Archive for Healthier Thinking

Why I talk about eating so damn much.

brownies

girlwith-chocolate

 

Confession:  I am a very reluctant eating habit/nutrition coach.

 

I really don’t naturally love the topic of nutrition—it doesn’t get me fired up, and it took me a really long time to accept the role of nutrition in my personal fitness.

 

Like, a LONG time.

 

 

I was a very stubborn horse that had to be dragged to the water, and had to be dying of thirst before I would drink.

 

But, at a certain point (and I remember that pivotal moment—it’s what I call my ‘tiramisu epiphany,’ and you can read about it here: The Tiramisu Epiphany), I realized that I could not make any weight loss/fat loss progress without making some dietary changes.

 

 

That doesn’t mean it happened overnight!

 

 

My ‘tiramisu epiphany’ was in March of 2006.  Which means that my personal journey to eating better and in a sustainable way (that causes me little life stress, but still gives me the health and results I desire) started over 10 years ago.

 

 

Did it take some time? 

Sure! 

Was the time it took worth it?

ABSOLUTELY.

 

 

There was no major diet overhaul; I simply surrendered the illusion that I could ‘work off what I ate’ and started to pay more attention to what, when, how, and how much I was eating a little bit more. 

 

I made the changes I could tolerate slowly, and began a process of self-education that definitely accelerated once I started working with a personal trainer who provided me with better resources with which to help myself.

 

So I honestly don’t LOVE the subject of nutrition like some people do (which is why they are diet experts with all those credentials behind their names!), but I understand how necessary balanced nutrition is, and the giant role it plays in how we feel, the energy we have, and in weight loss, fat loss, and overall athletic performance.

 

I don’t love nutrition, BUT I do love my clients. 

 

 

And I love to help others have less stress, more fitness success, and more confidence and independence in their own lives, so talking about nutrition, eating habits, and eating strategies has become a ‘necessary evil’ of sorts.

 

 

It’s important for me to share what I’ve learned, through formal education as well as professional experience and personal practice, because it just might help a client, friend or reader like you to shorten the ‘eating habit learning curve. ‘

 

 

Sharing this information might just help you or someone you know to stop depending on the next diet for the solution—from engaging in stressful, restrictive, all-or-nothing approaches, and to make the needed small changes in daily practices that will yield the results we’re looking for.

 

 

And that’s HUGE in my book.

 

 

After I surrendered the illusion that I could ‘outrun my fork,’ so to speak, I also had to learn and come to terms with the fact that my eating habits/patterns were shaped by:  a) the messages I told myself, b) unconscious tendencies, c) compulsive behaviors, d) the urge to self-soothe.

 

 

 

Funny that NONE of those things has anything to do with macros or calories, right?

 

 

The biggest realization I’ve had about the subject of nutrition is this:  Lasting results only come from conscious eating habit change, which can only happen when we first change how we THINK.

 

So really, when we talk about eating habits, we’re really talking about thinking habits—our thought patterns and beliefs, aka: our mindset.

 

I talk so damn much about eating because I loathe people getting all hung up on the idea of the ‘perfect diet’ or that they NEED to go on another kind of diet, or, conversely the belief that they’re helpless in creating lasting change in their own lives, that they’re powerless over how they eat.

 

 

Why do I loathe diets

Because diets breed helplessness and take away from ownership of our behaviors. 

 

 

 

They put the solution outside of ourselves, in someone else’s hands, when the real solution can only be found by doing the ‘inside job’ of changing how we think so we can change how we act.

 

So when I talk about eating, I’m really talking about thinking—about our attitudes about food, helpful or unhelpful beliefs about our selves. 

I’m talking about improving awareness of our self-talk (e.g.:  I always, I never, I just can’t help myself, nothing works for me, I’m just an ‘X’ addict, I’m a stress-eater, I’m an emotional eater—any of these sound familiar to you??), so that we can change our truth, and therefore make it possible to choose differently and make more progress with our nutrition.

 

 

I talk about awareness and attitudes because they create the possibility for ownership—taking full responsibility for all our own food choices, the chance to be ‘the captain of our own ship.’

 

 

Yes, we all come to the table, so to speak, with a certain set of genetics, a certain family food history, and whatever adult eating patterns we’ve developed so far.

 

But these pieces of the puzzle don’t dictate our future—only our consistent choices do that.  Only our consistent CHOICES.  We are in charge of our choices, especially when we take the time and make the effort to become aware of our self-talk, food history and current patterns of behavior.

 

 

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In the end, I talk about eating so damn much because it has such a huge impact on our lives, and I talk about mindset and mindfulness around eating because this is what dictates our relative success or limitations.

As Mahatma Gandhi said,
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.” 

 

 

When we are mindful, we are fully in charge of our choices; we can choose to change our minds about ourselves and food, and that’s when we can REALLY start changing and making those lasting, impactful nutrition choices.

 

 

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xo,

Kate

What do you do when you F— it all up?

 What do you do when you F- it all up?

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You had the best of intentions. 

You were off to a great start.

You’d made so much progress.

You’d gotten so much stronger.

The workouts were easier.

The pants fit better.

Things were really starting to fall into place…and then.

And then something knocked you off-course or for a loop.
A vacation.
An illness in the family.
A super stressful event or period of time.
And then…you find yourself struggling again, feeling like a failure, feeling shame you ‘couldn’t hack it,’  that you let yourself down, or family or friends down….
It happens!!
To even the best of us.  From time to time, we all struggle.
Some life event impacts our routine, disrupts our ‘normal,’ causes resistance, or throws us back into old coping mechanisms.
Sometimes this means we stop working out—or working out as much.  Sometimes this means we stray too far and too long from our better, more healthful eating patterns.  Sometimes this means we burn the candle at both ends, leaving ourselves a fried mess unable to cope—or using unhealthy or unhelpful coping mechanisms.
  And we feel bad—because we KNOW better, right?!?
Again—it happens.  What matters more, what matters the MOST, really, is what we do next.
So we F’d it up again.  Well, done is done.  We can either wallow in it, tell ourselves how weak and pathetic and stupid we are, thinking that berating ourselves will lead us to ‘behaving’ again, or….Or.
Or we can do a few of these things:
1.  Acknowledge our F-Up. 
Name it, own it, then leave it behind us.  Done is done, and no good comes from beating the proverbial dead horse; clinging to our ‘failings’ actually prevents us from growing and changing.  Move on!
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2.  Look for the Lesson.
As much as we might hate it, there’s always a lesson in those hard moments and times, or an opportunity for personal growth.I’ve learned over time, through dealing with and recovering from numerous injuries and health issues over the years, that there’s always something that can be learned out of an illness or injury.
Sometimes that means learning to literally DO things differently—in the gym or at home.It can mean learning how much eating well impacts how we feel or makes or breaks our health.
Sometimes it means reevaluating our lifestyle, and cutting out the things that really aren’t working FOR us, even if those changes are unpopular.
Sometimes it means checking our ego at the door—either the ego that’s prompting us to do things that aren’t good for our bodies because we think we can or should or have something to prove, or the ego that screams at us: “I want what I want and I want it right NOW and I deserve it right NOW,” like an angry toddler would.
Whatever knocked you off-track, hung you up, derailed your efforts, or sidelined you (temporarily), there IS a lesson in there.
Look for it, ask the hard questions:
  • What did I do to get myself here?
  • What do I need to do to get myself OUT of here?
  • And what can I do to avoid doing this again??
3.  Take action—NOW.
It doesn’t have to be huge or perfect, it just needs to be action.
  • Start by eating a veggie at your next meal or snack.
  • Get up and go for a walk.
  • Do a few squats or push ups.
  • Read an article or book that helps you ‘grit it up’ a bit more.
  • Listen to a podcast that inspires you.
  • Call someone who supports you (not an enabler, but someone who loves you and will help you take the next step forward).

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DO NOT TEXT OR EMAIL OR SEND ANY KIND OF ELECTRONIC MESSAGE—CALL THEM.  You know, in real time, just like the good ole days 😉
4.  Use the Lesson(s) to make a new plan. 
  • What did you learn from this experience? 
  • Where did you ‘fall down’ or where did things go sideways on you?
  • What can you do to be derailed LESS by this same kind of situation, should it happen again?
  • What can you do to avoid the same, or a similar, pitfall?
  • What resources do you need?
  • What kind of planning do you need to do?
  • And how are you going to go forward, from right where you’re at, right now?
5.  Just get moving.  Keep moving.  Find a mantra or create a mantra, and put that puppy all over the place.
Mantras can add to our grit, shore up our commitment to a goal or project–even when it’s not going well; mantras can help refocus us when we feel like we’re on the ropes. They can create positive energy, and keep us focused on moving forwards and doing our best.
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And if you don’t have one yet, maybe finding a short, meaningful and memorable saying is just the thing you need to help keep you motivated, focused and positive!
As Mahatma Gandhi said,
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
And remember this, above all else:
“Failure is not in the falling down, but the staying down.”
~ Unknown
If you’re not sure where to start, your fitness or nutrition have been lagging, let’s chat!
We can get on the phone, or email or FaceTime or Skype, etc, and start working out a plan to get you heading in a better direction again.  20 minute ‘Recharge’ chats are totally complementary 🙂
You can reach me at kate@reallifefitbykate.com
And if you’ve fallen off the workout ‘horse,’ try climbing back on with this simple ladder workout you can do pretty much anywhere!  https://youtu.be/BZF91zEUBZU
Keep your head up and keep moving forward!
Kate

 

4 Reasons you NEED to work out (that have nothing to do with weight loss)

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Confession:  I really hate the whole ‘exercising to lose weight’ thing.  It’s, well, kind of boring.  And it’s also not long-term inspiring.

 

 

I get it, though—in the beginning the vast majority of us (who weren’t athletes in our youth) probably started exercising, aka: ‘working out,’ to lose weight.  I know I did!

 

 

 

When I first started working out and lifting weights with a structured plan in a for-real gym, it was between the my junior and senior years in college.  I wanted to look more like the other girls I knew, to be more slim and ‘toned.’  That was it.  That was my big motivation to exercise—just to be, well, skinnier.

 

 

 

 

To my surprise, a magic thing happened in the first 3 months of following this structured plan—I fell in love with the process.  Or, more accurately, I fell in love with lifting weights and more in love with running.  The time spent on cardio machines trying to ‘burn off the fat’ I could have done without (literally, it turns out—but that’s another story).

 

 

 

 

Since then, I’ve been up and down the scale a few times, been on dedicated plans and gone through phases where I’ve been completely off-plan, but for the past 10 years, I’ve been dead consistent.

 

 

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Yes, weight loss was often initially a motivating factor, but it’s not what’s brought me back to the gym, or gotten me out on the road, or busting out my loop bands at home week after week.

 

 

 

What’s kept me moving consistently through lifestyle changes, pregnancies, illnesses, surgeries and other adversities are the following 4 reasons.  These reasons are also why I’m wholeheartedly dedicated to getting other people just like you to start exercising, exercise more regularly, and keep exercising for life.

 

 

 

  1.  Exercising just plain makes us feel better.

 

 

 

I’m sure you’ve seen a tank, t-shirt or meme somewhere at one point that said, “You’re just one workout away from a good mood.”  Well, it’s not just some gym addict’s cute little slogan—it’s actually, physically true.

 

 

 

Exercise—physical movement in general—does put us in a better mood.  Our bodies are hard-wired to move, from the most primitive parts of our brains.   It started out as a survival mechanism, because we needed to find or hunt food to survive, so our brains were wired to create biochemical systems by which we could get food more easily.  Meaning, our brains were wired to give our bodies what they need to move, chemically and hormonally, so that the body could get the fuel the brain needed to survive.

 

 

What this means for us now:  our brains have created system by which we feel better and have ‘happy’ chemicals and hormones released when we move and exercise.

 

 

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Just this one benefit alone has kept me working out consistently—even, and especially, on the days I DIDN’T feel like working out AT ALL.  I know I will feel better afterwards, so it’s always worth putting in the 10 to 60 minutes of effort that day.

 

 

 

Like today.  I didn’t really want to workout.   Having a glass of wine and kicking up my feet sounded way better!  BUT I knew I would feel better afterwards…so I worked out.  Then I felt better—not like ‘over-the-moon’ estatic, but in a calmer, happier state of mind.

 

 

 

Those workout efforts don’t need to be intense to work for us:  it can be as simple as taking a walk outdoors for 5-10 minutes, or getting down on the floor and doing some planking, or glute bridging for 5-10 minutes.  Even the shorter workouts give us those ‘feel better’ benefits.

 

 

 

We just have to move a bit to get that ‘feel better’ side effect.

 

 

 

2. Exercise increases brain activity and improves academic performance.

 

 

 

Thank you, evolution!  Because of the way our brains are wired, after we’ve exercised, our thinking abilities become enhanced.  Due to the chemicals released in the brain and the effects on the learning and memory centers of the brain, we are primed to be able to think more clearly, creatively and quickly after exercising.

 

 

 

I know after I’ve worked out—especially after workouts that combined something that elevated my heart rate and required some skill to do (movements where I had to concentrate on balance or direction)—I feel my ‘smartest,’ and solving problems, writing programs, and communicating with others just ‘flows.’

 

 

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Other times, when I haven’t moved for much of the day, thinking through a complex idea, or understanding what I’m reading, or even giving my kids good reasons why they should or shouldn’t be doing something just feels HARD.  It’s like having cotton in my brain.

 

But if I move a little—take the dog for a walk, or crank out a few squats or push ups or lunges, the mental fog lifts and I’m able to get things done way more easily.

 

 

 

 

Who doesn’t love being able to do more in less time with less mental struggle?

 

 

 

3.  Exercise helps us manage our stress (and minimize distress).

 

 

 

To build muscle, we have to stress it—in a reasonable amount.  This then promotes a repairing response by the body, where the muscle tissue  is rebuilt to be stronger when allowed adequate time to recover without more stress.  Too much stress, and we create sprains and strains.  Too little stress, no muscle growth.

 

 

 

Same with our brains and our neural plasticity!  With regular, but appropriate stress—the kind we apply to our bodies through exercise,  we condition our brain and nervous system to handle stress better and to recover better from episodes of stress.  Over time, we also improve our threshold for stress, too—it takes more stress to provoke a stress reaction, and our bodies learn how to recover more quickly instead of staying in that stressed condition.

 

 

 

“The great thing about exercise is that it fires up the recovery process in our muscles and neurons.  It leaves our bodies and minds stronger and more resilient, better able to handle future challenges, to think on our feet and adapt more easily.”

 

 

John H. Ratey, Spark: The revolutionary new science of exercise and the mind

 

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Bottom line:  regular exercise improves our ability to deal with stress and raises our stress threshold (it takes more to stress us out than it used to!).

 

 

4.  Exercising adds to our ‘I can do this’-ness

 

 

 

Let’s face it, life is full of things we can’t change, that we wish were different, and we can often feel blown about by life’s circumstances.  And while we may not have control over what happens at work, or in our family, or amongst our friends, or where the army moves us, we can control one thing:  our choices.

 

 

 

When we choose to exercise, especially consistently, we choose to help ourselves feel better, think better and manage stress better.  We prove to ourselves, one choice at a time, one workout at a time, that we can do this.

 

 

 

Through consistently choosing to move our bodies, to do our PT/rehabilitative exercises, or go for runs, or show up to class, or go lift some weights, or take a walk, or get down on the floor and do some ab and glute work, we choose to take a little control over our own destiny—to influence the outcome a bit in our own favor.

 

 

 

When we keep ‘showing up and doing the work’ day after day, week after week, we prove something to ourselves; we prove that we can do this.  We prove that we have the ability to withstand, to overcome, to get better ‘in spite of’ our circumstances.  The more we choose to get up and move (even when we really don’t feel like it!), the more we prove that we are strong, resilient, capable people who choose to do good things for ourselves and grow in our strengths and abilities instead of shrink in the face of challenge.

 

 

“The more we do, the more we CAN do.”

 

 

 

We just have to get started DOING!

 

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If you’re in need of a little extra ‘nudge’ to get moving consistently, want more real-life-doable and effective workout ideas, and are looking for a supportive community to help get you on track and keep you there, check out the Elevate with Kate FB community!

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/elevatewithkate/

 

 

“Get Strong, Be Strong, Stay Strong.”

 

 

Our Mission: To create a supportive community of women who raise each other up as we actively pursue becoming our best selves, both in and out of the gym.

 

 

We are a community of women who strive to better our health, as well as our physical and mental fitness, with the goal of living fulfilling and satisfying lives.

 

Come check it out!  https://www.facebook.com/groups/elevatewithkate/

#beyourbestyou

 

Your body is not your opponent; it’s your partner for life

Your body is not your enemy nor your opponent. It is your partner for life.

 

If you’ve been struggling with your body–your weight, your musculature, your shape, your size, your speed, your strength, your endurance, your appearance–it’s likely that you’ve adopted a position or attitude of being at war with your body.

 

You might feel like it’s resisting you, or holding you back, or even betraying you.

“If you knew who you truly were, you would be in awe.”
~Dr. Libby Weaver, Ph.D.

 

This quote comes from a TED talk by Dr. Libby Weaver, whose Ph. D. is in Nutritional Biochemistry, was describing how the body looks when it’s mapped out by it’s systems and biochemicals.

 

When we’re trying to lose weight, or get fitter, or lift heavier, or run faster, or just plain feel better and it’s just plain hard, or the results aren’t showing up the way we want them to, it can be discouraging and frustrating.

 

It’s easy to get a little fixated on how our bodies aren’t ‘right’ yet, or doing what they’re ‘supposed’ to be doing–and to forget how amazing our human bodies really are.

 

“When you the human body mapped out, you see the absolute miracle that we are,” she says. “Miraculous.”

 

Last week, I tweaked my back doing something light and simple in the gym.  It scared the bejeebers out of me–mostly because I couldn’t sit, stand or bend over normally for three days.

 

Moments like that remind me how amazing our bodies really are–and how our bodies shouldn’t be taken for granted.

 

The week before, I was complaining that my endurance wasn’t up to par, that I couldn’t lift as much lately, that I couldn’t keep up with the other people in class.  They were getting stronger, and I was ‘stalling out.’

 

Then, when just moving around the house became challenging, I realized I needed to focus more on taking care of the amazing vehicle I travel this life inside of instead of getting upset because it wasn’t ‘behaving the way I thought she* should.’  *(I call my body a she, not an it, because we’re partners in life, and she deserves respect.)

 

I had to be reminded not to take my body for granted, or resent her in any way, but to care for it better, to appreciate the health and mobility I have, and to just give my amazing body more rest so it could feel better and repair better, because she and I are going to be partners for a long time.  And we have alot of cool stuff left to do!

 

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What would happen if, instead of feeling like your body is the opponent to be conquered or subdued, you looked at it as your partner for life?

 

  • How would that change your the way you eat?
  • How would that change the way you move, or exercise?
  • How would that change the way you perceived your body?
  • Would you be more grateful, more gentle with yourself?
  • Would you be more likely to care for, rather than punish or abuse, your body?
  • Would your motivation to take better care of your body improve?

 

 

If you’ve been at war with your body, maybe it’s time to take a different perspective–to see it as an asset, a gift, and the one true partner you will always have, through thick and thin.

 

 

Maybe embracing your body’s gifts, its strengths, its natural tendencies and its needs is the first step to creating the changes we seek, the physique we desire, the strong, satisfying and fulfilled lifestyle we week to lead.

 

 

Today I encourage you to look at your body through an appreciative lens and name 3 things that are amazing about your body. You don’t have to post them here, just recognize and name them (out loud) for yourself.

 

 

Just as it can with our gratitude practices, adopting a daily body appreciation practice will create a more positive mindset and experience of the world.

 

When we are actively recognizing and appreciating all the incredible things our bodies do and are capable of, it becomes a whole lot harder (and less meaningful) to criticize the ways in which it’s ‘flawed.’

 

More gratitude, more happy feelings about our bodies. More happy feelings about our bodies, more happy hormones…which leads to better results…it’s a gorgeous self-reinforcing cycle 🙂

 

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#beyourbestyou
#bodypositive

5 Motivation Fixes that LAST (and how the 2008 Olympics changed my life)

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It was August 2008.

 

I was sitting on my couch, nursing my just turned 2-month-old baby, watching the story about Dara Torres on NBC’s coverage of the Summer Olympics. I always loved watching the Olympics—I have for as long as I can remember, but I was transfixed by Dara Torres’ story.

 

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I remembered Dara from another Olympics much earlier in my life, her face familiar, but she wasn’t someone that I’d paid much attention to in the 1984, 1988, 1992 or even the 2000 Olympic games.

 

That changed in 2008, when sitting in my thoroughly postpartum body, living life as a SAHM and support staff for my husband as he made his way through helicopter flight school at Fort Rucker, I bore witness to Dara daring to compete again in the Olympics at age 42, after taking time off from swimming competitively and having a 15-month old child herself.

 

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Her story inspired me. I didn’t really understand the rigors of her training, or her need for an extended warm up plus soft tissue massage (by means of two small, trained male masseuses walking on the backs of her legs and working on all her other limbs–completely fascinating!), but I recognized her drive, that she had to want it more and work harder than her younger counterparts. I recognized that she was still—at her ripe old age of 42—capable of incredible accomplishments.

 

Dara inspired me to think that more was possible; it wasn’t ‘over’ because I was 34, or had two small children, or lived in rural Alabama, or was married to the Army and its whims.

 

I started to believe that if I was willing to have heart, to put the work in, I could build a strong body capable of incredible things, too. Maybe not the body or the accomplishments of an Olympian, but that I, too, could reach more of my own human and athletic potential.

 

Dara Torres’ 2008 Olympic story and performance were heady and so motivating, even as I sat, hormonal, tired, my body soft, stretched out of shape and thoroughly postpartum, on my living rom couch.

 

The thing is, motivation is often a fleeting thing.

 

That fire that burns so hot at first when we start a new project, dedicate ourselves to a new run plan, choose a special event or occasion to prepare for, or that new diet, can be dampened pretty quickly by the rigors and demands of just plain old daily living.

 

Sleepless nights, long days filled with sometimes tedious, but necessary to-do’s, caring for the emotional and physical needs of others, navigating the tricky waters of the workplace—these can all knock the best of us off-track. And they have!!

 

Which is why, at 34, after rehabilitating my back for a year before having baby #2, and witnessing Dara Torres’ Olympic experience, I cut a picture of her from the local paper and kept it in my fitness journal, where I recorded my workouts and post-partum strength progress, so I could see it regularly.

 

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Over the years, when I felt ‘old,’ or discouraged, or felt like throwing in the towel, or that maybe what I was doing (focusing on fitness) wasn’t that important after all, I’d look at that photo and keep trying.

 

It’s one of the techniques I’ve learned/cultivated to create lasting motivation in the face of struggle, injury, failure, feeling disheartened, or having obstacles thrown in my way—because real life offers plenty of these things!

 

At these times, it would be super easy to just throw our hands in the air and say ‘I give up until after this passes/until life calms down/until summer’s over/ until after the holidays, until January 1….’  BUT fostering a sense of purpose instead of relying on feeling ‘motivated’ can keep us positive and proactive instead of hopeless and overwhelmed.

 

There are five key things I do to create and maintain my ‘motivation’:

 

  1. Identify my deepest PURPOSE(S).

I put them into words, write them down, and reflect on them often.

 

  1. Get real with my schedule every week.

I identify when and where I will be getting in my workouts (I ‘sharpie’ these into my schedule), and then create my Plan B’s for those days in case my best laid plans go awry (thank you Army for teaching me this skill!)

 

  1. Keep motivational, inspirational and purpose-oriented quotes around the house where I can see them in the morning and evening.

 

These are words that have deep meaning for me, that resonate with my current challenges that redirect my thinking to the positive even when I’m feeling frustrated or unsure. They are up on my medicine cabinet, on my fridge and above my computer—kind of hard to avoid them! That’s where my photo of Dara Torres hangs out these days, too.

 

  1. I seek out a community of like-minded people—people who can relate to where I’m at in life, to the goals I’m pursuing, who are experiencing some of the same feelings and challenges as I am.

Community support—in the form of running buddies, fellow trainers, people who attend the same classes, and experts I can learn from all contribute to keeping me on track and moving me in a forward, positive direction.

 

  1. I learn a new skill.

Losing 5 pounds or looking better in a bathing suit lost their allure for me a few years ago—what was initially ‘motivating’ no longer held meaning for me.

 

Over time, I’ve discovered that learning a new skill, a new sport, a new technique or a new training approach keeps it fresh for me.

 

Learning and acquiring new skills is exciting, and mastery of a skill is fulfilling and confidence-boosting.  Plus, it’s easy to see the fruits of your labor and harder to get bored!

 

“In every great act, there is a challenge. In every challenge, there is a reward. In every reward lies the product of our efforts. In every effort lies new beauty to be born.”

 

~ Mohammed Onotu

 

If you’ve been struggling with motivation, then give these 5 tips a try!

 

Identify your deeper/deepest PURPOSE for exercising/working out/eating better.

Search your soul a bit.  Sit quietly with your feelings.  Ruminate while you commute….Then write it all down.  Don’t edit yourself, don’t judge, just write it down.  Solidify that purpose in your mind and deep in your gut.

 

Get real with your schedule.

Map out where your time must be spent throughout the week, then map out where you WILL spend your time acting on your purpose (exercising).  ‘Sharpie’ it in.  Then make your backup plans.  Bend if you must, but don’t break.  Find a way to make something work.

 

Find and post quotes where you can see them easily morning and night, and maybe even in places you’ll see them throughout the day—in your office, in your car, in your wallet….

 

These are those galvanizing reminders of your PURPOSE for exercising.  They should be strong, positive and purpose reinforcing.  A couple of fun apps you can use to make your own

 

Find a workout buddy, walking partner, running buddy or just an accountability buddy.

 

  • Find a fitness class or group you really enjoy where the other participants are right up your alley.  Check out other gyms if yours isn’t cutting it.
  • Start a neighborhood exercise ‘tribe’ if you don’t belong to/have access to a gym.
  • Hire an online coach/trainer for guidance, support and accountability.
  • Take part in an online fitness community with like-minded people.
  • Do whatever works best for YOU but find that support, because social support is a great predictor of long-term adherence, even for the most independent of us 😉

 

Try something NEW.

A new class at the gym, a new piece of equipment (kettlebells, TRX, and sandbags can add some spice into any strength training regimen), set a new goal.

 

Try paddle-boarding or indoor rock climbing, join a community sports team or running group, take kickboxing or karate or tae Kwan do—take on a new challenge which forces you to engage your body and mind in the process of acquiring that new skill, so that the aim isn’t so much to reshape your body as to just get better at something (your body will respond, no worries!).

 

“If  you can learn to motivate yourself, you can always tap into an abundance of energy that will drive you to the success you dream of.”

 

~ Rachael Bermingham

 

 

Now I’m the one who’s 42, and it’s my turn to inspire others to believe, with drive, hard work and a positive focus, that great things are possible for them, too.

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Want to be a part of a group that will keep you positive, motivated, and purposeful?  

Check out the Elevate with Kate FB group!  

Here’s who we are, and what our community is all about:
Our Motto:  “Get Strong, Be Strong, Stay Strong.”
Our Mission:  To create a supportive community of women who raise each other up as we actively pursue becoming our best selves, both in and out of the gym.
What you can expect every week:
Daily thematic posts which include inspiration/motivation, training tips, recipe sharing, weekly customized workouts, and more.
What you can get out of participating:
  • Connection with other like-minded women
  • Support from a group of strong, motivated and positive women
  • The chance to ask any nutrition or fitness question you want/need and get a straightforward, no gimmicks answer
  • Recipe and nutrition resources
  • Free, done-for-you workouts
  • And much more!
We are dedicated to fostering positivity, grit, personal grace, personal growth, believing in ourselves, and helping other women believe in themselves, too.
We might be spread all over the globe, but we don’t need to feel alone!

Click here to check out Elevate with Kate FB

 

#getstrongbestrongstaystrong
Always keep your head up, and keep striving for better!
Kate

{TTT} Batteries low, but no time for a nap? Try this trick!

Trainer Tip Tuesday!

 

Today’s Tip:  Don’t have time for a full-blown nap but need a little calling time-out?

 

Try the ‘legs up the wall’ pose 🙂

 

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How to do it:  Scootch your buns right up against the wall so that your body forms a 90-degree angle and your legs are totally straightened, and directly over your hips.

 

 

Put a pillow under your head, as needed, to be comfortable and keep your neck/spine in a more neutral position.

 

 

Put your arms out to the sides, palms facing up OR place one hand on your ribs and the other on your belly to focus on deep belly breathing. (You want the hand on your belly to elevate before the hand on your ribs–sometimes this takes practice!)

 

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Set a timer, close your eyes and…just breathe.

 

 

Doing this for as little as one minute has benefits, and I usually opt for 5 -10 minute sessions if a power nap is out of the question but I need to recharge the batteries a bit!

 

 

Hope you find this one helpful, too!

 

#legsupthewall

#personalgrace

 

{TTT} Save yourself some meal-time stress: cook in double batches!

skewers

It’s Trainer Tip Tuesday!

Today’s Tip: Cook in double batches.

 

 

 

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This is one of my favorite time-saving, headache-avoiding, eat-better, and eat-more-simply strategies.

 

 

Especially when we use the grill or the oven, cooking a double batch of something takes just about the same time as a single batch.

 

 

 

This can make a huge difference in the amount of time, labor and decision-making you have to put into creating your meals or snacks all week long!

 

 

 

Now that it’s grill season, anytime we use the grill I double whatever we’re making: veggies, meats, whatever.

 

 

 

Lately asparagus has been on sale, so I’ve been grabbing 2 bundles and cooking them all at once as a side for dinner, then using the leftovers as either a side for other meals or as a toss-in ingredient for quinoa variations, pastas, and scrambles, too.

 

 

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Same goes for chicken breast, turkey breast streaks, fish, beef, pork, zucchini, aubergines, bell peppers, mushrooms….

 

 

 

When my fridge is stocked with already-cooked whole ingredients, it makes meal creation SO much easier, especially on-the-fly meal creation for hectic evenings.

 

 

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And I don’t spend any extra time doing it, so I’m gaining time and losing stress on the other says with almost no extra effort.

 

 

Eating better and stressing less consistently each week? WINNING!

 

#bigbatchcooking

#nomoredietstress

Scale got you down?

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{On weight, scales, and progress}

 

 

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There comes a point at which the scale may not be a good measure of success.

 

 

 

In talking with some other ladies after my class, it came up that after a certain point, the scale can’t truly measure progress–or even maintenance for that matter.

 

 

–The scale can’t show you the shift your body makes from body fat to building lean muscle tissue;

 

–it can’t show you the strength you’ve cultivated with consistent work;

 

 

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–it can’t reveal the small but significant developments in your musculature–those cool lines, dips, swells and divets that develop from years of effort;

 

 

 

–it can’t measure your endurance, or your grit and heart, or your ability to do and withstand hard things;

 

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–it can’t measure your confidence or reflect the way you carry yourself taller now, knowing what you’ve done, what you can do, what you dream might be possible.

 

 

 

It just can’t.

 

 

 

So, at a certain point, the scale really does become a useless tool for measuring progress. All it can show you is the effect gravity has on your body mass in that given moment.

 

 

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And you are SO much more than that.

 

#nonscalevictories

So there I was, eating a salad….

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So there I was, sitting in the Ansbach Altstadt, enjoying a salad while my kids and dad enjoyed their cake.

 

 

 

The funny part is that I voluntarily chose the salad over the cake—really! No, I’m not crazy…and it wasn’t out of guilt or the need to ‘be good,’ either.

 

 

 

I just really wanted a salad, and I really needed some protein. I worked out at 7 am, then taught at 9:30, and just hadn’t had much to eat all morning, so the thought of something sugary and fatty wasn’t the least bit appealing.

 

 

 

Weird, right?!? I have this perfect chance to eat any slice of cake I want, and I choose a salad???

 

 

 

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Once upon a time, I would have had a major case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)—as in, “If I don’t eat it now I won’t have the chance again for who knows how long,” but these days, thanks to my my *learned* approach to eating sustainably, it’s a normal kind of choice.

 

 

 

A few years ago, I got sick of feeling that inner struggle every time we went to the bakery—the usual “Should I? Or shouldn’t I?” inner argument over whether I should buy a pastry or slice of cake, and if I’d ‘earned it’ with my exercise that day or week, or if having that treat would knock me ‘off-plan.’ I also got tired of the compulsive “I’m at a birthday party, I’d better eat cake now or I’ll have to wait until the next one” behavior that had become a kind of norm.

 

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So rather than continue to have this struggle several days a week, I decided that I’d make one day a week my ‘treat day,’ and my practice of Planned Indulgences was born.

 

 

 

The gist is that once a week, I gave myself permission to walk into the bakery and choose any treat I wanted—absolutely guilt-free. Best strategy ever.

 

Designating one day a week (Fridays at the time) for a planned indulgence has taken all the ‘do I/don’t I’ struggle away from eating treats, I was completely in charge of my eating and choices, and I got to savor something REALLY tasty on the regular without wringing my hands over it or feeling guilty.

 

 

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Over time, Planned Indulgences (PI) has evolved a bit along with some other strategies/practices into what has become my current approach to sustainable eating.

 

 

 

My approach, which I call ‘Real Life Eating,’ includes using strategies and practices that make it easier for me to listen to my body, eat well, enjoy the treats I want while staying ‘in the middle,’ aka: a sustainable size and body composition.

 

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My current (June 2016) physique–all while on my own Livable Diet

Real Life Eating (RLE) is also the approach I use with clients—especially those who have yo-yo dieted over the years, who aren’t sure how or where to start, and often have lost confidence in their abilities to make good choices around food.

 

 

 

For the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing with you each of the main steps in my RLE (aka: Livable Diet) approach, one step at a time, so that you can start implementing these tools in your real life, too!

 

 

 

Because life is too short to always struggle with food and eating choices, and diets and deprivation don’t work—we need solid and actionable strategies that meet the needs of our own unique bodies and real lives to be long-term successful.

 

 

You can get these actionable tips, plus cheat sheets, here:  http://bit.ly/LivableDiet10Steps

 

 

Over the next 10 weeks, I’ll be sharing my 10 steps for ditching the diet mentality for good and creating your own flexible, adaptable and permanently effective ‘Livable Diet.’

 

 

Each Thursday, I’ll be sending out a single step in the process, with actionable tips and even a cheat sheet to help you start on the path to diet freedom and creating your own adaptable, sustainable, effective Livable Diet.

 

 

FYI: there is ZERO obligation to do anything or purchase anything—it’s purely for educational purposes and I just wanted to make sure you had to opportunity to take part and start tuning up your diet and eating habits RIGHT NOW.

 

 

Sign up here to get my ’10 Steps to a Livable Diet’ email series delivered to you:

http://bit.ly/LivableDiet10Steps

 

 

#TheLivableDiet

#TheNourishedMind

 

 

 

 

 

 

TTT: Not sure how to build a solid nutrition plan? Start with your DBRs.

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Is your diet random or regular?

 

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What are your Dietary Big Rocks—those things you are committed to doing every single day that are in line with your desired health and fitness outcomes?

 

 

If it’s not a question you can answer easily, then chances are you don’t have them yet…which likely means your daily nutritional choices are a bit random…which means in turn that you’re likely struggling.

 

 

 

So how do we move from struggling, and maybe not being able to see the forest for the trees to eating with intention, purpose and getting better results—without stress or another regimented diet plan?

 

 

 

By identifying the Big Rocks in our diets—the 3 things that have the MOST impact overall on our health, wellness, weight, body fat percentage, or athletic performance.

 

 

 

Just a couple of weeks ago, I’m discovered that I’d gotten away from mine throughout the month of May!

 

 

 

Life’s pace picked up, my dad came for a month-long visit (so grateful), the kids both had birthdays and celebrations, I went on 2 short road trips (again, grateful)….Long story short, my diet became more random and haphazard than I’d like or feel comfortable living with.

 

 

 

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One of those indulgent travel meals.

 

 

So I’m taking this opportunity to redefine my own DBRs. But this also means that I need to clearly define just what the desired outcome of my nutrition really is.

 

 

 

I’ve been listening to several podcasts all about fat loss lately, because that seems to be what most people I talk to seek help with.

 

 

 

I found myself trying to change my own eating patterns to comply with those fat loss guidelines over the past few weeks as well, because the advice given was sounds and seemed effective…Except I was starting to get more off-track with my own diet by complying with rules that didn’t fit MY needs.

 

 

 

I didn’t even realize what I was doing (trying to override my body’s signals and needs in order to do ‘the right thing’) until about a week or so ago when it hit me over the head: I’m not eating for fat loss—that’s not MY goal!

 

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I want to be eating for hormone balance (learning as a I go!), maintaining or even creating more lean muscle tissue, and getting stronger/improving my athletic performance. Which, in my personal diet, looks very different than when I’m eating for fat loss!

 

 

 

LOL/SMH….

 

So my updated DBRs with MY current goals in mind, are:

 

*Prioritizing Protein: eating 5-6 servings of roughly 20 grams per day

 

*Getting AT LEAST 5 servings of veggies daily, and more is always better

 

*Including healthy fats (Omega 3s) for their anti-inflammatory properties and because they add taste and fullness to my meals

 

 

 

Then, once I defined my DNC’s then I got to work on putting them into daily actions!

 

 

 

Here’s how I did it:

  • baked a big batch of salmon filets which I ate for lunch with a salad many days
  • added veggies and protein at breakfast via a variety of scrambles
  • made half my plate veggies in the evenings
  • had Quest bars for a snack most days
  • baked a bunch of chicken breasts and boiled eggs for easy to grab protein
  • cooked using olive oil and coconut oil
  • used avocado and cheese as condiments in many of my meals (esp. scrambles, salads and wraps)
  • got bagged salad a couple of times in the week, too, because the convenience is well worth the cost these days
  • had my kids cut veggies in the evenings
  • stocked tuna and beans in my pantry, and whole wheat tortillas in the fridge, so we could have wraps of some kind OR black bean burritos—always a filling and tasty 30-minutes or less meal.
  • **Cooked everything in double batches to save me time making meals later in the week. This is KEY to my success—or lack thereof some weeks!**

 

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A double-batch of grilled asparagus–worth the time and the gas!

 

Once I’ve got the basic structure for my diet, and the ingredients for the next couple of days ready to go, it’s ‘plug and chug’ time.

 

 

Like I’ve said before, I don’t count macros or calories, I count PORTIONS. If it seems like I’m not getting in my DNC’s, then I ‘double-down’ in the afternoon and evening (like having a #BAS—big-ass salad, for example).

 

 

I find it WAY more effective and WAY less stress to focus on what I’m putting IN to my daily diet, rather than what I’m taking (or leaving) out.

 

 

I continue to plan in my indulgences, too, because deprivation and restriction are NOT part of my sustainable eating plan.

 

 

 

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The Spanish Verdejo I’m currently infatuated with.

 

 

 

After I have my DBRs worked in, then I also add in carbs as sides when I wanted them (sweet potatoes, a slice of toast, some noodles—whatever was available/sounded good), and I make sure the foods I eat taste good while I meet my DBRs.

 

 

 

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One of last week’s big batch/DBR-based dinners.

 

 

Every meal was satisfying, had a little variety most days, felt SO much better and so much less bloated after 4 days of consistency. Phew!

 

 

So what changes or goals are you working on in your daily diet right now?

 

 

Whether our goals are to lose weight, lean out a bit or decrease body fat, create more shapely muscles, develop increased muscular strength, speed and endurance or simply to maintain a stable level of health and wellness, our DBRs matter.

 

 

Our success or continued frustration hinge on the daily nutritional choices we make.

 

 

And this is why defining our DBRs matters—they help us:

  1. focus on the DO’s in our diets
  2. focus on Including foods in our diets, not Excluding them,
  3. keep focused on taking positive and proactive steps towards eating and feeling better instead of having us all hung up on avoiding foods or resisting urges or cravings.

 

So I’ll ask you again:

–> Is your diet random or regular?

 

–> What are your Dietary Big Rocks—those things you are committed to doing every single day that are in line with your desired health and fitness outcomes?

 

 

If you’re still not sure, then it’s time to start by defining your goal(s).

 

After you have your goal(s) defined, then it’s time to consider:

 

  1. a) what your biggest challenges are—the things that might be interfering with your goals, and

 

  1. b) what things might be the MOST helpful in getting your eating more aligned with your desired outcome(s)!

 

Wherever you are in the process, look for the lessons you can learn from your mindset about food and your daily behaviors, make sure to celebrate your small wins, and look for the places where you can make the most impact in your diet without making yourself crazy.

 

 

And on that topic, I’m beginning a 10-week email series called ’10 Steps to a Livable Diet,’ which is a condensed version of the coaching I’ve done in my Get REAL Fit lifestyle coaching group AND my ‘Nourished Mind’ program.

 

The Livable Diet email cover

 

 

If you’re ready to stop chasing your tail and beating your head against yet another diet wall, then maybe you’re ready to try creating a ‘Liveable Diet’ of your own.

 

 

Over the next 10 weeks, I’ll be sharing my 10 steps for ditching the diet mentality for good and creating your own flexible, adaptable and permanently effective ‘Livable Diet.’

 

Sign up here to get my ’10 Steps to a Livable Diet’ email series delivered to you:

http://bit.ly/LivableDiet10Steps

 

 

Each Thursday, I’ll be sending out a single step in the process, with actionable tips and even a cheat sheet to help you start on the path to diet freedom and creating your own adaptable, sustainable, effective Livable Diet.

 

 

FYI: there is ZERO obligation to do anything or purchase anything—it’s purely for educational purposes and I just wanted to make sure you had to opportunity to take part and start tuning up your diet and eating habits RIGHT NOW.

 

#TheLivableDiet

#TheNourishedMind

 

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