You are on a diet?

One of my most despised words is “diet” or “dieting”.  Why?  Because it means you are depriving yourself of something.  You are making it about not being able to get what you want.

There are times when I meet people, or am talking to friends, that I just want to blurt out pieces of knowledge, but I know not everyone will believe, accept, or understand things that I am saying.  I have been on a journey for a healthy lifestyle for a few years now.  Along the way, I have learned a few things…

  1.  Start off front-loading your calories. This will keep your energy levels up throughout the day, and eliminate making your night time meal (your most inactive time of day) your largest.
  2. Don’t deprive yourself of something. If you want to have something, have a little bit of it.  If you have more than a little bit, ok.  Just remind yourself that next time you will do better and have just a few bites.
  3. You won’t always be losing. Sometimes you might gain, sometimes you might maintain.  It all happens with a typical weight loss journey and healthy lifestyle change.
  4. Exercise. Find something you like and do it.  Don’t force yourself to do something that you don’t like or you will find yourself making excuses not to do it. Instead, pick up an old hobby, find a sport to play, or experiment with different types of exercises to find what works for you.  If you want to workout at home, great!  Beachbody programs are awesome for a variety (especially if you do the On Demand that was recently launched).  If you like to play baseball, find a league.  If you hate running, don’t do it.  Just do what works for you.
  5. Try not to compare yourself to others. Sure you might have a goal physique, but try not to look around you and compare yourself to other people you see who seem to be perfect.  Remember, they most likely work just as hard for how they look as you are working.
  6. Keep that light at the end of the tunnel. There are days that I just want to quit because I feel I will never get to where I want to be.  The truth is, that you will never be able to stop what you are doing if you want to maintain the healthy life.  You will need to continue to work and eat right, which is why it is important to remember #4.
  7. Surround yourself with like-minded people. These people can come in many forms – meeting new friends on a sports league, finding that a colleague has the same goals, meeting people from a gym, chatting up a neighbor, and even finding true friendship with people on fitness websites like myfitnesspal.com or bodybuilding.com.  You will have moments that you want to quit or need advice.  These individuals will help you.
  8. Never be afraid to try something new and challenge yourself.  Try that new recipe.  Take a run thru the mud and climb walls.  You might find something new that you really enjoy.
  9. Eat protein and fats. Changing your lifestyle isn’t about eating just vegetables and fruit, rice cakes, and low fat foods.  Eat that beef.  Have that egg.  Eat that cheese.  Get these healthy fats and proteins into your diet – you will feel like you are more satisfied and full than if you just ate “diet” foods.
  10. Changing your lifestyle isn’t expensive. So many times I hear people around me complain that buying healthy foods is so expensive.  Think about it… How much do you spend on take out?  How much do you spend on bags of chips?  I usually spend about $30 per person for a week of home cooked meals (all meals).  If I had more time and was able to make some of the things my family enjoys from scratch – like protein bars, healthy muffins, and fruit salads – it would be even less.
  11. Water. This is one that I consistently struggle with.  Its not that I am drinking other liquids, but merely get so wrapped up in what I am doing that I forget to drink it.  The USDA standard is 8 cups of water a day.  Honestly, this isn’t really enough for most adults, especially if you are exercising.  The rule of thumb that I have consistently heard is 0.5-1 ounce of water for every pound that you weigh.  It seems like a lot, but you will find that your body starts to crave it if you aren’t drinking enough.
  12. Ladies – don’t be afraid to lift weights! I’ve heard numerous girl friends who are cardio bunnies (or don’t even workout) say that they don’t want to get bigger by lifting weights.  I could slam my head against a wall.  I wish I could show them the picture of 1lb of fat vs 1lb of muscle and have them see how that isn’t true.  You will not get larger, you will get thinner and have a better shape.  Not all women are bikini models and fitness competitors, but if you want to get rid of your love handles and your thunder thighs… Weights are the way to go, especially when combined with some cardio.
  13. Eat often. Make sure you don’t let yourself get too hungry.  Learn to recognize the signs of your hunger.  I usually eat about 5-6 times a day.  It is almost a running joke around the office that people always see me with food.  So what… let them laugh.  I know that my body functions best like this.
  14. Weigh, measure, and log. Get a cheap scale from the store or from Amazon.com. I’m sure you already have measuring cups.  You do this, and you are forced to be honest with how much you eat.
  15. Eat the right amount of calories. Whether you are just starting out and going with what a fitness site like myfitnesspal.com tells you to do, or you are more involved and eat to your macros (check out this calculator at Scooby’s Workshop), be sure that you are eating enough.  I’ve followed numerous programs that have had me on an extremely restrictive calorie count and I can tell you that it never lasts long.  I give up, and end up eating way more than I should or “sneak” things into my day just so I can feel satisfied.
  16. Sleep!  Getting the right amount of sleep is imperative for your body to be able to function properly.  Most adults need between 6-8 hours of sleep a night.  If you feel like you are always waking up tired, go to bed around 30 minutes earlier or get up 30 minutes earlier.  You are most likely waking up in the middle of a REM/deep sleep cycle and your body will feel more tired than usual.  Adjusting your sleep will help you wake up when your body is in a light sleep cycle and you will feel well rested.
  17. Set Goals. I’m not just talking about the end goal, because…DUH… We all have them.  Set mini goals.  Whether it is to be able to fit into that dress that is a size smaller, or to stick to your workout program for a week (sometimes that’s a huge win).  Set them.  Reward yourself or pat yourself on the back when you do.  Brag about it.  If other people around you are truly supportive they will be happy and proud of you.
  18. Be proud of yourself. Seriously!  Be proud of yourself – you’ve made the decision to get healthy, not just diet.  That is a huge step.  You are in this for the long haul.  Smile, and be proud of yourself.

Being healthy isn’t just about dieting, it’s about changing your life.  If you are interested in learning more about some of the programs I have done or some of the nutrition that has worked for me, please let me know! I would love to help you on your journey.

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Miss me??

As many of you are aware, I have been on radio silence for a while here.  Life got busy, and a few things needed to change.  While I’m still working on some of those changes, one of the changes I have implemented in my life is putting health and fitness back into importance in my life by becoming a Beachbody Coach!  I’m very excited about this opportunity.  I have found that health and fitness has become such a huge passion in my life in the past few years – whether it is thru food, thru exercise, or just by searching out the whys and hows of what the body is doing.

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If you would have asked me when I was growing up if I thought I would be someone that is energized by health and fitness I would have laughed and scarfed down a cheeseburger in your face.  I suppose that is what got me to where I am.  It isn’t that I wasn’t active when I was younger… I played volleyball for 10 years, year-round between Club and School teams.  It is just that I wasn’t motivated by it.  Do I hate working out some days?  Yep.  Do I always eat healthy??  Hahaha… Nope.  Do I strive to make myself better?  You better believe it.

I know I will never be perfect.  I know I am just a person.  I also know that I have a voice, that I am a people person, and that I like to have fun and help others.  This is why being a Beachbody Coach is such a huge opportunity for me.  Not only will it hold me accountable with my own endeavors, but I can finally use some of what I know to help others.  In turn, I hope we all find our passion and our happy.

Does that mean that this blog will be purely about Beachbody from now on?  Nope!  I will get back into recipe creation, ramblings, and other nonsense that you have gotten used to from me… Or missed… or maybe none of that… BUT, I will make a commitment to drop in, speak my mind a few times a week, and have something tasty for you every once in a while.

Now… How the heck have you all been???

Oh… And I would be doing a disservice to myself if I didn’t throw this out there… If you are interested in learning more about Beachbody programs, nutrition, or have questions please feel free to contact me or browse my store!

www.beachbodycoach.com/funinfitnesschicago

https://www.facebook.com/FunFitnesswithKate

Signs Signs, Everywhere a Sign

I spent a good portion of this weekend strategizing my next moves in terms of my lifestyle change, and what steps would help me get to my goal size (notice, I am not saying weight).  After chatting with a friend (Yass, blogger at www.yass4fitness.com) about my current issues with progress and workouts, he brought up the idea of online personal training.  He had just signed up for a program, had done programs previously, and thought it might be something that would work well for me.  This idea appealed to me almost immediately because I truly believe that I am at that point in my journey that I need personalized assistance with my workouts and my nutrition.  Since I am no longer a member of a gym, I wasn’t sure how to go about doing that.  Also, having very heavy time constraints, I was hesitant about finding a free-standing personal trainer.  I do know quite a few amazing ones in the area (shout outs to Kelly, Carla, and the rest of the staff at Reality Fitness in Naperville, IL), but am not able to carve out the time to see them.

It is funny how life sends you signs, though.  While I was hemming and hawing over the idea of an online personal trainer, one miraculously started following me on Instagram.  Not sure where he came from or why he started following me, but I did take it as a sign.  Enter, Matt James Fitness.  I took a look at some of his transformations, his story, and what he offered.  I was sold almost immediately.  I decided to sign up for his 12 Week Transformation package.  It offered everything I was looking for – nutritional guidance, workout assistance using the equipment I have, and also incorporated My Fitness Pal.  I signed up, filled out the health and wellness questionnaire associated, and am now anxiously awaiting what he sees as working for me.

I am looking forward to working with him, and can’t wait to see what he has in store for me!

No, Mommy… You can’t go run. I want pancakes.

Sunday morning.  The first morning in a week that the temperatures have been over 20 degrees.  This means… RUNNING!!!  I’ve been waiting for this morning for a week.  The arctic temps here in Chi town have been insane.  Time for them to move on and make someone else miserable (sorry if you are that someone else).

Going to bed last night, I triple checked to be sure I had my alarm set so that I could wake up and get a run in around 7am.  I wasn’t planning a long run, just a quick 30 minutes out getting some fresh air, shoes to the pavement, enjoying the “me” time.  Alarm went off, I got up, slowly started getting myself to wake up enough for my brain to tell my feet to move one in front of the other, and suddenly I hear…”MOOOOOMMMMMMMYYYYYYY!!!!!  MOMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYY!!!” coming from the room next to mine.  Mini Me was awake.  I suppose I can’t really complain when she sleeps 12 hours, but darn it… I wanted to be out the door when she woke up.  I go in, give her wake-up snuggles, and asks if she wants to hang out with me while I finish getting dressed for my run.  She looks at me all innocent and says, “No, Mommy.  You can’t go run.  I want pancakes.”  I explained to her that she can get up, have some milk and a banana while I was running and when I got back I would make her pancakes.  Told her I would be gone for 45 minutes, max.  She seemed ok with this rationale.

I finished getting dressed, getting my new ear buds in (thanks to my bro-in-law) and my runner’s pepper spray (thanks to D and mom-in-law… we have coyotes around here), and get to moving.  Finished my run at a pretty good pace, and entered the kitchen, knowing that Mini Me was probably getting hangry at this time.  If you don’t already know this, a hangry three year old is no good.  I am pretty sure that is how wars start.

Enter… Pancakes.  Now, as a quick reminder, Mini Me is allergic to eggs, milk, peanuts, fish, and shellfish.  Baking is constantly difficult, and breakfast foods are one of the most difficult things to work around.  But a few years back, I was lucky enough to stumble across a Banana Oatmeal Pancake recipe from the Colourful Palate.  These have been a lifesaver for me!  I did alter the recipe slightly from theirs, making them less gummy and a bit more toddler approved.

Chocolate Chip Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

Chocolate Chip Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

Ingredients:

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  • 1.5 cups quick cooking oats
  • 0.5 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp sea salt
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • Mini Chocolate Chips (mine are allergy free)
  • Canola Oil Spray or Coconut Oil (for pan prep)

Directions

  1. IMG_7342Blend all ingredients until combined, except bananas and chocolate chips.
  2. Add bananas and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour batter onto a hot skillet or griddle prepared with spray or coconut oil (I use my electric skillet because I can fit more), and sprinkle chocolate chips onto the pancakes as desired.  Wait until bubbles form in the center of the pancakes and flip to finish.

Recipe will make around 12-15 medium sized pancakes.

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After all was said and done, Mini got her pancakes.

BONUS – these refrigerate and reheat really well for quick grab and go breakfasts during the week!

31,536,000 Seconds

Today marks my one year streak of logging into the fitness and nutrition website, MyFitnessPal.  52 weeks… 365 days… 8,760 hours… 525,600 minutes…  31,536,000 seconds… Committing to my health and fitness.

The Good

 

I started off strong last year, and was given P90X by a friend to help give me a kick start. I ate right (or so I thought), got stronger, and expected to see HUGE results.  I did not.  I believe I only lost 5lbs during that time.  Sure, I lost a couple of inches.  Sure, I was stronger.  But, I was still so new to fitness and nutrition at that point that I didn’t realize that I was actually sabotaging myself with my nutrition.  The important lesson I learned during P90X is that I was strong, I could do it, and I kicked my own ass.

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I learned I LOVE yoga (even though at the beginning you had to bribe me to do it).

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I learned that I could do push-ups.  A lot of push-ups.  Push-ups until I fell on my face.  And I learned that I want to kick Tony Horton’s ass and give him a hug at the same time.

After P90X, I was ready for a new challenge. Since I like the flow of P90X, I ventured into another Beachbody program – P90X3.  I was not a fan of this program, to be honest.  I kept with it thru about 60 days.  Meh.

At the same time, I was challenged to start running again.  I despised running.  I would even venture to say that I hated running.  I was not only challenged to start running, I was challenged to run 5 miles.  I had trouble running 1, and felt like I was going to die running 3.  But, what did I do?  I decided (because I don’t like being told I can’t do something) to run a 10K… That’s 6.2 miles.  Yeah.  As soon as it came out of my mouth, I wish I could have taken it back.  So, like a little machine that I sometimes I think I am, I started running.  I started slow using a 10K training app.  Each day was hard.  Really hard.  I pushed thru.  Soon enough, my normal route became too short and I had to explore new routes – running thru the neighborhoods in the early morning hours and sometimes in circles so that I could keep going until the app told me to stop.  There was one morning, around 4.5 miles into my run, that I realized I suddenly LOVED running.  Sure, it was hard.  Sure, I was sore.  Sure, every morning that I woke up I wanted to keep sleeping, BUT when I got into my zone it was just me.  Finishing my runs I felt accomplished.  I felt badass.  I felt like I was becoming the person I knew I could be.  At the end of August I finished my first 10K with a friend I had met on My Fitness Pal.  We had a blast!

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I also completed a few rounds of the 21 Day Fix in the middle and towards the end of the year.  I recommend this program if you are needing to get moving a bit more – it really does work!

After all the video training programs I did, I decided I wanted to lift heavy.  I wanted to be a badass like so many of the people I have grown to love and call my friends on My Fitness Pal.  I picked up my book that I bought a while back, Strong Curves: A Woman’s Guide to Building a Better Butt and Body by Bret Contreras and Kellie Davis (available here).  While I read this book a few years ago, and tried it out, I was nowhere near as experienced with health and fitness as I am now.  I understand what Macros are, and how they work for your body (http://iifym.com), how to have correct form, and why I shouldn’t be afraid to lift heavy weights.  So I started… And I started on the Advanced program.  Yeah me!  I LOVE it.  If you are curious if the program works…Just ask my favorite pair of nice butt jeans.

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The Bad

I’ve been distracted.  Distracted in life, distracted at work, and distracted from my family.  I’ve been caught up in things that don’t really matter in the long run.  I’ve self-sabotaged myself, and am starting 2015 at the same weight that I started 2014 at.  You can make excuses for me all you want, say that you are stronger and smarter, yada yada yada.  I don’t want to hear it.  I don’t want to say that to myself.  I’ve said it enough already.  It really isn’t ok.  The truth is… I know better.  So, as I sat here in tears writing this portion or my post, I sucked it up.  The past is the past.  I’m not going to let myself down this time.  I won’t let myself make excuses.  Sure, I’ve lost over 100lbs at one point.  I’m not at that point.  It doesn’t matter how much I have lost.  It matters where I am going and that I am not going to let myself get in my own way.  There will be no “can’t”, no more comparing myself to others, and no more celebrating the past victories, only my future ones.   This morning I took pictures.  I will be taking pictures every week, and stepping on the scale every Monday.  No excuses.

So, cheers to a new me.  Not a new year.  Every day is a new start.  Don’t wait for a new year to make changes.

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