+ books reviewed) so I'm going to pick one out of specific genres and go from there, as hopefully it will give you some good ideas. Someone tagged me in this meme the other day and it couldn't be more accurate. 

FICTION: 

THE GREAT ALONE

This is the second book that I think has really gotten popular by the author Kristin Hannah. She wrote "Nightingale" as well, which both are mammoth of novels at 500ish pages I believe, but I finished this in TWO .DAYS. It was that good. It's about a dysfunctional father that has PTSD from the Vietnam war, and he moves his family to the outskirts of Alaska, and the life that they create in "The Great Alone". The daughter is who the story is based around and how she creates a life in Alaska like she never expected. She finds love and family and happiness, but also has to deal with a lot of trauma. With the mix of family trauma, addictions, mental illness, and the "Siberian" nature of the Alaskan wilderness, I just couldn't get enough. It was phenomenal. 10 out of 10 and I told Tanner it might be the best fictional book I've ever read. Update: I just finished Nightingale, and it was just as good. KH is a dang good author. 

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PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT: 

THE POWER OF HABIT

In just about everything these days, if I can educate myself on the way that it works then I have much more success. The first area of research that I dove into was habit research. The power of habit is fantastic for explaining why we get really on tract doing certain things and how to break those bad ones and add in good ones. It was pretty life changing for me breaking some nasty habits I had created. This also led me into Gretchen Rubin's work (who wrote The Happiness Project) and I read her book "Better than Before" about habits and then "The Habit Blueprint" which is super short and a quick synopsis of some REALLY useful info. Check all three out if you have bad habits you want to break or add in some good ones! 

LETTING GO OF LEO 

Letting go of Leo is written by a Health at every Size dietician that I found on instagram, and she is SUCH a joy. Her book is one of the best that I've read this year (65 thus far) and I related to basically everything that she said. She's hilarious, relatable, and I just flew through this book. It's all about breaking up with the perfection of dieting. 

NONFICTION: 

OPTION B 

Ah- this book! It's written by Sheryl Sandberg who is the COO of Facebook, and the author of Lean In about being a powerful female in the workplace. Option B is directed towards losing a loved one and working through that grief due to her sudden loss of her husband while he was at the gym in the Caribbean. Her story is quite profound because it was just so shocking and they were very much in love but also really successful, not making tons of time for one another and her viewpoint on how to live her life moving forward. 

SOCIAL SCIENCE: 

I'll go ahead and put it out there that the social sciences are an area that I've been absolutely enthralled with this year. I just don't think that I ever realized how complex human behavior really is and everything that goes into our brains, and it just blows me away. Every book is so different and I have learned so much.

THE TIPPING POINT 

Malcolm Gladwell is probably one of the most successful psychologists of our time, and he is also the author of Outliers and Blink. I recommend reading all of them, but Tipping Point is all about how something tips into popularity basically. Why do things like fidget spinners take off? Why does a book become super popular when there are better works of literature? Why does word get around about certain stuff? It's more than what you think. 

SEX AT DAWN 

Boy oh boy. Some people will hate this book, and I think that it's because it causes you to REALLY open up your mind to new ideas that are not something that is culturally, socially, or religiously acceptable, but it's absolutely intriguing and fascinating. It's about the evolution of sex and how we were made for polygamy. If you read that sentence, you think I'm blasphemous, but you have to read the book to be able to make that judgement haha. As an evolutionary biologist with a focused on sexual behavior, this author has done his homework and it's a very convincing book that's long and hard to get through but kept me invested the entire 310 pages. He also presents a case for the shape and size of the penis and testicles on who will want to stay monogamous and who will more leaning towards cheating. SO interesting!

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SPIRITUALITY: 

THE UNIVERSE HAS YOUR BACK

Gabrielle Bernstein is just such a joy. She is a spiritual junkie and I just love her spirit. She's confident and a badass, but also sweet in her own right. It's hard to explain unless you know who she is. This book is all about the energy of the universe, and I am such a believer in it. When you manifest good things in your life, the law of attraction is going to bring good things to you. When you manifest negative, uhhh, you're gonna get negative. When you let life flow through you and not keep hitting up against walls then there is just so much that life is wanting to give you. Ahhhh, what a breath of fresh air. I also just started taking Lithium Orotate which is a trace mineral that helps with mood, so maybe I'm just hype on that. hahahaha! Google it ! ;)  

THE POWER OF NOW 

It's been quite a few months since I read this, but this is also one of those books that just leaves you feeling like you just breathed a breath of fresh air. I told T that I wanted to read 1 spirituality book per month because it always just gives me new perspective on life in general. The Power of Now is all about the NOW (obviously) and how you can take charge of your life and your happiness in this moment. There is no circumstance or situation that can take your joy because you own it! :) 

RUNNING: 

THE LORE OF RUNNING 

I have started recommending this book to everyone, and it's not a book that you are going to sit down and read. It's a textbook, but it's the textbook of running, and the only one that I've found of it's kind. If you can't get into a run coaching course (they are hard to get into due to demand) or if you simply just want to learn how to coach yourself better, this is such a valuable tool based on the science. It's HUGE, and about $20 on amazon. SO worth the investment. You'll keep it forever.

Hope you enjoy these! 

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Limitless Potential

I know that this past year has been a whirlwind for me – a whirlwind of feeling like I’m not reaching my fullest potential – a year where I’ve sat back and “rested” but really it’s just been a slump of not wanting to do anything productive. It’s been a year of watching life pass me by wondering when things are going to click back into place or that I’ll stop getting to the end of the day and saying “oh great, I wasted tons of time again.” The one thing that I’ve given “energy” towards is my brain and learning new things.

Here were part of the things that gave me hardship in reaching my potential:

a) I felt like if I was going to spend time on something, it needed to be the ‘perfect’ thing, and because I couldn’t find the right things to put my energy toward, I just didn’t put any

b) I didn’t feel fully at peace with life therefore I didn’t feel like reaching limitless potential was even something I was remotely interested in

c) I got a touch pessimistic “I’m just this one girl in a small town and not many people ever know what I do, check in with me to see how I am, or care at all so what’s the point?” – this are all lie narratives in my brain but just explaining why I’ve just been completely absent.

I look back on the past few years and I look to the times when I felt the best and was thriving and those were the moments when I was reaching in all directions to reach my fullest potential. I have realized that I’m one of those “high energy” people, and for so long I listened to the narrative that unless I was really reigning myself in and “resting” then I wasn’t doing life right.

I’ve realized that there is a difference between peace and rest. I find peace to be what I seek, and peace for me is found through also living a fulfilled life. Living a full life to me means reaching consistently for my fullest potential because if not then I just feel rather purposeless. For a long long time, I actually have found that to be a problem so I’ve continually worked through this, over and over and over again coming back to the same research and the same conclusion – that it’s okay to want fulfillment and purpose and there is nothing wrong with feeling in a funk when we don’t have that because it’s in our human nature to want to feel like we have a purpose.

I put in my retainers last night (yes, I just switched to speaking about my retainers lol) and realized that I got these retainers 14 years previously. FOURTEEN YEARS. It was this realization that life flies by and if you aren’t seeking your best, then you will literally look back and fourteen years pass you by.

When I run, it’s like the emotions of my life just come through me and I’m able to work through them and let them go. It’s a state of meditation for me. When I wake in the mornings, I have started a practice of 5 minutes of meditation. It goes by so fast, but it feels so good to spend five minutes every morning just focusing on my breathing before I go get my coffee. If I’m working out in the mornings then I get that five minutes, then I also get a run and by 630am, my workout is done and I literally feel like I could take on the world.

We have to be careful how deep we let ourselves get into our thoughts. We have to be careful how much we let our traumas whether big or small keep us back from our potential because until I had experienced going through the fire, I didn’t know about the flames. We have to be able to feel our emotions and then release. It’s so easy to allow yourself to sink into those negative emotions, and I do it frequently, and I’m always learning, but there comes those moments where you say enough is enough and start reaching for the stars.

When you look to the origin of emotions and the research, it becomes clear that emotions are so much more complex than an external stimulus that we are reacting to. As the age old phrase goes, “You choose to be happy” or “You make the choice to continue to love” and with intensive meta-analysis of all of the literature surrounding which parts of the brain do what, they see now that it’s not just about reactionary emotions but networks of neurons we set in place formulating tracts that we let ourselves go down and it takes EFFORT to break those. But, let’s break em 

We truly only get one life, and I’ve experienced such loss that I see how fleeting it can be. We can either sink into our negative thoughts or we can live out our unique gifts for the world. When you step into your unique gifts, you realize that your potential is limitless and your passion is on fire and your energy is directed into those spaces instead of the anxieties that life can bring. Sometimes it might be as simple as an energy re-direct. Time to take on the world, y’all    

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Meal Timing

Okay, first I want to write out some topics that I will be covering in the next few months just because I genuinely want to keep information coming to this blog. There isn't much of a timeline, but just some topics that you can expect me to cover and if you would like to subscribe, I don't think I've sent but 2 emails in the span of 3 years of this blog so I promise not to bother you but hope to at one point be able to provide a monthly recap email of all of the most popular and relevant topics. I hope to eventually be able to get my email list tailored to where you can choose the areas in which you are interested in so that the emails that you aren't, you won't get. Technology is expanding alldayerrday. Also, as always, I am not a medical doctor. I am a pharmacist and health coach with a heavy interest in this subject matter, so do not use this information to cure or treat anything and see a professional within the scope that you need professional help that is left up to your discretion. So, here we go: 

  • How to Build Mitochondrial density for endurance? 
  • Book reviews / Pertinent Books for endurance / nutrition / running / lifting if I have read these to review 
  • The Keto Craze and how this can apply to you individually 
  • Weight Lifting and the mTor Signaling pathway 
  • What is ACTUALLY creating a lifestyle of health and wellness? 
  • Neurobiology and parts of the brain and how this correlates with dieting and exercise
  • Warm up and cool down and the importance of this and what you can do different 
  • Diet breaks to help long term sustainability and metabolic capacity 
  • Micros and performance VS aesthetics and macros 
  • What are Nootropics? 
  • Nutrition in relation to cognition and learning and memory 
  • Intermittent fasting
  • Mental Models / Confirmation Bias / Changing your framework of thoughts to shift to the person you want to be 
  • Cellular autophagy and why you care ;) 
  • How to build endurance? 
  • Meditation / Mindfullness and how this is helpful for you 
  • Minimalism / Decluttering and the science of why it changes lives
  • Overtraining (what it is - how it happens - how to avoid) 
  • How to unlock your potential for your personal threshold of performance
  • Why the evolution of diets matter for you now 
  • Lifechanging books
  • Raising children with healthy relationships with food 
  • Marriage and creating space (I have a new outlook on marriage these days haha) 
  • Science of cold baths / cryotherapy 
  • How to train your mind (fighting narcissicsm, FOPO-fear of people's opinions, race day anxiety)
  • Connections and friendships in 2018 in a world of lacking human connection
  • Sprinkled in with life updates ;) 
 Pear glazed chicken with mushrooms, spinach salad and texas toast 

Pear glazed chicken with mushrooms, spinach salad and texas toast 

Okay, now for today's topic:

The timing of your nutrition is a question that many many people have when they start a new program. As athletes, I think that it’s important to take into consideration a few variables.

1)      How much of a difference is food timing going to make overall?

2)      Is this something that I will be able to implement every day?

3)      Would this cause any mental loopholes with making it work?

As usual, if something is not sustainable then it’s not useful. If it stresses you out to look at different amounts that you should be intaking, then by all means take it or leave it. When people ask me about supplements, I tell them to evaluate what they really want to get out of the supplement, the percentage difference they think this is going to have on their life, and then evaluate the cost of that vs what it will give you and make the decision. Many times, I find the literature to not be compelling enough for me to spend the cost on the supplements, and I know that if I keep a healthful diet, then I’ll have that benefit anyway. For example, I’m a high energy person, therefore I’ve never taken a pre-workout in my life. My husband has however because he places value in that area and feels he needs that boost.:

There is more recent literature on recommendations (from 2017) about the amount of macronutrients applied at different times is the most useful in different goals. I’m going to link up this while also giving bullet points of what it says. This literature is also based on someone who is not fat adapted. If you are someone who follows a ketogenic type diet or metabolic efficiency then this information might not be as appropriate for you.

Here is the link:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28919842

Here are the bullet points of what the article states:

If you have less than 4 hours between high volume exercise

·       “aggressive carb refeeding should be implemented” (1.2g/kg/h)

To give an example, if you weigh 120lbs, this equals 54kg (120/2.2) * 1.2 = 65g carb per hour

It states to aim towards foods with a higher glycemic index (>70), which includes foods such as potatoes, white breads, white pasta, and all highly palatable carbs for the most part. They also suggest adding caffeine and protein (0.2-0.4g/kg/h) so using the same example – 120/2.2=~54*0.3g = 16g of protein per hour. An example of a meal with 16g of protein and 65g of high glycemic index carbs is 3 egg whites scrambled with 9oz of potatoes (maybe you could make them like hashbrowns).

Moving on to the next situation.

If you are doing exercise that lasts longer than 60 minutes

·       30-60g carb per hour in 6-12oz of carb-electrolyte solution every 10-15min throughout the exercise (helps with fluid regulation and carb repletion)

To give an example, Tailwind has 200 calories in a packet which is 50g C so consuming one packet per hour mixed in a water bottle would be sufficient.

Remember that your metabolism, and your gut and your body is different than a clinical trial so while these are recommendations, you definitely want to take all of that into consideration, try various options and make decisions based off of that.

If you are doing a resistance training exercise

·       Consuming a protein/carb source DURING exercise can help with muscle gains and recovery

This is an area that I just simply won’t do. Sure, the data might be there, but I’m not about to consume a protein shake during my workout. Yuck. No thank you. I’ll accept the lack of gains. Lol.

Pre / post workout:

Your post workout meal will be determined on what you eat pre-workout. Consuming a meal of carb + protein OR just protein immediately after a workout or within the golden hour (ha) can help with “muscle protein synthesis” aka gains 

Meal timing in general

Intermittent fasting is all the rage, and does a lot more for you than fat oxidation and fat loss, however when looking at clinical trials, most of the time people find it more enjoyable and find themselves more satisfied when they are eating every 3-5 hours. When looking for general weight loss, and whether or not you should eat at certain times of the day or not at other times, for the most part, the overall consensus is that it doesn’t matter. Intermittent fasting is a topic for another day, and I do think that it’s valuable in certain situations dependent on the client.

Meal timing can be confusing, and overwhelming so most of the time when doing a general plan for a client, I just tell them to eat as they please, aim for every few hours within their hunger and fullness cues.

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Body Image

I just want to go ahead and move forward with the designation that this is going to go really deep so therefore it might not be something that you relate to.

When I think about body image, my first notion goes to the size and shape of my body. I think about the things that I believe to be true when I look at myself in the mirror or the ever-changing relationship I have with that reflection back. I heard once, “Do you realize that you’ve never actually seen your body?” And I think to myself that I most certainly have, every single morning as I mitigate the way that my day might unfold based on how I’m feeling about the shape of it that morning. But the truth is, I haven’t. I have only seen a reflection of my body in a mirror. I have not been able to look at my body through the lens of those around me, and the bodies that I see around me daily are not tied to this emotional context in which I see my own.

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Is that narcissism I ask myself? Patriarchy? Childhood trauma? Disillusion to reality? Or all one in the same? Is this consciousness that I experience of my own accord or are these experiences that I feel so heavily something of the autonomy of my genetic make up in which I try my damnest to exert control and have none?

What is it about body’s that we desire? What is aesthetically pleasing to the eye? If you look to the history of the aesthetic across history and generations, symmetry, hip to waist ratio (not actual size) and shoulder to hip ratio stay consistent. Within that, things change across the zeitgeist (the social and cultural views at any given timepoint) but if we look to the body’s that we find attractive and pleasing to our eyes, this is what we want to see. If we lived on a deserted island with no social and cultural development of what is the ideal, would this ever be something that was even discussed? I think not, therefore I think that the mere idea of body image distortion is not just some ‘mental illness’ that people like to throw around, but another narrative that was created to let women know that their body’s are the only thing that give them social value. From the beginning of time, this has been the case and we still experience this as people continually ask me when I will have children. I truly don’t get upset with this question as it’s only natural of them to ask with my stage of life, but it’s simply a framework to let me know that I must be involved in the objectification and shaping of my body because that is what gives me value in our present culture.

I think that we all know this not ACTUALLY to be true, but as homo sapiens (I only use that word because I truly mean this as biological not like just an idea), it is within our framework to want to be connected and accepted. It’s crucial to our existence and babies who don’t experience connectedness at a very young age even if reconnected quickly to adoptive parents still experience immense trauma into their later years. It is written in our DNA to want connection so therefore when we don’t fit the ideal, we begin to experience shame. The closer that we get to the ideal, we feel pressing urgency to maintain, avoid the other, and society rewards us by cheering us on and letting us know that “we look great”.

We create camps because that’s also what humans do. We say WE WILL NOT ACCEPT THIS and go into that camp or we say “it’s really okay to play along” and we go down the dieting route. I think that the dieting route is never meant to be of harm. Many times we simply just want to be healthier, or if we look deeper we want to fit the ideal, but even that makes sense. It’s okay to want to belong, but at what point do we see it as a social justice issue? At some point we have to say that we don’t accept the narrative. We separate from it. We recognize that it’s okay to love ourselves in health, but that doesn’t mean that we take up less space. We recognize that sometimes that means not even talking about health and wellness because inevitably the conversation is always turned back to aesthetics within the population at large, and then there would need to be awkward conversations of how to navigate this in a healthful way, so then the camps get even more divided (how’s that for a runon sentence?). It’s either a rejection of diet culture entirely or become part of the wellness space. You must pick, and if you say you are body positive but yet teach others how to diet, who are you even? What are you even doing and if you are someone who has EVER struggled with body image in your past, then GTFO because NO ONE WANTS YOU THEN. You’re not even allowed to make healthy decisions because then it’s disordered. We create more and more narratives, more and more story lines of who is accepted and who is not when at the end of the day, it’s all confirmation bias to what we already feel or don’t feel.

We create a space where vulnerability is not accepted unless you want to go into a particular “space” on the internet, and so those that don’t want to choose a camp become isolated and feel shame. I become nihlistic. None of it matters in the end anyway.

Maybe when I thought I had it figured out, I did not, and as I’ve grown into a more mature human, that makes all the years of work fraudulent. This is what happens to so many in the health and wellness space. It reminds me so much of Jordan Younger of The Balanced Blonde, and how she had to witness her shame smeared all over the internet in gossip because she chose to say that she was no longer vegan because this had created an orthorexic vantage point of health for her, and she needed balance. I heard her on a podcast like last week explaining that she gets emails daily about orthorexia to this day. Her shame will follow her forever, and I’m thankful that Jordan has found a really great confidence in herself that she knows she is past it and it’s okay.

We have to be able to understand what is going on from a societal, cultural, and neurobiological standpoint if we want to get to the root of what we feel and how to manage it appropriately. We have to start shifting the narrative within the way that we live our lives and the ways that we have conversations with others to let them know that it’s okay for them to take up space, but it’s also okay for them to be healthy if they so desire and can do so within a mental model that’s appropriate.

We then have to look at the intersectionality of race and gender and realize that when we think about the topic of body image, the conversation TYPICALLY comes back to white females, and how that affects those people who aren’t in that group and the even greater shame and displacement from society that a male must feel when he is struggling in these same areas when his cultural ideal is supposed to be one that is strong and independent and confident. Black women have a culture of being thicker than white women but what if you are struggling to be that, where does that leave you? What if your body is shaped more like a white woman and you have light skin? Is that a bad thing? I don’t know culture enough, but I think it’s worth mentioning because white females are typically the forerunners on this topic and I’d love to know more about how black women feel. We do need to recognize that women are targeted more frequently and how can be part of changing this? How are we portraying ourselves in the health space that continue the portrayal of women only being valued for their body. 

But every female that I know of that has continued in the wellness space post body image disorder is targeted maliciously. My point of saying this is just to point out that even in the female vulnerability, we are just simply shamed for just living out our truth and our personal stories, which causes further isolation. But that’s connectivity in 2018 and so we must discuss it, because these ideas aren’t just something that we discuss amongst ourselves but things that are now pervasive in images on young girls phones, and how are we contributing to their narrative.

We might think that we are being a loving image of truth and wellness, but what does that say to those young girls? This is always something that I struggled with because I feel as a wannabe/used to be influencer, it brings a level of responsibility to the images that you are putting up online and the messages that you preach.

If you preach body image love and yet you diet and exercise, is that true body love? Some would say yes and some would say no. Your truth is your truth. I am not here to disrupt that or challenge anyone truly, but simply just to navigate my thought processes. And when we speak of body image, is body love and body acceptance on the same spectrum because then we told that we don’t have to love our body’s but we just need to respect our body by caring for it appropriately. But what is appropriately? I have people who ADAMANTLY would say that self love means going to the gym when you don’t want to go and sometimes eating the things you don’t necessarily want to eat because that will make you feel better in the long run.  I absolutely know there are those that feel a deep social justice issue with those very things, and I really align with that as well.

Through my soul searching, I have become super cautious of the images that I post and the words that I say, but it always ends up in a big WHOMP and I keep deleting posts. Hahaha! I should stop that, but whatever, I’m always like ‘oh that didn’t come out the way I wanted it to’ but I’m spending time on this one and hopeful that it will be taken in a positive, loving, caring for the future of women and the spaces we should be allowed to fill up.

Thank you for allowing me to write in this space and share this with you. I hope you'll see my heart in it and not judgement. 

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Hypothalamic Control of Weight

When I have a topic that I've explained quite a few times over email with clients, I like to write a blog post about it for reference! :) 

I GENUINELY think that this information, if you don’t already know it, can be truly beneficial for every person, so hang tight and utilize this information to your advantage. That’s why I find such beauty in the science of nutrition, exercise, and neuroscience because it allows potential to own your life and understand that the choices and decisions that you make are based on that knowledge.

 made this image to describe the lipostatic theory controlled by our hypothalamus

made this image to describe the lipostatic theory controlled by our hypothalamus

There’s typically two emotions to this information, and honestly, I’ve realized that for now in my journey, keeping my opinions to a minimum is best, so I just want to share the information.

1)      Intuitive Eaters: Your hypothalamus and your biology are fighting against you to lose weight. You can’t control that, therefore it’s best to accept your current set point weight, cut your losses, enjoy life and food, and just REST. Stop dieting because you can’t control what it’s going to do anyway.

If you are in this camp, I recommend the books: Intuitive Eating, Health at Every Size

2)      Biohackers: What can we do to make this process easier to be able to fight this biological, evolutionary process because in times of scarcity, it was beneficial, but now that we are in the land of plenty and sedentary lifestyles, we can form high set point weights (aka we have gained

weight) and now for our health, we want to lose weight, so how do we do that efficiently?

If you are in this camp, I recommend the podcast: HVMN Performance / Bulletproof Podcast

Now, let’s dive into what I’m even talking about. Your hypothalamus is a bean shape in your brain that determines many of the process of your autonomic nervous system, which is inclusive of your metabolic rate, heart rate, body temperature, sex drive, thyroid function, hormone function, and so many other things. It’s really quite simple what the hypothalamus does when you are trying to lose weight.

When you lower your caloric intake, your body sees this as a problem. You have entered a place where food is scarce and so the body does what it does best – survive. In order to survive when food was scarce, all it knows to do is conserve energy. The hypothalamus will conserve energy, slow your metabolic rate, lower your body temperature, and adjusts your leptin and ghrelin to where you are hungrier and have more cravings. THANKS A LOT RIGHT?

We all have a set point weight range that is typically a 10-20 pound range dependent on our relationship with food. Our body’s fight for homeostasis so it will fight to maintain this in both directions. This is one of the reasons that reverse dieting works well when you start to increase food because the more food that you put into the furnace, your body will increase your core temperature, speed up your metabolism, and try to regulate you to your set point range. When you are trying to lose weight, it fights in the opposite direction. When you get to the lower end of your set point range, that’s when your body will plateau typically during a weight loss journey. This is typically when people give up, but if you hang in there, don’t do anything crazy and just continue a sustainable caloric deficit, then your body will continue to lose.

Here’s what happens A LOT. When you reach the lower end of your hypothalamic set point range, your cravings can become very intense. If you are someone with a binge eating type disorder which is a combination of neurotransmitter shifts, environmental triggers, and psychological restriction based on cultural ideals, then the first thing that you do when these cravings hit, you might binge eat, or you might fight the binge but you just overeat. Your body is PRIMED for weight gain due to the lower metabolic rate due to the conservation from the calorie deficit (scarcity) and then you bounce IMMEDIATELY back to the middle of your set point range. You do this for years and years and years and over time, if you keep yourself in a chronic dieting phase, you can really get your calories low while still not getting anywhere with your weight. It’s a maddening cycle.

If you have this form of relationship with food, then this is when I really recommend entering a reverse diet phase or start working towards intuitive eating. If you are someone who GENUINELY feels like they have a healthy relationship with food (and sometimes you can lie to yourself but you KNOW better so you need to be diligent and genuine in evaluating yourself) then that would be the only time that I recommend continuing to try to diet. I don’t think that trying to be healthier is inherently bad, but just being careful not to be overcome by the thin ideal and what you feel you are “supposed” to do.

The science is definitely compelling, and it’s all about utilizing it to the best of your ability to help you in whatever way is best for you.

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BIOHACKING

Ever find yourself wanting to learn so much and expand your brain so much that you don’t even want to take time to do normal things…like shower? Okay, just me? Haha! I’m joking..kinda. But my husband is going away for the weekend and I plan to work out in the mornings and then hole myself up all day with research and reading and learning. What topic you ask? Oh I don't know. I'll find something interesting. lol.

I’ve realized in the wellness space is that there is about 100 different avenues that you can go down for learning different topics. I was listening to a podcast about ketogenic diets the other day and it was done by a physician who knows what he is talking about and the information that he was sharing was in fact correct, however I thought about people listening to this podcast that didn’t know that much in this particular space and they would either a) become keto b) be really confused on nutrition in general. You can speak to the most well-respected physicians in different fields and become convinced that their way is in fact THE ONLY way to health whether that be plant based or ketosis which most of the time mean completely different ways of living.

In regard to all of that, I decided to go into a different wellness space to learn, and the cool kids are calling it biohacking. I found this cool photo that explains biohacking in full..

 SOURCE: https://blog.bulletproof.com/beginners-guide-to-biohacking-101/

SOURCE: https://blog.bulletproof.com/beginners-guide-to-biohacking-101/

Essentially, it’s looking at every aspect of your life and coming at it from a scientific perspective. Before everyone gets all heated, let me explain that these people are NOT crazy. Lol. They might seem that way but everyone has their hobby and I think that we are so quick to put a label on people that just want to do better for themselves and call it obsessive and weird. They see the general population as odd for not taking steps in every direction to better their lives inclusive of sleep quality/quantity, stress management, diet, exercise, attention, memory, intelligence. They are all big-time readers, and they study the science on how to retain the most information from the books that they read. They typically are only reading nonfiction science of course.

They have found the “best” exercise and for most of them that means some resistance training with HIIT in the mornings before they start their day and then a long endurance activity on the weekend. They are able to get the most benefit out of what they want out of exercise in this way which is maintaining a certain body fat percentage, cognitive function, and low anxiety. All of them typically fast, and not just intermittent fasting although they all do that. Some of them fast for days at a time. This helps them again go back to their goals which is to 100% optimize their life. They don’t have to spend time thinking about food most of the time because they are fasting, and during that time their body is also doing great things for them.

They manage their stress by meditation. They study the science of habit formation so that they are all able to quit their bad habits and start their new habits. They take all sorts of supplements and vitamins because they believe that 1% optimization of their physical or mental function is something they are ALL about. They optimize their gut health by eating in a certain way because they know that the gut is connected to the brain, and they optimize their brain health so that they can keep regular bowel movements.

They all churn out content like crazy because they are just the most determined focused people. It honestly has me like wanting to listen to their podcasts and learn from them ALL DAY LONG. Haha! They inspire me so much just by their sheer capacity to do all of these things. Most just think it’s such a hassle and just want to go about living their life, but they are the opposite of that. They want to find more and more good habits that they can add to their day and I respect that mindset so very much.

They want to be present with their jobs and present with their families. They want to be the most intelligent, physically active, and mentally sound person that they can possibly be. To them, that is the only way to live a full life. They find joy in the journey of learning and progressing. They don’t have anxiety over all of the changes that they make because to them, it’s seemingly no questions asked and they just find data to support things, and then they make change.

Sometimes, the wellness space that I find myself in is “ACCEPT YOURSELF JUST AS YOU ARE GIRLFRIEND!” and while I believe that’s a very valuable and needed space in the world, I also think that it’s really cool to find these people that don’t even bring up that topic. This isn’t about self love or self hate. They are all legit just have with all the nerdy science, and I’M LIVING FOR IT. Some of them encompass biohacking as a whole, but some of them are just specific to certain topics such as cognition or sleep or habit change/formation, etc. This topic can fold also into the meditation/spirituality realm because if you are looking into the neuroscience behind anxiety/depression then you start learning about how the brain works and how to heal it and meditation is a big part of that.

Here are some of the ones that I’m learning from:

HVMN Performance Podcast

Ben Greenfield Podcast (and his website www.bengreenfield.com where I signed up for the newsletter)

The Knowledge Project

Happier by Gretchen Rubin

The Bulletproof Blog

Mansal Denton

There’s so many more, but I’m going to stop there as that will be enough content to hold you over for weeks. I encourage you to delve into this space. I think the best way to approach it is to find a topic that interests you and go down that habit hole first.

For example, at first I wanted to understand anxiety and how to work on that, and then I wanted to understand habits, so then I went into all of the research on that topic. Then, I wanted to know about cognition, intelligence, memory, and optimizing that in my own life. I can say without a doubt that the steps that I’ve taken in the past year to optimize my intelligence and memory have been the most life giving thing that I’ve done for myself in a long time. Then, I wanted to get in to the science behind organizing your life. Like, I said, it’s never ending.

It’s intriguing and exciting and I think that in order for us to own our health, it’s important to constantly be learning and growing, and honestly…it’s just fun! The world is our oyster folks. LET US GET TO LEARNING 😉

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Compassion and Decision Making

Yesterday, I made an instagram post about whether I should continue blogging, re-route the domain to something less "fitness-y" or delete it or really just keep doing what I'm doing which is to just blog when I feel like it. I'm not going to go into those thoughts as I shared them yesterday. What I did want to do is apologize for continuing to ask that. It's honestly pretty narcissistic. Like who even cares honestly? There's a million and one bloggers on the internet. If I wanna write a blog, I can do that. If I don't feel like it, I don't have to. If I want to share a topic and some information, I'll share it in hopes that it will help people. It doesn't need to be some big freakin affair with a poll. Jesus Christ Almighty (sorry I'm annoyed at myself LOL).

What I want is connection and compassion. And sometimes I think that feels lovely on the internet, and sometimes it feels superficial and causes me to have a touch of fear on maybe not 'connecting' with the people who have my best interest at heart.

 Here's a photo of me. and those are my house shoes. HA!

Here's a photo of me. and those are my house shoes. HA!

I'm reading a book called "The Lost Art of Compassion" and the very nature of being annoyed with myself is the very nature of narcissism because again, I'm making it about me. Working through your demons and self assessing is something that I value. I think it's really important. If there is someone that will tell you her flaws, it's me. I don't say that in a self deprecating manner and I'm confident in the person that I'm becoming, but I'm not okay with who I am and I think it's important to always be growing.

One of the growing pains I am working on is decision making. I've researched decision making theories and the science of why we choose the decisions that we do. It's fascinating because I think that many of us just flippantly make these decisions without realizing what all goes into the workings of it. As humans, we are always going to look out for our best interest. We used to need that for survival but now we utilize those energies towards things that aren't nearly as important and that shields us from joy because we are always so consumed with worry about the future.

We worry about this superficial image that we will create to those around us and we all play these characters of who we think that we should be and we make decisions based off of that whether we realize it or not. I want to be someone who makes decisions based on genuine compassion and not the subconscious views of others by feeling the need to feel some void of human connection that is disguised as compassion. What I'm trying to say is that I want to provide content that is helpful. That's all I mean here. haha!

I went back and forth on selling our house that we live in now and while it's not our forever home and if someone bought it, I wouldn't be upset, I realized that my decision making process was based on what I thought would make me happy in the future but if I was to picture myself in the new situation, would I actually be happier? My moment to moment in my home right now is honestly lovely. We have a remembering brain and an experience brain and many times we think of our situations as worse (or maybe better) than they actually are, but if we look to the moment to moment, the experience is entirely different. Our brains do this to shield us from any sort of micro traumas that we might experience.

Kids are a pretty good example of this. Most likely no one would ever say that they don't love and adore their kids and when they think about their kids when they aren't with their kids, their hearts swell with pride and joy. They post about them on social media and they genuinely mean what they say. This is their remembering brain. But then, if you look to the moment to moment of children, we all know that's not roses and play dates but lots of exhaustion, annoyances, and headaches. It's absolutely WORTH IT but it's important to evaluate both of those perspectives when making decisions, in my opinion.

This also can lead to complicating things more than necessary and sometimes just making decisions on what feels good :) And sometimes that's all you need!

My biggest desire for my life is just that I'm providing others with the passion that I feel for the things that I feel passionate about and sharing the truths within those things.

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Where's Waldo?

Hi friends. 

I'm alive.

And well. 

It's been a while, and it wasn't really purposeful other than in late January, I was a bit annoyed with social media and decided to take a break and naturally that led me to actually *gasp* forget to blog. Blogging was my habit for so long. I know people set goals for how many times they will blog. They set out calendars of topics. That was never me. I woke up every morning and wrote what was on my mind. Good, bad, and the ugly. When I began to draw back from blogging, I had to actually force myself from blogging. I would like crave it. I wanted to share my opinions, dang it. I wanted to spam you with ALL THIS KNOWLEDGE (jkjk). I felt it was a needed space. And it was, but then again it wasn't. 

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Every day, I learn something new about this world and my place in it. I've dissolved myself less in the amount of words that I provide to the internet which has become so saturated, but rather in the thoughts of others - across all spaces. I've read a lot (have I mentioned that enough? I feel it's obnoxious but it's about like telling you I went for a run - I'm still gonna keep telling you when I do HA). I have realized how many other thought patterns on life, love, health, happiness, religion, philosophy, and nutrition then I could have ever imagined. 

I think this is my conclusion in every space. If someone says they 100% have it figured out, then they don't. Y'all, I literally laugh when I see someone produce a WALL of text on facebook about some political topic as if they have it figured out. Like I literally L-O-L. I'm just like "oh thank you for bestowing us with your wisdom. I totally am convinced now." Because whether it's philosophy or nutrition, exercise or parenting, everyone is going to have an opinion that is based on the culture they were raised in, their parents, their peers, their stigma, their trauma, their body, their intelligence...on and on and on. I get overwhelmed by this, and not in a bad way (well sometimes). Like, a really beautiful way. Like wow, life is just...so much. And I used to find the words so easy to come by and now I think too much. I find myself grappling how to explain what I feel on anything...like literally anything because if I go down one path, I find myself back tracking because of something else I've read/researched that makes me think that they also have a valid point in whatever space that they are discussing this. 

We live in the information age, and I've decided to soak that up. I don't want to be blissfully ignorant. I want to know who, what, when, where, and how. I want to EXPERIENCE life. I want to be apart of it and not on social - absolutely not on social - but like actually feeling grass beneath my feet and a calling in my heart and a purpose and drive that awakens my soul. 

So, what I'm trying to tell you is that I've become a hippy. 

But I'm like a really anxious hippy that hasn't quite figured out the namaste. Ya feel me?

I'm really lucky in that I think my husband is a fully formed chameleon (I had to google how to spell that). He's just like "WHAT GRAND PLAN DOES KATIE HAVE FOR US TODAY?" and just goes along with it! ;) No, but really. He is a really good listener, and so he is able to really see my vantage point on a lot of things and so we discuss a lot of things, like every day, in every way, and if anyone else lived in our household, they might actually go crazy. Shall we talk about North Korea or Ghandi today, mountain biking or plant based eating, buying nice quality things or selling it all and living out of a van? Racism? Gender inequality? Taylor Swift? MY NEW OBSESSION WITH REESE WITHERSPOON AND OPRAH? Let's discuss the research and the podcasts and the books...

(Let me interject here to say that my husband is a really good listening chameleon that then wants to FIX ME and I'm like "Can you not?" That's been an area he's been working on - the fixing - I tell him I'm flawless and don't need fixing and he's like 'but you just cried yesterday about this very thing and now you're over it?' and I'm like 'DUH. that's how this works' -- okay moving on but you needed to know he's not hot and perfect ;) hehehehehe)

 okay he is. he's perfect okay. jk i'm biased.

okay he is. he's perfect okay. jk i'm biased.

Do you get where I'm going with this? Probably not. Because I don't either. And that's part of the reason that I haven't blogged. I couldn't just come here with some FIVE FAVORITES FOR FRIDAY post after being gone for months. I couldn't formulate my opinions on just about anything because I see everyone's point on everything. It's like obnoxious what my brain does. But because I have like zero opinions anymore, there's not much to say. HA! I feel like if I was to give you advice, I'd follow it up with bullet points 1-5 on why other things would work for you as well dependent on your personality type and the culture that you were raised in. You know I saw a diet based on personality types the other day and IT TOTALLY MADE SENSE!! Introverts tend to be more empathetic and are more successful with plant based/vegan/vegetarian diets as they easily align themselves with the suffering of humans/animals due to meat consumption. I was shook. 

But maybe you see where I'm going. There is science out there for us to make our best estimations on what we feel is appropriate, but you can find a study on anything that you want to prove a point on. That's called confirmation bias and we do it in politics EVERY SINGLE DAY. We also believe what we want to believe and see, so while I want to provide people with what works for me and such, I also think that you may feel completely different and I don't want to take that away from you either. 

Does that mean that I don't know who I am? Well, I used to think that when I began this journey like 1.5 years ago? Girl, please. I'm so over that. It only took about 10 books of "The subtle art of not giving a f**", You're not that great, You're a badass, Ego is the enemy, blah-dy, blah. I'm over it. I just think it took me a while to realize that there was more to the world than the bubble that I had grown up in and only exposed myself to, and that confused me for quite some time. I'd get over it, then I'd start down the path all over again. 

Oh yea, and I got injured a few times so then my endurance was shot. I wish I cared, but I was in a space where I was just like man bump this, I'm taking a break so for about 6 weeks I didn't do much of anything. It was nice. I felt like a slug or a sloth or even...A NORMAL HUMAN BEING! ;) I keep getting DM's asking me if I'm still running. ha! Yeppp, I sure do. I know you're like waiting for me to drop the knowledge of what I'm doing for nutrition and workouts now, but I think that part of my elusive mystery of what I've got going on right now. Does Katie still run? Or does she not? HAHAHA! I just really don't even care enough to go into those details right now so can I just rant about life instead? K, cool. 

But let me interject this information to you. I'm sure you've all heard of Ben Greenfield, and he's one of those guys that if he tells me about some information, I'm pretty hype to believe it because I know he does his due diligence. He's all about some minimalist endurance training to be able to enjoy other things in life, and I'm like...HERE.FOR.IT. 

Basically in endurance training, other than pure enjoyment, the goal of the training sessions is to get you prepared for race day but scientifically increased endurance can mean: 

-increasing your heart rate, stroke volume, increasing your V02max, changing the density of your mitochondria (energy powerhouse)

Ultimately, you want oxygen to be delivered to your muscle cells efficiently and when you are more in shape more quickly and then how much that oxygen is being utilized from the muscles before it's sent back to the heart. 

You can do that in the traditional sense by the normal programming of altering between tempo days, speed workout days, and longer days in certain heart rates doing the craft that you love and enjoying it. But sometimes, ironman athletes don't have 20 hours per week to devote to their craft. I am like ALL ABOUT time management and being able to do all sorts of things. I'm not going to give all the details because this could be a full post, but just that you can do HIIT workouts throughout the week, one hour workouts on normal days and then one to two 2-4 hour sessions on the weekends and build the exact same density of mitochondria giving you the same results without all the burn out, exhaustion, and low recovery. YASSSS. PRAISE BE. 

And to be fair, another way you can do this is through doping (exogenous epoetin) but I'm going to guess you guys probably won't need to go that route! ;) I joke that I'd totally dope if it was you know...moral and legal. But it's not, so I digress. lol. 

I just wanted to come on here and let you know that I'm doing really well, specifically like this week has been like really good. I also bought a mountain bike yesterday because Tanner and I have found these new outdoor hobbies together and we want to hike and camp and explore all summer and I'm just so pumped. I can't wait.

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I'm taking the NASM CPT test soon - as in I haven't really studied and I need to do that because you only get 6 months but after pharmacy school and years in this biz, I feel like I already knew everything when I read the book just being honest. I'm NEVER confident in test taking..literally ever. I was ALWAYS ALWAYS the kid that has to study her brains off, but for the first time I'm like .. just chill. And it feels so badass. Like I almost want to walk into the test with sunglasses on. And then I'll probably fail. 

And can I just say how uncomfortable that last paragraph made me? Isn't it pathetic that we can't compliment ourselves without feeling like the entire world is going to judge us and think we are arrogant. Sheesh. So I'm actually really not very smart. Okay, I feel balanced now. 

LOVE AND PEACE AND ALL THE CHANGING WORLDS THAT IS KATIE. 

I almost type "that is katiesfitscript" but I'm really past that. Like really. Like, I'm fairly certain I'm going to reroute this blog URL, but we shall see. I'll probably change my mind 5000x before I would do that, then I'd do it, then I'd regret it. hahaha. I mean it's catchy but if one more person calls me "Katie fit" or "Katie script" in person, I might like actually sucker punch them. KATIESFITSCRIPT. WITH AN S AFTER KATIE. FOLLOWED BY FIT. THEN SCRIPT. 

Okay, I've been way too catty on this post. I'm still kind, I promise. Like, honestly, I feel really less judge-y these days and it feels good. Those were hard habits to work on.

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Training Updates

So, I mentioned this on all of my social sites, but I wanted to go ahead and go into a touch of detail for those that I know that might only read my blog. I’ve realized over time there’s still a lot of people that read this blog, and it makes my heart so happy and I stopped looking at stats years ago but I did tonight and was like WOW, people really do still read. HAAA! Hi, yall.

Or maybe you’re just here to creep. That’s cool too 😉

First, I’d just like to say that real life apart from all of this blog/fitness/health stuff is just wonderful. Tanner and I took so long to find our stride in Shelby, but we are happy..so so happy. We feel that both of our careers have really taken off here, we have really gotten closer with my brother and his wife and so we are able to just be like “Hey, it’s Tuesday. We are coming over.” So, that was yesterday and we went over and had grilled cheese, potato soup and I got to spend time with Jackson (who loves to be naked constantly hahaha-I loveeee age 3- it’s my fav!)

 This morning's workout: 1 hour of bike intervals + 4 mile tempo off the bike

This morning's workout: 1 hour of bike intervals + 4 mile tempo off the bike

Deciding maybe not..

I started the count down to Myrtle Beach sometime during the weekend (that I had planned to run 14 miles but got struck with the 2.5 day black plague of 101-103 fever that wouldn’t break that’s now completely gone-#muchconfusion) and was like “Good gosh, I have 5 weeks left.” Don’t get me wrong. I could pull it off. I could run this marathon. I might could even sub 3, but it wouldn’t feel “right” if that makes sense. I almost don’t WANT to run the marathon well if I only got 5 solid weeks. That’s like all the kids in pharmacy school that never studied then would make A’s on the exam. THAT’S SO ANNOYING. If I’m going to make this time, I’m going to DO IT RIGHT.

So, we are back to the drawing board. I decided to drop to the half. I’m actually kind of excited about that now because I NEVER run halfs (mostly because I’m cheap and if I’m gonna pay for it or train for it, I’m going to go the full). My PR was 1:32 per my watch but an official 1:37 at the NYC half marathon, so my goal would be to break 1:32. I feel confident in that.

Moving Forward..

My next full marathon after this one will be in the ironman, however my next stand alone sub 3 attempt will be Savannah Marathon at the beginning of November. I never even got a chance to truly train for this marathon, so I’m not changing anything in that approach. I feel very confident in the training program I have in my head for Savannah and just excited to execute it. I just simply had some fluke crap happen this time, but I’m so so thrilled because I have like a lot of time to really restore my body to good health and do some strength training to build my core to stabilize me moving forward.

I’m going to do an update soon with my plan to train for the ironman in a spreadsheet like I did for my marathon, and what I plan to do. As of this weekend, I’m 13 weeks out, and honestly, I said I wouldn’t “really” train for this until 12 weeks out because as we all know, I do better with shorter so I still have a week to chill! <3 We are going hiking this weekend to Chimney Rock (our first exploration of this area) and going to one peak, one waterfall, and then a tour of the lake and dinner at a famous place that is by the lake that the Dirty Dancing scene is in!

Nutrition

I have gotten Tailwind, and for now that is going to be my drink of choice on the bike. On the bike, and in the powders, my body just churns through calories, and I typically do about 150-200 calories, which is what I recommend to my athletes as well dependent on them of course. I will be using that as well. I like over loading calories also on the bike because I don’t like to take in as much while I’m running tbh. I’d rather just run, but during race days, I always take in one gu per 5 miles (100 calories per 35-40ish minutes), but oh boy how I hate it by the end of the marathon. I will be using this in practice this training cycle due to preparing my gut for it because it tends to want to revolt. I’m also having testing done next week in Charlotte to find my resting metabolic rate. I’m interested to see what this comes back as.

Resting Metabolic Rate +  Energy Expended in Digestion of Food + Exercise = Total Daily Calories (This can vary so significantly person to person and of course depends on what level you are in athletics but it’s all so super interesting to me).

I’m also doing a VO2max test soon as well and I’m going to get a follow up with blood work with Inside Tracker. JUST CALL ME A LAB RAT! LEGGO.

2018 Goal Updates

Since it’s the end of January, I thought I’d give some updates on my goals. Don’t be overwhelmed. I literally do nothing but work and train and hang out with family. I have tons of free time tbh and I love doing things in my free time. I should probably go volunteer and be useful to society but here I am folks hahaha!:

  • ·         I have written 10,000 words in my fictional novel that I’m writing. It’s such a joy of mine.
  • ·         I feel really connected with my co-workers and in my job since the New Year. I feel connected more and more with my patients, and we are rolling out new things for them which I’m so excited for.
  • ·         My reading goal is 100 books, and I’m 75% through my 11th book for the year. The books that I have read are:

o   The Alice Network, What Happened, All the Missing Girls, What I Talk about when I talk about running, Left Neglected, Committed, Mountains Beyond Mountains,The Tipping Point, NASM CPT book, and 75% through The Goldfinch (Pulitzer Prize winning novel and I’m OBSESSED! New fav!) All of these were really good, but my favorites: What Happened (oh so interesting by Hilary Clinton no matter your party) and The Tipping Point.

  • ·         I still don’t drink diet soda – so this is the longest I’ve been in my entire existence hahaha! I still don’t claim to be done forever, which is a slippery slope. HA! I really do enjoy NOT because carbonation was making me feel yucky constantly, and I get 9999.999% less headaches.
  • ·         I’ve been doing 3 items of gratitude daily (missed some days of course). I do it at the beginning of the day as I feel it aligns me well for the day.
  • ·         I’ve finished the NASM book and going over the study guide hoping to become certified in personal training at the beginning of March! YAY! I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK! I learned so much and relearned so many things I have forgotten and have a PLETHORA of appendices to use for workouts now. I’m PUMPED to say the least and can’t wait to be a trainer in person and online. EEK!
  • ·         We finished our wine class and I feel I have a new little skill in my back pocket.

These are things I’m proud of and not in a self deprecating way but y’all, I’m a hot mess express like every other day, so I never want to give some illusion like I’m just over here slamming goals and that’s all I do. Hahaha! I lose my debit cards. I lose my keys like every day. I set a hot skillet on my new handmade cutting board my father in law made for us and it bubbled up (Tanner says it’s fixable but I cried HA). My Christmas tree is still up (I mean personally I count that as a WIN-MAY THE SEASON NEVER DIE!). I have days where I waste hours at a time just because I get sad for literally no reason. Okay, you get the point. I just like to keep it real. Oh, I’m also backing out of a marathon that I absolutely love and was sad about for a hot minute, but like what are you gonna do? Mope? NA. I’m good. I just want to move forward.

DAILY ROUTINE

If you’re curious about how I do all of this and what my days look like:

445am – wake up//coffee

5-6: Read for pleasure

6-6:30: Make food for the day

6:30-7: Get ready

7-7:30 Answer Katiesfitscript Emails and look over client’s running notes

8-4ish: Work (This can vary depending on the day // client load // work from home load) – typically read for like 30 minutes while I eat lunch MAYBE just depending

4-6: Workout

6-7: Dinner // Catch up with Tanner

7-730: Write novel

7:30-8: More Katiesfitscript Programming// Emails // Blog post writing

8-9: Either watch Grey’s Anatomy or read again

9-445: SLEEP!

REPEAT!

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Living Life with intention

Ever have a day where you are feeling so inspired by all the world around you that you feel you migh burst if you dont' write about it? I have realized that writing (if that's what you can call this blog because I'm well aware of the syntax errors haha) is something that is liberating for me. It's a way for me to connect my thoughts. My husband had never said this before but the other night he said he feels he gets to know me better on my blog. Don't get me wrong, I say these things to him but sometimes it's just so much easier to expres how you are feeling through written words. I think that's why reading has become such an enjoyable thing for me to do in between every other thing that is life. It allows me to escape into the beautiful writings and stories that someone felt compelled to tell. Writing is a pretty vulnerable thing, and I share my heart bleeding wide open in this space. Sometimes I wonder who has read some of my thoughts here that I will just see out and about in town haha!

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We might not all write about it, but we all have this fire that beats within our soul. It's the thing that keeps us moving forward. It might actually be something that we don't even really identify and we are just doing the day to day but when the one topic comes up, it makes us get excited. For example, my brother is not someone to really set goals, but he has started a landscaping and lawn care business this past month and his heart is on fire.I love seeing it. He has made business cards and a facebook page, and he is ready to go. 

Obviously, mine is endurance sports, health, and my career as an ambulatory care pharmacist (which luckily can sometimes go hand in hand) . Every single day we are given the opportunity to make it a day that sets our hearts on fire or we can sit in the background and become complacent with how things are. But the truth is, sometimes THAT IS YOUR PASSION. I know that sounds odd, but I know some people who are completely overwhelmed with big goals and hearts set ablaze, and the element of calm serenity is what gives them purpose and a path to do the best that they can and live their best life. 

One thing that is shown in literature is that humans are really bad at predicting the future. At age 18, you think you have it figured out but at 28 you laugh at yourself. At age 58, you think you certainly couldn't change and are good to go with who you are but yet ten years later at 68, you think "Wow, I've changed so much." It's very fascinating, so if you don't have that one thing that gives you passion then that doesn't mean that you don't have a reason to be passionate about living life every day with purpose and drive. That doesn't mean that you don't seek to become your best in all aspects of your life professionally, relationally, athletically, intellectually, etc (whatever your choosing). We are all going to change, and right now, I think about the wind in my hair as I'm flying through a run and I get a thrill. 

You might ask me what I think about when I run and I couldn't really tell you. I could give you a list of things that I go through but then when I really think about it, I realize that it actually empties my mind. It's a state of enlightenment and meditation for me to be able to just connect with my feet hitting the ground. I become who I'm designed to be without all of the other thoughts in my head or the worry. That is my time. 

I'm sick with the flu right now, and this is literally DIRECTLY after finally healing my quad and ankle. I was good to go escalating mileage slowly at 9min/mile pace planning to do 14 miles today and I wake up with a 103 fever and haven't broke 101 all day with rotating Tylenol/Ibuprofen. I haven't been diagnosed with flu but symptomatology is there, so I'm laid up on the couch. This morning I was like REALLY (rolls eyes) but then as the day progresses I thought about all the reasons why I'm so thankful to not ever get sick most years. This is the first real sickness I've had in Tanner and I's 7 years together, so I'm thankful for that. I'm thankful for a sport that I know that I can do as long as I want, and that there is always other races if need be. I don't know what I'm going to do about Myrtle Beach Marathon yet, but honestly I'm not really that concerned about it. I'll figure it out.

This sport isn't about times or placings to me. Truly. I'm dedicated as can be to those things. I work more behind the scenes than I can even explain recently with mobility, stretching, meditation, focusing on motivation etc etc so of course I want it, but I'm honestly not competitive. I just want to have fun in my hobby that gives me so much joy. 

I've been dreaming a lot about my children lately. I don't know what that means, or if it's just a figment of my imagination but I think about the people that I want to raise them to be. No one has a hand book on that (that's for sure), but I hope that as I guide them, I'm able to help them find that thing that makes them feel alive. I hope that they go to their job every single day with the same kind of passion that I have after my ambulatory care conference on Friday. I hope they strive to be athletic, but if they are artistic or intelligent then honestly, I could care less. I just want them to thrive. I want you to. thrive. 

Ashley Horner posted an instagram caption about the new businesses that she is opening in 2018 and how busy she stays and how hard she works. That is my heart. Her attitude towards life is how I like to live -. full of passion and love. 

None of any of this is possible without human love and connection. Writing is amazing, but it's even more amazing when we can connect with those around us that say "I get you. I'm there too." By pursuing what sets our hearts alive, we are able to be better for those around us. For stay at home moms, the very act that you do daily is your pursuing your passion lived out relationally. How amazing, right? Take your life, look at it through a different lens. 

You don't need to be the best. You just need to take what life has placed in front of you, switch it, no matter what it is, and strive to make it YOURS. Make your mark. Don't get complacent. I don't care what your job is, and if you hate it that much, then there ARE other things you can do. There are ALWAYS other things you can. I don't mean that to berate you and I know that we aren't all given the same opportunities in life, but make this life your own. 

Live life with intention, purpose, and drive. In all you do. Every single day.

Excuse the language in this, but Tanner showed me this video this morning and I love it!

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Intuitive Eating - What's most appropriate for YOU?

I always struggle when I begin a post about something such as this because I find nutrition to be very controversial. When I first began in the fitness industry and writing a blog, I wrote solely about what worked for me and as time went forward, I realized that this was definitely NOT the only way and then I went down a few roads and finally realized that as many of us know, there is not one right way for anyone. There are multiple different ways to approach things, but if you are solely looking at intuitive eating vs macro or calorie counting, most of the general population would say that intuitive eating is the way to go, no questions asked, and that you just have to learn the principles and reject diet culture. I don’t disagree with that necessarily, but I think that there is a time and place and I think that for some, as I’ve heard it actually from their mouth, they feel MORE guilt because they can’t figure out intuitive eating than if they just count, keep balance of all kinds of variety of food within those macros, and then move on with their day without having to think about it.

I almost feel that because I have researched SO much in every different avenue of nutritional guidelines (keto, paleo, high fat, metabolic efficiency, vegan, plant based, intuitive, macros, calories, HCLF, and so on) that it can seem ignorant of me to pick one of those and say THIS IS THE WAY. HERE IS THE EVIDENCE IN THE LITERATURE ON PUBMED. Because the truth is, there is literature for all of these. There are some that are better than others but when you are looking to your health from a holisitic perspective (meaning everything as a WHOLE – NOT just your body aesthetics), this can encompass many things, but it also can hold value in different areas for each individual person.

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I think that there has been a wonderful shift away from body image. I think that it is so important to recognize that you are valuable despite the size of your body and that it honestly should be something that we kind of stop talking about. But, the truth is, that the pendulum swung. I had a client email me that she felt unworthy because she doesn’t have a “I gained 20lb transformation photo from when I tracked macros to this new found liberation in food.” She feels liberated in food, but she finds herself questioning her motives. She’s not obsessively tracking to the gram. She’s not NOT going out to eat. She’s fully living her life. She’s participating in athletics that give her joy. Nothing that she does is really based on body image. She doesn’t have a crazy ab separation, but she’s healthy, fit, and lean and she “kinda” tracks macros each day to get a general sense of the balance that she is consuming.

Don’t get me wrong. The person I described above is someone that I really value and think that she has the missing piece that many find so difficult to find which is that macros are not meant to be these perfect ratios that fit your body and if you do think that, then that’s not looking at the science either because that’s not how we function. Our body’s have different amounts of expenditure daily based on our exercise but also on our NEAT (non exercise activity thermogenesis) because some days we might be more active with our kids, or have to walk more stairs at work and in return, we might be more hungry. If we aren’t able to listen to those cues and feel confined to these little ratios, then that can form a disordered approach to eating.

Many times, as I saw as a question on Lynette’s Instagram, she asked “If you don’t hit your macros, do you find yourself saying ‘screw it’ for the day and eating in abundance?” I think that’s a great question because it’s something that comes up so frequently, and so the answer to that question from almost everyone would be “well it’s clear macros aren’t for you and that you should learn intuitive eating and that macros are no longer for you.” Honestly, that might be the case, but I think that the biggest thing to note is that you need to work on your relationship with food first and foremost.

Working on your relationship with food and counting macros/calories are obviously not in the same boat as just about everyone will tell you, but I think that we all enter different seasons of our lives when one thing is more appropriate than the other. We have to recognize that everyone has different personality traits that lend them towards certain things.

I handle each client individually and many times, I can tell that they are in a place that they need to pursue intuitive eating, so I start to talk to them about this. Many will go down this road, especially those that are in Shelby, and because they don’t have any nutritional knowledge, they aren’t “cursing diet culture and eating in abundance” but they are going to McDonalds and Chickfila now for every meal because that’s what is convenient and they find themselves gaining weight. I can promise you that my stepfather has ZEROOOO attachment to diet culture, but he’s ALWAYS going to choose unhealthy options. He’s not going to choose healthier foods literally ever. Ever never. So, unless there is some dialogue with him or someone fixes something else, then he’s never going to properly “intuitively eat” which has an element of “choose this healthy salad because that is what will make you FEEL good.”

There is also a progression for every single person. I could have NEVERRRRRR (I repeat NEVER) done intuitive eating before I took the progressive steps to get there, and to be honest, I’ve kicked up exercise for the ironman therefore I am tracking again to make sure I get enough loosely. When I started macro counting, I had to meticulously count every gram to be able to trust the fact that I could fit these things into my day and that my body could handle it. It was a liberating and absolutely WONDERFUL part of my story. It was absolutely the best thing that ever happened to me, because no matter how much literature I would have been given, I would have never tried these foods and just been able to let go. That was obviously not a healthy mental manner that I was living, but it’s just the truth. I had to learn to trust the foods based on the nutritional value of them first, and then I was able to move into these other stages.

Last but not least, we have a finite time on Earth. We all have the choice to do whatever the heck we want to do with our lives. I have clients who vehemently wants to track macros because that gives them structure and routine and a challenge and helps them to fuel for their performance (they are eating 2800 calories most days by the way-macros are not limiting-they are just structured). When most of the world thinks of this, they think “Oh how sad. Stuck to those numbers and values. That can’t last forever. She must find a way out”. I get this viewpoint. I do. But it’s also her life, and if she is handling it with a healthy mindset without being obsessive, or even IF she is being obsessive, as long as she is healthy with a period and all blood work is great, then why do we choose a lifestyle that is meant for us and place it on someone else? Am I making sense here? It’s like politics. I believe things with my entire whole heart, but my brother literally feels the exact opposite. We could fight all day about it, but we ignore it because that’s what you do when you love someone. If you know that it’s not harming them to think that way, and they are able to live a happy and fulfilled life doing what they love, then why do we make them question themselves and say that their way is absolutely not appropriate?

I follow @ellenfisher on Instagram. She is the epitome of perfect living with her cute little family in Hawaii. They are STRICT STRICT vegan. She is not limited by this. ATALL. But, if you were to ask many people about veganism they would say that it’s way too strict and a terribly, unbalanced, mentally obsessive way to live. But, she doesn’t see it that way. She sees her life as a beautiful bounty of abundance as she home schools and lives in nature. I literally LOVE.HER. She is herself…completely and freely, and it’s beautiful.

Self care doesn’t always have to be doing nothing. Self care can mean making yourself go do your run because you know how you will feel afterward. Self care can mean tracking your intake for the day to make sure you get enough or you don’t get too much so that you can progress towards some bigger goals that you have. It all comes down to your mindset, because on the flipside, if you are obsessing then self care can mean dropping it all and relaxing into your life more. But, it’s absolutely an individual process of finding that for yourself and it might not look like what it looks like for anyone else around you.

It is of note that I truly do understand that not everyone will agree with this blog post, and therefore is why I normally avoid these topics altogether, but these are not thought processes that I have taken lightly and have pondered over them for literally years and read tons and tons of data.

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Time Management

Every single time that I begin an ironman build up, inevitably, I always feel that there are never enough hours in the day. I have yet to really even kick up training, but the looming ahead of the hours to come already gives me a touch of guilt. I posted about this on my Instagram stories and got tons of great insight from women who have felt the same way and little tips that they have done to manage their time better. I will give myself a little pat on the back for the fact that I have really honed in on time management over the past few years and it has drastically impacted how much better I'm able to train knowing that other things are taken care of as well. 

 I can't wait to wear this again, have this sort of work to do again, be in this kind of event again, and hit that finish line again! EEEK I'M SO ESSSSCITED &lt;3

I can't wait to wear this again, have this sort of work to do again, be in this kind of event again, and hit that finish line again! EEEK I'M SO ESSSSCITED <3

1. Ya gotta keep the first things first. 

My planner is hilarious. I gave up trying to make my planner organized and cute because it's the one area of my life that can't be organized. It has to encompass how I will organize everything else therefore it's just lists and lists of things that need to be taken care of. 

One of the main things with time management is priority management. What is the most important thing to you? Obviously, relationships are typically at the top, and those take time. But balance is a swinging pendulum and do we ever really reach that effortless balance anyway? It's all about balancing the unbalanced. Please, don't mistake this blog post to be about condoning busyness and the badge of honor of having "oh so much to do." That's something I really don't like, and am trying not to do but to genuinely give helpful tips to get the most out of your days. 

Facebook, and maybe even reading this blog post, should not be in your priority list. You might think it only takes a few seconds, but we all get sucked in to whatever the little time wasters are, and we genuinely can stop those. Make your to do list, but do the things that take the highest priority FIRST. Laundry may be last on that list and that is A-Okay.

2. Be DEEP where you are 

I have to remind myself that I do a lot of races, but my races come in waves. I don't do them all the time. I'm 7 weeks out from Myrtle Beach (which I did run yesterday with no pain after a month off wooo), and I'm 14 weeks out from Ironman Texas. That's pretty deep into training cycles, and so Tanner understands that, he was talked to about all of this beforehand, and so he knows what to expect. I'm not a social butterfly anymore like I used to be, so I keep to myself for the most part, and on my off days, I always spend that time with my immediate and extended family. 

Each section of my life gets my undivided attention. For example, while I'm writing this blog, I cannot be bothered with other things. haha! That sounds so terrible to say but Tanner knows that if I say "I'm going in here to work on XYZ" that he will not come in there and ask me questions or even sneeze my direction. I have read a lot of literature and listened to podcasts on the concept of "Deep work" and how all of us with our smart phones and texts and emails and on and on and on get absolutely nothing done these days because we are always interrupting our deep work. This is why famous authors have places that they have escaped- to be able to write the best novels of all time. We work best when we exit from the background noise and pay attention to what we are doing. We are able to get that task done and then move on. 

Gosh, I wish I knew this concept in pharmacy school. I literally used to go to the library all day every day but half the time I was distracted. I always knew that I needed to be better but I just was not mature enough to discipline myself. Sometimes, I wish I could re-do pharmacy school to be able to learn more efficiently because I love learning and feel that I could have soaked up so much more. Ahhh- hindsight is always 20/20.

3. Organization 

This is something that I conquered in 2017 and I'm so proud of it. I've talked about it a lot, and how I became organized, and over time it gets better and better because I create some new system or I organize some new thing each week. I'm thankful that we haven't moved in 2.5 years at this point (even though we contemplated it like 500 times) so it's much easier to organize now that we are settled in here.

Organization takes time. Organization doesn't need to be done during your ironman training cycle, but rather in the off seasons if you have a lot to do, but once you have systems in place, everything has a place, you know how to execute, do your training and be out the door. Everything has a place, everything gets charged at a certain time, everything is in a certain bag or drawer, and is washed in a certain format. Yall, I've gotten real detailed about this. hahaha! Every single thing I own has a place (even my individual pairs of socks-don't judge me). It's fantastic. 

Organization can be more than just your house of course, but also organization of your time. Have blocks that you know that you will do things, and stick to that each and every day. 

4. Always workout at the beginning of the day 

This is something that I don't do, but it's also because I know that I will always do it regardless, but I do know that many people will skip their workouts if it's not in the morning. I personally like to read for an hour in the mornings, but I can already tell that's about to go out the window for the ironman training season. haha! 

If you have your workout as simply something on your to do list, then it's not something that you can just skip. But you also have to go back to that priority list as well. Every single workout should have a purpose but there are many different levels at which athletes train. I know that we all want to do our best, but there are sometimes when workouts aren't going to happen. Does that mean that you just don't do the race? No. That's silly. Recognize your athletic ability and the potential to be able to do this race is not about your every single day workout but rather about the muscular endurance and adaptations of your nervous system that you are creating over time, and that can happen even if you miss some workouts due to your priority list. 

5. STOP STRESSING ABOUT IT 

If there is one area that I struggle, this is it. I always am able to rationalize all of the things above and put them into place, but regardless, the blocked out time that I have made for my training, I always feel guilty about it. I always apologize to Tanner even when he agreed to let me do it, and honestly I truly think I'm more annoying because I apologize vs if I was just not bring it up or rather just thank him. As I joked about on Instagram, when I got home from worrying about being gone at the YMCA too long, he was literally happy as can be playing his video games. The boy does not need to be attached to my hip or mine to his. I've never been like this with worrying about time until Ironman stuff and for whatever reason, I think because it's a hobby and not work, I find myself being like OH GOSH OH GOSH. 

But THAT GETS ME ABSOLUTELY NOWHERE. I have talked on END about emptying your mind to be able to just live life and enjoy it (because isn't that why we do this to begin with) and so I am starting to do a short dynamic stretch / warm up / meditation before I begin training and saying to myself that I will not feel guilty, I will enjoy my workout, and I will empty my mind of guilty thoughts for this entire session. 

I hope this list is helpful with how you manage your time and your thoughts going into whatever races that you may have. I actually do have to say that while I fill my days with work, side work, coaching work, ironman training, dog mom, and wife life, I don't have near the responsibilities as many people do so I know that it takes a village, y'all! 

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Sports Psych - Going the Long Distances

Yesterday, I asked my facebook team group about some different questions they might have and some blog posts that I could write that would be helpful. There were so many interesting topics that were brought up and some of them were referencing sports psychology. Psychology is actually one of the biggest area of research that I've done within the past 6 months and most of all the books that I have read and so I just feel like I've been head deep (pun intended) for a while soaking up everything that I can learn on this topic. It is so incredibly fascinating. Our brains control SO SO much. Actually, I'd venture to say that our brains essentially control everything that we do all day every day.

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We are able to handle certain things based on our prior experience and we are able to look to the future of what we expect to be able to handle based on our previous experience or what we have seen others experience. Some of those experiences might be beneficial but some of those might be damaging, and is it possible to rewire your neural circuits to be what you want them to be? The answer, in short, is yes. You basically can become a completely different human full of all kinds of different character traits and ideologies if you so choose to go against the grain. Again, I repeat, it's fascinating.

Our brain is connected to so many things throughout the body, and one of those specifically as you'll know from the race day bathroom line is our vagus nerve that runs the length of our spinal cord into our gut. So, how can you change the way that you are thinking about things to even prevent the race day stomach issues? How do you use the skills that you can learn in sports psych to not be afraid to go the longer distances for your training runs?

There are a few things that help with this

1) Separation from thoughts of your subconscious amygdala "fight or flight" brain

2) Forced experiences to create new prior experiences to create an element of trust

What is so funny about this however is the fact that even though we have the element of trust that we have done something before, if we don't combine also the knowledge that we have to separate from our subconscious then humans are very hard learning beings. We will always go back to the fear. This is how we were created. This is what has allowed us to evolve over the years because that amygdala thought keeps us on guard and protects us. The issue is, we don't really need protecting from a long run do we? I mean maybe we need to use reasoning and coaching that tells us to do it at certain speeds that are within your ventilation threshold (the ability to talk during your long run) to keep us in that zone 1-2 heart rate that allows us to complete the run, but otherwise, what are we so worked up about?

To conquer the longer distances, I think it's important to actually pinpoint your fears. What is it that you are nervous about? Maybe it's nailing your PR but studies have shown that those that are able to quiet their minds before races are able to perform within their actual capabilities. Your 'fight or flight' is only harming you. It's making you have to poop too, and ain't nobody got time for that on race day.

The other part of your brain is your prefrontal cortex. This is the area of the brain that involves all of the thinking and reasoning skills. This is what tells you that you will in fact not die if you start this long run and it's what kicks in after someone frightens you to say "Girl, false alarm. You're good." These parts of your brain are always working side by side and it's hard to really repress one or the other especially if you aren't aware that this is going on.

So, first, you must recognize that this happens. Second, I think it's important to take a few moments today or in the following days and listen to the "movie" that is going on in your head. The thoughts that are going in and out of your brain that if you sit back and separate from them, you recognize them as not your actual real thoughts. They are your amgydala thoughts. We all have them. Meditation helps because you focus on your breathing and maybe the noises around you, but you clear your mind. You turn your focus. You forget about the fear. You must tap into the part of your brain that is able to reason.

The saying always goes that you can do anything that you want to do if you set your mind to it, and that it's always mind over matter. I believe that with my whole heart. The brain controls everything, so it must be part of your training. If you are able to conquer your mind's thoughts, you will be a much better athlete over the years and it's something that I've really been working on.

One thing I've spoken about before I did research into sports psychology is this idea of emptying my brain on race mornings which is something I still do. The best way I know to explain it is my own form of meditation where I busy my mind with every single thought as long as it's not racing.

"What do I want for dinner? What can I do to make this trip fun for Tanner instead of just waiting for me? What are some new goals that I have when I go home? How can I be a better daughter? When do I want to have kids? What is my to do list when I get back to the house after this weekend? What house projects should we do? What blog posts could I write? What books can I read? What certifications can I obtain? How can I be a better human?"

I mean I could think for days, and not one of those thoughts is on racing. If I've prepared, and I have a race plan then there is absolutely nothing that is helpful about sitting there pondering on it up until the race start. I just refuse, so I push that anxiety away. Even when I start running, I'm thinking of my to do list because I get too anxious otherwise!

I hope this is helpful and that you can start practicing pulling away from your subconscious amgydala brain and more into the prefrontal cortex that lets you know that everything is going to be okay! :)

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Myrtle Beach Training

Hiii guys!

So I wanted to give you an update on my training. Per the usual, something is going on. Gr. I’ve kept this to myself for a month now not because I’m ashamed or something but just because I feel like a broken record. I feel like I’m almost annoying to follow at this point because why can’t I just have a normal training cycle? I ask myself these questions every day. I seek counsel from friends and professionals that can look at things that maybe I’m being blinded by and try to figure out what is going on, but I’ve not had one training cycle that I’ve not gotten hurt in some way. The road to Chicago was my own fault so I take full responsibility for that, but most of the other ones are just frustrating. I will be honest and say that I feel like every time I try to do anything fast, something happens.

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This started on the 16 miler that I did at 6:59 pace. This was part of my training and was on purpose. I didn’t just run that fast and I felt like my body could easily handle it. My heart rate was appropriate, but my quad started hurting a little bit. I did an 8 mile run the next morning to shake it out and it hurt the entire run but not like enough to stop so I finished that run. The next day, I fell out of my attic and sprained my right ankle. I had just sprained my left about a month prior while in Chapel Hill running and a huge rock was on the running path.

When I fell getting into the attic (long story), I just sat on the couch and cried. And cried. And cried. I was just so mad at myself. I always ALWAYS mess things up. I was clumsy. I should have waited for Tanner to help me do this one thing but I didn’t. I realized however that it was a happy accident that I would then get to rest my quad. I genuinely thought I had broken my ankle and my dream of sub 3 in March were over and the most frustrating part is knowing that I can. Like, I don’t mean that arrogantly. I just know from my times that if I can figure this crap out, I am capable.

So back to my saga –

I got an Xray the next morning and evaluated by my good friend, neighbor, and PA Walt (who has been so helpful with my recovery) and it wasn’t broken. Of course then I felt stupid for him squeezing me into an appointment and like a pansy that should have known that I was fine. But I couldn’t even walk. He told me it might would be a 2-3 week recovery. Well after 2 weeks, I really felt totally fine. I played it safe even waiting that 2 week period and I thought it was a happy accident my quad had time to rest as well. I swam a lot and just kept in shape.

I went for my first run and everything felt great. Because I had such a break I was flying at 6:45’s feeling like nothing with heart rate after 7 miles of average 145. It was a great run. The very next run, I felt my quad again. Oh boy. How is this highly innervated muscle group not better already? It felt good with pressure so I decided I would get an ACE bandage.

The next run I did 5 miles and could feel a lot of pain under the ACE but it was very dull so I finished that run, took the ACE off and thought “omg this is so bad” and knew I was going to have to stop running. That was a week ago and a few days ago. I haven’t run since. My quad hurts as much today as it did a week ago, and I’m honestly at a bit of a loss. I’m working with PT and doing everything I know to do. It’s mid belly quad, not attached to IT or any of that, so I think it’s possibly a quad sprain. Regardless, that’s where I’m at.

I’m not like that upset. Life goes on. My sport means the world to me but it’s not my world. Ya feel me? So, like I know that eventually I will get over this and all will be hunky dory again. But it’s just maddening. I haven’t had one training cycle in my 10 marathons/ultras that I haven’t had something and all I want is just to be able to train and get to the finish line. But like I said, I feel I’m always here complaining about my training so I’m sorry about that. I just wanted to share the update for Myrtle beach.

Right now, I still have time. I’m going to rest for another week and I think I’m going to stop biking as well and only swim. This past week I was told by PT I could bike, but I just feel like it’s not healing. It doesn’t hurt on the bike, but I do have to use my quad on the bike. Regardless, the one positive in all of this is the training that I’m getting for the ironman in April. If I’m 100% honest because of this situation, that has become my priority. I have switched back into full tri mode, and am doing long swims to keep up my fitness.

I will most likely be doing about an hour of swimming every day this week and then lifting upper body in the meantime hoping that this will be healed enough by next week to run again. I’m not sure though so I’m taking it day by day and staying positive. I know this is a melancholy blog post, but I also don’t really feel that “blue” about it. I think because I’ve dealt with this stuff so many times, you just learn that it is what it is. You do what you can. You don’t do what you can’t do.

Injuries always get judgements too like that all of us have the magic wand to know why XYZ happened to whomever it happens to and the truth is that whether you are a pro or amateur, injuries are just part of the process and if you are in it for life then you just keep hanging in there until things start feeling right again. You learn what it means to push through just minor aches and what it feels like when something is genuinely wrong.

I will never give up and I will always keep up my sport. I love it so much, but I just wanted to be transparent about what was going on after a month of dealing with it! 😊

 I will say I’m a bit bummed because Myrtle Beach is such an incredible race so no matter what, I’ll show up at the start line even if it's just to be there with friends for a few miles. I have partnered with them again this year and you can use my code to get 10% off the race, half and full, and it is literally my favorite race and I’ll most likely be doing it over and over for years to come because I love it that much. CODE: FitScriptMBM

I will say this and this is something that I talked to Tanner about a lot last night. I'm not interested in the reckless athlete that I've been for years. I'm not interested in the girl who refused to clip in, get proper electrolyte supplements, or who won't just buy another damn pair of bike shorts. I have grown up and I want that to show in how I approach my races as well. I won't complete this race if I don't feel that I'm going to be able to do so and bounce back appropriately for the ironman. Originally, my A race was Myrtle Beach but now since all this has happened, my priority has become staying healthy for the ironman and having a really good race there. The intentions that I have as an athlete moving forward will be both tri and running focused, not just running focused (and I mean this for the coming years as well) and I want to work on my bike mechanics and programming so that I can improve in this area. 

I used to be all about just completion of races and did really reckless things along the way just not paying attention to details and always having funny little stories to tell. I know that's kind of what I'm known for now but I just don't want to be like that anymore. It's highly silly and can be dangerous and I just want to be mature. That is all <3

With love and always freakin dealin with something (ha)! 

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When Goals Become Too Heavy

One of the most common themes that I saw for 2018 goals was that people weren't going to make any, and while I totally understand the sentiment, I also just wanted to delve into my personal opinion on what constitutes something that is healthy and something that is not.

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At the end of the day, I've realized over time that everyone is so drastically different and to put everyone in the same box and say that we shouldn't make goals because that's too much pressure and to just love ourselves as we are is not taking into account the enjoyment that some get out of setting new goals. Obviously, we all know I'm a dreamer and goal setter and have been since the ripe age of 5. I can remember making long reading lists, and would sit down on Saturdays at 6am to start reading through it from such a young age. I would get books from my brother in math and science and study them before I got to his grade. It didn't help all that much. I'm not all that smart, to be honest, so this isn't a humble brag but just that I've always enjoyed learning and setting new goals for myself. One is not better than the other, and I guess that's the point. (Note: There is no need to tell me how smart I am. I'm not putting myself down. I'm speaking objectively in terms of IQ. lol.)

Sometimes, contrary to what others might believe, setting goals are FUN for some. It doesn't feel heavy. It doesn't feel like pressure. It doesn't make me hate myself, but it makes me hustle in a fun new way. Every school year, if you were like me, you would get all of your 3 ring binders together, organized with the little dividers, and long for the assignments that the teachers would give you that would be super intense. Sometimes, you would get head deep into those assignments and wonder why it was that you thought this would be enjoyable. That's literally exactly how I feel with my big marathon and ironman goals.

It can be hard. It makes me question what I'm doing when I'm in the mundane 5am alarm clock ringing, but then I get to the end and I remember why I do it. I get to the beginning of a new season and it's the reason that I set out with the new huge goals. 

I think that we all need to take our individual spirits into account because not everyone is like me. My parents had to tie my brother down into a chair just to get him to even begin his homework, and that was from kindergarten. He just wasn't interested, and I think that we force societal pressures too much on what the XYZ box looks like for those people. It might not look like it does for me. That doesn't make me right. That doesn't make you wrong, but it doesn't make you right either . haha! We are all just .. different. 

With the internet, everyone shares their opinions, as I'm doing now, and I think that if we are able to sit back and think about that person then we can understand from the things that they have went through and the life that they have lived why they feel the way that they do but if someone says that THEIR WAY is the only way that everyone should follow then I think that it should be reconsidered and evaluated because that's just not how the world works. 

Don't be afraid to say. "I refuse to make goals this year. It gives me too much pressure and anxiety" but also be okay with saying "HECK YES! I'M A GOAL SETTER! LET'S DO THIS!" 

If your goals come out of self loathing then they need to be evaluated. Are you taking care of yourself mentally and physically (truly)? If your goals are simply out of just the desire to hit new goals and challenge yourself then by all means, go for it sister. I love life but I tend to get sucked into the day to day and not really moving forward unless I set those goals. When I set goals, I work towards them and over time I'm able to get things done. My husband gets things done without setting goals, and sometimes I wonder if that's not the better way but we have realized we sharpen one another in our individual imperfections and strengths and slowly move towards the people we want to become.

I'm just here to be the voice to say that it's okay to do a self check in each direction. Are my goals too heavy? Are my goals out of love for myself? Am I not setting goals because that's the trendy thing to do? And if so, is it okay to move forward with what I wanted to challenge myself with this year? 

I did a poll on my instagram about some different health and fitness related topics in relation to how we approach fitness whether it be for body image or for a sport that we play and I actually found the answers very interesting on what motivates us, and would love to touch on that in the next blog! Stay tuned ;) 

HAPPY NEW YEAR WEEK! It's my favorite time of the year! 

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2018 Goals

I've noticed this year that everyone is posting about their goals, and quite frankly, I freakin love it. I love love love seeing people reach for the stars even if it's completely unrealistic and they don't hit them. Dreaming is FUN! It's fun to aim big. It doesn't mean you're over the top or pushing yourself too much. I'm always in the camp of pushing yourself to be the best you can and constantly re-evaluating to become that person. Tanner laughs at me because I make him make goals! :) It's FUN! He said this is the first real year he's done so. 

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I told him that I'd make it easy on him though and instead of specific goals, he could pick one word that would apply across the board. I was putting stuff in the attic and he comes out there hollerin that he had found his word. LOL! He chose commitment. He's pretty committed already but I'll let him have it ;) 

I chose a word. It's "intentional" but I also have like 500 goals, and maybe you're not like me and enjoy reading everyone's blogs so I'll keep it to the point. Also, I'm a huge huge dreamer. I'm also an overachiever, and half my goals for the years I don't hit, but like whatever, I keep making them and I hit the targets sometimes! :) 

Intentional to me means taking my time with each one of these things. I am not making 10000 goals to be a crazy mad woman all over the place. Each thing will have it's time and my presence and if not, then I will not get it done and that's fine. I want to be fully present in my goals.

RELATIONALLY:

In 2017, I tried to get all crazy and make new friends. It's not that I'm opposed to new friends but honestly in 2018, I just want to invest in the lovely people that are in my life presently. Tighten my circle. Love on them spiritually, financially, and with my time. We only have so much time and I already have so many people in my life, so I want to give them that time.

ATHLETICS: 

  • Myrtle Beach Marathon
  • Ironman Texas 
  • Savannah Marathon
  • Kiawah Marathon
  • Charleston Marathon 
  • Sub 3 at one of these marathons 
  • Sub 12 at IM Texas 
  • 18min 5K 
  • 10,000 yard swim completion 

Those at the end of the year are back to back and it's always up in the air what I end up doing based on how my body cooperates. Right now, I'm dealing with some injury ish. I know you're sick of hearing it so I won't bore you. Freak accident falling out of my attic = sprained ankle / sprained foot -- > gonna just keep on keepin on! My head is 100% in the game for a sub 3 @ MBM and I'm staying positive, but we will just have to see what happens! :) Either way, I'm in this for life, so it's okay, I promise.

You might notice-I'm not doing NYC this year. I think that I can qualify for NYC for 2019 at one of these 4 marathons, and I really need a break from traveling financially and physically. It really disrupts my training how much we have been traveling and I think that it contributes to weaknesses that I have. 

PROFESSIONAL: 

  • Continue fostering close relationships with my clients and coworkers within the community
  • Continue to educate myself and working towards becoming board certified in ambulatory care pharmacy 
  • Show up every single day intentionally for a company that I love and work towards helping them to grow as well

KATIESFITSCRIPT: 

  • Blog twice weekly on relevant helpful topics for running/nutrition/lifting/chronic disease state management plus personal stuff because I love looking back
  • Become certified in personal training (NASM by March) 
  • Begin training in person at The Lifting Lab in Shelby (best friends own the gym and we are really excited to work together on this) 
  • Read "Lore of Running" and "The Daniel Method" to continue fostering skills to be a better running coaching 
  • Keep taxes/finances/clients organized so I can be methodical and intentional with my time

HOBBIES: 

This is going to be the year of LEARNING! I have bought multiple classes and I'm excited to work through them. 

  • The art of wine tasting (Tanner and I are on class 5 in this and it's so fun to learn and so so interesting) 
  • Interior Design class - groupon deal for $12-holla! I love interior design
  • Cooking Class in Charlotte 
  • Lightroom Course/Photography Course - continuing to hone my skills slowly in this area because I love it 
  • CPT cert of course 
  • Continue building my Shelby spreadsheet and share it with others as I do of all the fun things within the city or within one hour and explore all those options 
  • Write 3 daily gratitudes
  • Meditate for 5 minutes (at least because I love to read in the mornings) 

READING: 

I recognize that this is a hobby but it needs it's own goal section <3

If I'm 100% honest, I'd like to read 2 books per week. I know that is such a lofty goal, but I read fast, and I read every single chance I get, so I'm gonna shoot for the stars and see what happens. I have bought enough books to outfit our little bookshelves now, so I will be utilizing the library at this point after I finish all of these. 

My goal is 100 books in 2018. READY.SET.GO. Speaking it into action ;) 

TRAVEL: 

I've touched on this some, but we would like to only travel for my races. We plan to stay in North Carolina and the surrounding states touching here and all of the cities within them and explore locally. Our top contenders on our list of things to do are: 

  • Hike the easiest peaks 
  • Run the 5-7 mile trails together 
  • Visit all the wineries and try to put our class into action
  • Visit as many local coffee shops as possible and rank them on a spreadsheet I'm making 
  • Visit local museums 
  • Comedy clubs
  • Used book stores 
  • Concerts of non mainstream people (Odezsa in Charlotte in May!) 
  • Local theater 
  • Weekly outing for food (we always eat at home lol) 

Okay that's enough! I'm PUMPED. LET'S DO THIS Y'ALL! <3 

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2017 in Review

This year has been one for the books, and it's not because of all of the crazy things that I did, but mostly all that I learned about myself and about life and about how I want to live life. I know I discussed this some in my post about turning 28 years old, but I just continue to come more and more into that person and it feels really great! Let's look back through the months at all the shenanigans, and I'll be on this side of things thinking how I'm not even close to the same person anymore. ha !

Wanna know what's so interesting? I was really focused on what happened this summer where I had a really bad anxiety/depression spell like I've never had before, but then at the end of writing this I started to look through pictures to add and the pictures through the year brought back all of the memories and the absolute joys. There were soooo many more joys this year than sadness and I'm so so thankful for an abundantly fulfilled and blessed life and pictures to be able to remember it by. I may get made fun of for pictures, but I love being able to look back on it and smile remembering those moments. While this blog touches on all the big events, there were countless fun week night and weekend adventures, date nights, rooftops, bars, dancing, trivia, birthdays, cookouts, football games, good meals with good friends, best friends having babies, Jackson snuggles, wine nights, and so much more.

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January: 

Last year we got the opportunity to go skiing, I think 4-5 times in different places in NC with different groups of friends. We did a weekend cabin trip with our best friends Rachel and Wes and another weekend with our friends Kevin and Becca and both trips were so much fun with so much outdoor adventure! 

 Sad I don't get to see her as much as I want but oh how I love her so &lt;3

Sad I don't get to see her as much as I want but oh how I love her so <3

February: 

We went to COLORADO! Can y'all believe that was this year? Yea, me either. We went and stayed with our friends Bridget and Matt who were actually veryyyyy early in a pregnancy that they didn't know about while we were there, and now their sweet baby Shepherd Warren is here and adorable. Isn't life crazy? We got to ski in the most incredible Winter Park resort and I'll never forget that. Skiing that day is top 10 days of my life, not kidding. I LOVED COLORADO, and of course, per my usual, wanted to move there. 

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We also launched World Hunger Project, and unfortunately also within this year, we have also not been able to sustain it. I hate saying that officially out loud on the blog, because I put my heart and soul into it, but sometimes things are much harder to uphold than we realize and with work and everything else, it just wasn't feasible :( 

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March: 

MYRTLE BEACH MARATHON! I qualified for NYC marathon in this race, which is something that I thought I might never do and really surprised myself at the capability that I have in the marathon. This was the race that I did 3:05 and honestly, I still can't believe that happened. What an incredible experience and I got second overall in the women's, and am going back to do this race this year. It's an incredible race, and shameless plug, you get 10% off if you register with my code: FitScriptMBM (this is the half and full)

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I also quit my katiesfitscript instagram after 3-4 years and growing it to a following of 68,000. I still can't believe I did that, but now that it's all behind me, I'm so glad I did. I just blog as I want, post on my personal page as I want, and I just feel really unattached to it all and free to be me. I know that I COULD have felt that way before, but I never did so it's nice.

APRIL: 

Bostonnnn! Six weeks after I did Myrtle Beach, I did Boston just for fun. Last minute, I had a change of plans and stayed with Bethany in her hotel and it was so much fun. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time and it really set us up for a great race day. As we all know, I crapped out on that race and if you want to read more, you can read the recap. I decided that Boston is just not my cup of tea so I decided not to go back in 2018. It was still an incredible experience and one I won't forget. 

 This just always makes me giggle a bit.

This just always makes me giggle a bit.

MAY:

I started to really change. I had a lot of down time once I quit the hustle of instagram and blogging, and I started to think a lot about life and the meaning of it all and reading lots of books. It was a really transformative time, but was also a really difficult time filled with lots of feelings of purposelessness and lack of direction. I had good days and bad days but I would say that the bad days were really abundant. (Good news: I kept fighting and now it's all good days again haha) 

JUNE: 

MY BEST FRIEND MOVED BACK TO NORTH CAROLINA AND WE WENT TO MIAMI TOGETHER! :) I'm so happy I get to have her semi close now (she's still 3.5 hours away but we make it work much better than when I was in NC and her in NYC still).

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Tanner and I renewed our vows at the beginning of June and it was very precious to me. I get teary eyed thinking about it. He got me a sapphire ring, and I am so thankful for our 5.5 years of marriage, 7 years together now! We fall in love more every year! 

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JULY

A blur of mental illness and a beach trip and a new job - 

I buried it all in running. I decided that I was going to try high mileage for the first time in my life and while I didn't think that I was being destructive with it, I was. I had no purpose other than running all the time, and I got in a really bad place. I was eating plant based, but just not enough with the amount that I was running so I lost weight I didn't need to lose. I cried a lot. I started a new job that I truly did love and still do (so thankful for my job). I would hint around about it on social media, but no one wants to air their dirty laundry so I mostly just cried to my husband and BFF's (yall are the real MVP for sticking thru this summer). I had ZERO reason to be in this headspace, but there i was, and had no clue how to get out of it. I felt very trapped. I had bouts of happiness, which is why I would post, so it wasn't that I was being fake in those moments, but just that they were rare. 

I taught myself photography during this time with the help of an online course and I really enjoyed that. I had a TERRRRRRIBLE part time job and so photography made this better. I won't go into that place, because that's not appropriate, but I'm just so so thankful for my new job.

 random photo I took while practicing! &lt;3

random photo I took while practicing! <3

We also built a deck and decided to invest in the Shelby area. Ever since we moved back we have been off and on planning our next move. It got really bad around election season when I was like... uhhhh... I need out NOW. But, we realized that the low cost of living plus the adorable quaint atmosphere and TONS of close cities within one hour and the perfect four season climate and both of our family's close by is just all that we could ask for and more. We also both have flourishing jobs here and so we would not want to leave that. 

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(On that note, I'm so invested in my life here now since making this decision in July. It feels SO nice to not want to move if that makes sense. I love my home, I love my life, I love our set up, I'm just so at peace because I finally let go of this idea of perfection and how "Shelby wasn't good enough" which is so so silly).

AUGUST: 

At the end of August was when I figured out part of the reason that I was feeling really off and that was due to my blood work that I got back showing anemia and some low neutrophils and white blood cell count. My creatinine kinase and cortisol levels were really elevated as well and basically, it was just the classic overtraining. I realized that I was non intentionally "running" myself into the ground so I really had to back off. 

I just recently read The Brave Athlete and I realized something that I did during that time. I disassociated myself from being an athlete when I got those labs. I gave up. I just threw in the towel, didn't train for Chicago really at all, and just blamed myself for all the mistakes I had made in that training. I personally do not believe that it was simply high mileage because there are benefits to high mileage if done appropriately and with targeted workouts within them and as long gas your lifestyle allows for proper recovery, but mine did not. 

I told myself I "didn't care at all" when I did, and then I just sat around a lot. It was wonderful for healing, but it really put me in a funk of even more. I believed lies about myself that I was telling myself. And that's not how it should be. You are an athlete even through your hard times if you choose to be and hustle in different ways to get back out there. So, there's August. ha! 

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SEPTEMBER: 

TANNER TOOK HIS BCOP EXAM! Tanner literally studied every night for a year. I've never seen someone pour something so hard into a certification exam. He truly wanted to learn it and be able to use it at his job and he did it. I'm so proud. He loves his work so much that he is always just excited to go and also to do extra stuff on the side like reading new journal articles and trying to get papers published and get new certifications so that he can better serve the hospital in Shelby. Y'all, shameless plug but it just makes me so happy to see him happy and fulfilled.

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I announced that I was going to revamp Katiesfitscript in a new way and do it mostly on youtube. Embarrassingly enough, that did not happen. This was mostly because right when I did this, my job gave me full time and there just wasn't enough time in the day. I do want to be around more on the blog, even in 2018, because I'm over all the petty things that bothered me before, but I should have been more proactive in the research of how long it takes to put videos together. I wanted to provide education and science and that is one of my goals for 2018, but I also have a goal in 2018 to not jump the gun too quickly on goals that need time, attention, and organization. I realized in September that just how I like for my house and closet to have no clutter, I prefer this in my work as well. Busyness was a badge of honor I gave myself for farrrr too long. 

(I hope you can see that this is all apart of the process of learning about myself this year. I think I've always been pretty vulnerable, but I also think that many times I've been hesitant to not look as if I had it all together. Truth be told, I'm feeling pretty together now. hahaha! So, I won't lie when I do feel put together, but I also won't lie when I wasn't which was June-September.) 

OCTOBER: 

CHICAGO MARATHON! 

What a fun race that was! I've talked a lot about it and you can read the recap HERE. It was everything I could have dreamed of and more. I originally thought I'd try for sub 3, but this outcome was even better. I'm so thankful for that race and it's revival for me in the endurance world. I claimed I was going to take time off for a LONG time afterwards, and it's not been that I forced myself to continue but rather I realized how much I really do love it on that day and why I do what I do. It was such a moving marathon for me. 

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NOVEMBER: 

I really started focusing in on what was important to me. I finally got out of my slump and just started to enjoy life again. There was nothing big that happened and that was just how I liked it. I spent a lot of time at home and organizing our house and we started putting together a new bedroom, guest bedroom, and a playroom for Jackson. We are so blessed with our home, we are thankful for it being here for us when we weren't invested in it, and we are excited to continue life here.

Tanner's work is 1 mile away. I work from home a lot and see my clients 10 minutes away. We live 1.5 miles from our downtown that's adorable and I run through all the time. We can get our groceries in less than an hour there and back to Walmart. We can be in big cities within 1-2 hours in tons of different directions (Charlotte, Hickory, Greenville, Asheville, Spartanburg, Boone, etc etc) and we just absolutely have fallen in love with small town life. TBH-I don't think I'll ever move cities, buttttt I also don't know where life will lead so I'm open haha!

I also went to New Jersey/NYC for a week with my work by myself and it was the MOST joyful introverted week of my life. Omg, I need one of those per year please?! 

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DECEMBER: 

London!!!!

London was just the absolute best. I'm reading a historical fiction novel (The Alice Network) and it's based in London and it just makes my heart sing and makes me so happy. I'm so thankful that we have the finances to do a trip like that. I don't want to disregard how abundantly blessed we feel in that way. 

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I want to put together all of my thoughts for the intentions of 2018 but I will say that I think that we are going to not travel except for my races in 2018. We realized how many cool things that we keep putting off doing in our direct area and we want to make the time to do those things. If we take a week off of work, it will be a staycation exploring different things that North Carolina has to offer. Tons of people visit here from all over the world, or look to move here and here we are jet setting across the world for other experiences. How silly! For example, there is a spring one mile from my house. It's a pretty big deal, but I've never been to get the water. I'm sure if there was a spring like that in London, I would just be all about going. THE WORLD IS OUR OYSTER RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR EYEBALLS FOLKS! ;) haha! 

Some other fun things that I want to do in 2018 that are an hour from my house: 

  • 1. Camping at Carolina Beach (okay this one is technically 3.5 hours) 
  • 2. Hornets professional basketball game
  • 3. Chimney Rock National Park 
  • 4. Dirty Dancing (scene from the movie where he lifts her up-this is the lake with a restaurant)
  • 5. Joy Performance Theatre (theatre is good no matter where I go) 
  • 6. Looking Glass Falls (SO MANY WATERFALLS AROUND HERE)
  • 7. Rooftops in Charlotte- we have been to the one pictured but want to go to the others
  • 8. Sliding Rock-you literally slide down a rock 
  • 9. Land of Oz - there is a theme park with a yellow brick road - I mean come on! HAHA! 

So of course I've started a spreadsheet of all this fun to be had! :) 

I can't wait for 2018!!! It's going to be a blast and I'm taking with me all that I learned from 2017 in such a beautiful way! 

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11 weeks out - Myrtle Beach Marathon 2018

I am so thrilled for this marathon. I have been running marathons long enough now that I'm doing one for the second time, and there is no "redemption" needed like I felt at Boston but rather just pure love of the course and the place. Myrtle Beach is a place I grew up in the summers, and we have a place there, so it really feels like a second home, so I always love doing this course so much. 

I am training quite differently this time then I ever have in the past, and essentially all that means is that I'm actually training right. haha! I know we all have our different approaches, but I've always just preferred running more vs running more specific, and this time I'm running much more specific. I am going to still work up to a peak of most likely 80 miles in my peak week, but before Chicago for a little bit, I was doing multiple 80 miles per week and got burnt out really quick. I know that for some 50 miles per week is the peak, and that's absolutely totally fine.

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I didn't even run that much before my first two marathons, but I just have really big goals that I'm trying to hit and I don't like to think that I left anything on the table. One thing I'm really huge on now and as a coach is the differences in pacing based on your workout. if you are running fast every day then you will never reach your full potential. You must run slower than feels natural to be able to run faster on the effort days. You.Must. It's not an option if you want to do this right and reach your full potential, so let the ego go on those days and focus on the hard days. I've seen HUGE progression in mere weeks when I do this.

I have created a spreadsheet of my runs, and its not totally complete yet, but the structure will be: 

Mondays :

Conversational paced run (7:30ish) 

Tuesdays:

speed work + leg days (I actually have added these back and just do a quick 30 minute leg workout) 

Speed work paces dependent on workout and distance 

400's - I actually would to get these consistently in the 4 minute range 

800's-work up to 5:30's 

Mile repeats - 6min/mile 

Wednesdays:

EZ runs + Upper Body workout (EZ pace: 8:30's most likely) 

Thursdays:

Tempo Run + Slow Easy Bike Ride (Tempo Pacing: 6:30-6:45) 

With Ironman Texas on the horizon, I do need to at least be on the bike for a short piece each day. My run takes priority so I'll do the bike after depending on how much time I have for 30 minutes to 2 hours. 

Fridays:

EZ runs + Swims (Again-pacing 8:30 for ez runs) 

I'm just adding in the ironman distance swim that takes me about 1 hour and 20 minutes each Friday. 

Saturdays:

Long Runs (14-20 milers)-I will be doing 2- 20 milers this time (Aiming for 7:15-7:20 pace)

I have completely changed my mindset on long runs. If you've followed me long, you know I always just fight these and never want to do them, but they always make me feel SO good, and when I realized that, it makes them so enjoyable. I know the rest of the day I'm going to have that tired achy "you're awesome body for always showing up when I need ya" feeling and it's just the best! 

I had let myself get fearful of them, and then I would just skip. I had a lot of thinking of whether or not I was going to run marathons because if I won't do long runs, then I don't need to claim to be a marathon runner, so I'm excited for a renewed spirit on that. I'm doing 16 this FRIDAY actually just due to plans I have on Saturday for the holidays. I have a flexible work schedule so I'm able to make that work.

 I've been looking up quotes by pros, subscribing to motivational youtubes and podcasts and really have my mental head in the game like I never have before, and it feels really good. I want to come to the start line for the first time knowing I put forth every effort leaving nothing behind and see what happens

I've been looking up quotes by pros, subscribing to motivational youtubes and podcasts and really have my mental head in the game like I never have before, and it feels really good. I want to come to the start line for the first time knowing I put forth every effort leaving nothing behind and see what happens

Sundays:

REST DAY! I am definitely not someone who will ever run every day. I love my rest days! 

The focus right now is 100% marathon. If I end up not having time to do any sort of tri training until after the marathon, then I know that my endurance will carry over, and I can still get through the ironman day without tons of specific training. This PR attempt at Myrtle Beach is really important to me right now, so I'm focused on that. This week I will hit 60 miles but it's been all base volume training with one tempo effort push.

If you saw my facebook post, I did end up going faster than I should have today on my long run. I don't plan to go sub 7 min/mile for most long runs because in actuality, you should do about 30 seconds faster than goal marathon pace during training so that would put me right at 7:20's for the long runs. I wanted to do a test run today to give me some confidence going forward. Average heart rate was 170bpm so it was definitely a push but I hope that will improve.

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This is programming that I had made for myself but I'm already changing this up, but the progression of mileage will be the same. 

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You'll see that the week that we fly home, I was programmed to do 60, and so the blue square is next weeks total mileage, and I will scale up from there. I know I said above that I would peak at 80, which I think I have decided to do instead of the 90, so I'll probably stay in the 60's-70's for a few more weeks. When the distances get really long each day, my plan is not to do doubles but to really try to do specific training workouts as indicated above. That is when I'm sure tri training and lifting will fall off. Based on how long it takes me to run these miles, if I did 90 miles in one week, it would take up about 12.5 hours, and I definitely fortunately can allocate that time at this point in my life! :) 

If you'd like to sign up for Myrtle Beach, then you can get a 10% discount using my code: FitScriptMBM and that is for the half and the full. I also will be doing two giveaways for race entries, so be on the lookout for that. 

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London Funsies Part 1

This trip was so packed full that today's blog will be part 1 of 2 which is the first two days that we were there and how we approached our travel! :) Please excuse all grammar errors in this stream of consciousness blog post.

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We did so much this trip and I feel like I don't have enough photos to showcase it all, so let's get started. I honestly was very confused on how to approach this city which meant that we did alot of research and still ended up planning like nothing. We thought that we would take each day by sections of the city but that just doesn't always work out well so we just would wing it each day (per the usual on trips that we take tbh it always works out so whatever). Because we knew that we wouldn't always have signal, Tanner had starred all of the different recommendations that others had given us for places to eat and stop and saved that, so if we were in that area and hungry we would pull that up. It was super useful, so I recommend that. 

There are a ZILLION restaurants in London..more than anywhere I've ever been and all of them have amazing, delicious foods. There is a pub on literally every corner, but then also all kinds of other options as well. They had stop in shops to get food literally everywhere so food was definitely never a problem. We only ate out in a big way 4 times and other nights would grab something quick like before the plays that we saw. The first night, we actually were able to go to a pub, get a bottle of wine to share, and two entrees for 35 pound which is around $50 which is a KILLER deal for London, so we would look around and look for 2 $$ typically when looking for a place to eat. We aren't picky on food, and actually prefer American bar food. Lol. Hashtag Shelby. I also don't eat much and Tanner eats like a linebacker, so it always works out that he just eats the remainder of what I don't finish. 

DAY 1

We started off the food with a placed called The Breakfast Club. I actually accidently got the full English breakfast without even realizing it which is sausage (they offered veggie sausage which is what I got), eggs, beans, potatoes, and bloomer bread (just white fluffier bread classic in London), and Tanner got freaking gravy french fries (for breakfast-yes-he's crazy haha). He also lost 5lbs on this trip from all the walking and "not enough food"... #men

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On the first day, we decided (per a recommendation from a client) to get on a double decker bus to see the city in that way and then decide where we wanted to spend more time after sight seeing from above. Tanner was pretty adamant that we would just get stuck in traffic taking a lot of time out of our day. That is essentially what happened so after 45 minutes of stand still type traffic on a double decker, we got off at Trafalgar Square and started exploring. We walked over to a Christmas market that was nearby and we knew the TKTS ticket booth would be there and we wanted to snag some theater tickets right off the bat. 

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I'm a HUGE theater buff. I'm obsessed and Shelby just announced they may reopen the theater here, and I'm so pumped and will be getting season tickets. I saw Harry Potter was on the list, and freaked, asked if they had tickets and he laughed at me in the first British accent I had really heard for the first time and said "no. Those are sold out for two years. You can try the ticket booth for cancellations but don't count on it." We decided that since we were there, and I REALLY wanted to see at least one show and preferably Christmas we would book "A Christmas Carol"...so cliche but always so good. It was SO SO GOOD! I don't know if it's because their accents were so genuine, or if because they did it up huge in this particular show, but man it was one of the best shows I've EVER seen (that was of course before I saw HP). 

We kept walking all around that area, and hit up The National Gallery. This is a huge art gallery that goes through various artists and the stories behind their paintings. I guess I was just ALL IN this trip, but I just love to go into museums and actually enjoy them and not just be lame and walk around. So, I envision myself in the time frame that these artists lived, and their lives, and what it must have been like to be in their shoes and it really helps me to enjoy the art so I was in love with the National Gallery.

 I just really liked this painting because I love snowy cold weather :)&nbsp;

I just really liked this painting because I love snowy cold weather :) 

We decided that we had a few minutes so we would walk over to the HP box office and just see if they had any tickets. The guy asked us how long we had, and we said all week until Friday night. He said that he had tickets on Thursday and Friday night. I almost fell out, and then I got ready for him to tell me how much they would be. dun dun dun. Y'all...it honestly was a freaking deal, and the second he said the price Tanner says WE WILL TAKE THEM! They ended up being in the stalls (aka the front sitting area). We could see perfectly and were on the floor. I won't go into all details just yet, but I literally cried tears of joy during the first show, it was so unreal. 

We had booked a Harry Potter walking tour at 330pm that day, honestly not knowing that our entire trip was going to be very HP based, so we wanted to get lunch and start heading that way. Turns out in London, when it's 40 degrees, that's actually REALLY FREAKING COLD. I don't know what it is, but we FROZE the entire trip. One day I wore 5 layers on top, and was still getting cold..ridiculous. We ended up only making it 1.5 hours into the tour, gave him a tip and then darted off to find a coffee shop to warm up! LOL! We learned all kinds of fun behind the scenes type information about the different buildings in London that were used during filming such as Gringotts. He kept saying that the ONLY production that could ever shut down parts of London for the day would be Warner Brothers and Harry Potter. haha! He also mentioned that one thing movies if they are ever based in London is ALWAYS ALWAYS show London in the best light and try to really show the best parts of London because it's such a touristy city that they want more people to come to build the economy. I'm sure the same thing goes for NYC which is why it always looks so glamorous even when it's sometimes so not glamorous. haha! 

 This was actually when we popped over to Times Square district before the London trip and saw the Rockefeller tree and had coffee at the Boathouse in Central Park! YAY!

This was actually when we popped over to Times Square district before the London trip and saw the Rockefeller tree and had coffee at the Boathouse in Central Park! YAY!

At the coffee shop, we started researching some things we wanted to do the next day and where to get dinner. We were starved. We decided to really take the night easy as we had been doing so much travel, enjoy the bottle of wine together, and we ended up having a blast getting a littttle (alot) tipsy (sorry mom) and laughing with all the British men in these pubs that were much more drunk that us. We had bangers and bash and this classic Henry's BBQ chicken thing. This one man legit was going down some stairs and he was around 65, and we all thought he would face plant. Like legit 100% certain he was going to and then somehow he caught his footing. Alcohol is ABUNDANT in London. People drink from the time that they wake up until they go to bed, and they really don't care how old you are. It was crazy, and honestly by the end, the drunk people were getting on my nerves. Let's be real, they were on my nerves on night 1 but I still love London ;) hahaha! 

 This is the super famous "Oxford street" and it was normally SO crowded but we hit this night at a good time, and it was SO gorgeous. I couldn't get enough.

This is the super famous "Oxford street" and it was normally SO crowded but we hit this night at a good time, and it was SO gorgeous. I couldn't get enough.

We went back to our cozy airbnb (ha-not), and snuggled up to go to bed and knew we would go run the next morning. 

DAY 2

We woke up around 630 not realizing the sun doesn't come up until 730, ate breakfast at the place as we had went to the grocery store the night before and headed out to run The tower bridge, the London bridge, the Millenium bridge, through Borough Market (that wasn't up and running yet), and through the Christmas on the River shops. We both got on a super duper high during this run just thinking about what we were getting to experience and how blessed and fortunate we felt. It was such a beautiful run, and we ran back up through the area that we were staying (Whitechapel) to our place, showered, then headed out for the day. Of course, we stopped for breakfast #2 at that point. 

Tanner was so annoyed by me trying to take photos on a run! HAHAHA! If he only knew how many times I've done that in my life that I was like "bro this is so normal-what is your issue?" hehehe.

After our run, we had a 1030 walking tour scheduled for the City of London, and our tour guide was Margaret who is actually from California with a degree in British history. She was literally so good at what she does, I cannot recommend her enough and it was through freewalkingtours.com. You could tell she just had a rhythm that she follows on her tours, and has her stuff known like the back of her hand so she spoke quickly and you were able to learn soo so much about the city of London in 2 hours and 3 miles of walking. London is so massive, but the actual city of London is only 1 sq mile and that didn't expand until the 1600's (I think) so we got to see some of the oldest parts of the city during that tour. We learned about the Monument, so right after we left the tour, we decided to go conquer it. 

Far left: Samuel Johnson's famous cat who only ate oysters. Samuel has a lot of history but most notably, he wrote the first English dictionary.

Middle: the church that was the design for the first wedding cake and why wedding cakes are tiered in this way 

Far right: MARGARET! Oh I just could have been BFF's with her! 

The Monument is 311 steps to the top and was actually not caged until 1842 but people kept committing suicide (so sad) so they enclosed it, but I'm so thankful for that because otherwise it would have been terrifying. I say it wasn't that hard to climb 311 steps .. like at all...but I also run marathons and I don't even mean that to sound presumptuous although I'm sure it does, but just that YOU CAN DO IT! When we got to the bottom, they give out certificates so I did my best Grinch "soooo, I hear there's a check" but replaced check with certificate. Tanner laughed, they didn't understand, but I got my certificate! hahaha! 

 This picture makes me laugh SO hard. This is me with my certificate under the monument! WOOHOO!

This picture makes me laugh SO hard. This is me with my certificate under the monument! WOOHOO!

I wanted to see the Platform 9 3/4 that we had learned about on our Harry Potter tour, so we headed to King's Cross station at this point. Funny story is that this platform that JK Rowling describes in the book, she was actually confused on the London location so there is no platform between 9 and 10 at King's Cross, and so they put the makeshift one between 8 and 9 and just hope people don't notice. They don't. We waited in a long long line just to take these silly photos, but it was SO WORTH IT! ;) 

A Christmas Carol was the play that was scheduled for our second night, so before we did that, we headed to check out Topshop and TKMaxx (their equivalent to the obvious TJ Maxx) to see how they compared. They were essentially the same, but a little more expensive just due to the money conversion. Tanner had never been in a Topshop so he really liked the men's shoes and ended up needing a pair because the ones he brought really hurt his feet. 

From here, we grabbed a quick bite to eat before the pub and headed to the theater. This theater was small which was so nice because basically everyone had incredible seats. The man who played Scrooge was phenomenal, and they gave us free mince pies when we arrived. At the end, when Scrooge has the big meal for everyone, they started passing food from the back of the theater down the aisles to the stage which was this really cute twist that everyone excited and laughing, and then they poured fake snow on us. I've never had such fun during a play and not sure if that's normal for London or maybe even normal in NYC, but it was unique and really made the experience. 

 I just wanted to show how the theater allowed everyone to see really well by the shape of the theater which was so nice!

I just wanted to show how the theater allowed everyone to see really well by the shape of the theater which was so nice!

Up next -- > Days 3-5! This includes the Royal Run through Buckingham and Kensington Palace, Hyde Park, Winter Wonderland, and then all the changing of the guards, more food, more tours, and more plays! HIP HIP HORRAY! 

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