The Comeback

I'm not sure if you saw this coming or if you didn't, but either way, the time that I had away was amazing, but I'm diving back into things full force. I hope you'll follow along on my youtube, and I promise to make it worth your time jam pack full of info to be able to utilize in your confidence, health, fitness and overall wellness of life journey! <3 I have so so much that I'm kind of bursting at the seems to share with you all! 

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Three months of the Self Love Experiment

So, as you all know, I've been a reading machine, and I saw a recent book titled "The Self Love Experiment" and I read the back and immediately added it to my list to read. This is my cup of tea kind of book. I actually am currently finishing up Anna Karenina, The Gene, and The Well Built Triathlete, and want to start The Brave Athlete, so I need to finish those up before I begin this one. 

While I will absolutely be reading that book, I felt that the next three months is the most perfect time to begin my own self love experiment, so I wanted to share what it's all about. It's basically putting a time frame to chilling out. HA! But, when you give yourself this time frame it's almost as if to say "If my entire life falls apart then I can fix it at the end of three months." But, I think that we all know what actually happens. You learn that life doesn't actually fall apart and therefore it allows you to naturally sink into that being the natural way that you live your life. 

I just recently finished the audiobook 'The Gratitude Diaries' and it's a super quick read/audio that I highly recommend because it really just gives you perspective on so many different topics about life and how if we switch our mindset to one of gratitude the we are able to look for the positives in basically everything. One are that she questioned that this would be appropriate is in the job sector because if you aren't striving forward, then are you staying stagnant and she found that to not be the case. She found that as she was able to relax and be grateful for her current position, she was able to work harder within that, and I loved that.

So, there are going to be certain areas that we all can identify as our personal anxiety struggles that we can let go of. The beautiful thing about our minds is that I personally know that while I tend to overthink things, I know that I can do this 3 months because I have the timeline. I'm also excited that it's during the holidays, and my husband has committed to trying this out with me as well. 

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In his journey towards becoming board certified in oncology, he has lost a lot of muscle and strength just from having to study a lot. This is an ongoing trend of his through the years where he will gain a bunch of weight in muscle, and then life happens and he will lose it all. He realized that his body just naturally lends itself towards being more thin, and that he is going to stop forcing this big bodybuilder macho guy because in his own self actualization, he realized that's not what he naturally is, and he wants to rest within that. How awesome! GO TANNER! lol! The cool thing about something like this is that it doesn't mean that he just gives up fitness-of course not- but just recognizing that he loves staying in shape without forcing big muscles with supplements and tons of food and lifting 6 days per week, and he just wants to be more well rounded fit for life. 

That's my goal for the next three months as well. We spoke also about how in fitness, there are cycles of different training periods, and how it's okay to change your interests as well. Last year I was focused on triathlon. This year I was focused on marathons, and next year I'm going to return to triathlon, but from October to December, I'm going to focus on just whatever whenever and not pushing towards any goals. We are just going to BE. He will complete his exam on September 30th and I will finish up the Chicago Marathon on Oct 8, so what better timing for us to do this together. 

I mentioned that I had been tracking macros to make sure that I'm eating enough, but after the marathon, I will be returning to intuitive eating, but also not aiming towards plant based. That doesn't mean that I won't eat plant based, but rather just relaxing because plant based for me is very hard and I have to focus to be able to make it happen, and I just don't want to have to focus. I just want to be grateful for where I am and who I am. 

Another area that I have identified for my self love experiment is money. This is an area that I've realized I'm quite obsessive in an unhealthy manner. My family knows this, but I'm terrified to spend money. I literally allow myself to believe that if I buy one thing, the funds are going to dry up and I'm never going to be able to afford my bills. I mean, in actuality, I don't think those things, but I won't spend..ever...on anything, except travel but only if I can find the cheapest deals on the traveling. For example, we are going to London because I found a flight for $300, but I would never say "I want to go to london" and pay XYZ cost for it. The locations we choose are based on cost. I know you're thinking that this can be a good thing, but anything that can be good can be taken to another level. 

I check our bank account after we like buy groceries, and tally up everything. I calculate the amount of money needed to pay our bills every single month. THE NUMBER STAYS THE SAME KATIE. OCD MUCH? And I legit never recognized this as a problem until like literally a month ago. The moment I walked into Target and bought a pair of shoes that I needed for the full price sticker, I felt like I had taken heroin. hahaha! It felt so wrong, and so indulgent, but also so good and made me feel so free. AND IT WAS TARGET YALL. I see people spending money on certain things and I think "WHAT? HOW DO YOU ALLOW YOURSELF?" I envy that behavior. I've been practicing spending more in the past few months and for the final 3 months of 2017, I've decided that if I want something, I'm going to buy it. If we get to the end of 2017 and are broke, I'll let y'all know. HAHA! 

We have shifted our funds to max out our 401K, our HSA, looking towards other investments, and we pay our bills without worry each month but yet I feel I have to save every single other penny that comes into my account. For what? Am I going to die with my little nest egg?

Money is such an interesting thing. Money only exists because we believe and trust in the value of a coin. The person next to us also values that coin or dollar therefore we are able to make exchanges for that. We all have to play by these rules or the world wouldn't continue to go around, but it makes me think about how the money in my bank account is really just invisible cyber space money because if everyone was to cash in their money at the bank, they wouldn't be able to afford it. And we all just put trust in this system. It's interesting, truly. 

Lastly, on the topic of money, what is it that we all see when we want more money? Why is it that we want more. For me, it's not greed. I know it may come across that way, but it's truly not. It's the fear of security of being able to pay my bills, which is irrational. I listened to a podcast that said that we all make money out to be a bad thing, but that's all a social construct. It shouldn't be a bad thing, and it should be able to be discussed without people getting weird, but also why aren't we EVER content with the amount that we have? Even the most rich just aim for more, so why can't we all just relax? The challenge of the podcast was to write down 3 things that give you joy that cost money. Going to a coffee shop? Trying on clothes and purchasing them at Lululemon once monthly? Going out to dinner once weekly with your spouse or friends? Going to a concert or football game once during the summer? An uptown city apartment? What are your top three? Write those down. Can you afford them? If you can, then why are we so concerned about making more money? It's silly and gratitude goes a long way. 

This money topic was brought to you COMPLETELY by #firstworldproblems because I fully recognize that when you are in lack of money and the security of being able to pay your bills, it's a super real issue and it's a very VERY real issue that I've grown up surrounded by, for literally my entire life, and I think that's where my fear originates. There are some that don't have food security or job security and if that is the case, then obviously, that's an entirely different topic. 

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BACK TO THE EXPERIMENTTTTT (wow I got off track there lol) ... 

There are many things that we all have a hard time relaxing in, and I actually have quite a few more that I'm going to keep to myself for once, but the next three months is about 100% in every single way, letting it all go and just living. Just living does NOT mean that you just sit on your couch, stop going to work, and stop working out. It's actually more about fully leaning into who you are, being grateful for what you have worked hard for, and not allowing any of the subconscious ranting to even have a place. You have to pull back from the voice in your head that keeps chattering on and on about how you need to fix this or change that. You have to recognize that voice that honestly may not even be your true self, and allow yourself to relax into who you were truly meant to be. 

I'm combining the lessons from these books: 

  • Untethered soul (Have I mentioned it enough to make you buy it yet? hehe) 
  • The Surrender Experiment
  • The subtle art of not giving a f*** (I honestly am such a prude that I hate this title, but it's a good book nevertheless hahaha) 
  • The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
  • The Self Love Experiment (that I haven't even read LOL) 
  • The Gratitude Diaries 

HERE GOES NOTHING Y'ALL! <3 Let me know if you've read the book. I would be so interested to see what you think! Maybe I should start a monthly online book club as I see some of these bloggers do! ;)

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Training / Nutrition / Health Updates

So I know that I talked about my training a bit in some other blogs, but I thought I'd do an official "what is she doing to make this better?" post, and how I'm training for the remainder of the weeks leading into Chicago. 

I am very very happy to say that with a pretty drastic increase in calories, yoga daily, and reduction of mileage by more than half, I have felt better every single day. I know that I just wasn't recovering properly enough and I have to admit that part of me (a big part) feels really stupid and should have known better. It was almost as if I just thought I'd be able to handle it, and I always just shake things off like "eh I'll be fine." My husband is constantly like "Did you hydrate? Did you take this vitamin? Did you do this and this and this?" and I'm like DUDEEEE LEAVE ME ALONE. 

I'm careless to a fault, lazy in areas I shouldn't be, and for the first time in my years of training, it came back to bite me in the kisser so I guess he can give me the resounding I TOLD YA SO! ;) I mentioned anemia, but it wasn't the only thing that I was concerned about. It was my red blood cell and neutrophil count, my testosterone to cortisol levels and their ratio and then my creatinine kinase that just let me know that I truly had overdone it without proper fueling I suppose (and I say that because I've been at this level of training before plus more with the ironman but I was more meticulous about food at that time and getting it in).

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When I realized that I wasn't just being a drama queen and that my mental state of being so out of it during training was warranted, I gave into that. I didn't force it. For the past two weeks, I have laced up my shoes daily and hit the road for what I could do. There were a few days that I've only made it two miles (one day I set out for 16 and made it 2-ha). I mean it when I say that I genuinely felt no guilt though. I'm the type that once it's done, it's done. I just accept and move on and know I'll always be back to try again the next day. As the days have gone on, I've felt myself coming more and more back to life. This week I've been able to do eight miles on Sunday, seven miles on Monday, eight on Wednesday with actually a 10 mile bike ride as well today and I'm hopeful that I'll get in a long run this weekend. I'm not going to force that however, and if it happens then that's great. 

For food, I have went back to counting macros because I need to make sure that I'm getting enough calories. I'm eating high calorie foods to get myself there without feeling overstuffed which has been fun to be honest. I truly have enjoyed it so much. haha!!! I had lost weight, so I have weight to gain! 

My plan moving forward for Chicago is to hopefully get in a long run (I might even try for a long run tomorrow-aka thursday) and then one more long run hopefully before tapering while doing mid distances during the week with alternating easy days with tempo runs and speed workouts. I was semi forced to taper anyway, which is no big deal, but I am still training as hard as I can. I don't have any expectations for the race, and just truly am there for a good time. I can't wait. I was dreaming about it today during my workout, and just was giddy at the opportunity to be able to do endurance and race. 

Over the past week, I have been thinking a lot about what it means to me to be an athlete, and how thankful I am for the ability to be able to run marathons, and do all of these events. I plan to take a break after Chicago as much as I know that Chicago will revive me and make me want to do another race immediately. I know myself well enough at this point that the break will be good for me and will have me coming back on fire and full of life like never before. That's what the journey is all about. If you don't have the breaks, then you'll never make it in the long term. I'm excited to spend weekend mornings with my husband over coffee and not thinking about the long run. 

Rode the bike for the first time since IMNC and it was the most blissful ride of my life-felt so good to be back in the saddle! :) <3

Rode the bike for the first time since IMNC and it was the most blissful ride of my life-felt so good to be back in the saddle! :) <3

We go to London in December, and I'm excited to just run in London just for fun without having to do any formal training. Starting in January, I'll probably do a quick 8 week training prep into Myrtle Beach Marathon. I'm already registered, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE that marathon so that'll be what is next. I'm always thinking forward of course, but also completely reasonable on this next one. I've been at this HARDCORE for 3 years now, and so I just needed to take my foot off the gas for a bit. This week, I've felt myself coming back to life and also coming back to wanting to go all in. I want to sign up for so many races next year, and honestly at the end of this year, but I kind of promised myself that I wouldn't, so I'm going to firmly stand by that. I love racing, so it's tough for me to say no, but I know I'll be back so it's all good. 

I did decide not to do Boston this upcoming year. This was a VERY VERY hard decision for me. I have the time to be allowed into the "red bib" area, which is a huge accomplishment, and something that I'm so proud of. I could have registered first day which has always been a dream, but I also have now done Boston two years in a row, spent thousands of dollars, and completely flopped both times, and with all that happened leading into Chicago, I just need some good and not stressful racing in my life. I know I will be back in Boston eventually, but this was just not my year for that. I have so many races I want to do across the US and so I didn't want to keep spending thousands on the same race. That's just me though and I understand many people that will do Boston every single year, and I completely get that perspective as well. It is Boston after all. 

Life's such a fun journey. There's so many fun things to take advantage of, and right now I'm going to transition into normal life type exercising, lifting more again after Chicago, coaching all of my lovely clients and move back into long distance triathlon and marathoning in 2018! CAN Y'ALL BELIEVE IT'S THE MIDDLE OF SEPTEMBER?! BRING OUT THE PUMPKINS!?

I'm thinking of putting together a spreadsheet of 2018 training plans because we all know I'm obsessed with spreadsheets!!!!! :) hehe! 

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Loaf

I had some extra time this weekend and this new crisp air just has me all pumpkin and fall crazy like the rest of the world, and while Tanner continues to slave away studying for this board exam (only 20 more days-thank ya jesus), I decided to get to baking and surprise him! He said it was one of my best yet! :) I always kinda pinterest around until I find something that looks interesting that I know I can take some ingredients I already have and make a little something, so that's what happened here. 

So, I know that most food bloggers will write a book before they get to the main event, but I'm not a food blogger and I run my mouth too much as it is, so let's just get to it. ha! 

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MMMmmmmm smells so good too while it's baking! 

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perfecto sunday afternoon 

perfecto sunday afternoon 

Here is the macro breakdown! :) 

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Hope you enjoy this one as much as I did <3

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An Ode to 27.

Today I turn 28, and literally every year of my adult twenties, I just get giddy to turn another number. I know that's so odd, but I just feel as if my whole life I've been goofy and I've looked really young, and I'm finally just coming into my womanhood and my truth. (going to sprinkle in photos as I go from this weekend)

The title of this one could not be more of a FAREWELL SEE YA NEVER YEAR 27. hahaa! I would venture to say that it was legit one of the hardest years of my life, but I have come out on the other side stronger, more thankful, more confident, and more open to what can happen. I've learned a lot about social justice in many spheres this year, and my prejudices that I didn't know I had within that. I've learned that extremes don't work in any sense of the imagination which I should have figured out a long time ago, but I like to beat my head with a stick before I learn these simple rules of the road. I have learned that less friends is more life, that validation of others is worthless if you don't validate yourself, and that we all are a little bit too sensitive, and need to take what people say, put it in our back pockets as possible self evaluation and otherwise, KISS MY TOOTY BOOTY.

I'm clearly super good at yoga LOL!

I'm clearly super good at yoga LOL!

Do you see men talking about people meaning rude to them on the internet or feeling not confident or respecting themselves? I mean MAYBE you'll find the rare one here and there, but that is because we have conditioned ourselves for this craziness that we are meant to be just a little more meek, and that this makes us more beautiful, desired, wanted. We are taught over and over to be smaller in every sense of the word, and I am just not a "small" person in spirit. I've always been transparent and open to a fault, divulging intimate details about my life to people that shouldn't be trusted, and so in year 27, I have learned when to close up but I've also learned that a thick skin in today's world is one of the best things you can form and if I want to share these details and wear my heart on my sleeve, then SO BE IT. IT'S WHO I AM. 

I just recently got back some bad lab work, and I thought to myself "This is like the final straw to ring out 27 and bring on 28." It was the final straw to say "Girl, what are you doing? And for what reasons?" We all goof up, so I have no shame in admitting that. I guess I have the classic case of "overtraining" but I also hate that term because I feel it's so relative and non quantifiable but we throw it around like candy or Ibuprofen. ha. But regardless, I had to take that high mileage plan and basically throw it out the window. I had to recognize that the things that I was feeling were due to high cortisol, low b12, and anemia vs just mentally being out of it. I had to see that my creatinine kinase was 12x what it was 12 weeks ago to see that my recovery is CRAP because I was just running miles on end. 

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I know that most of you know that I have a history of disordered eating from a decade ago, but I've always had a healthy relationship with exercise. I've never done exercise for calorie burn, or felt guilty if I take days off. It just literally wasn't a thing for me. I always just loved the challenge of pushing myself further and further to get to new goals, but like at what point is enough enough? When I started running marathons, I ran 3-4 days per week and didn't think about what other people were doing, but somehow I got sucked into the instagram rabbit hole of destruction in thinking that in order to be my best, I needed to give more..and more..and more.. and it took my labs to be a slap of reality. 

I wasn't trying to be disordered or ridiculous or overtrain. Truly. I just thought that I was doing my personal best to get to a big goal of mine, and we all make those mistakes, and have to step back, reassess our personal situations and make changes moving forward. I'm not other people on instagram. I don't have their lives, or their stressors, or their body frames, or their families, or their anxiety levels, or their sleep schedule. (And I say this light heartedly because I wasn't actually comparing myself to runners on instagram. I got over that a LONGGGG time ago haha-this was all subconscious). It all is going to play a role in this, and it will play a role in your training as well. If you have a coach, then you need to be open and honest with them if you are feeling burn out because it could easily be something more and even if it's not proven by labs, that still doesn't mean that you should keep pushing. 

It's kind of ironic how I made a blog post about how to push when you feel mentally and physically tired, and here I am having to eat those words. haahahahaaaaaaa. whomp. And it's like if you can't pick on yourself, then who can right!? Like, I truly believe in working hard for your goals. 100%. And if we don't try hard when things are tough then honestly, it's hard to get much of anywhere in life or anything that's worth having. Marathon training is not easy. period. And I don't want easy. I love the challenge. But, I guess I've learned there is a limit. 

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I think that what happens naturally when someone gets in a situation like this is that they shame running, they shame plant based diets, they shame this, that or the other without self evaluating and saying "You know what? Maybe I could have taken a b12 supplement if I was going to go mostly plant based, and maybe it's okay to add some of those things back in but not just go wild on ham, turkey, and beef. Maybe I could scale back my milage to what feels appropriate, and let go of my PR but still train normal." Don't get me wrong. I need to rest. I truly don't struggle much with resting anymore. I rest a lottttt. I sleep a lot, and I chill at my house ALOT. I still feel like I'm running through mud and sand, and it kind of sucks, and I know it'll take weeks before my iron stores are back up to normal, but I also know that it doesn't mean I have to eat fast food and sit on my couch for the next 3 months either. In all the things, I just need to be reasonable. LOL! 

I've said it once. I'll say it again. Sometimes I wonder how I got such AMAZING women as my best friends! Like HOW HAVE THEY STUCK IT OUT WITH MY CRAZY SELF?! Lol!!! I love them so!!!! 

Lastly, on this topic, I think that also when I ever struggle with this kind of thing, I feel like I have to keep it to myself until I get it figured out because I'm a coach so therefore I should have it all figured out right? And if I mess up with myself, why would anyone want me to coach them right? UGH. How silly! A coach is supposed to be perfect?? Absolutely not. We are all human and make mistakes and learn from them. So enough on that..

...back to my birthday... hehe...which is today. 

Birthdays always give me a new focus and a new sense of purpose. It makes me want to set new intentions and new goals for the year moving forward, so I did just that. Here are some of those (written to myself):

  • Start a yoga practice
  • Continue blogging more frequently because sharing life is fun! 
  • Revamp tons of things with the blog and continue coaching/start growing your business again because it gives you true joy to do so 
  • Aim to read at least 10 books per month (audio/paperback/ebook combined) 
  • Intentionally create space for time with family 
  • Continue being an introvert-you prefer it katie, I promise 
  • Focus on your career as a pharmacist (continuing education on my own, looking for areas of improvement that aren't readily noticed but always striving to do my best) 
  • Continue reducing the amount of things that you have 
  • Be more open to spending money on things you enjoy and travel. You can't die with money so you don't know what you're saving for. (I have 6 months in savings, and I just keep on saving.)
  • Max out your 401K and look to other investment potentials.
  • Stop making yourself feel pressure for not wanting a child yet, Katie. Just breathe. You'll know when you're ready to be a mom and you might be 34 and that's okay. 
  • Continue weekly date nights. 
  • Quit being scared to get the tattoo. Just get the tattoo. 
  • Continue learning about areas of life that are different than the spaces that you grew up surrounded by
  • Continue the never ending journey to self actualization but rest in the amazingly beautiful progress you've made into becoming who you were created to be. 
  • Start a youtube channel for creativity purposes 
  • Continue learning photography 
  • Continue being completely transparent because YOLO and it's what you enjoy doing 
  • Create joy in spaces where it's not. Live with an outlook of abundance and not lack 
  • Only put energy in people and situations that deserve energy. Let the rest go.
  • Gain some weight and get the booty back *LOL*
  • Be freely you, Katie because you're worth it

Okay, that's all I got. 

my grandmother turned 90 on Monday and she is such a beautiful person inside and out - if i could be a little bit more like her every day i would be a happy girl and love that we share birthday weeks <3 (grandmother-Sept4, nephew-Sept5, me-Sept6, brother-Sept7 ha)

my grandmother turned 90 on Monday and she is such a beautiful person inside and out - if i could be a little bit more like her every day i would be a happy girl and love that we share birthday weeks <3 (grandmother-Sept4, nephew-Sept5, me-Sept6, brother-Sept7 ha)

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Quick Guide to Free Books

I had a couple of questions yesterday about those that were wanting to read more, but actually found it to be an expensive hobby and I would agree with that, but of course I've found hacks to this so I wanted to share about Overdrive, what it is, how to use it, and where else I get books. 

So, first off, I love paperback fresh books from Barnes & Noble or fresh in the mail from Amazon like nobody's business. Like there is just nothing like the joy of that fresh new book feel. But this can add up if you are reading a book every few days. 

The first place I look if I'm wanting truly a good paperback is the used bookstore in my town. That's always hit or miss of course, but in a huge used bookstore, you are still bound to find something that is somewhere on your list even if it's not your top choice and they are $5 there. I have realized that popular books come through just like TV shows, so if a book is being hyped up right now then it's going to obviously be harder to find, but I'll just wait on for that (kinda like how I wait for all movies to just come out on Redbox or Netflix before I'll watch them lol). 

Another place I go for books and not to search for specific books but just to get deals is goodwill. They always have a pretty good selection and paperbacks are only $0.50. 

The place you can truly find what you're looking for is Overdrive. It's a free app that is connected to your library card. Take the time to go to your local library, get a card, and then when you sign up, you enter in your library card information and it pulls your library's books. I do have some friends that live in Charlotte, so I also plan to get the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library system using their card info so that I can have a bigger resource to pull from, but even if you don't have a big library, they normally will have a system of libraries that they can pull from to get the book for you if you request it. 

E-iNC is the Cleveland County Library.

E-iNC is the Cleveland County Library.

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So last little bit about this is that if you have a book that you feel you must read this second, then you might not be able to get it on overdrive. I know my best friend Brandy would do horrible with Overdrive because if she wants something, she wants it that second and she would just always end up paying for the book on Amazon haha! I had to wait about 3 weeks to be able to read Small Great Things, and I was in the middle of another book when it arrived but I didn't care because I just stopped that one for a bit to read Small Great Things. If you don't get through the book in the 14 day period then it will put it back on the waiting list (I think you at least get bumped up in the line but typically I just try to finish them if I've been patiently waiting on that one).

The same thing goes for audiobooks. If they are popular, then most likely they are going to have a waiting list, so just know that ahead of time, and that sometimes it might be that you have 4 on a waiting list and they all come available at the same time and it's super annoying and you can either binge read/listen (by the way I hate that term but it gets the point across), or you can just let some of them go back on the waiting list and get them another time. It's worth it for how much books can end up costing if you buy them straight out! :) 

I hope this helps save you some pennies! 

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September Mini Habit Challenge

Y'all are about to laugh at this one, but I hope that all my type A girls will be on board with this shenanigans. So, I've mentioned how I've formulated some bad habits over the past year. They are dumb, and silly but I've really struggled to stop them. Up until a week ago, if I was ever at the house working or doing anything, I had a jar of peanut butter and a fork with me and I'd eat peanut butter all day. I know this sounds really ridiculous, and it is but I could.not.stop. It made me not hungry for meals, yadda yadda, and on and on I went never breaking this cycle.

I also started chewing tons of gum again, I've gotten really bad about wasting tons of time scrolling social media and genuinely like not caring what I was looking but hours would go by and I'm just on some random cat page. Like COME ON KATIE!!! I also post my every thought on a facebook status, and facebook has literally become a war zone. I can write a blog with tons of opinions and not get much push back, but if I write that I'm sneezing a lot today, someone has some theory of why that's wrong and offensive. Like, I can't deal. Buttttt, unfortunately I continue to have this habit of posting statuses. Like why? WHY KATIE? JUST.STOP.POSTING. GAH. 

So, I started doing some research on breaking habits. I wanted it to be realistic, but I had work to do. One of the things that was stated is how we all create this little neural pathways within our brain and then once those get really deep, we will crave those things that are gone, but that we can recreate the circuits with time and discomfort. It IS possible, but you first have to know that it's going to be uncomfortable and for the past week, it has been. One tip I saw on a youtube video is to give yourself a challenge, so I've taken this a step further and hope you'll join me as I do think that accountability and togetherness helps anything. There needs to be no official start date. It can be today or tomorrow or whenever you choose. But, I would love to do a monthly challenge on either breaking a bad mini habit, or adding in a positive mini habit. So, I have both of those for the kick off. 

He recommended that you text a friend that you will commit to this and if you don't, you'll pay them $100. So, I told Tanner that, but that doesn't help me much because we share the same money so like...it's all ours anyway. haha! But, I told him that if I made it, I would buy myself something special that was no less than $50 and that I was going to create a spreadsheet that tracked the habits day by day checking off the ones that I did and didn't do. 

Here are a few notes before I show you my spreadsheet. 1- I believe in completely eliminating the thing that you are habitual with. That doesn't mean that you can't bring it back when the neural circuit is changed, but first it needs to be completely removed. The second note on mine is that I just added on the facebook one where I'm not going to post status posts (I know so ridiculous right? #embarrassingtoadmit). If at any time during this make shift challenge you want to pop another mini habit on there, you are at full liberty to do so and that doesn't count towards your reward at the end! ;) Lastly, you'll see 3 positive things on mine.

There have been studies to show that if you take the time to write out 3 positive things that happen to you every night for 2 weeks that it can be as powerful as antidepressants and this is because you start to form the habit of looking for positive things within your day vs our natural inclinations as humans to look for the bad! 

So, here is is, super simple:

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You'll see on there, the reading portion. I have committed to reading 100 pages per day which for me is almost 2 hours of reading at the speed at which I read. I read approximately 350 words per minute which is fairly more "speedy" than average. I know that sounds insane to read that much, but I read while I'm on the treadmill and that's at least an hour, and then I read 30 minutes while drinking coffee and 30 minutes before bed so that's how I've been reading so much lately. If I miss this positive mini habit but I still do something, then I count that as a win (like day 3). 

In the past few months, I've read like 40-50 books, and I have written them all down but I've started to realize that I know in the future as I continue this that I'm going to forget things that I read, and I want to be intentional about what I read. If I just naturally go with the flow of life, I'm going to read all the Nicholas Sparks books and classic American fiction. I want to challenge myself to read psychology, science, philosophy, and classics so that I'm actually getting smarter if I'm spending time on this, and I've found that I find those books absolutely fascinating vs just a "beach read." The book that I'm reading currently in the science realm is called "The Gene" which is about the history of the genome and that sounds incredibly boring, but it's so so good. I recommend it to anyone. 

I have decided to create a spreadsheet with this as well to track the books that I'm reading so that I know how I felt about them, and can really give good recommendations in the future if people ask me in certain topics what are some good books. You know you hear people say "He/She is a prolific reader"? I want to be that guy! ;) 

Can you tell that when I find a habit, I'm crazy. Yea well, I accept it so let's move on from that annoying human flaw of mine and enjoy the spreadsheetin I'm going to show you! LOL! I had created my own but then googled how others track their books and they gave me such great insight of columns to add such as how many pages, the nationality of the author, the format you read it in, etc. So, here is a combo of what I am doing and what I found for this BOMB READING LOG! 

Can you see this? I hope so! haha! 

Can you see this? I hope so! haha! 

So, you'll see that I haven't really completed it yet, but that's okay. It's a work in progress, but I'm so so excited about it! I will say that I've thought about narrowing it down to sections where I put things in genre categories so that I have better recommendations within that, but I'm not that good at organization and can't think of a good method without it looking junky. This looks more clean. The other sheet on this is a list of books that I would like to read based on their genre, so here is that screenshot. 

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Some might not be in their appropriate category but you get the point. 

The last thing on this is that I think that there are some books that I really have important take aways from. Some of those books are Grit and Untethered Soul, and I want to remember notes from those books. I have been writing out notes in just the notes on my phone, but I really don't like that method, and I know that there are tons of other ways to do it but I'd like to have it all within this spreadsheet and so maybe a sheet after this would be with book notes. I WILL NOT write down a note if I don't find it super valid because like who reads over their notes? No one. haha! 

Lastly, if you think my spreadsheet game is not good enough yet (jk jk I know I'm looking so crazy but it's so fun), I made a spreadsheet for my hometown and fun things to do in the area, and also a spreadsheet for fun things to do in New York City (which actually was started by a friend and I've expanded on it). I would totally recommend doing one of these for your hometown as I think we get really stagnant when there is so much fun to be had in our immediate area that we don't even realize. 

Look to the bottom and you can see the different categories that I made for Shelby, and then here is the one for NYC just showing you two different categories there as well. 

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I can't believe I've never told my blog about my crazy spreadsheets until today, but here they are in all their glory. I hope you have fun wasting tons of hours creating your own as well! ;) hahahaha IT'S THE BEST DO IT!!! 

The last part of this is that each month I think that I'm going to start a mini habit series, where I just say "hey try this new habit for this month that is positive and might could help you lead a fuller, happier life." This month's challenge is to start writing down 3 things each night that brought you joy that day and we can transform together by looking at the world as positively as possible! 

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Creating Safety through dieting

This blog title is something that I think that if we look to our lives, every single solitary thing that we do every single is in efforts to create safety of fears that we have by default of societal norms, and I wanted to share some areas in health and fitness that I think that you might find this helpful. I have realized that I think a lot-constant-like this never ending stream of thoughts floating through my head and I know that we all do it so I don't think I'm alone on that, but really have dove deep lately into the reasons that we (aka myself) do things, and how we can change in certain areas that are not beneficial to us and really asking hard questions to be able to improve. 

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I think one of those is in the area of diet culture, and why we go after the goals that we have in terms of diet. There is a term that is thrown around "fat phobic" in the intuitive eating spectrum of health that I completely align with in that essentially there is this billion dollar industry (including much of what I coach) due to the fact that people are fat phobic. When you really look to the reason why we diet, it is essentially because we have been told that we are to fear fat, and therefore we must diet to create safety and control within that sphere. 

Binge eating is seen as this terrible thing that certainly does not create safety for us but when we really break this down further, that is because of the outcome that comes from the actual food that is ingested, and the reason that this creates fear is because that could possibly mean weight gain and we need to create safety from that. In order to do that after a binge eating cycle (which I believe to be something that is uncontrollable in those specific moments), intake is restricted the next day. As stated in parentheses, binge eating is uncontrollable because it comes from a state of deprivation. It is our body's natural response to not being fed, and whereas we may think and may fully convince ourselves that we are eating enough within our days, the binge is a response saying that we are in fact not. 

Overeating and binge eating are literally only a thing because diet culture and creating safety from fear of fat is a thing. I talk about my best friend a lot who has pretty much the most healthy relationship with food than anyone I know and then my husband who does as well, and neither one of them really ever overeats...like ever in their lives. The one and only sole time that my friend Brandy has ever had a compulsive over eating phase was when she lived with me, saw how healthy I ate, felt pressure within that (we have discussed this) so she decided to go on her first diet. When she decided to limit her intake, her body's natural response was to overeat. THANK YOU JESUS-she recognized that this is not even close to something she wanted in her life, and she ditched the diet and just lives her life. Overshooting hunger and compulsive overeating are not the same thing as we all have fluctuations where we take a few extra bites and say "oh oops", but even within the very statement of "oh I messed up" that passes through our brains, it's because we have created an atmosphere that needs to be within our bubbles of safety and control. 

If we truly sit down and admit it to ourselves, the only reason that anyone cares about overeating or dieting is because they feel fat phobic...duh. But then someone becomes a compulsive overeater and then it becomes a health issue, but the health issue is not the primary issue even if we want to skirt around the truth and say that this is the issue. The panic that ensues when someone overeats really comes back to control and diet culture. 

When you start to really think about the things that you eat in your life, do you do them in a state of control and why do you feel that you need to be in control? I was listening to a podcast about the origin of the desire for the six pack and how it dates back really far, which is kinda funny, but when you think about abs, I'm sure you think how it would be nice to have abs, but when you truly think about life as a whole, what in the crap do bumps on your stomach have to do with anything? Literally, people see our stomachs like 0% of the time (unless it's summer time for a few hours at the beach), but truly we have created this societal norm to work towards a flat stomach or abs and it's an area of the body that NO ONE EVER SEES. How bizarre? Like what if we all thought that our feet should have little ab ripples on them. That would be so weird right? That's because we have culturally been conditioned to think that this certain shape is the ideal shape.

I also understand that the girl with abs is talking to you about body image and dieting thoughts, so it's understandable if that also creates a hard image for you. That's why I really do stray away from this topic but it frustrates me that I'm not allowed to talk about body image just because of that, but I also truly think that it can be so hard in the sphere of body positivity that many times the images that are being shared even of plus sized women are of a body shape that we have grown to love in the opposite direction and how it all comes back to fear of XYZ and creating safety within that based on what you eat. #runonsentence Curves are in right now (like they really are) and so even within the body positivity scene, they are STILL showing you their culturally accepted body's and we praise that. We see more curves and say "yes queen. you look better NOW." 

We have this image of what's perfect and what is the most beautiful and those are the people that are going to have the most successful instagram pages, but if we break it down to the thought process behind it all, we are all working towards this ideal of creating safety from the fears whether that be with fat phobia or beauty phobia and fitting ourselves into these boxes of societal acceptance. 

I know what you're thinking, "but katie you literally coach on dieting" and I know this. haha! I have said many times that I think that there is a spectrum and there are all personality types. I think that it's okay to reach for goals if you have a healthy mindset, but I think that it's vital that you work towards creating healthy eating behaviors. THAT is the end goal and that is what I tell from the start with all of my clients, but I think that sometimes it does take a process and those that haven't been through the process may be wouldn't see it that way but from my personal experience, I just simply do.  

There is literally NO WAY that I could have jumped from my scene 1 act 1 of my dieting journey to the things that I believe now today. It just wasn't possible, and part of what I believe in is the process of learning nutrition to break down that fear and creating safety within seeing "hey this really is okay" and then from there, you can move forward with the remainder of your journey but I think that it's so vital that you also look to yourself to know if that is something that you can handle. We are all different, and all have a path that we need to take but I think that the path outside of the walls of our self created control for fear of whatever it may be is vitally important for lifetime happiness and success in health and wellness. 

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life, thoughts, and training updates

I was thinking how I haven't done an update recently, and I feel I have lots I'd love to chat with you guys about, and it's topics that are all over the place (welcome to my brain) but I thought I'd write about it all in little segments of thoughts and go into how my training for chicago is going.

So, life is great, but also messy. I've been dealing with some mental stuff for a good long while and ignoring and ignoring, but that thing keeps rearing it's ugly head so i decided yesterday to step down from some commitments that i have and focus on healing inclusive of the therapy i joked about the other day. That's so vague i know, but we would be here all day so basically short version - mental health is important and I'm working on mine continuously, in waves of true blissful moments because my life is so beautiful, but then these other moments I'm not sure how to interpret.

I've turned into a bit of an introvert, but I'm truly realizing that I've always been this way and I've always had this emotion since I was a child of "Something is really wrong and I need out of this space..now." It's always been something that I kept to myself, and when upon talking it out with Tanner I've realized that these were blips of anxiety and now that I'm able to see that, I have realized that also part of me always doing social things were to be able to fit in, and the vast number of friends that I have had was just my blanket of security that people liked me. I've been stripping all of that away and breathing free in the presence of who I am. It's been a really beautiful (albeit painful) process to which I've talked in a good amount of detail but it all plays into one of the next things which is READING! I've gotten really into reading and I absolutely love it.

READING

I have so many books that I want to recommend to you guys but I'm going to save all of those for another blog, but just wanted to talk about reading in general. We all have more time than we realize to read and once I made the effort with just keeping kindle on my phone and opening that app instead of instagram and facebook, I realized it was so easy. I also read on the treadmill which I know many can't do. I have an audiobook going, a paperback and a kindle all at the same time and yes, I believe we all have the capacity to switch story lines in our heads. I read the paperback/hardback in the mornings and evenings about 30 min each (I know not reasonable for some with families), the kindle on the treadmill and then audiobook on outdoor runs and in my car (along with informational podcasts - i'll share some of those too soon).

I have realized the benefit of being a lifelong learner. I wish I could re-do school honestly with the maturity now of how amazing college really is and getting my money's worth from really LEARNING information. Like, what a blessing to be able to do. I also have become a touch picky about the books that I'm picking up in that I am learning. I'm veering away from silly romance novels because books are inclusive of everything that a person has learned and researched and put into something concise for you to get through, and you have that opportunity and how cool is that to get their brain power in a few hundred pages! I don't want to waste that on what I call "the celery" of books-you know the books that should NEVER BE CONSUMED JUST LIKE CELERY ;) (I hate celery hehe).

but this one...you MUST read. I'm going to literally read this every year for the rest of my life I think haha!

but this one...you MUST read. I'm going to literally read this every year for the rest of my life I think haha!

FALL AND FOOTBALL

I know y'all feel it like I feel it. The time where everyone becomes annoying about pumpkin and the air just tastes different. I genuinely am quite literally obsessed with fall. Like seasonal depression in summer maybe (??) and hoping I reawaken in the fall. O-M-G I CANNOT WAIT. Tanner also takes his board exam in exactly one month and we will have the entire fall and holiday season together. It's been a long time coming. He's been studying for like almost a year on and off and very ON for about 6 months. We are going to a pre season Panthers game on Thursday with two of our best friends and I'm SO PUMPED.

COOKING / MEAL PLANNING

So, this is something that we have been enjoying so much together and more than ever before. Tanner basically never has preferences...on anything. lol. He's truly so chill, but he basically one day was like "okay i really want to start making meals and having dinner together." We had got into a habit of just doing our own thing like under the same roof because we eat so differently. He eats more than most humans on the planet (ha) and it's mostly very carb heavy whole foods plant based. When I went more towards plant based eating, I do try to get protein in some form and not just pasta every night but that's what he does, so I have just decided to start eating that way too. But, we have been making all kinds of things- pasta dishes, tacos (with beef crumbles and tofurky and cauliflower beef), homemade veggie pizzas, portabella paninins (aka sandwiches that we grill lol). We have been getting very gourmet every night and it's something we both really look forward to.

With planning for this, I typically pick our dinners every night at the beginning of the week and I have a meal planning little notebook. I write out what is needed for the recipe with crossing off or checking what we already have before I go to the store. I make sure to use up what is from the week before. I am REALLY HUGE on leftovers and using sauces/spices we have. I'm cheap and I'm not going to be wasting money throwing away junk. Luckily, my husband is obsessed with leftovers and it's a good thing with his appetite! ;)

our marriage is so so good right now. we truly are so in love and daily just chat chat chat and have fun haha!

our marriage is so so good right now. we truly are so in love and daily just chat chat chat and have fun haha!

BIRTHDAY

I turn 28 in 8 days but WHO IS COUNTING? I am!!! hehe! I actually love my birthday. I just look forward to it so much and there's nothing really that happens, but I just enjoy feeling really special for the day inside my own little head. haha!

I don't know what I want and I asked for recommendations on my insta story and got so many fun ideas so I'm going to think on that. Most likely it will be experience focused, but I truly do want a new tattoo and have wanted one for quite some time.

The issue with that tattoo for me is not that I'm afraid to get one, but that the phrase that I want won't be perfect. I've thought about a million different phrases, and I know you'll tell me that I'll know when I choose it but I think I do know and then the next day I change my mind. Right now, I'm considering "still, I rise" in cursive down my forearm. Yes, I'm aware that it will be a visual tattoo and I'm a health care professional. I think the world is changing, so Imma go with that! ;) I want the tattoo to represent this season of change and hardship within myself that I've went through, so of course there's a million things. I kind of want it to be free spirited-ish as that's more of the life I've been moving towards (I know I don't encompass this-I'm workin LOL)

YOUTUBE

I've been wanting to start a youtube channel and be serious about it for quite some time. This has nothing to do with garnering income from it, because the structure of youtube has actually changed a lot, and many of the advertisers have pulled out, but just to be able to provide quality scientific content about nutrition and health in a useful easy to understand format that is well researched, well done, and provides a really fun creative outlet for me as well because I truly enjoy that sort of thing. I just want to do it right so I'm teaching myself lots of things currently and will continue to work towards this long term goal.

On the note of people using this as their sole income-yikes-there is so much changing and Tanner and I were discussing how Youtube has no formal contracts with any of these full time youtubers, and at any point, they can decide to pull the advertising piece. They probably won't but it's a possibility so I genuinely hope everyone has at least a semi back up plan. Times will change things. That we know. haha!

MINIMAILISM

Tanner and I have always dreamed of being minimalist (like extreme lol) but we just never could seem to make it work. We know that the point is not to get rid of everything but rather to just have items that you love, but we didn't love all of our items and still weren't getting rid of them. haha! We had a talk about how we just needed to continue going through things over and over and each time, we find new things to sell and to give away and have started a large yard sale pile.

I read the book "The life changing magic of Tidying Up" and it really is life changing when everything has a specific purpose and spot in your home. Tanner is a very tidy man, to which I am IMMENSELY thankful, and so even down to our socks, every single one has a place now. Y'all...we are so crazy I know! LOL! But, it's so lovely. We don't ball our socks up anymore and force them into drawers. We stack them, fold them over once and place them vertically on their ends in our drawer. If a drawer becomes full, that means that we need nothing more and if it starts to pile, we make decisions to sell the others/give away.

This is the photo I sent to my mom and said "one day we will have nothing left and it will be wonderful." and she sent back "*inserts eye roll*". My mom keeps EVERYTHING. I keep nothing and tell her she made me clutter phobic, so we balance each other out ;)

This is the photo I sent to my mom and said "one day we will have nothing left and it will be wonderful." and she sent back "*inserts eye roll*". My mom keeps EVERYTHING. I keep nothing and tell her she made me clutter phobic, so we balance each other out ;)

NEW PURCHASES

There's been a lot of talk about how minimalism is consumerism at the end of the day because it's all about having these perfect items and having the money to be able to throw out the rest. I would have to kind of agree even though I'm participating, but we spend money on like literally nothing ever, so I'm okay with this. We want each item that we own to make us really happy, and when we get those items, we take really good care of them. For example, I bought my car over a year ago and I still take it to the drive through car wash and vacuum it out and wipe down everything with leather wipes every single week. My car looks brand new and that's how we treat everything we own. The things that I purchase are very thought out.

I decided that the old lunch tote I was using just was not big enough. I needed something that could carry a lot of different meals, so I got a new one. It was $9.99 at Marshalls, but the point of this is: I got rid of the old IMMEDIATELY. I don't need two. I need one that is of use that I will value and take care of and has a location.

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We watch way too many documentaries, so therefore I also have made the conscious decision that my money is worth putting in cruelty free products. The amount of harm that is done to precious innocently sweet animals just so that we can have laundry detergent literally baffles me and makes me so sad so I will spend more there.

Tanner is reading more as well, and I have a kindle but he does not, so we will research, plan out accordingly for probably black friday and purchase him one. If you have any tips in that area, or think that an ipad might be more useful then I'd love your thoughts there. He will be using it for reading mostly (which includes work and journals).

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I didn't purchase these, but y'all this new company sent me their bars, and didn't ask me to do a post at all. I literally only mention things people send me if I think it's good and am upfront with companies that send me things that I may never post about it. I want to always be honest, but these bars really are great, and have no preservatives so you keep them in the fridge. I popped them in the microwave for 8 seconds and OMGGGG! That banana chocolate YUM! 

ORGANIZATION

This all ties in together, but just an update on organization. Remember how I wanted to become more organized? Well, I truly think it's just habit now. It doesn't take thought, and if anything it's gotten more and more intense. HA! (The story of my life I know).

I don't get stressed out if things don't stay organized, but well, everything always just is now. haha! It was a long time dream of mine, and someone how I made it happen slowly over time. I write out everything in my calendar. I'm very detailed about it. I have spreadsheets on google sheets for just about everything. I am very detailed oriented with my clients now. I'm very focused when I'm at my full time job as well and organized as I have 140 patients to keep track of and chart and treat. I've really leaned into the value of taking time vs just getting stuff done and it's been super fruitful. I love it. I just recently reorganized my pantry and fridge because it just needed a revamp. I try to utilize little boxes and such I have vs buying new containers just to have more stuff.

Our closet is organized by short sleeve, long sleeve, jackets, etc and moves from the color scheme of dark colors to light colors.

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but on to the next topic!

TRAVEL

Tanner and I are going to London in December, and I am getting so excited. I have been doing a lot of research on the area and whether or not we want to do a day trip to Paris (as we feel that there is plenty to do in London and it would take up 2 of the 6 full days we have breaking up the trip maybe too much?) Thoughts? Favorites in London? I'm going to hopefully get some books from the library about the best things to do while we are there.

We also are saving to be able to do things like London and maybe another European trip next year as obviously those are expensive and we have been really budgeting with working towards getting our 401K situation maxed out and in place. We have been looking into investing for a long time and just not knowing how all of that works or how to begin, and we realized that the most simple start is just with our 401K's and so that is where we are. And the amount of compounded interest from age 27 to 65 is truly unbelieveable. 

CANCER / NEW DRUGS

A new drug came out this week that is most utilized in heart disease, however it serendipidiously (is that a word?) could be really useful in lung cancer as well. It's actually a huge break through in science with heart attack risk patients, and an exciting time. I'm a huge fan of "food being thy medicine", but the truth is most people just are simply not interested in the dietary changes that can change their life and if we have life changing meds on the horizon then that's incredible. It's called Canakinumab and I was super excited to see it mentioned even on theSkimm yesterday morning

ROUTINE

Routine has become my best friend. I thrive in routine, and haven't had one for quite some time. I actually think that this is what caused many of my issues is that I have a job that has flexible hours and my online work is flexible hours and so then I'd work out at odd times and I was just all over the place. I have found that working out the same time every day and having the same routine with work even if it is flexible really helps me to stay focused on everything that is life. I love routines. 

BLOOD WORK

I just recently had some blood work done (again through Inside Tracker) and I'm waiting on those results. This is a follow up from my December results, and I'll be curious to see if there are any changes. You can find my blog about that HERE. Also, ironically, Tanner had a physical and labs done at the same time. His cholesterol was INSANELY fantastic most likely due to our semi plant based lifestyle and not eating any dietary cholesterol. However, his A1C was 5.3. That is completely normal, but at his age and the fact that he has no family predisposition and our perfectionism on health (ha), he has realized that with the amount of food that he eats, he was just pounding some pasta to get in calories, and so we are taking a step back and re-evaluating how he is eating. He can make changes to his diet literally over night without any emotional ties, so I'm sure that'll be below 5 in no time. haha!

I also wonder if I have something off just based on the way that I've been feeling with training. It's been rough y'all. I was holding strong for so long (around 14 weeks of high volume training) and I literally just have fallen off. Let me continue below in the appropriate subheader. ;) 

DIET/TRAINING

I know what you're thinking - "Katie overtrained" and of course I have wondered that myself, but then I think to the realities of "over training" and what that even means. I slowly escalated up to this amount of volume over years and I trained for an ironman so it's not as if I haven't done this amount of training before, but I just feel that I've been hit by a mental and physical truck. I simply do not care right now, and I'm working on all the cares that I have to bundle together to make the next 5 weeks happen, but I've basically let go of the sub 3. And when I say basically, I mean it's not happening. haha!

I know what you're thinking- "YOU STILL HAVE TIME. HANG IN THERE KATIE. IT'S ALMOST THE END." But I don't think that you guys know how many weeks I've been forcing this and struggling with it and just slowly feeling like I'm going to literally go insane, and this weekend when I woke up at 4am to do my 20 mile run, I was like "I can't. I literally just can't." I felt as if I picked up my foot to run one step, I might die. LOL. That's so dramatic, but with all of the mental issues that I've been struggling with, the amount of fatigue that I feel I've been experiencing mentally has went over into the physical aspect of not having the energy to train. So I didn't run for 4 straight days.

So, where am I at? I know that I was up to about 80 miles per week so of course like any normal human, I thought "I'll just dial it back to normal mileage for a marathon to still work towards a decent time. You are not a pro athlete Katie. Don't be extreme." and then that started slipping. Essentially, it takes a lot for me to run mileage at all. For example yesterday I got in 8 miles, and felt literally horrible the entire run and threw up afterwards. So, needless to say, I'm almost hoping that the blood work shows something, but I know the reality is that it probably won't and I just gotta figure out what's going on with my health. (I've also unintentionally lost weight I didn't intend to lose while eating the same amount that I would normally for this amount of volume and it's pretty significant enough that my clothes don't fit).

I'm a VERY VERY self aware, self critical person so if you are thinking all these things that you think I should be doing, I can promise you that I've probably thought of them myself. haha! I genuinely know that the level at which I was training is unnecessary but I had a goal and I was trying to be diligent in the short term, but WELP. HERE WE ARE. I also know that no one cares about my marathons but me, and honestly that gives me peace. Like, y'all want to be inspired and are cheering me on to my goals, but at the end of the day, you're living your life and I'm just living mine. haha! I have the rest of my life to work towards PR goals, and right now I'm just working towards getting to the race. 

The one update on that is that there is no doubt that I'll get to the race and start and finish. I just literally have zero time goals. I know that is very foreign to a lot of people but I'm just wired differently, and I'd rather run races my entire life never once thinking about time again and still love running then to literally run myself into the ground with the sport. 

I know that after Chicago I'm going to take a long break. I'm probably only going to do New York next year, but that's not final. I just want to focus on helping others train, keeping my health in a reasonable, normal fashion that includes strength training, and working towards some career goals that I have. 

I know I seemingly change with each blog post that I write, but I always like to be upfront and honest about where I'm at currently <3 

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Self Actualization

Lately, the topic of self actualization has, I admit, been an obsession of mine. I absolutely love and crave the topic of coming into myself, the conscious and the subconscious, who I am, who I'm meant to be, who I'm called to be, who my alter ego is, and everything that encompasses this self actualization for every single person individually. We are going to go deep, but I hope you'll stick around to the end so that you find it useful for you and not that Katie has lost it. ;) 

Do we need to "know who we are?" Is this something that humans are ever going to come into? Why is there always the phrasing that you can't do this while you are also in relationships as if I can't find myself while simultaneously being in a monogamous relationship with my husband? I'm as independent as they come, so his presence and love in my life has no bearing on me finding myself, and finding myself has actually been a matter of settling into who I am, and who I've realized I've been programmed for quite some time to believe that I am. 

Note/Edit: This is going to sound like a bunch of hyper spiritual transcendence/awakening type talk, so please excuse me while I escape into philosophical matters. 

(I KNOW I SHOULDNT HAVE BEEN ON A TRAIN TRACK AND IVE LEARNED MY LESSON)

(I KNOW I SHOULDNT HAVE BEEN ON A TRAIN TRACK AND IVE LEARNED MY LESSON)

I also think that this gets tricky with the topic of Christianity, and I would like to express frustration at the notion that you almost aren't allowed the path of self discovery and enlightenment because if you truly felt the presence of God and allowed Him into you, then you wouldn't need to go looking. I believe that when we are able to relax into who we believe ourselves to be then we confidently move forward and allow Christ into those spaces that we otherwise might not have been able to do from this wall that was formed. Every psychologist will say that the path to spirituality is in the awakening. 

I hope that through this blog you'll be able to see my heart that I have deeply sought for months now, and that this isn't things that I haven't poured myself over and into. I've actually wrote a lot of personal poetry during this time which is something that I used to do and had let fall to the side. I always thought I'd be a writer but then science and medicine were such a more "stable" career so I went the route of the person I probably never was but have come to grow and love. 

We all have a trajectory in life that naturally flows. Some of us might take longer to decide what that path looks like, but as you are going through elementary, middle, high and then most of the time college, your life is just flowing. There is no thought process much behind it, and once you come into adulthood, you reach the consistent level of complacency and you have to decide whether you want to rest there, reach for more, and then sometimes you are like "wait, this was the end? What do I do now?" 

Many times, we involve ourselves in side projects, side hustles, and then we start having children and again, there flows the natural trajectory, and we feed into the cycle of life. We have found our identity and "ourselves" without conscious thought. It's just the flow. We say a lot of programmed things that we have learned based on our individual experiences and our upbringings, and geographical locations. Did you know that in Iceland it is completely the social norm to have a sexual interaction BEFORE emotional? They believe in not wasting their emotions before they know if they connect sexually so they do like casual hook ups after drunken bar visits all the time, and it's normal. When you hear that, like me, you think "OMG WHAT? EW. So much questions. So much confusion." But isn't that because I was raised to believe this is wrong, but they were not. They were raised completely differently. We would say they are brain washed. They would say we were. 

This is why it's so important when looking at someone's political view that you can genuinely believe what you believe, but you MUST look through their political stance through their vision. We all are little parrots just saying what those in our surroundings say and do. I watch it constantly having lived in multiple locations and in all of those places, people having different cultural norms. It's so interesting to step back honestly. 

We believe that the choices that we make are either right or wrong, and this all plays into who we believe ourselves to be and coming into ourselves. But all of this is based on emotion and feeling and perception of reality. (Yall, we're going deep here lol)

The point of finding yourself is actually being able to separate from yourself. In the book, Untethered Soul, he discusses the notion of stepping away from your conscious thinking. The voices that you hear in your head are not your own. Many women with eating disorders discuss this voice, and in the documentary "To the bone", there is a scene where they are saying "f you" to their voices. But the thing is, we all have that. Every single thought that passes through your head is that voice. It's not actually you. When you are able to make this separation, you are able to relax, you are able to fully experience life in the way that we all want to.

Think of a white picket fence, red square, and a black triangle. Focus on the black triangle and then let it go. Relax from it, think only of the white fence and the red square and let the black triangle go. That's you being able to make that separation from oneself. The thoughts that pass through every single second, grasp them, notice them, and then relax away from them. That's the separation. You'll slowly start to notice throughout the day that the voice speaks, but the voice is almost always not you. 

The day you decide that you are more interested in being aware of your thoughts than you are in the thoughts themselves—that is the day you will find your way out.
— Michael Singer, Untethered Soul

The voice has been so influenced my society. Let's revisit the fact that I always wanted to be a writer, but that wasn't stable enough. Does that mean that I'm not happy where I am? Absolutely not. I haven't even thought about my 10 year old dreams in years. But it's a point that I'm making that self actualization has so many components. Is happiness the goal? The pursuit of happiness can most definitely create unhappiness, so if you ever want to feel unhappy...search for happiness! ;) It's so easy with human nature to fall into the lack versus the abundance. 

When we naturally go through the flow of life, we stay busy therefore we never really even reach for actualization. Many of those that become "awakened" because that's the only word I have for it are normally like monks or someone who does some deep meditative practice for years, or someone who is just a really cool hippy. You are constantly changing anyway, and I mean for me, I am CONSTANTLY changing, so do we ever even rest in who we actually are? Like what would it truly look like to let every single black triangle flow right between yourself and your conscious and never stick? It just happens in your life, and flows right on through. The black, nasty, ugly triangle--it just keeps flowing through. 

That is where this quote comes in: 

happiness.jpg

There can be NO conditional statements-no matter the circumstance-you can let it go and open yourself to the freedom of just being okay. 

I've realized that many times I tell people I have two lives that I could live and that I have an alter ego. I think we all have this person somewhat within us, but when I really sat back and thought about it, I thought how that person is really somewhat who I want to be but I'm afraid to be because that's not socially acceptable in this person that I have created myself to be. I also cannot be those character traits of my alter ego because that's just not who I am. My brain neurons do not fire that way, and I cannot become her. That's just what I have told myself however, and if I can relax into myself, I can become whoever I desire to be. At any point. Any day. 

I know what you're thinking-Katie you have too much time on your hands to think- and I would have to agree. I think that if I had had children like was my plan all along at this stage in my life, I would have never reached for self discovery or had the thought space to do so, but here I am and it's liberating to come into yourself, so I'm glad I've had this time. It allows you to be fully confident in every single motion forward that you make. 

As you all know, one of my big black triangles was the desire to be loved, desired, understood, and not thought wrongly of. With self actualization, it literally does not matter. It's not even the matter of the matter. Like it's just not even a thought. I just am. I am separate. I am raw. I am transparent. I am so very flawed, and so when you speak of my flaws you are speaking nothing more into me that I haven't spoke worse into myself at some point, but I believe that was all part of the process of getting to the now. I can never really write much in the processes, but afterwards, it feels so good to express it all to you guys. This has been such a process of letting go of all the hurt and the pain that I myself have caused and has allowed me to experience the really awful feelings of life to build character and resolve. 

"Katie, you need a therapist" ... I know I'm getting one ;) 

But don't we all? I happen to think so. lol. 

The biggest thing however is this separation. It's allowing yourself to rest knowing that you CAN be happy if you just allow yourself to be open to it letting your black triangle pass through you because it's not OF you to begin with. You also are allowed the space to find yourself whether you're in a relationship or not and whether you are super busy or not, because I do feel that it's worth the time and it's super important. 

the journey to finding oneself is ugly but has been 100% worth it.

the journey to finding oneself is ugly but has been 100% worth it.

I could literally write a book on this topic, so I'm going to end with this today written by one of my favorite instagrammers, @plantifulsoul. This poem below is literally what I feel sometimes when I'm running. It has absolutely blown me away today on this topic. Relax and enjoy it.

as you let go, you become.

reawaken. 

softly stir your soul from its slumber. 

tame this lucid lullaby. 

your body does not belong to you.

this vessel is a holy temple through which eternity 

temporarily seeks refuge.

effortlessly evolving.

our foundation is fluditity. 

perhabs this is why we feel so empty. 

we abandon scattered pieces of ourselves in the grasp of a temporal illusion,

in driting currents, 

and withered roots,

when our purest nature is infinite.

nothing stays the same. 

and this somehow, 

makes everything more beautiful.

the fragile impermanence of it all. 

we tear at the earth beneath us,

starving for the taste of our own flesh. 

like a fish lost at sea, 

searching for water. 

sisters and brothers.

it is not always easy to remember, 

that we are everything

in a place that has taught us that we are nothing. 

you have thought as the world thinks for so long..

that you no longer know 

who or what 

you even are. 

learn to forget. 

listen to the screams of stillness.

drift back into your own embrace.

crumble.

collapse.

surrender.

and carry yourself home. 

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CLIENT TESTIMONIAL/HIGHLIGHT RACHEL BRENKE

To say that I love this girl is an understatement - we just hit it off really well on a lot of different things. She inspires me every day to be the best version of myself, and boy, does she live it out. Just hold on because you're about to super inspired by this chick I call my friend. The way Rachel and I met was in a women's triathlon group when she posted last year that she was going to be doing Ironman North Carolina, and was a momma of 5 and wanted advice on whether to defer to another race due to the shortening of the bike course. 

My first thought was "okay, that one sentence is all I need-she's my hero!" haha! As I learned more about Rachel, I realized that was just the tip of the iceberg. She is a world renowned speaker with her expertise being in small business and online business legalities. As a lawyer and MBA, she is currently helping entrepreneurs all over the world initiate, strategize and implement strategic business and marketing plans through various mediums of consulting resources and legal direction. She also makes all of this work while still having weekly date nights with her husband, being a loving, present, sweet momma, and THIS WEEK her priority is that she is headed to World Championship to represent Team USA. Rachel will compete in the Aquathlon at the Penticton 2017 ITU Multisport World Championships Festival.

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Through our friendship, Rachel decided to hire me for her nutrition, and I was honestly truly honored, and this is what she had to say about her coaching experience:

Katie revolutionized my eating. I tried to out run a diet with IRONMAN. Or didn't work. At all. Katie worked with me to get the right numbers. She offered grace and kindness when I faltered but helped me pick right back up. Thanks to her I'm faster, stronger and happier.

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The best part about Rachel and her transformation is that she has nothing insane or extreme to make these changes. She has taken GOOD care of her body, and her metabolism is strong. She executed exactly the plans that we had and if anything ever came up that didn't feel right, she let me know immediately and we made changes, and I'm so incredibly excited to see her in action this week at worlds.

Thankful for her friendship and her dedication to her job that inspires me every day! We are doing a podcast soon together, and can't wait to share that with you guys! 

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MAXIMIZING YOUR MENSTRUAL CYCLE

So, the topic of periods in every aspect is a hot topic at this time in the fitness industry. These topics range from:

  • How to keep your period
  • How to get your period back
  • How prevalent amenorrhea is among athletes and how that needs to change
  • Why it's important for health to have your period
  • Why birth control is not the answer to the lack of a period

The topic that I want to cover today is how to maximize your cycle to your potential, and what to know about it to help ease your mind in times where you might not be feeling as good, and to relax into that. I wrote an article about periods back in 2015 and if you want to check that out, you can find that HERE. It's about how important it is to have a period, but also why I think it's important to look at your situation individually, try not to panic and work through it with a reasonable outlook to get your period back and be a healthy vibrant kick butt woman! There was a study done in 2010 on endurance female athletes about the presence of low bone mineral density and osteoporosis and the appearance in over 30% of the patients. That makes it apparent that this is something we NEED to be talking more about, but again, the regaining of your period is not today's topic. A really useful book for this topic is: No Period, now What?

One last word on that topic is that you do NOT have to give up everything to be able to get your period back. Yes, that is the simplest way most likely because the amount of stress on your body is clearly too much, but you can do things in a way to continue doing the sports that you love and staying healthy, BUT I DIGRESS...

In my previous blog post, I did not go over the entire cycle and how much things change throughout the month and what to be aware of. It's important to recognize that even if you are not having a period, your body is still going through these cycles most likely, and most of the time this is in a 28 day window (weeks 1 - 4). This can vary and if you want to make goals in conjunction with your cycle then you can chart your temperature and your cycle to have a better idea of when you are going into the individual stages of hormone variation and performance.

There are two types of women who will read this blog:

  • "Oh, this will be fun! Let me track this and see if I can see a difference in my training!"
  • "Oh god..something else to worry about and track and IT'S JUST TOO MUCH!!!"

If you are #2-just don't read the blog-seriously-it's not worth it to worry yourself with something else, but it's interesting if you're interested! ;)

I'm going to keep this short, sweet, and TO THE POINT. Y'all, this is so exciting and interesting. Buckle up!

So I wanted this to be super simple, and think that it will help you to keep referencing this chart as you read along with the recommendations for each week of your cycle and what your hormones are doing during those respective weeks.

So I wanted this to be super simple, and think that it will help you to keep referencing this chart as you read along with the recommendations for each week of your cycle and what your hormones are doing during those respective weeks.

The first two weeks of your cycle is your follicular phase. The first week of your cycle is your actual period. This is when your hormones are both at the lowest coming right after your PMS week and once your menstration occurs, you should start to feel much better, less water retention.

  • Week 1 Training:

Give yourself grace in that you're bleeding and that's no fun but know that this is a week to start to capitalize on the exertion that you are able to give while your estrogen and progesterone are lower. Aim for maybe some slower tempo runs or solid strength building blocks during this time.

  • Week 1 Nutrition: 

                 **higher insulin sensitivity but lower metabolic rate (lowest at the end of week 2 going into ovulation)

                  **Increase carb intake but keeping calories moderate - your body will utilize the carbs for the increase amount of endurance during this first week than your PMS week prior   

  • Week 2 Training:

This should really be the best week of your entire cycle in terms of training. If you are someone who knows your cycle well, then you should let your coach know this in order to push your heaviest weights or your hardest speed drills / tempo workouts during this week.

  • Week 2 Nutrition:

This is when the egg is going to drop going into ovulation and when you are the most fertile. There will start to be an incline in estrogen and follicle stimulating hormone and is a great time! You should feel your best during this second week nutritionally as well as your metabolism starts to speed up (your core temperature is higher), and you are still insulin sensitive so aim for higher carbs.

OVULATION-

Wouldn't it be aperfect world if we could aim for a PR on these days when we are at our peak of wonder womanhood? Be careful though-injury risk is very high during this time ! (Hint: click that link if you wanna see the abstract from the study)

The second two weeks of your cycle is the luteal phase, with the final week of this cycle being your "PMS" week.

  • Week 3 Training:

Things are not going to feel as good as they did. You probably can even notice that workouts the week prior that seemed easy now seem hard, and the efforts of your workouts should decrease due to potential for injury with your estrogen decreasing and your progesterone increasing. Every article on this topic will tell you to do yoga during this time, but if you aren't a yogi and you're a runner or a strength athlete, it's just important to know that these two weeks are when you should be relaxing more, just getting in base mileage

  • Week 3 Nutrition:

Core temperature starts to rise (higher metabolism) but with reduced insulin sensitivity and more insulin resistance. You'll be able to eat more, and burn more calories, but you'll be better off if those calories come from fat and protein and reduce your carb intake during this time. If you are doing less stringent endurance type efforts, then this actually can be a really great time to lose fat (specifically this third week).

  • Week 4 Training:

It's just going to suck and that's okay. haha! Your heart rate is going to be higher during your workouts, your breathing is going to be more labored. You will benefit most from easy runs, low impact strength training and preparing your body to be able to utilize the following 2 weeks.

  • Week 4 Nutrition:

The trickiest part of this week in terms of nutrition is that your serotonin is going to lower, therefore your cravings for carbs will be higher. Your mood swings are cray cray, and you are holding water like a mother trucker. It's important during this phase to at least try to aim towards higher calorie foods that are mostly higher in fat. You should always have carbs, so don't mistake this for saying to go keto, but simply just to recognize what is going on in your body and moderate your carb intake with the increase in cravings.

I could say so much more on this topic and it's so so interesting. Women have it ROUGH is all I have to say about that, but you CAN do things to benefit from this cycle. So, I know that the hot topic has been GETTING that period, but once you get it, let's make it to our advantage! #GIRLPOWER

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The Beauty within NO GOALS

So the last post that I did was all about goals-pushing forward in the sight of pain just for all of those goals - new goals each week, each month, and each year! Well right now I'm sitting on my bed at 5:30pm on a day when I had plans to be in the gym running on the treadmill about to take a nap, and you know what? I'm okay with it! 

I even said in the last post "Who knows how long this will last?" because I didn't know. I want to always listen to how I'm feeling. I want to always be a voice of reason to say it's OKAY if you have an off day, an off week, and heck, it's okay if you have an off year. Maybe there is A LOT going on and races and goals are not something that is even possible for you. 

This is me-not hitting goals.haha!

This is me-not hitting goals.haha!

I think that, of course, social media shows all the highlights, but no one gets online to say "I skipped a workout" today without it being a big post...LIKE I'M DOING RIGHT NOW. 

It's like it's not okay to just skip your workout and it not be a big deal. Well, I've skipped like 7 this week. I legit have like not run this week going from 80 miles/week. Is that weird? Probably. Am I burnt out a little? probably. Will I make it to the marathon? Yep. I've done this enough times that I know that I'll pick it back up next week, my body will practice some muscle memory and the runs will suck at first but my body will rest into it. 

Yes, I appreciate those that never miss a workout, and I really think they are awesome. I think those that set PR goals for every marathon are my idols, but it's just not me. I just can't function that way. And I wanted you to know that if you are that person then that's okay too. We are all made differently, and need to know that the world can't revolve without it. 

Did you know that I didn't know sub 3 was a thing until instagram? I didn't even know 3:30 was what would get me to Boston until like 3 years ago when I did my first marathon and someone commented on one of my pictures that I could probably qualify on my first marathon. I was like "oh really? I wonder how you qualify for Boston. I've never even thought about that before." 

And now here I am 3 years later, running WAYYYY more miles than that, and some days wondering why the goals just get bigger and bigger. I know we have to progress, but when is enough enough? ya know? I have a 3:05, but yet I want more? That's totally fine as we should all strive to do our best and get better with each marathon, but also if you aren't feeling your goal one week, it's also okay to just take a nap after work and not run because #life. 

I've always been a huge goal oriented person. I feel like I can't really thrive in life unless I have some big goal that I'm working towards, but Tanner is the complete opposite. He wants to get better at the things that he does, but it's more long term. He's not like SOLELY focused on goals. He just lives, and if he doesn't feel like doing something some days...well he just doesn't. He doesn't miss things in life due to #grinding and he just is such a good example of balance but also working hard when needed, such as right now when he does have a short term goal of passing a board certification exam. 

Honor where you personally are at! And don't be ashamed if you have to take a step back and re-evaluate. Don't be ashamed if you change your mind 20 times. Don't be ashamed if you feel that the goal that you set for yourself might have been a little too big to reach. Keep working hard, developing your character, but also living your life to your enjoyment. Goals are there and hobbies are there so that you can enjoy them and when they aren't fun anymore, then that means that you need to re-evaluate things and decide next steps moving forward. 

Lastly, we should always be evolving and changing and becoming who we truly feel is right for us in that season of our lives. It might mean that in last season of life you were pushing for PR goals in the marathon and this season of your life, you are barely able to keep yourself afloat with your job, and you need to recognize that it's okay. It might be that you just simply changed and aren't enjoying what you're doing anymore, and that's okay too. You don't always have to keep yourself in one box. You might X out one box only to move back into that box, and you need to just be okay with the evolution. 

I've been wanting to write a blog about passion, and about how to harness your potential and really be living on fire every single day but I thought this was so much more appropriate-the REAL stuff of life that is really hard to work through sometimes! 

Just so you can be on the lookout, my next post is going to be about the different stages of your female reproductive cycle, the weeks that go along with different training and nutrition approaches and how it all plays a role in being a female. It's a super hot topic right now and I think it's important to recognize what you can and can't do within that to maximize your potential. 

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How to Push When You're Tired (Mentally and Physically)

I got an email yesterday that asked me to do this blog and it was very timely because I was going to write a blog about something else this week but I thought this was a GREAT topic so I thought I'd share what has worked for me.

This training cycle has actually really pushed me physically and mentally especially in the past 3 weeks. My job wasn't exactly full time until last week and I hadn't kicked up coaching again (which I LOVE LOVE LOVE being more back in the game and focused on coaching and growing my business again). I also have had a lot of orders with World Hunger Project and continuing to work that as much as I possibly have the time for as it's a huge passion. I don't say all this to say "Oo look at me I'm busy" because that is SOOOO overdone and outplayed and we are all sick ofhearing how everyone else is so busy. The reason I say it is just to say "Shew, I'm a bit tired but I'm still making training work and prioritizing it enough to get it done."

Also, it's worth noting I've never done that in the past. I've shared many times how I skip frequent workouts, but with this training cycle and wanting to get in a certain amount of miles per week to be able to build them safely and efficiently, I have finally dedicated to a training program and stuck with it. And it's a lot.

I think that the first thing for me is recognizing that it's a choice, and it's not overwhelming. I know that sounds contradictory because for some, they need the pressure of a race to get them out of the bed, but for me, I get really overcome by the "overwhelm" emotion. If I'm overwhelmed, I get really anxious and I feel like a slug and suffer from the "sit on my couch and watch Netflix instead" approach while I work through my anxiety of the thing that I'd actually planned to do. So I have to be able to chill out and recognize this is FOR FUN. JOT THAT DOWN. THIS IS FUN. WE ALL NEED A CHILL PILL! ;)

The second thing that I do that is related is that I detach emotion from things. I think that being able to control your mind and your emotions is not only helpful with being tired but still staying motivated, but also just a general life rule. I've shared in the past how before race days, I just don't think. I literally don't think about a marathon until I'm doing it. I don't plan it out either with paces and such. That stresses me out. I have to pull all emotion from it. If I start getting nervous, I will like meditate and stare at a wall and think "wall wall wall wall" to come back to my center and clear my brain. I stay super busy before long runs. I don't stay on my feet, but I busy my mind most of the time with work or blogging and am sitting down to do so. This helps you to not be mentally tired when a big training day arrives because you haven't let yourself get all emotionally invested in it.

The third thing that I do is "don't think, just do." This is part of detaching emotion and thought from things, but this has taken some practice and time. When my alarm goes off at 4:45 to get in my first run before work, most every morning I want to die a slow death and hate running (lolz). I'm a morning person, but I am NOT a morning workout person. Ever. Never. Never. I JUST started this with my new job because I have to. BUT, I bounce out of bed. IMMEDIATELY. No ifs, ands, butts and no choices given-UP UP UP! Once I death march out of my room hating life (#dramaqueen), I know that my change of clothes is waiting in the bathroom and I basically sleep walk through the motions of changing, walking to my car, and driving to the gym. I don't even allow myself to think. I just simply roll my body through the actions even to the point of those first steps on the treadmill. I keep my full out stank face mean mug face on because I do not have the energy for small talk at 5am. #BYEFELICIA Once my body finally gets moving, I am able to sink into my run while reading my Kindle and I'm good. Don't think. Just act. And then I have hot coffee or tea waiting for me when I get home because my husband is an angel and I'm like PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW! (and 6 miles is down for the day by 6:15 WOOOO).

I know that if I don't get out of bed, then I'm not going to make my mileage for the day because I'm definitely not running it all in the evening and I'm doing doubles most days to get in the mileage that I'm doing, so I'm either in this or I'm out of this and for right now, I'm in it. Who knows how long that'll last? LOL!

I practice the same tactic at night after work when I'm doing my second run. I know I have to do it IMMEDIATELY after work or I won't do it, so I walk in, change, and head RIGHT back out the door before I can even think about what I'm doing enough to get tired.

I've realized that in order to have energy, you have to forcibly create energy. It's like when you are at home all day in your sweatpants and then a friend says "Hey you want to go to the bar tonight?" Yea no thanks...I'm gonna just keep watching Netflix. However, if you've been busy all day then it sounds much more fun. It's the same thing. In order to move and get your body out the door for those runs, you have to go from one thing to the next creating and harnessing that energy to propel you forward. Don't allow your mind or your body to get tired? Just.Keep.On.Trucking. And then at night-CRASH. That's my approach.

I know this is going to sound like crazy talk, but it's important also to focus on your "center." I've read a lot about the psychology behind really sticking with goals, and continuing forward with goals, and you have to be able to focus on the short term and the long term. You know that your goal right now may be to complete this run, but the long term goal is that marathon that you want to do. Know that in order to do the marathon,  you HAVE to do the mundane day to day. You must feel the importance of that, while also detaching emotion, and just complete the small non stressful tasks day to day.

The last thing that I want to touch on because it does affect things is your diet, and hydration. I know that if I've ate crap, I am NOT energized and the last thing that I want to do is go for a run. If you have an important run coming up, then I won't give you tons of dietary tips but just rather eat things that make you feel good and that you know are going to be hydrating and cause you to have an effortless run.

NOW GO CONQUER THOSE RUNS. MAY YOU RUN AND NOT GROW WEARY - MAY YOU RUN AND NOT FAINT! (lol!)

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8 Marathons - 8 Different Training Plans

I was thinking about how much has changed since I ran my first marathon and how differently I train. I was thinking about how there is utility behind the training that I'm doing right now, and I am enjoying it but at the same time, I reminisce the days in the beginning when I didn't even know that sub 3 was a thing and completion was the only goal. There's stressors on both and I'll never forget the nerves before those first long runs (I still get butterflies every week), and how much more serious I was about NEVER missing a run. I also was running much less so I do think that it was valuable that I didn't miss the runs that I did have planned. 

The book "Grit" is not about athletic performance but much can be related. In one section a man says that he has been continuously running for years but never seen progress so what gives? Without even being a runner, the author asked him "Well what have you been doing to get better? Are you just running every day?" and he says "Well yes I guess so." I have a lot of people come to me and say their paces have never gotten better but they take winter and summers off and just run random races here and there and the training is not specific. It's just running miles. For you to get better, you have to have a specific training program tailored to you and your goals. Here are some of the different ways that I've trained. 

1st Marathon: Philly Marathon (3:27)

3 days per week running / 4 days per week lifting 

8 miles, 6 miles, long run, repeat - long runs alternate between long (12 miles) and long long (14-18 miles) - no 20 miler before race day - no specificity of training - no tempos no speed work 

2nd Marathon: Grandfather Mountain Marathon (3:51- but it was up a mountain)

4 days per week running/ 4 days per week lifting 

8 miles, 6 miles, 4 miles, long run - long runs alternating as before - no 20 milers before race day - no specificity of training - no tempos no speed work 

3rd Marathon: Charlotte Marathon (3:15) 

5 days per week running / 3 days per week lifting / just completed Ironman 70.3

Added speed drills & tempos 6 weeks out, one 20 miler

4th Marathon : Boston April 2016

Ran 4 days per week / Lifted 3 days per week - injured like 98% of training but it was Boston and wanted to make it to the finish line - didn't feel the injury at Boston nor any day after Boston - it magically disappeared???!! lol 

Ultra - 36 miles May 2016 

When I went to Boston I basically thought that I would have to give this race up because of the injury but then I was fine, and just did one more long run after boston and then did the ultra. It was one of those "Eh what the heck?" kind of things, and I ended up really enjoying it. 

5th Marathon (at the end of an ironman): Ironman NC 3:42 

Training consisted of zero strength training, capped at 50miles/week of running but this was in conjunction with 100's of bike miles and twice weekly 1 hour swims (intervals one day / steady long swim on another) - I also fell apart by the end due to starting the marathon too fast, and ended up walking like 2 miles at the end! ha! To be expected really! 

6th Marathon - Myrtle Beach Marathon March 2017 3:05 

6 days/week running (peaked at 70miles/week) + 3 days/week lifting (only one 20 miler and one 18 miler) - speed work started 4 weeks out and tempos 6 weeks out 

I've learned that if I add in speed work or tempos when I originally start my programming before getting a good base then I ALWAYS get injured so I just wait until right before

7th Marathon - Boston April 2017 4:05 

What a flop of a race after coming off the high of Myrtle Beach- literally 6 weeks after my PR of 3:05, I got a 4:05 in Boston - but we all know that race was just insane and I'm glad I even made it to the finish line to be honest - what a memory and one that I can't seem to shake and not sure that I'll be going back to Boston this year 

8th Marathon - Chicago Marathon Oct 2017 

This is obviously what I'm currently training for and I'm doing high mileage (~75miles/week at this point) added in tempos 2 weeks ago, adding in speed work starting next week - I do have a side left glute pain after my tempo this week (I'm telling you it NEVER fails when I do any sort of speed work I ALWAYS end up with something -it's hella frustrating so I'm going to monitor that this week and go from there- I know I had a tiny quad thing last week and that's gone so with high mileage training like this you just have to take it day by day and assess if it's actually a thing or not a thing lol). 

Goal Time: Sub 3 

If you look back, my training has scaled up and my times have scaled up accordingly. I used to do no specificity running only 3 days per week for that first marathon and each PR goal marathon (Philly, Charlotte, Myrtle Beach, Chicago), I have progressively gotten better, learned my body more and what works for me, and trained accordingly. 

I also have learned that I don't enjoy the pressures of a PR race. It's just not me. I have the rest of my life to try for them here and there, and this was the year of the marathon so I'm giving it my all, but next year is the year of just enjoying endurance and I probably won't do much specificity at all unless I just feel like it right before the races and will be doing much less mileage just to be able to get to the race day and enjoy. 

You choose how you want to train and the times that can be expected accordingly. I don't expect big time goals next year but I also will know why! :) 

Future Next Marathons & Races & Training Plans:

Myrtle Beach Marathon March 2018 - 40-60 miles/week peak with speed/tempo work 4-6 weeks out adding strength back in (not high mileage like I'm doing now at all)

 Ironman Maryland Oct 2018 - 12-14 weeks of keeping baseline running fitness up from running up until 3 months out and not starting tri training early because I burn out on this (would begin training July 9th probably (13 weeks out) with 2 weekly swims (one interval, one long), 2 bikes per week (one interval, one long), and 4 runs per week (variation of distance) with 2 lifts (lower/upper)

NYC Marathon Nov 2018 - I AM SO SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS RACE!! I will probably do like 1-2 long runs with 2-3 middle week mid distance runs coming off the Ironman to just glide into this race and just enjoy it - literally ZERO time or PR of any sort even to be contemplated! Could care less and just want to enjoy my favorite city in the world <3

I try to give my clients the same respect I give myself which is grace when you aren't feeling it, motivation when you need it, and writing every workout with the intention of YOU personally behind it and not the things that work for me or that work for others but what personally works for you to get to whatever your goal is whether that's finishing or PR! I do have some slots open if you are interested. Here is some info on this. HERE and HERE

This was fun to think back on! What's your race strategy of choice? 

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All You Need To Know About Pharmacy

I know I've shared a little here and there about my job, but I actually get a good amount of emails about how to get into pharmacy school, what all it entails, should you go that route?, how do you get into the field that I'm in (considered ambulatory care), etc etc and I started to just make an instagram caption and then that got really long really quick so here I am! :)

So, I'm just going to do it in a Q&A fashion so that's easier to answer!

  • How do you get into pharmacy school?

You do all of the pre requisites, take the PCAT (the standardized test for pharmacy school), apply through PharmCas to the various schools that you choose, and then do the interview process. There are some that are able to get in after two years without an undergraduate degree. I got in after three years but I do not have an undergrad. I do however have a doctorate. Pharmacy is weird like that and I suspect that soon in the future, it will change and you will need an undergrad.

  • How long is pharmacy school?

It was a 7 year path for me. 3 years undergrad, 4 years pharmacy school. All pharmacy school is 4 years however. 3 years didactic (classroom) and then 1 year on rotations/clinicals where you are able to "try out" different areas of pharmacy and see what you like. Tanner did one year residency after pharmacy school which is called a PGY-1 and is general. If you want to become more specialized, you would do a PGY-2. Specializations opens up doors just like in anything, and it's almost impossible to get a pharmacy job in the hospital setting with a residency at this point. Some get lucky but that's rare. Tanner got a more specialized position in oncology without that second year residency mostly because when we went to NYC, he worked at Sloan Kettering which is one of the top cancer centers in the US, but he still feels he could benefit from a PGY-2, soooo we will see what happens. haha!

  • Is pharmacy school worth it?

Yes and no. It just depends on you as a person. I hated school. But I look back now and that was so immature. I was such a drama queen and needed to chill the crap out. But I was young. My biggest thing is just that they give WAY TOO MUCH MONEY to you when you are so young and don't even know the gravity of the debt that you are incurring and that it could potentially follow you for the rest of your life. Because there is only one public school in NC (and I'm pretty sure it's the #1 school in the nation - Chapel Hill), the odds of getting in there are small. Kudos if you did. But private was what we did. And private is HELLA EXPENSIVE, so both Tanner and I both came out with crippling debt, so while it is a secure, great career and we both have found niches that we have great hours, it NEEDSSSS to be talked about more than it is because the salary we make does not offset the debt from private institutions.

Also, the world of pharmacy is shifting and changing, but I do think that it's stable. There is always a bubble and a bust with anything, but right now it is so saturated and therefore it's hard for graduates to find jobs. There was a need and a demand therefore tons of places opened up pharmacy schools (plus $$$$ is made) and now there are way more pharmacists than there are jobs. So, then it just gets more and more competitive and everyone is going to have to have a residency, etc etc. When I was in high school, there was talk of sign on bonuses and cars given. HAAAA NEGATIVE.

Speaking of debt and the income made - the amount that pharmacists make because of the supply/demand situation is less than it was 10 years ago but the world has definitely had inflation, so that's not to say that the salary is not still great, I just think it's something that needs to be considered. Will this salary stay the same for 20 more years? I don't know.

  • What are the different paths you can take?

So, I will get to my job in a moment, but I wanted to explain the different paths you can take in pharmacy. There are TONS but I'm going to address the major ones

#1- RETAIL - this is just your typical walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid

Retail pharmacists make the most (and these salaries are legit googleable so I mean whatever I'm just going to be frank here) ; Salary: approximately $115-130K - this varies state to state. Retail pharmacist also "work the hardest" if you will. Honestly, it can be a very toxic work environment, pushing pills to make money from the corporation, etc etc. I'm sure some love it and get a great job but it's HARD HARD work so they are compensated for that.

(I know that you're thinking about the statement above about the debt versus the income and I'm sounding like a brat here, but I want to point out that Tanner and I combined had $430,000 in debt coming out of school. I just wanted to be open and honest about that here, so that people truly know what it looks like because we had no clue going in).

Hospital "basement pharmacy"- this is much more chill as you are not dealing with the public but it could end up being potentially boring depending on where you work ; Salary: $90-110K (dependent on so many factors)

Hospital specialties - this is someone who has done that second year residency most of the time ; Salary: ~ $115-120K

Industry "big pharma"- SUPER DUPER hard to get into (like 20 years worth of experience type thing) ; Salary : $150-200K (again-it varies so much)

Those are the big ones. My job is very rare. My company is very rare, but it is the "way of the future" with pharmacy if you will. It's focused on outcomes and changes that don't have to do with medicine. It's based on prevention of heart attacks, strokes, etc by managing patient's meds, making sure they are taking them, understand them, they don't interact, and are making adequate lifestyle changes if they so desire and if not, then what do we need to do to prevent an event. This saves money for employers and insurance companies because the meds/lifestyle change is a lot cheaper than insurance for open heart surgery.

  • How do you get into my job setting?

If you are interested in this area or whatever area that you are interested in, you need to (most of the time) aim your career towards that from the beginning. You need to plan on most likely doing a residency (my path was very different in that I created my own business therefore my company found that to be of extreme value) but you need to set yourself apart in some way.

Do rotations that are geared towards ambulatory care, which is the technical name for the area of pharmacy that I'm in. Do your elective courses in topics related to this: lipids, diabetes management, blood pressure - 

Also, get involved with the initiative towards the legislation to make pharmacists providers so that we can bill for these services through insurance because right now, when you go to see a physician, they bill for a visit, but when my patient's come and see me, the insurance companies do not designate us as "providers" therefore the only loop hole is the fact that we have data to show the counties that we work with that it's worth their money. I offer this service at a cash price for people that find me on my blog to do a full medication review along with chronic disease state management and lifestyle counseling, but it's expensive and I would LOVE to be able to offer this service with patient's using their insurance in the future. 

With all of that said, I absolutely love my new job. I gave more details about the specifics of my job on my instagram post so if you want to check that HERE, you can do so! :) I am so thankful for the men that own this company to value me. It truly means a lot. I also read the book "Grit" this week, and I'm so inspired to continuing through the years to grow myself in this field of outcomes based ambulatory care pharmacy and marketing. We all don't have to be changing the world overnight, but if we commit to our goals that we will get there no matter how long it takes, and don't let the failures set us back but rather just learning curves, then we can ALL reach those big goals. 

So, with all that said, if pharmacy is something that you want to do then I think that you should go for it. The years are going to pass anyway so it's better to be growing and learning and changing versus staying stagnant right? Maybe you applied for pharmacy school and didn't get in? I didn't get in my first year, but here I am in my dream job. Sometimes it just takes time, and relaxing into that. Maybe you applied for a position like mine but didn't get it? Keep honing your skills and know that it is your end goal and that you aren't going to stop until you get there.

Tanner wants to be a highly specialized oncology pharmacist. He would love to be one of the best in the country (he'd kill me for saying this). That doesn't mean he's arrogant about it. Not at all. He just works step by step day by day making little inches of growth towards that. He is working on research and he is working on becoming board certified in oncology at the present moment. 

We talk a lot about how expensive pharmacy school was and how we didn't take that serious enough at the time when we were paying big bucks for it. What an incredible opportunity to get to go to school and learn? I wish I could go back through my late 20's (much more mature) perspective vs just wanting to get done. There's so many amazing things to be learned in the world of medicine and I want to fill up my brain with as much as I can! :) 

If you're a pharmacist and want to share your thoughts below, feel free to do so! :) 

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Passion + Integrity + Purpose

So, it's been a while since I've talked about passion or purpose or any of those things and how deeply I feel them and how much I think that it's important not just for the sport or activity in question but just by committing to these things, it creates character traits and optimistic viewpoints that you can carry with you in other times of hardship or trials of any kind. First off, it's August and how the heck did that happen? I was scheduling a patient three months from now and said "Wait, three months is November? That can't be right." Um, turns out-that's right.

So, this year was a year of HUGE change for me which led me into a season of intense "figuring out my ish" and it wasn't easy. I truly do finally feel that I'm at that steady point, back on the peak, back loving life. Part of the reason that I struggled during this time was lack of purpose. I didn't go from one purpose to the next, but rather was just in limbo. I am someone who wants to be working hard towards a goal and I'm very goal oriented.

I poured that into Chicago training basically, and it made my anxiety immediately reduce. I know yall probably think I'm a little bit crazy when I tell you that I just HAVE TO HAVE something, but I mean I was spending weekend days on the couch just like twiddling my thumbs I had so little to do, but I fell into this spot of like also not wanting to dive into anything because I didn't want to just do something to just do it. I wanted to FEEL the passion and the purpose to propel me forward.

I also know I've leaned out with all this running and plan to continue eating more to not be so lean (eek)

I also know I've leaned out with all this running and plan to continue eating more to not be so lean (eek)

I found I truly missed the connection with the blog. I kept trying to fight it because I had "quit" but then I thought "This is dumb. If this is something that you enjoy, then this is something that you should do. Period." I just enjoy sharing my life, the evidence in health and running related topics, and all the fun that blogging brings. I also have found a company that really values me, and I'm a huge part of their team now, and it's one of those jobs where you're like "Yep. I'm gonna work for them for 30 years" kind of thing, and I am so so thankful for that. I have had some HARD HARD pharmacy jobs in the past. I won't go into details, but Tanner just kept saying 'Dang girl, you can't catch a break' just from like boss/coworker experiences/work environment. So even if I wanted to feel passionate about pharmacy, the work environment was toxic and I never could.

I've also really enjoyed buying work clothes hehe

I've also really enjoyed buying work clothes hehe

The amount of purpose and passion that I feel for what I do now is like everything has come full circle. I think sometimes that happens in life. My life has just kind of tumbled one thing into another and I've never had to think about what I do. The "thinking about who I am" season that I had was so so hard and tough and messy but man was it fruitful. It really changed me and made me so much more confident, so much more purposeful and passionate knowing that I've landed and while I may change, my drive towards what I am doing both in blogging, coaching, and pharmacy will not.

It took me so long to find the integrity of my work. When I was just blogging, I also didn't have it. I felt like when people asked what I did, I didn't know what to say when they knew I was a pharmacist. Like, oh I am a pharmacist, but I do run coaching. I mean no one cares but me, but that's the point. It's my life, and if I care, I have to change that and be okay with it. I will not be able to have passion without my purpose being completely fulfilled. I know that it seems crazy like "Katie, you can't work all the time" and I know that. I don't, but the combination of both is what has made me feel the most alive.

I keep joking I'm manic/depressive (I know that is no joke to even make because I truly am so serious about mental health issues) however I truly had exhibited those types of behaviors small scale over the past few months, but you know when you can fail forward and then look forward and say "Okay I know that's behind me now." I was texting Tanner yesterday about how thrilled and passionate I feel about life and blogging and evidence based medicine in conjunction with nutrition plus pharmacy and training. He texted back that he feels that I've finally exited the season of anxiety and into just "mania". I am a naturally optimistic, make everything into a joke kind of person, but I have NOT been that lately....at all. As usual, through thick and thin, sickness and health Tanner stood by me, encouraging me, crying with me, hugging me, and at times also being very frustrated with me as I found my way.

This is literally me reading the part of my vows breaking down about how he's been there for me during this awful season when I was so unlovable. I'm tearing up seeing this photo too. Sheesh.

This is literally me reading the part of my vows breaking down about how he's been there for me during this awful season when I was so unlovable. I'm tearing up seeing this photo too. Sheesh.

Basically I've been that analogy where I was a square peg forcing myself into a round hole. It just wasn't working no matter what route that I took, and now I'm in the place where I know that I can just focus not on who I am, what I am, but just the growth and grit in the work which I LOVE LOVE LOVE.

I know that life is not about work and it's about relationships, and I think I kept coming back to that as well and feeling like a jerk that in spending more time with family and even friends and still feeling like my well was completely dry. Guys, that sounds awful, but we have to know that we are who we are and in order to be good for the people around us, we MUST be passionate about the life that we are living. We must water our own garden before we can be fruitful for others. That doesn't mean a job, because some don't have them for various reasons (stay at home mom comes to mind which of course IS a job but you know what I mean). We must be doing something for ourselves that allows us to be WHOLE for them.

Farmers market comes to work every Tuesday! I love it!

Farmers market comes to work every Tuesday! I love it!

We have to believe that what we are doing, we are doing with integrity. We have to know that what we are doing is right and it feels good. And sometimes, we find ourselves in a position where nothing is of interest and so we sit on the couch, watch tons of Netflix, joke about it, but really feel empty. We pray and those prayers feel like they just flop on the floor in front of us even though we know that's not the case. We can tell ourselves to LISTEN, but then we hear crickets. It's tough, y'all. These mid 20's ain't no joke of a time in life.

I also entered a season of knowing that this is in fact the time that people start having children. In the mix of all this madness, the LAST thing that I wanted to move towards was kids. It's literally like getting married because you think that's going to solve your problems, so "oh katie's bored and feeling purposeless-lets's have kids." No. I just refused. I wanted to find ME wholly, completely, passionately, purposefully, and with integrity and THEN I could move forward with bringing another human into this world. I want my future daughter to be like "Hell yea, my momma knows who she is." (and that's not in ANY way saying moms don't know themselves-I just knew for me personally it was the furthest thing from what I needed)

This is vulnerable, but this is what I do. I share my life, and for whatever reason when I release the energy into the world and hit publish, it gives me a high. It feels like such a release to say "wow. here's my heart yall. i'm a mess but i made it through"

I'm so thankful for this space to share my life, and I'm so thankful for those that keep coming back even though I said IM QUITTING and then have kept going and plan to continue and not stop and if anything, grow it more. Deleting katiesfitscript instagram however was THE BEST decision and I have no plans to reopen that. I want the people that are there not to be a number. I want them to WANT to follow me. Organically. Fully as I am. Genuinely. I do however plan to pursue online entreprenuership, coaching, blogging, and speaking opportunities and there's something to be said for saying "You know what? Maybe I goofed up. Maybe I did some rash things out of mid 20 mental crisis but I'm owning that truth and confident enough at this point to not NOT do something that I love just for pride of feeling silly."

I look to the people that have supported me and I look to the people who have brought me down, and I think "Wow. How did I ever let the negative nay sayers have a voice?" They just don't matter. I don't expect it to be what it was, and I expect it to look different. I am much more mature, I am much more organized, I am much more confident and changing the structure and organization on my end to provide the utmost coaching experience, I am screening nutrition clients so I know that we are RIGHT for one another. So many other things.

I needed this time. I needed this break. I needed this change to fully step into who I could be with passion, integrity and purpose.

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WHAT THE HEALTH [DIABETES EXPLAINED]

One of the biggest hang ups for those that are trying to debunk "What the Health" is the explanation of diabetes, and from a medical perspective, I just wanted to explain everything and what they meant, and their belief. As I have mentioned in other blog posts, a full agreeance across the board medically on just about every single topic is never going to happen so it is totally within the right of a professional (or a critically thinking individual) to say "You know what? I don't think that I agree with that and I agree with this instead" and that is okay. It is important however to look at the data from every angle and decide which party that you agree with. I feel it's pretty common knowledge that you also have to keep an open outlook on who funded the studies, yadda yadda, so that you know if there is bias there. 

Many times, there is a certain group of medical professionals in the "plant based" sector and they are ALL the same physicians. This creates this round robin of evidence, and causes everyone to think they have an agenda. They all started on their own, did tons of their own research and came to these conclusions therefore they all collectively have come together to try to get the word out. What else would you expect them to do? They aren't lobbying. They are just real people who are passionate about these topics. Many of the articles against "What the Health" say that they are cherry picking evidence to support their argument. I mean if we are getting real, don't we all do that? There are meta analysis and systemic reviews that try to collectively look at all of the evidence and it's important to look at all of that, but at the end of the day if you are trying to make a point then you are going to reference a study that supports your case. DUH. 

However, I also think that it's important to look at all of the evidence from every side including those "debunking" articles and look at the literature and data that they present as well and come to a decision that you feel is best for you and what you believe. We all have personal choices every day on what we eat and drink. So, let's get to it. 

Diabetes is a complex metabolic process if you get down to the actual mechanism of it which involves genetics and environmental factors that all come together for a sh** storm if you will. Diabetes is never something you want to have, so prophylaxis of diabetes especially if you have family predisposition or a creepingly higher A1C is a good plan. At no point in this blog do I want it to sound like I'm miss smartie pants and know it all, and many things that I may say, you might already know but I'm going to keep it as simple as possible so everyone can understand. Typically, when you have your blood drawn, they will take a fasting blood glucose and an A1C which is an average of the past 2-3 months of blood glucose levels, and it is more complexly measuring the amount of hemoglobin in the blood that has glucose attached to it, so it's sometimes called "Hemoglobin A1C". 

If your A1C is 5.7 to 6.4 then you are in the "pre diabetes" range, but honestly if your at 5.5, I think that you definitely need to start taking caution. Anything 5.6 and below is considered normal however. 

Want to know my opinion on type 2 diabetes and how to "cure/reverse"? This might not make anyone agree with me, but I think it's the super duper extremes in both directions. I will get to the physiology of this, but I think either a super low carb, high fat diet or a super low fat, whole foods plant based diet. The reason that I recommend/believe in the whole foods plant based diet is because of the things that come along with a low carb, high fat diet which are high cholesterol, cardiac disease, certain cancers, and "inflammation" (I really hate that term inflammation-it sounds so bro science but there are some things that are inflamed so we are gonna stick with that). However, the low carb diet seems to be the one of choice because of the short term effect of the effect of sugar on fasting blood glucose levels without getting down to the nitty gritty mechanism of diabetes. LEMME EXPLAIN! COMPLICATED ORDER. 

In "What the Health", in the very beginning, the physicians immediately throw out this blanket statement and even one rolls his eyes and says "Diabetes was never caused by sugar." And boy, did that set people off? I do have an issue with this statement because it's frustrating when you have such a position with such a huge documentary and you don't explain to the general population the nitty gritty of this because then it just makes it out like you're an idiot pushing an agenda and they aren't. They are basing this off evidence. He does explain and with a cute little graphic how the receptors are blocked by fat and then there is glucose in the bloodstream. Those receptors are insulin receptors and insulin is what allows the glucose to be shuttled from the bloodstream into the muscle cells which is where we want them to go! When they are blocked, insulin resistance happens. 

So, low and behold, when you eat sugar, your blood glucose levels go UP. And that makes sense. We have known that for a long time. But it's important to note a few things. This is short term, and it's also the fact that most of the time, we say "Oh I ate awful for my diabetes last night and had ice cream and cookies" and those things ALSO have terrible sources of fat in them as well. 

{{Another note here is that we do need fats, and we especially need fats as women for our hormonal health. This is where things get so confusing for most. So I don't need fats for diabetes but I also need fats for hormonal health as a woman. The scientific answer is that it's the type of fats and research has proven time and again that there is a difference in the sources of fat that you eat, however then it gets all muddy with the psychology of things because who eats perfect all the time-NO ONE! So then are we gonna track our fats forever? No. Are we only going to eat perfect fats? Most people NOT. So, then that moves into intuitive eating which isn't the point of this post, but you get the point-We all have to decide maybe even which issue is apparent in our lives at the moment and start there. If you have a chronic disease state then I do think that it's important to be knowledgeable and informed on the dietary changes that you can make to help yourself, while also not being coocoo for co co puffs obsessive about it). 

If you continue reading this and you're thinking "Man, that Katie. What an idiot. She's so stupid and has some many typos in her blog posts and hasn't got a clue about what she's talking about and this fat causes diabetes bs is idiotic", then hey! That's warranted. There's probably tons of typos and I hope you can get around that because I'm doing my best to compile all of this info. Here is a great example of how highly distinguished people in a community with high levels of research done and levels of education can have two totally different opinions. 

Here is a paper about how there is one diet that is best for all and it's really well written and interesting: https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2013nl/feb/pritikinarticle.pdf

Here is an article about the future of nutrition bioindividuality and how there is not a one-size-fits-all: http://mobile.foodnavigator-usa.com/R-D/Measuring-nutritional-status-makes-for-improved-nutrition-DSM

Am I allowed to agree with both? Who knows? But here I am. Okay back to diabetes. 

So how is diabetes caused by fat? 

I truly do want to keep this as simple as possible

Glucose wants in our muscle cells. Diabetes is higher levels of sugar in our BLOOD STREAM (wants to go to muscle cells). The glucose transporter attaches to the insulin receptor and INSULIN is what allows GLUCOSE into the MUSCLE CELL vs the BLOODSTREAM. When you eat fat, an intramyocelluar fat which breaks apart and then blocks the pathway of allowing INSULIN to allow GLUCOSE into the MUSCLE. I know I didn't have to make those all capital but I think it helps distinguish? No? Ok. haha! 

So, the next question that comes up is: 

But when you eat sugar, your sugar goes up so how does that even make sense? 

YES, and that's why it's so complex because you have to work in the extremes because if you just eliminate fat for one day then that's not going to totally reverse your diabetes therefore any sugar that you do eat is going to be blocked by the pathway not allowing insulin receptors to attach to the insulin therefore the sugar is still going to remain in your bloodstream and causes your sugar to go up. 

So, do I lower fat or sugar or both? 

Alright, so as I stated at one point, I think the best option for complete or near complete reversal of the disease is found in the extremes. If you go on a whole foods, plant based diet then you should see results in your diabetes within a few weeks. In all the diabetes classes, you are taught to eat a low fat diet, and the above explains why. However, that doesn't mean that you need to be pounding high sugar either. You want low glycemic index carb sources (healthier carbs) with some calorie deficit as well to reduce your adipose tissue. 

Next argument: 

SO THEN IT'S CALORIE RESTRICTION AND ANY KIND OF WEIGHT LOSS EVEN WITH ANIMAL PRODUCTS WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!?

No and yes. If you restrict your calories and you lose weight, most likely your A1C will come down. If you decide to go the high protein and high fat route, then you are setting yourself up for other disease states in the future whereas the high carb route is clinically shown to work and you can eat in abundance, have tons of vitamins and minerals and reverse all diseases. When you eat a low carb diet, your blood glucose levels are low and your A1C is low, so they say that your diabetes is cured but the truth is that you still have the insulin resistance in place. The second that you start eating carbs again, your blood sugar will go right back up. AND WHO WANTS TO GO THE REST OF LIFE WITHOUT A CARB IF THEY ARE DIABETIC?!?! 

Next point made:

But animal protein is not strictly fat? It provides a great protein source!

From my perspective, animal protein consists of protein and fat. That truly is it. Animal protein components have been shown to cause many different disease states (again I feel it's so inadequate to JUST say that but I don't want this to get too lengthy) and fat is what we are discussing in reference to diabetics. I genuinely just want this blog to focus on the PRIMARY diet for diabetics specifically.

All of these topics bleed into one another therefore by talking about this, I feel that I should address high cholesterol as well, but I only wanted to go into this topic today. I don't think the documentary was perfect as nothing in life really is because I'm a total realist/skepticist when it comes to most everything, and I fully believe in a lifestyle of moderation. I come from the deep south, and everyone I know around me is going to eat meat forever no matter how great of an advocate that I am, but I do think that it's important to know the science that we have. I also hope that if you feel you disagree or have literature to support your viewpoint that you challenge me in a respectable professional way not "YOU'RE SO FREAKIN STUPID AND HAVE NO CLUE YOU CRAZY VEGAN WITH YOUR PROPAGANDA!" because I'm not crazy and I'm only like 82% vegan because I suck. LOL! 

UNTIL NEXT TIME... 

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BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

So, I've become quite the reader lately. It's interesting to come back to his part of me because as a child, I literally would never stop reading. I was obsessed as a little kid until I got so involved with sports that there just wasn't enough time, and I played sports traveling year round and then three sport athlete in high school plus as you can expect, I obsessed over grades (and boys cough cough) so reading has taken the back burner for a really long time. I forgot just how much joy it gives me, and there is not many things that give the satisfaction like reading a good book. I'm going to take you through the books that I've read, and the ones that I plan to read, and I'm going to rank them. This is going to be an arbitrary ranking system based on just about nothing, and be warned that I almost always like every book that I pick up so my recommendations might be higher than others. With TV shows, podcasts, and movies I'm the same way-if I watch it, I normally think it's great! haha! WITHOUT FURTHER ADU! 

MERE CHRISTIANITY

There's a lot of hype behind this novel by C.S. Lewis, and I think that it most definitely delivered. It's about his conversion to Christianity and all the thought process that went behind that. I will say that when I got the book, I was expecting the full reasons for her conversion, but I also would say that you have to be a Christian already to appreciate this novel because it seems that he answers the questions of Christianity with bible verses and well, if you were someone that didn't believe the bible, that wouldn't add up. However, it also felt really cool to see into the mind of C.S. Lewis after growing up with Chronicles of Narnia. 

RATING: 7 (eek that feels so mean and low lol) 

BIG MAGIC

This book is absolutely fantastic. I just loved it. It talks about the creative spirits within us all and how none of us truly hash that out most of the time due to the subconscious fears that we have, and how to move past these and just do what makes you happy even if it doesn't make a dime because we always relate things back to money and that's not what this life should be about. I truly didn't expect to love this book this much but I loved it. It made me want to continue to pursue photography which I've been doing just for the pure love of the art and no other reason. 

RATING: 10

THE CHINA STUDY

Oh gosh yall, I loved this book specifically because of the way that it was written. It looks as if it's going to be a textbook. I read it while in Miami and my best friend was like "WTF are you reading?" haha! But it was written so well to where I legit could not put it down. Obviously, I'm super interested in nutrition, but wow. It's about the plant based diet and his experience in the food industry of propaganda and lobbying. I'm adult enough to know that while I'm in agreeance with The China Study, there is an entirely different group of professionals that are against this book and many articles saying that it's skewed cherry-picked data. We all have the right to our professional, critically thought out opinion, and mine aligned with this book so I think I probably double loved it for that reason. 

RATING: 10 (I told yall, I give high ratings lol) 

COMMONWEALTH

This is a super popular book right now, and it is definitely a great one. It's about a blended family situation and I think that the only way to put it is that this book just feels like real life and so it's so easy to relate to. I will say that it's hard to get into just because there's nothing that really pulls you in but by the end, you can't stop reading and it's hard to get a popular book these days so BRAVO to the writer for this one.

RATING: 8 (the beginning was just really hard to get into for both me and brandy) 

HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT? 

I did an entire blog post on this. I won't belabor the point. This book is so good. If you're an athlete or really anyone that likes to work hard for your goals, READ DIS BOOK.

RATING: 10

THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A F***

OBVIOUSLY, don't listen to this audiobook with kids in the room and if the f bomb offends you then you've been forewarned but I think you could gather that from the title. I honestly really loved this book. I reference is quite literally almost daily now with Tanner and felt it had a really big impact on the way that I live my life if I'm being honest. I know that I'm in the years where I'm coming into my "own" and accepting who I am and this book just allows you to rest in that. Like, it's okay to not care about some things and care about others and not do things you don't want to do. That doesn't make you a butt hole. You just are allowed to be you. I loved it. 

RATING: 10

ALL FEMALE COMEDIAN BOOKS

  • Yes, Please - Amy Poehler

This was my least favorite of the three. Amy talks a lot about how much she didn't want to write this book and how hard it was so I just feel it was forced and coming up with stories that weren't that interesting to fill a book. She is a lovely lady though and it made me like her more throughout the book but just wasn't some great book haha! 

  • Scrappy Little Nobody - Anna Kendrick 

Anna just has such an inspirational story of how hard she worked and how poor she stayed to be able to chase the dream of becoming an actress and how she still feels like a nobody with all the stars that she's been able to meet. She's really cute and I loved hearing her story.

  • The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo 

This is the best of the three in my opinion. Amy Schumer also has had a lot of awful stuff happen to her (family affair, verbal abuse, physical abuse, fat shaming, etc etc) so I think that it really allows you to feel emotion with her as she tells her story. She also REALLY enjoys sex and talks about that a lot so if it's on audiobook, just be warned with kiddos! ;) 

I will say that I know that all of them are comedians but sometimes I felt book jokes were forced just because they felt they "had to be funny" like a line about kids followed up with "I can't even keep a plant alive" ... I mean "hehe haha" but sometimes the jokes just weren't that funny and cliche. HAAA! I'm such a hater. 

MAGNOLIA STORY

Oh Joanna and Chip, how you make everyone fall in love with you and your life and your love story. They are just so great and reading their story from start to finish makes me love them even more for how hard they have worked to get where they are. I think another wonderful part about them is that they don't pretend to have it all together. They talk about their flaws and how it makes them beautiful and complement one another. They are like #relationshipgoals as it gets! 

RATING: 10

INTO THIN AIR

This is about the most deadly summit to Everest where many died and many were injured. I know what you're thinking... that must be a gripping novel of pursuit, and honestly...not really. I felt like it was a story that could have been told in like 10 pages, but he wanted to write a book so the beginning is hard for me to get through where he talks just a lot about climbing and all of the different attempts of other people to summit in the past. I just think I don't care enough about climbing because Tanner loved this book, but I have to admit that it was not my favorite and I was glad when I was finished. Regardless, it was such a horrible experience for all of them and something that really shook up the climbing world to which I'm sure all of them are still affected today. 

RATING: 7

HANDMAKER'S TALE

Yall. Yall. Woah. This is a "futurist" novel about the government taking over the US and it becomes a totalitarian nation and the "handmakers" are those that can bear children for the women in power that cannot, and essentially they brainwash/force/rape them into having the leaders babies. They use scripture to justify the things that they do, and honestly I was a bit disgusted. It was "good" but also very weird. I mean I guess it's one of those 1984, "could this really happen?" things and that's absolutely terrifying to think about, so I'm going to just not. People murdered, abused, forced away from families and all by the government-WEIRD.

RATING: 9 (uhh it was still so good even in it's weirdness)

GRACE NOT PERFECTION-Emily Ley

This book is just so pretty and cute and has great life advice. It's not anything that you couldn't read in like a blog post, but I adore Emily so I loved every page. She's such a pure hearted woman and hearing her story of her start to where she is now was such an intriguing story and worth the buy for sure. I love supporting women like her anyway so I was happy to purchase this pretty book. 

RATING: 9 

INTUITIVE EATING

This is a book that I believe every women should read at least once in her life. It really has some revolutionary things to say about food, and I think that literally everyone could benefit from it whether fit or not or whether you are a healthy minded fit individual that has no interest in intuitive eating-you should STILL read it. It's a great great book. 

RATING: 10

THE ATONEMENT CHILD (Francine Rivers) 

This is the same author of one of my favorite books "Redeeming Love" and she definitely has a way with writing that will keep you captivated from beginning to end, however I will say it was very very predictable. That didn't stop me from wanting to read the entire thing, but I just pretty much knew how things were going to end up from the very beginning, even just based on the title. From a literary sense, is that a bad thing though? I don't think we need a shock factor in every book for it to be good. It was still great! 

RATING: 9 

Okay, I'm going to do one more explanation and then just tell you the other ones that I've read because this is getting long. 

THE NEW JIM CROW

As stated in the beginning of this novel, it's not for everyone. It's not for someone who is going to come at it with a suspicious conspiracy theorist eye, but rather a heart. I really feel it's so important to read these types of books. It really shakes up my white privilege and the things that I have been so fortunate to be given just by the color of my skin. It's EXTREMELY well written by a very educated author and I can't say enough good. If you are into racial justice, then you'll really like this book and appreciate it's efforts as well. 

RATING: 10

Okay, the other books that I've read with ratings are: 

  • The Passenger (Lisa Lutz) - 8
  • A Long Way Home (Movie: Lion)- 10 SO GOOD SO MANY TEARS
  • Two by Two (Nicholas Sparks) - 6 (maybe I'm too old for his novels lol-super cheesy)
  • Blue Like Jazz - 8 similar to Mere Christianity but better IMO! 
  • While the City Slept - 8 ! great book on mental health 
  • Brain on Fire - 10 another mental health book SO INTERESTING!!! 
  • The Good Girl (Mary Kubica)- 10 thrilling! 
  • Harry Potter #5 (working my way through)-10 out of 10 because it's HP AND #OBSESSION
  • A Life without Limits (Chrissie Wellington)-10 ! ironman athlete's story and SO inspiring 
  • How Not to Die (Michael Gregor)-9 another vegan one and such great info! 
  • Finding Ultra - 9! Rich Roll's book on plant based eating and .... finding ultra ;) 

I TOLD YALL I'VE BEEN READING!!! LOL! That's 27 books. I'm so proud! 

Documentaries: To the bone (eating disorder film-rating:8), What the Health (blog post coming soon-rating:7)

Books I have on my list to read next (I'm also competitive so I'm like #LETSDOTHIS to see how fast I can get through them all hahaha): 

  • Harry Potter #6
  • Same Kind of Different As Me
  • The Wonder
  • Girl Boss
  • Being Mortal
  • A Man Named Ove
  • Irresistible Revolution 
  • Small Great Things
  • Devoted: The story of a father's love for his son
  • Rich People Problems
  • The Kind Mama
  • Sure as the Dawn 
  • Peculiar Children
  • Echo in the darkness
  • Voice in the wind
  • Meaning of Marriage
  • Natural born heros
  • Reconstructing Amelia
  • The light between oceans
  • Everything everything
  • Nowhere Near First
  • How do you kill 11 million people
  • Good as gone
  • Chasing Grace
  • Surfacing
  • You and me Forever
  • Beautiful Ruins
  • Four Agreements
  • The gift of imperfection
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins
  • Into the water
  • Lean in 
  • Jenny
  • Grit
  • Outliers
  • The Nightinggale
  • I know why the Caged Bird Sings
  • The Stranger Beside Me
  • The Woman in cabin 10 
  • The couple next door
  • What she knew
  • The vanishing year
  • Unravel
  • Necessary Lies
  • Behind Closed Doors
  • Into the Woods
  • Fearless
  • Supernatural Birth
  • Big little liar
  • The Secrets of my Life
  • Talking as Fast as I can 
  • I Can't Make This Up
  • The little book of Hygge
  • Nothing to Prove
  • Black Edge
  • Anna Karenina

 

 

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Life & Training Lately

I know that I've given updates here and there about my training but I thought I'd dive more into the specifics of where I'm at, and what I'm planning on doing moving forward even post Chicago. For the first training cycle basically ever, I'm able to train at a high capacity and have not (knock on wood) had any sort of injuries. I have this slight pain in my left middle quad this week but I'm hopeful that it's a big muscle group which is highly vascular so that this will work itself out without having to worry with it too much. When these things arise, as they always will, I typically scale back my pacing and if I need to take the day off, well then of course I do that. I am never one to obsess over a missed workout. I truly don't care. I do like a million workouts. It'll all work out haha!

With that said, I do get really excited these weeks about racking up my mileage, and don't like to miss because it's just fun and encouraging and motivating for me to keep this thing going. I literally cannot believe I've made it 11 weeks so far into this and now I have 11 weeks to go. I have went to the beach and to Miami and kept up my high mileage, and have slowly scaled up from 50 miles per week to 75 miles per week last week (and 75 this week). As you can see, 50-75 miles is not THAT many more miles, but I have done it over the course of 11 weeks. I'm taking this slow with a huge base. I added a tempo last week and I'm going to do one probably Thursday with the hopeful notion that my quad isn't hurting, in which case I won't be doing a tempo. Many people are different, but I know for me personally, I value just the time on my feet vs worrying about specific workouts, but that's also never what I would plan for someone else. You have to learn your own tricks.

Starting in August, I'm scaling up again to doing 80 miles/week. At the end of August, I will move into 85-90 miles/week for September. Honestly, that kind of sounds miserable so I might not do that. It gets a bit excessive dontchathink? LOL! I'm trying to train like a pro but I AINT NO PRO so I'll bring myself back down a notch and just do what feels right at that time. YOLO. The reason that I think that I'm able to do so many miles without injuring myself thus far is that I don't have a life. HA! Unfortunately/fortunately #glasshalffull, that's basically the truth though. I used to really overextend myself with hosting friends at my house, and traveling all over the world, sleeping very little, working long hours, and taking on WAY more than I was capable of doing and just sacrificing rest of any kind. I've finally learned how to stop doing that ;) Tanner calls this my "literary" phase which is quite comical but what he means is-THE GIRL WON'T STOP READING! I think that I've read 20+ books in the past 2 months. I'll do a post on all that soon. Right now, I'm reading Magnolia Story by Joanna and chip Gaines #SWOON #OBSESSION. I have been reading so many nutrition studies and nerding out on that and learning more every day.

I'm such a douche bag and made my husband take this with me! HAAA! This is also one of my best friends bathrooms so I kinda hope she texts me to remind me what a tramp I am.

I'm such a douche bag and made my husband take this with me! HAAA! This is also one of my best friends bathrooms so I kinda hope she texts me to remind me what a tramp I am.

I am working my new job and I work and run and read. I'm someone who has become content with just Tanner and my dogs, and so I keep the house spotless, I organize everything, and I am happy as can be. I think a lot. I assess who I am a lot, and after months and months of breaking apart every aspect of my personality flaws in the stillness, I've found a happy landing spot here. I'm a constant dreamer, so here are some of the things that I think and dream about:

  • I want to write a book.

I'm going to sit on that one for awhile because I do think that it's important to make sure I actually want to do that. But I wanted to as a little girl, and I've revisited this lately.

  • I thrive in creativity.

The one thing that I will say that I truly feel in my heart is that I think I thrive as an entrepreneurial spirit. I get motivation and inspiration and I am so happy when I'm creating and coaching and growing, but I think that I needed this season. It helps me to realign with what is actually right and not with what just makes me busy so while I do plan on really putting my heart into some new things, I'm glad that I forced this season as it allowed me to be able to look at myself a little deeper. I am coaching again and not going to actively use instagram to promote myself because that makes me want to vom, but I do want to look to other avenues to let others know that I am still going to be coaching. I really do enjoy both nutrition and run coaching, and adding tri coaching to that as well.

This has nothing to do with anything but for the love of everything holy, my dog is so cute. I just love him so much that I think way too much about how short dogs lives are. Like every day I think about it. UGHHHHH...why aren't they immortal?

This has nothing to do with anything but for the love of everything holy, my dog is so cute. I just love him so much that I think way too much about how short dogs lives are. Like every day I think about it. UGHHHHH...why aren't they immortal?

  • I want to get the MOST out of every season of life!

Tanner and I are going to London and Paris in December so THATS EXCITING!!! The last time we went to Europe was two years ago and honestly, that trip wore us out so we knew we didn't want to go back for some time. The other day I found super cheap flights on Norwegian air on the same day I found cheap flights to NYC *where we leave for London* so it was like this perfect serendipity and I texted Tanner, told him to look on the calendar at work and then that day we booked. haha! We have learned our lesson about random cheap finds with travel. THEY.DONT.LAST. We have lost hundreds of dollars through the years by saying "okay we will book that tomorrow and then tomorrow the price is HUNDREDS more and then we cry. Okay I cry. We know nothing about these locations, so I'm happy and thrilled for any suggestions/if you live there and want to host us, WE WOULDN'T BE MAD ABOUT IT! lolol!

Our next pre planned trip is the pacific north west next summer with a few days in Vancouver!

  • I LOVE TO READ! And audiobooks!

There's so much more time in the day than we give credit. I no longer listen to the radio. I'm sure that might switch back because I do love music too but let's be real, the songs are just on repeat and I don't need to hear Despacito another time. So, I listen to audiobooks on overdrive. I don't have audible because I think only one credit is way expensive, so I use my library card and get them free. Sometimes you have to wait for them to become available but I always have a constant rotation going so it's all good. If you go to "Collections--> Available Now" you can always find a good one to listen to that moment.

So I've listened to Amy Poehler's, Tiny Fey's, Amy Schumer, and Anna Kendricks and I have to say that Amy's is not the best (Poehler). Bless her-she says a million times in the book she hates writing so maybe she shouldn't do what she hates? Amy Schumer says she LOVED it and hers was better. PASSION SHOWS UP IN EVERYTHING!

So I've listened to Amy Poehler's, Tiny Fey's, Amy Schumer, and Anna Kendricks and I have to say that Amy's is not the best (Poehler). Bless her-she says a million times in the book she hates writing so maybe she shouldn't do what she hates? Amy Schumer says she LOVED it and hers was better. PASSION SHOWS UP IN EVERYTHING!

  • I don't want to ONLY do endurance things

This has been a three year span which is the longest that I've really lasted in anything. HA! I have a lot of interests, and endurance takes up a lot of time. I guess that's why it has that term. duh. I just have other really big goals even in fitness, and I'd like to explore those while still running marathons. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I know how to run marathons on 20-40 miles/week, enjoy the runs, and then do some crossfitting/lifting/etc. But I also want to do an ironman because I do refuse to not bag the official 140.6. I worked too dang hard last year to not get that, so I am thinking either Maryland or Louisville next year but I'll probably only do a 12 week training cycle. Originally I said I wanted to really do well on that race but I'm just not going to dedicate 20 hours/week on top of everything else if I'm being 100% honest. I doubt I'll ever make Kona and while I want to do my best, I've always been way too chill in my athletic PR pursuits to get all wrapped up in that. I've come to learn that I actually hate PR attempts. I have had to let go of that mindset for chicago. It stresses me the crap out and overwhelms me. I just want to run lots of miles then see what happens basically. ha.

We built a deck. We made a gallery wall. We watched Lord of the Rings together because I've never been a fan (#harrypotterforme) but Tanner is suchhhh a huge fan so I promised him I'd watch them all with him. He literally stops the movies every few minutes and explains the history of the scenes and I want to gauge my eyeballs out, but I smile and listen and actively participate in his obsession. He won't read this blog, so this will be our little secret. HAHAHA!!! I'm always just dreaming of getting back to my Joanna Gaines or Jodi Picoult book, but I'm a good little sweet wife! ;)

I know this lighting is just awful and I wish I could show off the quality of these matte prints, but I can't. Sooo, just imagine their goodness in good lighting. I just keep walking through here to experience the glory hahaha! Also, Tanner would like everyone to know we have friends and aren't narcissistic but that we have no DSLR prints of high enough quality for 12x12 prints lol!

I know this lighting is just awful and I wish I could show off the quality of these matte prints, but I can't. Sooo, just imagine their goodness in good lighting. I just keep walking through here to experience the glory hahaha! Also, Tanner would like everyone to know we have friends and aren't narcissistic but that we have no DSLR prints of high enough quality for 12x12 prints lol!

Literally, that sums up my life right now. I dream. I do. I run. I work. I run again. but I'm different now. In a more mature, calm way I guess. I'll be 28 in 1 month 2 weeks, but who is counting? Yall, I love getting older. Maybe I'm alone in that, but it's so fun! Life is full of freakin ridiculous rollercoasters full of all of my first world problem drama filled brain, but I'm loving it! <3

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