fitness and nutrition

Behavior

Oddly enough, I said at the end of my 12 weeks of posting on fitness and nutrition that I would take a break from posting weekly. Shocker, here I am again!

It almost seemed like I needed to take a break mentally but then I realized I was in a routine. I modified my behavior to include writing/blogging into my week for 12 weeks. What an irony? But then again it’s no different than establishing a fitness or nutrition routine.

You have to commit to your goals, set a plan of action and then follow through. When you do all that you are essentially creating a routine, a habit, and ultimately your behavior is modified.

So here I am blogging again and it’s just Monday. The start of the week. I have a hefty to-do list today but thankfully I started my day at 6:30am surrounded by people who make me feel strong and confident. I start most days this way at the gym, my box or home away from home.

I also get to exchange communications with my nutrition coach on Mondays which is always amazing in itself. It’s a positive and reflective interaction that provides an outside look at my eating habits from the previous week. It lets me realign and adjust where needed for the upcoming week. The lessons I learn here can be applied to other areas of my life making this coaching experience extremely valuable. For this encouragement I will give a shout out to my coach, the wonderful Jodi Bainbridge of Stronger U. #sherocks

If you think about what I wrote above about feeling strong at the gym, I mirror that by being strong in nutrition and it’s almost comical that the company I chose to work with on nutrition is called Stronger U. Odd but interesting little tidbit. If you have been looking for change I would encourage anyone to check out this program. It is pretty unique and I don’t get paid for any endorsements, This is honest. Stronger U is life changing for many and I don’t have to inflate that, I can see it through testimonials. #strongeru

What I think I rediscovered over the Thanksgiving break is that progress isn’t immediate. It happens over time. It’s a moving target. Whether you are focusing on weight changes, nutrition changes, or business changes they happen over time.

When you get a new job you are not the best employee on day one you have potential, and if you work hard and master your role you become an asset to your organization. If you start your own business venture you don’t become an overnight hit, it takes time. If you go to school to get a degree, you graduate in time. Why because it’s a process and not everyone have the same timeline or the same path. That is what makes us all special.

Today’s post is for those who watch the clock or desire instant gratification in every aspect of life. Take a breath, enjoy the ride to whatever destination you are heading to. You may meet cool people, learn new things, and grow as a person along the way. Trust the process. Enjoy the journey. The journey is unique to you and it’s one that others can’t take away from you.

Another fun fact about me: I used a countdown clock to reach a specific goal recently. It was a countdown clock that was started over 1.5 years ago. This clock told me if I hustled and worked hard and chipped away for the duration I would accomplish big things. I set benchmarks along the way to give me celebration points. Mini-milestones that I shook my head at each time saying “I did it, I really did.” This clock was a gift from a dear friend but provided lots of encouragement as I plugged away at my goal(s). The hashtag #rearview symbolized letting go of the old and embracing the new. As I near the end of the countdown I figured I would share this tool with you in case it influences others to try this method.

As for me, once it runs out I will reset the clock. Most likely for three years this time while I catalog and chart a new path for myself. I will just need a new hashtag for the new duration. #namemyhashtagpeople Drop me a note and you can be part of my next story!

As I recap the rear view (not my butt, people) of my fitness journey, I am approaching the three-year mark of committing to a regular fitness regimen. I didn’t start at CrossFit on day one but I found a passion in CrossFit about 8 months into my journey when I embraced change. Along the way I hit milestones and created new goals to attain. My body is being sculpted over time as is my mind and my can do attitude. I’m embracing new tools along the way that are new parts of my personal maintenance plan. Remember the past or rear view doesn’t dictate your journey or your happiness, rather it’s part of your story. The memories, the lessons learned, the pictures taken, the people you meet along the way all play an pivotal role in your journey. Embrace YOUR path.

Until next time. And when will next time be? I am not sure as I am not watching the clock right now. I’m looking ahead to see what is on the horizon for me as 2019 approaches…

fitness and nutrition, perspective

Going the Extra Mile

It’s a phrase we hear often…someone who “goes the extra mile.”  But what does it really mean?

I’ve been thinking a lot about that phrase for the past few days.  I went to the gym on the day after Thanksgiving.  There wasn’t a workout at the times I could make it.  So, I took advantage of the open gym and walked in between classes. My goal was 10,000 meters.  My legs were screaming sore after a long Thanksgiving Day workout so I started by hopping on the bike erg and did a pretty quick 5,000 meters.

Then, moved over to the rower for a somewhat slower 3,000 meters.

Finally, I faced down the dreaded ski erg and did 2,000 meters, split in half.  (Ski is much more challenging for me!) I had stretched in between, so I was feeling pretty good and sweaty by this point.  I had a few minutes left before I had reached my hour-at-the-gym benchmark, but I had already met my 10,000 meter goal.  What to do?

Enter the Assault bike.

And on that, I just decided to do skip meters and do a mile. And as I rode, I got to thinking about the extra mile…which is what brings me to this post.

To go the extra mile is to go beyond what is required.  What is expected.  The minimum.  As my kids say (or used to say, since once I understand this kind of thing it is definitely past its moment) you can be basic or you can be extra…regular or over the top, I guess.

There are areas of life where I want to work harder to go the extra mile.  Friendship. Family. Fitness / Nutrition.  Those are probably the big three for me right now. Ones I want to work on.

How can I go the extra mile?

-Send a note or out-of-the-blue text to a friend who may need a pick-me-up (and couldn’t we all?)

-Remember to get all the things my family needs as I shop / do errands, etc.

-Check in with family and friends more often

-Make time for meaningful conversations and traditions as the holidays arrive

-Commit to both staying consistent and challenging myself as I workout

-Get serious about nutrition; buckle down (instead of backing down) in the face of challenges

-Give in unexpected ways: time, care, gifts, resources

I am not going to lie.  There are many areas of life where I am struggling to meet basic expectations.  But, at the same time, I feel a deep level of fulfillment when I exceed what I and others expect of me.  Over the next day or two I’ll be planning and making moves to get these things in motion.  Even just this list with a daily checkoff can be a step toward accountability and progress.

So, readers, how are YOU going to go the extra mile in the next month or two? How can you extend kindness, comfort, or even badassness to make your life and the lives of those around you a little more over-the-top-amazing? Tell us in the comments.

Here’s a glimpse of the sunrise that surprised me mid workout that morning, a brief break in a week of dreary rain. Be the unexpected, the surprising light for others and yourself.

dare to be different, fitness and nutrition

It’s A Wrap

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Change is in the air for me, Chick 1. As most are looking at wrapping up holiday gifts, I am looking at unwrapping new opportunities just in time for the new year. Meticulous planning, strategically aligning resources and of course, the fostering of key relationships are all part of the process of building a solid foundation as my dreams become reality.

This process is not new to me. I have been chipping away at my plan while working full time, managing my busy family, and investing in me, each of which can be daunting in itself. Part of my dream includes writing and sharing stories with the world. They may not always be my stories, but as a storyteller I thought it was important to share a piece of me with my blooming audience. I initially set a goal and I worked towards that goal on my own terms and I reworked and adjusted my goals on a frequent basis to align with variables that pop up here and there, basically bending and flexing with what we all call life. This process repeats many times.

As I contemplated when to make the next chess move in my life, environmental challenges gave me an opportunity. This opportunity led me to make a career change at the end of September 2018 that some may say is a mistake or emotional decision. A mistake for some is an opportunity for others and frankly others have opinions and such opinions don’t drive my actions.

For me, my change is 100% about me, my short-term and long-term goals, and objectives. The road I chose is not an easy one and I am well aware of that.  I will have struggles along the way but that won’t dull my shine; rather it will fuel my fire.

Tackling a new challenge at work, at home, or in the gym is something I embrace and commit 100% to all day everyday. I almost love it when somebody says you can’t, you shouldn’t or don’t! In most instances my inner badass will trigger itself and say hmmm…WATCH ME! I write my own stories. I chart my own path. I define my own successes as well as my failures. I don’t wait for a boss to define or quantify my value. I set my own value. Perception vs. reality maybe, but I decide. Each day I look to inspire others along the way in any way I can and I always stay humble. I look to see value in others and share that openly.

This week, I heard my daughter make a statement that will inspire me for years to come. “You are high maintenance,” said one family member to my daughter at Thanksgiving dinner. Her response was not only timely but definitive: “You must be mistaken. I am not high maintenance, I am high quality!” Oh, how I love that girl and her wit. Her ability to respond positively on the spot to comments that could be construed as negative was amazing. Her brilliant mind at work. My prodigy.

Modeling for my daughter is one of my biggest challenges and joys. My risk- taking and leadership style shows her how to be confident and inspiring in her own special way. My strength and perseverance show her how to work hard for what she wants. My individuality teaches her how to be comfortable in her own skin. Watching her grow as a student, an athlete, and friend also fuels my passion to live my journey to success and show others there is no required path that one needs to take to be successful.

As as I have been adjusting to my new normal work/life balance, I have been growing as a person. When one part of your life is going well normally other parts of your life will be influenced and reflect positively. Same goes for surrounding yourself with those who make you work harder and aim higher. As I always say, success breeds success and surrounding yourself with a positive tribe/community is paramount in many ways.

Remember, most won’t accept the challenge of changing their surroundings because of the fear of the unknown. Embracing change takes courage, confidence, and a positive attitude. I know many in my inner circle who struggle with change. I seem to be the exact opposite. I would rather try something new and find I don’t like it rather than not try at all and wonder could I, should I, would I? At some point in one’s life everyone has the opportunity to wake up and smell the roses. But most may miss that opportunity, not me!

The next nail biter took place this week. I changed my gym/box environment. I loved my box, my community, and had great success physically while committing several years to the program. I decided I was ready for a new challenge, a new environment, and a new set of goals. Boom! I moved, just like that. I did a free trial with the intent of moving in January but then it happened. I knew after the first workout this was my new place to grow physically, mentally and potentially emotionally. Without hesitation I made the move. Why put off to January what I could do today? Why wait? If I knew I would progress why delay my start?

In my first few days, I had the courage to conquer new moves that I may have bypassed while in my old gym/comfort zone. How telling is that? I completed not only my first devil press in a WOD, but I did every one of the 80 in that workout. Another day I stretched my ability to complete pistols, multiple times. Finally, I completed a 40-minute grueling workout that tested my ability to push myself and maintain consistency and breath control. Just these few moments solidified my choice to move on. Not to mention I met several new friendly faces, all from different backgrounds and occupations but all living a fit and pure life through CrossFit.

This change also confirmed that the best is yet to come in so many areas of my life. Areas I may not have seen if I didn’t leave my comfortable box. And the box I am referring to is the boundary we set for ourself, not my CrossFit box. We all have a box or set of boundaries of some sort. Some hover at the edge of the box, others find peace dead smack in the middle of the box. Those are not your risk takers.

As I write this blog, I am one week into my new fitness routine and eight weeks into my work/career transition. No day is easy and I am actually juggling more during my transition than I will be come 1/1/19 but I am enjoying the ride I am on. My mind is stimulated and my body is ready for the physical challenge thanks to my daily fitness routine. #ktisonthemove

Stay tuned as I update my change progress in the new year. 2019 is a blank slate for me. What story will I write? What adventures will I tackle? What new friends will I make? #kt2019

Feeling thankful, grateful and positive as I wrap up this Thanksgiving holiday surrounded by friends, family and loved ones.

Thank you for following my blog. I am grateful for all who take the time to comment, like, or message words of encouragement. You are part of my online journey. You are part of my tribe/community. Virtual maybe, but connected nonetheless. When I see my stories reach other countries I just grin ear to ear.

Hugs to all my virtual connections.

fitness and nutrition, Uncategorized

KT’s Week 12: Weekends are Not for the Weak at Heart

This week I was going to talk about booty gains but decided to push that to another week because I just wasn’t feeling the post after I started it.

Why wasn’t I feeling it? Because I had a craptastic weekend. I had worked my ass off all week to hit my numbers and Friday night came. I was in a situation where there was no water available. Sounds so simple and I will learn to keep extra water in my car but yeah I was in an environment that didn’t have water and I was thirsty. Not a good position late in the day when you already planned your day of macros. Juice and soda doesn’t normally fit in my macros. Did I mention who doesn’t offer water at a concession stand? Fail #1.

Update: I had another busy weekend before I posted this blog and to let you know I learned but failed again! I packed my extra water this time when I hit the road and some good snacks and then left it in my car. I guess the take away is practice makes perfect. Two Fridays in a row I struggled with hydration on the move with last minute plans.

Move on to Saturday and the conflict of eating out and having to guess on some numbers at a restaurant. It’s just not the same as home and measurements. This can cause a ton of stress if you are really focused on working your plan. Yes I fall into this category! Missed opportunity #2. #lackofplanning

Update: spontaneous decisions get me all the time! Yup, I went to breakfast and planned and used a good portion of my macros but in a healthy way. Somebody picked up my table’s tab as a random act of kindness. Double yeah on the morning. Then I was off to adventure unexpectedly the rest of the day. Guess what? I left my water in my car again. #epicfailagain but I did have access to a convenience store so crisis was averted. Managed to eat some Chick-fil-a nuggets on the move for some protein and fat. But again, not the same as home. Big takeaway on this post is I still have a ton of work to do on the weekends so I don’t kill all my progress from the week.

Then, fast forward to Sunday and my kid makes breakfast for the family that included cinnamon buns, bacon, toast, eggs, all of which are high in fat. If I would choose one of these as a treat I could, but not all at once, in the same day, in the same meal. Ugh on so many emotions at one meal and how not to hurt anyone’s feelings. And, this type of eating can make you lazy the rest of the day! #realworldchallenges #foodprobs

Update: I am posting this now before I have to admit another failure, bump in the road, struggle or excuse.

As I sigh, this post is about how to eat or choose healthy when your environmental conditions may challenge you or throw you curve balls. This is life and it’s a delicate balance. If I was a weight lifting competitor in training would others understand my need to eat clean? Would my friends think I am less neurotic? I don’t have the answers but I will tell you it’s a struggle. Don’t offer me desserts. Don’t give me chocolate. Don’t tempt me. Support me.

For instance, if somebody offers you a gummy bear that can blow your carb numbers, just say no. If somebody offers you a cocktail, just say no. If you will feel guilty later, it is not a good choice. It’s more likely that you will have to decline a sweet of some kind because I can’t remember the last time somebody said “Hey Karen, do you want 4 ounces of chicken or shrimp?” It’s pretty random and funny when you think about it. Same goes for vegans. How many people don’t get that lifestyle? Ignorance is all around us.

Also, many will say let’s go to McDonald’s, grab a pizza, or grab a coffee or a sugar-infused drink vs. let’s go and drink green smoothies. Just learning to maneuver life’s challenges each day and each week is full of emotions and why many gain weight back after making progress. Hoping that I don’t fall into that same slump and why I have my goals set over time so that if I struggle at any one point I can readjust as needed to conquer my long term goals. Fab at 50 is the master plan and you all have a front row seat in my journey.

Every weekend is more challenging than the weekdays. More time on the go. More family or friend events. More socializing. Just more chances to make bad choices. During the week I am more routine and regimented, making macro mastering so much easier.

In the coming weeks I am rededicating myself to following my plan of nutrition while stepping up my fitness regimen to prepare for the approaching holidays and temptations because I know I am not perfect and will opt for that cheesecake at some point. Kickstarting a burner program post workout and stepping up my macro game is on my agenda. I added #saturdaysprints yesterday but only because the weather was cooperating.

I am also spending time thinking about Thanksgiving. Need to get my workout in that day and need to plan an activity after the food festivities. Thanksgiving is lots of food so it’s important to include healthy options. Time to get cracking on a healthy menu. I will also be focusing on some random acts of kindness around Thanksgiving. I hope this post inspires you to give your time or something to somebody in need.

In closing, when I started this fitness/nutrition blog series I committed to a weekly update, but then extended my nutrition coach time to 6 months instead of the original 12 weeks. I get bored easily so I probably won’t write each week moving forward but I will catch you up on my progress here and there over the next several weeks. Stay tuned on this topic but jump on over to some of the other areas the Chicks write about. You might find a nugget of information you like elsewhere on the blog site. And who knows? Maybe my hitting pause will motivate my co-author Beth to share some more of her amazing stories on here.

Chick 1 and Chick 2 are always cooking stuff up (aka working on writing). Just stay tuned for whatever strikes our fancy to write about as we prepare to release our next book.

Remember to have fun in your day. Smiles are contagious and good for the soul. I hope my silly pics along the way give you some giggles.

Happy holidays to all in advance and remember to plan and prepare for temptations. Can’t wait to see what 2019 brings me.  I may even have a goals blog for 2019, if I dare to be different. Maybe those abs I asked Santa for will let me start the year with a half of two pack, if that is even possible!

fitness and nutrition

Baby Steps and Big Jumps for Chick 2

Is there such a thing as a “traditional” or stereotypical CrossFitter? Maybe there’s an image in your head of what a CrossFit athlete looks like.  Muscular, slender, radiant (or rugged), ripped, youthful. (Hobbling, maybe).  You can tell who they are because they are always Talking About CrossFit.

If there is a stereotypical CrossFitter, I am NOT that.  I am heavier, older, basically an uncoordinated mess on most days. I do talk about CrossFit a lot, but that’s where the resemblance to that image stops.

I have a long road. Everyone starts somewhere, but many of the people at my box have some sort of sport or physical activity in their background. Swimming, gymnastics, dance, and so on. Not me. So I’m not getting back on the horse or the bike or whatever, but riding it for the first time. I’ve described CrossFit as finally getting to know my body after living in it for 45 years.

Between my lack of athletic background and various injuries, my workouts look different than most of the people I am in class with. I have been doing CrossFit regularly for 15 months and still do many / most workouts with some kind of scale and / or adaptation.  Thankfully we have great coaches who know me and help me continue to improve.

Here are some recent milestones that might be unimpressive for some, but were big deals for me.

A couple of weeks ago we had 1000 jump ropes in a single WOD. Five rounds, 200 in each round. Jump ropes are a struggle for me, both in coordination and breath control.  Lifting 200+ pounds off the ground that many times is a lot of physical and mental lifting. I was already preparing myself for failure, asking my coach what to do if I just couldn’t get the rope to cooperate. I had to complete it in in sets of 30 or 40, sometimes even 20.  But, I made it through it. I’ve never done that many in a single workout before! Celebration!

The second big milestone was burpee jumpovers.  Sometimes the workout calls for jumping over a barbell (with plates) or a box.  I always either step over the box or jump over a bar on the flat ground.  But, this time the WOD had dumbbell jump overs.  I was working out by myself and just went over to the little side area of the gym and gave it a try.  Ok, so it’s only like 6 inches off the ground, but it was still another mental and physical challenge.  So tiring! But I did about 50 of them (without falling) which felt like an amazing accomplishment.  (See pic below. Too tired to smile.)

My steps forward may be smaller than most.  There are movements that may take me many years to attempt, much less achieve.  But, I keep showing up and trying to get better each day.  It has given me new confidence. I’m not even afraid of sled pulls anymore! Or embarrassed by doing them in front of people in the parking lot!

I don’t think there’s such a thing as a stereotypical CrossFitter. It can work for anyone, and it’s big for someone like me to say that.  As time goes on, I’ve come to see myself as an athlete after all.

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author moments

Literacy Night with the 2 Chicks!

It was a dark and stormy night….really!

Seriously though, last week was amazing! 2 Chicks headlined a literacy night at a local elementary school. It was well attended despite the hurricane weather fast approaching. The set up was cozy; kids gathered with blankets and snacks on the floor. We couldn’t have been happier to meet these readers. Sharing our books and our story as authors is the heart of what we do!

We had a diverse audience, which we love, as we get to hear what our readers think about our work. What more honest critic (and fan) is there than a child?

Some of the kids were interested in the illustrations and why we chose what we did. Others were fascinated with the book-within-a-book concept from our third book. Still others wanted to know what it means to be an author and how we got our start. Many enjoyed hearing about the beginning, middle, and end of the process of making a book. Of course, the 2 CHX love the opportunity to share all of our ideas in hopes of inspiring future writers and illustrators. We encouraged them to carry notebooks with them and keep paper by their beds. You never know when ideas will strike!

Chick 1, KT, had a particularly moving experience where she met a young boy who likes to write comics with his friend. His friend likes to illustrate their ideas. WOW that is amazing! A partnership of creativity much like the the 2 Chicks have! A relationship to cherish. Their conversations expanded as the evening continued and his curiosity climbed. KT seized the opportunity to inspire and share artwork and works in progress, a true behind the scenes look for this aspiring writer. They then exchanged contact information at the child’s request to form a pen pal relationship and the young man offered future book reviews. What an amazing opportunity for both the child and the author. A connection made and more inspiration to follow….maybe even some pen pal updates. Our cup is overflowing with pure joy when we have events like this.

For Chick 2, Beth, it was an opportunity to connect with former students of her own. Chick 2 used to teach future teachers at the University of Georgia all about reading, writing, and children’s books. Three of her former college students are now teachers at this elementary school! Seeing these educators, now colleagues, encourage young people to enjoy reading, writing, and sharing their ideas was a full circle moment.

Thanks so much to our local friends for inviting us! We are looking forward to reaching more readers this way in the coming months and years. If you’d like us to visit, let us know!

Our message: Keep reading. Keep writing. Keep smiling. Keep doodling. Keep dreaming. You can be whatever you aspire to be.

fitness and nutrition

Faith and Freedom: KT’s Week 3

Oh I have faith in myself yes I do. I also have the freedom to be good or bad. Who knew?!

As I enter week three, I lived through birthday #1 but did dine out at a favorite restaurant (Pappadeaux).

I did indulge in a seafood dish to aid in hitting my protein numbers but also included some fat in the sauce and I really entered the dark side and shared a dessert. Was it the best choice? Probably not, but my nutrition plan is about living and choosing the better options most of the time and not stressing if you splurge once in a while.

Speaking of splurging I indulged in a low carb cocktail this weekend. Not my first choice of drinks but one that was easier to justify I guess. Nonetheless I expect my scale and body to react a little differently over the next few days while that little indulgence works its way out of my system. This was officially the first time I had alcohol on this healthy living plan since I started and the 12 weeks prior so this was a big deal.

Drum roll please! The new numbers are in:   160 Carbs, 130 Protein,  67 fat

As I suspected my numbers are shifting downward. Down another 110-150 calories a day…. no big deal. But that protein number is so damn hard to hit! I feel like I need to inhale shrimp by the pound daily to make it work or supplement with a protein drink. And right now my go to drink is Shamrock Farms Rockin’ Protein Builder. 190 calories, 30g protein, 4 g fat and 12 carbs.

Enter big sigh as I tackle the week. Still no big victory on the scale to report but I can safely say my stamina on burpees and running is improving so I will take that over the scale anytime.

———–

Mid-week check-in right here: Well today was a game changer! I talked to my coach about my 12 weeks and some big picture thinking and *boom* I changed my program from 12 weeks to six months. That translates into a longer time commitment and hopefully some big changes in my body composition. Again, the coach is now in the spotlight just as much as me. And she knows that I am cataloging this journey on here so maybe, just maybe, I will let her be a guest blogger so she can show her side of the equation.

It’s a partnership for the next 6 months. I’ve never met her in person and we live in different ends of the country with different lifestyles. Talk about a trust exercise! Working together to achieve a goal.  Would you make the same commitment?

I am a bit crazy (in a good way). I take risks everyday and this is just another one for me, but I’m the one that determines the outcome.